This year we are supporting Brighton Festival, and in 2021 the theme is care.
The theme of the festival is care, and by that I really mean looking after ourselves and thinking about others. Those two things are so important. Someone said to me the important thing is to ‘take it easy but take it all’, and I think this whole thing has reminded me how important it is to care for yourself as well as other people. When the pandemic happened, I was faced most of all with my own thoughts, my own moods, my own attitudes to the rest of the world and to friends and to who I am.
– Lemn Sissay (Guest Director)
With this quote in mind, we welcome you to a series on care:
over 2000 years ago Hippocrates said, “All disease begins in the gut”, and only now we are learning we must go back to those 6 words. Developing a healthy immune system and key to understanding autoimmune diseases and allergies. Without the right balance of microbes, nutrition production and digestion are affected, unhealthy guts can also affect; Immunity, weight loss or gain, protection from food allergies and intolerances, cognition & overall brain health, removing toxins from your body and growth in children and adolescents.
These are our ‘Top Tips’ for Tummy Care
1. Stay off the white stuff – Sugar
Sugary drinks are among the most fattening items you can put into your body. This is because your brain doesn’t measure calories from liquid sugar the same way it does for solid food. Therefore, when you drink fizzy pop, you end up eating more total calories. High sugar intake is linked to numerous ailments, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and many forms of cancer.
Keep in mind that certain fruit juices may be almost as bad as soda in this regard, as they sometimes contain just as much sugar and little to no fibre. The small amounts of antioxidants do not negate the sugar’s harmful effects.
Added sugar is one of the worst ingredients in the modern diet, as large amounts can harm your metabolic health, and really upset your gut biome.
2. Go nuts, for nuts
Despite being high in fat, nuts are incredibly nutritious and healthy. They’re loaded with magnesium, vitamin E, fibre, and various other nutrients.
Studies demonstrate that nuts can help you lose weight and may help fight type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Additionally, your body doesn’t absorb 10–15% of the calories in nuts. Some evidence also suggests that this food can boost metabolism. In one study, almonds were shown to increase weight loss by 62%, compared with complex carbs (14). Check out our nut and seed selection, we have everything from organic Austrian pumpkin seeds to organic Walnuts.
3. Organic > Chemical
Evidence shows that consuming organic foods reduces your exposure to pesticide residues and antibiotic-resistant bacteria (11). One study found that levels of cadmium, an extremely toxic metal, were 48% lower in organic produce. In addition, pesticide residues were four times more likely to be found in non-organic crops (6).
Several lab studies found that organic food has higher antioxidant content, which helped protect cells from damage. And animal studies show that organic diets may benefit growth, reproduction and the immune system.
Consuming foods that are chemically grown has been shown to damage your gut microbiota. Pesticides are designed to kill microorganisms, the residue on non-organic food has been shown to kill beneficial bacteria, viruses and fungi that live in the gut.
Infinity Foods has the largest organic certified fruit & vegetable section in Brighton & Hove. Our famous In-House Bakery is also organic certified.
4. The small things matter
The bacteria in your gut, collectively called the gut microbiota, are incredibly important for overall health. A disruption in gut bacteria is linked to some of the world’s most serious chronic diseases, including obesity.
Good ways to improve gut health include eating probiotic foods like yoghurt and sauerkraut, taking probiotic supplements, and eating plenty of fibre. Notably, fibre functions as fuel for your gut bacteria, you may have heard it referred to as ‘prebiotics’. Fibre acts as the food for healthy bacteria, it’s not enough just to take probiotics if there is nothing for them to eat.
5. Are you feeling ‘Dehy’?
Drinking enough water can have numerous benefits. Surprisingly, it can boost the number of calories you burn! Two studies note that it can increase metabolism by 24–30% over 1–1.5 hours. This can amount to 96 additional calories burned if you drink 2 litres of water per day.
The optimal time to drink it is before meals. One study showed that downing 500 ml of water 30 minutes before each meal increased weight loss by 44% (16).
6. Eat a rainbow.
Vegetables and fruits are loaded with prebiotic fibre, vitamins, minerals, and many antioxidants, some of which have potent biological effects.
Studies show that people who eat the most vegetables and fruits live longer and have a lower risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and other illnesses (50, 51).
Take our word for it, Infinity foods is celebrating 50 years of being a vegetarian cooperative.
7. Good fat, Bad fat?
Saturated fat has been controversial. While it’s true that saturated fat raises cholesterol levels, it also raises HDL (good) cholesterol and shrinks your LDL (bad) particles, which is linked to a lower risk of heart disease.
Artificial trans fats are harmful, man-made fats that are strongly linked to inflammation, which is the root of most disease and heart disease.
What is artificial trans fat? Hydrogenated vegetable oils and have serious health consequences. These fats occur when vegetable oils are chemically altered to stay solid at room temperature, which gives them a much longer shelf life. These are used as cheap ingredient in many processed foods.
There is no ban on trans fats in the UK. However, in 2012 most supermarkets and the bigger fast-food chains agreed to sign up to a voluntary agreement not to use artificial trans fats. Oh BTW, Infinity Foods never knowingly sell anything containing artificial trans fats.