Shopping for super foods

You may not realise it but you have been eating phytochemicals all your life. Phytonutrients, as they are sometimes referred to, give fruit, vegetables, grains and legumes their flavour colour and protection against disease. They help form the plants’ immune system and potent antioxidants, such as Vitamin C, carotenoids (fat-soluble pigments like beta-carotei and lycopene) and flavonoids (water-soluble pigments like catechins and reserveratro Studies are now showing that they have a protective effect against many ailments such high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and cancer. So, once again the key message is t make sure you eat your fruit and veges daily!

Whole grains and bread

Whole grains add essential vitamins and fibre to your diet. Try some different grains you might not have had before, such as millet, quinoa, buckwheat or barley, available at health- food shops and some supermarkets. Brown rice also belongs in this category: it is far superior to white rice and you will quickly acquire a taste for this yummy, nutty food. There is a huge variety of bread out there. We recommend going for bread in which you can see the whole grains. Check the labels, as some bread is high in sodium or fat, although it may look healthy.

Nuts and seeds

Nuts and seeds are other great snacks loaded with nutrients, essential fats and protein. Add them into your cooking and sprinkle them over your vegetable dishes, breakfasts or yoghurt. Take good care to buy them fresh, as rancid nuts can be quite toxic. It is best to buy them from bulk bins where you can ‘sniff’ for rancidity.

Pure Essential Plant Oils

Pure essential oils

Pure essential oils are known as the life force of the plant. These oils are approximately 70 times more concentrated than the plant or herb they come from. Extracted from leaves, roots, resins, flowers, grasses and fruits they have the ability to penetrate the skin to produce therapeutic benefits and also affect us emotionally and mentally with their powerful aromas.

When purchasing pure essential oils, make sure they use this name on the label and don’t say ‘essence’ or ‘fragrance’. A good brand will list the botanical name, plus possibly a batch number and expiry date. Essential oils vary in price – Lavender, for example, s quite reason able, while Frankincense or Rose are much more expensive – so if you see range with a standard price for all oils, they will not be pure essential oils.

Skin Massage blends

Massage stimulates the blood flow to rejuvenate your skin, it stimulates the lymph fluid to clear wastes away and it improves your skin‘s tone and texture. Once a week give your skin a treat and massage it. We pre-mix a facial massage blend and have it on hand for ready use.

Take 10 ml of a massage base oil (carrier oil), and blend with 5 drops of your chosen essential oils in a dark glass bottle (these can be purchased from a pharmacy or aromatherapy shop). Shake before use. Keep the bottle in a cool place away from sunlight. This facial blend will last you for about five massages, then assess your skin and its needs and make up your new 10 ml blend.