Eat yourself back to fitness with these healing foods
There’s more to a healthy diet than just making sure you get your five a day: sometimes the food you eat can play an important role in helping you feel on top form. Instead of heading for your medicine cabinet, it might be worth raiding your fridge – and no, we’re not talking about comfort eating. UAE scientists discovered recently that manuka honey showed cancer-fighting potential, while in recent years some surprising research has revealed that turkey meat can have anti-depressant properties. Here, Dubai nutritionist and wellbeing expert Laura Holland reveals the top healing foods to add to your diet.
Turmeric ‘Used for more than 2,500 years in India, turmeric has many health benefits. It’s a powerful anti-inflammatory, a natural antiseptic, it detoxifies the liver, is a natural painkiller and speeds up the skin healing process. Some studies show it may even prevent and slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.’
Chia seeds ‘These have more omega-3 than flax seeds and are a great source of protein, fibre, B vitamins and minerals. They also give you strength and improve your endurance, as well as helping to cleanse your digestive tract by improving elimination, which can slim your tummy as a result.’
Coconut ‘Coconut water is one of the richest sources of electrolytes, making it the most hydrating fluid and is a natural sports drink. It also has lots of minerals and neutralises damaging acid throughout the body. Coconut oil, meanwhile, is the most stable at high temperatures making it excellent for cooking, as there are no carcinogenic risks.’
Dark chocolate ‘This is perhaps the richest food source of magnesium, and it has amazing antioxidant power too. Cacao has been proven to stabilise blood sugar, reduce appetite and improve heart health, not to mention giving us a feel-good dose of serotonin.’
Berries ‘Goji berries, blueberries, acai berries, maqui berries and raspberries – the vibrant colours in these berries are the vast array of antioxidants that have the power to heal, repair and renew our body at the cellular level. This means they are anti-ageing and protect our health.’
Ginger ‘Ginger has been used for centuries in both food and medicine. It is perhaps the most powerful digestive booster, an anti-inflammatory, decongestant and detoxifier, and it helps to relieve nausea.’
Matcha tea ‘With a minimum of three times the antioxidant content of regular green tea (some claim up to 137 times as many) this green tea has been shown to give a huge boost to the metabolism. This aids weight loss, and also helps reduce cholesterol and the risk of cognitive decline with age.’
Kale ‘The queen of greens, kale has more iron than beef. It also has heaps of vitamins A, C and K, calcium, antioxidants and enough omega-3 in one cup to cover 10 percent of your recommended daily allowance.’ From Dhs650 for consultations with Laura Holland. Various locations, www.inshallah.org.uk (050 504 8523).