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MT 25 May 2017

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maltatoday, THURSDAY, 25 MAY 2017 14 Food Election Munchies THE election campaign is heating up and candidates are out to get all the votes they can. Door to door visits are on the increase and even though candi- dates are tired they are doing their best to get as many in as they can. They need to push through the exhaustion, keep the smiles on their faces and get the job done. When you're feeling low on energy you tend to reach for the sugary snacks and caffeine to keep you going through the day. Though that might work in the short term, it can spell disaster over a longer period. Fatigue breaks us down both physically and emotionally and can weak havoc on the immune system. Proper nutrition and timing of what you eat can help keep you going throughout the day without the extra pressure that caffeine and sugar will put on your sys- tem. So what can you do to be sure that your energy stores are top notch to get you through the day? Eat a balanced breakfast. Breakfast shouldn't only be protein or carbo- hydrates but needs to be as balanced as your lunch. Instead of having just yoghurt, add some fresh fruit, a hand- ful of good fats like nuts and seeds and toasted oats. Iron deficiency, especially in women, can be a cause of fatigue so increase consumption of iron-rich foods like beans, lentils, spinach and sesame seeds, whilst being sure to eat them with plenty of vitamin C rich foods to help absorption. Eat a variety of fruit and veggies. Dif- ferent fruits and veggies have different nutrients so varying the types of fruit and veg you eat will ensure a more bal- anced diet. Research has shown that people who eat the same amount of pro- duce but a wider variety have less oxida- tive stress which is a precursor to age- ing and disease. So instead of sticking to that banana for elevenses, mix it up, eat whatever is local and in season – straw- berries yesterday, peaches tomorrow. Eating local, seasonal produce means that the food was in the ground just a few days before. If you go for a pineap- ple, this has to travel half way across the planet until it reaches your plate. Fruit and veg start losing vitamins and min- erals from the moment they are picked. So try and eat the freshest produce pos- sible. Don't skimp on the healthy fats as a weight loss tool. Research has shown that people who skip the healthy fats do not absorb antioxidants as well as those that add healthy fats to their meals. Ingredients • 1 banana, mashed • 1 egg, beaten • 2 tbsp coconut flour • 2 tbsp buckwheat flour • 1 tsp baking powder • ¼ cup almond milk Toppings • Strawberries • Mixed nuts and seeds, toasted • Coconut flakes Method 1. Mash the banana in a bowl and mix well with the beaten egg. 2. Add the two flours and the baking powder and mix well. 3. Add enough almond milk to make a pancake batter consistency. 4. Heat a pan with a little bit of coconut oil. 5. Add a spoonful of batter to the pan and cook until bubbles start coming to the surface and the pancake is firm. 6. Flip and cook for another minute until cooked through. 7. Remove from the pan and keep warm with a clean towel whilst you repeat the process with the remaining batter. 8. Serve warm, with toppings of your choice. Ingredients • 1 tub Greek yoghurt • Handful fresh raspberries • Handful walnuts • 100g good quality dark chocolate, at least 70% cocoa solids Method 1. Place the Greek yoghurt in a bowl. 2. Top with raspberries. 3. Top with walnuts. 4. Top with chopped bits of chocolate and serve. Gluten-free coconut flour pancakes Greek yoghurt topped with raspberries, walnuts and chocolate

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