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Avocados are one of the most versatile fruits in the world and can be used in sweet and savoury dishes – though more commonly found in savoury.

Here are five simple ways you can use avocado!

1. In a smoothie
For a richer, creamier taste to your smoothie, add half an avocado! Not only will this add a dose of healthy fats to your smoothie but avocados are also known to contain a good amount of Vitamin C.

2. As a spread
If you’re looking for a healthy, plant-based alternative to butter, why not use avocado as a spread in your sandwiches, wraps or on toast?

3. As a pasta sauce
If you’re sick of tomato sauce on your pasta, avocado makes a great sauce base. Add an avocado to some chicken or veg stock and lemon juice along with some salt and pepper and then blend until smooth.

4. As a dessert
Once again, if you are trying to get a bit more plant power in your diet, avocados make the perfect base for a chocolatey pudding. Simply blend an avocado with some cocoa powder, vanilla extract, melted chocolate and maple syrup before placing in the fridge overnight. There you have it, the healthiest dessert in the world! 

5. As a snack
For a fast and nutritious snack, simply half an avocado, add salt and pepper and eat! You could even try adding some chopped prawns or crab meat for a posh snack. 

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Summer may be coming to an end, but that doesn’t mean that you still can’t make the most of August with this delicious side dish.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 packet of cream cheese
  • 1 seven ounce jar marshmallow fluff or packet of melted white marshmallows
  • Juice from one orange

What you’ll need to do:

  1. Take cream cheese out of fridge and let soften for a few minutes
  2. When the cream cheese is soft enough to blend, add the marshmallow fluff/melted marshmallows and orange juice and then beat the mixture till smooth.
  3. Serve with some of your favourite sliced fruits and dip away.

Tip: Strawberries and green grapes are perfect for this dip but many other fruits will work when it comes to this delicious side dish too.

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We all know the amazing benefits of fruit and vegetable in our diet and we strive to eat our recommended daily dose of five a day – but it isn’t enough, it would seem.

A new study has revealed that the recommended five portions of fruit and veg a day may not be enough – and that we actually need seven or more.

The study which was carried out by the University College London found that people who ate seven or more portions of fruit and veg per day had a 33% reduced risk of dying than those who didn’t.

It was found that people who ate seven or more helpings per day had a reduced risk of dying from cancer by up to 25% and from heart disease by up to 31%.

Dr. Oyinlola Oyebode, the study’s lead author made the message of the research clear: “The clear message here is that the more fruit and vegetables you eat, the less likely you are to die at any age.”

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Ah avocados. How you trick us so.

We wait and wait for you to be perfect and then it’s too late.

Here is a foolproof way of ripening your avocado so that it will be ready for use in 24hrs.

Bananas are known for releasing high-levels of ethylene which is a hormone that ripens fruit.

Place your hard avocado in a paper bag with a banana (or an apple) and leave it for 24 hrs. When you remove it, it should be ripe enough to eat, but not too soft.

In other words, a perfect avocado. And isn’t that everybody’s dream?

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Psychologists at the University of Bourgogne in Dijon, France have released a study that reveals how smelling fruit before making a food choice can help us stick to healthier choices.

The study was conducted in two groups, one sat in a room fragrant with pears while the other sat in an unscented room.

Following this the two groups were presented with a three-course dinner. The smell of the fruit only affected how the dessert choices were made rather than the starter of the main course.

It showed how the room that was exposed to the fruit smell were more likely to make a healthy choice.

While more than half of the group sat in the fragrant room chose the fruity dessert option, three out of four of the other group chose the unhealthier option of a chocolate brownie.

Hmm, maybe that apple at the bottom of your bag may come in handy after all.

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The time has come again – it’s January and everywhere we turn, we’re bombarded with adverts calling for us to lose weight and get healthy.

A positive message, but where were they when we were stuffing the fourth mince pie of Christmas Day into our mouths?

While a new year can make us feel invincible, small changes are actually more effective than a massive lifestyle overhaul because you’ll be more likely to maintain them.

So here is our small change proposal; dust off the blender, head to the fruit and veg section and watch your hair get shiny, your eyes clear and skin glow within two weeks of this small daily change. Yes, it is Green Smoothie time.

Below is a sample recipe, but feel free to add/take away anything you like. Remember that it’s better to include far more veg than fruit, which is full of sugar. The fruit should be there to add a little bit of flavour and some vitamin C.

You should keep some sliced banana in a lunchbox and a bag of spinach in the freezer as it is handier and makes the smoothie nice and cold.

Serves One

What you’ll need

1/2 frozen banana

Handful frozen spinach

Handful of kale

1 kiwi

1/4 Cucumber

1 Celery Stalk

Juice of One Lemon

1 tsp Flaxseed

1 tsp grated Ginger

1/2 tsp Cinnamon (optional)

1 tsp Honey (optional)

 

What you’ll need to do

Place all ingredients in a blender and cover with water (or coconut water if you prefer). Blend until smooth and drink. Place leftovers in the fridge for any hunger cravings later on.

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There is some good news if you’re an asthma sufferer as research shows eating fruit and vegetables can help with the condition.

Whoever said that you are what you eat was on to a good thing. Research published in Nature Medicine journal claims that what we eat can influence immune cell development and disease outside the gut. If you have asthma, eating your five a day can go a long way to help you deal with your condition.

However, it is not just asthma sufferers who benefit from this kind of diet. People who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome can also benefit as both conditions are caused by the same inflammatory reaction.

People who don’t suffer from asthma or IBS can also benefit from a fibre-rich diet as it can help reduce heart disease and certain cancers.

So, when doing your weekly shop, make sure you pop some extra fruit and veg into your trolley.

 

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If you were out last night and are now feeling the pain, you’ll appreciate our advice on how to beat the dreaded hangover.

Before you get your hopes up though, you should know that there are no magical cures for the heavy head and queasy stomach; however, eating certain foods will help you survive the day.

  • Start by having a few berries or a handful of nuts. These will help your body reduce the inflammatory response to your alcohol consumption.
  • If your stomach is feeling a bit dodgy try having a ginger tea or a smoothie with fresh ginger. This should help to ease off your nausea.
  • Don’t forget to keep hydrated. Sip on some water or juice. An electrolyte sachet is also a good way to restore your body.
  • Try lifting yourself out of bed or off the couch and go for a walk or a jog. While this may be the last thing on your mind right now, exercising will help your body remove the toxins of the night before and you’ll feel so much better afterwards.

Best of luck!

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