Baobab: The ancient African fruit that fights diabetes

Paul Gugenheim of Minvita, the company which sells baobab in the UK in tablet and powder form, and is partnered with The Eden Project in Cornwall says: “This exciting research confirms that Baobab is a fruit with extraordinary health-giving properties.

Diabetes is one of the main health issues of our time, and is projected to affect millions of people and cost the NHS billions of pounds over the next 25 years. If a natural, readily available product can be found to be useful in controlling the symptoms of this dreadful disease it can only be of benefit to us all.”

Dr Sarah Brewer says: “Baobab offers a number of nutritional health benefits which are only now being recognised in the West. It carries high concentrates of anti oxidants, energy, immune boosting vitamins and minerals and bone strengthening calcium.

“Rich in iron, high in potassium and containing vital blood clotting ingredients it can even help support the circulatory system whilst the high-fibre content benefits the digestive system.”

But Bridget Benelam, senior nutrition scientist at the British Nutrition Foundation says: “Many sources say that it is high in vitamin C and calcium but you have to eat it in a processed form such as a powder or jam rather than the whole fruit.”

She adds: “I am sceptical of how much difference such foods actually make to people’s nutrient intakes as realistically, most people will not eat them that frequently or in large quantities compared to the foods that are a more staple part of the diet.”

Boabab is available from Holland Barrett, Planet Organic and health food shops, priced from £8.49 for a 250g tub of superfruit powder.  £19.99 for 90 tablets. Or order online from


Nigella Lawson is sexier than Lady Gaga but her food is obesity heaven

Nigella Lawson, she of TV chef fame and lauded ‘culinary beauty’ has been rated sexier than Lady Gaga by model Lara Stone. Sadly for Lawson that’s not much of an accolade as a bucket of bloody offal and rotten eyeballs is sexier than Lady Gaga (see her meat dress nonsense here); the least talented, most overrated and utterly detestable music industry mannequin.

Yes, Nigella Lawson is a moderately attractive woman but she’s hardly a centrefold pin-up, despite the views of an army of overweight women who regard her as a beacon of comfort for ‘+ sized’ females who love nothing more than a lardy meal washed down with a fat cake. To them of course, as Marilyn Monroe before her, she is a god.

Nigella Lawson looking as glamorous as ever.

Anyone who is curvy and promotes buttery, sugary rich food as being healthy is, by association, fuelling excuses for people to be obese. Some time back British red top comic The Sun (owned by the cretinous Rupert Murdoch – the one who OK’d phone hacking) ran a comparison between Nigella Lawson and genuine health food chef Gillian McKeith who had spent a while in the jungle as part of I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here (read more on reality TV).

You may not have spent time in the wilderness yourself so it’s worth pointing out that the jungle is capable of  making even the most attractive individuals look like something that just about managed to scrape survival through an all out nuclear attack only to lose most of their teeth and hair while turning their skin to a leathery, sagging parchment, a bit like Tom Cruise’s arse. The jungle wasn’t kind to Gillian McKeith.

Gillian McKeith looking terrible in the jungle.

The Sun in their infinite wisdom took it upon themselves to pit Nigella Lawson’s unhealthy meat fuelled diet against McKeith’s healthier vegetarian diet by comparing the two women in picture format – Lawson in a designer outfit, fully made up by a professional make-up artist and of course photoshopped for good measure, while McKeith was shown in Jungle format.

Hardly a fair comparison there, but then again, when were The Sun ever fair?

The point is that Lawson’s style of cooking is aimed at middle class toffs who love nothing more than a bit of posh nosh, while her visual style is intended to arouse other appetites (mainly men of a certain age whose wives no longer consider them useful in the bedroom and who in turn think of their wives as a hindrance to them shagging 16-year-olds, because despite them being overweight, middle aged, balding and boring, they still have ‘it’).

In your dreams fat boy.

She is an advocate of rich foods, the kind which cause obesity and in an age when there is a war against a lying pharmaceutical industry and food companies who continue to promote unhealthy and ultimately damaging products, perhaps the limelight should shine on chefs like Gillian McKeith, Ani Phyo and Jamie Oliver who are trying their utmost to change the way people look at food for the better, instead of selling themselves on how good they look in some unnecessary designer tat while swanning about the kitchen trying to come across as sexy in it.

Your opinion is valuable to us so please leave a comment about obesity, Lady Gaga the dickhead or ponsey TV chef Nigella Lawson.

Read about all or nothing dieting which leads to eating disorders, Jamie Oliver’s food revolution, Jake Gyllenhaal promoting edible schoolyard and a detox for a new you.


New Year’s resolution: Juice Fast for weight loss and detox

It’s the time of year when most diets commence. You’ve somehow managed to add a kilo or two to the bathroom scale and magic tailors have been in during the night and removed an inch or two from the circumference of your trousers. Christmas may be gone, but the cold weather and dark nights have stuck around and we are often left feeling deflated mentally and spiritually, but inflated in the waistband department.

Most of us have eaten and drunk too much over Christmas and New Year; partied too much and exercised too little. And now it’s back to work. Now that the festive season is truly over and our party hats have wilted and been put away for next year, it is back to the land of the living, noses to the grindstone and time to take stock and consider how we want to improve in the year ahead.

Thinking that you can only eat half a grapefruit and the juice of a satsuma for breakfast, toast with no topping for lunch with no carbs before 4pm and after 4.15pm, with half a malteser at weekends, for the rest of your life can seem depressing, for some. So a good quick way to jumpstart the new year and detox all those icky things from your system, or at least give them a darn good shove, and to lose a bit of extra weight at the same time, is to consider a small, controlled juice fast.

A juice fast is just that, nothing but fresh, clean fruit and vegetable juices for a short period of time ranging from 1 to 7 days (seasoned fruit fasters have notched up 90 days and beyond!)  depending on your level of commitment but a one-day fast is enough to give you a taster and to give your body a chance to rest, and lose a pound or two of  toxins. And believe it or not, going without food for a day or three, often sounds much worse than it is.  People worry that they will be constantly hungry, which is not the case. With juice fasting, often called juice feasting, whenever you are hungry, you drink juice.

Juice fasting is an excellent method for cleansing your entire system and losing weight. During a fast your body will selectively kill those diseased and damaged old cells, making room for the healthy bouncy cells to take over. They are effective because they supply fabulous enzymes that kickstart the cleansing process, whilst not ‘eating’ means that the entire digestive system takes a well-earned and much needed holiday having had to cope with a complicated variety of food types over a short period of time.

It is recommended that juice fasters or feasters use a combination of fruit and vegetable juices as fruit juices contain a lot of natural sugar which can contribute to blood sugar issues, whereas vegetable juices have an alkalizing effect on the body. Green juices (ie those containing green vegetables) have become very popular with the raw food movement and in detox centers all over the world, as their ability to rebuild good health have been recognised. Using 50% green vegetables (eg kale, cucumber, parsley, spinach) and 50% fruits (eg mango, papaya, peach, orange, apple, blueberries) is recommended for amateur fasters. Experienced fasters can up the green vegetable percentage to as high as 100%.

It is best to do a juice fast during the weekend or on a non-work day. Stock up on fresh organic fruits and vegetables, rest as much as possible and go to bed early. Unfortunately, convenient though they are, packaged fruit and vegetable juices are highly processed and the nutrients have been seriously depleted during the juicing, heating and storage process. Drinking clean, good quality water and drinking unsweetened herbal teas is also recommended.

Juice fasting is generally safe but if you are pregnant or nursing; have blood sugar disorders (such as hypoglycemia); suffer from or have ever suffered from eating disorders, have recently undergone surgery; take prescription drugs; have low blood pressure, kidney/liver disease; epilepsy or any terminal disease, please do not entertain a fast. It is recommended that you consult your physician before doing any type of fast.

Read more about detoxing, vegetarian diet, raw foodism, veganism and yoga.


New Year’s resolution: detox for weight loss and healthier living

With the New Year festivities now little more than a gentle throbbing reminder in your cranium, it’s the time of year when most people turn their thoughts to resolutions in a bid to feel better, look better, lose weight or just make a few changes to their life. Long-term health plans are great but if you want to kick start the new year, detoxing is the way forward.

The concept of  detoxification has made the news recently, with conventional science claiming that its effects are unproven, but why not try it for yourself and prove the scientists wrong as you lose weight, improve your complexion, boost your metabolism and feel good.

The first thing to do is to quit those lovely stimulants you’ve been marinating yourself in. That’s right, cigarettes, alcohol, refined sugars, processed foods, caffeine and meat.  Closing the doors on these energy sappers for good is great but if that’s too much for you, at least take a break. These highly addictive foods are known to damage your health and giving them up will have a beneficial effect on your metabolism and energy levels, helping you to lose weight and cleanse.

Replace those nasties with fresh, wholefoods – organic where possible – and give yourself extra points for incorporating raw vegetables into your day. Foods such as broccoli and papaya are great sources of fibre and help increase waste elimination, which will boost weight loss.

And you don’t have to eat your whole foods whole. You can incorporate them into juices or smoothies, which makes them easier to digest as the fibres have already been broken down for you which gives the digestive system a break and makes all the goodness very easy to assimilate.

Green smoothies in particular are a great way to get chlorophyll-rich – read as, “full of vitality” – goodness into your body. These juices can’t be recommended enough. If wheatgrass shots make you gag, try adding kale, spinach or parsley to a fruit combination of your choice, eg papaya, mango, pineapple or apple. The soft fruits will disguise the flavour of the greens, and whilst the color will look like something the Incredible Hulk might serve to Popeye at a tea party, you’ll be adding several servings of fruit and vegetable to your daily intake in one glass – and they taste great.

At the same time up your water intake. Drinking the recommended eight glasses might seem overwhelming but if you start off by adding a few large mugs of herbal tea to your day, you will soon become accustomed to the additional fluid. Your skin and digestive system will thank you for it.

Keep your protein sources simple, organic and vegetarian. Fresh nuts and goat cheese are great, as is oily fish if you can’t quite commit to vegetarian just yet.

Exercise is great but keep it achievable and simple. Yoga, walking and swimming are the best and most satisfying types of exercise and great habits to start off the new year. Yoga has the added benefit of exercising the mind, body and spirit, and its beneficial effects have been known for centuries.

If you really want to get serious, add some superfoods to your smoothies, eat fifty percent of your diet in its raw form and sign up to a bikram yoga class, where you are guaranteed to open your pores so wide, that you might find some items that you misplaced at the Christmas party.

Detoxes can last between 1 and 31 days and their effects can last for much longer. To really grasp the new year by the horns, incorporate as many of the above into your daily routine. Don’t try to be perfect, allow yourself the occasional stumble without beating yourself up over it, and before you know it, you will have a healthy lifestyle, the benefits of which are weight loss, great skin, a clear mind and a more positive outlook.

Let us know if this introduction to detoxing was helpful by leaving a comment.

Read about other diet types including vegetarian, raw vegan, vegan, macrobiotic as well as yoga styles like Ashtanga Vinyasa, Kundalini and Hatha.