Veg­eta­bles keep hun­gry teens full

The Tribune (NZ) - - YOUR HEALTH - WITH AUTHOR AND NUTRI­TIONAL BIO­CHEMIST DR LIBBY

I have two teenage boys who are ob­sessed with meat and car­bo­hy­drates, es­pe­cially at din­ner­time. I can­not seem to get them full. Any sug­ges­tions on how I can help curb their seem­ingly end­less ap­petites. Re­gards, Gaye.

I’m sure many fam­i­lies re­late to this ques­tion, specif­i­cally, a teenager eat­ing them out of house and home. It’s quite nor­mal for teenagers to have an in­creased ap­petite par­tic­u­larly if they’re ac­tive, but stay­ing on top of their nu­tri­tion to keep them sa­ti­ated is an­other thing al­to­gether. Of­ten they like to get on top of this hunger straight away and of­ten opt for low nu­tri­ent but en­ergy dense foods. When it comes to fam­ily meals I would use veg­eta­bles, lentils, beans and chick­peas to bulk out meals. For ex­am­ple, if you are mak­ing a spaghetti bolog­naise type sauce, you could re­place half the meat with brown lentils or chick­peas. Veg­eta­bles also pro­vide bulk due to their fi­bre con­tent so pack it full with cau­li­flower, cour­gettes, cab­bage, peas, beans and the like (what­ever is in sea­son). Also in­cor­po­rate more ben­e­fi­cial fats in their diet by en­cour­ag­ing them to snack on nu­tri­tious fats from whole­foods such as nuts, seeds, av­o­cado, driz­zling olive oil over their salad/veg­eta­bles – it will make a world of dif­fer­ence to their sati­ety.

I have been told to in­cor­po­rate anti-in­flam­ma­tory nu­tri­ents inmy diet. What are some good things to in­clude? Thanks, Beth.

There are a num­ber of won­der­ful foods that have an­ti­in­flam­ma­tory ac­tions, here are some of the most pow­er­ful to get you started!

TURMERIC

Turmeric is a yel­low coloured spice that in turn con­tains the anti-in­flam­ma­tory an­tiox­i­dant cur­cumin. Re­search has shown that cur­cumin may help in­hibit the ac­cu­mu­la­tion of destruc­tive beta amy­loids in the brain of Alzheimer’s pa­tients, as well help­ing to as­sist in the degra­da­tion of ex­ist­ing plaques. Cur­cumin has even been shown in some stud­ies to boost mem­ory and as­sist the pro­duc­tion of new brain cells. It’s a lovely warm­ing spice, great for the cooler weather and also sup­ports great liver detox­i­fi­ca­tion pro­cesses.

OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS

Es­sen­tial fatty acids (EFAs) can­not be made by the body and must be ob­tained through diet. Omega-3 fats have an an­ti­in­flam­ma­tory ac­tion in the body. The most ef­fec­tive omega-3 fats oc­cur nat­u­rally in oily fish as EPA and DHA. Other good sources of omega-3 fatty acids in­clude flaxseeds, pump­kin seeds and wal­nuts. They are es­sen­tial for healthy brain func­tion, heart health, joint mo­bil­ity and gen­eral well­be­ing. Oily fish con­tains EPA and DHA in a form that en­ables the body to use it eas­ily. Some sources of oily fish in­clude salmon and sar­dines. Low lev­els of DHA have been as­so­ci­ated with a higher risk of de­vel­op­ing Alzheimer’s dis­ease and mem­ory loss.

BERRIES

Not only do they taste de­li­cious but they are also a great source of an­tiox­i­dants and phy­to­chem­i­cals. The an­tiox­i­dants and other phy­to­chem­i­cals in blue­ber­ries can help to dampen down in­flam­ma­tion and have been linked to im­prove­ments in learn­ing and mem­ory. The high an­tiox­i­dant con­tent of berries helps pro­tect brain cells from dam­age by harm­ful free rad­i­cals, which are set loose within the body by the process of ‘‘ox­i­da­tion.’’ Reg­u­lar con­sump­tion of berries in some stud­ies sup­ported re­duc­tions in neu­rode­gen­er­a­tive ox­ida­tive stress.

Con­sum­ing a wide va­ri­ety of plant foods in gen­eral can help the body to deal with in­flam­ma­tion.

ASK DR LIBBY

Email your ques­tions for Dr Libby to ask.dr­libby@fair­fax­me­dia.co.nz. Please note, only a se­lec­tion of ques­tions can be an­swered.

Photo: 123RF

Use veg­eta­bles, lentils, beans and chick­peas to bulk out meals.

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