Exotic World Spices

Why Spice is Nice!

Why Spice is Nice!

Discover a World of Spices

Simply by adding some spices to your foods, you can easily transport your taste buds to every far flung corner of the globe without actually setting foot outside of your kitchen – but did you also know that spices have great health giving qualities too?

 

Cinnamon is a spice that is used extensively in both sweet and savoury recipes, especially in the Mediterranean – everything from rose water rice pudding to lamb with peas and artichokes, chicken soup and even cups of tea are liberally flavoured with either the powder or stick variety. And as well as adding a delicious taste to the dishes, cinnamon acts like a magic wand for a lot of ailments. It fights inflammation and lowers cholesterol and triglycerides. It also excels in lowering blood sugar levels – by as much as 10-29% in diabetic patients which is extraordinary.

 

Cayenne pepper is hot stuff in more ways than one. It gives a kick to our dishes but it also kick starts weight loss as it decreases appetite levels and helps burn fat.

Ginger – which is delicious in chocolate, stir fries and tea is as effective as aspirin for decreasing colon inflammation and it alleviates nausea caused by morning sickness and seasickness.

 

Rosemary – the perfect partner for lamb – suppresses both allergies and nasal congestion.

 

Cardamom – one of the most expensive spices in the world – helps with heart health, digestion, oral health, diabetes, depression, asthma, blood clots and skin infections – and makes any curry taste even more yummy.

 

It is probably true to say that practically every spice – as well as making a recipe even tastier – is good for your body in some way too.

 

In order to get the maximum taste and health benefits from spices, we should choose ones that are produced to the highest standards and we should store them correctly – they should be kept in cool, dry places away from direct sunlight and with containers shut tight.

 

The Fine Harvest only curates the finest quality spices from all over the world; choose them to spice up your life and give your health a boost.

Exotic World Spices
Nuts - The 'Working from Home' Snack!

The Waistline Perils of Working from Home

The Waistline Perils of Working from Home

Nuts - The 'Working from Home' Snack!

We’re bored. We’re stressed. We’re anxious.

 

However we are reacting to our new norm of working from home, one thing is certain, we are in close proximity to the kitchen and we are probably visiting it more than we have ever done.

 

Snacking and working remotely seem to go together hand in hand. Who hasn’t reached for a bag of crisps, a jumbo tub of ice cream, a biscuit or six, or a giant bar of chocolate after wall to wall Zooms or juggling kids and a laptop for hours on end?

 

We know they are all jammed full with sugar and bad for our health and our waistlines but the combination of being stuck at home and working alone seems to have whetted our appetite for snacks.

 

The good news is that we don’t need to cut them out. Nor do we need to sacrifice yumminess for health benefits.

 

Simply think nuts.

 

The huge variety means each one of us will find at least one we find delicious and a huge plus to eating them is that research has shown that they can even contribute to weight loss. Working from home has seen an increase in our weight – probably because we are not walking to the tube, going to the gym or generally running around all day but more likely restricted to the confines of our home and with weight and the propensity to catch Covid19 being linked, now is more important than ever to check those scales – not just for our vanity but for our health.

 

Nuts are good for us in other ways too. An ounce of nuts contains over a dozen different nutrients like protein, magnesium, fibre, Vitamin E and gives us 20% of our daily recommended intake. Our bodies need these nutrients to function, strengthen and grow.  Nuts are also full of antioxidants that help clear and clean our bodies.

 

What’s not to love? Stock up on your favourites (yes, at The Fine Harvest we stock a very wide range of lots of different types including raw, roasted, salted and unsalted – all obviously of the highest quality and responsibly sourced) and let yourself go a bit nuts with your snacks.

Raw Natural Honey

Raw Honey – The Bee’s Knees!

Raw Honey - The Bee's Knees!

Raw Natural HoneySweet stuff isn’t normally sweet to our bodies or our health.  One massive exception to this is raw honey which is literally crammed full of incredible health-giving properties. Keeping it raw is definitely the way to go with honey to make sure every mouthful is doing us wonders.

 

What exactly is raw honey? Well, it means it hasn’t been heat-treated; conventional honey is heated over 50 degrees celsius, a process that destroys most of the beneficial nutrients and enzymes. It hasn’t been finely filtered so it retains the beneficial bee pollen, honeycomb and propolis. Some of the honey is left behind for the bees and the climate in Cyprus – where The Fine Harvest raw honey comes from, is mild enough to allow the bees to forage in the winter and get sufficient food so they don’t have to be fed with sugar – which is both bad for the bees and the honey itself.

 

Raw honey is rich in antioxidants, organic acids and flavonoids. In plain English, this means it helps our bodies to naturally cleanse themselves. Antioxidants also help in reducing the risk of heart attacks and strokes and can lower both blood pressure and cholesterol levels. They increase our immunity and help with respiratory problems.

 

Raw honey contains all the B vitamins, protein-producing amino acids and vitamins C, D and E as well as a large number of plant pigments, proteins, and healthy acids such as citric acid.

 

The carbs in honey make it a natural energy booster; the glucose provides energy immediately while the fructose is absorbed more slowly to provide longer-lasting energy. Unlike refined sugars, honey keeps our blood sugar levels constant.

 

Raw honey also has been used since Egyptian times to speed up the healing of wounds. This is done both by eating it and also applying it directly to the wound.

 

Because it is a probiotic, raw honey aids the beneficial bacteria in our digestive system to help create a better balance in our gut microbiota.

 

A spoonful can also soothe a sore throat, reduce inflammation and suppress a cough.

 

It’s a great substitute for sugar as a sweetener as it contains no empty calories and at only 21 calories per teaspoon, it can even help with weight loss.

 

Pretty impressive stuff – and, of course, it is delicious too

 

At The Fine Harvest, you will find all our high-quality raw honey come in glass jars – no plastic – which can be recycled or upcycled as plant pots meaning the honey is not just good for us but for our planet too. Glass is also the best container for the food itself because it does not release any harmful substances, in contrast to plastic. Definitely the bee’s knees.

Do 'fats' make you fat?

Do fats make you fat?

Do Fats Make You Fat?

Do 'fats' make you fat?Seems like an obvious deduction to make, doesn’t it?

 

But not actually correct.

 

Fats are a nutrient which our bodies need to function healthily and consuming a certain amount is fundamental for a balanced diet. Our bodies need fatty acids and many of which they cannot make so are dependent on getting them from the fats we eat. Certain vitamins, which we also need, like D and E, can only be absorbed with the help of fats.

 

Obviously, certain fats are bad for us – namely saturated ones. These can cause our cholesterol levels to rise and then we are more at risk of getting heart disease, diabetes or other ailments – so it’s best we keep these to a minimum. Saturated fats are usually animal fats so we need to be mindful about how much red meat and dairy we consume.

 

Trans fatty acids are another group to avoid – these are probably the worst culprits for damaging our health and clothes size. These are present in foods that have hydrogenated vegetable oils – in simple language, fried food like chips, baked food like cakes and processed snacks like popcorn. Again, we need to keep these to a minimum.

 

Now let’s look at the good fats, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated ones. Despite their hard to swallow names, fortunately for us they are found in delicious foods.

 

Monounsaturated fats are present in nuts, avocados, oils and butters such as almond and peanut.

 

Polyunsaturated fats are so good they are actually nicknamed “essential fat”. Our bodies cannot create these alone so depend on us getting them from plant based foods.

 

Both these fats help lower our cholesterol levels so minimising our risks of heart disease.

 

Omega 3 is a particularly good fat to try and include in our diets. It is generally found in fatty fish like salmon and trout and as well as protecting our hearts, it also can bring down blood pressure.

 

Knowing the difference between good and bad fats is key in having a healthy and fat free body.

 

Check out our menu and stock up on all our delicious good fat products.

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