Feed Your Beauty - Month Four
Grapefruit & Pistachio Snack Bowl
by Kati Vardon
Energy-boosting ‘anytime’ snack
For those that love a simple recipe, it doesn’t get much easier than this one. No gadgetry involved at all this month and just three ingredients.
This ‘snack bowl’ is a real winner from breakfast time right through to a post-workout snack. The recipe includes vanilla Greek yoghurt, but you can choose your own variety to suit your own taste. I love the Honey Greek Yoghurt, a little higher in calories than the plain ones, but it is so delicious! You could always choose a plain yoghurt a drizzle over a little runny honey.
Whilst looking at the recipe, I carried out a little research on the ingredients, to understand more about why this is such a great snack choice. The three ingredients compliment each other perfectly. Grapefruit is best paired with proteins and nuts, so you feel fuller for longer. This makes adding Greek yoghurt and pistachios ideal for a filling and nutritious meal or snack.
Who knew Greek yoghurt was so nutritious?
Unlike some of my colleagues, I wasn’t always a huge fan of yoghurt and whilst this was ‘dessert’ of choice (mine not theirs) for my children, when they were young, I’d still rather eat chocolate. However, I have grown to enjoy various flavours and combinations, particularly when adding fresh fruit.
I discovered the pleasure of Greek yoghurt for the first time, when trying the Blueberry Green Tea Smoothie for the June, Feed Your Beauty, recipe. This is when I realised the honey version should be on my weekly shopping list. But is yoghurt good for you?
To make yoghurt, milk is fermented with live cultures of beneficial bacteria. Greek yoghurt is different from other yoghurts, as it is strained to remove the whey leaving a product that’s lower in sugar. This is because whey contains lactose, a natural sugar found within milk. The resulting product is also thicker, creamier and has a more tart taste. To get the real thing, make sure you select Greek yoghurt and not Greek-style yoghurt – which is standard yoghurt with thickening agents added to it.
Greek yoghurt contains an array of wonderful nutrients. These include calcium - for bone health, muscle strength and organ function. Protein – to help you feel fuller for longer and less likely to snack. Protein provides the body with energy and is used to build bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, hair and blood. A high-protein diet is believed to increase the number of calories burnt, so it can be beneficial to include protein in each meal, as part of a balanced diet. Foods high in protein may also help build muscle mass, particularly important in older people as muscle mass decreases.
Greek yoghurt also contains good bacteria in the form of probiotics. They may help to restore a healthy bacterial balance within the gut, and avoid stomach pains and diarrhoea. Studies of working adults have shown that consuming 100 grams of probiotic yoghurt a day led to less stress, depression and anxiety than in those who didn’t have it.
One serving of Greek yoghurt can include 23% of your daily allowance of Vitamin B-12. Our bodies need this for the formation of red blood cells and brain functions. Vitamin B-12 is naturally found in animal products, so Greek yoghurt is an excellent source for vegetarians.
Potassium and iodine are also found in Greek yoghurt. Potassium helps lower blood pressure and balance sodium levels in the body. It will help flush out excess sodium when you visit the bathroom. Iodine deficiency can cause fluctuations in weight. Increasing iodine levels increases the thyroid’s activity and therefore metabolism, which may lead to weight loss.
Grapefruit the Superfood
As a child, I’m sure there was only one colour of grapefruit in the shops. Yellow skin with a pale coloured flesh. My father loved them and their juice. He still does in fact, but for health reasons it’s a fruit he can no longer enjoy due to cholesterol medication. For me, they’ve always been too bitter and not to my taste. As an adult, I am revisiting them.
My trip to the supermarket revealed Red Grapefruits and these are something I don’t recall seeing previously. Probably because I don’t seek out this citrus fruit. There were no pink nor white varieties, so red it was. Regardless of the colour, they all hold benefits and dangers, although the red and pink versions have a higher antioxidant level so I’m happy with my choice.
Grapefruit can help regulate weight by reducing stress, and boosting your metabolism and immune system.
A grapefruit is 92% water, so an excellent choice when looking at hydration. When it comes to beauty, good hydration is essential. If you find yourself comparing two equal sized fruits, choose the heavier one as it will have more juice. Grapefruits are also very low in calories. There are generally under 80 calories in each one. The humble grapefruit is also packed with nutrients making it another of our superfoods.
The pith of the fruit is quite bitter, particularly when compared with sweeter citrus fruits, such as oranges. However, it is rich in nutrients, antioxidants and soluble fibre, so if you can eat it, it will provide benefits. I think I’d manage this by throwing it in with my fruit and vegetables of the day, prior to blending everything into a smoothie.
Studies have shown that eating a grapefruit a day can result in a drop in LDL ‘bad’ cholesterol. This is a type of fat that can build up in your arteries and raise the risk of having a heart-attack or stroke. If, like my dad, you are on cholesterol lowering medication, please omit the grapefruit from your diet. For this recipe, just substitute for another fruit. Red grapefruit has proved the most beneficial of the three colours, in this respect. It is also good for reducing levels of triglycerides which can clog arteries.
Vitamins A and C are found within grapefruits. These are excellent for boosting the immune system and whilst they won’t prevent catching a cold, they can help to reduce the effects of one. Vitamin C also helps form healthy scar tissue and new blood vessels, so is useful pre-surgery. Grapefruits contain higher levels of this vitamin than oranges. In addition, these citrus fruits contain potassium making them useful in cancelling out the negative effects of sodium (as above). This can aid lowering blood pressure, but again, anyone taking specific medications should omit the grapefruit.
There are many medications that don’t mix with grapefruit, so if you are on prescription drugs, please do check first.
Another benefit of grapefruit is that gorgeous citrusy, fresh smell. It can help lift your mood, so breathe it in as you cut the fruit and release the segments.
Fruit or nut?
Technically, the pistachio nut is a fruit and a member of the cashew family. It is the edible fruit of the Pistacia vera tree and contains healthy fats, protein, antioxidants and fibre. Along with walnuts and cashews, pistachios are one of my favourite nuts and it’s fun to prise them from their shells while enjoying a drink with friends. I find that seeing a pile of empty shells in front of me stops me eating too many and the effort to remove them slows the snacking process.
Antioxidants within pistachios help prevent cell damage within the body and reduce the risk of disease. They help protect eye health, including damage from blue light and age-related macular degeneration. Polyphenols and tocopherols may help protect against cancer and heart disease.
Nuts are generally high in calories, but the good news is; pistachios are amongst the lowest. Although energy-dense, the fibre and protein within them keep you feeling fuller for longer, so you are less likely to continue snacking.
The nuts are also high in potassium – as covered above – and Vitamin B6. In addition, the nuts have a high ratio of essential amino acids – the building blocks of protein – that your body is unable to make. They also contain semi-essential amino acids, such as L-arginine which converts to nitric acid in the body and helps dilate blood vessels and aid good blood flow.
Grapefruit & Pistachio Snack Bowl
Food in Skincare
We know that eating foods rich in nutrients benefits our skin, but grapefruit is also used within skincare. Grapefruit extract, rich in Vitamin C and applied topically, provides an array of anti-ageing benefits, such as evening skin tone and fighting free-radicals that cause damage to the skin.
Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Extract has an astringent and antiseptic effect when used in skincare. It helps normalise an oily complexion and purifies the skin. It cleanses and constricts pores, and helps prevent infection.
Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Oil & Extract is found within:
Combination Skin Line Combination Skin Cleanser
Oily Skin Line Mattifying Oily Skin Cream
Problematic Skin Line Clarigel Exfoliating Cleanser
Radiance Mask Pure Skin Charcoal Mask
To find out more about ingredients, including Citrus Grandis, and all things Pevonia, please visit www.pevonia.co.uk