A random source of interesting health information

Posted on: 8th June, 2015

Category: Health

Contributor: Hannah Dare

One of the reasons I like Facebook is that it exposes me to random publications I would never normally read, for example I would not be an avid reader of the UK based Business Insider. That magazine and I would quite simply never cross paths. But this month up it popped on Facebook with a really interesting, well-balanced and well-researched article, which was titled ‘27 Health Tips that are actually backed up by Science’. The article was written by a medical student called Kris Gunnars, who has started a site called Authority Nutrition which promotes evidence based nutrition; the site has a team of contributors from medical backgrounds and contains a large number of interesting articles.

Here’s a synopsis of my top picks of these tips to get your summer started in a healthy and happy way!

‘Don’t drink sugary drinks’ – Drinking sugary drinks is going to drive up your blood sugar and pile on the pounds, because our brains don’t register liquid the way it does solid food so you end up with way more calories than you need. But here is the most important bit – ‘Keep in mind that fruit juices are almost as bad as soda in this regard. They contain just as much sugar, and the small amounts of antioxidants do NOT negate the harmful effects of the sugar’. Water is the best drink on a daily basis.

‘Eat Nuts’ – we have always said it – nuts are incredibly healthy despite (or perhaps because of!) being high in fats. They contain loads of minerals, vitamin E, fibre and have been shown to boost metabolism. They make a great snack food too.

‘Avoid Processed Foods’ – eat only real food that looks like real food. Ditch the frozen pizzas and don’t go to the ‘fast-food’ diner. ‘All the processed junk foods in the diet are the biggest reason the world is fatter and sicker than ever before’. Come to Organico Cafe for Real Food instead!

‘Don’t fear coffee’ – I was pleased to read this one as I like my one cup a day. You do have to be aware of how caffeine affects you personally, but from a long-term health perspective, small amounts of caffeine is apparently OK. ‘Coffee is high in antioxidants, and studies show that coffee drinkers live longer, and have a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s and numerous other diseases’.

‘Take care of your gut with probiotics and fibre’ – I have written about this before and it’s likely I will again — fermented foods and probiotic-rich foods are a huge contributor to our gut health and therefore our health. We need to cultivate a taste for fermented foods; and we need to eat more fibre, which acts as food for our gut microflora. We need to pay attention to our digestion more and learn how to keep it in balance.

‘Drink some water, especially before meals’ – most of us know we feel better when we remember to drink water regularly; and apparently drinking half a litre of water drunk half an hour before a meal increased weight loss by 44 per cent. Sounds good!

‘Take vitamin D if you don’t get enough sun’ – in Ireland this is vitally important, and I would add ‘make sure you get sun on your bare skin (without sun cream) every day. Benefits of supplementing vitamin D include ‘improved bone health, increased strength, reduced symptoms of depression and a lower risk of cancer, to name a few. Vitamin D may also help you live longer!’ Hello, sunshine!

‘Eat fruits and vegetables’ – you basically can’t eat too much fruit and veg (potatoes don’t count as veg though!). It’s the fibre again – especially when you eat raw veg. good for your heart, good for your digestion and your gut flora, good for your weight, and again you will live longer!

‘Make sure to eat enough protein’ – (I would add – good quality protein, preferably organic or grass fed; preferably free ranging, preferably from healthy happy animals) but – don’t burn your meat. ‘The problems occur when meat is overcooked and burnt. This can lead to the formation of harmful compounds that raise the risk of cancer’. So eat some good quality meat but don’t overcook it.

‘Do some cardio, or just walk more’ – for both your physical and mental health. ‘It is particularly effective at reducing belly fat, the harmful type of fat that builds up around your organs’. Again, just what most of us need.

‘Use extra virgin Olive Oil’ – olive oil is the healthiest fat on the planet according to Kris Gunnar. ‘Extra virgin olive oil leads to many beneficial effects on heart health, and people who consume olive oil have a much lower risk of dying from heart attacks and strokes’, as well as being loaded with powerful antioxidants that fight inflammation. And it’s delicious too.

‘Don’t fear saturated fat’ – the war on butter was a mistake! ‘New studies that included hundreds of thousands of people have shown that there is no link between saturated fat consumption and heart disease’. Hello butter, goodbye margarine. Mmmm!

‘Avoid artificial Trans fats’ – theses are the real baddies, the fats we should have been wary of all along. ‘It is best to avoid them like the plague’. Strong words, but worth taking to heart.

‘Eat eggs, and don’t throw away the yolk’ – eggs are a superfood (although again I would add they have to be from happy hens, preferably fed on organic food but certainly not kept inside). ‘It is a myth that eggs are bad for you because of the cholesterol. Studies show that they have no effect on blood cholesterol in the majority of people’ says Gunnar, and furthermore he states that the yolk is where almost all the nutrients are found: ‘Telling people to throw away the yolk is among the worst pieces of advice in the history of nutrition’. So enjoy your eggs folks!

But – cut out the toast fingers (well, certainly the white toast). ‘Don’t eat a lot of refined carbohydrates’ is the advice from Gunnars, meaning don’t eat white bread, white pasta, or anything made with white flour. “Refined carbs have been highly processed, and have had all the fiber removed from them. They are low in nutrients (empty calories), and can be extremely harmful’. We say – try using whole spelt flour when you want a flour – not only is it whole and therefore has all the nutrients still in it but spelt is much more nutritious than more common wheats.

I hope you find some of these tips helpful. For more information or for the references used please see authoritynutrition.com. Oh, and join us @ organicobantry on Facebook!

Last note: We have an amazing evening coming up with April Danann, who is West Cork’s fermented foods expert. April makes her own vinegars, sourdough breads, fermented drinks, sauerkrauts, kefir and much more. To learn her secrets come along to our Fermented Foods workshop on June 9 in Organico Cafe (it will be upstairs in our new demo kitchen). Booking essential, give us a call on 027 55905 or email us on organicobantry@gmail.com. Have a lovely June folks.

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Wave to Mary! 65-year-old Mary Nolan Hickey is running around the entire coast of the Island of Ireland to raise funds & awareness for the RNLI and is currently running the roads of West Cork.

Mary is the only woman to have completed every single Dublin Marathon (all 38 of them). She’s also completed the grueling Marathon des Sables in the Sahara Desert, known as the ‘toughest foot race on earth’.

To mark her 50th year involved in Athletics Mary is taking on her biggest challenge yet (even though she thought she’d already done that when completing the Dublin Marathon when she was over six months pregnant!) She wants to raise as much money as possible for the RNLI.

Mary started her epic journey in Arklow, Co. Wicklow, on New Year’s Day. She aims to cover up to 5000 kilometers, using coastal routes, over the next five months. She hopes to get back in time to get her first pension payment in June when she turns 66.

Mary will stop off at as many RNLI stations as possible, on her once in a lifetime adventure. As far as she knows no other woman has ever taken on this challenge.

Speaking about her journey Mary said:

“I wanted to prove that age not a barrier. Coming from a coastal town I have a deep affinity with our local RNLI station & volunteers and have huge admiration for the brave men and women who risk their lives to save lives at sea”.

Mary, who’s depending on the goodwill of communities along her route for accommodation, has been astounded by the response so far. “The support has been overwhelming,” she said. “I have met the most amazing and encouraging people along the way”.

To see more about Mary’s adventures, and to pinpoint her location today, check out her Facebook page - rnlilapofthemap2018.

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20th March, 2018  ·  


This Saturday the 10th March, will see some magically curious activity as local Bandon national schools compete in a Wizarding Harry Potter Quiz. The prize will be the beautiful Bandon Banshee Perpetual Cup.

As any Harry Potter enthusiast knows, Bandon has the unique honour of having a character named after the town. The Bandon Banshee, was referred to as the nemesis of Gilderoy Lockhart in the Chamber of Secrets. The book grossed €60 million in sales and was the 7th highest earning film of all time.

Locals, looking to enhance the town for young people, saw the quiz as an ideal way promote the connection. The universally absorbing book series brings young readers on a huge adventure of magic, adversity and triumph. It is also an exploration of loyalty and friendship, good and evil – so it is not only popular way to engage young people, it is a hugely positive connection.

Zoe Tennyson, one of the organisers said they were delighted with the response from schools who ran a qualifying quiz as part of World Book Day. On Saturday Bandon Town Hall will be transformed into Hogwarts Great Hall, with proceeds going Bandon Playground Group, and to cover costs of the event.

Bandon Books will be rewarding the winning team with vouchers to each of the five members. The Bandon Banshee, or Bean-sidhe na Bandaan Perpetual Cup will be hotly contested – but which school will the Banshee go to??

If you have any questions please call Marguerite McQuaid on 087 900 9494
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8th March, 2018  ·  

Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition 23 February 2018

The inaugural Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition will take place in Gort Mhuire Hall in Ballineen this Friday 23rd February. As part of Engineers Week 2018, leaders and members of Ballineen Foróige Club have organised an exhibition which will showcase a diverse and exciting range of engineering projects that have been undertaken by members of the club over the last few weeks, with the aid of leaders and a number of local engineers.

With the aid of local pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, along with the support of STEAM Education, a UCC based company focused on promoting science, technology, engineering, arts, and maths subjects in primary schools, Ballineen Foróige has been engaging members and leaders in all things engineering over the last six weeks. From researching, designing, and prototyping a project based on local problems, to participating in various workshops on coding and careers in engineering, Ballineen Foróige have been extremely busy in preparation for the exhibition this coming Friday night.

On the night itself, Michael Loftus, Head of Engineering at CIT, Fintan Goold, Manager at Eli Lilly and All-Ireland Cork winning Footballer, along with Geraldine Coughlan of GCA Architects & Designers, a local business, will act as judges on the night, evaluating the different engineering projects and offering some advice to the members of the club. Also in attendance will be the CEO of Foróige Seán Campbell, along with a number of local councillors, TD’s and Senators.

Leading the team of Ballineen Foróige leaders organising the event, is Rebecca Dwyer, a bioprocess engineer at Eli Lilly. Rebecca recently became a leader in the club and says that Ballineen Foróige Young Engineer Exhibition 2018 “promises to be a fun, challenging and rewarding experience for all involved and we look forward to welcoming parents, relatives, friends and members of the public to the exhibition and film screening on the evening of Friday 23rd February.” Overall, there are twelve projects entered in the exhibition. One project, led by Cian Kennefick and Charlie Nolan, members of the starting out club, examines the possibility of installing speed ramps on the road near local primary school. Fourteen-year-old Charlie says he got involved in the project as it was something to do and it gets you thinking. Cian says the most exciting part of the project was the building of the prototypes.

Both Cian and Charlie, along with thirty other members of the club will display their projects this coming Friday 23 February in Gort Mhuire Hall in Ballineen. Doors open at 8pm and the event runs until 10pm. All are welcome to attend, and admission is free. Catering, including tea and coffee, will be provided on the night.
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20th February, 2018  ·  

Did you know..... ... See MoreSee Less

Main course

17th February, 2018  ·  

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