Thought for Food Blog

Health Check: can chopping your vegetables boost their nutrients?

Posted by Josh Newport

12-Jun-2017 07:00:00

This post was originally published on The Conversation.

We all know eating vegetables is a good way to improve health. And for many years the focus has been on just eating more vegetables, be it fresh, frozen or tinned. But what if there was a quicker and easier way to get more benefit from our vegetables? Can the way we prepare vegetables boost their nutrition? Does tearing or chopping your lettuce makes any difference? And if we chop, does it matter what type of knife we use?

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Topics: nutrition, nutrients, vegetables, enzymes, vitamins and minerals, food research, health, polyphenols

Edible Insects – The Food of the Future?

Posted by Naomi McGrath

10-May-2017 08:30:00

The eating of insects, or entomophagy, is not a new concept. In fact, insects have been eaten around the world since prehistoric times.

 

A history of insect consumption

Stable carbon isotope analysis of the bones and dental enamel of australopithecines, for example, has shown that they were significantly enriched in isotope 13C, suggesting that the diet of these people was largely composed of animals feeding on grasses, including insects. Termites are reported to have been included into the Plio-Pleistocene hominin diet, and an analysis of fossils from caves in the USA and Mexico showed that coprolites from caves in Mexico contained ants, beetle larvae, lice, ticks and mites, providing further evidence for entomophagy in human history. 

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Topics: zinc, texture, food safety, food security, nutrition, protein, allergies and allergens, pesticides, cholesterol, nutrients, magnesium, amino acids, fatty acids, calcium, enzymes, vitamins and minerals, environment and sustainability, Asia, Africa, consumer behaviour, insect foods, novel foods

Plant Waste May Find a Place at the Table

Posted by Kirsten Weir

03-Sep-2015 11:24:59

This post was originally published on the Future Food 2050 website. It has been reposted with permission.

Virginia Tech scientist Y.-H. Percival Zhang is turning plant waste into starches that could one day be ingredients in human food products.

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Topics: biochemistry, starch, cellulose, food production, enzymes, environment and sustainability

How Does Food Affect Sleep?

Posted by Naomi McGrath

01-Sep-2014 15:50:00

Sometimes, we all have trouble getting a good night’s sleep. Stress, noise disturbances and too much stimulation before bedtime can all contribute to us having difficulty drifting off. Sleep is essential for maintaining mood, memory and cognitive functions, and as well as having a negative impact on these factors, a lack of sleep can also have serious consequences for our health. Not only is it crucial for normal functioning of the endocrine and immune systems, a lack of sleep has also been linked with obesity, diabetes, hypertension and depression. Some dietary components have long been known to have a disruptive effect on sleep, but evidence is emerging of other interesting foods that may help us on the way to the land of nod.

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Topics: zinc, milk and milk substitutes, sleep, fish, caffeine, cereals, protein, diabetes, fruit, vegetables, eggs, coffee, obesity, alcohol, meat, magnesium, dairy, immune system, amino acids, tryptophan, enzymes, vitamins and minerals, carbohydrates, hormones, cognitive function, mental health

Engineering Sustainability – The Quest for a Novel Source of Omega-3

Posted by Naomi McGrath

02-May-2014 09:57:00

From improving cognitive performance to reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, the purported health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids have been well documented in recent years. As consumers become more aware of the health benefits they have to offer, the pressure is on to find a sustainable source of these fatty acids to meet the ever-increasing demand.

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Topics: omega-3, fish, nutrition, oily fish, cardiovascular health, fatty acids, enzymes, environment and sustainability, cognitive function

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