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Planning Retirement Online

Diet Supplements and Nutrition

This section contains the extensive Indexes for Food of the Month as well as health articles concerned with Natural Remedies, followed by an assortment of Health Food articles.

Check out our other Health Indexes:
Exercise & Looking Good
The A-Z of Health Conditions, Illnesses & Ailments
Health Articles Archive

Cut MangoFood of the Month

An A - Z listing of every Food Of The Month article published. A great way to see what new foods you can add to your menu and how they can help your health.


A Christmas food that won't wreck your health, almonds have beend escribed as a near perfect food!

They are a bit like Marmite! You either love anchovies or can’t stand them. But are they good for you? They can taste very salty which indicates they might not be a healthy food at all.

Apples are just brilliant in helping to keep us fit and healthy.

Summer in the UK is wonderful time for fresh fruits and apricots are one of the best.

Apart from its decorative looks and good flavour, asparagus is actually packed with great nutrition.

Lots of research has been done into aubergines, and now we know that it makes sense to include them fairly regularly in a diet because they are packed with lots of great nutrients.

Bananas are such an accepted part of everyone’s diet that they are rarely given the credit they deserve.

Superfoods are everywhere - but not this superfood! We are talking about fruit powder from the baobab tree

Barley is a member of the grass family and is such a normal part of our everyday life that few of us give it any consideration at all.

However you use it, with its excellent nutritional properties and unique flavour, it is definitely worth considering adding barley to your diet.

Beetroot is a very good source of a wide range of useful antioxidants and nutrients

Blackberries are so good for you that they are often included in the range of foods known as “super fruits” .

Blood Oranges
They are not grown all over the world or available all year round because they rely on specific weather to develop their vivid red colour. The colour is due to the compound anthocyanin; the darker the orange the more anthocyanin it contains.Anthocyanin has long been recognised as a useful substance in health.  Some research has indicated that anthocyanins appear to improve cholesterol levels and blood sugar metabolism as well as fight oxidative stress, a process known to play a role in heart disease.

Blue Tomatoes
Blue tomatoes? Sounds like a step too far doesn’t it? After all, tomatoes are bright red and have been part of our normal diet since childhood.

Brown bread
Most of us know brown foods are better than white, but the reasoning behind this isn’t always fully understood. We probably know that there is more fibre in brown than white, but in fact there are other advantages too.

Brussels Sprouts
Not a sexy food, but what a lot of nutrition in a small green ball!

Today we know that not only can cabbage be turned into a fabulous tasty vegetable, but it is also a health food.

Because they are not a green vegetable, cauliflowers are often overlooked for their health benefits, but benefits there certainly are, and in large quantities too!

As a child, most of us will have been familiar with celery. But times move on and today when you go past the veggie aisle in the supermarkets you will not only see celery but also celeriac. At this time of year celeriac will be coming into its prime, so it is worth knowing a little bit about it.

Apart from being packed with goodness, celery only has around two calories per stick, so when you are struck by hunger, nibbling a celery stick could be the perfect answer.

No, we don’t want to eat too much “bad” fat; no, we don’t want to eat too much salt.

Despite their size, cherries do seem to contain a number of additional benefits that can help various health problems

Apart from their lovely unique taste, chestnuts also offer a range of good things for our health. They are not a powerhouse of super foods, but they do offer useful content.

They are useful in a range of foods from curries to salads, but one main advantage of chickpeas is that they are good for you.

Chillies are a great way to add flavour to a dish, but just check the Scoville Heat Scale first

Yes, right! I know what you are thinking, chocolate and health can't go together. In fact, it seems they can.  

Coconut flour
Coconut flour is growing fast in popularity as people learn about its high levels of nutrients, its low calories and how it is very easy to digest. 

Coconut water and coconuts
One of the latest health foods to hit the news is coconut water, now being dubbed as nature’s sports drink.

Comfrey has also been known for centuries as invaluable in the treatment of various ailments including wounds, sprains, bruises and even broken bones

It is the time to start thinking about fresh crab which will give the very best flavour and texture.

Cranberries are a power source of vitamin C, a natural antioxidant that can help to block some of the damage caused by free radicals.

Curds and Whey
Recent research from McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada, suggests that whey protein could be the most effective way for seniors struggling to rebuild muscle lost from inactivity caused by illness or other problems.

Curly kale
This lovely green vegetable is available practically everywhere, so there is no excuse for any of us to ignore its wonders!

Whatever type of date you choose, they all contain useful nutrition. In fact, if it were not for the very high sugar levels (which make them so tasty!) dates would really be very good for us. The good news is they contain no fat and no cholesterol but instead are packed with a range of good minerals and vitamins.

Duck contains good levels of omega 3 fats plus vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin D, vitamin E and selenium, together with some iron, zinc and copper.

Exotic eggs can also offer good nutrients
Duck eggs, quail eggs, Waitrose has even been known to sell ostrich eggs...but are they all the same, or are chicken eggs still the best choice?

Elderberries are full of natural goodness such as Vitamins A, B and C and also contain strong antioxidant properties

With spring well on its way and summer just around the corner, our thoughts turn to salads and interesting lighter meals.

If the fig was discovered today, it would be hailed as a fabulous new food…with a naturally sweet and scented flavour and packed full of great nutrients. But because figs have been in the shops all our lives, they are not always given the appreciation they deserve.

There is a reason bread has been called the “staff of life”. Throughout history bread has been a staple food in many countries and has been identified as one of the oldest man made foods. For over 5,000 years flatbreads have been a staple food for humans.

Globe artichokes
In the last few weeks shops have been full of globe artichokes. These funny plants are growing steadily in popularity because of their excellent nutritional qualities, but they are also very tasty and fun to eat.

Goats' meat
Low in fat and high in protein, it is no wonder that goats’ meat is finally coming onto British menus.

Goose can make a nutritional as well as tasty alternative to the traditional turkey.

Gooseberries are very useful for vitamin C, just a cup a gooseberries can provide 42 milligrams, well over a third of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C for adults.

In the past, we used to have bread and pasta and cereal. Today’s food is all about “grains”.

There are lots of benefits from haggis as offal particularly is really nutritious. For a start, as a meat, the offal is packed with proteins and amino acids. The heart and liver is packed full of vitamins including A, C B6, B12, Niacin and vitamin D.

Ice cream
Of course while you don’t eat ice cream as a serious health food, nevertheless the milk and indeed cream offers a whole host of benefits.

The high protein and nutritious contents of various insects are increasingly being confirmed by scientists and there is even talk of insects becoming the next top trend food. After all, they are cheap and readily available.

The reason for Jackfruit's sudden rush to fame is that it is an environmentally friendly plant as well as hugely nutritious.

Kiwi Fruit
Now most good shops will stock these little green fruit that are hugely popular not just for their lovely mixed sweet and sour flavour, but also because they are recognised as one of the most nutritious fruits you can buy.

Today, with good quality lamb available right across the UK; everyone can benefit from the taste and nourishment from this very traditional British food.

Don't be a lemon about lemons! Because of the sour taste, many people think they must be really acid and so therefore not a good thing to drink neat.

Lentils have an exceptionally high level of protein, about a third of the calories they supply are from proteins which include certain essential amino acids.

Lettuce? A health food? We all know that lettuce is pretty well nothing, no real flavour, no substance, no goodness.

Some claim it's good for you, others quite the opposite!

With Chinese New Year approaching, consider the benefits of this popular Chinese fruit.

With so many people travelling to far flung places, mangoes are no longer considered the exotic fruit they were just a decade or so ago

Manuka honey
Manuka honey only comes from New Zealand, where manuka bushes grow.

Mascarpone is an Italian cheese made with the addition of certain acidic substances including lemon juice or vinegar. It is thought to originate from an area southwest of Milan over 300 years ago.

Everyone at some point in their lives must have wondered why mincemeat has its name. After all, this fabulous concoction of sweet dried fruits and spices isn’t based around minced beef or any other meat.

Today much of our milk is homogenised as well as pasteurised. Homogenised milk undergoes a special process to break up the fat globules in the milk so that they are spread evenly through the milk. With homogenised milk, you won’t get that layer of cream at the top of the bottle or carton.

Once you start learning more about mushrooms, it is amazing the variety that is available. It is also exciting to realise that is really is quite easy to go out and forage for your own mushrooms.

Stir fry is such a normal item on menus today that is hard to believe that when many of us were kids, this didn’t feature at all in normal family meals, or even in general restaurants. Today of course stir fry is a hugely popular meal, featuring all sorts of ingredients but usually based around noodles.

Nuts do contain fat, and yes some do contain a lot of calories. But the fats in nuts are mainly unsaturated and generally include monounsaturated fats which can really aid our health by helping to control bad cholesterol.

Oats are really good at filling us up without too much calorie overload and preventing us snacking on less healthy foods. One cup of plain whole grain cooked oats will have around 147 calories and lots of useful fibre.

They have of course been extremely popular in mediterranean countries for centuries, and olives are a key component in the “healthy” Mediterranean diet. But what is it that makes them healthy?

Recent media reports have been mentioning papaya as a new super fruit

Recent media reports have been mentioning papaya as a new super fruit

Pears are surprisingly nutritious and they also release their energy slowly, which is excellent for maintaining blood sugar levels.

Pecan nuts
One of the main reasons for the increasing popularity of pecan nuts is evidence of their excellent nutritional qualities.

Pheasants are full of protein and also contain lots of other good nutrients. They provide iron and zinc, contain significant levels of B vitamins and also good levels of potassium, an important mineral which works with calcium to help bone strength and promote efficient metabolism.

Pickled Vegetables
Pickling is a great way to preserve an abundance of summer and autumn vegetables for seasons when fresh produce is less available. It is thought to have begun around 4000 years ago using cucumbers in India.

A common food, with wide-ranging nutritional benefits

Pork is also a really good source of vitamin V12, key to help our nervous systems; and it also contains B6 and niacin.

Potatoes must be one of most undervalued foods. They play such a main role in so many traditional dishes, they are easy to grow and are in plentiful supply, they are cheap and come in lots of different varieties, and they can be cooked in so many different ways

Prawns add flavour and health at any time of year, these easy to cook little crustaceans make a perfect addition to many recipes.

Unprepossessing but tasty and good for you

Pulses refer to specific beans and peas and other food sources that grow in a pod. This can include lentils, chickpeas, kidney beans and split peas which all offer distinct health benefits.

Pumpkins might be popular for Halloween, but they are also a great addition to everyday diets.

If you haven’t heard of quinoa you will do soon…it is the new hit food of 2016! And not surprising really, it seems to tick a great number of boxes thanks to high levels of protein, fibre, anti-inflammatory phytonutrients and lots of other good things.

Radishes are not only colourful and a great way to decorate salads, but they are also delicious and healthy too.

Rocket is a very English leaf and was used in salads in Elizabethan times when its flowers, seed pods and seeds were often eaten as well.

Versatile, delicious, and packed full of goodness

For many of us, sardines were a staple in our childhood when so many of the modern everyday exotic foods were unobtainable.

Scallops are on many British menus these days and are often chosen for their delicate flavour, sometimes enhanced with special sauces.

Sea Bass
Say you like Sea Bass and it doesn’t really mean a lot. This is because Sea Bass is a general name used to cover lots of different fish which can make it very confusing.

In the misty days of history, seaweed was an important food supply in the lives of coast living Britons. But today, people in the UK have shied away from this possible source of food. This is not the case in the Far East, where especially in China, Korea and Japan seaweed still remains a hugely popular and important part of their diet.

Skyr (pronounced skeer) has gradually been creeping into shops and supermarkets as people discover it and find it a great alternative to traditional yoghurt.

Sour bread
One bread that has risen dramatically in popularity in recent years is sour bread and this should be of especial interest to our age group when many people start to suffer from digestive problems because it can reduce bloating and digestive discomfort.

There has been a recent trend towards Spelt and today many people are choosing Spelt products over traditional flour ingredients.

Despite its growing popularity, many people still know very little about spelt, what it is and how to use it.

There is more reason for us all to love strawberries apart from their fabulous flavour. Strawberries are a nutritional powerhouse! 

Here in the UK we are at the peak season for sweetcorn which should be ripening between mid August and mid September.

Sweet potatoes
They are not only incredibly versatile and delicious, sweet potatoes also contain some great nutrients.

It was good news indeed when a report came out from a leading American doctor that sugar is good for us...well at least for our brain.

Sugarsnap Peas
They are not only incredibly versatile and delicious, sweet potatoes also contain some great nutrients.

Black, green, oolong, Roobos, can be useful to understand the differences. The British love their tea...but today there are so many choices.

This specialised food comes from the far east where it has been used in a variety of dishes for centuries

Tomatoes, the dramatic health food that was once thought poisonous!

Most of us know that the turkey is a large bird, but the species we know today has come from one specific bird, the Meleagris gallopavo or wild turkey, that is native to the forests of north America.

With its vibrant purple colouring, ube is fast becoming a favourite with British chefs.

Venison meat is a lean red meat with a stronger more gamey flavour than beef.

Many people who say they really don’t eat nuts also mention that the one nut they quite like is the walnut.

However you spell yoghurt or yogurt, it is undeniably a healthy food that can be a very beneficial addition to our diet.

Natural Remedy of the Month

An A-Z listing of Natural Rememedies.

Algae - a green surprise!
New research from Japan shows that green algae can help fight major diseases

Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is hailed as one of nature's most generous gifts that can help in the widest range of problems..

Anise or Aniseed
Aniseed has a very definite flavour , one of those tastes you either love or hate


The pretty chamomile plant, or chamomilla recutita, seems to have lots of great benefits.


Clove has been attributed with many more properties than just adding flavour and many claim it should be in every medicine cabinet for use as a pain reliever, digestive aid and warming stimulant.

You can use the leaves as well as the seeds of coriander in many tasty recipes. It is also believed to have a number of health benefits.

Dandelions are mainly used to help detoxify the system, the root especially is said to encourage the steady elimination of toxins from the body

Fenugreek is one of those herbs that we have probably heard of but don’t really know much about.


Flaxseed has been around for more than 4,000 years, it was even known in the days of Hippocrates for its health benefits.

Many people claim a variety of health benefits from the essential oils of frankincense


Mint is rich in Vitamins A and C and also contains smaller amounts of Vitamin B2.

Rose hip

It has been known for a long time that this wonderfully flavoured herb can offer a range of great health benefits.

St John's Wort

This short, yellow flowering plant has played a major part in medicine for hundreds of years.



The trouble with watercress is that we tend to use it as a salad food.

More Health Food Articles:

Hawthorn Berries
3 supplements to support health when travelling
Relief of backache, rheumatic or muscular pain, and general aches and pains in the muscles and joints.
Lighter Life for Fred
Health Perception
Is Maca the ‘new Ginseng’?

Ginseng – herb or drug?
Secrets of Manuka honey

Are you eating properly?


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