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The Great Summer Cook Off

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The BBQ season is upon us – Dust off your cooking aprons and grab your ‘twangers’, Simon Bandy from Health Plus is here to help us get busy on the barbie!

MAINS
Bung another prawn on the barbie
Shellfish contain zinc, which is one of our more common deficiencies. You can find out if you are deficient by buying a liquid test. It’s a clear fluid that you hold and swill around your mouth for 15 seconds. People who consume a diet high in oysters and shellfish will experience a metal taste in their mouths. Those with a deficiency will taste nothing as the liquid reacts with zinc levels. Zinc is vital for sperm production, so get it on the grill!

Steak out
Lean red meat is a good source of protein and iron. Men shouldn’t have as much iron in their diet as women so be aware of portion sizes. Choosing a steak over carbohydrates is great for those watching their weight and trying to avoid a ‘dad bod’, as the body uses more calories burning protein and it helps repair broken down muscles.

SIDES
Green means lean
Green leafy salad leaves like spinach are a good source of antioxidants such as lutein, which have been associated with good eye health. These little leaves are also a source of iron, so really pack a punch.

Rice, rice baby
Grab a side of rice salad, particularly if it’s made from brown rice. Unlike white rice, which has been husked, the brown variety contains more B vitamins which help the nervous system play a role in helping to break down food to be used as fuel.

Time to ketchup
Burgers and sausages are possibly the most popular choice for the chargrilling season, and obviously topped with lashings of tomato ketchup. Don’t hold back on an extra-large dollop, as tomatoes contain lycopene, an antioxidant, and it’s thought that a diet rich in it is helpful for lowering the risk of prostate cancer in men.

Go nuts!
You might spot some nibbles to snack on while the food is being cooked. Opt for a handful of pistachios as they are protein rich and contain arginine – an amino acid – which helps increase blood flow around the body.

VEGAN
Mayonnaise, but not as you know it
Follow Your Heart do a range of vegan products,and their egg-free, 100% natural range of Vegenaise has all the flavour of the real thing. It comes in six varieties: Original, Organic, Grapeseed and Soya-Free, as well as two exciting flavours, Sriracha and Organic Garlic Aioli. Creamy, delicious and versatile, the range is also gluten-, dairy- and cholesterol-free, and contains no added nasties. Used for dips, dressings, sandwiches or wraps, these mayos will take your favourite vegan recipes to the next level.

Crowd cheesers
Follow Your Heart also do a range of sliced and shredded dairy-free vegan cheeses, which melt just like real cheese and also add a flavoursome punch while you’re at it. The brand’s Mozzarella rivals its dairy counterpart in both taste and texture, and is perfect when shredded on top of your salad or burger. While you’re there, try the Medium Cheddar, the Pepper Jack or a slice of Smoked Gouda… all of which will upgrade your burger in an instant.

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