Eyes in Focus


Age-related macular degeneration is the gradual loss of central vision in the over-50s. With a combination of minerals and antioxidant vitamins, the research-based supplement Nutrof Total can help maintain healthy eyes. £14.99.


When you have PMS symptoms such as tiredness, low mood, headaches and cramping, eating usually involves grabbing the sort of carb- and/or caffeine-laden goodies that give you a fleeting comfort hit but can often make you feel worse.

Food can, however, be an effective way of treating PMS and other everyday ailments, says award-winning chef and nutritionist Gurpareet Bains, whose fans include Goldie Hawn and Gwyneth Paltrow (below). The answer is to use spices and herbs in abundance, as he explains in his book Indian Superspices, which offers recipes to help with PMS, colds, hangovers, allergies and insomnia.

The recipes are described as ‘lab-inspired’ because the beneficial effects of the ingredients have been verified by research. For example, fennel: in a study of girls with severe period pain, 80 per cent of those taking fennel experienced complete pain relief, compared with 73 per cent of those taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

My colleague Victoria, who suffers from PMS, trialled Bains’s soothing salmon and juniper berry curry which is made with anti-inflammatory spices such as fennel, juniper berries, chilli, coriander and cumin, as well as his ‘no-more-headache baked beans’ flavoured with nigella, which has analgesic properties.

‘Both recipes were simple and quick, and the whole family enjoyed them,’ she reports. ‘They felt light, clean and also energising [a property of cumin].’

I like Bains’s recipe for turkey with blueberries, cinnamon and fennel (right), which is designed to regulate blood sugar levels and so help with any hormonal flurry. Indian Superspices, £7.20 for the Kindle edition, from amazon.co.uk


200g / 7oz blueberries
20g / ¾ oz fresh chopped coriander plus
extra to garnish
4 garlic cloves finely chopped
2 tbsp grated (peeled) fresh root ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp chilli powder
½ tsp turmeric
salt to taste
500g / 1lb 2oz low-fat greek yoghurt
500g / 1lb 2oz skinless boneless turkey
breast fillets cut into bite-size pieces
1 tsp garam masala
pilau rice to serve

  • In a food processor, blend the blueberries, coriander, garlic, ginger, ground cinnamon, fennel seeds, chilli powder, turmeric, salt and yoghurt to make a purée. Set aside.
  • Place the turkey in a deep pan and slowly pour in the yoghurt mixture. Bring to a simmer over a low heat, then simmer, uncovered, for ten minutes, stirring from time to time. Mix through the garam masala.
  • Garnish with the extra chopped coriander and serve with pilau rice.
    Recipe taken from bbc.co.uk


The UVA in sunlight can trigger a photosensitivity reaction to some antibiotics, diuretics, oral contraceptives and diabetic medicines where the skin becomes red, itchy and inflamed even if you apply sunscreen. Professor Nick Lowe of London’s Cranley Clinic (drnicklowe.com) advises anyone experiencing this reaction to discuss the situation with their GP and, if possible, take their medication in the evening (apart from diuretics) so levels are less during the day.


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