How to shed the pounds and still enjoy a glass of wine by eating like a Viking

The Vikings may be infamous for violence and bloodshed, but there are other Nordic behaviours which a raft of new research has shown are well worth copying. A study out recently revealed that sticking to a traditional Scandinavian diet can support brain health in old age and could help fight off dementi

a. The research carried out by the Swedish Karolinska Institute examined whether the typical diet followed by countries such as Sweden, Norway and Denmark had any positive effect on brain function. It found that people who stick to this customary diet experienced less of a decline in memory and thinking skills as they aged. The Viking diet is one custom of theirs worth copying (Image: Getty) Read MoreRelated ArticlesHow much water should you drink in a day? The easy wee test to tell if youre drinking enough These new results, added to earlier research by 2020管家婆四肖八码 Sweden’s Lund University , which found that those following a Nordic diet had lower levels of harmful cholesterol, resulting in healthier hearts; reduced odds of developing diabetes and lower rates of obesity. Together, the findings paint a picture of an eating plan healthy enough

to rival the more celebrated Mediterranean diet. The traditional Nordic diet is high in oily fish, green leafy veg, nuts, berries, wholegrains and chicken. And there’s good news if you enjoy the odd tipple – unlike many plans this diet also allows moderate wine drinking. Related Video: Video LoadingVideo UnavailableClick to playTap to playThe video will start in8CancelPlay now How it works To ward off dementia: The Nordic diet is high in

foods thought to help keep the brain healthy, including oily fish and antioxidant-rich fruit and vegetables. A report at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference last month stated: “There’s increasing evidence that suggests a diet that’s rich in oily fish, fresh vegetables and nuts can help to maintain your memory as you get older.” Have your say on this storyComment Below To help you lose weight: Scandinavians have long enjoyed one of the lowest obesity rates in Europe. And nutritionists now believe that the protein-to-carb ratio of their diet might be key. The Nordic diet is high in protein, with oily fish and lean red meat the standard sources. Studies show this diet compares favourably against the low-fat, higher-carb diets often followed for weight loss in the UK. One longer-term study of dieters found that the high protein content of a Nordic diet increased their metabolism and left them feeling fuller for longer – making it more effective in helping them lose weight and keep it off. Your Nordic food planner Pick your three meals and two snacks per day from the choices below: BREAKFASTS A protein-rich omelette with spinach (Image: Getty) ■ Porridge made with semi skimmed milk and topped with a handful of mixed berries and nuts ■ Grilled kippers or smoked salmon on rye or spelt bread toast ■ Banana and oat smoothie (blend a glass of semi

-skimmed milk with a handful of oats, half a banana and a tsp of honey), plus a slice of wholemeal toast ■ Mixed fruit salad, including blueberries, with two tbsp live yoghurt and chopped nuts ■ Glass of berry-based juice (cranberry, raspb

erry or blueberry) and an omelette made with two eggs and spinach LUNCHES ■ Smoked mackerel pate on rye toast, with a pot of live yoghurt ■

Open sandwich made with rye or spelt bread and filled with chicken slices and salad. Followed by a pear ■ Fish or vegetable soup with two slices of spelt or rye bread – plus two plums ■ Pickled herring or smoked salmon salad with sliced apple and a boiled egg ■ Goat’s cheese and beetroot salad with a handful of walnuts and mixed leaves, plus a small live yoghu

rt topped with berries DINNERS Enjoy stir-fry p

ork with apple, red pepper and spinach for a tasty but nutritious lunch (Image: Getty) ■ Cod grilled with dill, topped with crumbly blue cheese, served with steamed leafy greens ■ Free-range (wild boar or venison) sausages with mash, carrots, broccoli, plus cooked cabbage ■ Poached salmon with any steamed vegetables and new potatoes, chopped dill and drizzled with rapeseed oil ■ Small grilled steak with wholegrain mustard, served with baked sweet potato wedges and broccoli ■ Stir-fry pork, sliced apple, red pepper and spinach. Serve with brown basmati rice SNACKS Snack on berries with a dollop of natural yoghurt (Image: Getty Images) ■ Rye crispbread with tuna or mackerel pate ■ A bowl of mixed berries, topped with a tsp of natural live yoghurt ■ Handful of walnuts ■ Smoked salmon with lemon juice and one slice of rye bread ■ Two oatcakes and peanut butter ■ Small low-fat yoghurt pot ■ Glass of semi-skimmed milk Read MoreRelated ArticlesThe diet of a Premier League footballer: How the professionals fuel themselves on matchdays The top 10 rules to follow 1 Get fishy The key to the healthy Nordic diet is menus brimming with oily fish. Salmon, mackerel and herring are full of Omega-3 fatty acids which protect against heart disease, boost brain development and can help with weight loss as part of a balanced diet. Most UK adults eat less than one portion of oily fish a week, so we recommend copying Scandinavians who typically eat three times as much. 2 Binge on berries Numerous studies have found that berries are packed with vitamins and antioxidants which help prevent disease and premature ageing. In Scandinavia, berries are often added to fish and meat dishes, as well as eaten on their own and in desserts. Some traditional Nordic varieties, such as cloudberries, lingonberries and bilberries, may be harder to find, but redcurrants, blueberries and raspberries are good alternatives. Eat two portions per day. 3 Cook with rapeseed oil It’s the main cooking oil in Nordic countries and the cold-pressed variety is even lower in saturated fat than olive oil, as well as higher in essential Omega fats. Use rapeseed oil for everything from stir-fries to salad dressings. 4 Reach for rye bread Wholegrain loaves like rye help ward off cravings (Image: Getty) Scandinavians love open sandwiches made with bread containing wholegrains such as rye, spelt and oats. Wholegrain means all three parts of the grain are used, including the fibre-rich outer layer and the nutrient-laden germ. Unlike white bread, wholegrain carbs don’t cause the spikes in blood sugar that create food cravings. Populations which eat large amounts of rye have a reduced risk of dementia , heart disease, diabetes and bowel cancer , according to research. 5 Grab some greens Dark green veg, such as Brussel sprouts, cabbages and kale, thrive in the cold Nordic climate, and all come packed with iron, vitamins and disease-fighting antioxidants. Scientists at the University of Oslo found that these brassica veg contain some of the highest levels of antioxidants of any vegetable. Eat two portions daily. 6 Choose lean red meat All red meat is full of iron and provides long-lasting energy, while game such as venison and duck tend to be lower in fat because the animals live wild and free, building up muscle. Eat twice a week. 7 Eat little and often As well as consuming the right foods, the Scandinavian style of eating lit

tle and often is also important. Some studies show grazing in this way keeps your metabolism ticking over, helping your body burn off more ca

lories. 8 Enjoy a little red wine Drinking moderately could boost your health in middle age and beyond. It’s thought the antioxidants contained in the grapes can fight premature ageing and disease. Allow yourself one small glass of red wine a day. 9 Ditch sugary drinks Choose water. Being hydrated keeps the brain alert and combats tiredness. An occasional tea or coffee is fine too. 10 Snack on nuts – especially walnuts Walnuts are a brilliant way to boost your intake of Omega-3 (Image: Getty) Nuts are rich in brain-boosting Omega-3 fats. A New York Institute study last year linked nuts to both a reduced risk and slower progression of dementia. Scandi health secrets Ice baths and saunas Believed to purge toxins, induce better sleep and boost heart health. Alternating a sauna with an ice bath or cold shower will increase circulation and may boost your immune system, says recent research. Prioritising holidays Scandinavians enjoy one of the most generous holiday allowances of anywhere. Ample holidays are viewed as vital to the health of staff. Over a working lifetime, regular rest can help keep the brain and body younger and healthier for longer. Hill hiking Invest in some Nordic (hiking) poles (from 15 in most sport shops) and push back on them as you walk to give you a springy, lengthened stride, which boosts your strength and stamina. Brisk walking for 40 minutes every other day after the age of 40 has been found to reduce dementia risk by a third, and keeps weight stable. Regular massages The famous Swedish massage relaxes muscles

by rubbing them in the same direction as the flow

of blood towards the heart. This increases the oxygen in your blood and releases toxins from muscles. A massage is also great for reducing stress, which has been linked to premature ageing of the brain. Morning coffee It’s packed with antioxidants to help stamp out bad free radicals and slow ageing in body and brain.