The Vegetarian diet: Prevention of common nutrient deficiencies.

Hello everyone,

Today’s blog is focused on a vegetarian diet and the nutrients that cause a greater risk of deficiencies when eating a plant-based diet. While it may be possible to eat the correct foods to ensure your body is getting all the nutrients it needs, a person following a vegetarian diet may need to include the use of supplements to equip the body with adequate nutrients for every healthy functioning. At the bottom of the blog, nutrition nourishment has included foods that provide key nutrients for vegetarians.

A vegetarian diet, in its most basic form, is a plant-based diet. Various types of vegetarian diets exist: some only omit animal flesh but allow for poultry and/or seafood, while other stricter forms exclude consumption of animals and animal products altogether (e.g., eggs, dairy products, gelatin, honey, etc.).

Although a wide array of health benefits associated with eating a vegetarian diet exists, nutritional concerns may arise from the exclusion of animal products and their nutrients, which can result in several deficiencies. However, a well-planned vegetarian diet can make up for this by finding these nutrients in plant foods. If you follow or plan to follow a vegetarian diet, do keep an eye out for the following key nutrients:

Protein

Due to the exclusion of meats, a vegetarian diet may be lower in protein but can easily meet the recommended daily requirements with careful planning. Dairy and eggs provide complete protein, meaning they contain all nine essential amino acids for good health. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins that our bodies cannot make on their own. Individuals following a strict form of vegetarianism/veganism can find significant sources of complete protein rich plant foods in the form of quinoa, buckwheat, soy, chia seeds and hempseeds.

In addition to the essential amino acids, plant-based sources of protein can be combined to arrive at a complete protein: for example, a combination of brown rice and beans contains the complete set of essential amino acids. A varied intake of these complementary protein sources throughout the day can provide an adequate amount of protein.

Iron

Vegetarians who do not consume enough iron are at risk for iron deficiency anaemia due to the decreased absorption of iron from plant sources. Iron can be found in soybeans, lentils, spinach, quinoa, chickpeas, oats, tomatoes and tofu. Combining plant-based iron sources with a source of vitamin C (such as citrus fruit or red peppers) also increases iron absorption.

Zinc

Zinc plays a myriad of roles in biological functions. The primary cause of zinc deficiency is poor dietary intake. Sources of plant-based dietary zinc include bread, legumes, milk, soybeans, tempeh, tofu, nuts and seeds.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is of special concern in a vegetarian diet. A deficiency can cause megaloblastic anaemia and other physiological concerns. B12 can be found in animal products (eggs, cheese and yogurt), but is not naturally found in plant products. It can be found in algae, such as spirulina, and for stricter vegetarians, B12 can be obtained by consuming fortified foods (e.g., breakfast cereals) or as a supplement. Again, be careful about the source of the B12.

Calcium

Calcium is integral to maintaining bone health. Moreover, calcium plays an important biochemical role in all cells. Calcium can be found in dairy products, fortified orange juice and plant milks (soy, rice, almond, etc.), tofu, almonds, sesame (and tahini), dandelion greens and fish bones.

And finally, green leafy vegetables such as collard greens, spinach and rhubarb contain appreciable amounts of calcium, but also contain a chemical called oxalic acid that reduces their absorption. In order for calcium to be properly absorbed, it’s important to maintain vitamin D levels!

Omega-3 fatty acids

Aside from their well-documented health benefits, omega-3 fatty acids are essential to normal growth and health. While the most popular source of omega-3 fatty acids in the Western diet is fish, they can also be found in flax seeds, chia seeds, walnuts, flaxseed oil, soybean and canola oil. Hens fed a diet of greens (e.g. seaweed, green algae) or flax and canola seeds produce eggs with a high omega-3 fatty acid content. An increasing number of foods are being fortified with omega-3 fatty acids, such as orange juice. The sources for these omega-3 fatty acids could be fish-based, so be sure to read the label of the food in question if you happen to be a strict vegetarian!

Iodine

Iodine consumption is essential to the creation and storage of the thyroid hormones thyroxine and triiodothyronine. Sources of iodine include iodized salt, dairy products and dried seaweed and kelp. Also, plants grown in iodine-rich soil will contain appreciable amounts of iodine.

There are many benefits of a following a vegetarian diet, so if you do decide to follow one, make sure you avoid deficiencies and get all the nutrients that you need! Read below to find out what foods contain key nutrients for plant-based diets.

Key Nutrients for Vegetarians and Vegans

Regardless of the kind of meat-free diet practiced, vegetarians should focus on getting enough protein, iron, calcium, zinc, vitamin B12, riboflavin, alpha-linolenic acid, and vitamin D.

Here are some ways to incorporate these nutrients into a vegetarian diet:

  • Protein: Choose tofu, edamame, tempeh, veggie burgers with 5 grams of protein or more, beans and other legumes, nuts, nut butters, eggs, and higher-protein whole grains such as quinoa, amaranth, and kamut.
  • Iron: Eggs, fortified breakfast cereals, soy-based foods, dried prunes, dried apricots, nuts, beans, legumes, and fortified whole wheat bread are good choices.
  • Calcium, which builds bone, is plentiful in cheese, yogurt, milk, edamame, tofu, almonds, sesame tahini, calcium-fortified orange juice, calcium-fortified non-dairy beverages like soy or almond milk, and dark green leafy vegetables like collard greens, spinach, and bok choy.
  • Zinc, which boosts the immune system, is ample in soybeans, soy milk, veggie “meats,” eggs, cheese and yogurt, fortified breakfast cereals, nuts, seeds, mushrooms, lentils, black-eyed peas, split peas, and wheat germ.
  • Vitamin B12: Soy-based beverages, some breakfast cereals, and fortified veggie “meats.”
  • Riboflavin: Almonds, fortified cereals, cow’s milk, yogurt, mushrooms, and soy milk are riboflavin-rich foods.
  • Alpha-Linolenic Acid (Omega-3): Canola oil, ground flaxseeds, flaxseed oil, walnuts, walnut oil, soybeans, and tofu are good choices.

As always if you are interested in further research regarding a vegetarian diet or vegan diet, click on the links below.

http://oldwayspt.org/traditional-diets/vegetarian-vegan-diet

http://oldwayspt.org/resources/oldways-vegetarianvegan-diet-pyramid

http://www.nutritionaustralia.org/national/frequently-asked-questions/vegetarian-diets

https://daa.asn.au/smart-eating-for-you/smart-eating-fast-facts/healthy-eating/vegetarian-diets-the-basics/

https://daa.asn.au/smart-eating-for-you/smart-eating-fast-facts/healthy-eating/vegan-diets-facts-tips-and-considerations/

http://www.veganaustralia.org.au/health

Healthiest Regards

Nutritionnourishment

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Himalayan Pink Salt Lamp: 10 Health-Related Benefits

Hello everyone,

I recently acquired my very first Himalayan Pink Salt Lamp, or Salt Lamp as some call them. The recent ionizing devices trend, which seemingly boost health by releasing negatively-charged particles into the air stems from the far East. A trend which I am not ashamed to admit I bought into and it’s easy to see why people love them, with their pinkish-orange colour emitting a soft, warm glow, and its natural crystal shape, the lamps certainly look attractive: but will they make you healthier? or Are they simply hyped up quackery? Let’s get to the nitty gritty.

But before we dive into the health benefits of using Himalayan salt lamps in your home, it may be helpful to first have a brief chemistry lesson:

All matter (the human body, air, water, etc) is made up of molecules which are made up of atoms which are made up of three types of particles: protons (positive charge), electrons (negative charge), and neutrons (no charge). Electrons orbit their molecules like planets revolve around a star. Occasionally an electron flies off and when it does, it leaves behind a positively-charged ion whose sole purpose in life becomes to fill the void left by its little lost electron. In other words: it wants to steal a replacement electron from another molecule. Due to differences in molecular structure (number of electrons in the outermost orbit, strength and structure of electron bonds, etc) some materials lose electrons much more easily than others.

With this basic understanding of the behaviors of positive and negative ions fresh in your mind, let’s take a look at the top 10 benefits of the Himalayan Salt Lamp.

1. Salt Lamps Cleanse & Deodorize the Air

Probably the most well-known benefit – and why the majority of people use them – is due to their incredible power to remove dust, pollen, cigarette smoke, and other contaminants from the air. “But how do they do this,” you ask?  “It’s just a big chunk of salt with a light bulb inside, right?”

Well yes, but no.  There’s much more to it than that.

Himalayan salt lamps purify air through the power of hygroscopy, meaning that they attract water molecules from the surrounding environment then absorb those molecules – as well as any foreign particles they may be carrying – into the salt crystal. As the HPS lamp warms up from the heat produced by the light bulb inside, that same water then evaporates back into the air and the trapped particles of dust, pollen, smoke, etc remain locked in the salt.

2. Reduce Allergy & Asthma Symptoms

Because Himalayan salt lamps remove microscopic particles of dust, pet dander, mold, mildew and the like from the surrounding air, placing a lamp or two in the rooms where you spend the most time can seriously cut back on allergy symptoms. Even people who suffer from asthma should notice a big difference after a week or two.

FUN FACT: Himalayan pink salt is so good for your airways, there are even HPS Inhalers!)

3. Eases Coughing

When the Himalayan salt lamp heats up and begins its hygroscopic cycling of airborne particles, it also changes the charge of the molecules which are released. (Remember our chemistry lesson?) The majority of homes are filled with positively charged ions which aren’t particularly good for a person’s health. The positive ions are created by a number of things, but the primary source for most of us is from our electronics.

One of the health detriments of breathing lots of positive ions in the air is that the cilia (microscopic hairs) which line the trachea (aka: windpipe) become sluggish and don’t work as well to keep contaminants out of our lungs. As a Himalayan pink salt lamp absorbs water and particles from the air, it also takes positive ions with them. Then, when the heated salt releases cleansed water vapor back into the air, it also expels negative ions which have the opposite effect on our airways – increasing filial activity to keep your lungs clear.

What all this means in a nut shell:  Besides removing contaminants from the air, Himalayan pink salt lamps also help your body to filter air more efficiently so any foreign particles you do happen to breathe won’t make it into your lungs.

4. Increase Energy Levels

Taking a drive through the countryside with the windows down, spending time at the beach or camping in the mountains, or simply taking a shower first thing in the morning are all things that many people find invigorating. It’s not a coincidence that these are all activities which expose us to increased concentrations of negative ions such as those generated by Himalayan salt lamps. The fact is, positive ions sap our bodies of energy. Unfortunately, it’s all too common for us to try to diagnose the problem as something else entirely.

Always feeling tired? If you constantly feel tired and don’t know why, try keeping a Himalayan salt lamp in the room or rooms where you spend the most time. After about a week, you should notice a difference.

5. Neutralize Electromagnetic Radiation

Nowadays, most of us are living in a metaphorical ocean of electromagnetic (EM) radiation which flows from our electronics (ie: television, computer, cell phone, tablet, appliances, sterio, etc). While they may be invisible, the long-term effects of EM exposure can be quite serious. Constant exposure to EM radiation is known to increase stress levels, cause chronic fatigue, and decrease the body’s immune response, among other things.

As they emit negative ions into the air, Himalayan salt lamps work to neutralize electromagnetic radiation. Keep one next to the computer, television, and any other electrical devices which you use frequently to reduce the potential danger to you and your family.

6. Better Sleep

Another side effect which results from over-exposure to positive ions in the air is that it robs you of quality sleep. This happens because those positively-charged particles can actually reduce blood and oxygen supply to the brain resulting in irregular sleep patterns. Himalayan pink salt lamps are natural negative ion generators, thus they can help to reverse this problem. Keep one or two around your bedroom to improve the air quality so you can get a better night’s sleep; Even if you’re like me and you can’t sleep unless the room is totally dark, you can always turn the lamp off at bedtime. Just leave it on for the rest of the day so it can do its work while you’re awake.

Take Care! People in humid climates should be aware that HPS lamps tend to weep when the salt becomes cool. You’ll definitely want to protect surfaces by placing a saucer underneath and be sure to follow the instructions for use and care which should be included with your lamp!

7. Improve Mood & Concentration

Himalayan pink salt lamps are a great way to naturally enhance your mood or to help you relax and unwind at the end of the day. At the same time and on the opposite side of the coin, HPS lamps are great for improving concentration. Again, this is due to the effect of the negative ions on your body, improving blood and oxygen supply to the brain and other organs, as well as providing a boost of serotonin – the neurotransmitter which makes us (literally) feel happy.

8. Treat Seasonal Affective Disorder

In addition to generating negative ions which improve mood and energy levels, the soft, natural light given off by a Himalayan pink salt lamp is close enough to the warm glow of sunshine that they can even be used to relieve the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder. This year when the days get shorter, fight back the lethargy by surrounding yourself with a few HPS lamps set on timers.

9. Reduce Static Electricity in the Air

While not a “health benefit” at first glance, static is pesky stuff. It causes stress, embarrassment, and frustration. Static zaps you when you least expect it, as you’re reaching for a door handle, kissing your husband or wife before bed, or trying to pet your dog or cat. Static can give you a bad hair day, make it impossible to clean crumbs or coffee grounds off of the kitchen counter, and even cause you to accidentally go to work with a sock stuck to the back of your shirt…

(Okay, so that last one may have been a little over-the-top.) The point is, static electricity can be a huge pain and Himalayan pink salt lamps are a natural way to neutralize the airborne ionized particles which cause it.

10. Environmentally-Friendly Light Source

Last, but not least: Himalayan pink salt lamps are environmentally friendly. While only an estimate, the reserves from which HPS is mined measure somewhere between 80 and 600 million tons and is projected to last for at least another 350 years at the current extraction rate. The base of an HPS lamp is generally carved from a sustainable wood such as neem. Some lamps use a low-wattage bulb which consumes very little energy while others are powered by a lit candle.

HPS Lamps: Bottom Line

Salt lamps aren’t a panacea and they don’t take the place of an air filter. They don’t create large amounts of negative ions like you’ll find in nature, especially around water. If negative ions are the goal, taking a hike or a swim in nature is a much more efficient way to get them.

Salt lamps are a beautiful light source that may offer the benefits of color therapy, by cleaning the air hygroscopically and in alleviating allergies. They are an inexpensive no-blue light source to use after dark and as a sleep-friendly night light for kids.

At the end of the day, they aren’t going to fix any health problems on their own or drastically improve indoor air quality. They are, however,  a beautiful and eco-friendly light source that produces a healthy spectrum of light. If you are choosing lamps for your home, they are a great option to consider.

As Always Healthiest Regards

Nutritionnourishment

Bad Eating Habits- How to Break Them

Hello everyone,

Would you believe it if I told you it is possible to eating deliciously satisfying foods, that are also good for your body, without experiencing the feeling of restriction? Perhaps not. Media advertising, social media and society has pushed us into believing we will not be happy until we reach a particular size/weight/look. This is often a sensitive topic for a lot of people, so a little warning in case some of these eating habits below are a little upsetting for you. Nutrition nourishment wants to send out messages of encouragement and support to anyone out there who is struggling with their diet/eating habits, or feeling confused and unbalanced with their relationship with food. We all deserve to enjoy food in a way that makes us happy-both mentally and physically.  So if you’re interested in learning how to break some of the most popular bad eating habits experienced, keep reading!

 

Bad Habit to Break: Keeping Tempting Foods Around

It’s hard to resist temptation when it’s staring you in the face. When office workers were given candies in clear dishes to place on their desks, they helped themselves to candy 71 percent more often than a similar group that was given the same candy in opaque dishes so that the candy wasn’t visible, according to research by Brian Wansink, Ph.D., director of the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab in Ithaca, New York. “We’re all on the ‘see-food’ diet,” he says, “so don’t let yourself see what you don’t want to eat.” Do yourself a favor and keep tempting foods out of your sight. If you’re going to keep snacks at home, stash them inside a cupboard; keep apples out on the counter.

Bad Habit to Break: Skipping Breakfast

You might think that skipping breakfast—a whole meal!—would help you cut calories, but the research says that eating breakfast can better help you lose weight. Breakfast eaters tend to weigh less and are more successful at losing weight—and keeping it off—than those who skip the meal. What’s more, people who typically eat breakfast also get more fiber, calcium, vitamins A and C, riboflavin, zinc and iron—and less fat and dietary cholesterol. Perhaps it’s because they often eat cereal, which is fortified with vitamins and minerals, and fruit, which is naturally nutrient-rich. Not hungry when you first get up? Don’t worry. Eating breakfast doesn’t have to be the first thing you do each day. Just make sure that when you do eat, your meal is something that will sustain you for a few hours—it should include some fiber and protein.

 Bad Habit to Break: Distracted Eating

You’re eating alone, so you reach for your smartphone and text, scan social-networking sites or play games. Or you read the paper, watch TV or use your computer. All of these distractions take your attention away from eating and make it harder for you to really experience and tune in to how satiated/full you are. That can lead you to eat more than you’re really hungry for, either now or later. A recent study showed that playing solitaire (on the computer) dampened people’s memories of lunch, which, in turn, may have caused them to eat 530kj more when they snacked later.

Bad Habit to Break: Eating Straight Out of the Bag

If you’re noshing directly out of the package—whether you’re eating chips, crackers, cookies or ice cream—it’s easy to eat several servings without realizing it. A key step when you’re trying to lose weight is literally watching what you eat—being aware of what and how much you’re eating. That’s why keeping a food journal is so effective. Get a handle on runaway portions by measuring out a serving…if you want more, measure that too. Being conscious of what you’re eating will help you meet your weight goals.

Bad Habit to Break: Eating on the Run

Eating in the car, snacking at your desk, drinking a high-calorie smoothie or latte while walking around—it’s all too easy to take in excessive calories if you’re eating on the go. To curb this type of distracted eating, sit down to eat.

Wishing you the best of luck with creating health eating habits that work for you and your body while making you happy. One good question to ask yourself before you reach for the junk food is..  “Is this (food) really what my body needs right now? or Am I just eating out of habit/boredom/emotions?”

Would love to hear from our readers, please leave a comment below if you have experienced any difficulty with eating habits? Know that you are not alone and you do not have to suffer.

As always Healthiest Regards

Nutritionnourishment

New Year’s Resolutions: The Process Of Goal Setting

Hello Everyone,

We’re Back! Hope you have all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year holiday, spending time with your loved ones, enjoying delicious food and spending time doing activities that makes you happy. Nutrition nourishment would like to welcome you to the very first blog of the new year. Our goal is to ensure you, the reader, have all the knowledge and tools available to you to help you achieve your goals and make 2017 a year full of gratitude, happiness, peace and success.

2016 has ended and many of us are gathering up our willpower for a brand new set of New Year’s resolutions. But have we learned from past experience? A large number, if not the majority, of previous resolutions were probably broken in weeks, days, or even hours. Well don’t feel bad because research shows only 8% of people actually achieve them.

How do those elite few actually achieve what they set out to do? Do they have a special system? More motivation? More time? What are their secrets? 

Nutrition nourishment is revealing the top 10 research-proven strategies to help you make 2017 your year of success; And it may not be as hard as you might think- there are some really easy ways to set yourself on the path to success.

1. Keep your Resolutions Simple

Sometimes people find themselves aiming for an overhaul of their entire lifestyle, and this is simply a recipe for disappointment and guilt. It may be understandable at this time of year, when self-improvement is on your mind, but experience shows these things can’t all be achieved at once. The best approach is to focus clearly on one or two of your most important goals.

2. Choose Carefully

But which to choose? Well, you might like to concentrate on those that will have the greatest impact on your happiness, health and fulfilment. For example, giving up smoking will obviously improve your health, but it will also give you a sense of pride and will make you happy (but perhaps not immediately!)

3. Be Realistic

Don’t aim too high and ignore reality – consider your previous experience with resolutions. What led to failure then? It may be that you resolved to lose too much weight or save an unrealistic amount of money. Remember, there will always be more opportunities to start on the next phase, so set realistic goals. Or if you don’t want to hold back, set clear short-term goals on your way to a big achievement. Which leads to tip number four.

4. Create Bite-sized portions

Break goals down to manageable chunks. This is perhaps the most essential ingredient for success, as the more planning you do now, the more likely you are to get there in the end. The planning process is when you build up that all-important willpower which you will undoubtedly need to fall back on along the way. Set clear, realistic goals such as saving $30 a month, or going for a run once a week. Decide exactly how you will make this happen.

5. Plan a time-Frame

In fact, the time-frame is vital for motivation. It is your barometer for success, the way you assess your short-term progress towards the ultimate long-term goal. Buy a calendar or diary so you can plan your actions for the coming weeks or months, and decide when and how often to evaluate.

6. Make Notes

Having made a note of your time-frame, you will have a physical reminder of what you’re aiming for. Now go further and write down the details of your resolutions in a notebook, remembering to add your motivations. You could keep a scrapbook for this purpose, and fill it with photos of your slimmer self, pictures of sporting or hobby equipment you are saving for, or even a shocking credit card statement to spur you into action! If your resolution will directly benefit your partner, children, colleagues or friends then add their photos too – anything to remind you of your initial motivation.

7. Don’t forget to treat yourself

When making your plan, a vital feature should be the rewards and treats you will give yourself at those all-important milestones. But be warned, don’t fall into the trap of putting your goal in danger – it’s too easy for a dieter to say “I’ve been so good, I deserve a few candy bars”, or a saver to throw caution to the wind with a new purchase. One slip, and it could all be over.

8. Seek Support

It is at such times, when you’ve temporarily fallen off the wagon, that your support network is crucial. Carefully choose those people around you who have shown themselves to be trustworthy, supportive friends and explain your plans. Let them know of ways they can help when the going gets tough, and if they’re truly caring they’ll know the right things to say during the hard times.

9. Don’t give up!!

Do bear in mind that a slip-up is almost inevitable at some point, and you must not let this become an excuse to give up. When it happens, you will need to draw on your reserves of self-belief and strength, so build these qualities as often as you can. Really feel proud of your past achievements and don’t become critical of yourself. People with higher self-esteem and confidence are in a much better position to succeed, so immediately forgive yourself and say “I’m starting again now!”

10. Put yourself in charge

These achievements are under your control – other people can advise and support you but it’s your actions which need to change to see the results you want. Having a strong sense of control over your life is necessary to stick with your plans. Those who blame everyone and everything apart from themselves will not have the resources needed to change. Yes, it’s scary to take responsibility for your future, but surely it’s better than the alternative?

Now you’ve read these tips, you are in a great position to consider the best ways to improve your life this New Year. Your happiness is worth the time and effort, so get started, and good luck! If you would like more information on goal setting please click on the links below. Wishing you all the best for the new year, and a happy and safe year ahead.

https://www.projectsmart.co.uk/smart-goals.php

https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newHTE_90.htm

http://au.reachout.com/How-to-set-goals?gclid=CjwKEAiAkajDBRCRq8Czmdj-yFgSJADikZggmmey4YGrQqVgv_6PJnOBRmNf10Qe9CxzSD-W1d5DzhoCHlLw_wcB

http://www.yourcoach.be/en/coaching-tools/smart-goal-setting.php

Healthiest Regards

Nutritionnourishment