Quick Reviews: Q & A with Vitamin C

Hello Everyone,
In today’s blog Nutrition Nourishment are reviewing Vitamin C with a quick Q & A for all your health related facts. Want to know what role Vitamin C plays in the body? How much do you need to have in your daily diet? What can Vitamin C do for you??Then continue to read on…

1. How stable is vitamin C?

The stability of ascorbic acid decreases with a rise in temperature and PH. This destruction by oxidation is a serious problem in that a considerable quantity of vitamin C contents is lost during processing, storage and preparation.
Vitamin C content can be affected by season, transport, shelf life, storage time, cooking practices and chlorination of water. Cutting, bruising, heating and exposure to copper, iron or mildly alkaline conditions can destroy ascorbate. It can also be leached into water during cooking.

2. How does dosage affect the absorption of vitamin C?

Transport of vitamin C is a saturable and dose dependent process that occurs by active transport. At the intestine and cells AA is oxidized to DHAA, which is more quickly transported across the cell membrane. Once inside the tissue or intestinal epithelium, the vitamin is reduced back to AA. The degree of intestinal absorption decreases as intake of AA increases. Intakes of 1 to 1.5 grams results in 50% absorption, but at intakes over 12 grams, only 16% of the vitamin is absorbed. In contrast, an intake of less than 20 mg, has a 98% absorption rate. Absorption of vitamin C is greater when several individual doses of vitamin C, in quantities less than one gram, are taken throughout the day rather than one megadose.
A single large dose saturates the enzyme kinetics for vitamin C, leading to excess AA in the intestinal lumen, which causes numerous gastrointestinal problems.

3. List five functions of vitamin C.

Collagen formation
Structure of bone and teeth
Immune System Function
Production of hormones
Mineral absorption and utilisation

4. How does vitamin C affect iron absorption?

The absorption of heme iron is not significantly impacted by other foods, while non-heme iron is strongly influenced by foods that may enhance or inhibit its absorption.
The key role of ascorbic acid for the absorption of dietary non-heme iron is generally accepted. The reasons for its action are twofold: (1) the prevention of the formation of insoluble and un-absorbable iron compounds and (2) the reduction of ferric to ferrous iron, which seems to be a requirement for the uptake of iron into the mucosal cells.

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5. What are the signs / symptoms of scurvy?

Vitamin C deficiency causes scurvy, symptoms include fatigue, pain in extremities, haemorrhages, a decrease in integrity of the blood vessels, oedema, ulcerations, muscle weakness due to defects in collagen metabolism and death. In infantile scurvy, the changes are mainly at the sites of active bone growth and include pseudo paralysis of the limbs. In severe scurvy, haemorrhages may be more severe and include epistaxis, bleeding into joints, periotoneal cavity, pericardial sack and adrenals.
6. Why do smokers have a higher recommended intake of vitamin C?
Smoking causes vitamin C to be used up much more quickly by the body, so smokers need to add an extra 35 milligrams per day to the RDI because of the great stress on their lungs form oxidative damage and toxic by-products of cigarette smoke. Adding an extra piece of fruit to the daily diet would more than cover this extra requirement for vitamin C.

7. How does the RDI for vitamin C compare to the amount required for disease prevention?

Vitamin C is a powerful functional food ingredient with numerous health applications. Proper intake over a lifetime helps to maintain our current health and prevent future ailments. At least 10 mg daily will prevent clinical deficiency and scurvy; but current research suggests 90-500 mg daily for optimal benefits. Much higher doses (many beyond the 2 g UL) are used in the clinical setting, with the greatest blood plasma levels achieved through IV injection. Proper doses for treatment are extremely variable, and depend upon the disease being treated. The risks of high- dose vitamin C supplementation are almost negligible when compared to some current treatments. That being said, extremely high-doses should be administered with caution and treated as a pharmaceutical agent. In regards to disease management, continued clinical and epidemiological research will help to further understand and confirm the positive health effects from vitamin C in the prevention and treatment of numerous conditions. In terms of the general public, studies on the long-term effects of over-the-counter oral supplementation should be focused on, due to increasing awareness of vitamin C benefits. Future studies should also focus on how to safely and effectively implement vitamin C into diets of populations at-risk for deficiency

8. What role does vitamin C play in the prevention of cardiovascular disease?

Disease Treatment
Cardiovascular disease
Vasodilation
The ability of blood vessels to relax or dilate (vasodilation) is compromised in individuals with atherosclerosis. Damage to the heart muscle caused by a heart attack and damage to the brain caused by a stroke are related, in part, to the inability of blood vessels to dilate enough to allow blood flow to the affected areas. The pain of angina pectoris is also related to insufficient dilation of the coronary arteries. Impaired vasodilation has been identified as an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Many randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies have shown that treatment with vitamin C consistently results in improved vasodilation in individuals with coronary heart disease, as well as those with angina pectoris, congestive heart failure, diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. Improved vasodilation has been demonstrated at an oral dose of 500 mg of vitamin C daily.
Hypertension:
A recent meta-analysis of 29 short-term trials (each trial included 10 to 120 participants) indicated that vitamin C supplementation at a median dose of 500 mg/day for a median duration of eight weeks reduced blood pressure in both healthy, normotensive and hypertensive adults. In normotensive individuals, the pooled changes in systolic and diastolic blood pressure were -3.84 mm Hg and -1.48 mm Hg, respectively; in hypertensive participants, corresponding reductions were -4.85 mm Hg and -1.67 mm Hg. The significance of the blood pressure-lowering effect of vitamin C on CVD risk has not yet been determined. It is important for individuals with significantly elevated blood pressure not to rely on vitamin C supplementation alone to treat their hypertension, but to seek or continue therapy with anti-hypertensive medication and through diet and lifestyle changes in consultation with their health care provider. For information on dietary and lifestyle strategies to control blood pressure.

9. What is the relationship between vitamin C intake and the common cold?

The work of Linus Pauling stimulated public interest in the use of large doses (greater than 1 gram/day) of vitamin C to prevent the common cold. In the past 40 years, numerous placebbo-controlled trials have examined the effect of vitamin C supplementation on the prevention and treatment of colds. A recent meta-analysis of 53 placebo-controlled trials evaluated the effect of vitamin C supplementation on the incidence, duration, or severity of the common cold when taken as a continuous daily supplement (43 trials) or as therapy upon onset of cold symptoms (10 trials). Regarding the incidence of colds, a distinction was observed between two groups of participants: regular supplementation with vitamin C (0.25 to 2 grams/day) did not reduce the incidence of colds in the general population (23 trials); however, in participants undergoing heavy physical stress (e.g., marathon runners, skiers, or soldiers in subarctic conditions), vitamin C supplementation halved the incidence of colds (5 trials; RR: 0.48, 95% CI: 0.35-0.64). A benefit of regular vitamin C supplementation was also seen in the duration of colds, with a greater benefit in children than in adults: the pooled effect of vitamin C supplementation was a 14% reduction in cold duration in children and an 8% reduction in adults. Finally, no significant effect of vitamin C supplementation (1-8 grams/day) was observed in therapeutic trials in which vitamin C was administered after cold symptoms occurred.
As Always,
Healthiest Regards,
Tegan, Nutrition Nourishment.
Further Reading.. 
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Recipe of the Week: Lemon Roasted Salmon with Fragrant Cauliflower Couscous

Hello Everyone,

Spring is here, and it’s the perfect time to dish up gorgeous salads for dinner. If you’re in need for some inspiration for dinner tonight, why not try this delicious Lemon roasted salmon with a fragrant cauliflower couscous side!!

Why Salmon?

Salmon is rich is anti-inflammatory omega 3 fatty acids, B vitamins, potassium, selenium and protein.

Did you know? The EPA/DHA in omega 3 fatty acids have been shown to possess amazing health benefits including decreasing inflammation, lowering blood pressure, reducing the risk of cancer and improving the function of the cells that line your arteries. It’s recommended to eat fish in your diet 2-3 times/week!

 

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LEMON ROASTED SALMON- SERVES 2

This simple fish dish is best made with wild salmon, but it works equally well with the farmed sort. It’s astonishingly easy. In a hot oven, melt butter in a skillet until it sizzles, add the salmon, flip, remove the skin, then allow to roast a few minutes more. You’ll have an elegant fish dinner in about 15 minutes. Don’t be afraid to play with herb and fat combinations: parsley, chervil or dill work well with butter; thyme, basil or marjoram with olive oil; or peanut oil with cilantro or mint.

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
  • 4 tablespoons minced chervil, parsley or dill
  • 2 salmon fillet, 1 1/2 to 2 pounds
  •  Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  •  Lemon wedges

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Place the butter and half the herb in a roasting pan just large enough to fit the salmon and place it in the oven. Heat about 5 minutes, until the butter melts and the herb begins to sizzle.
  2. Add the salmon to the pan, skin side up. Roast 4 minutes. Remove from the oven, then peel the skin off. (If the skin does not lift right off, cook 2 minutes longer.) Sprinkle with salt and pepper and turn the fillet over. Sprinkle with salt and pepper again.
  3. Roast 3 to 5 minutes more, depending on the thickness of the fillet and the degree of doneness you prefer. Cut into serving portions, spoon a little of the butter over each and garnish with the remaining herb. Serve with lemon wedges, and your favourite salad or steamed green vegetables.

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FRAGRANT CAULIFLOWER COUSCOUS – SERVES 4

You might have heard of cauliflower ‘rice’, but have you tried cauliflower ‘couscous’? It’s a healthier, less starchy, gluten-free take on a traditional couscous salad and can be made with a variety of tasty ingredients, herbs and spices.  

Ingredients:
1/2 head of large cauliflower
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1/2 large white onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup pistachios (in shells) or 1/3 cup (shelled)
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
Zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon coriander seed powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons dried cranberries
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/3 cup pomegranate kernels (optional)
Handful of chopped parsley
Method:
Step 1: Cut the cauliflower into florets and process into small crumbs using a food processor. I do this in batches, transferring the crumbed mixture from each batch of cauliflower to a bowl.

Step 2: In a large frying pan, heat coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté for 1-2 minutes.

Step 3: Add most of the nuts (reserve a few for garnish) and the garlic to a food processor. Grind into crumbs and add to the onions in the frying pan. Add the olive oil, lemon zest, spices, salt and dried cranberries and stir through for a minute, allowing the aromas to be released and the garlic to cook through slightly.

Step 4: Add the cauliflower crumbs, lemon juice, pomegranate and parsley and stir through with the nut and garlic mixture until well incorporated. Cook for about 2 minutes, until heated through and soften slightly.

Serve with extra nuts, parsley and pomegranate on top.

Healthiest Regards,

Tegan, Nutition Nourishment.

Smart Snacking: Bring Some Balance into Your Diet.

Hello everyone,

The most common complaints I have in clinic are people struggling with energy levels, especially in the afternoon. It all comes down to balancing macronutrients during meals, and smart snacking. Finding some quick, easy and affordable snack options to keep energy levels high, blood sugar balanced and hunger at bay is easy with a little inspiration. Protein-rich, nutrient-filled snacks like the ones below can be a great way of bumping up your nutrition intake for the day – and are a delicious excuse to take a break from study and have a little down time. Some other great examples are:

  • Raw almonds/nuts/seeds
  • Dates filled with nut butter
  • Brown rice cakes with almond butter and cinnamon
  • Veggie sticks (carrot, celery) with hummus
  • Green apple smeared with peanut butter

I’d love to hear any of your go-to snack ideas too!

Simple Snacks

Greek Yoghurt, Cinnamon and Nuts

Simple as that. Just add a sprinkle of cinnamon to a few spoonfuls of Greek Yoghurt, top with any nuts or seeds you have (I love buckinis and walnuts!) and enjoy! Add some berries for an extra Vit-C and antioxidant hit! We also have a couple of homemade granola options in the  “breakfast” recipes section on our website.

Here’s a simple example: 

Mix together: 2 C Organic Steel-Cut Oats, 3/4 C Coconut Flakes, 1/2 C Chopped Almonds, 1/2 C Chopped Walnuts, 1 tsp Cinnamon Spice, 1/2 tsp Nutmeg/allspice, ½ tsp cardamon, 2 Tsp Chia Seeds, 4 Tsp organic virgin pressed coconut oil, Melted, 1/2 C Maple Syrup/Rice-Malt Syrup, 1 tsp vanilla. Optional: Dried cranberries/apricots. Pour the granola mixture onto the prepared baking sheet. Spread into an even layer to ensure an even roasting. Bake for 30 minutes or until granola is a nice golden brown, stirring every 10 minutes to ensure an even bake.

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Healthy Sweet Potato Wedges

First things first, preheat your oven to 180°! You want it nice and hot so the wedges go extra crispy. Just cut your sweet potato into chunks, arrange on a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper or some cumin if you feel like spicing things up! Place in the oven and 30-35 minutes later you’ll have some perfectly cooked sweet potato wedges.

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Bliss balls

Bliss balls are the best grab-and-go snack – make a batch for yourself today and you’ll be set for the week! These Almond butter and Protein Bliss balls are perfect for regulating your blood sugar levels and providing a healthy boost of good fats! Yum!

Here’s a simple example:

Add to food processor: 2 scoops vanilla protein (any pea/rice, organic variety), 1 tbsp almond butter, 2 tsp maple syrup, 2-3 dates (pitted), 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds, 1 tbsp coconut flour, pinch of sea salt, 1/4 cup of water. Process until ingredients start to bind together. Roll into balls and top with extra almond butter and cinnamon.

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Smoothies

Smoothies are another easy snack option. Just blend up some easy-to-find, pantry-staple ingredients and pour into a glass – or jar!

Everyone’s Favourite: 

SUPER CHOC BANANA BERRY SMOOTHIE – SERVES 1

This sweet, chocolatey, berry goodness will make you feel as though your having a cheat day, however your body will thank you for the high intake of nutrients, and antioxidant-rich superfoods. This will aid your body to fight free-radical, remove toxins, detox, and rebuild. 

Ingredients:

1 Frozen Banana

Handful Mixed Berries

2-4 Pitted Medjool Dates

1-2 tsp Cacao Powder

1 tsp Chia seeds

1 tsp Maca Powder

1 tsp Beetroot powder

1 Tsp of Goji Berries

½ Avocado

2C milk of choice (Soy, Almond, Coconut)

Handful Ice

 

Method:

Blend all ingredients together to form a smooth consistency. Enjoy!

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Don’t forget to check out all the recipes available for free on the website for some more delicious inspiration!

Healthiest Regards,

Tegan, Nutrition Nourishment

Hidden Food Allergies: The underlying cause of chronic illness

Hello everyone,

Here is a question that we probably never think to ask ourselves… Is it possible that the foods that we eat (even supposedly healthy foods) are the cause of our chronic illnesses?

Migraine Headaches, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Asthma, Depression, Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue, Panic Attacks, Eczema, Chronic Allergies, Arthritis, Sleep Disorders including sleep apnea and snoring all may have a common cause… hidden food sensitivities. Attention Deficit Disorder, Chronic Ear Infections and even Autism in our children have also been linked to foods that they may be sensitive to.

All of us are familiar with overt food allergies… this is the kind of allergy where the food is consumed and within minutes or hours a reaction occurs, which can range from hives all the way to anaphylactic shock. This is known as a Type 1 food allergy, which involves the IgE antibody, and is very easy to self-diagnose… you eat the food and you have a reaction.

The IgE antibodies attach themselves to “mast cells” which, when activated by the offending food, release histamine and other chemical mediators producing classic allergic reactions such as hives, wheezing, swelling, stomach cramps, diarrhea, or more rarely, anaphylaxis. These cells are located in the linings of the digestive tract, urinary tract, skin, and airways, and surround small blood vessels.

Less well known and much harder to self diagnose are the Type 3 food allergies. A different antibody causes these reactions… IgG. The mechanism by which IgG antibodies evoke their allergic reactions is through the formation of immune complexes of antibody attached to food particles. The complexes circulate throughout the body via the bloodstream, rather than being attached solely to mast cells; they may affect any tissue, organ or system of the body.

Whereas the Type 1 allergies only occur in 2-3% of the population and are obvious when they happen, the Type 3 allergies may occur in up to 95% of us, and may not show up for 2 to 3 days, or sometimes up to a week, later. This is why they are known as “delayed-onset” allergies or sensitivities.

There are two main difficulties encountered when figuring out what is really going on with the foods that we eat and which ones we are reacting to negatively. First, because there is not an immediate response, it is difficult to pinpoint which food caused the problem… was it the broccoli that you ate 3 days ago or the bread you’ve had every day for the past week or the sesame oil that was used to prepare the stir-fried chicken and vegetables from the carry-out the other night?

The second complicating factor is that the actual reaction that you have may be in a form that you do not normally associate with an allergy. You know those cluster headaches you’ve had since you were a teenager? Or that irritable bowel issue that seems to crop up at the weirdest times? Or that low-level depression that your doctor keeps telling you is just a Prozac deficiency? Or that skin condition that prescription creams don’t seem to work for anymore? The list goes on and on… and the reason goes back to a keen understanding of the complex nature of how the body works… it all happens because these IgG antibodies can attach themselves to any tissue or organ that you have… and then disrupt normal functioning!

A disturbing fact is that most of us are reacting to anywhere from 3 to 10 different foods in this manner, sometimes up to 20 foods. And they are often foods that we think of as being healthy for us… milk, wheat, vegetables, fruits, nuts. Foods implicated in type 3 allergies are frequently favorite foods commonly eaten in large amounts.

It is important to note that a food intolerance, for example lactose intolerance due to insufficient lactase enzyme to digest milk sugar, is not a food allergy; however, intolerant individuals often suffer from allergy to cow’s milk. Casein, a milk protein, is one of the most common allergens in the Standard American Diet (SAD). Soy protein is also high on the list of common offenders, making soy products a poor substitute for dairy, unless testing has deemed it a “safe” nonallergen.

Other common food allergens include gluten (from wheat and other grains), yeast, corn and eggs. Chemical food additives, preservatives, and food colorings can also contribute to the problems of food allergy.

You may ask why it is that we come up with these allergies in the first place. I believe the answer is found by closely examining our dietary habits today compared to those from the vast majority of our history. Throughout history, we have eaten foods that were grown locally, picked fresh, and did not contain additives, preservatives, colorings, flavorings, etc. Furthermore, we ate the foods that were available to us according to our climate and the particular time of year.

Today, we eat what is known as a “monotonous” diet, even though we may not really be aware of this fact. Monotonous means repeating the same foods over and over again; not necessarily boring. There are many foods that we eat that appear and taste different, even though the base ingredients are the same… thus is the magic of modern food technologies. Many of the prepared foods that we eat use the same ingredients as flavorings. Furthermore, our diets today contain a large percentage of grains, compared to ancient cave man diets, which had no cereal grains.

Of course, none of us eat enough fresh fruits and vegetables, and you can usually count on two hands the variety that we do eat. In other words, our repertoire of foods has become less and less varied as time goes on. The constant, repeated exposure to the same food is the reason the body creates a mechanism to make you change your habits… the creation of the IgG antibodies is your bodies attempt to make you pay attention and make a change in your diet.

Unfortunately, in today’s medical climate, we respond to the health problems we have by prescribing pills instead of making substantive changes in our lifestyles, including changing what we eat. In fact, we are so far removed from that process now that we don’t even realize what is occurring.

So how do we find out which foods may be the ones to avoid? Skin testing, by the scratch test, as well as certain IgE blood tests identify type-1 food allergies only, but not type 3. Delayed type food allergies require an ELISA blood test that detects IgG antibodies to the problem foods.

Once the hidden food allergies have been identified, then the hard work begins… these foods need to be avoided! When tested, food allergies get reported in two levels… foods to avoid and foods to rotate.

The foods to rotate are ones that have registered a minor allergy and should be eaten no more often than every 3 days. Foods to avoid need to be avoided for up to 6 months, then reintroduced one at a time to test for continued reactivity. Retesting is sometimes warranted. Occasionally, there are foods that need to be avoided for longer periods of time.

Sometimes avoiding these foods may produce cravings and withdrawal or increased suffering instead of relief. There are often times strong emotional ties to certain foods, and the breaking of these cycles can be a trying experience. Eventually the withdrawal symptoms will subside and then you start feeling better. If cravings occur, they will usually only last a few days!

At the same time, care should be taken not to eat a monotonous diet consisting of “safe” foods, or new allergies may develop to these foods over time.

There are a whole host of nutritional and herbal supplements that may be helpful in dealing with these hidden food allergies and your body’s response to these food. They include:

  • Digestive Enzymes – a plant based digestive enzyme will help your digestive tract be more efficient at breaking down foods into their smallest parts.
  • Methyl Sulfonyl Methane (MSM) – this is a naturally occurring form of sulfur that helps to calm your body’s over-reaction to inhaled or ingested allergens.
  • Essential Fatty Acids – these “healthy” fats are anti-inflammatory in nature and help with overall gut and immune system function.
  • Quercetin  – this bioflavanoid works to stabilize mast cells, thus it is known as the natural anti-histamine.
  • Probiotics – these “good bacteria” play a vital role in the normal functioning of the gut and help with digestion and assimilation of food. They also play an important role in proper elimination and immune function.
  • Glutamine – this amino acid is basically “fuel” for the gut cells to help them reproduce and function properly.
  • A Multi Vitamin – including Vitamins A, B-6 & C and Minerals like Magnesium & Zinc, which all play important roles in proper gut function and repair.

All of these supplements help to eliminate the food allergy, improve gut health, remove toxins from the body, fight inflammation, and improve immune system function.

So, as it turns out, there are many foods that you may think are healthy that actually are at the root of many of your chronic health conditions. Chances are that the foods you are reacting too are ones that you eat on a regular basis (maybe even have cravings for) and you likely have no idea that they are cause for concern.

Care to try an experiment? Determine which food is the most common in your diet and then completely eliminate it for 3 weeks. I’m willing to bet you start to feel better… and that may come in the form of better energy, better sleep, better mood, or the beginnings of control with your blood sugar, blood pressure or even a little weight loss.

Healthiest Regards

Tegan, Nutrition Nourishment

Renew Health and Vitality: Your guide to Detox

Hello everyone,

In today’s blog Nutrition Nourishment is discussing the detoxification process and natural ways to help assist your body’s detoxing organs do their jobs more efficiently. Detoxing is an individualised approach; it can be small changes to the diet and lifestyle such as giving up smoking and alcohol for a month, or more extreme in the ways of an elimination diet and lifestyle overhaul. It’s important to remember that if chose to do a detoxification program, it must be under guidance of a qualified health professional. This will ensure individual compliance, and help reduce the likeihood of unwanted side effects, while the body is being re-programmed.

Firstly, well take a look at why it is important to detox, and then some diet and lifestyle changes that help aid in the detoxification processes within the body. Below are safety precautions and a list of possible side effects if you do choose to do a full detoxification program, however, even by making some small changes to your diet, such as introducing more fruits and vegetables and increasing water, can help aid detoxification twofold!

Why Detox?

Detoxification is a natural metabolic process whereby the environmental and dietary toxins our body is exposed to are chemically changed into less harmful substances, and subsequently excreted from the body. Supporting detoxification is a cornerstone of Naturopathic Medicine, and aims to address dietary and lifestyle factors to reduce the burden placed on your detoxification system, while simultaneously supporting the capacity of your key detoxing organs. The four key therapeutic goals of the detox program are to reduce dietary toxins, improve detox capacity, neutralise free radicals and eliminate waste products. The ultimate goal in detoxification is to follow a protocol that is safe and effective, and enables optimal health.

Our bodies are designed to be able to process and remove toxins through elimination channels including our digestive system, liver and kidneys. Individual variation may alter how toxins are affecting the body’s health. This can be due to:

  • Toxin Burden: This represents the level of exposure to various toxins and may include dietary allergens such as gluten, food additives and preservatives. Occupational, environmental or lifestyle related toxins including cigarette smoking, or exposure to hazardous chemicals such as herbicides, pesticides, cleaning agents, or some chemicals used within cosmetics can all add to your toxic burden. Toxins can also be created internally as part of normal, healthy metabolic processes or by bacteria in the digestive tract or recirculation of waste from the bowel.
  • Toxin resistance: This describes the ability to process and eliminate toxins effectively and refers to the impact they may be having on your health. In the modern world, it is less common for health issues to arise as a result of the additive effects of low-levels exposure to a broad range of dietary and environmental toxins.

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The Detox Diet

  • Plant-based. Encourages liberal amounts of fresh vegetables, fruits and spices, legumes, nuts and seeds and moderate amounts of whole grains. Organic where possible to reduce carcinogens, pesticide and herbicide exposure.
  • Low-saturated Fats: Diets that are high in sat fat have been found to encourage the circulation of components of harmful bacteria from the digestive system into the blood stream, which contributes to toxic burden.
  • Whole food: Eliminates refined, processed or packaged foods that tend to be high in various chemicals such as additives, preservatives,and artificial sweeteners/flavours These foods also tend to be high in kjs and low in essential nutrients. High intakes of refined carbohydrates can also negatively impact the balance of digestive flora.
  • Eliminate gluten and dairy: Two of the most common allergens that are inflammatory to the body, and increasing production of potentially harmful free radicals.
  • Hydration: All the body’s metabolic functions depend on water, including effective detoxification. Consuming 2-3 litres of water daily assists the kidneys to remove wastes through this important eliminatory channel. A good rule of thumb is that if your urine is not a light straw- almost clear in colour, you need to drink more.

Lifestyle considerations

  • Exercise: Regular exercise is a great way to assist with detoxification, promoting circulation of blood and lymph throughout the body and makes you feel good. This enhances elimination of waste products and the delivery of nutrients and oxygen to organs and muscles. The lymphatic system relies on movement of muscles during exercise to pump internal waste from the body.
  • Water: Aim for 2-3 litres/day. Add some interest to your water by adding a little lemon, ginger, mint or berries for a cool treat. Ensure you carry a bottle with you at all times and sip throughout the day.
  • Sleep and Rest: the body uses sleep as an opportunity to heal and rejuvenate. 7-9 hours of goof quality sleep each night will complement the detoxification system. Sleeping environment can have an impact on your sleep quality. Ensure your bedroom is dark, well ventilated and set at a comfortable temperature. Keep a regular bedtime, turn off the television and electronic devices 1 hours prior, to allow your body time to wind down and prepare for a restorative nights sleep.
  • Stress: It’s impossible to avoid stress in our lives, but we can change how we response to stress. Stress management may mean making a lot of changes, but these changes are positive contributors to detoxification, not to meant general health. Negative energy, emotions and reactions often influence our health more profoundly than we realise. Choosing to be positive and focused represents the opportunity to detoxify your life from negativity. Find positive affirmation or quotes that inspire you to fight off negative thoughts and make healthy food choices, especially when your at the fridge door.
  • Dry Skin Brushing: Your skin is a major organs of elimination and as dead skin cells accumulate, then reduce the skin’s ability to detoxify effectively. Before you shower, spend 5-10 minutes with a firm-bristled brush or loofah and scrub the skins of the arms, legs and back quite briskly; brushing in a upwards motion form the wrist to shoulder. Ankle to hip and down the back. Your skin may be slightly red and tingly when you are finished.

Safety:

Caution in pregnancy. Detoxification programs should never been attempted during pregnancy. If you fall pregnant while doing a detox program, you should stop immediately and contact your support practitioner. If you are planning to conceive, it is however, a good idea for both partners to detoxify before the pregnancy. Eggs and sperm take three to four months to develop, so you should aim to have completed a detox program at least four months prior to conception.

Many prescription medications can be affected by the detoxification process. It is not uncommon to alter dosages of medications during and after detoxification, and all medications should be taken in separate doses from detoxification supplements. If you are on a variety of medications, it’s important to let your practitioner know, so they can provide safe recommendations on how to proceed.

Side effects: Occasionally people may experience adverse symptoms during a detoxification program due to the breakdown of toxins, and increased elimination. Side effects may include nausea, changes to bowel function, headaches and fatigue. Generally these are short-term and will self-limiting. Contact support if there are sever or last more than a few days. Never begin a new exercise routine during a detox, always wait until finished due to these effects. Gentle exercise is recommended.

A detoxification program can help you feel fresher, and healthier after completion. To continue on your path to long-term health and vitality, it’s important to consider adapting some changes to our everyday diet and lifestyle. As noted above. Optimal health is about achieving balance in all areas of your life to stay healthy and active for as long as possible.

And as Always,

Healthiest Regards,

Tegan, Nutrition Nourishment.

Hypoglycaemia: Manage Low Blood Sugar Naturally

  • Hello everyone,

    Hypoglycaemia is a condition characterized by low blood sugar, usually happening 3 to 5 hours after a meal. Typical symptoms may include; headache, mood changes, irritability, nervousness, excessive sweating, mental confusion, and blurred vision.

    There can be a few different causes, but far and away the most common cause is from the over-stressing of the normal control mechanisms of glucose storage and release in the body. This happens for 2 main reasons – consistently eating foods that raise blood sugar too quickly alternating with periods of not eating and the biochemical result of chronic stress.

    It is also important to note that hypoglycemia, although seemingly the opposite of diabetes, is a precursor to diabetes, and as such, needs to be seen as a serious potential health risk, as opposed to just an inconvenience.

    There are numerous diagnostic tests that may be used to identify hypoglycaemia, however, the easiest and maybe most accurate way is through a simple questionnaire or a comprehensive consultation with a accredited practitioner. It must be understood that every one of these “symptoms” can occur for other reasons, so other causes should be ruled out before assuming that hypoglycemia is the issue. And yet, when most of these symptoms are present, there is a strong likelihood that blood sugar control is a root cause.

    Because blood sugar is the only source of energy that the brain can use (as opposed to the rest of the body being able to break down muscle for an energy source if needed), low blood sugar can result in all manner of brain dysfunction issues, including confusion, aggression, anxiety, depression, etc. Additionally, chronic headaches, attention issues and even PMS symptoms may all be linked to hypoglycemia. Blood sugar regulation problems should be evaluated and considered much more than it does in medicine today.

    Diet and other lifestyle factors are usually the cause of hypoglycemia. This fact gives us the means to make this problem go away without medical intervention.

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Diet 

Understanding the mechanics of blood sugar management in the body and which foods cause rapid increases in blood sugar are the foundations needed to reverse hypoglycaemia.

  • When blood sugar rises quickly, the body responds by equally quickly releasing insulin to “do something” with that sugar. Instantly raised sugar levels is an indication to the body that sugar will keep coming, and the result is actually an over-production of insulin. The result is actually an “over-clearing” of sugar from the blood. Remember that the brain can only use blood sugar as fuel, so when this happens it is brain function that suffers – thus the hypoglycemia symptoms. Another result of this cascade of chemical events is that the body is instructed to go out and eat more sugar.

    The glycemic index (GI) of a food is a measure of the property of how quickly it causes blood sugar to rise. The higher the GI is, the worse it is for blood sugar control. There is another index used to better measure the effect of a serving of a food – glycemic load (GL). This takes into account the “density” of particular foods and how a serving would affect blood sugar. Keeping the foods under a GL of 15 would be tremendously helpful for helping to control hypoglycemia. For instance, even though the GI of watermelon is 72 (pretty high) the GL of watermelon is only 4. So a serving of watermelon is actually fine. Of course, eating an entire watermelon would be a problem.

    The fiber content of food is also very important in controlling rapid rises in blood sugar for 3 reasons. First, it slows down the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates, thereby preventing rapid rises in blood sugar. Second, it increases cell sensitivity to insulin, thereby preventing the excessive secretion of insulin. And third, fiber improves the uptake of glucose by the liver and other tissues, thereby preventing a sustained elevation of blood sugar. This is why most processed and refined carbohydrates (bread, pasta, cereal, most grains) are bad for hypoglycemia; processing = removed or poor fiber.

    The best diet strategy for the hypoglycemic is to replace processed and refined carbohydrates in the diet with more fresh fruits, vegetables and quality proteins. Furthermore, the person suffering with hypoglycemia should never, ever go more than 3 hours without eating something. In between meals, a handful of nuts, a low GI protein bar, or a piece of whole fruit will all work well to keep to eating something every 2-3 hours.

Lifestyle

The biggest lifestyle consideration, other than diet, is consistent exercise. Exercise actually helps to: blood sugar by enhancing insulin sensitivity. The best way to go is to dedicate half of whatever time to have for exercise to building muscle and the other half to some sort of aerobic activity. And the aerobic part should be interval training.

Alcohol consumption also needs to be curtailed for the hypoglycemic. Alcohol induces reactive hypoglycemia by interfering with normal glucose utilisation  as well as increasing the secretion of insulin.

Supplements

B Vitamins: I alway recommend taking an activated vitamin B complex, as they all work synergistically together for many important biological pathways in the body. They aid in energy production and metabolism, cognitive function, mood, and cellular communications.

L-Carnitine: An amino acid that mobilises fatty acids into the mitochondria for ATP production. (Energy production of the cell).

Iodine: An essential component for thyroid hormones and production of T3 and T4 hormones within the blood stream

CoEnzyme Q10: Found in virtually every cell in the body and plays a vital role in energy-dependant processes.

*Disclaimer: This article should be used as a reference guide ONLY. Please consult a qualified health practitioner if you experience any symptoms of the hypoglycaemia  Never self-diagnose as it can be dangerous, causing unwanted side effects and possibly cause chronic conditions. 

Healthiest Regards

Tegan, Nutrition Nourishment

 

 

Kids Lunchbox Ideas: How to Encourage Healthy Eating Habits

Hello everyone,

When was the last time your child sat down at the dinner table and said, “Gee, thanks for this delicious plate of healthy food! Can I have seconds?” We can’t promise these tips will convert your picky eater into a fruit and vegetable fan, but they should make good food choices more attractive for everyone.

  1. Get them involved

    If you involve kids in planning meals, going grocery shopping, and preparing food, they will become invested in the process and more likely to eat. Even toddlers too young to make grocery lists can help you make choices (pears or nectarines? cheddar or swiss?) along the way. Simple, no-cook recipes like frozen yoghurt popsicles or fruit parfaits are an excellent way to get young chefs interested in healthy cooking and eating.

  2. Go to the source

    Teach kids where their food comes from. Rather than limiting yourself to the weekly supermarket run, take your family to a local farmer’s market (or to the farm itself) and meet the people who grow the food. Picking berries from a vine can help nurture a lifelong love of good eating and environmental stewardship. Visiting a dairy farm can teach children where their milk comes from (and why we should care about what goes in it). Planting tomatoes and melons in the garden may tempt a child to try the fruits of her labor.

  3. Make healthy snacks available

    If you stock the kitchen exclusively with healthy treats, children will eat them. As your children grow, stock good snacks in cabinets and shelves that they can reach without your help.

    Some kids eat more when they’re in the car than when they’re at the table simply because active play isn’t a viable alternative when you’re strapped in. Make sure you’re prepared with nutritious snacks whether you’re driving the carpool or going to soccer practice. Good choices include sliced apples, carrot sticks, whole grain crackers, light popcorn, raisins and water bottles.

  4. Give them freedom of choice

    Like the rest of us, kids want to have it their way. But no parent wants to be a short order cook, making four different meals for four different family members. Instead try the fixings bar approach. Offer a suitable base meal, like rice and beans, whole wheat tortillas or lean ground taco meat. Then let kids (and adults) dress it up with chopped tomatoes, lettuce, cabbage, cheese, salsa, jicama, parsley, peppers and other toppings. You might also try a pasta bar with a variety of healthy sauces. This approach works especially well when you?re serving young guests whose food preferences you may have trouble predicting.

    Kids like choices at snack time too, so consider packing an insulated lunch bag full of good snacks so they can make their own smart choices (and you can avoid hearing “I don’t want THAT!”).

  5. Drink to that

    Remember that your child doesn’t have to just eat five servings of fruits and vegetables a day he can also drink them. Smoothies can be a fun way to introduce new fruits.

  6. Be a role model

    A recent study found that young children’s food tastes are significantly related to foods that their mothers liked and disliked. Letting your child see you order a fresh salad rather a burger and fries at the drive-through may encourage her to do the same.

  7. Don’t give up

    Studies show that most children need multiple exposures (between 5 and 10) to try new foods. This isn’t to say that showing your child the same papaya or avocado five nights in a row will win her over, but rather to suggest that you shouldn’t give up the first time she rejects something.

  8. Teach healthy eating habits early

    Use meal and snack times as teachable moments to help even the youngest children make wise food choices.

Nutrition Nourishment has been busy researching and trialling new recipes for the young generations and has just opened the new Kids Lunchbox section in the recipes. Be sure to check it out. Below are two recipes taken from Nutrition Nourishments new recipes collection.

5 Ingredient Quiche*

pumpkin--spinach-and-fetta-frittata.jpg

A simple quiche recipe that can be eaten cold, and packed into a school lunch easy. An easy and tasty way to ensure your children are getting some vegetables in their diet, along with proteins for rebuilding and nutrients to aid in growth and development.

Ingredients:

8 eggs

Handful of Baby Spinach

2/3 Cup of butternut pumpkin, cut into small cubes

1 leek, diced

Handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped

Method:

Step 1: Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Step 2: Whisk your eggs until well combined and looking delicious. Mix through the remaining ingredients. Pour the mixture into a pie dish, my base measures 18.5cm. I have a fabulous non stick one that the quiche slides straight out of, depending on what you are using you may want to grease it first.

Step 3: Bake for 20 – 25 minutes (I find 20 minutes works perfectly in my oven).

Step 4: Allow to cool. Eat and enjoy.

Vegetable Chips

vegetable chips.jpg

Ingredients:

1 Large Sweet Potato

1 Beet

1 Large Parsnips

2 Large Zucchini

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Himalayan Pink Salt

Method:

Step 1: Set oven to 180 Degrees Celsius and line baking tray with baking paper.

Step 2: Wash and peel root vegetables. Thinly slice and layer onto a baking tray.

Step 3: Drizzle with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and sprinkle with Himalayan Pink Salt.

Step 4: Bake for 15 minutes, then remove from oven to turn over. Bake for another 15 minutes making sure to check for chips that are turning brown around the edges and remove them sooner if needed. If you have some chips that are still a little moist, leave them in for another 5-15 minutes as needed to crisp them up.

Step 5: Let them cool and store in an airtight container for up to 1 week! Enjoy!

And as always,

Healthiest Regards

Tegan, Nutrition Nourishment

Recipe of the Week: Barley and raw veg power salad

Hello everyone,

Been super busy getting all the recipe pages updated for you guys, with photos, and easy-to-navigate drop-down menu. Below is one of the recipes I’m really excited about, it’s packed full of nutrients, proteins and anti-oxidants to provide health and regeneration; It’s called the Barley and Raw Veg Power Salad. Just because it’s starting to cool down, doesn’t mean you have to completely remove delicious salads from your daily menu.

Firstly, some health information regarding barley…

Barley is a major cereal grain, commonly found in bread, beverages, and various cuisines of every culture. It was one of the first cultivated grains in history and, to this day, remains one of the most widely consumed grains, globally.

Barley and other whole grain foods have rapidly been gaining popularity over the past few years due to the various health benefits they provide.

Whole grains are important sources of dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals that are not found in refined or “enriched” grains. Consuming plant-based foods of all kinds has long been associated with a reduced risk of many lifestyle-related health conditions. They are also considered to promote a healthy complexion and hair, increased energy, and overall lower weight. Barley has proven benefits for health including lowering blood pressure, improving bone strength and integrity, supporting heart health, reducing the risk of cancers, particularly colon, reducing inflammation in the body, promoting health digestion and elimination, along with weight maintenance, and satiety (feeling full or satisfied).

Nutritional profile of barley

Barley is commonly found in two forms: hulled and pearled. Hulled barley has undergone minimal processing to remove only the inedible outer shell, leaving the bran and germ intact. Pearled barley has had the layer of bran removed along with the hull.

Half a cup of hulled barley contains:

  • 326 calories
  • 11.5 grams of protein
  • 2 grams of fat
  • 0 grams of cholesterol
  • 68 grams of carbohydrate
  • 16 grams of dietary fiber (64 percent of daily requirements)

That same serving provides the following portion of your daily allowance of minerals and micronutrients:

  • 3 percent of calcium
  • 18 percent of iron
  • 40 percent of thiamin
  • 15 percent of riboflavin
  • 21 percent of niacin
  • 15 percent of vitamin B6
  • 5 percent of folate
  • 30 percent of magnesium
  • 25 percent of phosphorus
  • 12 percent of potassium
  • 17 percent of zinc
  • 23 percent of copper
  • 50 percent of selenium
  • 90 percent of manganese

Beta-glucans are a type of fiber that is found in barley. Recently, beta-glucans have undergone extensive studies to determine their role in human health.

They have been found to lower insulin resistance and blood cholesterol levels, thereby lowering the risk of obesity as well as providing an immunity boost.

Now to the good stuff…. How can you incorporate this nutritious food into your diet?

Quick tips:

  • Add barley to any pot of soup or stew to make it heartier and more flavorful.
  • Cook barley in your choice of broth and add a variety of vegetables for a tasty pilaf or risotto.
  • Toss chilled cooked barley with diced vegetables and homemade dressing for a quick cold salad.
  • Combine barley with onion, celery, mushrooms, carrots, and green pepper. Add broth to the mixture, bring it to a boil, and then bake for approximately 45 minutes for an easy and healthy barley casserole.

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Barley and Raw Veg Power Salad

A delicious summer-inspired salad, full of nutrients to aid in health and regeneration. Raw cauliflower, when processed, soaks up the dressing and all the lovely flavours. Perfect on it’s own, or paired with grilled lean meat or fish. 

Ingredients:

150g (2/3 cup) pearl barley

2 oranges, peeled

1 lemon, rind finely grated, juiced

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons maple syrup

250g cauliflower florets

1 small zucchini, finely chopped

2 celery sticks, thinly sliced

2 green shallots, thinly sliced

280g mixed carrots, peeled, coarsely grated

50g (1/3 cup) dried cranberries

1/2 cup fresh mint (firmly packed), chopped

1/2 cup fresh coriander leaves (firmly packed), chopped

2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts

200g low-fat feta, quartered

Extra virgin olive oil, extra, to drizzle

Fresh mint and Coriander leaves, extra, to serve

Method:

Step 1: Place barley in a saucepan. Cover with cold water. Bring to the boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30-35 minutes or until tender. Drain. Refresh under cold running water. Pat dry with paper towel. Place in a bowl.

Step 2: Holding each orange over a bowl to catch any juice, cut along either side of the white membranes to remove orange segments. Reserve juice. Combine orange juice, lemon juice, oil and maple syrup in a bowl and season.

Step 3: Process cauliflower until finely chopped. Add cauliflower and zucchini to juice mixture. Set aside for 5 minutes to develop the flavours.

Step 4: Add orange segments, lemon rind, celery, shallot, carrot, cranberries, zucchini mixture and 3/4 of the herbs to the barley. Season. Toss to combine. Divide among bowls. Sprinkle with pine nuts. Top with feta. Sprinkle with remaining herbs. Drizzle with extra oil and sprinkle with extra herbs.

Healthiest Regards

Nutrition Nourishment

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

Macronutrient Series: Fats Part 1

Since around the 1960’s, when a campaign was released linking fat to weight gain, and chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and cancers, low-fat diets became BIG business. So what happens when a product has the majority of its fat taken out? It tastes terrible. Enter sugar, flavour enhancer. It’s no surprise that one of the largest and most successful marketing plans rolled out to date was to discriminate against fats with “low-fat” diets promoted for health. Even now alot of consumers choose low fat options unaware they contain more sugar, and empty calories and less vitamins and minerals. All this to avoid FATS in their diets. But is fat really the villain it has been made out to be?

Nutrition nourishment is releasing its THREE part series blog on the macronutrient known as fats, or lipids in collective term. Fats have received a lot of bad publicity, and its true that eating large amounts of fried foods and other ‘fatty’ foods can lead to weight gain and cause health problems. However, fat should be an essential part of the diet as its role is to maintain a variety of biological functions and support good health. This blog will explain the basics of dietary fats, and introduce you to the common types of fats found in the common diet.

What is Fat? 

Fats have received a lot of bad publicity, and its true that eating large amounts of fried foods and other ‘fatty’ foods can lead to weight gain and cause health problems. However, fats are essential for a number of biological reasons. Dietary fats are naturally occurring molecules that are an essential part of our diet. They belong to a larger group of compounds known as lipids that also include waxes, sterols (e.g. cholesterol) and triglycerides. The different types of lipids have unique structures and correspondingly diverse roles in the human body.

Common Types of fats found in foods.

Saturated fats have no double bonds between Carbons and are saturated with hydrogens molecules, typically causing this type of fat to be solid at room temperature. They mostly come naturally occurring in animal products such as meat, poultry, butter and cheese, along with coconut and palm oils too. They tend to raise the ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol within the blood and lower ‘good’ HDL cholesterol. Eating more than 10% of your dietary fats in saturated fats can lead to risk of heart disease, stroke and some types of cancers.

 

Unsaturated fats contain double bonds between Carbons, usually liquid at room temperature and come in two main groups: monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. Unsaturated fats are considered a ‘good’ fat by many nutritional experts due to research showing they inhibit disease such as diabetes, depression, dementia, autoimmune disease and heart disease.

Monounsaturated fats contain only one double bond and have been shown to improve cholesterol levels in the blood and lower the risk of heart disease. They form the foundation of diets such as the Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet, both which promote good health and longevity. Rich sources include olive oil, avocados, almonds, cashews, peanuts and some seeds.

Polyunsaturated fats contain two or more double bandstand are considered an essential fatty acids, as the body cannot create these so they must be a part of a healthy diet. PUFA’s come mainly from fish and plant oils, chia seeds, flaxseeds, walnuts and some vegetables. There are two groups of polyunsaturated fatty acids known as Omega 3, and Omega 6. These fatty acids are determined by the location of the first double bond on the chain from the left.

Omega 3 fatty acids promote anti-inflammatory properties within the body and are found in oily, fatty fish including salmon, sardines, trout, and herring, along with linseeds, chia seeds, walnuts, canola oil and mega 3 enriched eggs.

Omega 6 fatty acids are said to promote inflammation in the body when consumed in large amounts, which can increased the risk of cancers, heart disease autoimmune disorder such as rheumatoid arthritis. Currently opinions vary on the correct ratio of Omega 3 fatty acids to Omega 6 fatty acids, with most of the western population consuming enough Omega 6, but low amounts of Omega 3.

And then there is Trans fat… This type of fat is rarely found naturally occurring, and is made from vegetable oils that are hydrogenated, which is a process used in commercial food manufacturing to lengthen the shelf life of foods. This results in the polyunsaturated vegetable oil, acting like saturated fat in the body during digestion. Experts agree there is no safe level of trans fat, as it raises ‘bad’ HDL cholesterol and lowers ‘good’ LDL cholesterol. Studies link trans fat to increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, dementia, gallstones, and inflammation. They are found in processed foods such as commercial baked goods, fried foods and cheap brand of margarine. Always avoid foods that contain ‘partially hydrogenated’ or ‘hydrogenated’ vegetable oils in the ingredients list. The good news is that many food manufacturers and restaurants have cut back on the use of trans fat in their foods.

Good Fats, Equal Better Health

Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids play a crucial role in maintaining good health. They offer an extraordinary range of benefits for the cardiovascular system as well as helping to fight an impressive number of diseases. Below is a brief outline of benefits established from research around the world.

Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats may help to safeguard against type 2 diabetes, protect against forms of cancers, decrease levels of total cholesterol in the blood, and reduce levels of artery-clogging triglycerides, which is a blood fat linked to heart attacks and strokes.

Omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties that cut the risk of sudden cardiac death by half, provide protection against strokes, reduce depression, protect against dementia, steady heart rhythm, reduce the risk of vision loss and macular degeneration, may aid in children with ADHD and autism to help settle and set forces, along with preventing blood blotting, and high blood pressure.

We hope you enjoyed the FIRST PART of the Fats- Macronutrients Series, and have developed a greater understanding of the types of fats found in the diet, and improved your knowledge on some of the roles dietary fats play in the body. The information you have obtained from this blog have laid the foundation to increase your knowledge in the next blog in PART TWO of the fats-macronutrients series, nutrition nourishment will go into extensive detail on the different functions that dietary fats have  in the body and how the information can assist you to good health.

Healthiest Regards

Nutritionnourishment