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.

maxresdefault

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

 

 

Let’s Talk Dirty: Health Protocol for Constipation

Hello everyone,

In a naturopathic perspective, health begins with digestion. It’s where all the action happens including the breakdown of food products that are used within the body for important metabolic pathways such as ATP production (energy fuel), detoxification pathways, cellular catabolism (building) and rebuilding muscle. As a complementary and alternative health practitioner, we often ask in-depth questions about your digestion, including bowel habits, as your poo can tell us a lot about your health.

Quick Disclaimer: ***Before reading this health information – please note that a sudden change in bowel function can be the indication of a more serious condition – if you have had a sudden change in bowel function without any obvious reason to attribute the change to, then you should inform your Physician about this change and determine if further evaluation is needed before you attempt to treat this condition on your own; especially if you are over the age of 50.

Constipation is not respected enough as to it’s potential negative effects on health in Western medicine – and our societal discomfort with even discussing this important issue is part of the problem.

The first thing to understand is that your gut is your “first brain”. Proper gut function is the very beginning of good health – and often times the font of disease. If there is a back up in the sewage system then the gut can’t function properly.

Also, the way that we “define” constipation in medicine is dead wrong. I have seen responses from GPs telling people the following… “if someone has a bowel movement every 3 days, that is normal for him or her – that’s just their own rhythm.” That would be similar to telling someone with cancer, that for him or her it is “normal” to have cancer. Nothing could be further from the truth.

What nature intended is food in; food out. Ideally, if you have 2-3 meals a day, you should have 2-3 bowel movements a day. At the very least, you should have 1 bowel movement daily. Food transit time should be somewhere between 10 and 14 hours.  Think of it this way, your stool travels through the colon, absorbing toxins ready to be excreted. If your not opening your bowels every day, toxins are in your system longer making it easily accessible to your micro biome, and can easily enter your blood stream.

BristolStoolChart.png

“The Bristol Stool Chart is an excellent tool in practice used by most medical practitioner and complementary practitioners. Your poo can tell a lot about your health.”

Diet:

  •  There are 3 areas in the diet that can positively or negatively affect constipation; water, fiber and good bacteria.
  • Without adequate amounts of water the stool can become too hard and slow the whole process down. You should strive to drink at least half your body weight in ounces every day. And most of this should be consumed in-between meals – drinking too much water (or anything else) while eating only works to dilute digestive juices.
  • Fiber is important because it adds bulk to the stool and encourages the message to your intestines to “move things along.” Fiber comes from grains, beans and legumes, fruits and vegetable. The lack of adequate fiber in the Standard American Diet (SAD) is a constant negative factor is normal bowel function. The more a food is processed the less fiber it will contain. Although there are accepted guidelines as to the amount of fiber you should get in your diet – the real number is best determined by evaluating your bowel function – more is generally better.
  • The dead cells of the good or friendly bacteria, as they run through their life cycle in the gut, make up about half of the bulk of stool. So when there is a lack of this, constipation is often the result. The relatively recent idea that we should live in a sterile environment continues to contribute to imbalances in our guts. Furthermore, people that have had their appendix removed may have a harder time maintaining a balanced intestinal flora. Eating fermented foods and avoiding tap water and antibiotics from meat can be helpful in maintaining a healthy biomass of good bacteria.
  • Lastly, hidden food sensitivities can be the cause of chronic constipation. Eliminating such common offenders as gluten, dairy, corn, soy and/or eggs might fix what has been a lifelong problem.

Lifestyle: 

  • The biggest lifestyle issue revolves around exercise. The more you move; the more you move! Consistent exercise will helps massage the internal organs, including the digestive tract, and encourages peristalsis, the wave-like motion that constantly pushes things along.
  • Also to be considered are certain prescription medicines. Medicines can have a myriad of effects in the gut. Obviously, antibiotics will kill the good bacteria. Medicines that stop acid production in the stomach interfere with your ability to properly digest food – and the body doesn’t want to move undigested food along. Many pain medications can slow down the digestive tract; constipation can be the result.
  • Additionally, constant use of laxatives can lead to dependence and partial or complete loss of proper bowel motility.

 

  • Lastly, there are times when emotional issues show up in the body by causing constipation. Quite literally, you might ask yourself what it is that you are “holding on to” emotionally that can relate to not letting go of physical waste.

Supplements: 

  •  

     

     

    For various underlying causes

  • Magnesium: that draws water to it as it travels through the bowels, helping to encourage bowel movements. It can also produce a laxative effect.
  • Fish oil acts as a bowel lubricant and a natural stool softener.
  • Probiotics: Improve gastrointestinal integrity and maintain a healthy bacteria ecosystem within the colon.
  • plant-based digestive enzymes enhanced with enzymes to help folks with gluten and casein (dairy) sensitivities.

Healthiest Regards

Tegan, Nutrition Nourishment

Flu Season: A holistic Approach to Staying Well this Winter.

 

Statistics: 

Every year in late summer and early fall we begin to hear about the coming flu, how dangerous it is, and how the best way to protect ourselves is by getting the flu shot. Both of these statements are patently false.

First of all, the flu is not really dangerous. When the CDC, Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, tells us every year that so many people die from the flu, if you look at the numbers closely you will see that they actually say that so many people die from flu and pneumonia each year. For example, in 2005, deaths for both flu and pneumonia combined were 61,000. But deaths from influenza alone were only around 1800 people. And, in fact, deaths from influenza since 1979 have been fairly consistent, averaging around 1300 people each year.

The second issue is that of the flu shot being useful in protecting ourselves. There is an organization, the Cochrane Collaborative, that is an international collective of individuals who evaluate scientific data from all over the world and publish their findings in the form of reviews. When reviewing scientific data, they throw out studies that are biased and/or designed poorly.

Their reviews of studies looking at the effectiveness of flu vaccines quite clearly show that there is little or no evidence that the flu vaccines are useful in the following populations… babies under 2 years old, children with asthma, adults, elderly adults. Furthermore, Cochrane reviews also show that healthcare practitioners that get flu shots do not protect the elderly in nursing homes that they take care of.

The real reason we get the flu is the combination of a few simple factors that, when adjusted, make it much easier to avoid the flu and much easier to treat the flu if contracted.

Factor number one has to do with our lifestyle habits that make our immune systems less effective at fighting off the influenza virus. There is more detail about this in the lifestyle section, but here is a synopsis of the issue. October begins a 3-month long sugar eating, lack of sleep, stress-inducing time period that we expose ourselves to. Beginning with Halloween, and then Thanksgiving, the Holidays, and culminating with New Years, we get too much sugar, not enough sleep, and stress galore trying to accommodate family and friends, buy the perfect gifts, etc.

The other factor has to do with our Vitamin D levels dropping. Did you know that there really isn’t a flu season along the equator? That’s because proper exposure to the sun, year round, keeps Vitamin D blood levels elevated; which plays a major role with appropriate immune function!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Diet: 

  • For dietary concerns there are “do’s” and “do not’s”

    The “do not’s” really revolve around sugar… in all of its various forms. That obviously means cakes and cookies and candies and doughnuts. It also means avoiding too many processed and refined carbohydrates. Too much pasta, bread and cereal can be just as detrimental. Also, take an inventory of how much high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) you are ingesting in your diet. You might be surprised to find that some of your foods, like soups or salad dressing, contain this health-damaging form of sugar. Here is a link to an article for more details about HFCS.

    Fruit juices are also a source of concentrated fructose that should be avoided.

    The ‘do’s” have to do with foods that give your body, and in particular your immune system, what it needs to function optimally at this time of year. It may seem obvious, but I’ll state it anyway… more fresh fruits and vegetables will serve you well. Please also remember that water is essential for all cells to work properly, including your immune cells. Water also helps loosen and break up mucus in the chest and sinuses, so ensure you’re getting adequate supply of water throughout the day. Aim for around 2-3 Litres/day.

  • Adding spices such as ginger, garlic and turmeric to your cooking. Making healing soups, casseroles and stews to warm the body is a wonderful healing tool.
  • Herbal teas including liquorice, eucalyptus, elderberry, ginger and parsley can be soothing and healing for the body.
  •  

    For the Vitamin D issue – there are really no viable ways to get enough Vitamin D from your diet – you must supplement with it – see the supplement section below for more information.

Lifestyle: 

  • The following issues are of equal importance – so don’t just grab on to the one thing here that is easy for you to do. Give each of these areas equal and fair attention!
    • Wash your hands. Often. There is no question that the major way that you get exposed to the influenza virus is from the hands of someone else.
    • Get your sleep. Your immune system is acutely affected by lack of quality sleep. Try to stick to a fairly rigid sleep routine during the cold and flu season. This may be hard to do because of parties, visiting relatives and too many things on your to-do list. It may seem like you’re missing out on some of the fun… but you’ll be the one having fun when everyone else is in bed with the flu.
    • Get your exercise. Again, don’t stray from your scheduled exercise regimen just because of the time of year it is. If walking is your gig and it’s too cold outside, walk inside at one of the local malls. Make sure that at least 4 times a week you are getting some aerobic and some weight-bearing exercise in.
    • Tend to your stress needs. Maybe the biggest factor in a dysfunctioning immune system is stress. And the cold and flu season is the most stressful time of year for many people. So start by pledging to be more observant of how you are feeling and when you are feeling stressed. And when you are, find a way to sooth yourself immediately… don’t wait for “later” because for busy people, later often never comes. Be willing to care for yourself as much as you care for everyone else.

Beneficial Supplements: 

  • There are supplements to use now to help prevent the flu and ones to use if you happen to get the flu.

    For Prevention:

    • Vitamin D3: Activated form of Vitamin D known as Cholecalciferol. It is bioavailable to the body for ready absorption. Getting your vitamin D blood levels to at least 50ng/ml will give you an amazing level of protection, i’d even recommend aiming for up to 80ng/ml. For most people this will require at least 5,000IU – 10,000IU a day. I also recommend that you get your vitamin D blood level checked to best know the appropriate dosage for you.
    • Herbal Remedies: Elderberry extract is a powerful remedy that sort of makes a blockade to viruses being able to enter into your cells. This can be used in anticipation of a situation that you know you are going to be exposed to the flu.
    • Vitamin B Complex vitamin and Zinc.

    For Treatment:

    These supplements are best used at the very first sign of getting the flu. So, if you wake up in the morning feeling that scratchy throat or sinus congestion, you want to have these things in your home already – don’t wait until you get sick to go find these supplements.

    • Vitamin D3. Using high doses of Vitamin D-3 at the beginning of symptoms is a very effective way to avoid getting the full-blown flu. For most people, taking anywhere from 25,000iu to 50,000iu a day for a few days does the trick.
    • Iron Phosphate Mineral Therapy salts. For first sign inflammation and sickness such as a runny nose, tickling throat and headaches. Tablets are safe to use, and safe in efficacy. Usual dose is 2 tablets chewed every 15-30mins until feeling better, used in acute cases, and or chronic 3-4 tablets chewed daily. (Usually this is a preventative measure).
    • Zinc has been shown to be effective at helping to prevent the spread of the influenza virus in the body. These lozenges also contain Vitamin C, Slippery Elm and Bee Propolis. Use up to 3 a day.

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

If you have any questions, feel free to get in contact with me

Healthiest regards throughout the colder months,

Tegan, Nutrition Nourishment 

 

Mineral Salt Therapy: A look into Iron Phosphate

Mineral therapy refers to a treatment program that uses mineral supplementation to improve a person’s health and wellbeing. Just like mineral imbalances in the soil affect the health of plants and animals, so too can mineral imbalances affect the health of humans. Mineral therapy was originally based on the Tissue Salts, which were originally identified by Dr. Wilhelm Schuessler of Germany in 1873. The Tissue Salts are also known as Biochemical Cell Salts or Mineral Salts, indicating their importance in the functioning of the human system. These salts are important for the functioning of the cells of our body and through getting these in balance we enhance our health and well-being.

Mineral therapy processes some extraordinary advantages such as affordability, efficacy, safety for all ages, easy to use and very little/no side effects as the mineral salts are made using a low dose that is easily absorbed by the body to enter into the blood stream for utilisation immediately after consuming to ensure fast, effective therapy.

In today’s blog, nutrition nourishment is going to look into one of the key minerals prescribed in mineral therapy known as Iron Phosphate. Read below to find out the key features, actions, indications, deficiency body signs and symptom qualifications.

Overview

Iron is an essential element for blood production. About 70 percent of your body’s iron is found in the red blood cells of your blood called hemoglobin and in muscle cells called myoglobin. Hemoglobin is essential for transferring oxygen in your blood from the lungs to the tissues. Myoglobin, in muscle cells, accepts, stores, transports and releases oxygen.

About 6 percent of body iron is a component of certain proteins, essential for respiration and energy metabolism, and as a component of enzymes involved in the synthesis of collagen and some neurotransmitters. Iron also is needed for proper immune function.

About 25 percent of the iron in the body is stored as ferritin, found in cells and circulates in the blood. The average adult male has about 1,000 mg of stored iron (enough for about three years), whereas women on average have only about 300 mg (enough for about six months). When iron intake is chronically low, stores can become depleted, decreasing hemoglobin levels.

Kali Phosphate: Nerve Nutrient Constituent of nerve tissue and all body fluids. Important in formation and maintenance of tissue. Vital action in the brain, nerves, muscles and blood cells. Deficiency signs include feeling tired, weak, exhausted and stressed, nervous and edgy. Helpful in insomnia, depression, anxiety, nervous headaches and dyspepsia. All illness related to the brain and nervous system.”

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Why Iron Phosphate:

In Nature, iron is commonly associated with phosphate, the main anion for energy storage and release. It is utilised by the immune system and does not provide loosely bound iron for uptake of pathogens which results in absorption control in the GIT. The absence of phosphate can result in uncontrolled absorption of iron, known as iron loading. By contrast, ferrous sulphate is rapidly absorbed in the upper Small Intestine, causing a rapid increase in serum iron, rather than a controlled flow. Ferrous sulphate has also been recognised to promote the proliferation of pathogens in larger doses. Side effects of commonly prescribed iron supplementation cause Gastrointestinal discomfort and irritation due to the generation of free radicals and reactive oxygen species causing direct corrosive action of the gut mucosa.

Key Actions and Indications:

Cellular energy through oxygen transport in haemoglobin, production of first stage infection and inflammation management- commonly used with Potassium Chloride. Can help manage hypotension, anaemia, and iron-related fatigue.

Body Signs:

Nails: Flat on top with squared edges, or upwards curled. Thin, weak. (also can be indicative of sodium phosphate).

Iris: Blue-grey haze at border of iris and sclera. Bright white fibres in specific areas of iris. Flared autonomic nerve wreath. (also indicative of Sodium Phosphate, and Magnesium Phosphate).

Tongue: Bright red in colour

Symptom Qualification:

A person with a deficiency in Iron Phosphate may feel better for cold, and worse for heat and motion. Iron Phosphate acts as an inflammation remover, indicated when there is acute presented as pain, heat and redness.

Recommended for: respiratory problems, bleeding, anemia, heavy menstruation, throbbing headaches, fevers and flu, sore throats, inflammation, congestion, muscular strains and sprains, high temperature, rapid pulse and rheumatism. Known as the ‘first aid’ salt, it’s recommended as a supplementary salt for all ailments and in particular for children and the elderly. A little powdered Iron Phosphate applied directly to a cut, wound or abrasion can stem bleeding.

Disclaimer:

**Nutritionnourishment recommends consulting with a physicians if you are experiencing any health concerns and to never self-medicated as it may cause some unwanted side effects. **

If you would like more information regarding Mineral therapy or Iron Phosphate, click on the links below.

http://www.biochemic-remedies.com.au

http://mineraltherapyonline.com

http://blog.aias.com.au/index.php/naturalmedicinecollege/summary-of-the-uses-and-study-of-mineral-therapy

http://schuessler-cell-salts.com/basic-cell-salts/3-4-iron-phosphate.htm

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

Healing Herb of The Week: Ginger

Hello everyone,

In today’s blog Im continuing on with the Healing Herbs fact sheets with information regarding a delicious and versatile spice, ginger. It has been long used as both a food, and for medicinal purposes since ancient times. Varies dictated notes have been mentioned from Confusious, who wrote about it in his Analects, and from the greek physician, Dicoscorides, who listed ginger as an anti-dote to poisoning.

Commonly known as ginger, Zingiber officinale was named by English botanist William Roscoe in the early 1800s. With green stems that can grow to a metre high, the plant is valued for its rhizomes that can be consumed fresh or dried. Ginger has been used in Asian, Arabic and Indian cultures as a herbal medicine since ancient times. While it originated in South-East Asia, it spread across Asia and other tropical regions and was exported to ancient Rome from India.

Ginger reached the west at least 2000 years ago and was imported in a preserved form. This flavoursome plant is used in many recipes and, in some Asian cuisines, it is pickled and served as an accompaniment. The healing property of ginger comes from the volatile oils, such as gingerols, that are responsible for its strong taste. The rhizomes from younger ginger plants are generally used for cooking because the older the plant is, the more essential oils are present and the stronger the flavour. Rhizomes from older plants are harvested for medicinal uses.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Fun Fact: In 13th / 14th Century England, a pound of ginger cost as much as a sheep in the trading market.

Ginger

Botanical Name: Zingiber Officinale

Active Constitiuents: Pungent phenolics (known as gingerols, and shagaols), sesquiterpenes (zingiberene).

Part Used: Root (Rhizone)

Main Actions:

Anti-emetic (nausea): Ginger is well known to help ease nausea, particularly due pregnancy, radiation, and motion sickness. 5 HTP influence various biological and neurological processes such as aggression, anxiety, appetite, learning, memory, mood, nausea, sleep and thermoregulation. Ginger acts on (play antagonist to) particular serotonin receptors associated with nausea, reducing their action.

Gastrointestinal Activity: Stimulates the flow of saliva, bile and gastric secretions to aid in metabolism and digestion. Anti-spasmodic to the gastrointestinal tract.

Hypolipidaemic: Scientifically proven to reduce aortic plaque lesions, which are characteristics of heart disease.

Anti-inflammatory/Analgesic: Reduces the promotion of inflammatory cytokines and mediators. Modulates the arachidonic acid cascade. (Inhibits genes involved in inflammatory response).

Anti-emetic: Ginger is a great substitute for anti-emertic drugs without the side effects. Dosage is usually 6grams three times daily. Has been shown more effective than Ibuprofen.

Clinical Uses: In practice, varies medical practitioners can therapeutically use ginger for nausea related to motion sickness, pregnancy of chemo-induced, inflammatories disorders such as arthritic conditions, dysmenorrhoea, dyspepsia, fever, internal colic, common cold/flu, thrombosis, and atherosclerosis.

Topical Application: Reduces pain, due to its action of modulating substance P.

Colds/Flu: Ginger acts as a circulatory stimulant, while dilating blood vessels and stimulate perspiration to reduce fever.

Simple homemade recipes to soothe colds/flu.

Make a hot tea to soothe a sore throat, unblock congestion and relieve pain by combining Lemon, Honey and Ginger into a hot tea; you may also add lemon balm, and fennel if you have then on hand.

An Onion Syrup can be made as a home-made cough syrup. Combine one chopped onion and put into a small bowl, cover with Manuka honey. Cover with cling-wrap and sit in fridge for 24-48hrs. Ginger and thyme can be added to this to add extra benefits. Get the kids to help make it, then they’ll be more inclined to try it.

Dysmenorrhoea: Medical term used to describe painful, heavy periods. Suffers can benefits from ginger 250mg four times daily for 3 days before expected menstruation.

Actions Overview: Anti-inflammatory, Anti-ulcerative, anti-microbial, anti-platelet, anti-emetic, carmitive, cholagogue, hypolipidaemic, stimulent, spasmolytic, expectorant, and analgesic.

Caution: Individuals with peptic ulcers, as this may aggravate associated symptoms. Noted High doses with anti-platelet medications including warfarin are know to interact. Other possible safety precautions need to be considered in diabetes, and bleeding disorders.

Note: Sushi bars/Japanese restaurants with pickled ginger (gari) contain MSG and Aspartame in high concentrations. This is why the colour is pink rather than a yellow colour.

Pregnancy Morning Sickness: There have been scientific research studies showing ginger along with B6 supplementation at 25mg three times daily helps improve symptoms.

http://www.imuneksfarma.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/EME-5.pdf

Blackmores professional do a combination supplement, however, it is always best to seek medical advise before starting a new supplement. Also before sitting up in bed of a morning, eat a couple of dry crackers before drinking any water to calm the stomach.

http://www.chemmart.com.au/product/blackmores-morning-sickness-formula-tablets-90-s-p93258

Dosage: Doses up to 10-15grams per day have been found quite safe, however, consult your medical practitioner before taking ginger in a supplementation form.

My Final Thoughts:

Ginger is an incredible healing herb that, when used in as a food source, is unlikely to induce any unwanted side-effects. Ginger is considered one of the healthiest (and most delicious) spices on the planet. It can make a great compliment to fresh juices, curries, herbal teas, stir-frys and stews. It is loaded with nutrients and bioactive compounds that have powerful benefits for your body and brain.

Please be advised, if you are thinking of taking a ginger containing supplement, to first speak to a medical professional. As a whole food nutritionist, I would always advise adding these healing herbs to your daily diet to get the optimal benefit it can offer.

Healthiest Regards,

Tegan, Nutrition Nourishment 

Healing Herb of the Week: Turmeric

Hello everyone,

In today’s blog, I’m going to talk briefly about turmeric, its main actions and its clinical uses. Turmeric, particularly its active constituent, curcumin, has become a popular supplement in our western world, for inflammatory concerns, however, turmeric has been long used for medicinal purposes, and its discovery dates back to 2500BC. It was traditionally used to colour french robes a mustard colour and also the robes of hindu priest, before both Indian and Chinese Traditional Medicine therapies began to use turmeric for the treatment of inflammatory and digestive disorders. I’ve written this out in a convenient and easy to read fact sheet format.

Turmeric

Botanical Name: Curcuma Longa

Active Constituents: Curcumin. This is a collective description for a group of phenolic compounds called curcuminoids. It also contains Essential Oils, 1.5-3% total mass, along with resins and starches/fibres.

Part Used: Root (Rhizone) 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Main Actions:

 Demonstrated to modulate over 150 different physiological pathways in the body. 

Anti-oxidant: Scavenges free radicals, enhances the activity of endogenous antioxidants such as glutathione peroxidase. Induces Phase II detox pathways, more potent than Vitamin C. Reduces inflammation and protects the cells from oxidative damage.

Gastrointestinal Activity: 

  • Hepaprotective, which means it protects the liver from chemical induced damage.
  • Antispasmodic, meaning it relieves spasms within the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Cholagogue. Main action in stimulating bile form the gall bladder to help break down fats in the body.
  • Hypolipid. Aids in protection against oxidative damage from crystallise plaques in the arteries. This is why it may be benefically in Cardiovascular disease to help lower LDL cholesterol (known as the ‘bad’ type) and reduce total cholesterol plasma levels.

Scientifically Proven Alzheimers Fighter.

Alzheimers is characterised by a build-up of amyloid beta plaques (a tangle to protein fibres) in the brain. The active form of Vitamin D activates type I macrophages and churchmen activates type II, to help protect further damage from the disease.

Cancer-Preventative: Inhibits invasion, proliferation (rapid-growing) and metastasis (spread) of various cancers.

Immunomodulation: This relates to the immune system and its ability to fight foreign invaders that attack the body on a daily basis. Turmeric has shown to increase White Blood Cell production, and circulating antibodies.

Clinical Uses: In practice, varies medical practitioner can therapeutically use turmeric and its concentrate, curcumin, for concerns such as cancer, psoriasis, peptic ulcersm dementia, Rheumatoid arthritis, Auto-immune disorders, Carodivascular disease, liver disease and diabetes.

Actions Overview: Anti-oxidant, Carminitive, Anti-inflammatory, anti-platelet, hypolipidaemic,anti-ulcerative, hepatoprotective, immune enhacing and chemoprotective.

Clinical Indications: Suffers of Oestoarthritis/Rheumatoid Arthritis, Cancer patients, dyspepsia, liver insufficiency, alzheimer patients, high cholesterol and peptic ulcers.

Caution: Relatively safe to use, however, caution needs to be taken when prescribing for patient with gallstones, and anti-platelet medications, due to turmeric increasing these areas of metabolism within the body.

Dosage: 4-10gram daily in divided doses (dried whole root). This can be incorporated into herbal teas, curries or stews. With supplementation, generally its active constituent curcumin, it can be found upwards of 300mg.

My final thoughts: As a Whole Food Nutritionist and an avid reader of current/past scientific research studies, I encourage the use of turmeric in your diet, rather than curcumin, in supplementation form. This is due to turmeric containing the addition of Essential Oils and Resins/fibres, found within the original plant material, that can provide exceptional anti-inflammatory and into-oxidant benefits that unfortunately curcumin cannot live up to in terms of proven medicinal therapies. Turmeric has been used as a food accessory nutrient for thousands of years, and the benefits have long been know. It’s only recently that we have been able to extract the curcuminoid compounds form the plant materials for use in supplemental forms of therapies.

As much as I have seen these supplements benefits clients, it is no match to adding turmeric into the diet, along with other healing herbs such as garlic, ginger, parsley, thyme and coriander. These herbs are not only safe to use in our diet, they can add so much flavour and depth to our cooking at home, without the need to adding sugars or salts to find a suitable flavour.

I hope your’ve been able to increase your current knowledge on turmeric and curcumin from this fact sheet. I encourage you to always seek medical advice before starting a new supplementation, as these can have cautions, interactions, warnings and contra-indications just a prescription medications do.

And As Always

Healthiest Regards

Tegan- Nutriton 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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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

Children’s Sleep: Seven Health-Related Reasons Why It’s Important

Hello Everyone,

The kids are back to school today, and now it is highly important to establish a bedtime routine for them, if you don’t already have one. In today’s blog, we will be discussing the reasons why it is important for children to get enough sleep, and some research based on this.

Parents have always felt that sleep directly affects a child’s mood, and most would agree it’s got a big impact on learning and behaviour. But pediatric researchers’ latest findings suggest that sleep is also essential to good health. When kids get the sleep they need, they may have a lower risk of becoming overweight and developing diabetes as well as fewer learning problems and attention issues. Sleep is as important as nutrition and exercise. It’s when the body repackages neurotransmitters, chemicals that enable brain cells to communicate. And experts have recently been able to demonstrate that sleep allows brain cells to “take out the trash” each night, flushing out disease-causing toxins.

Perhaps the most startling news from this research is how quickly kids fall into the danger zone. The repercussions of sleep deprivation are visible after only four nights of one fewer hour of sleep per night, found a study from Dalhousie University, in Nova Scotia. (This can happen during a school vacation, or when you have company for a holiday weekend, or even just by letting kids watch the World Series.) “I expected that we’d see some differences when kids get less sleep than usual,” says senior author Penny Corkum, Ph.D. “But finding that they’re so drastically affected in so short an amount of time is amazing.”

You may realize that your child could use more shut-eye, however, it can be very difficult to recognize all the ways that after-school and evening activities sabotage bedtime, and the damaging effects of allowing electronics into your kid’s bedroom. Below are 7 reasons why enough sleep is important for children’s health.

1. Sleep promotes growth.
You’ve probably had mornings where you’ve sworn your baby got bigger overnight, and you’d be right. “Growth hormone is primarily secreted during deep sleep,” says Judith Owens, M.D., director of sleep medicine at Children’s National Medical Center, in Washington, D.C. Mother Nature seems to have protected babies by making sure they spend about 50 percent of their time in this deep sleep, considered to be essential for adequate growth. Italian researchers, studying children with deficient levels of growth hormone, have found that they sleep less deeply than average children do.

2. Sleep helps the heart.
Experts are learning more about how sleep protects kids from vascular damage due to circulating stress hormones and arterial wall — damaging cholesterol. “Children with sleep disorders have excessive brain arousal during sleep, which can trigger the fight-or-flight response hundreds of times each night,” says Jeffrey Durmer, M.D., Ph.D., a sleep specialist and researcher in Atlanta. “Their blood glucose and cortisol remain elevated at night. Both are linked to higher levels of diabetes, obesity, and even heart disease.”

3. Sleep affects weight.
There’s increasing evidence that getting too little sleep causes kids to become overweight, starting in infancy. One study from Penn State Children’s Hospital has shown that when parents are coached on the difference between hunger and other distress cues and begin to soothe without feeding — using such techniques as swaddling and swinging — babies are more likely to be sound sleepers, and less likely to be overweight. Better yet? This coaching can begin when babies are 2 weeks old. The study followed the babies for a full year, and found that when parents used these techniques, it paid off. “Our intervention was the first to show that babies could actually be leaner in the first year,” says Ian Paul, M.D., lead author and professor of pediatrics at Penn State College of Medicine.

That’s key, because the sleep-weight connection seems to snowball. When we’ve eaten enough to be satisfied, our fat cells create the hormone leptin, which signals us to stop eating. Sleep deprivation may impact this hormone, so kids keep right on eating. “Over time, kids who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to be obese,” says Dorit Koren, M.D., a pediatric endocrinologist and sleep researcher at the University of Chicago.

Worn-out kids also eat differently than those who are well rested. “Research has shown that children, like adults, crave higher-fat or higher-carb foods when they’re tired,” Dr. Koren says. “Tired children also tend to be more sedentary, so they burn fewer calories.”

4. Sleep helps beat germs.
During sleep, children (and adults) also produce proteins known as cytokines, which the body relies on to fight infection, illness, and stress. (Besides battling illness, they also make us sleepy, which explains why having the flu or a cold feels so exhausting. It forces us to rest, which further aids the body’s ability to heal.) Too little sleep appears to impact the number of cytokines on hand. And it’s been found that adults who sleep fewer than seven hours per night are almost three times more likely to develop a cold when exposed to that virus than those who sleep eight or more hours. While there’s little data on young children, studies of teens have found that reported bouts of illness declined with longer nightly sleep.

5. Sleep reduces injury risk.
Kids are clumsier and more impulsive when they don’t get enough sleep, setting them up for accidents. One study of Chinese children found those who were short sleepers (i.e., fewer than nine hours per night for school-age children) were far more likely to have injuries that demanded medical attention. And 91 percent of kids who had two or more injuries in a 12-month period got fewer than nine hours of sleep per night.

6. Sleep increases kids’ attention span.
Children who consistently sleep fewer than ten hours a night before age 3 are three times more likely to have hyperactivity and impulsivity problems by age 6. “But the symptoms of sleep-deprivation and ADHD, including impulsivity and distractibility, mirror each other almost exactly,” explains Dr. Owens. In other words, tired kids can be impulsive and distracted even though they don’t have ADHD. No one knows how many kids are misdiagnosed with the condition, but ruling out sleep issues is an important part of the diagnosis, she says. For school-age kids, research has shown that adding as little as 27 minutes of extra sleep per night makes it easier for them to manage their moods and impulses so they can focus on schoolwork. Kids with ADHD also seem to be more vulnerable to the effects of too little sleep. Parents are almost three times as likely to report that their child with ADHD has a hard time falling and/or staying asleep than parents whose kids don’t have ADHD, says Dr. Owens.

7. Sleep boosts learning.
A baby may look peaceful when he’s sleeping, but his brain is busy all night long. Researchers at Columbia University Medical Center have shown that newborns actually learn in their sleep: Investigators played certain sounds for sleeping newborns, followed with a gentle puff of air on their eyelids. Within 20 minutes, the sleeping babies — who were between 1 and 2 days old — had already learned to anticipate the air puff by squinting. And as for that twitching all babies do as they snooze? It seems to be how their nervous system tests the connection between the brain and muscles.

Sleep aids learning in kids of all ages, and education experts are finding that naps have a particular magic. Neuroscientists at the University of Massachusetts Amherst taught a group of 40 preschoolers a game similar to Memory. Then the kids took a nap (averaging 77 minutes) one week and stayed awake the other week. When they stayed awake they forgot 15 percent of what they’d learned, but when they napped they retained everything. The kids scored better on the game not only after they’d just woken up but the next day too.

Making sure families get enough sleep isn’t easy, especially with parents working longer hours, more elaborate after-school activities, bedrooms full of cool electronics, and the pressure to pack more into every day. “We’ve done a good job of teaching parents about why kids need to exercise and eat healthy foods,” says Dr. Corkum. “Still, the simple fact is that kids sleep less today than they used to. And unless we make an effort to get that sleep time back, their health will suffer.”

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Build a Better Bedtime

The nice news in all of this: From early on, there is plenty you can do to help your kids grow up loving their zzz’s.

  • Encourage self-soothing. Try not to let your infant fall asleep while eating, and put her to bed when she’s still awake. By 3 months, you should slow your response time when she wakes up crying at night. By 6 months, when most babies typically sleep through the night, consider giving up the monitor if your room isn’t very far away. Or you can turn the volume down. You’ll be less tempted to rush to your fussing baby, and she’ll be more likely to drift back to sleep on her own.
  • Create a solid routine. Children should have a consistent bedtime ritual by 3 months that lasts no more than 30 to 40 minutes, bath included, says Dr. Mindell. And for kids up to age 10, make sure bedtime is before 9 p.m. “Children who go to bed after 9 p.m. take longer to fall asleep, wake more often at night, and get less sleep overall,” she says. Dr. Durmer also suggests sticking with the usual bedtime sounds, like recorded ocean waves or a fan, and favorite sleep-time objects, such as a special blanket or pillow.
  • Set the stage for sleep. Try to maintain the same temperature and level of light in your child’s room, even when on vacation, says Dr. Durmer. Shut off screens too, because research is mounting about the light generated by computers and tablets: Just two hours of screen time right before bed is enough to lower levels of melatonin — a chemical that occurs naturally at night and signals sleep to the body — by 22 percent. Ditch devices after dinner.
  • Add another bedtime story. You already know reading to kids helps them learn, but hearing storybooks is a great way for kids to head off to dreamland. “Of all activities, reading printed books appears to be most relaxing,” says Michael Gradisar, a clinical psychologist at Flinders University, in Adelaide, Australia.
  • Run a sleep audit. It makes sense to periodically measure your child’s sleep time, especially if you’re seeing trouble signs. (Alas, you’ll need to do it the old-fashioned way: Wearable trackers can make mistakes with anyone, but they’re especially inaccurate on kids, who move around more in all stages of sleep. A study found that one such device underestimated kids’ sleep by an average of 109 minutes.)

“Parents may not identify a kid’s daytime meltdowns as a sleep-related problem,” says Ancy Lewis, a sleep coach in White Plains, New York. “However, when they track their child’s sleep and make a consistent effort to get him to bed an hour earlier for a week, the problems get much better.” This is especially helpful for preschoolers, who are transitioning away from naps. For older kids, each school year brings new activities and demands. Red flags include dozing off in front of the TV or in the car.

Special Needs and Sleep: A Connection

Children who have special needs often also have undiagnosed sleep-disordered breathing, including apnea and snoring, as well as multiple sleep-related disorders, says Dr. Jeffrey Durmer. Kids who snore are twice as likely to have a learning impairment; nearly two thirds of children with Down syndrome have sleep apnea. What’s more, anywhere from 40 to 80 percent of children who have autism spectrum disorder also have sleep problems, such as greater difficulty falling asleep and waking up more often during the night.

“Children who have special needs are more vulnerable to outbursts when they have changes in their sleep patterns,” says sleep coach Ancy Lewis, who has a son with special needs. “Sleep deprivation can worsen any challenges that these kids face.” So a regular sleep routine is even more important. In fact, a recent study concluded that providing families of children with autism with just an hour of individual coaching or four hours of group sleep coaching helps these kids sleep more consistently.

Slumber Numbers

Between 20 and 30 percent of children have experienced sleep problems, says Dr. Jodi Mindell. As many as 40 percent of kids have sleepwalked at least once, usually between the ages of 2 and 6, according to the National Sleep Foundation. And up to 6 percent may have night terrors. Some issues — like snoring — may seem harmless but can be a concern, so talk to your doctor if your child snores more than three nights per week.

Healthiest Regards

Nutrition Nourishment

Child Matters: Raise a Great Reader

Hello Everyone,

Nutrition Nourishment is focusing on Children Matter and children’s health in the next couple of weeks for school holidays. In Today’s blog we take a look at what parents can of to help their kids build a foundation for literacy.

Up Their Omega 3’s

A six-month study published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry found that nine and ten year olds were who given a supplement of Omega 3 fatty acids, including eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), plus small amount of omega 6, were better able to read aloud, had superior pronunciation and had less trouble reading a series of letters quickly than those who had a placebo. It’s estimated that around 6% of aussie kids get enough omega 3 in their diet, according to recent data analysis published in the journal nutrition.

So what does Omega 3 do?

They are an integral part of cell membranes throughout the body and affect the function of the cell receptors in these membranes. They provide the starting point for making hormones that regulate blood clotting, contraction and relaxation of artery walls, and inflammation. They also bind to receptors in cells that regulate genetic function. Likely due to these effects, omega-3 fats have been shown to help prevent heart disease and stroke, may help control lupus, eczema, and rheumatoid arthritis, and may play protective roles in cancer and other conditions.

Where can you find Omega 3 in foods?

Flaxseeds and oil, chia seeds, oily fish including salmon and sardines, seafood, walnuts, soybeans, spinach, some fortified omega 3 chicken eggs, edamame beans, brassica vegetables such as broccoli and cabbages, and tofu.

Bedtime Matters:

Children with irregular bedtimes, or going to bed after 9pm, did poorly on reading test, A University College London Study found. “Routines really do seem to be the most important for children” Lead researcher professor Amanda Sacker claims.

Read Aloud Continuously

Practice makes perfect, but imitation exceeds expectations. Misty Adoniou, an associate professor in languages and literacy at the University of Canberra, says “When we read aloud to our kids, we read books that are beyond their ability so they’re being introduced to a new vocabulary. And the size of their vocabulary is the best predictor of how they’l do at school.” A recent Australian survey found that the number of parents who are reading to their children on a regular basis rapidly declines from the age of six, with only 4% continuing to read to their children after they’ve turned nine.

Turn Real Pages

Technology is an important part o our society these days, however “It’s important for children to see their parents reading a physical book”, says Adoniou. “A lot of parents read on devices but kids don’t know what they’re doing, whether they are on Facebook or flicking through their instagram feed. When you’ve got a book in you hand, there’s no mistaking you’re reading and making time for them.”. Children should follow suit. A study by Stravanger University in Norway found that book readers were better at recalling plot points than digital readers, They also scored higher in narrative coherence, immersion and empathy.

So if it’s not a habit in your household yet, why not take the opportunity of school holidays to begin reading to your children to improve their skills, intellect and the bond between parent and child. Children love when you make time for them, to be present and focus on the present.

And As Always Healthiest Regards

Tegan Carrall