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

Osteoporosis: Health Protocols for Long-Term Management

Hello everyone,

Osteoporosis is the result of demineralisation of bone tissue, resulting in the bones becoming fragile and an increase in fracture risk. Osteopenia is the beginning stage of this process. Risk factors include genetics, lifestyle issues (diet, smoking, alcohol, physical activity), hormonal status and certain prescription medicines. Bone remodelling is the process of bone resorption (breakdown) and bone formation. Understanding how this biochemical process works is the key to preventing and reversing osteopenia and osteoporosis.

This disease serves as a classic example of two key concepts – 1) the body doing exactly what it is supposed to do based on the stimuli we give it from the outside world, and 2) Western Medicine asking the wrong question when trying to determine how to treat it. The gold standard test to diagnose and mark progress in treatment of osteopenia and osteoporosis is the DEXA scan, which measures bone density. Other tests that some practitioners will use measure the results of bone breakdown in urine; this test may be more helpful in determining any benefit from treatment quicker than waiting a year or two for results to be evident from a DEXA scan.

The idea that osteopenia and osteoporosis are the sole result of a lack of calcium is likely terribly misguided. There are a host of minerals and nutrients that are required for the body to make bone properly; including magnesium, vitamin D, boron, strontium, vitamin K, and others. Calcium may be the one that you are least likely to be deficient in. But there are two other vital considerations that need to be addressed to properly and permanently treat or reverse bone loss. The first is weight-bearing exercise. It is through stressing the bones by lifting things that tells the body to make those bones stronger and more flexible. This is how you encourage bone building.

The second is how acidic the body is as a result of diet and other lifestyle factors. If the body is too acidic, the only choice is for the body to “borrow” minerals from the bones (a store of minerals) to buffer the excess acid. These three concerns are the reason why we have such a prevalence of loss of bone mass in this country – lack of bone building nutrients, lack of weight-bearing exercise and over-acidifying diets and lifestyles!

Juices-detox

A alkalising diet includes a variety of colours and fresh foods to help balance phase I and Phase II detoxification pathways in the body. Aiding to eliminate toxins form the body. In turn, reducing inflammation and providing nutrients for bone remodelling. 

Diet

The diet is one of the keys to preventing and treating decreased bone density… and it isn’t just about getting the minerals from the diet; it is also about how acidifying a person’s diet is, and making adjustments if necessary. Even though I feel that we should strive to get as many minerals and nutrients that we can from our diet, I think that most people with bone density concerns will need to supplement with a proper bone mineral formula. Of course, eating as many fresh fruits and vegetables is always a good idea, especially for someone with osteopenia or osteoporosis. Green leafy vegetables, in particular, offer minerals and vitamin K.

The reason for this is two-fold. You will get vitamins and minerals from those foods – but more importantly, you will be helping to alkalinise your system with those fruits and vegetables. And this is the part that is often missed or not respected enough when it comes to preventing and treating bone density problems. When the body is too acidic, it must steal minerals from the bones to buffer things.

These are the foods that will acidify your body…

  • Animal proteins
  • Grains
  • Sugar, including artificial sweetners
  • Sodas
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine

Foods that alkalinise your body are…

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • whole grains

It is interesting to note that the “nature” of a particular food does not necessarily translate into the effect that it will have on your acid/base balance. An example of this is pineapple, which is very acidic, but one of the more alkalising foods for your body. The general rule of thumb is that all fruits and vegetables are alkalinising.

This does not mean that you have to be a vegetarian to fight bone density loss – but it does mean that you have to properly balance the acidifying foods with enough alkalinising foods to create the environment where you are not stealing minerals from your bones.

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Lifestyle

Lifestyle considerations, other than diet, are key to prevention and treatment of bone loss.

Weight-bearing exercise is vital! It is through the process of “stressing” the bones by lifting things that instructs the body to make those bones stronger and more flexible. And studies have shown that weight lifting that targets specific areas do help those areas more. With osteopenia and osteoporosis, we are mostly concerned about the hips and the spine. So, doing weight lifting that targets those areas will net the most useful gains. If you are new to the practice of lifting weights, I recommend that you work with a certified trainer to help make sure that you use good technique so you don’t risk injury.

I know this seems obvious these days, and this really shouldn’t have to be mentioned… smoking is probably the single most harmful habit that you can have that negatively affects every single aspect of the body and it’s function – and it is also true with osteoporosis. Please, if you smoke, put all of your efforts and resources into quitting… then you can work on other things.

Alcohol is also a factor in two ways. It is very acidifying to the system; thus causing the need to steal minerals from the bones. It is also a factor in leading to falls, which can lead to fractures in someone with lower bone density.

Stress can also be a factor. When under stress the body uses progesterone to make cortisol, the hormone of stress. This can then lead to hormonal imbalances that can affect bone density. Progesterone is the hormone that encourages bone building. Low progesterone levels can cause a shift in the balance of bone remodelling towards the breakdown of bone.

There are certain prescription and over-the-counter medicines that can affect bone density. The whole class of drugs that decrease stomach acid (antacids, H-2 inhibitors, Proton-pump inhibitors) make it harder to absorb minerals like calcium. Also, steroids like prednisone are known to contribute to decreased bone density. People on these medicines need to be extra vigilant with the diets, exercise regimens and bone mineral supplements.

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Nutrition nourishment is all about health and wellbeing in a holistic lifestyle approach. We advocate Integrative medicine

Key Nutrients

Calcium: Essential role in bone mineralisation.

Glucosamine: Inhibits inflammatory cytokines.

Vitamin C: Required both structurally and functionally in the management of oestoarthritis. Essential role in the synthesis of collagen, acts as an antioxidant, protecting against effects of oxidative damage.

EFAs: Essential fatty acids. Reduce excessive prostagladins in the body, which are involved in inflammatory processes in the body.

Chondroitin: inhibits inflammatory cytokines and increases bone mineralisation and repair.

Vitamin D: May help prevent against cartilage loss, maintains bone formation.

Zinc: Helps maintain connective tissues and offers antioxidant protection in synovial fluid to prevent joint damages.

Vitamin E: Antioxidant, protects against oxidative damage.

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

Healthiest Regards,

Tegan, Nutrition Nourishment.

 

Hemp: The Ancient Super Plant

Hi everyone,

I’ve had quite a number of enquiries regarding hemp products of late, and with the recent proposal for low-THC hemp food products to be sold in Australia being approved by ministers in April, we can expect to see hemp food products filling up our shelves over the next six months. Industrial hemp, unlike marijuana, has extremely low levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the chemical component that causes psychoactive effects such as hallucinations. Cultivation of hemp for industrial purposes has been done by many civilisations for over 12,000 years, with such uses as rope, canvas, paper, and clothing. It has also been used in Chinese medicine for over 3,000 years.

Genetic Difference between hemp and Marijuana

A recent publication of a new study shows the genetic difference between hemp and marijuana. (1) After more than 12 years of research, the team found a single gene responsible for the genetic differences between hemp and marijuana as noted:

While hemp produces a non-euphoric cannabidiol (CBD) with approximately 0.3 to 1.5 percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration, marijuana is packed with between five to ten percent (or even higher) psychoactive THC concentration.”

The researcher believe they have ‘indisputable evidence’ that hemp and marijuana should be regarded as separate plants.

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Botanical Name: Cannabis Saliva

Hemp seeds, or hemp hearts, are rich in healthy fats, minerals and is classed as a complete protein (this means it contains all 9 essential amino acids). Hemp seeds are usually consumed after the hard outer shell is removed, leaving just the soft, creamy ‘heart’ behind. The seeds have a slight nutty flavour, making them incredibly versatile for use in cooking, baking, for adding to smoothies and salads.

Health benefits of Hemp Seeds

  1. Excellent source of Nutrition

Hemp seeds are composed of more than 30 precent healthy fats in balanced ratio of Omega 3 & 6, Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA), antioxidants, amino acids (25% protein), fiber, iron, zinc, carotene, phospholipids, phytosterols, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin D, vitamin E, chlorophyll, calcium, magnesium, sulfur, copper, potassium, phosphorus, and enzymes. Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) is a necessary building block for some prostaglandins; Hormone-like chemical in the body that help smooth muscles, control inflammation, body temperature, aid in healthy growth of cells, nerves, muscles and organs throughout the body.

*GLA may be beneficial for PMS and menopausal Symptoms

GLA in hemp seeds produces prostaglandin E1, which reduces the effects of the hormone prolactin. Prolactin is thought to play a role in the physical and emotional symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). GLA in hemp seeds may also help reduce the symptoms of menopause. (2)

Essential fatty acids in Hemp Seeds:

The oil contained in the hemp seed is 75-80% polyunsaturated fatty acids (considered ‘good’ fats) and only 9-11% of the lesser desired saturated fatty acids. Hemp seed oil is reputed to be the most unsaturated oil derived from the plant kingdom. EFAs are involved with producing life’s energy throughout the human body and without them, life is not possible. Fatty acids are utilised in the body to synthesis hormones, aid in tissue repair, provide energy ‘fuel’ and assist in neurotransmitter activity. 60% of the brain is actually fat!

  1. Heart health

Hemp seeds contain a perfect 3:1 ratio of Omega-6 Linoleic Acid and Omega-3 Linolenic Acid – for cardiovascular health and general strengthening of the immune system. In these numerous health-healthy compounds, including the amino acid arginine. L-arginine is a precursor to nitric oxide in the body. It has been shown to enhance blood flow and help the body maintain optimal blood pressure. Nitric oxide signals the smooth muscles cells in the blood vessels to relax, so that vessels dilate and the blood flows more freely.

This help the arteries stay free of plaque; and when the body has inadequate nitric oxide, the risk of coronary artery disease increases. The GLA found in hemp is an anti-inflammatory, and may assist in reducing risk factors associated with heart disease such as blood pressure, blood clots and an increase in recovery after a heart attack.

  1. Skin Health

Fatty acid deficiency can manifest in a variety of ways, but skin problems such as eczema, thick patches of skin, and cracked heels are common associations. Hemp seeds are a rich source of fatty acids in optimal omega 6 to omega 3 ratio. Research suggests hempseed oil may improve symptoms of atopic dermatitis, and potentially provide relief from eczema. (3)

  1. Plant based-protein

If you are following a plant-based diet, hemp makes a healthy source of complete protein. With all essential amino acids and an amount of protein similar to beef (by weight), hemp seeds are an excellent option. Two-three tablespoons of hemp seeds provides about 11g of protein, complete with amino acids lysine, methionine, and cysteine. Two main proteins in hemp seeds, albumin and edestin, which is comparable to soy and egg whites. Hemp’s edestin content is among the highest of all plants. It is also easy to digest because of its lack of oligosaccharides and trypsin inhibitors, which can affect protein absorption.

  1. Digestion

Whole hemp seeds contain both soluble and insoluble fibre, which may support digestive health. Soluble fibre dissolves into a gel-like texture, helping to slow down digestion; this helps you feel full for longer and is one reason why fibre may help with weight management. Insoluble fibre does not dissolve, and helps to add bulk to the stools. This helps food move through the digestive tract more quickly for healthy elimination.

Fibre plays an essential role in digestive, heart, and skin health and may improve blood sugar control, weight management, and reduce risk of colon cancer. However, de-hulled or shelled hemp seeds (also known as hemp hearts) contain very little fibre, as the major of fibre content is in the shell.

Final thoughts

The use of hemp for food and medicine may be as old as the human race itself. Recent interest in the seed arises from the awareness of the nutritional need for omega-6 and omega-3 essential fatty acids, as well as the need for cheap sources of protein to feed a burgeoning population in Asia and the developing world. In addition to its nutritional value, hemp seed has demonstrated positive health benefits, including the lowering of cholesterol and high blood pressure.

With news of hemp seed products being approved for sale in Australia, companies will no doubt be developing hemp and hemp-like products in processing techniques have been the start of such seemingly remarkable foods as a hemp seed tofu and a low fat cheese substitute that even melts and stretches like real cheese. I don’t like overly promote processed foods, so if we were to start adding in hemp, it would be in the form of hemp seeds, pure and simple. I also don’t think that hemp should replace other animal/vegetarian protein sources-but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t have a place in your diet. Just as soy products had become a marketing promotion for ‘healthier’ alternatives, Hemp soon will too; and with all processed food products moderation is key.

Healthiest Regards

Tegan, Nutrition Nourishment.

Hemp Scientific Research

  1. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/nph.13562/full
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21069097
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16019622

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.

Love your guts: Solutions for Optimal Digestive health and Function

Hello everyone,

Gut health has become hot topic in the media of late, but in traditional Naturopathic Philosophy it is a core essential for optimal health. Not surprising then, that management of the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) is a key step in managing almost all other body systems. The gut is a complex machine and dysfunctions can have profound influence over other body systems. As a result of this complexity, managing digestive disorders isn’t always a simple process, and there are many other contributing factors that can lead to GIT dysfunction.

Within the digestive system there are six main areas that we can influence based on the Naturopathic principles. These areas must be functioning optimally in order to maintain health and wellbeing. These are viewed below:

Diet

The food we consume provides the body with energy and nutrients requires for metabolic pathways, but also has a strong influence on digestive health. For example, a diet high in refined carbohydrates and saturated fats may result in dysbiosis (imbalance) of the gut.

It’s important to make food choices that help to support and nourish the digestion including fruits, vegetables, fibre, good quality proteins, fatty fish, nuts, seeds and wholegrains. Some individuals with food intolerances/sensitivities may benefit from elimination diets, and FODMAPS, however, these diet should be a short-term option.

Enzymes

Most food consumed contains nutrient complexes that are too large for the body’s cells to utilise. In a healthy system, digestive organs secrete acids and enzymes that break down nutrients to make them small enough for the cells to metabolise. When digestive secretions are reduced due to an imbalanced system, nutrient absorption is also compromised and may need prescribed digestive enzymes to function properly.

Bacteria

As more research continues into the world of the human micrbiome, our understanding of the importance of the balance of microflora in the GIT is increasing. Microbial imbalances can refer to pathological bacteria being present in the gut but also inadequate levels of beneficial bacteria, both of which can result in unfavourable ‘terrain’. this can have detrimental impact in the gut and on many other body systems, particularly immunity. This balance can be restored through the use of anti-microbials, good quality probiotics and diet/lifestyle corrections. The foundation of Naturopathic medicine.

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Barrier

There are three main lines of defence in preventing bacteria from penetrating the gut barrier. First line, immunoglobulin A (IgA);which binds bacteria and therefore, keep those bacteria in the digestive tract where they can do less damage.

Second Line of defence is mucous. This is a physical barrier between the gut lumen and the epithelium which prevent bacterial adherence to epithelial cells. Nutrients such as glutamine, zinc, vitamin A, fibre, turmeric and Aloe Vera increase levels of IgA and improve mucosal integrity.

The third line of defence against bacteria in the GIT is the epithelial cells. These cells have selective permeability designed to exclude detrimental particles and absorb beneficial items such as nutrients from food. In sub-optimal digestion, the tight junctions between these cells can open, causing leaky gut. This allows foreign particles to penetrate the gut barrier.

Immune

Did you know 70% of immunity is in your gut?

Immune balance is influenced by the gut microbiome, and in turn, gut microbiome is influenced by immune balance. Immune-driven inflammation in the gut can lead to barrier dysfunction, so it’s important to address immunity when considering gut health.

The immune system can be treated with individual specific immune protocol and the gut microbiome can be brought back into balance. Probiotics, zinc, vitamin C and glutamine all assist in maintaining the health of immune cells, and balance of the microbiome environment.

Enteric Nervous System

Have you heard the commonly held belief that the body’s second brain is the gut? This is referred to by the enteric nervous system (ENS) and its role in digestive health. The ENS regulates the behaviour of the GIT including motility and gastrointestinal secretions. managing stress an supporting the nervous system can have a massive impact on the gastrointestinal system. This can be particularly apparent in individuals with medically diagnosed irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

And remember you are more microbiome than you are you. Feed them before they feed on you. Support your system with a balanced, whole food diet, learnt to manage stress, exercise, particularly outdoors and spend time tuning into your spiritual side. This is all part of loving your self and loving your guts!

Healthiest regards,

Tegan, Nutrition Nourishment.

Healing Herb of the Week: Cinnamon

Hello everyone,

In Today’s blog, I’m continuing on with the Healing herbs fact sheets with information regarding a delicious and versatile spice, Cinnamon; which has long been used as both a food product, and for medicinal purposes since ancient Egyptian Times. It was used for purposes such as flavourings for beverages, and in combination with other spices for embalming. Ancient Chinese books mention its use as a medicinal agent dating back to 2,7000BC. Due to its high demand, discovering lands where it grew were noted as a primary motive for voyages in the 15th/16th Century. In Ayurvedic medicine within China, Korea and Russia, Cinnamon is considered warming to the internal organs and used for energy, circulation and vitality.

Did you know? Cinnamon is loaded with antioxidants that protect the body from Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS), or commonly referred to as free radicals within the body. Studies have found when comparing cinnamon’s antioxidant activity to 26 other spices, cinnamon was a clean winner, outranking even “superfoods” like garlic and oregano. I is so powerful that it has been used a natural food preservative for thousands of years. 

 

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Botanical Name: Cinnamonum Cassi and Ceylon Cinnamon.

Active Constituents: Essential Oil (High in cinnamaldehyde), Coumarin, Oxygenated diterperies, Proanthocyanidins.

The Cinnamaldehyde constituent (found in the EO component) is attributedwith producing most of the herbs biological effects.

Parts Used: Stem Bark

Main Actions: Anti-diabetic, Anti-inflammatory, Aromatic, Spasmolytic, Anti-microbial, Anti-bacterial, and carmitive.

Anti-Bacterial/Anti-Fungal: Helps fight bacteria and fungi including Helicobactor Pylori, Salmonella, E. Coli, Listeria and Candida, particularly within the respiratory tract, and digestive tract.

Anti-Inflammatory: Inflammtion is an incredibly important biological function in the body, however, in modern society our bodies are in a constant state of inflammation whereby the body is directing it against its own tissues, which has resulted the majority of chronic conditions including heart disease, arthritis, dysbiosis and cancers. Cinnamon can help the body fight infections and repair tissue damage caused by inflammation, which in turn may help reduce risk of inflammatory diseases.

Hypoglycaemic Activity: The water soluble polyphenolic compound called methylhydroxychalone polymer (MHCP) extracted, potentiates insulin activity by activating the key enzymes that stimulate insulin receptors while inhibiting the enzymes that deactivated them. Just a tsp (4g) daily can have significant benefits, particularly for those suffering from diabetes, insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome.

Hyperlipidaemic: Cinnamon has been linked with reduced risk of heart disease, which is in fact the world’s most common cause of premature death. Scientifically proven to help reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol and increase HDL (good) cholesterol within the blood stream, helping to reduce the risk of cardiovascular conditions. (1) More recently, big review studies have concluded that a cinnamon dose of 120mg/day can have these effects. (2) Animal studies have shown a reduction in blood pressure, which together drastically cut the risk of developing heart disease. (3)

Anti-emetic: Cinnamon can help to reduce nausea and may be as effect as anti-emertic drugs, without the side effects.

Carmitive: Calming effect on the stomach, ability to relax smooth muscle and reduce cramping. Helps to expel gas, which may be beneficial for flatulence and mild spasms in the digestive system.

Clinical Uses: In practice, varies medical practitioners can therapeutically use cinnamon for insulin diseases such as diabetes, metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance, along with improving LDL/HDL ratio in cardiovascular conditions.

Neurodegenerative disease: Diseases that are characterised by progressive loss of the structure or function in brain cells. Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson disease are two of the worlds most common types of neurodegenerative diseases. Two compounds found in cinnamon appear to inhibit the buildup of a protein called tau in the brain, which is one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s Disease. (4) In a study looking at mice with parkinson’s disease, cinnamon helped to protect neurons, normalise neurotransmitter levels and improve motor function. (5) Although exciting news, these effects need to be further studied in human trials.

Cancer: Cinnamon has been widely studied for its potential use in cancer prevention and treatment therapies. Overall, the evidence is limited to test tube experiments and animal studies, however they do suggest that cinnamon extracts may protect cells against cancer. (6) A study in mice with colon cancer revealed cinnamon to be a potent activator of detoxifying enzymes in the colon, protecting against further cancer growth. (7) These findings have been supported by test tube experiment, which showed that cinnamon activates protective antioxidant responses in human colon cells.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS): A condition that is characterised by insulin resistance, where insulin looses its effectiveness on the cells and glucose remains in the blood at high levels causing problems/imbalances in the body. Cinnamon may be beneficial for people suffering PCOS with scientific research finding cinnamon results in significant reduction in fasting glucose, as well as insulin resistance testing, with fasting glucose levels dropping by 17%. Cinnamon also helps to increase blood flow and protect female reproductive hormones from oxidative damage/stressors.

Indications: Cold, flu, diabetes, colic, dyspepsia, nausea, anorexia, diarrhoea, digestive weakness.

Caution: Pregnancy, gastro-oesophageal reflux (GORD), patients on anti-diabetic drugs. Needs to be taken away from mineral supplements, thiamine and alkaloids.

Dosage: 1.5-4g up to four times daily is considered safe.

My Final Thoughts:

Cinnamon is an incredible healing herb that, when used in as a food source, is unlikely to induce any unwanted side-effects. Cinnamon 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 cinnamon 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

Reference Studies:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14633804
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24019277
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4003790/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19433898
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24946862
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3105590/
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18260732

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

 

 

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!

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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 

 

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.

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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