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2
Nov 12

Win a Nutritional Therapy Package!

This blog has been running for about a year now and so I thought it is probably best time to share with you what exactly I do and exactly what Nutritional Therapy is. Additionally I am offering you have the chance to win a Nutritional Therapy initial and follow up consultation worth £175.

 

What is Nutritional Therapy?

Nutritional Therapy is the application of nutrition science in the promotion of health, peak performance and individual care. Nutritional therapy practitioners use a wide range of tools to assess and identify potential nutritional imbalances and understand how these may contribute to an individual’s symptoms and health concerns. This approach allows them to work with individuals to address nutritional balance and help support the body towards maintaining health. Nutritional Therapy is recognised as a complementary medicine and is relevant for individuals with chronic conditions, as well as those looking for support to enhance their health and wellbeing.

Practitioners consider each individual to be unique and recommend personalised nutrition and lifestyle programmes rather than a ‘one size fits all’ approach. Practitioners never recommend nutritional therapy as a replacement for medical advice and always refer any client with ‘red flag’ signs or symptoms to their medical professional. They will also frequently work alongside a medical professional and will communicate with other healthcare professionals involved in the client’s care to explain any nutritional therapy programme that has been provided.

 

Almonds shaped like heart

Why use Nutritional Therapy?

Some people simply want to check that they are on the right track with regard to healthy eating. Others may want to lose weight or get help with their symptoms.

Nutritional Therapists recognise that each person is an individual with unique requirements and take time to define personalised nutrition plan rather than a ‘one size fits all’ approach.

Nutrition and lifestyle approaches to healthcare have been shown to support the health of all the major systems of the body (skeletal, muscular, nervous, respiratory, cardiovascular, digestive, excretory, endocrine, immune, reproductive and integumentary [skin, hair, nails]). Typical priorities in nutritional therapy consultations are support to achieve optimum energy levels, healthy blood sugar balance, emotional and pyschological wellbeing, optimum gastrointestinal health and tolerance to a broad range of food groups.

 

What to expect from a Nutritional Therapy Consultation?

Before the first consultation, the practitioner usually provides a health and nutrition questionnaire for the client to complete. An initial consultation typically lasts 60 to 90 minutes, and in this time the practitioner asks detailed questions about current health concerns, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment, medical history, family history, lifestyle, levels of physical activity, use of medication and supplements and diet. The practitioner then evaluates individual needs and uses the extensive evidence base for nutritional science to develop a personalised, safe and effective nutrition and lifestyle programme.

Follow up consultations are generally after four weeks in order to monitor progress and make any necessary adjustments. Further follow-ups may be required depending on each individual situation.

WIN!

The Naked Nutritionist

To celebrate the launch of a brand new website and a new home in Embody Wellness, The Naked Nutritionist is offering you the chance to win an initial appointment and follow up appointment 4 weeks later at Embody Wellness, London. You will also have the opportunity to appear on this blog detailing your experience.

Embody Wellness is South London’s premier centre for health and wellbeing. Located in the landmark St George Wharf development just one minute from Vauxhall tube and train station Embody offers a broad range of complementary and therapeutic treatments to heal, revive and relax. In addition, the centre offers beauty treatments for men and women as well as an extensive timetable of yoga and Pilates classes, including courses for beginners and pregnancy classes.

To be able to win, simply click here to go to The Facebook like page for The Naked Nutritionist, like and also send a quick message with your name and email address. We won’t share your email with anyone else but you will receive our health newsletter packed full of health tips, recipes and more. If you prefer not to receive the newsletter, simply state “opt out” when supplying your name and email. Terms and Conditions apply (please see below).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. This competition is open to anyone aged 18 or over who is ordinarily resident in the UK and can make both appointments at Embody Wellness spa.

2. Entry is only accepted via Facebook like page and sending a private message with an email address.

3. The Naked Nutritionist shall not be held responsible for technical errors in telecommunication networks, internet access or otherwise, preventing entry at this website.

4. Entrants must supply their name and a valid email address as the winner will be contacted by email.

5. Entries must be received by midday GMT on Monday 19 November 2012. No purchase is necessary.

6. The winner will be chosen by random selection.

7. The prize is for one initial appointment and one follow up at Embody Wellness, London. Tests and supplements may be recommended but these are not included in the prize.

8. The prize is not transferable. No cash alternative. If for any reason the winner is unable to participate in the prize, The Naked Nutritionist may select an alternative participant.

9. By entering the competition entrants agree to be bound by these terms and conditions and the additional terms and conditions below.

10. Acceptance of the prize constitutes consent to use the winner’s entry, name and photos for editorial or publicity purposes.

11. The maximum number of entries per person is 1.

 

 

References: bant.org.uk


12
Oct 12

Metabolic Balance- a weight-loss solution?

Are you tired of going on a diet, losing a few pounds, finishing the diet, only to find the weight has piled back on in no time at all? A vicious cycle then moves on so you are feeling exhausted and also angry with yourself for breaking your diet until you start again but maybe with a different diet this time. We’ve all been there and even led us to carrying out bizarre actions against our nature such as inappropriately starred at someone eating a baguette so enviously wishing you could at least get near to smell it.

Well perhaps there is a solution but it seems that this solution actually allows you to have bread and even your favourite sweet treat whilst ensuring adequate nutrition. This is at the same time of feeling great and also having great skin and hair in as little as two weeks.

The solution?

Metabolic balance® is a nutritional programme for weight management and well-being. It has been developed by doctors and nutrition scientists. The plan is completely individual based on your personal blood test results to bring your metabolism into line with what it should be. To keep you motivated you are supported by a Nutritional Therapist that has undergone specialised training each step of the way.

Being my sceptical self (I’ve been scorned by too many diets in the past) and even though a trained Metabolic Balance coach, I decided to have a go at following the plan myself. So I received my individual plan based on my blood results and began

Phase 1: This was a gentle detox for two days to get my body prepped to begin the adjustment phase. This was probably the hardest as you don’t really eat much for the day and found my skin breaking out in spots, which is an obvious sign of my body detoxing.

Phase 2: This was the metabolism adjustment phase for 2 weeks. I’m not going to lie; it was very strict (the plan is German after all). The great thing was that I wasn’t feeling hungry and was allowed rye bread with each meal. This is the toughest phase but at the end I had never felt so healthy. My skin was glowing and felt refreshed after each sleep. This phase was 14 days so not really a whole lot of time in the long run.

 

Excuse the picture but at 14 days I had lost a total of 7.6kg and also 2.5 inches from my waist.

Feeling great about this, I now am moving onto the next phase.

Phase 3: In this phase I can have fish oils, coconut oil and also olive oil, have more foods included in the plan and best of all have a treat meal once a week with pudding, cake or chocolate if I so wish. This is the phase you stay on until you reach your goal weight. I don’t want to lose any more weight so I am going to adapt the plan to suit my needs.

Overall really happy with the plan and now it has given me the confidence to know how to fully support my clients through the stages of Metabolic Balance.

Daniel is a Nutritional Therapist and Metabolic Balance coach. For more information please visit http://www.thenakednutrtionist.co.uk/metabolic-balance .


1
Oct 12

Stoptober: Tips on beating the cravings

On 1st October 2012, NHS Smokefree are beginning a new campaign called ‘Stoptober’ encouraging smokers to ditch the fags for 28 days (the idea that after 28 days you are five times more likely to quit for life). The Stoptober campaign is offering some amazing support for those wishing to take on the challenge but can nutrition have a role to play in helping you quit?

The urge to light up can be so powerful and be something that plagues your mind but by not giving into to the craving, you are one step closer to achieving your goal of not smoking. To help you through the 28 days below are some nutritional and lifestyle tips to get you through the challenge and help your body repair from smoke damage.

Blood Sugar Balancing

Controlling the level of sugar in your blood is important for two main reasons. First people who use cigarettes to curb appetites now have nothing to replace it with and plus the smoking hand has become redundant. Secondly by the blood sugar being out of balance and fluctuating quickly, it can increase the amount of stress hormones and therefore possibly increase risk of relapse.

Tips on keeping your blood sugar balanced include:

  • Remove all refined sugar from your diet so opt for brown versions of pasta, bread, and rice. Choose xylitol or stevia for sweetening food.
  • Increasing quality lean protein such as grilled chicken, poached eggs, oily fish.
  • Increasing your vegetable intake, particularly your leafy greens and rainbow coloured vegetables
  • Small but balanced regular meals. Make sure you have breakfast. As a rule of thumb half your plate should be vegetables, quarter protein and quarter carbohydrates.
  • Include healthy fats in your diet such as olive oil, coconut oil & omega 3’s
  • Have more fibre with your meals such as nuts and seeds, dark green leafy vegetables, oats and fruits such as apples and pears.
  • Reduce caffeine and only have caffeinated drinks such as coffee with meals.

Essential Fats

Research shows that smokers are at risk of knocking out the balance of essential fats in body therefore may contribute to a whole host of health problems including mood alterations. Consume fresh oily fish 3 times a week such as salmon, mackerel, sardines & walnuts and ground flaxseeds. Avoid processed foods and vegetable oils and spreads and use real butter or olive oil in cooking.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D could be linked with addiction due to its potent effects on the brain. You can go to your GP for a free test to see if you are deficient in Vitamin D. Levels below optimum are 100nmol/l, supplementation with D3 should be considered or more exposure to sunshine.

N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC)

N-acetylcysteine has been researched for its treatment in nicotine addiction to reduce cravings. Many foods contain NAC but not at a significant amounts. The richest sources are protein rich foods such as meat, fish, poultry and eggs. You may consider supplementing but liaise with a professional before so.

Relaxation

Keeping relaxed during the initial stages of quitting is paramount to success. As well as lowering stress, meditation can increase help promote a rewiring of brain circuitry that promote addiction. Practice for just 15 minutes per day on rising to feel the benefits.

Exercise

Exercising for 30-60 minutes at a moderate intensity can have beneficial effects in keeping your mood balanced and also help you deal with cravings.

 

I wish you all the best of luck with Stoptober.

 

 

Daniel O’Shaughnessy is an Independent Qualified Nutritional Therapist  and operates clinics in London. For more information please visit http://www.thenakednutritionist.co.uk.

 

 

 

 


14
Sep 12

Fruitizz? 1 of your five-a-day?

 

Sold by McDonalds as part of a Happy Meal, this fizzy drink claims to be one of your five-a-day portions of fruit and vegetables. How so? This is because it contains a mixture of grape, raspberry and lemon fruit juice concentrate blended with fizzy water and some ‘natural’ preservatives.

Complaints from the TV commercial sparked an investigation into the drink by the Advertising Standards watchdog but it ruled the five-a-day benefits still remain in the drink, even considering the 250ml serving contains approximately 6 teaspoons of sugar.

It’s pretty clear that “Frutizz” is not going to do anything beneficial for your health (you can see this by the picture) but are the rules dictating what can be and what can’t be classed as 1 of your 5-a-day a bit too relaxed, therefore allowing foods onto the market claiming to benefit health with little or no nutritional content?

Let’s have a look at this a bit further…

Fruit juice is often marketed as 1 of your 5-a-day but with all the sugar in it (whether added or not) and most of the goodness coming from the pulp that is missing, chances are this is not a good way to get your quota. In fact a study has indicated an increase risk associated with diabetes with fruit juice consumption (1). This again is part to do with the lack of fibre, other phytochemicals, the sugar load and also how rapidly it is absorbed. So there is clear evidence that fruit juice can affect your health and not in a good way, yet it is marketed to be beneficial.

So how is the best way to get your 5-a-day?

The World Health Organisation guidance suggests adults consume 400g of fruit and vegetable a day. Split this into 5 portions we get each portion needing to be 80g.

Fruit: Even fruit itself contains sugar. This is in the form of fruit sugar called Fructose. Limit your consumption of fruit a day to 2 portions and opt for lower sugar fruits such as blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, melon.

Vegetables: 3 portions of your allowance should be in the form of vegetables. The best vegetables to consume are those grown above the ground. Broccoli, Spinach, Kale, Cauliflower are some examples.

Juices: If you are going to have a juice, it is best to make your own with a juicer. You can add all different types of mixes of fruit and vegetables and plenty of recipes online. If you are going to have a fruit juice from a carton, mix it with water to lower the sugar content.

Variety is key so try out different fruits and vegetables to ensure you are getting a range of vitamins and minerals. Eat a rainbow.

Typical day’s meal plan to maximise your fruit and vegetable intake:

Breakfast: Porridge with blueberries and raspberries

Lunch: Grilled Chicken Salad with lettuce tomato, cucumber and avocado

Dinner: Spaghetti Bolognese with peppers, corn and tomato

Snack: Freshly juiced kiwi, apple, strawberry & spinach juice with a handful of almonds.

(1)Bazzano, L, Li, T, Joshipura K, Hu F (2008) Intake of Fruit, Vegetables, and Fruit Juices and Risk of Diabetes in Women. Diabetes Care, 31: 7, p1311-1317.


22
Aug 12

The Immune Boosting Breakfast

Are you bored of the same breakfast options every day? If it isn’t something laden with sugar, as offered to us by most cereal companies, it’s something salty and greasy. The problem is we are so used to these options that we struggle to be innovative and actually create something  that is healthy and also made in about 5 minutes. So here is a little recipe if you ever fancy a change.

Ingredients:

  • 50g 100% Rye Bread      (roughly 1 packaged slice)
  • 8 teaspoons of pumpkin seeds
  • 8 teaspoons of sesame seeds
  • Half an avocado
  • Salt & Pepper to taste and a pinch of chilli flakes
  • A drizzle of olive oil
  • 80g of accompanying ‘grown above ground’ vegetables such as spinach, rocket and mushrooms

1. Take a frying pan and place seeds in with salt pepper and the chilli flakes. Place on a hob and lightly toast for a few minutes until they begin popping or splitting.

 

2. Toast the Rye Bread. Rye bread usually tastes better when toasted well so maybe a few more minutes than normal bread

3. Wash the vegetables and place the ones you cook in the frying pan you used for  the seeds and allow them to cook for a few minutes. The remaining water on the vegetables from washing will act as oil.

4. Peel half the avocado and create a mash and use it as butter on the rye toast.

5. Pour the seeds on to the rye toast on the plate.

6. Add the vegetables, drizzle with olive oil and enjoy.

If you feel like more protein then you can simply add a poached egg

 

As well as being rich in protein, the seeds contain good fats that can support skin health, the cardiovascular system, brain function and more. Pumpkin seeds are also rich in zinc, a key nutrient for immunity.

The inclusion of avocado can assist with lowering blood cholesterol, controlling blood pressure and act as an anti-inflammatory. Avocados also contain glutathione, an important antioxidant that can support the immune system.

 

Daniel O’Shaughnessy is an Independent qualified Nutritional Therapist and operates clinics in London. For details, please visit www.thenakednutritionist.co.uk.


31
Jul 12

Irritable Bowel Syndrome – No Single Cause

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is something that affects 15-20% of the population and is something the doctor might be quick to diagnose when patients present with a variety of symptoms, such as abdominal pain or a disordered bowel habit that generally can’t be explained. For many, trips to the doctor, colonoscopies, medications and dietary modifications do little to assist with the symptoms of IBS. So what are the potential causes of IBS and is there anything that can be done and from a functional standpoint?

Individuals like a condition to be named therefore the umbrella term IBS is generally given to them but there is no single cause for IBS as each person is different. Nutritional Therapist’s work with an individual’s uniqueness to establish what might be the cause for their IBS.

Associated symptoms of IBS include abdominal pain, spasms, bloating, gas and abnormal bowel movements such as alternating diarrhoea and constipation, mucous in stools & more.

Possible Causes

  • Food intolerance: Two thirds of IBS patients have shown to have at least one food intolerance and some have multiple intolerance’s. The most common intolerance’s include wheat, dairy, corn, coffee, tea, citrus & chocolate. Avoidance of these can help to reduce some of the symptoms.
  • Small Intestinal Bacteria Overgrowth: This occurs when the bacteria in the large intestine travel to the small intestine. Normally these bacteria in the large intestine break down fibre, which is absorbed by microbes rendering it, safe. However in the small intestine, there is nothing to absorb it so discomfort may occur.
  • Low Stomach Acid: Found in the stomach and is what is used to begin the digestion of protein, stomach acid essentially acts as the pawns on a chessboard by offering frontline protection against things like food poisoning, parasites and other infections as well as helping to absorb minerals such as magnesium, iron, copper and zinc. Stomach acid may decrease with age and also in times of stress. Additionally many of us are on drugs to block stomach acid production, therefore it can leave us open to a range of infections. Some symptoms of low stomach acid are: Bloating- especially following a meal, belching, flatulence, indigestion, food allergies, chronic infections, weak or peeling nails, constipation or/and diarrhoea and more.
  • Parasites: Some of these little creatures can be helpful for us but in general they cause harm and we want to be rid of them from the body. Symptoms are IBS-like but also may include unexplained weight-loss, fatigue, joint or muscle aches and symptoms may come an go depending on the life-cycle of the particular parasite.
  • Medications: Use of medication such as antacids, antibiotics and antidepressants may lead to a disturbance in the balance of stomach bacteria, allowing numbers of bad bacteria to increase over good bacteria.

These are just some possible causes. There are many other causes of IBS. It is important to work with a Nutritional Therapist in order to be supported fully. They may recommend a Stool Analysis to help find the root cause of the symptoms.

 

 Nutritional Recommendations

  • Fibre: Fibre such as fruit and vegetables, rye, quinoa, oats, barley, brown rice and buckwheat can assist the digestive tract to move things along the intestinal lining and eliminate effectively. Soluble fibre such in dark green leafy vegetables, oats and flaxseed help to reduce LDL cholesterol, balance blood sugar and also  help bowel function.
  • Oily Fish: Such as mackerel and salmon are sources of Omega 3, acting as an anti-inflammatory action on the body, particularly the intestines.
  • Probiotics: Increasing fermented foods such as live yoghurt, Kefir, Miso and Sauerkraut can help to increase numbers of the good bacteria. It can also be beneficial to supplement with a daily probiotic supplement that contains strains Lactobacilli & Bifidobacteria. A particular favourite is ‘Optibac Daily Wellbeing Extra Strength’, which contains 20 billion live organisms.
  • Prebiotics: These act as foods for the probiotics and therefore encourage them to grow and multiply. Foods such as oats, onions, leeks, barley, garlic and sweet potatoes are rich in these.
  • Avoid foods that you know aggravate your symptoms.
  • Avoid foods that contain sugar and that are processed as they may aggravate the colon, increase levels of bad bacteria as well as raise the amount of sugar in your blood.
  • Chew your food: The more your mouth does, the less your digestion has to do. Chew until your food is almost a liquid in your mouth.

It is important for you to book an appointment with your GP to discuss your symptoms. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me on my Twitter @nkdnutrition or Facebook (facebook.com/thenkdnutrtionist).

 

 

References:

Biocare: The Science of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Lipski E (2012) Digestive Wellness

 

Images: My Salon, Body and Beauty Healthcare Tips, Yoghurt Starter

 

 

 


3
Jul 12

A look into the official drink, official snack & official restaurant

 

With 24 days left until the opening ceremony of London 2012, I woke up this morning with the curiosity to investigate the Olympics a little further. Unsurprisingly it was apparent that the food sponsors were none other than:

 

The Official Snack                                                 The Official Restaurant

                      

The Official Drink

 

 

 

 

 

With these three companies being the three main food sponsors, the message spells out that our athletes are consuming big macs and fries, washed down with litres of coke and share-size bars of dairy milk for dessert.

 

I think I may have found a reason why we don’t top the medal list and maybe it is why England just crashed out of Euro 2012.

 

The humour aside, let’s look at what would happen if our athletes were to consume this as part of their training.

 

Aside from feeling rather full and not being able to move and other physiological processes, the massive intake of food would cause the sugar in your blood to rise rapidly. The body releases the hormone insulin to bring the blood sugar back to a normal range by removing the sugar from the blood and into the cells of the body. As our athlete has consumed a 2012 sponsored meal, they will create what is called a blood sugar imbalance, where too much insulin is produced and as a result more sugar is taken out of the blood than normal, resulting in the blood sugar level dropping too low. Here they may feel lethargic, experience further food cravings and experience mood swings.

I guess this is not optimal for training. If they were to continue having sponsored meals, this may lead to the cells losing their ability to recognise that insulin is high therefore insulin and sugar remain in the blood. A blood sugar imbalance not only leads to weight-gain, it may also lead to diabetes.

 

It’s pretty obvious that our athletes aren’t eating this to prepare for the games but it is scandalous that London 2012 and the Olympic Committee allow such sponsors in a SPORTING event. Surely sport events with the world tuning in are a chance to promote health. This is especially since we are in the plagued with diet related disease including obesity.

 

I’m sure the brands mentioned above are paying huge amounts to London 2012 to have their brand thrust in our face and to be available at the Olympic park for spectators to consume. If health food companies were in the position to afford the huge fork out for sponsorship then maybe we would be sending out a better message and leaving a better legacy for the games. The ability to afford these sponsorship deals shouldn’t be the main reason why they are allowed to have them. Sponsorship deals should given to companies whose values accord with and promote the values of health and sports, the same values the athletes embody, which is reason why they are have been selected for the Olympics.

 What do you think? I’d love to hear your opinions on the subject of non-event appropriate sponsors.

TNN


16
Jun 12

The Never Seconds hero

I think the hero of the week goes to Martha Payne, who overnight has become an Internet sensation with her blog, ‘Never Seconds’. The blog was set up with the purpose of Martha uploading pictures of her school meals and rating them on various scales including food-o-meter, health, price and even pieces of hair.

Martha’s blog seemed to cause quite a stir with the local council, where they placed a ban on her uploading anymore pictures to the blog as it was deemed misleading.  With public outcry at the attempt of censorship on freedom of speech, the decision took a drastic U-turn in 24 hours and now the blog has raised more than £40,000 for the Third World children’s charity.

The frustrating thing is that the council and the school know that the food they are serving is rubbish but yet they choose to ignore the fact. This attitude is doing nothing beneficial for educating society’s next generation on nutrition and how to eat well. The failed attempt at censorship simply shows they know exactly what they are serving up but doing nothing about it themselves. Could you imagine an attempt at censoring a food critics views?  This is exactly what Martha is doing but just not in a restaurant.

(Image: http://neverseconds.blogspot.co.uk/)

These school meals pictured show what you may call food (I don’t) and are nothing more than sugar and processed carbohydrate. It’s food like this that has been linked to teenage obesity. I would love to know what is stopping councils providing children in schools with adequate nutrition at mealtimes?

Jamie Oliver has showed that it is more than possible to implement this in schools within a budget but yet it has not been rolled out significantly. I can’t talk for every council, as I’m sure they vary, but would council workers be happy if they received what Martha does every day for lunch? For example, Southwark council offices  in London have the most nutritious subsidised canteen with more healthy options than not, so what really frustrates me is that it cannot be rolled out across the board.

(Image: http://neverseconds.blogspot.co.uk/)

We are living in a world where disease resulting from poor nutrition is prominent. Surely giving children the best knowledge of food choices and nutritional knowledge should be at the forefront to stop the disease epidemic in it’s tracks. Instead I have to sigh every time I walk past a bus stop at school kicking out time to see a line of children all eating fried chicken from a box. Perhaps a healthy lunch followed by a healthy snack prior to school kicking out would curb this.

 

With Martha causing such panic single handily, I wonder if some cogs will begin to turn but then again this is the optimistic self. I suspect the sad fact may be things will be back to normal on Monday.


31
May 12

Vitamin D Jubilee

So after nearly a month of rain, the sun has decided to show its face, sending us Brits into a frenzy of excitement. Temperatures have rocketed and the Summer wardrobe is out, filing those heavy winter items away with a hope that they will not be seen for a while (or ever again perhaps).

But is there something more that the sun gives us that feel good factor?

You may recall a few years ago that there was the Vitamin C phenomenon but there seems to be now a new kid on the block, particularly with those living in the Northern hemisphere. Yes it’s vitamin D. Let’s take a look at why vitamin fashion isn’t just working it way through the alphabet.

 

What is Vitamin D

Vitamin D is present in very few foods (e.g. mackerel, salmon, eggs) and only in very small amounts. The main source our body gets it is from the sun when its rays hit the skin and trigger vitamin D synthesis. For this reason, Vitamin D is in fact regarded as a hormone.[i]

 

What is vitamin D used for?

Vitamin D is crucial for the absorption and metabolism of calcium and phosphorus, which is shown to play a role in bone health. More recently vitamin D has been shown to play a distinct role in immunity, autoimmune disease, high blood pressure, depression, heart disease, inflammatory disease and more.[ii],[iii]

 

According to the National Diet and Nutrition survey 90% of the population have below optimal levels and the government have even voiced concerns over the nation’s vitamin D status. Reasons for deficiency are lack of sunlight especially in Winter months, most people working indoors and when we finally get outside we cover up with clothing and use SPF due to the fear of the UV damaging rays.

 

So what can you do?

  • Visit your GP for a test. This is free and will indicate whether your levels are sufficient.
  • If levels are sub-optimal, you may consider supplementing with D3. Consult your GP or health practitioner before.
  • Spend 15 minutes each day out in the sun with your face, arms and hands uncovered 2-3 times a week.

So if the weather holds up for this weekend. Get out in the sun and celebrate the Jubilee in the sun knowing it is doing you the world of good.

 

 

 

 


[i] http://drgominak.com/vitamin-d

[ii] Hewison, M. (2010) ‘Vitamin D and the intracrinology of innate immunity’, Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology, 321 (2), pp.103-111.

[iii] Hollick M. (2004) ‘Sunlight and vitamin D for bone health and prevention of autoimmune diseases, cancers, and cardiovascular disease’, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 80 (6), pp. 1678S-1688S

Images: http://www.glutathionediseasecure.com/, http://barryjphillips.blogspot.co.uk/

 

 

 

 


8
May 12

Are you being kind to your liver?

For most of us it is back to work today after the bank holiday, but some may not be feeling it. Maybe you are one of those that overdid it a bit? Possibly you drank too much, ate too much and even had an extra late night over the weekend. But have you ever thought to consider your liver health?

Our liver can be considered one of the hardest working organs in the body. It has a few roles but perhaps the liver’s most important role is to detoxify toxins - substances that can cause the body harm when they enter the body. Toxins can come from air pollutants, food, water, pesticides, medications and even when the body performs its normal metabolic processes.

Most toxins need to be detoxified in order to be excreted safely by the body so this is where the liver comes into play. Think of the liver as a filter separated into two parts. Some toxins can go through the first part and then are safe for the body to excrete. Some need to go through the second part of the filter to be rendered safe. Keeping a balance of harmony between the two phases is important as if not, then toxins can accumulate and store in the body, possibly resulting in ill health.

So what can we do to help balance this detoxification process?

- Aim to get your 5 a day of fruit and vegetables. This will support the liver by supplying the necessary vitamins needed for detox. Consider watercress in your salads, broccoli in your evening meal or roasted kale for a snack (all help the detox phases keep balance)

- Keep your diet rich in protein. Protein contains amino acids that help the liver detoxify.

- Increase levels of fibre in your diet. E.G. wholegrains such as oats, brown rice and wholemeal bread as well as beans and pulses. This improves elimination of the toxins.

-  Choose organic where possible to minimise environmental toxins. Drink filtered water

- Eggs, onions and garlic are sulphur-rich foods that assist the liver to detox.

- Use turmeric in your food. Perhaps make curry. This helps keep phase 1 and 2 in balance, act as an anti-inflammatory and stimulate bile flow, which helps carry the toxins out of the liver for excretion.

- Reduce alcohol & caffeine. Tea, coffee and coke all place burden on the liver. Most caffeine- free coffee and tea are chemically treated to remove the caffeine. Look for water processed coffee or even with tea, place the teabag in the cup for 10 seconds, remove and throw away the water & place back in and fill up. Caffeine is water-soluble so by doing this, the theory is that most of caffeine will be removed. Try considering herbal teas such as Pukka Detox tea. White tea, peppermint tea and green tea are lower in caffeine and also high in anti-oxidants.

- Look for natural & organic skin products where possible. What goes on the skin goes in the body, remember to read the labels as some products can be deceiving.

If you have any questions about helping your liver please comment or tweet me @NkdNutrition

NN

References:

  1. Liska DJ (2002) The role of detoxification in the prevention of chronic degenerative diseases. Applied Science Reports.
  2. Nutri (2012) Patient Guide: Don’t you know that you’re toxic. Nutri-Online

Images: proteome.biochem.mpg.de, guardian.co.uk

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