Good Nutrition Advice

For a healthy body and mind

Category: Vitamins and Minerals (Page 1 of 5)

These Three Nutrients May Help You Sleep

Recent research has shown that missing a few hours’ sleep each night can have a dramatic effect on your immune system and overall health.

We all know that when we’re tired we can more easily come down with a cold or flu and this is because our immune system is not working at its optimum. Too little sleep can also result in weight gain. Chronic sleep deprivation, can make you feel hungrier than normal and trigger weight gain by affecting the way your body processes and stores carbohydrate. Here are three nutrients that may help with insomnia:

1. Magnesium: This mineral is known as ‘nature’s tranquilliser’ and has a calming relaxing effect on the body in general. It is particularly helpful if your sleep is being disturbed by cramps as it is a muscle relaxant.

2. Theanine: This amino acid comes from green tea and not only helps maintain a calm alertness during the day but also a deeper sleep at night.

3. Tryptophan: Your body needs this amino acid in order to make serotonin, the relaxing and calming brain neurotransmitter. Tryptophan occurs naturally in fish, whole grains, chickpeas, almonds, eggs, bananas, dates and organic dairy.

Should I Take a Vitamin Supplement?

Fiona Wilkinson.

I’m often asked about supplements and whether it’s a good idea to take them. One of the main questions I get is: “But if I’m eating a healthy diet should I take a vitamin supplement?” Well, like most things, the answer is, it depends…

Personally, I take a good-quality multi-vitamin and mineral every day along with extra vitamin C, Omega-3, a turmeric supplement, and a women’s glandular supplement. Now you could argue that if you eat well you don’t need these. And up to a point that’s true. However, unfortunately most of us don’t eat ‘perfectly’. We’re human and trying to get all our daily needs from food can be quite a challenge. Then there’s all those other things that are nutrient ‘depleters’ such as alcohol (yes, I’m afraid wine counts here too!), pollution, stress, getting older and so on…

Should I take a Vitamin Supplement?

One of the things we do know nowadays is that vitamins and minerals play a huge part in our health, and our ability to age well, and nutrient deficiencies can cause a wide range of diseases. So, my take is: take your daily multi-vitamin and any extras you may need due to your own individual requirements — because you can.

“But isn’t it just expensive wee?”

Oh, I do love this question…! I’m always tempted to say wouldn’t you rather have expensive wee than cheap wee…?! But on a more serious note: your body has a great mechanism for using the nutrients it needs and discarding the rest. Vitamins C and the B vitamins are water soluble. So, yes, to a certain extent you will lose some of these, but the same happens with food too. You know how your wee smells after asparagus? Right… Well, that doesn’t mean you’re wasting your time eating asparagus. You’ll still get the nutrients you need from that too. The price of asparagus compared to even the most expensive supplement? Now that really is expensive wee!

Which brings me on to quality. No, not all multivitamins are created equal. Without blinding you with science I’ll just give you a couple of simple examples starting with calcium. Many brands use calcium carbonate because it is cheap. The only problem with this is you body can’t absorb it. So, taking calcium carbonate in a supplement is bordering on useless. The most absorbable form of calcium is calcium citrate which your body can use. Vitamin E is another example where you need to take it in its natural form to reap the benefits. And finally, most over-the-counter supplements come in large tablet form. Now, to get all those ingredients in one pill means lots of binders and fillers. And, yes, you’ve guessed it — that inhibits absorption too. So, it really is worth buying a decent quality ‘doctors’ supplement.

If you’re not sure what to buy, or exactly what you need to take, you can fill out a mini vitamin and mineral consultation form and I’ll send you a personalised recommendation.

 

 

Reduce Your Risk of Developing Alzheimer's

Reduce Your Risk of Developing Alzheimer’s

Did you know that research has looked at whether different dietary patterns can protect you and reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s?

A study of over 2,000 people over the age of 65 (without dementia) followed for four years, has shown that those who have higher intakes of salad, nuts, fish, tomatoes, cruciferous vegetables, fruits and dark and green leafy vegetables and lower intakes of dairy products, red meat, organ meat and butter have a strongly associated lower risk of Alzheimer’s.

Having good levels of antioxidants is also important in reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Research has shown a 30% drop in dementia risk among regular fruit and vegetable eaters so the recommendation is to ‘eat a rainbow’ and include as many different coloured fruit and vegetables in your diet as each colour will give you different antioxidants.

Research has also looked at the use of antioxidant supplements in reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s. One study showed that a combination of vitamin E (400ius) and vitamin C (500mg) helped to reduce the risk and it is also known that taking antioxidant supplements can reduce the deterioration rate of Alzheimer’s in people who have already been diagnosed.

 

 

Diet and Nutrition Essential for Mental Health

Rapidly growing evidence shows vital relationships between both diet quality and potential nutritional deficiencies and mental health.

Published in The Lancet Psychiatry, leading academics state that as with a range of medical conditions, psychiatry and public health should now recognise and embrace diet and nutrition as key determinants of mental health.

Lead author, Dr Jerome Sarris from the University of Melbourne and a member of the International Society for Nutritional Psychiatry Research (ISNPR), said psychiatry is at a critical stage, with the current medically-focused model having achieved only modest benefits in addressing the global burden of poor mental health.

Diet and Nutrition Essential for Mental Health

“While the determinants of mental health are complex, the emerging and compelling evidence for nutrition as a key factor in the high prevalence and incidence of mental disorders suggests that nutrition is as important to psychiatry as it is to cardiology, endocrinology and gastroenterology,” Dr Sarris said.

“In the last few years, significant links have been established between nutritional quality and mental health. Scientifically rigorous studies have made important contributions to our understanding of the role of nutrition in mental health,” he said.

Findings of the review revealed that in addition to dietary improvement, evidence now supports the contention that nutrient-based prescription has the potential to assist in the management of mental disorders at the individual and population level.

Studies show that many of these nutrients have a clear link to brain health, including omega-3s, B vitamins (particularly folate and B12), choline, iron, zinc, magnesium, S-adenosyl methionine (SAMe), vitamin D, and amino acids.

What is Collagen and Why Do We Need it?

AntioxidantsIf you are interested in anti-ageing products, you will probably know that the promise of many of them is to “increase collagen production”. 

But what is collagen, and why do we need it? Put simply, collagen is a form of connective tissue, the glue, if you like, that holds our bodies together.  As we age, we lose collagen, and you can see the results externally as skin starts to sag and create wrinkles.  Internally, you may feel it as aches and pains as collagen’s “cushioning” of muscles and bones deteriorates.

A multi-billion pound industry has grown up around discovering ways to restore this “elixir of youth”, from creams, to drinks, to collagen pills.

But there are more natural and easy ways to prevent the loss of collagen, including avoiding sun damage to the skin, staying hydrated by drinking lots of  water, and ensuring your diet is packed full of vitamin C rich foods.

The antioxidants in fresh fruit and vegetables help to combat the free radicals in the body that actively attack collagen cells, resulting in diminished collagen production.

Can Bacopa Improve Your Memory?

Can Bacopa Improve Your Memory?

Can Bacopa Improve Your Memory?

Bacopa (Bacopa monnieri)is an aquatic herb that is commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine (the traditional medical system of India) to address neurological and cognitive deficiencies.

Studies show that subjects who took bacopa had improved memory function, and the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database concludes that bacopa is “possibly effective” for aiding in learning and memory improvement.

While bacopa is showing promise, other herbal and nutrient-based therapies such as Ginkgo biloba, acetyl-L-carnitine (ALCAR), and phosphatidyl serine (PS) have been studied more thoroughly than bacopa.

I still recommend that keeping the mind and body active is the best way to maintain cognitive function and memory. Aim for 30 minutes of some form of gentle aerobic exercise at least five times per week, and remain mentally engaged with challenges you find appealing, such as reading, doing crossword puzzles, or learning a new language.

If you do decide to take bacopa, choose organic, standardized liquid extracts or encapsulated powder packaged in light-resistant containers. Take 300 mg of bacopa extract per day for 12 weeks. Side effects may include nausea, dry mouth, and fatigue.

Do you have a health challenge that you’d like to discuss with me? I offer online Naturopathic and Nutrition Consultations. Fill out my forms here to book your personal consultation with me.

Or if you don’t have any particular health issues, perhaps you’d prefer one of my off-the-shelf  Health Programmes? Choose from Colon Cleanse, Detox Programme, Ultimate Cleanse or my comprehensive Supplement Programme. All packages include a full consultation.

Fiona

Antibiotic Over-Prescription Crisis

Antibiotic Over-Prescription Crisis

Antibiotic Over-Prescription Crisis

Antibiotic over-prescribing means that as many as one in seven patients can now no longer be helped with them. 

In fact, for some infections, the failure rate of antibiotics as a treatment was as high as one in three. For infections such as pneumonia, which commonly affects the elderly, the consequences are fatal.

Routine operations for joint replacements, C-sections and so on could also become deadly, as the World Health Organisation declares a public health crisis. It’s not just humans either. Vets routinely over-prescribe antibiotics for pets too.

Researchers from the University of Cardiff looked at the records of almost 11 million patients prescribed antibiotics between 1991 and 2012 for sinusitis, sore throats, skin infections, bronchitis and pneumonia.

For 15.4 per cent of patients given an antibiotic in 2012, it was ineffective, compared to the failure rate of only 13.9 per cent in 1991.

Drug firms have also not produced more effective antibiotics because they are not deemed profitable.

Do you have a health challenge that you’d like to discuss with me? I offer online Naturopathic and Nutrition Consultations. Fill out my forms here to book your personal consultation with me.

Or if you don’t have any particular health issues, perhaps you’d prefer one of my off-the-shelf  Health Programmes? Choose from Colon Cleanse, Detox Programme, Ultimate Cleanse or my comprehensive Supplement Programme. All packages include a full consultation.

Fiona

Anxiety Linked to Low Omega-3 Levels

Anxiety linked to low omega-3

Anxiety linked to low omega-3

Hyperactive?  Anxious?  You May be Low in Omega-3…

Teenagers may be particularly susceptible to anxiety and hyperactivity if their diets are low in Omega-3 essential fatty acids.

A study published in Biological Psychiatry found that this condition can actually worsen over generations, too. Researchers found that a low Omega-3 diet can affect adolescent behaviour, not only because their diet is deficient, but because their parents’ diet was too.

Study author Bita Moghaddam commented, “It’s remarkable that a relatively common dietary change can have generational effects. It indicates that our diet does not merely affect us in the short-term but also can affect our offspring.”

Source: www.biologicalpsychiatryjournal.com/article/S0006-3223(13)00578-7/abstract

Your Brain Needs the Right Type of Fat

Your brain needs the right type of fat

Your brain needs the right type of fat

Did you know that your brain is 70% fat, but it needs to have the right type of fat?

Brain cells need to be flexible to function properly and your brain incorporates the fats you eat into the cell membranes — this is why Omega 3 fats are so important.

It is also important to eliminate the trans fats found in hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated vegetable oils because these are hard fats, like a plastic; they make cells rigid so they lose their elasticity and flexibility, not good cells to have in the brain.

Make sure you are eating oily fish or taking linseed oil (flaxseed oil) if you are vegetarian as these will give you some valuable Omega 3 fatty acids.

Research has shown that by increasing your intake of fish you may be able to reduce the risk of dementia by 60%.

Do you have a health challenge that you’d like to discuss with me? I offer online Naturopathic and Nutrition Consultations. Fill out my forms here to book your personal consultation with me.

Or if you don’t have any particular health issues, perhaps you’d prefer one of my off-the-shelf  Health Programmes? Choose from Colon Cleanse, Detox Programme, Ultimate Cleanse or my comprehensive Supplement Programme. All packages include a full consultation.

Antioxidants Reduce Serious Health Risk

Antioxidants reduce serious health risk

Antioxidants reduce serious health risk

There has previously been some controversy about the benefits of taking regular antioxidant supplements to protect the body from cancer-causing free radical damage.

Now, however, a study has followed a very large pool of 23,943 people over an average of 11 years and has evaluated the association of vitamin and mineral supplementation with cancer, cardiovascular, and all-cause mortality.

In-depth questionnaires were employed in order to produce accurate results, and factors such as smoking and BMI (body mass index) were taken into consideration.

It was found that people who were using antioxidant supplements had a significantly reduced risk of cancer mortality and all-cause mortality in comparison to people who never used antioxidants.

Do you have a health challenge that you’d like to discuss with me? I offer online Naturopathic and Nutrition Consultations. Fill out my forms here to book your personal consultation with me.

Thank you!
Fiona

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