Category Archives: fibre

BetterYou: Total Nutrition Superfood Recipes

BetterYou Total Nutrition is a fantastic and popular product representing a new approach to nutrition for people of all ages. Containing pre sprouted Barley, whole Apple, Flaxseed, Barley Grass, Quinoa, Spirulina, Bilberry Fruit, Carrot, Tumeric and Kelp, BetterYou Total Nutrition is also rich in Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids.

Total Nutrition benefits the body in 3 distinct ways:

1. Fast acting: Strong antioxidant qualities support the body’s cellular uptake of oxygen, giving the metabolism a boost shortly after ingestion.

2. Stable energy release: Pre-Sprouted Barley’s soluble fibre content becomes gelatinous, protecting its nutritional content and sustaining a stable energy and nutrient release. Pre-Sprouted Barley has the potential to generate 400% more energy than conventional Barley and contains a host of nutrients essential for health and well being.

3. Optimal absorption: The ratio of eight essential amino acids within BetterYou Total Nutrition virtually mirrors those essential for the human body to thrive ensuring optimal absorption and efficient energy distribution.

BetterYou’s Recipe Booklet by Dale Pinnock contains 14 delicious recipes to help inspire you to incorporate the superfood in our busy lifestyles. Here are two of the recipes from the Recipe Booklet by Dale Pinnock which comes free with every purchase of Total Nutrition from bodykind (whilst stocks last):

TotalNut_greenSmoothie-2
Mean Green Morning Smoothie

Mean Green Morning Smoothie Recipe No 1:

This smoothie takes little digestive effort, supply masses of energy, and provide more nutrition in one glass full, than most people get in a whole day. Despite its peculiar colour, it tastes only of fruit and will put a spring in your step, a glow in your skin, and a smile on your face.

Ingredients:

300ml of fresh pressed apple juice
1 good handful of spinach
Small handful of kale
1 banana
1 scoop of Total Nutrition Superfood

Method:

Add ingredients to a blender. Blend until smooth. Take your time as the greens take slightly longer to blend than fruit.

 

Raw chocolate orange truffle torte recipe No 2:

Who doesn’t love chocolate? This version is packed with good fats, mineral rich chocolate, protein, bioflavonoids and antioxidants – healthy food has never tasted this good.

TotalNut_chocoTorte-2
Raw chocolate orange truffle torte

Ingredients:

250g mixed nuts (raw and unsalted)
150g cashew nuts (raw and unsalted)
2 scoops of Total Nutrition Superfood
5-6 pitted dates
3 tablespoons of raw cocoa powder
100g of cacao butter (cold pressed)
2 ripe avocados
Zest of whole orange
Juice of whole orange
1 tablespoon of honey
20g of coconut oil

Method:

In a mixer, blitz the mixed nuts, dates and 1 scoop of Total Nutrition Superfood to a coarse texture. Melt half the cacao butter over hot water and add to mixture. Mix together by hand. Add mixture to 10” tart base press firmly and allow cacao butter to help the base set in the fridge for half an hour. Using a blender, blend avocados, orange zest, orange juice, cashew nuts, honey and second scoop of Total Nutrition Superfood into a smooth silky paste. Melt remaining cacao butter and coconut oil together as before and add to the topping. Mix thoroughly and add to the base. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

References

Content, recipes & images courtesy of the team at BetterYou.

Share

Nutrition to Battle the January Blues

Monday 21st January – the Monday of the last full week in January – has been labelled ‘Blue Monday’, to signify the most depressing day of the year. Bad weather, empty pockets and that ‘back to work’ feeling can combine to make the best of us pretty miserable at this time of year.

The good news is that our mental and emotional health has been shown to be linked to our diet, suggesting that we can choose to eat our way to happiness. A new study of more than 8000 adults in the UK has found links between our food choices and mental health (1). The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Warwick and looked at the fruit and vegetable intake of each individual, comparing it to measures of life satisfaction, mental wellbeing and self-reports of happiness, nervousness and low mood.

The researchers also took into account other variables such as meat consumption, alcohol intake and  social and economic factors, so that these factors would not influence the results of the study.

They found that both happiness and mental health appear to rise in a ‘dose-response way’ along with the number of daily servings of fruit and vegetables. Wellbeing appeared to peak at seven portions of fruit and vegetables each day.

Study co-author Professor Sarah Stewart-Brown, Professor of Public Health at Warwick Medical School, said “the statistical power of fruit and vegetables was a surprise. Diet has traditionally been ignored by wellbeing researchers”.

fruits
Fruit and vegetables contain folic acid, potassiam and flavnoids.

There are a number of reasons why fruit and vegetable consumption might give our mental wellbeing a boost. For example, these foods provide an abundance of minerals such as potassium (2) and vitamins such as folic acid (3) which have an impact on adrenaline and serotonin receptors. Fruits and vegetables also provide a whole host of flavonoids, some of which can enter the brain and might very well have a positive influence on mood. Vitamin C, found in abundance in fruit and veg, is essential for the synthesis of noepinephrine, a chemical message in the brain that affects mood.

Of course this type of research is not able to prove causality. Do seven portions of fruit and vegetables create happiness, or do happy and well-adjusted individuals tend to eat more fruit and vegetables? The researchers admit that further controlled trials would be needed to prove such a link, but they maintain that the study’s results are compelling.

In the meantime, there is no harm in boosting your daily fruit and vegetable intake. It will certainly boost your physical health and it might just stave off those January blues. Just five small changes can help you to increase your daily fruit and vegetable intake:

  • Incorporate fruits and vegetables into your snacks by keeping raw carrots and other crunchy vegetables to hand.
  • Add chopped fruit or berries to your morning cereal.
  • Try a daily fruit or vegetable smoothie.
  • Replace your lunchtime sandwich with vegetable soup.
  • Replace your usual dessert with a fruit salad.

References

1. David G. Blanchflower, Andrew J. Oswald, Sarah Stewart-Brown (2012), Is Psychological Well-being Linked to the Consumption of Fruit and Vegetables? Warwick Economic Research Paper no. 996.

2. Torres S J, C A Nowson and A Worsley (2009), “Dietary electrolytes are related to mood”, British Journal of Nutrition, 100(5),1038-45.

3. Gilbody S, T Lightfoot and T Sheldon (2007), “Is low folate a risk factor for depression? A meta‐analysis and exploration of heterogeneity”, Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 61(7), 631–637. 

4. Image courtesy of ctr’s.

Share

Fibre and Obesity

It is widely known that levels of obesity across the world have been rising at a staggering rate over the past few decades. We can’t miss the constant references to junk food and obesity in the news, however our obesogenic environments seem to present people with barriers to losing weight and becoming healthier.

Wholegrain Bread contains fibre
Foods like wholegrain bread contains fibre which could be good for a healthy weight and BMI.

It is important to overcome these barriers as the rises in overweight and obesity have been directly linked to low intakes of fibre rich foods such as vegetables, fruit, whole-grains and legumes (i.e. under the recommended intake of 18-30 grams of fibre a day in the UK).

Likewise, higher intakes of fibre are correlated with lower body mass index (BMI) and reduced incidence of metabolic disturbances such as hypertension, heart disease and diabetes. Fibre may also help to induce satiety, balance blood sugar and prevent hunger pangs and cravings which in turn can help to reduce energy intake, which offers another potential benefit for overweight individuals.

In order to investigate the effect of overweight individuals’ fibre intake in particular, one study (1) compared the fibre intakes from healthy diet, supplementation or a placebo on body composition and other metabolic measures. This study, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, aimed to discover the effects of additional fibre intakes on metabolic outcomes and also to determine the amount of fibre that would be the most effective. The study used four groups where subjects either consumed a placebo powder (breadcrumbs) with their usual diet (control), a fibre supplement in the form of 12g of psyllium husks with their usual diet, a healthy eating diet with placebo and finally healthy eating diet with fibre supplementation. The researchers found that compared to the control group, who simply ate their usual diet with a placebo, the subjects in all groups increased their daily fibre intakes. Specifically, the healthy eating diet with psyllium husk supplementation group increased their fibre intake by a massive 39g a day, which was in comparison to an 11g increase for health eating alone.

The authors noted that the addition of the fibre supplement to a normal diet was enough to produce improvements in weight, BMI and % body fat. However, they stated that it is the combination of a healthy diet with fibre supplementation that produced the greatest improvements in all bodily measures (including total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, insulin, body weight and BMI) for overweight individuals. This led the authors to conclude that an intake of fibre above 30g per day from both dietary sources and fibre supplements was the most suitable for those who are overweight, and not simply the adoption of a healthy diet alone. Therefore, if you are interested in losing weight, increasing your health and reducing your risks of metabolic conditions, you may wish to include the following high fibre foods into your diet along with fibre supplements such as psyllium, rice bran, wheat bran etc:

– Vegetables; including split peas (around 8g of fibre per 100g).

– Seeds; for example flax seeds provide 2.7g of fibre per tablespoon.

– Cereals; e.g a medium size bowl of All-Bran contains 9.8g of fibre; Two pieces of Shredded Wheat contain 4.3g of fibre; Two Weetabix contain 3.6g of fibre.

– Legumes such as red kidney beans; three tablespoons of red kidney beans contain 5.4g of fibre.

– Fruits such as apricots; three whole apricots contain 5g of fibre; Three whole prunes contain 4.6g of fibre and a medium size pear (with skin) contains 3.7g of fibre.

Written by Lauren Foster

References

(1) Pal, S. Khossousi, A., Binns, C., Dhaliwal, S. & Ellis, V. (2011). The effect of a fibre supplement compared to a healthy diet on body composition, lipids, glucose, insulin and other metabolic syndrome risk factors in overweight and obese individuals. British Journal of Nutrition, 105, 90100.

Share

Dried plums can help prevent osteoporosis

As a nutritional therapist, I am always interested in new dietary approaches to protect our health as we age.  I was particularly interested to read about a recent study which found dried plums to be of significant benefit in supporting bone health.

The study, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, found that eating dried plums increased bone formation in postmenopausal women.

Although bone is often thought of as inert, it is in fact a ‘living structure’, constantly being broken down and rebuilt.  This is a process known as ‘bone turnover’.  If bone is broken down more quickly than it is remade, then osteoporosis can result.  This condition is of particular concern to postmenopausal women who produce less of the bone-protecting hormone oestrogen.

Dried plums can help prevent osteoporosis
A recent study has found dried plums to be of significant benefit in supporting bone health (2)

The bone-thinning disease, osteoporosis, is in fact a major health concern in the UK.  In the over-50s, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 12 men are affected.

The study, conducted by Professor Bahram H. Arjmandi, tested the effects of daily consumption of 100g dried plums on the bone density of 55 postmenopausal women over a 12 month period.  A control group were given 100g dried apples.

Bone health in the women was measured at 3, 6, 9 and 12 months, by measuring markers of bone turnover in the blood.  X-rays were also used at these intervals to assess bone mineral density.

Over the 12-month period, dried plums resulted in increased bone density of both the ulna (a bone in the forearm) and the spine.  No such effect was seen in the group taking the dried apple.

Professor Arjamandi reasons that the special phenolic compounds in dried plums increase levels of a hormone linked to bone formation.  These compounds also help to prevent bone from being broken down. Dried plums, or prunes, are also high in antioxidants and provide essential nutrients for bone health such as potassium, boron and copper.

Introducing dried plums into the daily diet may therefore be a positive step in the prevention of osteoporosis.  “Don’t wait until you get a fracture or you are diagnosed with osteoporosis and have to have prescribed medicine,” Arjmandi suggests, “People could start eating two to three dried plums per day and increase gradually to perhaps six to ten per day.  Prunes can be eaten in all forms and can be included in a variety of recipes.”

Dried fruits certainly offer a variety of health benefits, as they are higher in fibre and phenols, and are more nutrient-dense, than fresh fruit.  For those interested in maintaining or improving their bone health, this initial research suggests that introducing prunes in particular to the diet could be a positive step.

Written by Nadia Mason

References

1.  Shirin Hooshmand, Sheau C. Chai, Raz L. Saadat, Mark E. Payton, Kenneth Brummel-Smith, Bahram H. Arjmandi.Comparative effects of dried plum and dried apple on bone in postmenopausal women. British Journal of Nutrition, 2011; 1 DOI: 10.1017/S000711451100119X

2.  Image courtesy of Just4you.

Share

Back To School – Part 2- Healthy Lunch Boxes & Nutritious Snacks

Following on from our last blog on ‘Back to School Children’s Nutrition‘, this time we are looking at some healthy ideas for lunch boxes which can often be somewhat of a headache for busy mums and dads.

Take a look at some of our ideas and try them out this term.

Healthy Sandwich
Add some salad to a sandwich and go for different types of bread such as pitta bread, wraps and baguettes, and always go for wholemeal seeded rather than white bread. (2)

Adding a piece of fruit or two such as an apple, banana, orange, or a handful of grapes to your child’s lunch box is just as easy as adding a bag of crisps or a chocolate bar and no more time consuming.  Try testing out different fruits with your kids especially if yours are particularly fussy to see which ones are for them.  Vary the fruits so that your kids don’t get bored and you can even experiment with trying some unusual fruits such as dragon fruit, passion fruit, star fruit, lychee or any other exotic fruits you can get your hands on.  Kids love these as they are so unusual and intriguing to look at. Also give a thought to growing your own fruit and vegetables as your kids will be dying to try the fruits of their labour.  Getting your kids to squeeze the juice out of fruit to make lollies or blending them to make a smoothie is also a very enjoyable way for your kids to get more of their 5 a day.

According to the School Foods Trust (1) packed lunches should include:

  • Fruit and vegetables (at least one portion of each every day).
  • Meat, fish or other non dairy protein (e.g. lentils, kidney beans, chickpeas, hummus, peanut butter) every day.
  • Oily fish at least once every three weeks.
  • A starchy food such as bread, pasta, rice, couscous, noodles, potatoes or other types of cereal every day.
  • Dairy such as milk, cheese, yoghurt, fromage frais, or custard every day.
  • Drinks: non flavoured water, fruit juice, yoghurt or milk drinks, smoothies.
  • No snacks such as crisps. Instead nuts, seeds, vegetables and fruit (with no added salt, sugar or fat.) are acceptable.  Cakes and biscuits are to be limited and preferred only as part of a balanced meal.
  • No processed items such as dippers and cheese strings etc.

Using this method will help you to come up with ideas for your child’s lunch boxes.  For example you could try different salads such as pasta salad or potato salads with fish (especially oily fish like salmon or mackerel to provide fatty acids which are great for brain function, concentration and learning) or chicken or tinned fish for those wishing for the quick and easy.  Alternatively, beans such as pinto or kidney beans make a great addition to salads and provide both protein and fibre.  Mixing with a little light salad cream or olive oil and balsamic vinegar, makes for a really tasty and easy lunch.  You could even just use some of the left over pasta (especially wholemeal for balanced blood sugar levels) or potatoes from dinner the day before to make the lunches, and even make enough for your lunch too. Add an apple (for fibre, vitamin C and the antioxidant quercetin known to benefit hayfever and lower health risks) and a yoghurt (for dairy to help build strong bones and teeth) to the box and your good to go.

Also, if it has to be a sandwich, then mix it up a bit, add some salad, and go for different types of bread such as pitta, wraps and baguettes, and always go for wholemeal seeded rather than white bread to ensure blood sugar levels are balanced and kids are fuller for longer. The fibre content will also ensure that our kid’s digestive systems are functioning correctly and they are warding off risks of illnesses and diseases.

Pieces Of Apple
Adding a piece of fruit or two to your child’s lunch box is just as easy as adding a bag of crisps or a chocolate bar and no more time consuming. (3)

As kids love to use their hands when they are eating, including dips such as hummus or cottage cheese are fun additions and also a healthy option as they contains lots of vitamins, minerals and amino acids.  Include some vegetables such as chopped carrots (for vitamin A, providing benefits to eyes and skin) and peppers (for vitamin C and beta carotene), or even breadsticks or crackers for dipping and they will have a great time at lunch.

Food enjoyment is an important part of eating especially for children therefore it is worth experimenting with different methods.  Making the foods look appealing or adding a sauce or a dip to the dish are great ways to introduce a new food to their diet.  Once they’ve eaten the particular food a few times, they generally start to enjoy it and you never know you may find them asking for it in their packed lunches rather than you suggesting it to them.

Processed foods such as packaged ready meats, chocolate, crisps, biscuits and cakes should be kept to a minimum throughout the whole family for consistency.  Also, remember that you as a parent are a role model, so try to eat healthy foods in front of them so they can see how much you enjoy them (even if you may not).

It may be a time consuming process getting your child to try and enjoy eating healthy foods but it is definitely worth it for the wide range of health benefits provided.

Written by Lauren Foster

References

1. School Foods Trust (2008) Oldfield Park Infants’ School Packed Lunch Policy and Guidelines (Online):

2. Image courtesy of healingdream.

3. Image courtesy of Ambro.

Share

Diabetes epidemic on a global scale

The number of people dignosed with Type 2 diabetes has more than doubled since the 1980s, and this number continues to grow in almost every part of the world.

In a large-scale study published in The Lancet last month, researchers found that rates of diabetes have either risen or at best remained the same in virtually all parts of the world in the past 30 years.

Glaucometer
The number of people dignosed with Type 2 diabetes has more than doubled since the 1980s (2)

While Type 1 diabetes is an automimmune disorder, Type 2 is a preventable condition caused by factors such as diet and lifestyle.  Type 2 diabetes occurs when the cells of the body become ‘insulin resistant’, meaning that they are no longer able to take up sugar.  As a result, sugar continues to circulate in the bloodstream where it can cause damage around the body.

The long term risks of diabetes include damage to the nerves, kidneys and retinas, as well as increased rates of cardiovascular disease and stroke.  Many of those diagnosed with Type 2 diabates end up taking long-term prescription medications to control blood glucose levels.

The new study is the largest of its kind for diabetes, and was conducted by an international group of researchers in collaboration with the World Health Organisation.

It found that between 1980 and 2008, the number of adults with diabetes rose from 153 million to 347 million. Much of this rise was a result of population growth and longevity.  However, 30% of the rise was due to higher prevalence.  Currently 9.8% of men and 9.2% of women now suffer with Type 2 diabetes.

Goodarz Danaei, from the Harvard School of Public Health, added “Unless we develop better programs for detecting people with elevated blood sugar and helping them to improve their diet and physical activity and control their weight, diabetes will inevitably continue to impose a major burden on health systems around the world.”  These three simple changes to your diet can help reduce your risk of diabetes:

Cut the sugar

Refined carbohydrates cause sharp rises in your blood sugar levels.  Over time this can lead to insulin resistance and diabetes.
Start by replacing sugary foods with more healthy alternatives.  Replace sugary sodas and energy drinks with herbal teas and green tea. Switch sweets and chocolate for a piece of fruit.  Avoid sugary breakfast cereal and start the day with eggs on wholegrain toast or fruit and yoghurt.

BioCare Get Up and Go Low GL Breakfast Shake Powder - 300g Powder
Try a high fibre smoothie, such as Biocare’s Get Up and Go Low GL Breakfast Shake.

Increase your fibre intake

A high fibre diet decreases your risk of diabetes, and you should aim for between 20 and 35g fibre each day.
Easy ways to increase your fibre intake include replacing fruit juice with a piece of fruit or a fruit smoothie, and replacing white pasta, rice and bread with wholegrain alternatives.  You could also try a high fibre smoothie, such as BioCare’s Get Up and Go Low GL Breakfast Shake.

Add lean protein

Including a source of lean protein with each meal can help you to control your blood sugar.

Replace fatty and processed meats such as burgers, bacon and sausages with lean meats such as chicken and turkey.  Other good sources of lean protein include eggs, cottage cheese, reduced fat hummus, tofu, and pulses such as beans, lentils and chickpeas.

Written by Nadia Mason
References
Goodarz Danaei et al. (2011) National, regional, and global trends in fasting plasma glucose and diabetes prevalence since 1980: systematic analysis of health examination surveys and epidemiological studies with 370 country-years and 2.7 million participants.  The Lancet. 378(9875):31-40

Share

The Sun Chlorella guide to a healthy gut – Part 2

Continuing from Wednesday’s blog post on gut health, the team at Sun Chlorella follow on with the second part of their 10 point guide to the facts and fictions of gut health.

Sun Chlorella - The Ultimate Superfood
Sun Chlorella® ‘A’ is a natural green algae whole food supplement from Japan.

Sun Chlorella expert nutritionist Nadia Brydon, is on hand to separate the fact from the fiction when it comes to keeping your guts healthy.

“The most important thing when managing your digestion is to identify the causes and stop the patterns that lead to pain and discomfort.  Once you know how healthy your gut is you’ll be able to prevent any bloating.” says Nadia.

Don’t eat fruit – FICTION!

Candida overgrowth is a major cause of bloating and is essentially fermentation inside the gut.  Foods that encourage fermentation include sugar and that means sugar in fruit too.  However, not all fruit causes bloating.  Avoid citrus fruits but stock up on bananas, figs, blueberries, mango and papaya instead.

Supplements don’t work – FICTION!

If you are susceptible to bloating and trapped wind there are a number of effective and natural solutions.

Sun Chlorella® ‘A’ – a natural green algae whole food supplement from Japan – is Nadia’s number one choice for bloating as it contains a staggering range of nutrients including around 10% fibre, to help move food through the system more effectively.  Due to its special component – the Chlorella Growth Factor (CGF) – Sun Chlorella® ‘A’ re-stimulates the growth and repair of cells, including the growth of good bacteria (Lactobacilli) four-fold once it’s absorbed, which aids digestive health*.

Nadia explains, “Taking Sun Chlorella® ‘A’ on a daily basis helps to keep the gut healthy and happy by acting as an ‘intestinal broom’ and cleansing the bowel.  Chlorella has the highest known concentration of chlorophyll – the green pigment found in plants that converts water, air and sunlight into energy – and this helps to bind to any toxins in your intestines, preventing absorption and eliminating them as waste.”

Other options include activated charcoal – an age old remedy to help ease the feelings of trapped wind.  Peppermints or warming peppermint tea will ease digestion whilst fennel seed tea or chewing fennel seeds or dill seeds after a meal can also help prevent bloating.

Increase your fibre intake – FACT!

Diet is really important.  Avoid bread and any processed or low glycemic foods and try to eat fresh foods instead.  Cutting down your intake of foods which are low in fibre – and therefore ‘bind’ inside your gut – such as eggs, chocolate, red meat, cheese and processed foods will help reduce bloating too.  A supplement such as Sun Chlorella® ‘A’ also contains fibre which can help to move food through your system.

Sun Chlorella 'A'
“Taking Sun Chlorella® ‘A’ on a daily basis helps to keep the gut healthy and happy by acting as an ‘intestinal broom’ and cleansing the bowel.

Food mixing can lead to bloating – FACT!

Bloating can often be caused by the slowing down of digestion caused by mixing incompatible foods (such as protein and carbohydrates) at meal times – which have different digesting times.  Bread, along with lactose and gluten, is also high on the list of causative factors.

Stress can lead to gut discomfort – FACT!

Stress is a huge factor as it can cause tension in the body which in turn interrupts the digestion process.  Try to find time to unwind at the end of each day – simple breathing exercises, a relaxing bath or even meditation could help the body to de-stress.

* a recent review of research concluded that the potential of chlorella to relieve symptoms, improve quality of life and normalize body functions in patients suffering with ulcerative colitis (a long-term (chronic) condition affecting the colon and causing inflammation of the intestines), suggests that larger, more comprehensive clinical trials of chlorella are warranted; A Review of Recent Clinical Trials of the Nutritional Supplement Chlorella Pyrenoidosa in the Treatment of Fibromyalgia, Hypertension, and Ulcerative Colitis, Randall E Merchant, PhD, and Cynthia A. Andre, MSc

 

Written by Nadia Brydon

 

Share

The Sun Chlorella guide to a healthy gut – Part 1

Todays blog is provided by the experts at premium supplement brand Sun Chlorella.  In parts 1 and 2, their expert nutritionist discusses the fact and fiction surrounding the topic of gut health.

‘Beat the bloat’  How healthy is your gut?  Fact & Fiction

Many aspirations to get more energised and active in the summer months are often thwarted by the common issue of bloated bellies.  To help our collective tummies beat the bloat, nutritionist Nadia Brydon from premium supplement brand Sun Chlorella, is on hand to separate the fact from the fiction when it comes to keeping your guts healthy.

“The most important thing when managing your digestion is to identify the causes and stop the patterns that lead to pain and discomfort.  Once you know how healthy your gut is you’ll be able to prevent any bloating.” says Nadia.

NADIA BRYDON’S GUT HEALTH FACT & FICTIONS

Sun Chlorella A1
Breathing and exercise are particularly important to help the digestion process and ‘burn’ off the food we eat.

Exercising when bloated will aggravate the condition – FICTION!

Breathing and exercise are particularly important as the gut needs air to help the digestion process and ‘burn’ off the food we eat.  Try to take exercise in the open air for half an hour each day.  If you’re bloated, a gentle walk will give you energy and the movement will facilitate your digestion.  Exercise that focuses on the abdominal muscles or uses controlled breathing is excellent as it strengthens the muscles in this area.

Don’t drink alcohol – FICTION!

If you are heading out for a few drinks just make sure you go prepared. Take Sun Chlorella® ‘A’ to help balance the pH in the gut before you head out, drink plenty of water throughout the night, and try to keep food simple and light.  Keep peppermints and chamomile teabags in your bag to have after your meal.

Eight hours sleep a night will help your tummy – FACT!

Sleep is a must and a good eight hours a night will give optimum benefit. It has been found that those sleeping less than this develop an increased desire for sugary type foods – due to lack of energy – which can ferment in the digestive tract and cause bloating.

Keep hydrated – FACT!

Always remember to drink lots of water throughout the day and try to drink before or after a meal rather than during.  Drinking up to eight glasses of water a day is the best ‘laxative’ nature can provide!

Visit the loo regularly – FACT!

Irregular bowel movements can cause bloating and it is important to empty the bowels on a daily basis.  For each main meal taken in, there should be a bowel movement to make space for the next meal.  Otherwise foods ‘back up’ and ferment leaving the gut feeling full and bloated.  To help keep the bowels regular, eat fibre-rich fresh fruit, vegetables and seeds such as flaxseeds, hemp seeds, sunflower and pumpkin seeds.

Don’t miss the second part of Sun Chlorella guide to a healthy gut in the next bodykind blog on Thursday 4th August 2011.

Written by Nadia Brydon

Share

Study finds fibre intake may be associated with a reduced risk of death from various causes

Previous studies have suggested that diets high in fibre may lower the risk of coronary heart disease, diabetes, obesity and some cancers.   Fibre can assist with bowel movements, reduce blood cholesterol levels, improve blood glucose levels, lower blood pressure, promote weight loss and reduce inflammation and bind to potential cancer-causing agents in the gut to increase the likelihood they will be excreted by the body.  A newly published study (1) now suggests that fibre may be associated with a reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease, infectious and respiratory diseases, as well as a reduced risk of death from any condition.

The researchers involved in the study (1) examined dietary fibre intake in relation to total mortality and death from specific causes in a large group of individuals.  Data was analysed from 219,123 men and 168,999 women.  Study participants completed a detailed food frequency questionnaire at the start of the study in 1995 and 1996.  Over a period of around 9 years follow up, causes of death were determined by using records and registries.  Fibre intake in the group of individuals ranged from around 13g – 29g per day for men and 11g – 26g per day for women.  Over the course of the study, 20,126 men and 11,330 women died.

When the researchers analysed the data they found that fibre intake was associated with a significantly lowered risk of total death in both men and women (1): the one-fifth of men and women consuming the most fibre (29.4 grams per day for men and 25.8 grams for women) were 22% less likely to die from any cause than those consuming the least (12.6 grams per day for men and 10.8 grams for women).  Dietary fibre intake was also associated with a lowered risk of death from cardiovascular, infectious, and respiratory diseases by 24%-56% in men and by 34%-59% in women.  In addition to this, in men a high intake of fibre was associated with a lowered risk of death from cancer.

The authors of the study conclude that “Dietary fibre may reduce the risk of death from cardiovascular, infectious, and respiratory diseases. Making fibre-rich food choices more often may provide significant health benefits

There are many ways that having a diet high in fibre could be helping to reduce the risk of death from various causes.  In a comment on the study two authors note (3) that “dietary fibre is important in digestion, and its relationship with chronic disease has been a topic of great interest for many years. Fibre consists of undigestible plant carbohydrates in both soluble and insoluble forms.  Soluble fibre (eg, fruit pectin) dissolves in water to form a gel, whereas insoluble fibre (eg, cellulose from wheat bran) does not. Both increase stomach distension, which increases satiety, and slow nutrient absorption” “The main function of insoluble fibre is to increase fecal bulk.  Because these changes are thought to protect against the development of chronic diseases, a fibre-rich diet similar to that of early man is probably healthier than current Western-type diets

Previously I have mentioned how, in the UK, we tend to fall short of the daily recommendations for fibre provision.  Many of us reach only 12g/day, the recommendation is for at least 18g/day with many health professionals recommending around 25g/day.  Please read my other posts relating to fibre.  Eating a diet that is rich in vegetables, fruits, wholegrains, nuts/seeds and low in processed foods is a good way to ensure high daily fibre intakes.  Fruits, vegetables and wholegrains also provide the body with vitamins, minerals and flavonoids (bioactive plant compounds) which are needed for optimal body function and health.

There are also many fibre supplements available but these lack the other nutritional benefits provided from plant foods (e.g. vitamins and minerals) that plant foods contain and supplements can never be viewed as an alternative to a healthy diet.  One supplement that may be worth considering is FOS, fructo-oligosaccharides, since this provides a form of fibre but is also a prebiotic and hence has other health benefits.  A prebiotic is a food that stimulates the growth of the beneficial bacteria already present in the colon.  Just 5g daily could be beneficial for a number of reasons as well as boosting fibre intakes.  Always check with a medical doctor prior to beginning a new supplement regimen.

(1)Park Y et al.  2011.  Dietary Fibre Intake and Mortality in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study.  Arch Intern Med.  Published online February 14, 2011. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2011.18

(2)Press Release.  JAMA and Archives Journals (2011, February 14). Fibre intake associated with reduced risk of death. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 15, 2011, from http://www.sciencedaily.com­ /releases/2011/02/110214162928.htm

(3) de Koning L and Hu F B.  2011.  Do the Health Benefits of Dietary Fibre Extend Beyond Cardiovascular Disease?: Comment on “Dietary Fibre Intake and Mortality in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study” .  Arch Intern Med. 2011;0(2011):2011191-2.

Written by Ani Kowal

Share

Can increasing the amount of fibre in the diet impact body weight?

A high fibre diet has been shown in many studies (1) to be linked to a reduced risk of cancers, heart disease, diabetes and obesity.



Recently published data (2) has found that a higher intake of dietary fibre may play a beneficial role in the prevention of body weight gain and gain in waist circumference measurement.  The authors of this study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, looked at the association of dietary fibre with changes in weight and waist circumference.  The research involved over 89,000 individuals ages 20-78 who were free of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes at the beginning of the study.  The participants were followed for 6.5  years.  The results show (2) that a higher intake of total fibre was associated with a reduced likelihood of weight and waist circumference change when compared to low intake of total dietary fibre. 



Fibre may be having an impact on weight through various indirect methods.  Fibre is generally quite filling, it promotes satiety and hence decreases feelings of hunger – eating a fibre rich diet may therefore reduce daily calorie consumption.  In addition to this, foods which are high in fibre, such as vegetables and pulses/beans, tend to be bulky (high volume) and low in calorie content and have the added benefit of being packed with vitamins, minerals and bioflavonoids (bio-active plant chemicals)



Here in the UK the majority of adults are not meeting the recommended daily intakes of 18g of fibre.  The National Diet and Nutrition Survey (3) reported that 72% of men and 87% of women were not meeting the recommended 18g of NSP per day.  In 2000/2001, the average daily intake of fibre was 15.2g for men and 12.6g per day for women!  The recommended amount of 18g per day was set in 1991 and is lower than most of the recommended intakes elsewhere in the world.  Many health professionals would advocate a daily fibre intake of 25-35g daily.  A healthy balanced diet rich in whole grains, pulses, beans, lentils, fruit and vegetables is a great way of increasing intakes.



There are two types of fibre: insoluble fibre and soluble fibre.  Insoluble fibre cannot be digested by the body, it helps to promote fullness and also aids the removal of waste from the body.  Thus is keeps the bowels healthy and prevents against constipation.  Vegetables, fruits and wholegrains contain a lot of insoluble fibre.  Soluble fibre can be partially digested and may help to reduce the amount of cholesterol in the blood. Good sources of soluble fibre include oats and pulses such as beans and lentils.



In addition to the impact of fibre on satiety and potentially on weight, as mentioned above, low fibre intakes are associated with constipation and other gut diseases such as diverticulitis.  For more information on the health benefits of dietary fibre please visit the British Nutrition Foundation website and the government Eat Well website



If you feel that you are regularly not getting enough fibre from your diet it is important to see if you can find ways to increase the amount of vegetables, fruits, beans/pulses and wholegrains into daily meals.  There are also many fibre supplements available but these lack the other nutritional benefits provided from plant foods (e.g. vitamins and minerals) that plant foods contain.  One supplement that may be worth considering is FOS, fructo-oligosaccharides, since this provides a form of fibre but is also a prebiotic and hence has other health benefits.  A prebiotic is a food that stimulates the growth of the beneficial bacteria already present in the colon.  In October I wrote a post about evidence linking prebiotics to reduced appetite and increased satiety.  Just 5g daily could be beneficial for a number of reasons as well as boosting fibre intakes.


 


(1)Buttriss JL & Stokes CS.  2009.  Dietary fibre and health: an overview.  Nutrition Bulletin.  33:186-200
(2)Huaidong Du et al.  2010.  Dietary fiber and subsequent changes in body weight and waist circumference in European men and women.  American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.  91: 329-336
(3) Henderson L et al.  2003.  The National Diet and Nutrition Survey: Adults aged 19-64 years.  HMSO London
Written by Ani Kowal

Share