Nutrition: Foods

Nutrition: Foods2019-12-11T11:46:12+00:00

Fill up on fibre

The gut is one of the largest, most dynamic, yet undervalued, organs in the human body. Dietary fibre is one of the best ways to maintain good-gut-health. What is fibre? Fibre is found in plant-based foods such as fresh fruit, vegetables, legumes, and wholegrains, and is the part of the plant that cannot be broken down by the digestive enzymes in the gut. Our gut needs different types of fibre to keep it healthy. Soluble fibre acts like a mop and helps absorb fluid in the gut, forming a soft, gel-like "mush" that helps passage through the gut. This fibre [...]

Nutrients 101

Heart disease, diabetes, cancer, wrinkles, memory loss: what if there was a way to delay and even prevent these and other illness and diseases? Scientists think that there is which is why a diet rich in nutrients from colorful fruit and vegetables, among other healthy foods, is so important. Fruit and vegetables are nutrient-dense foods and rich sources of vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants: the superheroes in the world of nutrition. NOTE: we are discussing MICROnutrients here. MACROnutrients (carbohydrate, protein, fat) are covered elsewhere. What are nutrients? Nutrients provide the nourishment our body’s need for healthy functioning, growth, repair and recovery, [...]

Protein power

A lean and toned physique has become the embodiment of health and well-being. There is no shortage of blogs on the ‘net and supplements on the market with advice and claims on how to gain muscle - this advice usually focuses on high protein intake. Is there really a need for so much extra protein in the diet? Why should I eat protein? Protein is one of three macro nutrients (the others being carbohydrates and fats). Protein rich foods include fish, chicken, lean red meat, eggs, dairy, and plant proteins such as lentils, beans and chickpeas (legumes). When digested, [...]

The facts on fat

Throw the word fat into conversation and you will trigger an avalanche of debate on the latest diets and nutrition trends. Which is why somewhere between the low-fat era of the 90’s and present-day chants of “fat is back”, there appears to be much confusion about the truth of the healthiest fats to eat as part of our diet. Are fats important in our diets? The fat food group contains more energy than carbohydrates and protein: 38kJ per gram of fat compared to 17kJ per gram each of carbohydrate and protein. Fat provides our bodies with the fat-soluble vitamins [...]

Carbohydrate confusion?

Along with fat and protein, carbohydrates are one of the three food groups essential to human health. A healthy, balanced and varied diet is one that includes a combination of these food groups in the diet in adequate amounts, and the right quality of these goods, too. Yet carbohydrates have been at the centre of one of the most heated debates in nutrition history, creating much misunderstanding and uncertainty. So why we are so confused about carbohydrates? Why are carbohydrates important? Carbohydrates are the body’s first choice as a source of energy. The brain, nervous system and red blood [...]

Superfoods

Most of us approach nutrition with a "what to avoid" or "need to eat less" mindset and fair enough - with the world getting ever fatter (no insult intended, it's just a fact borne out by international statistics over the last 30+ years) most of us would do well to eat less in general and to avoid much of the junk we currently consume. But what about a more positive approach: are there foods we should actively seek-out and eat? Is the idea of "superfoods" actually valid? Well, there are no magic foods that will heal all ailments, prevent [...]

Are energy drinks a good idea?

Are energy drinks a good idea? The popularity of energy drinks has never been higher. Marketing campaigns target teenagers and young adults with promises of improved energy, performance, concentration and more. The perceived association with glamorous lifestyles adds to the appeal. Do these drinks really offer any benefits? Are they safe? Energy drinks typically include caffeine, guarana (also a source of caffeine), taurine (an amino acid or protein building-block), sugar, ginseng and some B vitamins. It's the caffeine and the sugar that offer the "energy boost" as well as posing most of the risks. Energy drinks usually contain about 4-5 [...]

Healthy Breakfast

Eating a healthy breakfast has been recommended by dieticians for ages. Why? By the time you wake up you will not have eaten for 6-10 hours or so. Any long period without food "tells" your body to prepare for famine/starvation and it does so by slowing down metabolism and storing fat. This is exactly what you want to avoid! It's why we recommend eating breakfast every day (within 1-2 hours of waking) and always eating regularly through the day. It has been repeatedly shown that people who skip breakfast eat more calories per 24 hours and they make poor food [...]

Juicy Juicing

Juicing stalls and pre-packaged drinks seem to be popping up more and more lately. More and more people are buying juicers. So what’s the deal? Is it just a fad or is there something to it? Juicing generally refers to fresh juices made up from fruits or vegetables or a combination made by using a juicing machine. During the process the, often very noisy, juicing machine blends the fruits and vegetables so that the natural juices are extracted off to one side and the pulp, skin and seeds are put aside into another section to be discarded. Depending on [...]

Coffee, yes please!

Java, Mud, Joe, Brew......Coffee is one of those rare treats that contains next to no calories and offers real health and performance benefits. It is also one of the leading sources of antioxidants in the Western diet. This article discusses the numerous proven benefits (and risks) of coffee as well as suitable safe dosages of caffeine for different ages and conditions. Safe limits of caffeine The following guidelines have been issued by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA): Adults: In healthy adults between the age of 18 and 65, a daily dose of 400mg of caffeine does not raise safety [...]

Diabetes and Alcohol

When it comes to alcohol and diabetes, there is some confusion as to whether it can be included or not. There is a large body of information that states that moderate drinking has cardio (heart) protective effects but it can also cause havoc with your blood sugar levels. Can you answer the following questions? Is your blood sugar controlled? Do you know how alcohol can affect you? Are you sticking to the recommended amount? If not, this article will give you insights and tips on how to make sure you are managing your blood sugar levels while drinking alcohol. HOW [...]

Antioxidants

Most of us have heard the term antioxidant but most of us do not really know what they are or what they do. The science can be quite complex here so let's keep it simple: An antioxidant prevents oxidation caused by free radicals in the body. There are a variety of antioxidants including vitamins A,C,E, selenium, resveratrol, anthocyanins and CoQ-10. A free radical is a particle that has lost a paired electron, making it unstable. Free radicals can be a result of normal metabolism, exercise, sunlight and cigarette smoke. Free radicals can damage the body by compromising the integrity of cell walls [...]

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