Archive | May, 2012

D is for depleted..?

25 May

You would be surprised to learn that one of the few vitamins I recommend people look into taking is Vitamin D. You would be even more surprised to know that Vitamin D deficiencies is now a recognized pandemic worldwide – and Australia is particularly high on that list.

Yes we live in the sun filled country but hands up to show how many of you actually go outside to enjoy the sun during the week…?

I thought so.

Thanks to longer working hours (what lunch break?!) and a very successful Slip Slop Slap campaign, our exposure to the sun has significantly decreased. No.. pasty white skin isn’t the main problem associated with decreased rays, but rather the health issues that spiral from this occurrence.

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition states that Vitamin D deficiency causes rickets in children, and will precipitate and exacerbate osteopenia, osteoporosis, and fractures in adults.

The following may scare those who have recently returned from the doctor, blood tests in hand which states low Vitamin D levels (myself included); The associated health risks that may be linked to Vitamin D deficiencies include an increased risk of common cancers, autoimmune diseases, hypertension, and infectious diseases. Older people especially in residential care are more at risk due to sedentary and indoor lifestyle. Enough to get your attention right?!

We all know that direct sun exposure to the skin is the major source for receiving Vitamin D, however understanding the balance between too much sun and too little is important – several minutes of sun outside the hours of 10am to 3pm should do it.

We can also look at our diets for assistance. There are a few food sources that naturally contain Vitamin D such as egg yolk, mushrooms and oily fish (salmon, cod liver oil, mackerel etc). And of course today there are also many ‘modern’ foods which have been fortified to reduce this issue, most commonly bread, milks, cereals and some cheeses.

Vitamin D levels need to be checked annually by your medical practitioner and they will advise on the correct doses of supplementation for the individual.

In the mean time, get outside and enjoy the sun for 10 minutes every day, and indulge in an egg or two.

* Bonus fact: Vitamin D is a fat-soluble nutrient which also promotes the absorption of minerals calcium and phosphorus which helps makes teeth and bones healthily and strong!

References:

Nowson CA, Diamond TH, Pasco JA, Mason RS, Sambrook PN, Eisman JA. Vitamin D in Australia. Issues and recommendations. Aust Fam Physician 2004;33:133-8.

The American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition http://www.ajcn.org/content/87/4/1080S.full

Picture found here

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Your ‘comfort food’ just lied directly to your face..

4 May

It’s kinda refreshing to know that all the times I was feeling blue, or had a touch of the crazys about me, or one of the many times when I was so tired I was convinced I had chronic fatigue syndrome.. that it wasn’t ‘me’. It was the food.

High fives all round!

It was the lifestyle package of stress with a good side of adrenal fatigue, not enough sleep (but too much cortisol) and a whole lot of other bad  food choices that spiraled from this. That’s right, I wasn’t always a healthy gal simple (or partly) because of the poor food choices I was doing to my even poorer body.

Enter education, study, movement and clean food.

PMS? It’s what you are eating (or not eating) that contributes to this state of unbalanced hormones,  feeling angry and agitated for no real reason? Blame that sugar loaded meal you just had. Bloated and tired? Um, you did just eat a bowl of pasta followed by a mars bar..

You have to consider the irony when you reach for the exact type of food which makes you feel exactly the same way. Do you ever really feel comforted when you eat your go-to comfort food? I’m pretty sure the bowl of ice cream only made you feel good for 10 minutes before it turns on you and shows you it’s true colors. Cheap two faced you know what. But eating a warm bowl of vege soup or healthy smoothie – when did that ever lie and cheat to you? That’s right, never. It is always there for you- clean and healthy with nothing but good intentions for your body.

Girls breath a sigh of relief (and boys too for that matter) those blah days can be lessened just by eating like our great grandparents – which is full of whole foods (foods in their natural state). No McDonalds, no fat free bars, no coke OR diet coke. Just clean simple food and yes fat is included.

It’s true that everyone functions differently..while one person can go their whole life feeding their body with practically no nutrients while still feeling ‘fine’, the person next to them who who eats the exact same way will find they can hardly function and their quality of life is decreased – hence why many begin their journey to making smarted and cleaner food choices, one step at a time.

While society is slowly beginning to be educated about good health (and I don’t mean by large corporations telling us what is healthy like McDonalds or dairy association adverts wanting to sell milk so they say it is the best form of calcium (when humans aren’t actually made to digest cows milk but that’s another story) or cereal brands pushing their sugar for breakfast…) I encourage you to educate yourself and to just make one healthy change at a time.

You may be one of the lucky ones who can eat anything without your body screaming no in defense, but think about your long term health. That artificial sugar may be ‘fine’ today but it won’t be years down the track. It’s no strange coincidence that cancer, diabetes and allegories are on the rise.

Start investing in your health now by decreasing made man foods and  increasing whole foods.. and slowly but surely things like PMS, 3pm slumps and those sneaky new kgs to your frame.. will be a thing of the past. Comfort food not required.

 

* just take out the bad stuff and put in the good stuff  *

 

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