Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Pineapple the SUPERFOOD

So what makes pineapple so special? Well to start with it’s high in a bromelain, a proteolytic enzyme (any enzyme that catalyses the splitting of proteins into smaller peptide fractions and amino acids) that is a COX – 2 (enzyme that causes inflammation and pain and fever) Inhibitor and bradykinin (A compound that causes contraction of smooth muscle and dilation of blood vessels.) inhibitor and a that helps reduce inflammation. It also reduces the levels of decreasing levels of other inflammatory markers & induction of pro-inflammatory mediators.

Pineapple is also high in vitamin C, A, B-complex, manganese & potassium, as well as anti-oxidants & flavonoids. But what does that all really mean?

How Does Pineapple better our health?

Cold & Flu symptoms: anti-inflammatory properties reduce the severity of the stuffy nose and decongestive properties to clear it & loosen the mucus as well as supressing a cough. Pineapples are also high in vitamin C

Eczema & itchy skin: The anti-inflammatory properties in bromelain have shown to reduce the severity of eczema & itchy skin

Allergies:  Bromelain is natural anti-histamine & also facilitates the absorption of other anti-histamine nutrients such as quercitin (onions, apples, grapes) & pycnogenol (pine bark & citrus fruits). It is mucolytic (breaks mucus down) & is ideal in reducing the inflammatory symptoms of hay fever

Asthma: Bromelain reduces the bronchial inflammation associated with asthma and other respiratory disease

UTI: Preventative measure by promoting discouraging inflammation in the urinary tract

Arthritis/Fibromyalgia/Osteoporosis/Osteoarthritis: With highly inflammatory conditions where NSAID’s are normally consumed, bromelain works on the same pathway reducing inflammation & prompting anti-inflammatory markers. Several studies have commented on the supplementation of bromelain for several months and the effectiveness on reducing pain in various areas in the body. Many have suggested the equal effect of many NSAID's, minus side effects such as nausea and toxicity (Please consult your health care professional before adjusting any medication or supplements)

Hyperthyroidism: anti-inflammatory properties & the aiding in the reducing of mineralization of bone from the manganese found in pineapple

Energy: Contains manganese which is a cofactor for energy production. In order to make a molecule of energy manganese is required, thus the more manganese (along with the other energy cofactors) the more energy you have!

Digestion/ Irritable bowel / coeliac :  because pineapple is highly alkaline food neutralize fluids to ensure that they are not too acidic as well as having protein-digesting properties. It also regulates the secretions in the pancreas to aid in digestion. The anti-inflammatory properties

Low GI:  One of the fruits that is low GI which means a slower release of glucose into your blood, to stabilise blood sugar levels.

Pineapple really is a super food, and there are many more health benefits related to it, and to top it all off tastes great! Fresh pineapple is always better than tinned pineapple due to the sugary syrup & additives it sits in, in order to be preserved.

Tochi, B, Wang, Z, Xu, S & Zhang, W 2008, Therapeutic Application of Pineapple Protease (Bromelain): A Review, Pakistan Journal of Nutrition, vol.7, no. 4, pp.513-520.

Yuan, G, Wahlqvist, M, He, G, Yang, M & Li, D 2006, Natural products and anti-inflammatory activity, Asian Pacific Journal of Nutrition, vol. 15, no. 2, pp.143-152.

If you struggle to eat right make it simple for yourself with a Meal Plan Template. Or get a Personailsed Plan to get to your goals faster :) Need more information? Simply send me an email
P.S here is an even easier way to increase your nutrient intake right here

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Going Gluten Free

What is gluten? What can I eat if I have to go gluten free?  Can I ever eat bread? Here are all the in’s & outs for going gluten free put simply.

So your gluten intolerant what does that mean?? Gluten is a described as a protein found in many grains including rye, wheat, oats and barley. This all includes the foods made from grains such as these. To go gluten free means to exclude these grains from your diet completely, and this may be essential for those diagnosed as coeliac disease. Remember there is a spectrum of gluten sensitivity ranging from complete intolerance, to wheat only intolerance to mild gluten intolerance.

What are the symptoms of gluten intolerance?
Common symptoms include
-Severe bloating
-Abdominal pain

More severe symptoms include
-joint pain
-mood swings/disorders

How do I know if I’m gluten intolerant?
-keep a food mood & symptom diary
-get a blood test at your doctor to rule out wheat allergy & coeliac disease
-try an elimination diet to rule out any other food allergies or intolerances

What’s the difference between gluten intolerance & coeliac disease?
-Coelica’s disease= has a genetic component, contains a risk of malnourishment triggers an immune response when gluten is in the system. It can also cause permanent intestinal damage.
-Gluten intolerance=symptoms only last as long as gluten is in the system, & typical symptoms will be abdominal pain, diarrhoea & flatulence.

What causes gluten intolerance or sensitivity? This can occur at any point during your life
-damage to villi in intestines (this alone has MANY causes i.e.: genetics, medications, poor diet etc.)

However you may not need to go completely gluten free, you may just have a slight gluten intolerance. This can be due to over doing the gluten intake (i.e.: limiting bread 4 weeks before a holiday & then binging on it for the next 2 weeks leaving you feeling bloated.)

Here are the basics…
What grains & products you need to avoid
-oats (some may be able to tolerant this)
-processed foods high in wheat flour (cakes, biscuits, crisps, ice cream, dressings, sauces etc.)
- certain supplements & medications

What grains & products you can eat
-gluten free products (these will be clearly labelled)
-gluten free supplements/medications
- rice, rice flour & rice noodles
-corn flour,
-dairy (unless intolerant also)
-nuts & seeds
-fish, meat, poultry
-fruits & vegetables

What substitutes to make (all of these are found in your supermarket)
Gluten Free Examples
Bread – supermarket wholemeal
Bodhi’s multi grain gluten free
Pasta –white, spaghetti, in packet
San Remo gluten free spaghetti
Flour –white/wholemeal
Buckwheat flour/almond meal
Crackers - vitawheet
Orgran multigrain crackers
Tiny Teddies (kids)
Orgran mini out back animals
Sanitarium Muesli
Freedom foods Ancient grain Swiss muesli
Whole-wheat wrap
Freedom gluten free wraps

The list is endless from gluten free cake mixes, pizza bases you name. Just be sure not to over indulge because there are options, you still need your fruits, veg, meats, dairy, fish, nuts & seeds.

How to live a full & happy life being gluten intolerant
There are ever growing gluten free options & much more awareness. All it takes is a little time & education & you will be well on your way!
There is even a gluten free directory on the web (and an app is available) of what restaurants offer gluten free in Australia!! (

Please contact your healthcare professional for more information or if you are considering gluten free.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Winter Warmers

 Winter is well & truly here so instead of packing on those kilos with warm comfort food here are some ways to get warm, hearty & waist-friendly foods

Winter Favourites
Swap To
Why it’s Better
Hot chocolate
Herbal tea
Less calories, sugar and fat & more antioxidants
Sausage roll
Lean beef rissoles
Less calories, less saturated fats, more protein
Baked potato
Less fat, no trans-fats, less sodium, fewer calories
Fish & Chips
Grilled Salmon, & roast vegetables
Less saturated & trans fats, higher essential fatty acid & nutrient profiles,
Toasted grilled chicken, avocado, spinach, tomato wrap
Fewer calories, fat, sodium & sugar,
More protein, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants
Vegetable & smoked salmon Pastry-free quiche / frittata
More protein, higher essential fatty acid & nutrient profiles, less saturated fats
Creamy Soup with bacon & croutons
Homemade meat & vegetable soup
Less fat, sodium & sugar,
More protein, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants
Poached Pears with cinnamon & cottage cheese
Less fat, sugar and calories, higher in antioxidants, nutrients and protein

Here are some examples for Warm Ideas for each meal
Breakfast: Omelette, porridge
Lunch: toasted lean meal & chargrilled vegetables wrap
Dinner: grilled salmon, roast pumpkin & sweet potato, steamed broccoli green beans

Remember these foods are in season:
-Fruits: pink lady apples, citrus fruits, avocadoes, kiwi and tomatoes
-Veges: pumpkin, garlic, broccoli, baby carrots, leeks, Asian greens, zucchini, kale, cauliflower, and beetroot.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Top 5 Energy Stealers

Feeling low on energy?? Here are the most common reasons why you may be feeling this way.

1. Dehydration

A lack of water is one of the common signs of fatigue! As water makes much the majority of blood, without it, the blood thickens (even in mild dehydration), which in turn the heart has to work harder to pump blood to the vital organs = fatigue.
Not sure if you’re well hydrated?? Your urine is the easiest detection. Check your frequency & the colour when you urinate. It should be pale yellow-clear & you should be urinating every 2-4 hours.  
Tip: Increase your water intake to a minimum of 1.5L & feel the difference

2. Too much bad bacteria

An overgrowth in bad bacteria in the stomach & intestines is another energy stealer. When this is bad enough it will interfere with nutrient absorption & digestions & can lead to deficiencies particularly in energy co-factors i.e.: B vitamins and magnesium.
Causes include chrones, diabetes, diverticulitis, anti-biotics, no enough pro-biotic foods, food allergies & intolerances, low nutrient dense food intakes, high intake of toxins etc.
Symptoms include: gas, constipation, bloating, fatigue, diarrhoea.
Tip: Increase pre & pro biotic food (a supplement may be required) as well as whole foods, decrease packaged and processed foods

3. Low Iron

This is fairly common in women, particularly those who do not eat the 2-3 serves of red meat a week as recommended by health professionals. However this may also be a genetic condition that you can’t store Iron. In fact there are many reasons why your Iron may be low!
Symptoms: Fatigue, muscle weakness, irritability, lack of motivation, pale skin, weak nails, thinning hair, SOB on exertion and more
Tip: Increase lean red meat in diet in combination which high vitamin C foods to aid absorption. Alternatively a supplement may be recommended by your health care professional.

4. Adrenal Fatigue

Fatigued adrenals are a result of the increased release of cortisol in the blood stream have been shown to have quite severe and negative effects increased abdominal fat leading to a whole range of health issues within itself.
Symptoms: Fatigue, dark circles under the eyes, dry skin, muscle twitches, heart palpitations, infections, severe cravings, lack of stamina for stress and much more.
Tip: Get more sleep, decreased refined sugars, decrease/eliminate caffeine, eat more whole fruits & vegetables and increase water.

5. B12 Deficiency

Is quite common in vegetarians & almost certain in vegans.  A B12 deficiency for a significant amount of time can cause confusion, depression loss of balance and numbness in the extremities.
Causes: Poor diet, alcoholism, chrones, anaemia, bowel resection surgeries and more.
Symptoms: pale skin, diarrhoea, fatigue, shortness of breath and more.
Tip: Increase B12 foods i.e.: meat, fish, eggs, poultry, shellfish, and diary, Vegetarians: increase eggs & dairy, Vegans: Look at a B12 supplement/injection

If any of these are suspected consult your health care professional for more information & treatment.

Friday, 1 June 2012

Benefits of Green Tea

It has been recommended that green tea promotes weight loss. How does this work? And how switching from green tea from black tea is beneficial.

Green tea consists of polyphenols such as flavanol monomers or catechins which are antioxidants, anti-cancer, antiviral and anti-plaque forming properties, as well as contributing to reducing blood pressure and controlling blood sugar.Green tea is a “may reduce LDL oxidation and the formation of oxidized DNA metabolites, thus contributing to lower risks of CVD and cancer” (St-Onge 2005) due to the fact that it’s a powerful antioxidant. It is non-oxidised where as black and oolong tea are quite heavily oxidized (St-Onge 2005). Catechins also are said to inhibit fat accumulation, stimulate thermogenesis and reduce the total cholesterol concentration. Green tea is also suggested to decrease body weight and waist circumference. Green tea is a “powerful antioxidants that may reduce LDL oxidation and the formation of oxidized DNA metabolites, thus contributing to lower risks of CVD and cancer” (St-Onge 2005).

Some studies have shown the long term, participants in the study who were on a diet plan and consumed green tea on a daily basis actually had a greater reduction in body fat percentage, waist/circumference ratio, skin folds, subcutaneous total and fat area when compared with those participants on a diet plan and oolong tea.  The studies also proved that green tea encourages energy expenditure and reduced total body fat. Another major contributing factor to a reduction in body fat was the ability of the catechins to prevent the formation of oxidised low density lipoprotein lipids, to also aid in reducing the risk for atherosclerosis.

Several other studies have concluded that green tea increased fat oxidation and increased thermogenesis concluding that green tea can influence body composition & weight. It was also discovered that it was not caffeine alone that stimulated thermogenesis but the green tea extract it self was stimulating thermogenesis in an in vitro experiment.

From these studies it is believe that you will benefit greatly from switching his black tea every day to green tea because of its fat oxidising properties and stimulation of thermogenesis, to aid weight loss.  

It is recommended you have 2 – 4 cups of loose leaf green tea away from food in order to receive the benefits.

Nagao, T, Komine, Y,Soga, S, Meguro, S, Hase, T, Tanaka, Y & Tokimitsu, I 2005, Ingestion of a tea rich in catechins leads to a reduction in body fat and malondialdehyde-modified LDL in men, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vol. 81, pp.122-129.

St-Onge, M 2005, Dietary fats, teas, dairy, and nuts: potential functional foods for weight control, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vol. 81, no. 1, pp 7-15.