Are flavoured protein supplements suitable for a Paleo diet?

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What is a Paleo diet?

In its purest form, the paleo diet allows you to eat only those foods that humans ate when they first roamed the planet millions of years ago. The intention here is to focus on whole foods such as fruit, vegetables and lean sources of protein that have experienced minimal processing before reaching your plate. Heavy processing methods are associated with a reduction in nutritional content while boosting the levels of refined seed oils high in inflammatory fats, sodium and added sugars.

Technically, no protein supplement is strictly Paleo, whether it is flavoured or unflavoured, using natural or artificial flavouring. Protein supplements contain simply the amino-acid containing proteins that have been isolated or concentrated from the original source.

How is Clean Lean Protein Paleo-Friendly?

Protein powders certainly weren’t consumed by our prehistoric hunter-gatherer ancestors but most “Paleos” we meet consume protein supplements; ALL of which, unless they are unflavoured, use either natural or synthetic flavours. The Paleo diet aims to avoid chemicals and reduce consumption of artificial additives, sweeteners, gums, preservatives, industrial seed oils and food containing ‘anti-nutrients’ not present in high amounts in a hunter-gatherer diet. Clean Lean Protein ticks all the boxes, so for Paleos that do consume protein powder, Nuzest Clean Lean Protein is a great option.

How do we get our natural flavours?

We do not use artificial flavours—they’re 100% natural. Our vanilla is made from vanilla bean but like ALL flavours the vanilla extract is liquid, which means it needs to be dried onto a trivial amount of a  starch “carrier” made from something like rice or potato. To achieve a “flavour” (as in taste) from whole food powder alone would require, in most cases, significant quantities of that fruit or plant. While it could be argued that would be a more nutrient-dense solution, the protein content would be severely compromised.

Therefore, a highly concentrated extract is used to provide an intensity of flavour that requires only a fraction of the amount of whole-food to be used. Synthetic flavours do not use natural extracts; they are instead made in a laboratory to simulate flavours from natural products or invent new ones. The amount of natural flavour in Clean Lean Protein is very small, and the advice from our board of formulators is that all our products are suitable for a Paleo diet. There is however considerable debate within the Paleo community on what exactly ‘Paleo’ is, and so, what you choose to use will depend on your interpretation of Paleo.

Isn’t Clean Lean Protein made from peas/legumes?

One of the main reasons Paleos do not eat legumes is because of their anti-nutritional factors such as lectins and phytic acid. The advantage with our pea protein isolate is that lectins are completely removed in our water isolation process and the remaining phytic acid is negligible. As there is no need to add gums or processing aids, and with nothing added except natural flavour and katemfe fruit extract, the result is a highly digestible protein supplement which is easy on the stomach and easily absorbed. That’s why so many sportspeople flavour our brand and why so many people that experience discomfort with other proteins, especially whey, are regular, loyal customers. This may not fit with every Paleo and their own beliefs, but Nuzest Clean Lean Protein does nothing to interfere with the desired physical results or benefits of a Paleo diet; the main purpose for following it.

NB: there are a very small number of people who cannot consume anything flavoured, even with natural flavours. They have severe digestive issues and a very low tolerance for anything that is not completely natural. We do have a few customers like that who only use our unflavoured (Just Natural) option.

Spring into Spring!

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Winter can be a time for hibernation. We don’t always stick to our nutrition plan as strictly, and the odd workout can go astray with the cold mornings and early sunsets…But as the days begin to lengthen and the sun begins to shine, we can kick start our behaviours and routines back into shape and spring back into spring and the summer holiday period.

Food comes first

To feel great and perform at your best (and be in your best shape) you have to set a strong foundation with your nutrition. While different ‘diets’ work for different people, there are a few key points that everyone should consider:

  1. Make sure 80% of your diet is based on natural, unprocessed foods

The greatest protective overall effect on health consistently comes from those that focus on whole foods rich in essential nutrients.

  1. Eat at least 6 servings of vegetables and berries per day

There is a linear association between improved health and intake of vegetables, fruits, and berries!1 Veggies and berries in particular are powerhouse sources of pre-biotic (gut-supporting) fibres, and vitamins, minerals, and antioxidant chemicals that support health.

  1. Drink two large glasses of water upon rising

Dehydration will affect mental and physical performance more, and faster, than anything else. By having two large glasses of water, first thing upon rising, you offset night-time dehydration and get back to full function much faster.

  1. Eat meals…don’t snack!

Snacking drives poor eating behaviours which can sabotage energy levels and cognitive function, and studies also show that snacking drives eating patterns that lead to poorer weight maintenance.

Take a good multi

Some fresh foods simply do not provide the same amounts of micronutrients as they once did, and many people fail to get all the vitamins, minerals, and secondary nutrients they need, each and every day.3, 4  A whole-food based multi-nutrient that provides your daily requirement of the essential vitamins and minerals, along with adaptogenic herbs, health-promoting mushrooms, vegetables, and berries (like Nuzest Good Green Stuff), can help to support your overall health,5, 6 reduce stress,7 improve sleep,8 and boost brain function.9

Get quality sleep

Over the winter, we can fall into some poor sleeping habits. Too much time indoors and too many late nights bingeing on Netflix can sabotage our circadian rhythms. This is being recognised as one of the major contributors to poor energy, reduced mood and cognition, and one of the biggest affecters of long term health. While sleep could be an article in and of itself, suffice to say that as we kick start into spring, we should refocus on switching off the TV and any light-emitting devices (like phones and pads) 2 hours before bed and getting up and exposing yourself to early morning sun, each and every morning. (Many other tips for sleep can be found in my book “The Carbohydrate Appropriate Diet” available at Amazon.)

Get enough protein

A lot of people forget about the importance of protein in the diet, and sometimes, over the winter, we fall into habits of eating more carb-heavy ‘comfort’ foods that are lower in protein. But increasing protein in the diet can help you to improve your lean body mass, 10 11, 12  reduce fat mass, improve bone health,13  improve cardiovascular health, 14, 15  and increase satiety (which helps you to make better food choices overall!) If you find that you consistently under eat protein, try using a quality protein powder like Nuzest Clean Lean Protein.

Conclusion

Even if we fall into habits of comfort over performance during winter, by making just a few simple changes, we can spring back into spring with renewed energy and vitality.

  1. Base each meal on 1-2 palm sized portions of protein (i.e. meat, eggs, fish, sprouted lentils, nuts or seeds, or a quality protein powder like Nuzest Clean Lean Protein)
  2. Try to have 3 x fist-sized servings of veggies at 2 meals of the day
  3. Eat 2-4 balanced meals per day…don’t snack!
  4. Get 8 hours of quality sleep per night

References

      1. Aune D, Giovannucci E, Boffetta P, Fadnes LT, Keum N, Norat T, et al. Fruit and vegetable intake and the risk of cardiovascular disease, total cancer and all-cause mortality-a systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of prospective studies. International journal of epidemiology. 2017.
      2. Berteus Forslund H, Torgerson JS, Sjostrom L, Lindroos AK. Snacking frequency in relation to energy intake and food choices in obese men and women compared to a reference population. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2005;29(6):711-9.
      3. Davis DR, Epp MD, Riordan HD. Changes in USDA Food Composition Data for 43 Garden Crops, 1950 to 1999. Journal of the American College of Nutrition. 2004;23(6):669-82.
      4. University of Otago and Ministry of Health. A Focus on Nutrition: Key findings of the 2008/09 New Zealand Adult Nutrition Survey. Wellington; 2011.
      5. Huang H-Y, Caballero B, Chang S, Alberg AJ, Semba RD, Schneyer CR, et al. The Efficacy and Safety of Multivitamin and Mineral Supplement Use To Prevent Cancer and Chronic Disease in Adults: A Systematic Review for a National Institutes of Health State-of-the-Science Conference. Annals of Internal Medicine. 2006;145(5):372-85.
      6. Alexander DD, Weed DL, Chang ET, Miller PE, Mohamed MA, Elkayam L. A Systematic Review of Multivitamin–Multimineral Use and Cardiovascular Disease and Cancer Incidence and Total Mortality. Journal of the American College of Nutrition. 2013;32(5):339-54.
      7. Macpherson H, Rowsell R, Cox KHM, Scholey A, Pipingas A. Acute mood but not cognitive improvements following administration of a single multivitamin and mineral supplement in healthy women aged 50 and above: a randomised controlled trial. AGE. 2015;37(3):1-10.
      8. Sarris J, Cox KHM, Camfield DA, Scholey A, Stough C, Fogg E, et al. Participant experiences from chronic administration of a multivitamin versus placebo on subjective health and wellbeing: a double-blind qualitative analysis of a randomised controlled trial. Nutrition Journal. 2012;11(1):1-10.
      9. Harris E, Macpherson H, Vitetta L, Kirk J, Sali A, Pipingas A. Effects of a multivitamin, mineral and herbal supplement on cognition and blood biomarkers in older men: a randomised, placebo-controlled trial. Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental. 2012;27(4):370-7.
      10. Kim JE, O’Connor LE, Sands LP, Slebodnik MB, Campbell WW. Effects of dietary protein intake on body composition changes after weight loss in older adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Nutrition reviews. 2016;74(3):210-24.
      11. Kim JE, Sands L, Slebodnik M, O’Connor L, Campbell W. Effects of high-protein weight loss diets on fat-free mass changes in older adults: a systematic review (371.5). The FASEB Journal. 2014;28(1 Supplement).
      12. Helms ER, Zinn C, Rowlands DS, Brown SR. A Systematic Review of Dietary Protein during Caloric Restriction in Resistance Trained Lean Athletes: A Case for Higher Intakes. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism. 2014;24(2):127-38.
      13. Darling AL, Millward DJ, Torgerson DJ, Hewitt CE, Lanham-New SA. Dietary protein and bone health: a systematic review and meta-analysis. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2009.
      14. Altorf – van der Kuil W, Engberink MF, Brink EJ, van Baak MA, Bakker SJL, Navis G, et al. Dietary Protein and Blood Pressure: A Systematic Review. PloS one. 2010;5(8):e12102.
      15. Santesso N, Akl EA, Bianchi M, Mente A, Mustafa R, Heels-Ansdell D, et al. Effects of higher- versus lower-protein diets on health outcomes: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2012;66(7):780-8.

Nutrition that helps you shine from the inside out

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Your wedding day is one of the most memorable days of your life so you want everything to be perfect, but for many brides their search for perfection leaves them feeling stressed out and anxious.  Nuzest nutritionist and naturopath, Cliff Harvey advises brides-to-be to forget crash diets and crazy exercise regimes in favour of some simple dietary changes.

“The human body is an amazing machine,” says Cliff.  “It performs millions of processes every day to move us around and turn thoughts into actions.  Good food, containing all the vitamins and minerals to run these processes, is critical for the body to work well – true beauty (clear skin, shiny hair, sparkling eyes) really does start on the inside.”

Cliff defines a healthy diet as one that is made up of 80% natural, whole, unprocessed food.  These foods are most likely to contain greater amounts of valuable micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, antioxidants) that help your body work well, fight stress and, in the process, lose fat and gain muscle.

Frantic dieting and over-exercising is often counter-productive, creating a boomerang effect rather than building the foundations for sustainable good health.  Supplements can be useful to help simplify your move to a healthier diet according to Cliff — but they should not be used to replace real food.  Sensible supplementation takes the guesswork out of good nutrition; ensuring that your body’s metabolic pathways are properly fueled, leaving you healthier and more vital.

Good Green Stuff is a once-a-day shake that offers complete nutritional support.  Containing 75+ ingredients that include the very best forms of vitamins and minerals in a real-food base of greens, fruits, vegetables, herbs and berries; Good Green Stuff is strengthened with antioxidants, probiotics and digestive enzymes.

“Good Green Stuff feeds your body and your mind,” says Cliff.  “Adaptogenic herbs help sharpen your mental processing and reduce stress; a careful mix of vitamins and minerals support digestive health and immunity and, most importantly, all the ingredients are present in forms that are easy for your body to absorb and use.”

For best results, make changes to your diet, add a supplement and start (or continue) to get regular exercise at least three months before your wedding.  This will support any weight loss goals and give you peace of mind knowing that you are getting all the nutrients you need to really shine on the big day.

Eight ways to find your shine

Eat the rainbow:  Reduce carbs and boost your intake of vegetables and berries.  Work towards eating more than six fist-sized servings per day and at least one serving each of green, orange/yellow, red and purple options.

Eat meals not snacks:  Avoid comfort food and take the time to eat properly balanced meals.  Research suggests a link between snacking, increased obesity and poorer quality food choices.  If you’re stretched for time, protein smoothies are a quick, easy, nutritious meal.  Add Good Green Stuff to make sure all your bases are covered.

For healthy eating on the run, choose a high-quality plant protein like Clean Lean Protein as a base for morning and afternoon meals.  Many people find that making one large smoothie in the morning (including greens and berries plus small amount of good fat like avocado or coconut cream) and splitting it in half provides an easy-to-grab nutrition boost when the 2-3pm munchies hit.

Eat protein at every meal:  Protein speeds up your metabolism more than carbs and fat.  A higher protein diet is associated with lower body fat levels and lean muscle gain.  Protein also helps you to feel fuller for longer – making comfort food less of a temptation.

Hydrate!  The human body gets through about 100ml of water an hour so you need at least two litres per day to stay hydrated.  Kick-start your day by drinking two large glasses of fresh, purified water as soon as you wake up.  Add half a squeezed lemon or one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to one. (why?)

Cook extra dinner:  Save half for lunch the next day.  This will help you to avoid less healthy options during the working day.

Get enough sleep:  Sleep is crucial for recovery, repair and restoration of our bodies.  It’s also vital for hormonal balance.  Even one night of poor sleep increases the likelihood of over-eating and sugar cravings.  Sleep deprivation also makes us more prone to mood disorders.

Learn to relax:  Stress is not external but internal and is directly related to our bodies storing more fat.  Learning to relax more can significantly help with weight loss.

Stay active & do what you love:  Find activities that you enjoy.  If you’re not into boot camps or running, try dance or yoga.  You are much more likely to continue exercising if you have fun while you’re doing it.  Find a community to support and share your exercise of choice, it can really help you to keep your health and weight loss goals on track.

Go to our recipes pages for some delicious, healthy meal, snack and smoothie ideas

The Benefits of Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT) for Energy and Exercise

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Article One: Keep your immune system fighting fit this winter

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Through the winter months we don’t need to be sick as often or for as long as we think.  With a few simple changes to daily routines, you can empower your immune system to work far more efficiently — which is good news for everyone.

Many people don’t realise it but fevers, snotty noses and headaches are caused by the body’s efforts to deal with viruses and bacteria — and not by these pathogens themselves.  When immune cells are activated they release chemical messengers, some of which trigger a change in your body’s thermoregulatory set point.  When this reaction is triggered you start to feel cold and shivery as your body works to increase its core temperature to fight off infection. When the attack is under control, your body starts to cool things down.  You feel hot and sweaty as your body rapidly sheds heat to adjust your core temperature back to normal.

Your runny nose is a flood of mucus to clear pathogens and allergens in the nasal cavity and it also provides chemical defenses against pathogens.  Headaches are associated with the inflammatory response that is triggered by an immune system under attack.

While it’s all well and good to know why we’re experiencing these annoying symptoms, it doesn’t make them any less, well — annoying. Here are some simple things you can do to support your immune system and cut down on sick days this winter.

Add micronutrients to support immunity.  If you think of your immune system as a factory, micronutrients are the fuel that it needs to operate.  If your diet is lacking in vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, you are forcing your immune system (and the 11 other systems your body relies upon) to function on the bare minimum.  This leads to poor results.  An easy answer here is to add Good Green Stuff into your daily routine.  One scoop in 250ml of water, coconut water or any other liquid before breakfast in the morning will give you all the micronutrients you need to keep your immune system running smoothly.

Eat good fats.  Loading your system with sugars and white carbs suppresses immunity.  Eat more good fats to provide stable fuel and reduce damage caused by oxidation.  Natural fats also support the body’s production of vitamin D.

Get more sunshine.  If the winter sun is shining, get outside and enjoy it.  The sun’s energy turns a chemical in your skin into vitamin D3, which is carried to your liver and then your kidneys to transform it to active vitamin D.  Vitamin D has a critical role in triggering our body’s defenses.  Without sufficient quantities of vitamin D, the killer cells of the immune system – T cells – cannot respond to and fight off serious infections.

Sleep more.  Lack of sleep can cause acute and chronic inflammation and alter our normal immune response.  Change your routines to ensure that you get 7-8 hours of good quality sleep every night.

Regular, moderate exercise.  Keep moving but avoid long, strenuous work outs if you’re coming down with something.  Over-exercising can inhibit your immune system for up to a day after a full-on session, so be kind to yourself.

More about Good Green Stuff

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Article Three: Simple ways to support your immune system

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Why we get sick when seasons change

The old wives’ tale that cold weather makes us sick sounds logical but it doesn’t stack up.  Scientists gradually are gaining a better understanding of the factors at play when sickness peaks at the change of seasons.

The first factor is an environmental one.  People spend more time indoors in a heated environment during the winter.  This creates the perfect breeding ground for pathogens — the tiny organisms that make us sick.  Being close together also increases the likelihood that we’ll be exposed to germs carried by the coughs and sneezes of others.  And this at a time when our bodies are operating under extra stress as they try to maintain a steady internal temperature while adapting to colder weather outside.

Genetics and immunity

Our genetic makeup and immune system are also an important part of the picture.  A recent study at the University of Cambridge shows that almost a quarter of the genes associated with immunity vary between summer and winter.  Our immune system reacts to temperature, daylight and other environmental factors that are the subject of on-going research.

Our immune system is one of 12 body systems.  It’s responsible for defending the body against external threats (allergens, bacteria, toxins) and internal threats (such as potentially cancerous cells.) There are two main branches of the immune system that work together to provide the best defence possible: the ‘innate’ and the ‘adaptive’ immune responses.

Our first line of defence

The innate response is a general immune reaction — it doesn’t discriminate against specific bacteria or parasites.  Inflammation is one of the main innate responses. On the outside, you may only see a cut as red, swollen, warm and slightly painful. But on the inside, there is a complex system of cells and molecules at play that work to prevent any outside pathogens from entering your body and causing damage.

The second response, the adaptive response, is more effective and builds up a long-term defence mechanism targeting the specific threats it is exposed to. As an example, most of us will have had chicken pox as children.  Our adaptive immune system will have identified and mounted a large defence against the virus on first contact to counter the threat. Unlike the innate system, the adaptive remains ready to recognise and deal with a future threat from the virus, often with no external symptoms.

There’s a lot we can do to help support our immune system on a day-to-day basis so that we’re ready to deal with sickness when it comes our way.  Good nutrition is one of the best ways to create a stronger immune system.

Without a regular supply of key nutrients, your immune system becomes vulnerable to illness and infection.  In one daily shake, Good Green Stuff provides 75+ ingredients that are designed to give your body everything it needs to support a healthy, resilient immune system — that why we call it serious nutrition.

In addition to having more of the nutrients your body needs, Good Green Stuff  outperforms multivitamin supplements in terms of the quality of nutrients supplied.   The vitamins and minerals in Good Green Stuff  are present in the forms that are most easily recognised and used by your body.  Every form of vitamin and mineral has been carefully chosen for maximum absorption and efficacy.

Kick start your immune system and feel better fast

Our 120g trial size Good Green Stuff gives you a 12-day immunity boost.  That’s enough time for you to really feel the difference.  Once you give your body all the nutrients it needs to function at its best, you’ll never look back!

More about Good Green Stuff

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Nutrients for Nail Health

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Brittle nails that crack, split and bleed are at best an inconvenience and at worst can be painful and can affect self-esteem. Nail problems are a common concern for people, especially women. In fact, up to ½ of people have brittle nails.(1)

A range of nutrients are often prescribed for nail health, and many formulas have been developed to improve nail health, usually in combination with ingredients purported to aid the strength and vitality of the skin and hair. So, are these supplements and formulas effective?

Causes of brittle nails

Nail brittleness can be caused by physical trauma to the nail-bed, repeated wetting and drying, repeated exposure to detergents, and solvents (such as nail polish remover)

Some medical conditions can also cause brittle nails: hypothyroidism (low-thyroid function), Raynaud’s disease, chronic lung conditions, skin diseases such as psoriasis, Sjogren’s syndrome and more. Because of these possibilities it is always prudent to see your doctor to exclude any possible nasties, and if seeking secondary care for any sign, symptom or disorder (naturopathy, nutrition etc.), seek the advice of a properly qualified, registered practitioner.

Many nutrients play a role in preserving nail health and a relative deficiency in calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium, essential amino acids, essential fatty acids, vitamin c, e and the b vitamins and many others could be contributing to poor nail health. That’s why the first step in improving health of ANY tissue, organ or system in the body is to eat a better diet overall, which includes lots of nutrient-dense whole foods, quality protein sources, plenty of healthy fats (like flax oil, hemp oil, olive oil, coconut oil, olive oil, butter and ghee).

Supplements

Supplementation can help to cover these nutritional bases too, but most supplements have little or no evidence for their use in anything more than a supporting role for nail health. Some though have some exciting potential.

Biotin

Supplementation with B vitamin biotin is likely to improve nail health for those with weak nails (but not further improve already healthy nails).(2) In a pilot study performed in Switzerland nail-plate thickness was increased by 25% with biotin supplementation.(3)

Silica

Silica is commonly used in nail formulas. Silica though is poorly absorbed, with different forms of silica varying in absorption rates between less than 1% and 50%. Orthosilicic acid is a highly absorbable (bioavailable) form of silica (side note: so is alcohol-free beer!)(4) and is the preferred form for supplemental use due to its high absorption rate.(5) Orthosilicic acid is also the only form that has substantial evidence that it actually improves nail (and hair and skin) health. In a study of 50 women, reported brittleness of nails was significantly improved after 20 weeks of orthosilicic acid supplementation vs placebo.(6)

Practical tips:

–          Improve your overall nutrient density

o   Eat 6+ serves of vegetables per day

o   Don’t be afraid of fat! Healthy fats provide essential fatty acids that are important for nail health and also aid the uptake of many of the micronutrients, especially the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K

o   Include a protein source at all meals. This doesn’t need to be a lot, just have some meat, fish, eggs, sprouted lentils, nuts or seeds or use a quality protein powder (such as Clean Lean Protein)

–          Include a supplement that incorporates biotin and orthosilicic acid.(7) Use a broad-spectrum multi that includes whole-food based ingredients, the essential vitamins and minerals and includes the best form of silica (orthosilicic acid). Make sure that the product you use also includes the best forms of other vitamins and minerals (such as methylated folate—L5MTHF). You don’t want to have healthy nails at the expense of the rest of your body!

Note: One serve of Nuzest Good Green Stuff contains an effective dose of orthosilicic acid and biotin.

 

References

  1. Gequelim GC, Kubota CY, Sanches S, Dranka D, Mejia MM, Sumiya FM, et al. Perception of brittle nails in dermatologic patients: a cross-sectional study. Anais Brasileiros de Dermatologia. 2013;88(6):1022-5.
  2. Floersheim GL. [Treatment of brittle fingernails with biotin]. Zeitschrift fur Hautkrankheiten. 1989;64(1):41-8.
  3. Hochman LG, Scher RK, Meyerson MS. Brittle nails: response to daily biotin supplementation. Cutis. 1993;51(4):303-5.
  4. Sripanyakorn S, Jugdaohsingh R, Dissayabutr W, Anderson SHC, Thompson RPH, Powell JJ. The comparative absorption of silicon from different foods and food supplements. British Journal of Nutrition. 2009;102(06):825-34.
  5. Araújo LAd, Addor F, Campos PMBGM. Use of silicon for skin and hair care: an approach of chemical forms available and efficacy. Anais Brasileiros de Dermatologia. 2016;91:331-5.
  6. Barel A, Calomme M, Timchenko A, Paepe KD, Demeester N, Rogiers V, et al. Effect of oral intake of choline-stabilized orthosilicic acid on skin, nails and hair in women with photodamaged skin. Archives of Dermatological Research. 2005;297(4):147-53.
  7. Scheinfeld N, Dahdah MJ, Scher R. Vitamins and minerals: their role in nail health and disease. J Drugs Dermatol. 2007;6(8):782-7.

Article One: Real Food for Kids!

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Real Food for Kids!

Nutrition for kids creates a lot of controversy. In just the last few years we have seen Chef Pete Evans being hauled over the coals for his ‘Paleo’ views on children’s nutrition, through to my friend and colleague Caryn Zinn being lambasted by dieticians for her ‘real food first’ views on nutrition for children (highlighted in a Campbell Live report on kids lunches) and now Professor Tim Noakes having to defend himself against misconduct charges in South Africa for recommending lower-carb, higher-fat foods for infants.

Amongst all of this swirling debate and rebuttal my question is; “When did it become so controversial to recommend real food to growing kids?”

There is a large body of evidence showing that fresh produce (fruit, vegetables and berries) are associated with improved health outcomes later in life,12 and yet worryingly, the latest research from the New Zealand Ministry of Health ‘National Children’s Nutrition Survey’ suggests that only 40% of children eat the recommended amounts of both fruit and vegetables per day.3

So, surely recommendations and eating styles that prioritise REAL food and whole, unprocessed produce over processed and refined foods (that are often lower in vitamins and minerals) are warranted?

This data also suggested that although most children are getting adequate amounts of the essential vitamins and minerals when they are young, that this gets progressively worse as they age, and by the time they reach adulthood most Kiwis are not getting the recommended amounts of vitamins and minerals from diet alone.4

It is clear that the shift towards more sugar, more carbohydrate and more processed food that has occurred over the past four decades has been detrimental to health and has encouraged increased rates of obesity, diabetes and other metabolic disorders. Just one of the solutions we should be pursuing is to encourage the receptove minds of our young people to become reconnected to REAL food and I believe there is also a role for quality supplementation, just as there is for adults.

Some simple strategies to improve kids nutrition:

–          Try to make at least 80% of what you put in your childs lunchbox (or on their plate) natural, whole, unprocessed food

–          Choose natural carbohydrate choices (such as kumara, yams, potato and some whole, unprocessed grains) over pasta, bread, crackers and other refined choices

–          Choose water over fruit juices

–          Get kids eating vegetables early! Much of our food preferences are based on what we ‘learn’ to eat early in life

–          Use smoothies made with whole, unprocessed foods (such as vegetables, berries, nuts and nut-butter, seeds and fruit) as an option in addition to meals to boost vegetable intake

–          If choosing a multi, stay away from ‘gummies’ and other multivitamin lollies as these may habituate kids to eating lollies regularly! (instead of as occasional treats at most). Instead use a multi like Kids Good Stuff  that includes only the best vitamins and minerals, along with whole-food ingredients that support overall health, wellness and vitality for growing bodies.

There’s nothing wrong with an occasional treat, but we should always try to proritise whole, natural, foods to provide the essential nutrients that growing bodies need!

To find out more, read article no. 2 in this series Healthy, Happy Brains

References

  1. He FJ, Nowson CA, Lucas M, MacGregor GA. Increased consumption of fruit and vegetables is related to a reduced risk of coronary heart disease: meta-analysis of cohort studies. J Hum Hypertens. 2007;21(9):717-28.
  2. Dauchet L, Amouyel P, Hercberg S, Dallongeville J. Fruit and Vegetable Consumption and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease: A Meta-Analysis of Cohort Studies. The Journal of Nutrition. 2006;136(10):2588-93.
  3. Ministry of Health. Key Results of the 2002 National Children’s Nutrition Survey. Wellington: 2003.
  4. University of Otago and Ministry of Health. A Focus on Nutrition: Key findings of the 2008/09 New Zealand Adult Nutrition Survey. Wellington: 2011.

Article two: THE KIDS GOOD STUFF DIFFERENCE

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The Kids Good Stuff Difference

 

Kids Good Stuff at a glance…

Why supplement?

The early years are a time of rapid growth and development, and kids need to be supported with great nutrition. Many people, kids included, do not consume an optimal diet, and only around ¼ of kids between the ages of 4 and 8 eat the recommended amounts of vegetables and fruits.

What is it?

Comprehensive nutritional support for kids that provides eace of mind for parents!

Kids Good Stuff is a multi-nutrient blend of superfood greens, berries, vegetables, herbs and added vitamins and minerals. KGS provides on average over 100% of the RDI for kids aged between 4 and 8.

Who is it for?

Children 4-8+

How do you use  it?

2 scoops (15g) daily in water, milk or substitute of your choice in addition to meals.

There has been a lot of controversy about optimal nutrition for kids. It stands to reason that people have very defined views on nutrition for kids because we all want to ensure that they are getting the nutrients they need to grow and develop into the best they can be and yet research from the latest New Zealand Ministry of Health ‘National Children’s Nutrition Survey’ suggests that only 40% of children eat the recommended amounts of both fruit and vegetables per day.1 This data also suggested that although many children are getting adequate amounts of the essential vitamins and minerals, this worsens as they age, and fewer and fewer children get all of the essential nutrients they require as they grow older. By the time they reach adulthood many Kiwis are not getting the recommended amounts of many of vitamins and minerals from their diets2 that they need to thrive. Not having sufficient amounts of the essential nutrients is a cofactor in the expression of poor health.

The shift towards eating more sugar, refined carbohydrates and processed (trans) fats and more processed food that has occurred over the past four decades has also been detrimental to health and has increased rates of obesity, diabetes and other metabolic disorders. One of the most important solutions for this challenge is to encourage the receptive minds of our young people to become reconnected to REAL food again and to support them with intelligent nutritional supplement.

Article three: WHAT’S IN KIDS GOOD STUFF?

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What’s in Kids Good Stuff?

Food comes first…always! But as we have seen in parts 1 and 2 of this series many Kiwis and Kiwi kids simply aren’t getting what they need to thrive, from diet alone, each and every day. Supplementation can help to ‘fill in the gaps’ in a healthy diet. But we need to make sure that the supplements that we take are helping, not hindering, our long-term health.

The best vitamin forms

The vitamin forms in KGS have been carefully selected to deliver the most bioavailable and functional forms typical of what we’d find in whole, natural food or the body.

Along with Vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5 B6 and Biotin essential for energy production, heart and mental health (and much more) KGS also provides methylated forms of vitamin B9 and 12, superior forms of Vitamins A, E, D and K and much more!

Vitamin B9 also know as folate, plays a critical role in many biological processes. It is involved in the crucial process of methylation and also plays a vital role in cell division (the fundamental process of growth and development). Adequate folate is needed to support heart health, prevent birth defects and support proper growth and development. In KGS we use the active methylated form of folate; L5 methyltetrahydrafolate (L5MTHF) in preference to the cheaper synthetic form often simply labeled ‘folic acid’. Many people cannot effectively convert other synthetic forms of folic acid to active folate in the body. The common syntetic form of folic acid (pteroylmonoglutamate) found in most supplements may also lead to high levels of unmetabolised folic acid in the blood3, 4 which interferes with the function of active folate5, 6 and might negatively affect immunity.7

Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) is required for proper functioning of nerve cells and works in conjunction with vitamin B6 and folate to reduce levels of homocysteine (high levels of homocysteine are linked to a wide range of health problems). Without adequate B12 people can suffer from a form of anaemia and ultimately lack of B12 can damage neurons. As B12 is predominantly found in animal foods, vegetarians and vegans are at greater risk of deficiency. We use a methylated form of B12 to not further tax methylation pathways in those that are at risk of poor conversion.

Vitamin C – a key antioxidant and crucial for the formation of collagen (connective tissue). A Cochrane database review of the evidence even suggests that regular vitamin C supplementation can reduce the length and severity of the common cold!8

Vitamin D – a vitamin that is involved bone calcification, immune and inflammatory regulation and mood. KGS includes the most bioavailable form of vitamin D (Cholecalciferol – Vitamin D3) that has been demonstrated in a Cochrane review to positively improve mortality. Our D3 is extracted from lichen and so is vegan and vegetarian friendly and naturally sourced.

Vitamin E – a family of fat soluble, antioxidant vitamins. A diet high in mixed vitamin E and other antioxidants is supportive for cardiovascular and general health. We use mixed tocopherols and tocotrienols to provide the broadest range of health supporting effects. Only using the common (alpha-tocopherol) form may reduce levels of other health promoting forms of vitamin E (such as gamma-tocopherol).9

Vitamin K2 – plays an important role in promoting proper coagulation and wound healing. It is also involved in regulating immunity and inflammation and in aiding proper bone construction and development.

And essential minerals

Such as copper, chromium (essential for proper regulation of blood sugar), manganese, magnesium (relaxation and cellular creation of energy), Silica (which helps to rebuild connective tissue), potassium, selenium (which nearly half of all Kiwis don’t eat in sufficient amounts due to the low levels in our soil) and zinc – which reduces symptoms of the common cold and respiratory infections,10 and reduced persistent diarrhoea in children.11 There is also preliminary evidence suggesting zinc supplementation may help to reduce symptoms of ADHD in children.12

A base of real-food.

But the benefits of KGS aren’t restricted to vitamins and minerals. KGS is built on a base of nutrient-dense whole-foods, including: Cacao, apple powder, grapeseed extract, nutrient-dense marine algae, spirulina and chlorella, beetroot, carrot root, barley leaf, wheatgrass, acerola, bilberry, pineapple and papaya, broccoli sprouts, spinach, camu-camu, kelp, Goji, ginger, dandelion, and Psyllium husk and pre- and probiotics for gut-health.

 I can’t state enough that food comes first! But for nutritional insurance, Kids Good Stuff provides the best Kids multi that money can buy (and it tastes great!)

Article four: Just a few additional benefits of Kids of Good Stuff

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Just a few additional benefits of Kids of Good Stuff

It’s a powder

Powder form allows for a larger serving size, meaning we can pack in more whole-food and super-food ingredients than you could fit into capsule or tablet products.

Preformed vitamin A, plus mixed carotenoids for enhanced effects

The most commonly used carotenoid in supplements is beta-carotene, a vegetable derived carotenoid that is converted into active vitamin A. However conversion rates of beta-carotene to usable vitamin A differ by a factor of nine-fold13 and beta-carotene is required in amounts at least four times higher than taking a pre-formed vitamin A.14, 15 For this reason, we have included both preformed vitamin A (from retinyl palmitate) along with sufficient beta-carotene (pro-vitamin A) and other naturally occurring carotenoids to ensure optimal vitamin A levels. We have also included a mixed carotenoid blend to cover a range of antioxidant and pro-vitamin A actions.

A better form of B12

We used methylcobalamin—a readily usable form of B12 in preference to the more common cyanocobalamin which requires conversion to a usable form.

Great levels of B vitamins

B vitamins are essential for creation of fuel within cells, and a host of enzyme reactions within the body. Kids Good Stuff provides more B vitamins than the leading multi-nutrient formulas for kids.

A better form of B9

In KGS we use the active methylated form of folate; L5 methyltetrahydrafolate (L5MTHF) in preference to the cheaper synthetic form often simply labeled ‘folic acid’. Many people cannot effectively convert other synthetic forms of folic acid to active folate in the body. The common syntetic form of folic acid (pteroylmonoglutamate) found in most supplements may also lead to high levels of unmetabolised folic acid in the blood3, 4. This can interfere with the function of active folate5, 6 and negatively affect immunity.7

Higher levels of immune-supporting Vitamin C

There is a big difference between ‘required’ and ‘optimal’ levels of vitamin C. Research suggests that higher than Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) doses of vitamin C, when taken consistently, can reduce the length and severity of the common cold.8

Broad spectrum vitamin E support

We use mixed tocopherols and tocotrienols in preference to the standard ‘alpha-tocopherol’ form, which while important may reduce levels of the other health-promoting forms of vitamin E in the body.9

Includes essential Vitamin K

Commonly ommited from kids formulas, Vitamin K plays an important role in promoting proper coagulation and wound healing. It is also involved in regulating immunity and inflammation and in aiding bone construction and development.

Includes Alpha-lipoic acid for increased antioxidant action

Alpha lipoic acid is a type of fatty acid that’s found in every cell and helps to generate energy. Alpha lipoic acid also functions as an antioxidant and unlike most antioxidants works in both water and fatty tissue and so has a broad spectrum of antioxidant actions.

Higher levels of potassium

Many people now eat diets that are quite high in sodium (from table salt and salt added to foods.) Potassium works with salt to preserve proper water balance within and between cells and so we need ample potassium to preserve this balance.

Selenium to support thyroid health

Selenium is an important antioxidant mineral. It works with vitamin E to protect cell membranes and as a co-factor for conversion of the thyroid hormone thyroxine (T4) to the more active form triiodothyronine (T3) is essential for a healthy metabolism.

Additional nutrient-dense whole food extracts

We also include many nutrient boosting whole-food ingredients lacking in many products. Foods such as marine algae extracts to provide natural, bio-available calcium, cacao and New Zealand blackcurrants (two of the foods highest in antioxidants), bromelain (an immune boosting enzyme), dandelion (a nutrient dense herb food), and pre and probiotics to support gut health and immunity.

 

References

  1. Ministry of Health. Key Results of the 2002 National Children’s Nutrition Survey. Wellington: 2003.
  2. University of Otago and Ministry of Health. A Focus on Nutrition: Key findings of the 2008/09 New Zealand Adult Nutrition Survey. Wellington: 2011.
  3. Ashokkumar B, Mohammed ZM, Vaziri ND, Said HM. Effect of folate oversupplementation on folate uptake by human intestinal and renal epithelial cells. The American journal of clinical nutrition. 2007;86(1):159-66.
  4. Kelly P, McPartlin J, Goggins M, Weir DG, Scott JM. Unmetabolized folic acid in serum: acute studies in subjects consuming fortified food and supplements. The American journal of clinical nutrition. 1997;65(6):1790-5.
  5. Smith AD, Kim Y-I, Refsum H. Is folic acid good for everyone? The American journal of clinical nutrition. 2008;87(3):517-33.
  6. Wright AJ, Dainty JR, Finglas PM. Folic acid metabolism in human subjects revisited: potential implications for proposed mandatory folic acid fortification in the UK. British Journal of Nutrition. 2007;98(04):667-75.
  7. Troen AM, Mitchell B, Sorensen B, Wener MH, Johnston A, Wood B, et al. Unmetabolized folic acid in plasma is associated with reduced natural killer cell cytotoxicity among postmenopausal women. The Journal of nutrition. 2006;136(1):189-94.
  8. Hemila H, Chalker E. Vitamin C for preventing and treating the common cold. The Cochrane database of systematic reviews. 2013;1:CD000980.
  9. Huang H-Y, Appel LJ. Supplementation of Diets with α-Tocopherol Reduces Serum Concentrations of γ- and δ-Tocopherol in Humans. The Journal of Nutrition. 2003;133(10):3137-40.
  10. Singh M, Das RR. Zinc for the common cold. 2015.
  11. Lazzerini M, Ronfani L. Oral zinc for treating diarrhoea in children. 2013.
  12. Bilici M, Yildirim F, Kandil S, Bekaroglu M, Yildirmis S, Deger O, et al. Double-blind, placebo-controlled study of zinc sulfate in the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2004;28:181-90.
  13. Tang G, Qin J, Dolnikowski GG, Russell RM. Short-term (intestinal) and long-term (postintestinal) conversion of β-carotene to retinol in adults as assessed by a stable-isotope reference method. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2003;78(2):259-66.
  14. Wang J, Wang Y, Wang Z, Li L, Qin J, Lai W, et al. Vitamin A equivalence of spirulina β-carotene in Chinese adults as assessed by using a stable-isotope reference method. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2008;87(6):1730-7.
  15. Tang G, Qin J, Dolnikowski GG, Russell RM, Grusak MA. Golden Rice is an effective source of vitamin A. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2009;89(6):1776-83.

Why Am I Not Losing Weight… Even Though I Am Doing Everything Right!?

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I often see weight loss clients in my clinic, and while the details are different, the BIG burning question is always the same… Why am I not losing weight?

Some professionals would have you believe that calories in minus calories out will give you either a surplus or deficit of energy that will equate to your weight loss or gain. Well, if this were the WHOLE picture then surely everyone could lose weight if they really wanted to right? Wrong.

Weight loss (and reasons for weight gain) is as individual as your fingerprint. There is no ONE correct diet. There is no ONE form of exercise. There certainly is no magic pill/potion or the like that will make the weight melt away. Even surgical procedures cannot be guaranteed for everyone.

While it would be nearly impossible to create a complete list of ALL the reasons why people don’t shed those kilos, here are some of the common reasons that I see to answer the question “Why am I not losing weight?”

1. You are not eating enough: I often see people fall into the trap of (calories in) – (calories out) = weight loss, and therefore they reason that eating less and expending more will give faster/better results. In fact the opposite is more true. If you drastically restrict the amount that you are eating, your body unconsciously recognises this as a famine. While we have come a long way since our prehistoric self, we still have these survival mechanisms programmed into us that would have been lifesaving in the event of a real famine. Prehistoric man would have been thankful to be storing a little extra weight when there was no food available, however our modern self sees it as less of a blessing.

Furthermore, when you restrict your intake of food, you often end up with nutrient deficiencies. The common ones I see are protein, fat and zinc. This can result in a number of things – firstly, feeling like a crazy person, with erratic blood sugars, and depleted neurotransmitter production, but secondly it can cause major fluid retention. Many of the clients I see don’t actually have a whole heap of fat to lose, but rather they have an excess of fluid sitting outside the cells which LOOKS like fat.

2. You have a hormonal imbalance: Hormones play a HUGE role in the function of our metabolism, digestion and all round well-being. Here are just a few endocrine conditions (and their systems) that can relate to weight gain or an inability to lose weight.

·       Hypothyroidism (thyroid)

·       Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (female reproductive system)

·       Cushings Syndrome (adrenal glands)

·       Diabetes (pancreas/blood sugar)

These conditions can be clinically diagnosed, however even just a tendency towards imbalance (eg lower thyroid function, excess estrogen, excess cortisol, or increased need for insulin) can cause your weight to creep up and stay up.

3. You have emotional weight that needs to be shifted: When I sit with a client in their consultation, not only do we go through their physical symptoms, but we also discuss stressful times, emotional concerns or unresolved feelings. And MY GOODNESS is that stuff heavy. Literally. Underlying emotional issues can be a HUGE driver for weight gain and the inability to lose it. The incredible Jon Gabriel was the first person to introduce me to this notion, when I was fortunate enough to have dinner with him a few years ago. He told me his story and how he was excruciatingly unhappy in his work, and particularly that he felt threatened, bullied and frightened by his business partner. As a result he started unconsciously gaining weight as a way to put PHYSICAL DISTANCE between him and his partner, to the point where he was no longer frightened because he could have sat on him and killed him in an instant (not that he was actually going to!). He was also eating poorly – which was obviously part of the weight gain, but Jon worked with Dr Atkins himself who at the time was THE diet and weight loss guru, and even Dr Atkins couldn’t get him to shift the weight. This has been confirmed by many clients I have seen. Whether it be an unhappy relationship, a history of abuse, a serious trauma or stressful event, despising your job, or even a passing comment that has left a wound of sadness – emotional weight can literally become physical weight.

4. You have digestive issues: Whether it be IBS, any of the inflammatory bowel conditions (IBD, Chron’s , Ulcerative Collitis), or even hypochlorhydria (low stomach acid), impaired digestion can cause you to hold onto weight. This, as mentioned in point number 1 can be related to fluid retention, but it can also be inflammation as well as an impaired ability to detoxify. Which leads me to…

5. You need to detoxify: The body is not your worst enemy. It is not trying to make you put on weight to spite you. In fact it is the opposite. The body is always doing whatever it can to protect you, and if you have an overload of toxins then in the fat cells is the safest place to store them. In the world we live in today it is pretty hard not to encounter some form of toxin. They’re in our food (pesticides, preservatives and other weird chemicals that we have deemed ok to consume), they’re in our water (fluoride, chlorine, pharmaceuticals), they’re in our air (pollution, pollution, weird chemicals, pollution) and we choose to use them (pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, cleaning products) etc. While the body is designed to detoxify all the time, we are so overloaded with toxins that it can’t keep up. So rather than have them hanging about in the blood stream, the body does the best thing it can and wraps them up nice and safely in fat. So while you don’t know this, the body does, and if it were to suddenly release this fat (so that you could lose weight), the result would be those toxins would be dumped back into circulation, making you sick (and possibly worse).

6. You don’t need to lose weight: Have you ever considered that you are fine just the way you are? Some of the clients that I see who want to lose weight, are actually already in or below their normal weight range. Everyone has a different set point that is normal for them. This includes a different body composition – muscle mass, skeleton weight, fat distribution etc. And that is ok! Maybe instead of losing weight, you really want to tone up, or improve the quality of your skin, or buy some new clothes that make you feel great?

As I said, weight loss is as individual as your fingerprint, and these are only SOME of the common reasons why people are not able to shift it. As with any health complaint (particularly weight loss) it is important to seek support from an experienced practitioner.

Article written by Kate Johnston – Naturopath, Clinical & Sports Nutritionist, Speaker, Writer, Wholefoods Cook and all-round Well-Being lover. See more from her at www.korewellbeing.com.au