Some of you may have heard that a number of companies have switched from using folic acid to methylated folate in their prenatal supplements. We thought we would explain what the difference is and why it matters which form you take it in.
What’s the difference?
Folate is a water soluble group of B vitamins (also known as vitamin B9) these are naturally occurring and most commonly found in green leafy vegetables, eggs and liver. Folic Acid is the synthetic oxidised version of this and is commonly found in supplements and used to fortify foods.
Why do we need it?
Folate is necessary during rapid cell division and growth which unsurprisingly means that we double our requirement for it during pregnancy. Inadequate folate levels are also associated with the following:
So why does it matter which form I take it in?
In order to convert folic acid into the folate that we need, it has to undergo reduction and methylation in the liver. Unfortunately, around 40% of the population have methylation issues particularly those with an MTHFR SNP (Methyltetrahydrofolate Reductase Single Nucleotide Polymorphism). Therefore, to ensure you are getting enough folate it would be preferable to supplement with bio-available folate rather than folic acid to ensure you are getting what your body needs.
Are there any other benefits?
A study by Bentley et al, found that mothers who supplemented with folate, compared with those taking folic acid, had increased haemoglobin levels at the end of the 2nd trimester and at delivery and that cases of anaemia were lower.
Other defects such as cleft palate and tounge tie are also being linked to MTHFR and poor methylation. Therefore, supplementing with folate may help reduce the occurrence of these conditions (although genetics has its role to play).
Is it only pregnant women who need to be aware of this?
Folate deficiency has been found to be high in a range of psychiatric disorders including depression, dementia and schizophrenia. Epileptics taking anticonvulsants are very often low in folate as these drugs inhibit folate absorption. As mentioned above elevated homocysteine levels are a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and stroke. Therefore people at risk of these conditions due to symptoms such as hypertension or those with a family history of cardiovascular disease may wish to consider supplementing with methylated B vitamins. You may also want to consider asking your GP for a homocysteine blood test to assess your risk.
Which foods should I increase to provide folate?
Dark leafy greens are tops such as spinach and romaine lettuce. In fact the word folate actually comes from the latin word 'folium' meaning foliage, so it's no surprise that the leafy stuff is going to be an excellent source. Also broccoli, cauliflower, sprouts, beans, peas, lentils, nuts and seeds, avocado and asparagus give good amounts. Citrus fruits are also high in folate along with papaya. In short, as long as you eat a goodly array of vegetable and fruits and really emphasise the green varieties you will boost your folate levels well. What you may be less aware of is that liver also gives us an excellent source of this valuable nutrient.
(Testing for MTHFR SNPs and other genomics testing is available through our clinic. Homocysteine testing is also available and allows us to optimise your B6, B12 and folate to maintain health promoting levels, reducing risk factors for disease and also to optimise fertility and healthy pregnancy for mum and baby. Enquiries through firstname.lastname@example.org)
I am one of those strange women who, if she knew nothing else about what she wanted from life, it was that she wanted children. However, when my husband and I started trying it wasn't all plain sailing.
We decided just to go for it but not to put any pressure on ourselves - if it happened then great, if not we would try again next month. I'd always had a slightly longer cycle than normal but around the same time as we started trying, they started to get longer and longer until they stopped completely. My weight also increased although I hadn’t changed my diet and have always eaten well. I had also noticed that I had started to develop acne out of the blue and facial hairs started popping up which was very distressing. Eventually I took myself off to the GP and got checked out. Sure enough I was diagnosed with Polycystic ovaries syndrome (PCOS). Well, I felt like all the wind had been knocked out of me. The one thing I longed for more than anything in the world and I felt like I had lost my chance. Of course I hadn't and PCOS is by no means the end of the road but at the time I just felt devastated.
PCOS is strongly linked to insulin resistance and the doctor offered me metformin and hormone treatment. I decided I didn't want to go that route as I'm the kind of person who sees drugs as a last resort and would rather try something natural first. First stop was to the most knowledgeable person I know when it comes to natural health my mum!
I was relieved to hear that I could manage my condition without pills and with a few changes to my diet I should be back on track in a few months. The first thing I did was to deal with food intolerances which had been a driver in my weight gain. In addition I knew that the insulin like growth factor in milk plays right into the hands of insulin resistance and hormonal imbalance. I also avoided refined carbohydrates in my diet (not that I'd eaten many before) and focussed my meals around a low glycemic index approach. This meant mainly meat/fish and veg, in fact good old fashioned cooking! Of course I still treated myself to the odd slice of gf/df cake, after all food is to be enjoyed! But on the whole I was good and followed mum's advice. There are supplements you can take to support this transition and make it easier as you can support your blood sugar control, cravings and other needs. Because PCOS often overlaps with other conditions, this can vary according to your own history. In my case I already had underactive thyroid and IBS. Underactive thyroid is often associated with PCOS due to the sluggish metabolism, weight gain and resulting insulin resistance. Whatever else you may need to include into your own protocol, chromium is my favourite! (However, check for drug nutrient interactions before taking anything and ask your clinically trained Nutritional Therapist what is right for you.)
After my diagnosis in August I was delighted when by October my periods had returned and the extra weight I had put on was starting to drop off. It was like peeling off a fat suit and I began to recognise myself again. As you can see from the photo below taken at a dear friend's wedding before I made some simple lifestyle changes I was very inflamed.
If you would like more advice regarding blood sugar management, thyroid support, PCOS or fertility pop in and see us at 44 St Andrew Street, Aberdeen, AB25 1JA or call 01224 969637 to book an appointment with Beverley our Nutritional Therapist.
In today's modern world the one thing that seems to escape us is sleep. But are we our own worst enemy? How many of us start the day with a large coffee or tea and continue to top up our caffeine levels throughout the day and then wonder why we can't sleep at night? Or how about spending our evening watching box sets and scrolling through our phones?!
If we want to improve our sleep there are a number of things we can do to help.
1. Reduce Caffeine.
By all means start the day with a cuppa but try and avoid caffeine after lunch time as it can leave you feeling wired. Instead try herbal teas, hot water and lemon or why not try a 'Beet It' shot if you're really flat? 'Beet it' is a concentrated beetroot shot which provide nitrates which convert to nitric oxide. Studies have shown that this can increase stamina and endurance in sport and lower blood pressure. My personal favourite is green tea. Green tea has around 15% caffeine and also contains the calming amino acid L-theanine which is often found in sleep remedies. It's a great way to reduce caffeine and take something which has many health benefits including being cancer protective.
Tip: Reduce caffeine gradually over a couple of weeks and drink lots of water/herb teas to offset headaches.
2. Increase protein.
Many people make the mistake of reaching for caffeine when that 3 o'clock slump comes. What we should actually be doing is balancing our blood sugars by having good quality protein throughout the day. Feeling tired? Try some nut butter on an oatcake, or carrot sticks and hummus to give you a boost. It's important to include protein in your evening meal and supper if you are struggling to sleep as we need the amino acid tryptophan for the manufacture of both serotonin and melatonin. A late snack of a handful of nuts or a small glass of almond milk or organic cows milk can help promote sleep as they provide us with tryptophan. Watch out for those sugary night time snacks as often we can wake up in the night due to a blood sugar dip. If you we want to get to sleep and stay asleep, this is a great tip to keep in mind. It's also the reason why a nightcap of your favourite tipple doesn't work as alcohol tends to spike blood glucose and as a result we can wake hungry in the night.
3. Exercise daily in daylight
Another way to ensure good melatonin levels is to take a walk during the day, perhaps on your way to work or on your lunch break. Research has shown that early exposure to sunlight ensures an earlier release of melatonin at night which ensures good sleep onset. Since melatonin is a precursor to serotonin you can see why walking in the daylight is a great mood booster also! Just as an observation, I wonder whether the trend towards exercising in gyms with artificial light has had an affect on our circadian rhythms due to a lack of exposure to natural light!
4. Turn off that device.
How many of us spend our evenings catching up on TV shows or scrolling through our phone's attempting to read the internet?! (I blame instagram!) But all that blue light before bed hugely reduces our melatonin production and sends our circadian rhythms out of whack. We can reduce our exposure to blue light by downloading f.lux to our computers. This app dims our screens to match sunlight outside. Remember to turn off the TV and put away your phone at least two hours before bed time. Why not read that book you've had sat by your bed for 6 months? Or have a relaxing bath?
5. Epsom Salts Bath
Magnesium is really important in helping us to sleep as it reduces cortisol, the stress hormone, which can keep us awake at night. It also allows our muscles to relax helping us to really feel rested. Sadly around 80% of us are deficient in this vital nutrient. Having an Epsom Salts Bath is a lovely way to relax and top up your magnesium levels. Add a mug full to your bath and relax for 20 minutes to absorb the full dose. Then make sure you dab dry rather than rub as you don't want to wipe off all your magnesium. If you have trouble sleeping you may find you are deficient in this mineral. We recommend a supplement to increase your levels in the short term. Come and speak to us to find out which one would be best for you.
If you are having trouble sleeping and would like to know more about any supplements which can support you e.g. Valerian, Tryptophan etc., pop into our shop at 44 St Andrew Street, Aberdeen, AB25 1JA and chat to our Nutritional Therapist, Beverley. It is not advisable to take anything without checking drug nutrient interactions first. We look forward to welcoming you.
Did you know that magnesium is an essential mineral for cellular health and over 300 biochemical functions in the body? As a result, deficiencies of this vital nutrient can create all kinds of health problems. Health complaints which magnesium deficiencies are commonly associated with include hormonal imbalance, behavioural disorders, mood swings, insomnia, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, migraine headaches, and type 2 diabetes. It is now estimated that a staggering 80% of people are deficient in this vital nutrient.
What has led to widespread magnesium deficiency?
The main causes of magnesium deficiency are gastrointestinal and renal losses. However, you can also lose magnesium through excessive sweating, every day movement and stress. Even if you regularly consume vast quantities of magnesium rich foods such as spinach and swiss chard, it is unlikely that you will be receiving the levels of magnesium required for optimal health. This is because soil depletion has lowered the amounts of magnesium present in crops and magnesium has been stripped from processed foods. In addition, the increasing consumption of antibiotics both for medical usage and in the food chain has stripped our guts of the good bacteria necessary for proper digestion and absorption of vitamins and minerals. As the number of people with digestive disorders such as leaky gut has risen, as well as autoimmune conditions such as coeliac disease which inhibits the absorption of nutrients, this also makes it harder for people to absorb vitamins and nutrients such as magnesium. It may therefore be easier for people with these kinds of digestive complaints to absorb vitamins and minerals transdermally through the skin rather than the gut. BetterYou have created a great range of high quality magnesium oil sprays and bath salts which are great for people with these kinds of issues.
What are the benefits of supplementing with magnesium?
From regulating the heartbeat rhythms to helping neurotransmitter functions, magnesium is a vital nutrient for human health. There are numerous studies which have pointed to the benefits of supplementing with magnesium in conditions such as migraine, type 2 diabetes, muscle aches, depression and more. For example, a study in the Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics found that taking 300 milligrams of magnesium twice a day reduced the frequency of migraine headaches. Whilst another study in MMW Fortschr Med has found that people under mental and physical stress can benefit from a daily intake of magnesium to prevent symptoms of deficiency such as anxiety, depression, restlessness and insomnia. Magnesium can also aid digestion, and relieve constipation as it relaxes the muscles in the digestive tract.
How do I know if I am deficient?
If you are experiencing symptoms such as muscle aches or spasms, poor digestion, anxiety, headaches, a twitchy eye or insomnia it may be a sign that your levels of this mineral are low. Of course there may be other reasons for this, which is why if you are really concerned it is always best to speak with a Nutritional Therapist who will be able to assess your case and perhaps make additional or more appropriate suggestions. Magnesium on its own is not always a miracle cure! Particularly if there are other gastrointestinal issues or food intolerances.
Another sign that you are low might be if you regularly crave chocolate which contains magnesium. As it has become the typical punchline that women crave chocolate around menstruation, it has been suggested that this is because chocolate contains magnesium which alleviates some of the symptoms associated with PMS such as pain and mood swings. However, dark chocolate contains far more magnesium than milk chocolate, so if you are after some magnesium rich chocolate it would be a dark chocolate which contains at least 70% cocoa solid (and preferably raw!) that I would go for!
If you are interested in learning more about Magnesium supplementation, please ask to speak to our clinically trained Nutritional Therapist Beverley Sarstedt who will be able to advise you and offer suggestions on what is best in your individual case.
Christina Sun-Edelstein and Alexander Mauskop. “Role of magnesium in the pathogenesis and treatment of migraine.” Expert Review Of Neurotherapeutics Vol. 9 , Iss. 3,2009
E. Wienecke and C. Nolden. “Long-term HRV analysis shows stress reduction by magnesium intake”. MMW Fortschr Med. 2016 Dec;158(Suppl 6):12-16. Epub 2016 Dec 8.
Last week we looked at the power of probiotics and the fact that we get our good bacteria from our mother when we are born. As the baby travels down the vaginal canal the baby is covered in secretions which contain their mother's flora. This is then swallowed by the baby and that bacteria colonizes their gut and forms the beginning of their immune system. This is why "seeding" (taking gauze soaked in this fluid and wiping it on the babies face) is becoming increasingly discussed as a way of getting that first colony into the baby after a C-section.
Think you don't need to take one? Let's look at some of the things that compromise gut flora.
- Birth Control (Most women are on this prior to falling pregnant.)
-Antibiotics (many women suffer with UTI's during pregnancy).
-Antacids (how many women do you know who slept with rennies by the bed and spent the last trimester knocking back the gaviscon?)
-Pesticides (Unless we eat an entirely organic diet, most of us are exposed to these through the diet).
-Household Cleaning products (One word....Nesting!!)
-The list goes on!
Still not convinced? Well let's look at the benefits of taking probiotics for you and your baby both in vitro and beyond.
A 2010 Scandinavian study showed that probiotics significantly reduced the risk of Gestational Diabetes and that coupled with proper nutritional support reduced the risk of foetal overgrowth associated with it. This of course has the knock on effect of reducing the need for medical intervention during delivery.
A further study has shown that in addition to reducing hypertension (high blood pressure) and inflammation, intake of probiotics also significantly reduces the risk of pre-eclampsia and spontaneous preterm delivery. Those who took probiotics daily had the lowest risk factors when compared with those who consumed them only weekly or monthly.
Taking probiotics prior to giving birth and then giving them to the infant for the following 6 months has been shown to reduce the incidence of eczema. The Swansea Baby Trial supported these results. Babies given Lab4b (the probiotic used in the Proven range) were 57% less likely to develop allergic eczema than those receiving the dummy product. It also showed that children whose mothers had probiotics in the last trimester along with taking them for the following 6 months were 44% less likely to develop allergic reaction to the common allergens including pollen, cow’s milk, egg, and house dust mite. The Swansea study also concluded that probiotics are safe and that taking them had no adverse effects to mum or baby.
A Study from MIT has also showed that supplementation with probiotics increases the production of love hormone oxytocin. This in turn leads to increased immunity with the infant exhibiting robust skin and mucosae, rapid wound healing and resistance to infection.
If you would like more information or to find out which probiotic is the right one for you pop in and see us. Nourishing Insights, 44 St Andrew Street, Aberdeen, AB25 1JA.
R.Luoto et al. (2010) Impact of maternal probiotic-supplemented dietary counselling
on pregnancy outcome and prenatal and postnatal growth:
a double-blind, placebo-controlled study. British Journal of Nutrition. 103 p. 1792-1799.
A. Brantsaeter et al. (2011) Intake of Probiotic Food and Risk of Preeclampsia in Primiparous Women: The Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study. American Journal of Epidemiology. 174 (7) p.807-815
K. Kukkonen et al. (2007) Probiotics and prebiotic galacto-oligosaccharides in the prevention of allergic diseases: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 119(1) 192-198.
S.E. Erdman and T.Poutahidis. (2014) Probiotic ‘glow of health’: it’s more than skin deep. Beneficial Microbes. 5(2) p. 109-119.
M.Murray &J.Pizzorno (2012) The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine. Atria. New York.
Spring is a time for new beginnings, here at Nourishing we are following in the Snowdrops footsteps and blooming a little earlier. Hoping to open "officially" on the 11th of February with our sign unveiling we will be open for business over the next few days so feel free to pop in for a chat and a browse.
Located at 44 St Andrew Street, Aberdeen, AB25 1JA We are just around the corner from John Lewis. Even without the sign you will still find us, just look for the turret!
Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday 10am - 6pm
Thursday 10am - 8pm
Saturday 10am- 5pm
Closed Sunday & Monday
Our new shop and wellness centre has a wide range of supplements, natural cosmetics, health foods and teas to help support you reach your health goals. We are especially excited to stock a selection of Scottish products including: IQ superfood chocolate (scientifically proven by the Rowett Institute and RGU to have "superior nutritional value compared to other high cocoa content chocolate bars") and Almighty Food's stone ground, sprouted nut butters. If you were looking for an ethical and healthier version of Chocolate Spread their Hazelnut Fuj is definitely the answer!
We also have Pukka's new Clean Me Green 14 day organic wellbeing kit the perfect thing to reignite your wellness campaign if you fell of the wagon in January. (We don't judge those dark nights are enough to make the best of us reach for a slice of cake!!)
Wondering what to buy your loved one for Valentines Day? How about an evening of relaxation with a hot bath using our magnesium filled Epsom salts, followed by a warming cup of Pukka Love Tea and some delicious IQ or Ombar chocolate.
In addition to Nutritional Therapy with Beverley we will also be offering Massage Therapy with Harriette including Oncology Massage, Natural Facelift Facials and Baby Massage Classes. To book a consultation call us on 01224 969637.
We look forward to welcoming you soon.
Harriette and Beverley xx
This is the time of year for us all to panic and feel overwhelmed as we make new year's resolutions which are often re-scheduled to the following year before Burn's night! This is largely because we make a plan to deprive ourselves of all the things we like and not only that but we actually make the mistake of assuming that we need to deprive ourselves of the very things our body needs e.g. fat!
Living well is not about deprivation. It's about recognising what's good for us and having more of it! When we seize with both hands all that is good for mind body and soul, we look better, we feel better, we think better, we love better.
The wonderful thing is that to enjoy all of these simple but proven health tips we don't have to spend lots of money joining expensive clubs. Nor do we have to count anything, unless it's your blessings or the number of colourful veg on your plate!
Life is for living. Give it your best shot and choose habits that bring nourishment to both body and soul. A body that is deprived of neccesary nutrients will find itself hungry for anything it can get its hands on. This is nature! My clients are always delighted when I ask them to eat more in order to find their way to a body weight which is ideal for them. We can't boost our metabolism by eating foods low in calorific value, we boost metabolism by eating Nutrient dense foods which nourish us! The bottom line is, if we support our natural physiology by enjoying all the good things nature provides, it will support us! If we try to go against nature, our body will let us down.
So, go easy on yourself this year. Love your body, love your mind and replace deprivation with indulgence of all that is good. The rest will take care of itself!
Now available at Nourishing Insights new clinic and shop at 44 St Andrew Street, Aberdeen. Food Intolerance testing can help a variety of conditions. If you have been suffering for some time and are getting by on endless rounds of pills which only offer symptomatic relief at best, food intolerances may be behind your continued health challenges. This test is suitable for children from 2 years old and involves a simple pin prick test. I offer a free 20 min consultation by phone to discuss your needs further and will advise as appropriate for each case. Test results are back within 10 working days.
Intolerance versus allergy.
The test involves a simple pin prick test which goes off to a UK registered Medical Laboratory. This test is an IgG test which looks at your Immunoglobulin G response to particluar foods. There is much confusion and misinformation about food intolerances and what they actually are. An 'Allergy' is where you have an instant reaction to something as is often the case with allergies to foods such as nuts and shellfish or even a bee sting. This can be a mild allergic response to a severe and sometimes even life threatening reaction where the person can go into anaphylactic shock. For these stronger reactions, it is necessary to carry a preventive medicine such as an epipen and serious care needs to be taken in managing this condition. The immunoglobulin involved in this case is IgE and testing for this is often done via the NHS. However we can now offer allergy testing also at our clinic if this is required.
An 'intolerance' on the other hand, involves an IgG response and the challenge with this is that it is often less obvious to the person experiencing it. Many people live for years without even considering that they may have one.That said, many of us know exactly when we've eaten something that our body doesn't like and a reaction can be fairly quick following a meal and can be quite severe. What is interesting is that when the results of a test come back, they often validate what the person was expecting and are thus very reassuring. One of the challenges is that it can take up to 72 hours to experience an IgG reaction which means you could for example, eat a potato on a saturday and have migraine on a monday and not join the dots between the two. So if you are one of those people who are not making the connection with food triggers, this could be why. The delayed reaction also makes it slightly trickier and time consuming when doing diary taking and elimination diets, although I also offer this approach and it works really well for many.
It is of course possible to have both allergies and intolerances. For example you may have an 'allergy' to latex or nuts and a 'food intolerance' for dairy and yeast.
Of course, there are other issues running alongside intolerances and the protocol for dealing with them involves more than just removal of identified triggers! This is where a Registered Nutritional Therapist comes in as I can ensure that you are well supported for total nutrient intake. I may also recommend further testing either via your GP or privately to identify other culprits.Ultimately, I will work with you to achieve balance and wellness across all body systems and tackling all of your health challenges in turn. We will also work together to heal the gut at cellular level and support digestive enzymes, stomach acidity and other fundamental aspects of optimal digestive health.This way, you will be able to re-introduce some foods as you heal over time. Nutritional Therapy deals with the root cause of these problems. A food intolerance may indeed be causing your migraine. However, the ultimate cause is the reason for the food intolerance in the first place. This takes us to 'leaky gut' or intestinal permeability. Food intolerance is therefore a symptom of an underlying weakness in your intestinal integrity. If this is not corrected, further problems will ensue longer term.
Weight loss as a side effect not as a goal!
One of the pleasant side effects of Nutritional therapy is that people usually lose weight. All recommendations involve following a 'clean' diet and the wonderful thing is that the appropriate support is given to be able to achieve this whatever your starting point. Something to consider regarding other weight loss approaches is that you can actually lose weight without eating healthy 'clean' foods. One example of this is just eating less. If we eat less 'junk' then of course we will lose weight but if we continue to eat foods that do not provide the right information to our cells, we are in big trouble! Add to this the fact that many of the foods we are told are 'healthy' are not. Weight loss should never be your primary goal to achieve wellness. It should follow naturally from following a health promoting lifestyle and appropriate foods for you. Interestingly, a kiwi fruit may be super health for your friends but if you are having an IgG reaction to it, it will not be healthy for you until you get to the root of the problem. In addition weight gain can be an unpleasant side effect of unidentified food intolerance due to inflammation and fluid retention.
IBS, pain and autoimmune conditions, skin conditions.
The commonest reasons for seeking food intolerance testing are the above and the results can be life changing for those who benefit. Double blind studies have shown a clear link between food intolerance and IBS with one study demonstrating a third of participants having at least one if not multiple food intolerances.
Interestingly, if you have an autoimmune condition, for example underactive thyroid, did you know that you are also at risk of developing other autoimmune conditions if you don't take steps to support your immune system now? I follow a Functional Medicine approach to my work as a Nutritional Therapist and autoimmune disease is an area of specialism for me. I very much follow the work of Physician Dr Amy Myers whose research in the USA has led to her setting up a specialist clinic in Austin, Texas in this area. If you have watched the recent BBC series 'doctor in the house' you will have some experience of this 360 degree approach to medicine and optimising health.
A Nutritional therapy consultation will help you get to the root of your particular health challenges.
To make an appointment and to discuss your health challenges further , please phone 01224 969637. I offer telephone and skype appointments for those at a distance. (Check with your insurance provider to see if Nutritional Therapy is covered)
#Aberdeen #Nutritionist #Functional Medicine #Food intolerance
I made an appointment with Beverley as I was struggling with underactive thyroid and had just been diagnosed with Polycystic ovary Syndrome. I didn't fully understand the link between autoimmune disease and food intolerance although I had suffered IBS for years, so it was all making sense! I was keen to deal with my PCOS through diet and supplements instead of drugs and am delighted in my success. Through eating the right foods for me, and balancing my blood sugar I was able to lose 2 stone and sort my hormones out. The result of all this (which I have to say wasn't as hard as I had anticipated!), is that I am now expecting my first baby! Highly recommend Beverley and Nutritional Therapy which really is life changing. Hannah, Aberdeenshire.
Welcome to the 21 day oatcake challenge!!
Many people ask me for simple, stress free hints and tips that involve the least effort but have the maximum impact.... so here we have it 'the 21 day oatcake challenge.'.
All you have to do is to replace every slice of bread you would normally consume each day with an oatcake/s for 21 days and the benefits to your health as well as your waistline will be well worth the tiny bit of effort involved.
Of course, there are lots of oatcakes out there but I'd like you to choose the Nairn's oatcakes or Paterson's. They don't have to have the words Gluten Free but they do have to be wheat free to be beneficial to your health. (Some of the triangular, slightly larger versions contain wheat so please avoid) Oats are naturally Gluten free but in order to carry that on the label they have to be manufactured in a part of the factory away from any gluten for the benefit of people with a serious allergy, so we don't have to worry about that unless we know we are one of those people. You will notice that Nairn's also make sweet biscuits. If you are continuing to eat sweet biscuits during this challenge, then please replace with these ones. However, we would recommend you take the opportunity to reduce sugar and try plain oatcakes with a savoury or nut topping instead. This will keep you going longer, so you don;t feel hungry and will maintain energy levels which is what we all need these days!
Oats are packed with both soluble and insoluble fibre which means they help to promote healthy digestion and also help us to feel fuller for longer. They contain a particular type of fibre known as beta-glucan which is known to reduce the bad type of cholesterol in our blood reducing our risk of coronary heart disease. Studies have also shown a link between consumption of oats and reduced colorectal cancer due to the fibre content.
Oatcakes also have a high mineral content especially manganese and phosphorous and are excellent for maintaining our energy levels. They also have a low glycaemic index which makes them helpful in managing blood glucose, especially if topped with a good quality protein/fat such as a nut butter.
Why ditch the wheat?
For many of us wheat based breads have become problematic. Complaints around bloating, IBS, eczema, depression and tiredness to name but a few have all been linked in many scientific studies to the consumption of wheat. When you consider that the wheat we eat now in our supermarket breads is a from a hybridized grains with 30% more gluten than our grandparents were exposed to, then you can see why so many people are removing wheat and or gluten from their diets, However, there are many other reasons for these types of symptoms and following this challenge does not replace an appointment with a nutritional therapist who can help you get to the root of your particular health challenges and may refer you for further testing via your GP.
At this stage just replacing a poor quality bread with limited nutrient value and some potential disbenefits with something more nutrient dense and with a good source of both soluble and insoluble fibre can be a huge asset for maintaining health. There are of course many alternatives to wheat breads such as rye, spelt, amaranth and quinoa. Look out for these breads in theBiona range in the supermarket
However, for now, let's keep it simple. Oatcakes are delicious and portable. You can carry them in your handbag/briefcase to work or out for lunch. They are fab with soups so you are not tempted to pick up that bread. You can add any topping you like as you would a sandwich or have along with a bag of salad (NOT one of those awful pasta salads but a packet of greens or egg or other protein such as salmon in with your salad) Ideally make your salad at home with lots of veg and some protein, either meats, fish or veggy source such as kidney beans.
For snacking, they are ideal and can be enjoyed with some nut butters (check out almond, cashew and pumpkinseed butters or some pate or humus. You will find that you only need one and are ready for action with sustained energy! Similarly, they are great as a bedtime snack to keep you going through the night.
Check out some nut butters at your health food shops. For example, Meridian Almond Butter. Now also available in Supermarkets.
For breakfast you could replace that toast habit with oatcakes and an egg based breaky, or try oats as a porridge topped with nuts and seeds and a few berries. The great portability of oatcakes in the individual packets means that if you are in a rush, just make a boiled egg the night before (or as you take your shower!) and take your egg to work with some oatcakes to have when you get there. (Far superior to most cereals on the market!)
We would love it if you got your family, friends, work colleagues to join you in this 21 day oatcake challenge. Many people find changing their diet a little daunting, but this is a fabulous way to make such a huge benefit to your health in a short time.. You will be surprised at how well you do. Bon appetit!!
If you would like more ideas to support your health goals pop into Nourishing Insights, 44 St Andrew Street, Aberdeen, AB25 1JA for a chat and some advice.
NOURISHING INSIGHTS are delighted to announce that we are commencing our Edinburgh clinic at Gorgeous Therapies 29-35 Hamilton Place, Edinburgh, EH3 5BA on Monday 12th January 2015!
Supporting a range of conditions including eczema, asthma, IBS, IBD, Autism, Depression, Diabetes, PCOS, PMS, Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgia and autoimmune conditions such as MS and underactive thyroid, to name but a few!
Working with all ages and family rates available.
Whether you want to support a specific health challenge, manage weight, boost energy, improve sleep, or prevent chronic illness, Nutritional Therapy is the place to start! Detailed case taking plus access to Medical Laboratory Testing means that we can help you unravel the reasons behind those mysterious symptoms and empower you with the nutritional tools and lifestyle changes for optimal health.
Now is the time to stop settling for less with your health. Remember we are all in the driving seat of our own bodies. Make 2015 a year to make a difference. Book your appointment now with Beverley on 07703510821
“I did Nutritional Therapy with Beverley and it was life changing. I highly recommend it!” Allison Blakely (Glasgow).
Amazon Associates Disclosure
Nourishing Insights is a participant in the Amazon EU Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.co.uk.
WHAT OUR CLIENTS ARE SAYING
“I did Nutritional Therapy with Beverley and it was life changing. I highly recommend it!” Allison Blakely (Glasgow)
44 St Andrew Street, Aberdeen, AB25 1JA
Tel: 01224 969637
Opening Hours: Sun- Mon: Closed Tue to Sat: 10am-4pm
Late night appointments available on Thursday evening on request.