Good Fat

Fats have a bad name and have, in the past, been associated with a myriad of health issues. Unfortunately, all the old advice about fats threw out ‘the baby with the bath water’.

Fats are an important part of the diet, but not all fats have the same effects on health. While good fats can actually lower cholesterol levels, boost brain function and help you feel satisfied, unhealthy fats can lead to chronic disease and weight gain.

Food for a strong immune system

Are there foods that support the immune system? Yes, here are some foods credited with boosting your body’s natural defences.

Eating well can boost your wellbeing in many ways, and supporting your immune system is just one of these.

The best thing to do for your immune system is to eat a balanced diet. That means making sure you get a good mix of all the food groups, avoid overly salty, sweet or processed foods, and eat at least ten portions of fruit and vegetables a day

Firstly, some interesting facts
Fact 1: People with more body fat tend to have a higher respiratory quotient (RQ) and tend to rely on their glucose burning (aerobic) metabolism and are, therefore,  more susceptible to being out of breath (note: hypoxia is a key symptom and cause of death COVID-19). Due to oxidative priority, your body has to burn off any excess glucose in your system before fat and we consume around 30% more oxygen when be burn carbohydrates compared to fat. 

Unexplained fatigue

We all feel tired from time to time; a busy family and social life, a few late nights, deadlines at work – whatever the reason, tiredness can catch up with all of us at times.

But you may have realised that you’re feeling tired all the time, perhaps for no apparent reason, and even tired when you wake up. It’s a common problem. I see lots of clients who are, to some extent, ‘tired for no reason’. ONE of the reasons may be an underactive thyroid.

Production of too little thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism) is a common cause of unexplained fatigue; production can be affected by all sorts of things – an autoimmune response, for example, or other factors such as prolonged stress or intake of certain drugs which can damage your thyroid.

Thyroid function is assessed via blood tests but often few markers are included, and whether you are found to be inside or outside the normal range can depend on where the test is carried out.

Cut the carb cravings

Firstly, craving carbohydrates and comforting food in uncertain times is not a sign of weakness or being greedy. It’s actually a fairly common hormonally-driven reaction to stress. The stressed brain craves a carb fix and the fastest, and unhealthiest, way to get it is with sugary, starchy processed foods which are chemically engineered to make you crave them. And the more carbs you eat, the more carbs you crave – creating a vicious cycle. So, be kind to yourself because we are going through unsettling times and instead, start the new year letting go of carb cravings and finding other ways to soothe yourself.

One very good reason to put your carb house in order is that as we’ve seen in countries hardest-hit by the virus, the majority of those who died from the disease also had sugar dysregulation and metabolic problems (obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure). Fortunately, metabolic problems are reversible. Here are some steps you can take to wean yourself off carbs and lose weight.

Snack smarter, by drinking first.

The pandemic has turned our daily routines upside down. Long periods at home with a stocked fridge, home-schooling and hours on Zoom make us fatigued and looking for treats to lift our mood and energy levels. But before raiding the biscuit tin, it’s worth checking this isn’t just thirst. Perhaps make yourself a nice cup of tea (without sugar) to help fill the gap.

Super simple homemade chocolate

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Chocolate is one of the most delicious and desirable foods on the planet. You only have to look at the vast array of chocolate bars on supermarket shelves, not to mention the increasing variety of artisan and raw bars available, to see the hold it has over us.

Top quality dark chocolate is also good for us, when made with minimal and unprocessed ingredients. The antioxidants in chocolate help to protect our cells from damage, and dark chocolate helps increase levels of feel-good neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine in the brain. One of the many theories as to why we crave it, apart from the delicious taste and feel-good factor, is the fact that it is a rich source of magnesium. Women, especially before their period, may be drawn to chocolate for this reason.

A Ho Ho Healthy Christmas

Can Christmas really be healthy and still enjoyable?

Resisting temptation at this time of year can seem impossible, and frankly quite boring, but no-one likes the weight gain, bloating or sluggishness that comes from overindulging during the festive period either.

We firmly believe that you can still enjoy Christmas without sacrificing your health or your waistline – here are our 12 top tips for a wonderful, delicious and healthy Christmas…

1. Get out and exercise every day, even if it’s just a walk round the park, it makes all the difference.

The latest on Alzheimer’s prevention

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common type of dementia. Dementia is a generic term for conditions that occur when the brain no longer functions properly. Worldwide, at least 44 million people are living with dementia, making the disease a global health crisis. Like me, you probably know someone who has been affected by this condition.

What’s surprising is that this isn’t a disease of ageing and that only 1% of cases are caused by genes. Scientists now know a lot about AD, and preventive therapies probably aren’t far off. But even when they become available, such therapies will almost certainly be very costly and involve drugs with probable side effects.

Inflammation: putting out the fire

Although we see clients with lots of different ailments at Nourish, inflammation is a common theme in many of their pathologies.

Inflammation is part of the functioning of your immune system. It is a normal and beneficial process that occurs when your body’s white blood cells and chemicals protect you from foreign invaders like bacteria and viruses.

The perfect diet?

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As nutritional therapists, we know that there is an awful lot of confusing and conflicting advice out there about what we should be eating in order to be healthy. The truth is that while it would be convenient if there really was one perfect diet for everyone, what you eat just isn’t and shouldn’t be a one size fits all approach. We are all individual biochemically and have different needs when it comes to the amount and types of food we should be eating, and our nutritional needs vary over the course of our lifetime.