• How to survive the holiday season
    Blog,  Diet,  Health,  Nutrition

    How to survive the holiday season

    One month till Christmas! Yes, yes, Christmas 2020 will not be like any other Christmas but the holiday season always comes packed with plenty of opportunities to break healthy habits. Keep reading to find out how to survive the holiday season, 2020 edition. Holiday season, version 2020 This year everything is different. Although we are lucky that there are not as many cases in Australia as in other countries, the way we live our lives has changed, at least for a period of time. Many people are not back to their work or study places full-time and large gatherings are not allowed. Private gatherings are also meant to be held…

  • Energy density vs nutrient density
    Blog,  Diet,  Food,  Nutrition

    Energy density vs nutrient density

    When assessing whether a particular food is beneficial for you or not, energy density vs nutrient density is an important consideration to make. In general, you should seek out nutrient density for health. Energy density Density is a physical property of matter that describes the relationship between mass and volume (density = mass / volume). However, when talking about energy density, we refer to energy (kilocalories or kilojoules) / volume. Therefore, energy dense foods are those that pack a lot of energy in a small volume. Energy dense foods are often high in fat (because fat is the macronutrient with the most energy per gram: 9 kilocalories or 37 kilojoules)…

  • Nitrate and exercise performance
    Blog,  Diet,  Nutrition,  Sports nutrition,  Supplements

    Nitrate and exercise performance

    Nitrate and exercise performance is one of the most studied topics in sports nutrition. Nitrate is one of the handful of ergogenic substances with solid evidence behind them. Keep reading to find out what is nitrate, its roles in the body and how it can benefit your athletic endeavours. What is nitrate Nitrate (NO3−) is an anion, i.e. a molecule with more electrons than protons. Nitrate is naturally found in plant foods such as leafy greens and root vegetables, including lettuce, spinach, rocket, celery and beetroot (1, 2). The role of nitrate in the body Some of the nitrate taken in the diet is converted to nitric oxide (NO) (1,…

  • What are postbiotics
    Blog,  Diet,  Health,  Nutrition

    What are postbiotics?

    In a previous article What are synbiotics? we spoke about some of the players in gut health. This week we will introduce a new term as we discuss: What are postbiotics? What are postbiotics? Postbiotics are metabolites (i.e. byproducts of metabolic processes) secreted by live bacteria or released by dead bacteria which provide health benefits to the host (1, 2). Other names given to postbiotics are metabiotics, biogenics or metabolite/cell-free supernatants (1). Types of postbiotics Postbiotics include, but are not limited to: Short-chain fatty acids (SFCAs) produced by fermentation of non-digestible dietary fibre by gut bacteria. The most abundant SCFAs are acetate, propionate and butyrate (1, 2, 3, 4) Secondary…

  • Blog,  Diet,  Health,  Nutrition

    What are synbiotics?

    If the word “synbiotics” rings a bell is probably because it sounds like prebiotics and probiotics. All these terms relate to the gut microbiome in ways we will explore to answer the question: what are synbiotics? The microorganisms that populate our gastrointestinal system, or gut microbiome, has been the focus of much research in the past several decades. It is now known that the gut microbiome is involved in immune function, digestion, gut integrity and production of vitamins, among other important functions (1, 2). Probiotics Probiotics are live non-pathogenic microorganisms that can confer health benefits when taken in appropriate doses (1, 3, 4). Probiotics can act on the gut microbiome…

  • Can magnesium improve exercise performance
    Blog,  Diet,  Nutrition,  Sports nutrition,  Supplements

    Can magnesium improve exercise performance?

    Last week we talked about magnesium and health. This week we answer the next logical question: Can magnesium improve exercise performance? What is magnesium? As a reminder, magnesium is an essential mineral present mainly in bone and other tissues in the body. Magnesium and exercise As seen in the previous article, magnesium is involved in many functions in the body, including energy metabolism, bone development, muscle contraction and relaxation. Magnesium can bind to adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is the energy currency in the body (1). It can also bind enzymes that act on RNA and DNA (2). In addition, magnesium is involved in the balance of other essential elements in…

  • Magnesium and health
    Blog,  Diet,  Health,  Nutrition

    Magnesium and health

    The relationship between magnesium and health is widely studied because of the importance of this essential nutrient in many body functions and the prevention of chronic diseases. What is magnesium? Magnesium is a mineral involved as a cofactor in many processes within the body, including metabolic functions (energy production, glucose breakdown, protein synthesis, RNA and DNA synthesis), bone development, immune and neuromuscular function (1, 2, 3). It’s also involved in the balance of calcium, sodium, potassium and antioxidants (1, 2, 4). The total amount of magnesium in an adult is about 25 grams, of which 50-60% is located in the bones (1, 3) and about 0.3% in serum (2). This…

  • Mojo gut shots
    Blog,  Diet,  Health,  Nutrition,  Product reviews

    Product review: Mojo gut shots

    Mojo gut shots are a new non-dairy probiotic product by one of the most popular Australian kombucha makers. Like other fermented foods, these shots may help improve gut health. Mojo gut shots Think of these shots as a mini-version of kombucha (fermented tea) enriched with probiotics (beneficial bacteria). They are dairy-free and low in sugar. Mojo gut shots can be taken on their own or added to smoothies, etc. Ingredients Ginger Spice: Organic kombucha (walter, sugar, tea, kombucha culture), ginger juice (14%), probiotic (Bacillus coagulans GBI-30 6086) Berrytown: Organic kombucha (walter, sugar, tea, kombucha culture), berry puree (raspberry, blueberry, strawberry) (7.4%), probiotic (Bacillus coagulans GBI-30 6086) The packaging indicates the…

  • Nutrient reference values vs nutrient intake in Australia
    Blog,  Diet,  Health,  Nutrition

    Nutrient reference values vs nutrient intake in Australia

    We all know we should be eating vitamins and minerals but not many know how much. Is there a gap between nutrient reference values vs nutrient intake in Australia? What are nutrient reference values? Nutrient reference values (NRV) are the recommended levels of intake of different nutrients, based on scientific evidence about food intake and health. The NRVs for Australia and New Zealand are expressed as a recommended daily intake (RDI) of each nutrient, which is the average amount of the nutrient that is required for the majority of healthy individuals. For some nutrients where the RDI could not be determined, the recommendation is based on the adequate intake (AI)…

  • Ultra-processed foods
    Blog,  Diet,  Health,  Nutrition

    Ultra-processed foods

    Ultra-processed foods, a.k.a. energy-dense nutrient-poor foods, discretionary choices or junk foods dominate modern supermarkets. They represent a large proportion of the average dietary intake in developed countries and, not surprisingly, are linked with poor health outcomes. What are ultra-processed foods? The term “ultra-processed” foods refers to the NOVA classification and it’s based on the degree of processing of foods. This classification has 4 categories: unprocessed or minimally processed (such as grains, meat, fish, milk, eggs, vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds) processed culinary ingredients (such as sugar, oils and butter) processed foods ultra-processed foods (1, 2) Processed vs ultra-processed foods Have you ever met someone that tries to justify their junk…