• Black Leaves teas
    Blog,  Health,  Product reviews

    Product review: Black Leaves teas

    Black Leaves teas include a selection of high quality loose leaf and herbal teas especially crafted with health and wellbeing in mind. Black Leaves teas The company from Perth was founded by a young entrepreneur who had a noble motivation: to help his mother regain physical wellbeing. The full story is longer an way more interesting, so I encourage you to jump on their website (link below) and had a read in the About section. Black Leaves teas come in 50g and 250g pouches (a couple of items are available in 1kg bags) and are sold under the following categories: Detox: blends designed to accelerate metabolism, improve digestion, reduce appetite,…

  • Salad dressings
    Blog,  Diet,  Health,  Nutrition

    Salad dressings

    Eating salads is great but some salads are better than others. Beside the actual salad ingredients, salad dressings make a huge difference and can become an issue for people with certain health issues. We have all heard that a salad in a fast food restaurant is “worse for you” than a burger. These “claims” are made on the basis of energy (kilojoules/kilocalories) and/or fat content alone, without taking into account actual nutrient content. To be clear, a “salad” made with pasta, bacon and mayonnaise is not great for you, but a vegetable salad that is high in fat and energy coming from extra virgin olive oil, olives and/or avocado is…

  • Food and migraine
    Blog,  Diet,  Health,  Nutrition

    Food and migraine

    The relationship between food and migraine does exist but it’s not crystal clear. Many foods can act as triggers and certain dietary interventions may decrease the frequency and severity of migraine attacks. What is migraine Migraine is a disabling headache disorder (1) which may present with symptoms such as extreme sensitivity to light, sound and smell, nausea, vomiting and movement sensitivity (1, 2). Both genetic and environmental factors influence migraine (2). Food triggers of migraine Some foods are commonly reported as migraine triggers, including: chocolate (1, 2, 3) citrus fruits (1, 2, 3) some vegetables such as tomatoes (2, 3) and onions (2) nuts (1, 2) dairy products such as…

  • Fibre and health
    Blog,  Diet,  Health,  Nutrition

    Fibre and health

    The relationship between fibre and health has been appreciated for centuries, specifically as it relates to digestive health. More recently, scientists have set to investigate the role of fibre in other aspects of health. What is fibre There are multiple definitions of fibre and it’s difficult to write a concise one. Most fibre is carbohydrate, with the exception of lignin (1). Fibre includes non-starch polysaccharides (cellulose, hemicelluloses, pectins, hydrocolloids), resistant oligosaccharides, resistant starch and lignin (2). By other definitions, fibre is a polysaccharide with ten or more monomeric units which is not hydrolysed by endogenous hormones in the small intestine (3). In other words, multiple sugars held together that cannot…

  • How to eat more vegetables
    Blog,  Food,  Health,  Nutrition

    How to eat more vegetables

    According to the Australian Dietary Guidelines, adults should eat about 5 serves of vegetables for good health (1). However, only 7.5% of the adult population manage to meet their recommended target (2). Part of the problem is that some people don’t like vegetables, but it’s also true that many people don’t know how to eat more vegetables. How many serves of vegetables For most of the population from the age of 9, the recommended number of serves is around 5 serves per day. This varies based on gender (males need more) and life stage (pregnant and lactating women need more). Likewise, more active individuals, such as athletes, need more. The…

  • setting goals for 2021
    Blog,  Health

    Setting goals for 2021

    2020 has been without a doubt, the most eventful year in our lifetimes. As the year comes to an end, you might wonder if setting goals for 2021 makes sense at all. As always, it depends. SMART Goals I’m sure you’ve heard about SMART goals before. The acronym stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound. For example, let’s say you have put on 30 kg in the past 5 years. “Losing weight” is not an example of a SMART goal. It is relevant but way too generic and not time-bound. Hence, it is difficult to measure and perhaps unachievable. A better wording would be “lose 10 kg by the…

  • What is hormesis
    Blog,  Diet,  Health,  Nutrition

    What is hormesis?

    Hormesis is a concept borrowed from toxicology that explains why certain things that are toxic in high quantities can be beneficial at low doses. What is hormesis? Hormesis is a term that comes from toxicology and refers to the paradoxical beneficial effect experienced by an organism exposed to a low dose of a substance or environmental factor which is toxic at higher doses (1). This is called “biphasic dose response” in scientific lingo, often described as U-shaped or J-shape curve (1, 2, 3). It is believed that the role of hormesis is to restore homeostasis, i.e. a balanced state, when it has been disrupted. This allows organisms to adapt to…

  • 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…

  • 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…