• 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…

  • 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)…