• Optimising vitamin and mineral intake
    Blog,  Diet,  Health,  Nutrition

    Optimising vitamin and mineral intake

    Optimising vitamin and mineral intake is a bit more complicated than just considering nutrient content in foods. Bioavailability, cooking, processing and seasonality are other important factors to keep in mind. Follow the 10 principles below to improve your vitamin and mineral status. 1. Know your requirements While the Nutrient Reference Values are estimated based on the best evidence that was available at the moment of their development, it is useful to know how much of each micronutrient you need for good health. Your requirements depend on your age, gender and pregnancy/lactation status when applicable. The easiest way of finding out is using the NRV calculator. In “Reference values”, select “Show…

  • Mineral overview
    Blog,  Diet,  Health,  Nutrition

    Mineral overview

    If you know minerals are micronutrients that are good for you but struggle to name more than 2 or 3, this mineral overview is for you. In this guide you will find the following information (when applicable or available) for the main minerals: Calcium Sources: dairy foods (e.g. milk, yoghurt, cheese) and in smaller amounts in fish with bones, legumes, dark green leafy vegetables (e.g. kale, spinach), certain nuts, fortified soy beverages and breakfast cereals. Bioavailability: absorption from milk is between 20 and 40%, from vegetables is either in the same range or lower, depending on the vegetable (higher in cruciferous vegetables). Absorption from food can be enhanced by fortification…

  • What are micronutrients
    Blog,  Diet,  Health,  Nutrition

    What are micronutrients?

    As a dietitian, I always advocate for variety in the diet to increase exposure to micronutrients. But what are micronutrients? Below is a quick overview, more in-depth articles to follow. As seen previously, macronutrients are the “bigger” components of food, namely protein, fat and carbohydrates. Water can be also considered a macronutrient, however it does not contribute any energy. Conversely, alcohol cannot be considered nutritious but does contribute energy. The prefix “macro” comes from the ancient Greek makrós, which means “long”. It is normally used to mean “big” or “large”. Thus, macronutrients are needed in large amounts in the diet (tens or hundreds of grams). The prefix “micro” comes from…

  • 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…

  • Canned and frozen fruits and vegetables

    Canned and frozen fruits and vegetables

    With current social distancing and quarantine measures, many people are relying in canned and frozen fruits and vegetables for their daily nutrient intake. While these foods tend to be regarded as nutritionally inferior, this is not always the case. Canned fruits and vegetables Canned fruits Common canned fruits include apples, pears, peaches, pineapple and fruit salad. Canned fruit (preferably with no added sugar) is considered a suitable substitute for fresh fruit according to the Australian Dietary guidelines (1). However, it is important to note that canned fruit is either packed in fruit juice or syrup. The best option when eating canned fruit is to buy it in juice and drain…

  • How to strengthen your immune system
    Blog,  Diet,  Health,  Nutrition

    How to strengthen your immune system

    With the COVID-19 situation in full swing many people are wondering what they can do to prevent getting sick. While hygiene and social distancing are the main recommendations, it is also important to know how to strengthen your immune system to be more resilient to this or any other infection. What is the immune system? The immune system is the name we give to all the parts of our bodies that are involved in defending us against pathogens (things that make us sick), repairing injured tissues, and keeping abnormal growths and self-attacks in check. This includes whole organs such as the skin, cells such as B cells and T cells,…