• 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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)…

  • Vitamin D and athletic performance
    Blog,  Health,  Nutrition,  Sports nutrition,  Supplements

    Vitamin D and athletic performance

    Vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin, is well known for its role in bone health. Other roles include muscular and immune function, hence the interest for studying vitamin D and athletic performance. What is vitamin D Vitamin D is an essential fat-soluble vitamin (1). The active form of vitamin D is 1,25-dihydroxycholecaciferol (a.k.a. 1,25-dihydroxivitamin D) (2, 3), which interacts with vitamin D receptors (VDRs) (1). Sources of vitamin D Most of the vitamin D we get (80-90%, 4) is synthesised in our bodies from 7-dehydrocholesterol (2) after exposure to ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation from the sun (2, 4). The remaining 10-20% is obtained from the diet (4). Sunshine The actual amount…

  • Canned and frozen fruits and vegetables
    Blog

    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,…

  • iron deficiency anaemia
    Blog,  Diet,  Nutrition

    Iron deficiency anaemia

    Iron deficiency anaemia is a common health concern, particularly among females of child-bearing age. However, a person can be deficient in iron and not have anaemia. Conversely, not all anaemia cases are caused by iron deficiency. Iron deficiency is the most common nutrient deficiency (1). What is iron? Iron is a mineral present in multiple proteins in the human body, such as haemoglobin in red blood cells and myoglobin in muscles (1, 2, 3). Iron-containing proteins are key for oxygen transport, DNA synthesis, generation of energy by mitochondria (1, 3), enzymatic processes (1), immunity and cell signalling (3). Iron metabolism The equation below illustrates what happens with iron in our…