Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Antioxidants for Winter

by Kate Gudorf
This winter, ward off the cold and flu through your healthy diet.  Aim to include a diet rich in antioxidants to help your body increase its own natural defences.  Antioxidants are chemical compounds that we can get from food that help to fight free radicals in our body and increase our body’s own immunity.  Beta carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, zinc, copper and manganese are all important antioxidants. 
Antioxidants can be found in a variety of foods, but the main sources are fruits, vegetables, wine, tea and chocolate.  Some foods, like citrus fruits, berries, cocoa and red wine, are packed with antioxidants, but including a variety of fruits and vegetables each day is the key.  Generally, the more colourful the foods, the more antioxidants the food will contain.  To be sure you’re getting a variety of antioxidants from your diet, aim to include fruits and vegetables in a rainbow of colours.  And aim for five serves of fruits and vegetables each day. 

This winter time, have sweet potato or pumpkin with meat, serve a salad of dark green leafy lettuces with pasta, make soups using Swedes, carrots and a variety of legumes, or try slow roasts with a variety of roasted vegetables.   

Folate follies - MTHFR gene

by Kate Gudorf
Ever wonder why some people have brown hair and some blonde?  Or why some people are tall and others short?  Our genes are responsible for our differences and our genetics determine more than just the way we look.  Genetic variations may also lead to differences in the way we metabolise, absorb and utilise food. 
For example, variations on a gene, known as the MTHFR gene, can cause differences among people in the way they use folate, a B vitamin that plays an important role in the formation of DNA and cell division.  That’s why the need for folate increases during pregnancy, a time of greatly increased cell division and turnover.
Research has shown that people with specific genetic variations of the MTHFR gene have lower levels of folate in the blood and higher levels of homocysteine. High levels of homocysteine can place someone at a higher risk for several conditions, like cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and higher risk of miscarriage and neural tube defects in pregnancy.  Other conditions which may be linked to genetic variations on this gene include: irritable bowel syndrome, depression, anxiety, insomnia, schizophrenia, bi-polar and migraines. 
What do we know about the MTHFR gene?  About 2-16% of the white population has the genetic variation making their bodies less able to use folate.
The good news is that through minor dietary measures, someone with low MTHFR enzyme activity can increase their blood folate levels and reduce plasma homocysteine levels.  People with low enzyme activity should aim to meet the RDI for folate each day, or 400 micrograms per day. 
A dietitian is critical in helping people with low MTHFR enzyme activity plan a diet that includes enough dietary folate.  A dietitian may also be able to direct individuals to the right type of folic acid supplement, which may be necessary for some people to meet their body’s needs for folate.
At Newtown Nutrition, we are able to test for low MTHFR enzyme activity and we specialise in planning diets based on the results of these tests.  If you suspect that you may have low MTHFR enzyme activity, book in for an appointment with Newtown Nutrition.  Early intervention may help to prevent lifelong illness. 

Who may benefit from MTHFR genetic testing:
  • Women looking to conceive or are pregnant
  • People with heart disease or a family history of cardiovascular disease or blood vessel disease
  • People with anaemia
  • People with high homocysteine levels
  • People with coeliac, liver disease, Crohn’s disease or cystic fibrosis
  • People at risk of poor nutrition

Support your local farmer & learn....

Local sustainable farm tours

Where does my food come from? What is sustainable farming? Is it really possible?
Food Connect Sydney would love to help you find answers these questions - straight from the farmers mouth!
Food Connect Sydney are well known for their work supporting local farmers by buying local to distribute directly to us city slickers. So that's a win-win situation for us, the consumers (fresh, sustainably produced seasonable produce at affordable prices!) and the farm (paid a fair wage).
Food Connect Sydney also work towards supporting farmers become more sustainable.
Now Food Connect Sydney are keen to link us closer to the farmers and help city-folk understand more about where our food comes from. Farm tours are a great way to learn more about our food and our farmers and are a great way for everyone (kids & adults alike!)
FoodConnect Sydney are running a crowd-funding campaign towards making sustainable farm tours a reality.

Make a pledge towards the campaign to help get the programme off the ground. In return you can get tickets to the farm tours when they are up & running - go along yourself or donate one to a school!

Sale! Pregnancy multivitamins

Bioceuticals InNatal (and InNatal Plus Iron) Pregnancy Multivitamin on sale now.
Limited stock!
180 Soft Gel Capsules (3months supply) $55 (RRP $72.95)
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