There is not a week that goes by without a contradictory article telling us exactly how many vegetables we must eat to stay healthy. But is there an amount that’s right for everyone? Should we be aiming for a certain amount and what are the benefits of a high intake of vegetables and potential side effects of lots of vegetables?
Your cephalic response occurs when we see, smell, think or taste food. It is a primal response that stimulates the limbic system in the brain before it then stimulates the vagus nerve that goes on to stimulate the production of gastric juices.
Athlete populations seem to be more prone to zinc deficiency, so those that train on a regular basis would fit into that same population. Red blood cell zinc is a much more effective measurement than serum zinc levels and test should be carried out before any high dose supplementation as high dose zinc can cause copper insufficiency, stomach upset and even stress liver and kidney function.
There are vitamin D receptors located on sperm cells and vitamin D also appears to play a direct role in the production of steroid hormones. Similar to Zinc and Magnesium those found with low levels, and given supplementation to increase their status, also experienced increases in testosterone levels.
Low magnesium levels are associated with lowered testosterone, thus magnesium supplementation has been shown to increase testosterone to normal ranges.
One of the first areas of nutrition everyone should focus on and is easy for us to change is that of water intake.
Optimising digestive health is one of the first and most important steps when addressing the health or body composition of an individual. The digestive system is the connection between our outside environment and the inside of the body.
There is a reason why I don’t rely on the mainstream media to educate myself on nutrition and lifestyle practices. Day in day out we are being told contradictory information regarding what we should or should not be putting in our mouths, and it is of no surprise to me that the general public is completely confused over how to eat for optimal health.
The human body contains around 1.5-2.5grams of zinc, of which most is found in the bones and muscles. Because there are no reserves of zinc in the body that are readily mobilised, it is crucial to keep a steady intake of zinc in the diet.
Working as a nutritionist and functional medicine practitioner, I am able to work with my clients on a number of different levels. I work on every single aspect of their lifestyle to elicit the most optimal change in their health, we look at sleep, stress, digestive health, immune, energy levels, blood sugar regulation, exercise to name a few. Most my clients are for fat loss, however my view is fat loss should be a side effect of improved health, this is why few of my clients will lose lean tissue when reducing their body fat levels and their health and energy levels improve.
I am going to touch on a very controversial subject. For years the notion of calories in calories has been the fundamental principle many health experts, doctors, dieticians etc have stuck to as an explanation as to why we as a nation are getting fatter and how you should get leaner. Whilst the laws of thermodynamics that lead us to the calories in calories out concept certainly have a place, is it true that the only reason we either get fat, get lean or stay the same is our approach to calorie intake?
Consumption of cruciferous vegetables – a family of vegetables that includes spinach, watercress, radish, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and kale – has long been associated with good health. A highly significant study from the University of Ulster was published that adds to the growing body of evidence linking the consumption of these vegetables to a reduced risk of developing cancer. (1)
In my clinic I spend a lot of my time pinching my clients skin and taking their body fat measurements. The method I use called Biosignature Modulation is a great way of seeing where a client is predominately storing body fat under their skin, otherwise known as subcutaneous fat.
Image taken from: www.food.gov.uk/sites/default/files/multimedia/pdfs/nutrientinstitution.pdf
Here in the UK we have a major challenge with obesity. Every evening there is a programme on TV about obesity and weight loss, most of which concludes that the best approach is to staple around 90% of the stomach in order to aid fat loss.