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Nutritional Tips For Healthy Living Part 2

By Kimberly Kushner BHSc (Naturopathy), BHSc (Nutritional Medicine) for Mandurah Health Supply 

Include Raw Plant Foods in Your Diet 

By including raw, and live food, you are consuming specific nutrients and enzymes which are not available through eating cooked foods. Some nutrients and enzymes are damaged by heating and the cooking process. For example, Vitamin C, is extremely heat sensitive and will be damaged by heat.  

Cooking foods at high temperatures may also potentially produce some carcinogenic compounds. Aim for a third of your diet to be from raw plant-based foods, ideally, these raw foods should be organic  and non genetically modified, as to avoid herbicides and pesticides on raw plant material.  

Examples of ways to increase your raw food intake: 

  • Incorporating fresh fruit into smoothies 
  • Eating fruit as snacks 
  • Snacking on raw nuts and seeds 
  • Adding a handful of raw leafy green vegetables as a side to all meals 
  • Juicing fresh vegetables and fruit 
  • Snacking on vegetable sticks 
  • Making raw balls to snack on (eg: nuts, seeds, superfood powders, raw coconut oil, dates) 

There are some great raw and whole food products which may be helpful with increasing your raw food intake throughout the day. You can add these to smoothies to boost their nutritional content too. 

We recommend: 

  1. Morlife Alkalising Greens 
  1. Prana On Super Greens 

 

      Ensure Correct Protein Intake 

    Protein, or amino acids, are the basic building blocks required for growth and repair in our bodies. They are required for muscle, skin, bones, hormones, and hair. Ensuring a balanced mixture of protein intake from plant and animal sources is ideal (if you are not vegetarian/vegan).   

    *Aim for approximately 1g of protein per kg of lean body mass.  

    Lean body mass = (100 – body fat %)/100 X total weight 

    Eg: lean body mass = (100 – 20)/100 X 70 

    = (80/100) X 70 

    = 56kg 

    Therefore, someone weighing 70kg, with 20% body fat, has 56kg of lean body mass and should aim for 56g of protein per day.  

    If you are exercising heavily, pregnant, or breastfeeding, this requirement will increase to up to 50% higher.  

    Below are some examples of protein content in food: 

    Food 

    Protein content  

    Eggs 

    6-8g depending on size 

    100g chicken breast 

    30g 

    100g steak 

    30g 

    120g canned tuna 

    30g 

    125g salmon fillet 

    30g 

    100g sardines 

    24g 

    100g tempeh 

    19g 

    140g brazil nuts 

    20g 

    100g black eyed peas 

    23g 

    100g mung beans 

    23g 

    100g cannellini beans 

    23g 

    100g navy beans 

    22g 

    100g kidney beans 

    22g 

    100g walnuts 

    24g 

    100g almonds 

    22g 

    100g sunflower seeds 

    20g 

    100g cashew nuts 

    18g 

    100g tahini 

    18g 

     

    Not all protein is equal, and animal sources of protein is not necessarily the best source. Conventionally farmed animals are fed a diet of genetically modified grains, and may also be given hormones and antibiotics. If you eat meat, opt for grass fed, organic meats or meat products.  

    If it is difficult for you to eat an adequate amount of protein, you may want to consider supplementing with a high quality protein powder. Protein powders are not just for gym enthusiasts, or body builders. As mentioned above, protein is important for a range of bodily functions.  

    We recommend: 

     

    1. Prana On if you want a plant based protein. This product contains fermented pea protein, with additional superfood powders to add nutritional value.
    2. Boomers Whey Protein if you prefer whey protein (contains dairy), a clean product with a good amino acid profile. 

     Be Mindful of Your Dairy Intake 

    Many people may be reactive to dairy without even realizing that they are. Casein, the protein component found in milk, can be very inflammatory and affect mucus membranes, especially in the gastrointestinal tract and respiratory system. If you suffer from digestive disturbances such as irritable bowel syndrome, skin conditions like eczema, or any other systemic allergies, it is advisable that you avoid dairy products.  

    However, it is important to note that some dairy products are better than others. Kefir, a fermented milk drink is a probiotic beverage that is beneficial for the gastrointestinal tract if dairy is tolerated. Good quality yoghurt, without additional sweeteners, and cheese are also probiotic foods.  

    Avoid low fat dairy, as the sugar content in these products are high.  

     Confused About Soy? 

    There is a lot of information about the pros and cons of soy, hopefully this will clarify things for you so that you can make the best decision for your health. Soy contains a high isoflavone content, which has both hormonal and non-hormonal properties.   

     

    Firstly, the majority of soy is genetically modified, and it is not advisable to consume conventional soy beans. Secondly, soy in its unfermented form, can act as an endocrine disruptor, meaning that it can disturb hormone function. It is estrogenic and is not advised if you have sex-hormone related health issues (fibroids, endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome to name a few). Soy isoflavones are a similar structure to endogenous estrogen, which allows it to bind to estrogen receptors in the body, exerting estrogen-like effects. However, soy isoflavones can also exert anti-estrogenic effects in some tissues, acting like a Selective Estrogen Receptor Mediator (SERM).  

     

    Soy can potentially impair thyroid function, by interfering with thyroid hormone production and absorption. So it is best to be avoided especially if you have a predisposition for low thyroid function, or autoimmunity (eg: Hasimoto’s thyroiditis). 

     

    If soy is to be consumed, it should be consumed fermented and whole, such as foods like tempeh, natto and miso paste


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