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Keep Your Health On Track With Our  Blog

At Sustenance Nutrition Clinic, we believe that knowledge is the most powerful tool in maintaining and improving your health. We are dedicated to writing a blog about issues of concern when it comes to your wellbeing and nutrition. Make sure you check back regularly so you don’t miss any of the best health tips!
Acid vs alkaline- how to eat an alkalising diet
  • Acid vs alkaline- how to eat an alkalising diet
  • Unbeknown to us, we tend to eat an acid forming diet that can impact on our health. The impact, over time can cause chronic health issues such as bone loss, decreased muscle mass, fatigue and detoxification problems.
  • If the blood and tissue pH is altered even by the smallest amount, it can cause dysfunction of the body's enzymes in those that are susceptible. This can reduce energy production, reduce the detoxification processes and loss of valuable minerals, through the urine.
  • Acidity can leach minerals out of our bones, as the body tries hard not to compensate for the lack of mineral buffers in the blood(our acid/base balance) when our diet is inadequate. This can result in bone fractures and osteoporosis.
  • Detoxification is a natural daily occurrence in our body. When your body is acidic it may have a negative impact on your liver health, kidneys and metabolic function, by increasing the toxic load these systems have to deal with.

  •  Researchers believe that our ancient ancestors ate predominantly alkaline diet, rich in plant matter. These days we tend to eat too much protein, sugar and grains that increase our acid levels in our bodies. We need some education in how to balance our diet by increasing our alkalising vegetable intake to balance our acid/alkaline levels. As we age we are less able to efficiently cope with excessive acid load, this can lead to a state of latent acidosis.
  • Acid forming foods per 100g vary, but consist of Processed cheese 28.7,  Trout 10.8, Oats 10.7, rump steak 8.8, eggs 8.2, white bread 3.7 & beer 0.9 to alkalising foods such as coffee -1.4, apples -2.2, red wine -2.4, lemon juice -2.5, bananas -5.5, & spinach -14.0  
  • By balancing our diets and taking an alkalising supplement, I can help you get back to a healthy state, where you will have increased energy, less aches and improve your general wellbeing.
  • The most accurate way of assessing body pH is through urine testing. This can be done in a consultation with me. The results speak for themselves, and you could be back to a healthy level in a few short months.
SAD- Seasonal Affective Disorder – it’s a real thing!
During winter we are exposed to the indoors more than any other time of the year. It’s cold and wet outside, the days are shorter and we do less socializing. This can have an impact on our wellbeing and our daily outlook on life. I have met many people who suffer from SAD ( Seasonal affective disorder, and it can be debilitating. It affects our eating habits, mood and sleep patterns.
SAD is also known as winter depression, it usually occurs in the coldest, wettest, darkest time of the year. This is when we spend more time indoors and luckily it goes away during the summer months due to more exposure to the sun. The reason for this is we are exposed to more daylight, which increases our serotonin levels, in our body, our happy hormone. Scientists have proven that a lack of sunlight is linked to low mood, and lack of serotonin, made by our bodies.
In winter we get up in the dark, work all day, indoors and arrive home in the dark. Most of us do not get enough time to get outside to get the sun exposure we need to create, serotonin. We feel glum, depressed and tired. We find comfort in eating and having pyjama days on the weekends. Now, don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with a pyjama day or eating comfort food, but too much of this can lead to feeling depressed!

So what’s the answer to this cycle. I suggest going for a lunchtime walk or sitting in the sun during your lunch break, to get some needed sun exposure. Fresh air is great for mind, body and soul! We come back to work feeling revitalised and energised, and ready to tackle the afternoon, whatever that may be. 
Other ways to fit more daylight into your day.
• Park the car 15-30 mins away from work and walk in the sunshine.
• Ride a bike or take public transport and walk some of the way
• Go outside at lunchtime, and soak up some rays
• Go for a walk at lunchtime or break time to clear your head. 
Not only will you get some fresh air, Vitamin D and lift your mood, you will also get some exercise, which can improve your health and fitness and reduce your stress levels. Start now, you will be guaranteed to feel good! 

Why is iron important?
Iron is required for a number of key functions in the body:
  • Iron is an important in transporting oxygen in the blood and in the muscles.
  • Iron is involved in the electron transport system. This system controls the release of energy from cells.
  • Iron is required for red blood cell production.
  • Iron is required for a healthy immune system
Inadequate iron in the body can impair aerobic metabolism by decreasing the delivery of oxygen to tissues and reducing the capacity of muscles to use oxygen for the oxidative production of energy.
Where does iron come from?
The body is unable to manufacture iron therefore the body’s iron needs must be fully supplied by the food we eat. Although iron is widely distributed in foods, some sources are better absorbed than others. The best sources of iron are foods with a high iron content and are easily absorbed by the body.

Iron absorption is best (15-18%) from foods that contain haem iron. Red meat, seafood and poultry are the best sources of haem iron.

Iron absorption from foods that contain non-haem iron is much lower (<5%). Non-haem iron is predominantly found in plant foods such as cereals, vegetables, legumes and nuts. The absorption of non-haem iron can be improved by combining sources of haem iron with non-haem iron. Including vitamin C-rich foods with meals (e.g. juice or fruit with breakfast, capsicum in a stir-fry, salad or fruit with a sandwich) also enhances absorption of non-haem iron.

Some substances in food inhibit the absorption of iron. Excessive intakes of tea, coffee and bran have an inhibitory effect. 

Major contributors of iron in the Australia diet are meat, fish, poultry, iron-enriched breakfast cereal and bread. Dried fruit, sweet corn, green leafy vegetables including broccoli, silver beet, spinach and Chinese green vegetables are other good sources of iron. 
Source: AusNut 2007
How much iron do I need?
The following table provides the Recommended Dietary Intake (RDI) for iron in Australia:
Source: NHMRC Nutrient Reference Values for Australia and New Zealand 2006
Specific iron requirements for athletes participating in different sports are currently unknown. Endurance athletes (particularly runners) are thought to have the highest requirements due to high iron losses. Some studies recommend iron intakes of 17.5 mg/day for male distance runners and 23 mg/day for normally menstruating female distance runners. These intakes are particularly high and may not be achievable especially for females with lower energy intakes.
Are athletes more at risk?
Athletes have a high risk of iron depletion for several reasons:
  1. High requirements
  2. Increased red blood cell mass means athletes have higher iron needs. Needs are particularly high during times of growth.
    • Iron is lost in the sweat. Athletes with high sweat losses have higher iron losses.
    • Iron can be lost through gastrointestinal bleeding. Gastrointestinal bleeding commonly occurs during strenuous exercise due to minor damage to the stomach and intestinal lining. Some gastrointestinal blood loss can be caused by the habitual use of anti-inflammatory drugs.
    • Mechanical trauma such as footstrike haemolysis (repeated pounding of the feet on hard surfaces) can destroy red blood cells during activities such as running.
  3. Increased losses
    • Iron intake is often sub-optimal in athletes with restricted food intakes:
      • Trying to survive on low kilojoule intakes (below 8 300 kj, 2000 cal) in an attempt to minimise body weight
      • Eating poorly balanced vegetarian diets
      • Avoiding meat, chicken or fish in an effort to enhance carbohydrate intake or in the mistaken belief that it is fattening
    • A high reliance on snack and convenience foods and failure to consume regular meals can reduce the athlete’s intake of iron containing foods
    • Avoiding commercially fortified foods such as breakfast cereals can lead to insufficient intake
  4. Dietary Issues
How will I know if I have a problem?
Iron depletion is a continuous process that ultimately results in iron deficiency anaemia if untreated. Iron deficiency anaemia is a condition where iron is depleted to such an extent that the manufacture of haemoglobin and red blood cells is limited. It is associated with symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, breathlessness, and impaired aerobic capacity. It is easy to confuse many of these symptoms with conditions such as the flu, overtraining or ‘being run-down’
One-off blood tests are difficult to interpret when it comes to iron status. Correct diagnosis requires an assessment of habitual dietary intake, clinical symptoms and ongoing monitoring of blood levels. A number of factors are usually taken into account when assessing iron status. A skilled practitioner is needed to accurately assess iron status. Many athletes have routine blood monitoring to assess iron status. Iron depleted athletes can quickly develop iron deficiency anaemia if not detected early. Regular monitoring allows the sports physician to keep track of individual changes and trends.
What is sports anaemia?
Iron status is difficult to assess, particularly from one-off blood measurements. Hard exercise results in an increase in the volume of plasma in the blood. This can dilute haemoglobin levels and incorrectly suggest that there is a problem with iron status. This condition is known as ‘sports anaemia’. It is most likely to occur in the early stages of a training program or when training load is increased. Sports anaemia does not need treatment. It is usually transitory and is unlikely to affect performance.
How is iron deficiency treated?
Iron supplementation is needed to recover depleted iron stores and an iron-rich diet is needed to maintain the increase in iron stores. Typically, supplementation involves 100-300 mg of iron per day in conjunction with vitamin C to enhance absorption. Full recovery is slow and can take as long as 3 months. Blood levels should be reviewed after 10-12 weeks and supplementation ceased when measurements return to usual ranges.

A diet rich in iron is needed to prevent iron depletion reoccurring. A dietitian can provide specific feedback. However, the following tips will help:
  • Choose breakfast cereals that contain added iron.
  • Consume red meat such as beef, lamb or kangaroo 3-4 times each week. Small amounts (80-100 g) are sufficient. Think about creative ways to consume meat such as in sandwiches, stirfries and soups if you find it difficult to eat large chunks of meat. Shellfish, canned fish and poultry are also useful sources of iron.
  • Add vitamin C-rich foods (fruit, juice, capsicum, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower) to meals to enhance the absorption of iron.
  • For vegetarian meals, choose iron-rich foods such as legumes and add vitamin C-rich foods to enhance the absorption of non-haem iron
  • Avoid or limit intake of iron inhibitors such as bran and wheat germ.
  • Avoid drinking strong tea and coffee with meals. It is OK between meals but not with meals.
Should I take an iron supplement?
It is extremely difficult to correct iron deficiency anaemia solely with an iron-rich diet. Supplementation (under the guidance of your medical practitioner) is usually required to treat a diagnosed iron deficiency.

Often athletes experiencing symptoms such as fatigue or lethargy turn to iron supplements to correct or prevent the problem. Currently, there is little evidence to indicate that iron supplementation improves aerobic capacity in athletes with depleted iron stores, who do not have anaemia. Further research is needed before iron supplementation is recommended for athletes without clinically diagnosed iron deficiency anaemia. Regular, inappropriate use of iron supplements can interfere with zinc and copper absorption and may have negative effects on the immune system.
Iron supplements should not be taken without medical advice.
A small percentage of the population has a condition called haemochromatosis. In this condition, iron accumulates in tissues causing damage and disease. Haemochromatosis often goes undiagnosed for many years. Iron supplementation is dangerous for people with haemochromatosis.

Some athletes have been known to have iron injections in order to rapidly increase iron stores. Research indicates performance is not improved by iron injections. There is a risk that anaphylactic shock can occur with iron injections. This can be fatal.

Written by AIS Sports Nutrition, last updated November 2009. © Australian Sports Commission
DETOX- clean the body for better health
The following conditions may by helped by a body detox 
Our body detoxes every night as we sleep. But did you know that you can help this process along by adopting a cleansing routine once a month or periodically when the seasons change.

Not only will you feel great, but your body will work better and you may live longer!

Our body can store toxins, fatty deposits and waste, if we don’t eat well and drink enough water. It can manifest into feelings of being tired, sleep issues and generally not coping well with life. Toxins can be stored in your fatty tissues, and clog your liver. These can be things that you consume (processed foods, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption or drugs) , come into contact with such as chemicals, mercury fillings, or road fumes, excess salt and sugar, lack of fresh filtered water consumption and your work environment(exposure to air-conditioning, dust, chemicals or sedentary lifestyle).

Detoxing foods
• Fruit and vegetable juices
• Water
• Raw food/sprouts/greens
• Whole fruits/vegetables/whole grains/legumes/seeds

Use a juicer or blender to make juices or smoothies. These will help you to detox, and help fill you up. They are cleansing and have the benefit of using raw ingredients, so all the nutrients will be available to your body
Skin brushing- do this daily before your shower or bath. Buy a natural bristled brush, dry brush your skin starting from the soles of your feet, working your way up your legs, in long sweeping gentle motions, towards your heart, then your arms and down your back. Dry skin brushing stimulates lymph flow and encourages blood flow to your skin, helping with the detox process. After dry brushing have your shower.

Deep breathing- most of us only do shallow breathing, which means we don’t use all of our lungs. Deep breathing helps feed our blood oxygen and helps with the detoxification process. Take a deep breath through your nose until your ribcage and then chest fill (move out), then exhale through your mouth with a ooooh sound.
Indulge in daily exercise-it is essential to exercise every day, it can be gentle exercise, stretching, stair climbing, dancing, swimming, bike riding, walking, Pilates or aerobics, whatever takes your fancy. Anything that makes you break into a sweat is suitable, although it does not have to, as long as you are moving.
Drink lots of fresh, filtered water- Still filtered water is best, as it helps hydrate your body and remove toxins. Sparkling water removed vital minerals from your body, so still room temperature water is best, 6-8 glasses a day.

Detox diet- this is a 1-4 day program, not a diet for life, so follow the steps to a better healthier body.
Warm lemon and water on rising- squeeze 1/2 lemon in a warm glass of water, this helps expel faecal matter from the day before.

Breakfast-Chose one of the following:
• Fruit- a large bowel of fruit (apples, pears, papayas, pineapple, cherries, peaches, plumbs, watermelon, apricots or berries only). They should be a room temperature, not cold out of the fridge.
• Miso soup
• Vegetable juice made from-1 cucumber, 1/4 piece ginger, 4 celery sticks, 100g alp alpha sprouts, 3 sprigs of parsley and I peeled carrot.
Tea break- drink a cup of herbal tea-choose from nettle, chamomile, dandelion, sage or Echinacea tea.
Juice break- make a fruit juice from seasonal fruits such as pineapple or a punnet of your favourite berries, 2 peaches and 1 apple or 2 firm papayas, 2 pears 1/2 teas grated ginger or 1 apple, 8 carrots, juice of 1 lemon and 2.5 cm ginger. Ginger should be peeled first.
Lunch- choose from one of the following:
Raw salad with sprouts
Raw mint cucumber soup
Raw sauerkraut
Cooked grains- 1 cup of cooked Quinoa or millet or rice or amaranth mixed with fresh herbs and a side dish of greens ( broccoli, cabbage, cucumber, green leaves, Brussel sprouts or cauliflower).
Cucumber soup
Juice 3 cucumbers and 2 celery sticks. Add 1 cucumber chopped, 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint, 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley and 1/4 of a leek finely chopped. May puree it in the blender to serve. 
Afternoon break- herbal tea
Late afternoon snack-veggie detox juice. Choose from one of the following:
6 carrots, 2 celery sticks and 1 apple
1/2 beetroot, 2 carrots, 1 celery stalk, 1/2 small cucumber
2 cucumbers, 1/4 -1/2 beetroot, a dill sprig
1 kale leaf, a handful od parsley, 5 carrots, 1/2 cm root ginger.
2 celery stalks, a handful of parsley, 1 garlic clove, 5 carrots and 100g alfalfa sprouts
Before dinner -a cup of herbal tea and a handful of sunflower and pumpkin seeds or raw sauerkraut.
Dinner- finish the day with a raw salad with a handful of sprouts, If you are really hungry add a small amount of cooked grain. You can also have a bowl of miso soup.
After dinner have a squeeze of lemon in warm water, before a mineral bath.
Mineral baths are not only for women, men will enjoy a soak in the tub, your skin will love soaking up the minerals and nutrients you add. After filling the bath with water, add the following:
2 tsp flaxseed oil
1 teas liquid silica
2 teas Aloe Vera
3-4 drops of essential oils myrrh and frankincense.
Try to retire early, if you are still peckish; munch on some celery sticks and lettuce leaves, as the magnesium will help you sleep.
You can do this detox from 1-4 days. Make sure you drink up to 2 litres of filtered water a day (more if it is hot weather and you are sweating), supplement with herbal teas and juices, this will help eliminate toxins. Solid food such as fruit and vegetables and cooked grains, seeds and salad can be eaten, instead of juices. Don't force the juices if you are not used to them, remember this is a detox not a diet you are adopting for life.
To enhance this process you may want to consider colonic hydrotherapy. Remember if you do a treatment of colonics, take some probiotics to add good digestive bacteria to your bowel. The benefits of colonics if that it will help remove built up waste in the bowel and colon.
Book in for a consultation before you go ahead with any detox, as you may not be able to proceed if you are taking medication for certain conditions. Call 97698939 to make your appointment NOW!

Good luck!
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