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Sick of feeling sick?

Yesterday I was privileged to attend a workshop on supporting immunity with nutrition. "Quite timely", I thought as three people were coughing and spluttering in my carriage on the way to the event. On average, an adult gets 2-5 common colds each year and children get between 6 and 12! The average cold lasts for 10 days. If you are one of those people who seem to be getting non-stop colds and viruses, then it may be time to look at your lifestyle and nutrition to see if a couple of small changes might help to reduce the frequency of occurrence, or length of onset of the cold. Some factors which may affect immune function include: nutrient deficiency, stress, poor sleep, medications, dehydrat

Nutritional support for eating disorders

In my line of work, I get to support people with a whole range of health issues, including weight loss, diabetes management, IBS and chronic fatigue. There is one area, however, in which I am seeing increasingly more clients, and that is the area of eating disorders and eating distress. This problem seems to be mainly prevalent amongst females but is not limited to any particular age group. In the relatively small sample of clients I have seen it does seem to affect those with the busiest, most stressful lifestyles, often high achievers who demand the best from themselves. Eating disorders are complex mental health disorders. As a nutritional therapist, I am unable to "treat" eating disorder

Soup-er tasty!

Winter might mean putting on extra layers, taking longer to get ready in the morning because of everyone looking for their gloves and extra time to defrost the car, but it also means having the opportunity to make delicious soups – warming, nutritious and tasty – who said winter was all bad?! This sweet potato and ginger soup contains delicious sweet potatoes, which contain many nutrients including potassium, vitamin C, B6 and carotenes. Although they taste very sweet, they may help stabilise blood sugar levels. The chickpeas in this soup are a great source of protein and the ginger gives the soup warmness and depth. Ginger has many health benefits and may be supportive for digestive health

Get the balance right!

Who said healthy eating means giving up comforting foods like mashed potatoes? I like to use family favourites in weekday suppers to entice everyone to eat a balanced meal. Here is last night's supper comprising baked salmon (protein and healthy fat), mash made with potatoes, parsnips and swede (for added nutrients, yet still just as yummy), served with mushrooms, cauliflower and spinach. This dinner is heaving with nutrients - we have protein, omega-3 fats, complex carbohydrates, fibre plus a full range of micronutrients. But the most important component is taste, and as everyone ate it with great gusto last night, I assume that was present too!

What am I eating this week?

There's nothing quite like a lazy Sunday morning complete with the papers, autumn sun streaming through the windows and a healthy brunch. This plate might look complicated, but once I had got the eggs started and someone else to stir them (thank you, daughter!), the rest of it was very quick to assemble. The components of this brunch are: scrambled eggs chopped avocado tomato, pomegranate and basil salad tuna sweetcorn sliced cucumber lightly boiled broccoli fried mushrooms Look at all that colour!! We're eating out tonight and whilst that menu might not be under my control, I know that we have had a nutritious start to the day!

A pinch of salt

Salt is the common source of the mineral sodium, which is important in the human body for getting the correct fluid balance in the body and blood, and for nerve transmission. Sodium deficiency is very rare, as most foods have too much added salt. Sodium is present in small amounts in some natural foods. Just by cutting down on processed foods, you might dramatically bring down your salt intake. Government guidelines recommend no more than 4g of salt daily for adults – this equates to about 1 teaspoon. With salt being included in so many foods like bread, cereals, crackers and sauces, you can easily go over your daily limit and therefore, there is no need to add it to food. The average daily

High fibre

Fibre is the indigestible carbohydrate that is found in whole grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, lentils and beans. Humans do not have the enzymes to break down fibre, but the beneficial bacteria that are living in our guts do. They feast on the fibre and during the process of digesting it, they produce many different metabolic by-products that we can benefit from. For example, some of the different bacterial species in our guts can produce B-vitamins, serotonin (the molecule that makes us feel happy) and vitamin K. Fibre absorbs water in the gut, making the food bulkier and easier to pass through the body. This decreases the amount of time that food waste spends in the body and reduce