18th May 2016

Too much of a good thing? Supplement cautions.

We are all aware that we’re eating too much sugar, saturates and salt as a nation – but how are we doing on the vitamins and minerals front? Should we take a supplement? Can you have too much of a seemingly good thing?  Read on to sort the myths from the sensible advice. Many product labels display claims that they provide a source of various vitamins and minerals and that these can benefit health.  For example, foods providing a source of calcium can support bone and muscle health; foods rich in iron can help maintain the function of the immune system or help prevent fatigue.  These claims are regulated and food and supplement manufacturers are not permitted to make misleading […]
15th April 2016

Love your gut and it will love you back

We rarely think about our gut, let alone its contents. The microbial community (or microbiome) that resides within it outnumber the cells within the body by 10 to 1! What do we know about these mysterious bacteria that live within us, how could they benefit our health and can we influence them? Registered nutritionist Claire Baseley investigates.   The role of gut bacteria in digestion The food we eat is digested at several points within the body and the nutrients that are released are mainly absorbed in the small intestine. However, it’s when what is left over from the digestive process reaches the large intestine or colon that things get really interesting. These leftover nutrients include forms of starch that […]
29th December 2015

New year, new you? Just don’t do a juice diet…

It’s the new year and many people will be signing up for gym memberships, going alcohol free for January or starting a new diet all in hope of getting healthier, fitter or losing weight.  But by the end of the month, many will have fallen off the wagon and resumed their normal habits.  Why is this and what can you do to break the cycle of binge and diet? After the excesses of the festive season, many will resolve to get healthier in January but often they set unrealistic goals for weight loss and fitness or worse still, they embark upon a fad diet, of which there are no shortage in the media and on the bookshelves.  They make many […]
28th October 2015

Veg-first: A novel approach to weaning

Traditional weaning practice is to give babies bland or sweet foods for their first tastes.  Using a vegetable first approach is a novel but evidence based way to help babies learn to love vegetables; a habit that lasts potentially for many years.   Babies are born with few taste preferences but they do have a naturally sweet tooth.  Breastmilk is sweet and so this is beneficial for the first months of life, where breastmilk (or infant formula) is the sole source of nutrition.  However, once weaning starts, it’s apparent that sweet foods like fruits are much preferred and greater quantities are eaten compared with vegetables, particularly the more bitter, green varieties.  These tastes, that are typically less sweet or even […]