Drink to Your Digestive Health!

Drink to Your Digestive Health!

Cultured or fermented drinks have been traditionally consumed for thousands of years to aid digestion, heal the gut, build immunity and help with detoxification. Originally though, these food staples still prized in many cultures were borne out of necessity as a way of preserving extra produce after a harvest that would spoil if not consumed at once.


The simple beauty of culturing or fermentation is that this process creates a nutrient-dense, enzyme-rich live food that is easily assimilated by the body. By an amazing alchemical process known as lacto fermentation the friendly bacteria naturally present together with those added by a culture starter dine on the sugars and quickly lower the PH creating a more acidic environment where the bacteria are able to reproduce and replicate quite prolifically. They are able to convert the starches and sugars into lactic acid, which as a natural preservative inhibits the growth of pathogens and preserves the nutrients.


Culturing your drinks takes your nutrition to a whole other level of wellness by helping to re establish your inner ecosystem. We all now know of the gut- brain connection and how approximately 75% of the neurotransmitters found in our gut also reside in the brain. So it would make sense to find ways of increasing our good gut bacteria and therefore improving mood, cognition, vitality and wellbeing in general. Consuming cultured liquids is a great practice to introduce to children to help build immunity and aid digestion and are especially helpful for those with food intolerances – a perfect example of using food as medicine as a preventative. Using small amounts to start with they can be added to smoothies or yoghurts or as a base for ice cream or ice blocks.


A good place to start is Young Coconut Kefir where we can culture the water from a young green coconut (not the hairy brown type) and transform an already nutritious, mineral rich liquid full of electrolytes into a powerhouse of probiotic nutrition.  The culturing process creates a drink where the nutrients are increased one hundred fold and the liquid becomes much more hydrating and bioavailable for the body as well creating a powerful fortress against foreign invading pathogens.


There are plenty of other healing fermented drinks you might like to investigate and slowly integrate into your family’s diet: milk kefir, kombucha, beet kvass, water kefir, rejuvalac just to name a few. Like me you might just get the ‘bug’ and wonder how you ever did without them!


Article submitted by: Kitsa  –  Kitsa’s Kitchen


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Immune Boosting Tips to Sail Through the Change of Seasons

Immune Boosting Tips to Sail Through the Change of Seasons

With the change of season around the corner it is very important to make sure your ingesting the nutrients to boost your immune system. Here are 10 Tips to Boost your Immune system

  1. Increase water – this is essential for flushing out the mucus as well as keeping your mucus membranes hydrated to ease congestion. If you are struggling with water try a herbal tea.

  2. Reduce dairy – this will increase your mucus production. Try using almond milk, coconut yoghurt and goats cheese as alternatives every other time.

  3. Add garlic – if you are having a stir fry for dinner, pop it on your meat, fish or even mushrooms to ingest it whatever it takes to included more than once a day to increase your intake of this powerful antiviral nutrient, important for adding any viral and sinus infections

  4. Reduce caffeine – in the form of coffee, soft drinks, energy drinks, all of them! Whilst you may feel like you need a pick me up with the change of season however this will dehydrate your mucus membranes and draw vital water out of your body needed to keep you hydrated.

  5. Increase your vitamin C foods – you’ve heard it before vitamin c boosts your immune system and you’ll hear it again and again. Foods such as broccoli and blueberries will have your highest concentration, but don’t forget the citrus fruits such as your orange and lemons

  6. Reduce bananas – these have also been proven to increase your mucus production and some people find they crave them as their phlegm increases. Don’t give it. Pick berries as your alternative.

  7. Increase your essential fatty acids – especially your omega 3’s. These are important for their anti-inflammatory action which will keep your sinuses clear. High sources of these omegas are fish, avocado, nuts and seeds

  8. Add pineapple – this will be your best asset to your diet. Pineapple is high in bromelain an enzyme proven to reduce congestion and inflammation – the two most important symptoms to be reduced at this time of year.

  9. Increase your veggies – these are packed full of immune boosting nutrients to keep you fighting fit. Focus on your leafy greens such as your spinach and kale

  10. Stay active – as it starts to cool down DO NOT reduce your exercise. Exercise is an important part of keep your immune system at a level to fight infection

Follow these simple tips to ensure your immune system is ready for the change of season.

Submitted by Sinead Smyth

Clinical Nutritionist at Naed Nutrition

W: http://www.naednutrition.com.au/

F: https://www.facebook.com/naednutrition

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Healthy Partying

Healthy Partying

So you're on a special diet and you want to have a party – for many people this sends shivers down your spine. Managing dietary restrictions is hard enough day to day let alone at a party. But with a bit of planning it can be done and it can be fun!

Sometimes it's easier to become Party Central at your own house. Offer to host Christmas and special family dinners so you have complete control over the menu and ingredients.

There's no reason your child can't have an amazing birthday party with their friends, don’t let food hold you back.

This is YOUR child's party so make sure ALL food you serve is OK for your child. You want them to be able to eat absolutely anything they like at their own party. And don't worry about the other kids. I bet you will find they gobble up all the food you serve without comment! We've had many parties over the years with foods that were free of a million things and the other kids loved it all, not one comment about it not being 'normal' food.

Be creative with presentation so it looks fun and appetizing – fruit can look fabulous as kebabs for example. Take the focus off foods with fun games and crafts and ditch the old lolly bag in favour of some toys and accessories from the $2 shop.

Check out the What Can I Eat Cake Pantry for Premix Blends that can support your dietary needs and create a decadent and delicious birthday cake that will have everyone talking and wanting the recipe! (Don’t tell them how easy it is!!)

If you are going out to a party at another house, have a special lunchbox (that your child has chosen) which is the party box. It only comes out on special occasions and you take it with you to the party with some safe, fun party foods. If you can find out ahead of time what is being served you can make things that are similar so they don’t feel like they are missing out on anything.

Happy partying!


Article Submitted by Kris Barrett from Nourish Me

Website: www.Nourishme.com.au

Follow on Facebook: www.facebook.com/nourishmehealth


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We Are What We Eat and How We Sleep

We Are What We Eat and How We Sleep

We all know that getting a good night’s sleep is one of the best ways to ensure that we are ready to take on what the next day may have in store. Our energy levels will be increased as well as concentration and our ability to handle stress. Combining this with a diet that supports optimal nutrition makes a powerful combination to ensure we perform at our best on a daily bases. Making the right dietary choices can have a direct impact on sleep.

For a good night's rest it is important to avoid consuming food and drinks that may be inhibitors of sleep, these include any food or drinks that contain caffeine or related compounds such as coffee, soft drinks, chocolate and tea. Although the sensitivity to the stimulant effects of caffeine will vary from person to person these substances are best avoided in the evening to encourage the body to wind down and relax before bedtime.

Alcohol is also another substance that can have sleep-impairing effects. There is a misconception that alcohol relaxes us and induces sleep when, in fact, it could be the cause of a restless night! Alcohol can cause the body to release adrenaline, which is stimulating to the brain. It can also impair the transport of tryptophan into the brain. Tryptophan is a precursor to serotonin, an important neurotransmitter that promotes sleep.

Another issue to consider is nocturnal hypoglycemia. This is defined as low nighttime blood glucose levels. When a drop in blood glucose occurs, it causes the release of hormones that regulate glucose levels, such as cortisol, glucagon, growth hormone and adrenaline. These hormones stimulate the brain and can cause the body to wake with the signal that it’s time to eat. Nocturnal hypoglycemia, which is a form of dysregulated glucose metabolism can be caused by overconsumption of refined carbohydrates, which is very common in our society today.

The best way to avoid this condition is to consume carbohydrates that have a low glycemic index.


If an evening snack is needed a complex carbohydrate such as oatmeal or a whole grain unprocessed cereal would be a good option. These foods can also help to promote sleep by increasing serotonin levels within the brain.

Bananas are a good choice for an evening snack. Bananas are high in magnesium and potassium both of which have a muscle relaxing effect. They are a complex carbohydrate that also contains tryptophan, a precursor to serotonin.

Try having a handful of nuts and seeds that include almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, walnuts, macadamias, pecans, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds. This snack will provide more of the essential nutrients such as magnesium, potassium and essential fatty acids, required for healthy nerve and brain function.

Cherries have been found to contain naturally occurring melatonin. Melatonin is the hormone produced in the brain’s pineal gland and helps to regulate sleep. Cherries are also high in antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have found that sipping on tart cherry juice can improve sleep and reduce the occurrence of insomnia.

There are also a number of relaxing and gently sedating herbs that can be infused to make a lovely bedtime nightcap! Try making your own loose leaf blend including herbs such as passionflower, chamomile, lemon balm, valerian and lavender.

Making the right dietary choices can have a huge impact on how we sleep.

In this day and age where the demand we put on our bodies to perform outweighs the effort that we take to care for ourselves, the one area we all have the power to improve is how we sleep and eat. Considering that most people will have some sort of sleeping problem or disorder in their lifetime, it is comforting to know that some sleep issues can be avoided simply by making better choices.

Take some time to consider if you could be making better food choices to improve your sleep!

Article submitted by Living Chiropractic

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Reading Food Labels

Reading Food Labels

An important part of choosing healthy, nutritious food suitable to specific dietary requirements is knowing how to read food labels.  Unfortunately labels have their own language, and it is not always easy separating fact from fiction.  The best starting point is learning how to decipher what a manufacturer has to tell you, as opposed to the information they volunteer in order to convince you to buy!

Ingredients Listing

All manufacturers are required to list their ingredients in descending order according to their relative proportion by weight.  Although by no means an exact measure, this list will give you an indication of the relative amounts of the different ingredients that make up the food.  Be aware, that some manufacturers will use several different kinds of sugar (e.g. Fructose, lactose, maltose, molasses, treacle, golden syrup, icing sugar, honey) or fat (e.g. shortening, vegetable fat, vegetable oil, beef fat, butter, margarine, cocoa butter, canola oil and milk solids) so that each one will be present in a smaller proportion and will not be seen to be the major ingredient in the product.

Salt & Sugar Content

The body’s needs for sodium are estimated at 920 to 2300 milligrams per day.  However, the average person takes in 10 to 20 times as much salt as is required, much of which comes from processed foods.  The true name for salt is sodium chloride and ingredient lists may clarify salt under either title.  If a nutrition panel is present it is possible to estimate the amount of salt in a product by looking at the sodium content.  Be aware of hidden salt in processed foods.  For example, a vegemite sandwich provides approx. 480 milligrams of sodium, of which only 150 comes from the vegemite and the rest from the processed bread and margarine.

To find out the sugar content of a food, refer to the total sugar figure listed on the label.  Adults should aim to take in about 5% to 10% or less of their kilojoules from sugar.  For an average female this would be approximately 25 to 45 grams, and 30 to 60 grams for an average male per day.

Misleading Claims

A food classified, as low fat must not contain more than 3 grams total fat per 100 grams.  If classified as fat-free the food must not contain more than .15g total fat per 100g of product.  Do not be tricked into believing that foods claiming to be low in cholesterol are also low in fat.  Cholesterol is a type of fat from animal sources such as meat and eggs.  A product such as olive oil, made from vegetable sources, may make the claim no cholesterol, but it is still 100% fat.  Also be cautious of claims such as 95% fat free this equates to 5 g of fat per 100 g of the product, but if the actual serving size is 500 g, then you are still taking in a total of 25 g of fat.

Gluten Free

If a product claims to be gluten free the nutritional analysis should indicate NIL.  Finally be careful purchasing already baked products that all ingredients are clearly listed.  For more extensive information about acceptable 
ingredients if you are following a gluten free diet got www.coeliacsociety.com.au.

Article submitted by Kumara Lord (BED,MHN)

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