Is Coconut Water an Alternative to Vitamin Water?

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For those of you “health nuts” that have your finger on the pulse with the latest trends in the health and fitness industry, you would know the new fad is coconut water. ‘Brilliant’ most of you are saying. ‘I bet it’s as good for me as the vitamin waters (which contain as much sugar as Coke) or the Ab Circle Pro (my girlfriend’s mum has one but I’m not quite comfortable enough yet to tell her it’s a silly investment, my best mate also has one…. I’m a little more honest with him)’.

I’ve got some good news for you! This is worth investing in and I’m pretty sure it’s the first time I’ve agreed with a health ‘fad’! I can tell you that this one will stay around!

Although most ‘health fads’ are so far from healthy it is laughable, (e.g vitamin water – apologies to those of you who thought it was healthy), coconut water/oil/meat has a stack of positives to enhance your health!

Here are the top 10 reasons you want to get involved in the latest health fad!

On many small islands around the world, coconut water is the only drinking water available which for many tribes is seen as the ‘fluid for life’. It contains natural sugars and also a complex array of vitamins and minerals which makes it a much healthier and more nutritious option than previous ‘health drinks’. It is high in potassium, chlorides, calcium and magnesium. It is largely fat free. The electrolyte profile of coconut water is somewhat similar to that of the human plasma so it is the perfect drink to prevent dehydration making it the perfect sports drink.
It is perfect for potassium deficiency. If you are getting your coconut juice straight from the coconut, the green (immature) coconuts are seen as the best for taste and quality.
Research has shown that it has a positive effect on cholesterol. In one case study your good cholesterol increased by 46.2%!
It is known to clear bladder infection, remove kidney stones and improve sexual vitality! Don’t we all want a bit of that!
In the Philippines they use it for urinary tract infections and have a saying for coconuts: A coconut a day keeps the urologist away…
Coconut oil also contains medium chain fatty acids which help fight bacterial infections such as UTI’s, ear infections, genital infections, gonorrhoea, food poisoning, throat and sinus infections killing intestinal worms.
Coconut oil has been known to help with increasing your energy and metabolism and weight management.
It is also known to work against fungal infections such as Candida, thrush, jock itch, ringworm, athlete’s foot and viral infections such as chronic fatigue.
Coconut oil has also been known to help with skin conditions such as dermatitis and acne.
Coconut water is also a good form of laxative for those who experience constipation. You will need larger amounts of the water for this to take effect.
If you want to be even healthier buy fresh coconuts, slice them open and drink the coconut water from inside!

What Is Your Acid-Alkaline Balance and How Your Diet Affects It

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Your body needs to remain ever so slightly alkaline (the opposite to acidic) to survive. One of the simplest ways to stay in perfect pH balance is through diet and alkaline-forming foods. Naturopath Cliff Harvey explains the importance of acid/alkaline balance in your diet.
Whatever we eat is digested and broken down into much smaller compounds: proteins into their constituent amino acids, long chain carbs into simple sugars such as fructose, glucose and galactose and fats into glycerides and fatty acids. There are also many non-caloric (not energy providing) components of the food we digest and these also exhibit effects on the body.An area that has garnered some interest recently, especially in complementary medicine and holistic nutrition fields is that of the acid-base (or acid-alkaline) balance of the foods that we eat. The various compounds that result from digestion and end up circulating through our bodies for eventual utilisation and/or excretion will be either acidic or alkaline. If we eat a lot of foods that are (net) acid forming in the body and few that are alkaline we will create a level of what has been called ‘low grade metabolic acidosis’.It is not technically correct to say that the blood ‘will become overly acidic’ as many claim, because blood pH, and cellular pH is one of the most tightly controlled mechanisms in the body, however there are significant general health effects from having a diet that is too acidic and many of these stem from our need to ‘buffer’ blood and cells that are potentially too acidic (bring them back to normal range.)Some of the ways the body seeks to maintain normal pH:

    • Breaking down bone tissue to supply calcium (a highly basic compound), potentially weakening bones.
    • Breaking down muscle to free up glutamine a highly basic amino acid and the most abundant amino in muscle tissue. This may result in lower levels of muscle mass, impaired recovery and reduce glutamine stores that may also play a role in immunity and gut health.

When blood pH is elevated, even fractionally, there may be additional effects of greater inflammation and increased insulin resistance, both of which are co-factors in the development of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and other metabolic disorders.

Food can be analysed for its net effect on the body’s acid-alkaline balance using a measure known as Potential Renal Acid Load or in short it’s PRAL score.

Food Item PRAL value>
Cheeses (more than 15g protein/100g serving) 23.6
Meat and meat products 9.5
Cheeses (less than 15g protein/100g serving) 8
Fish 7.9
White Flour 7
Pasta 6.7
White Bread 3.5
Milk and other (non-cheese) dairy products 1
Fats and Oils 0
Vegetables -2.8
Fresh fruit and juices -3.1
Potatoes -4

*PRAL values provided in mEq per 100g edible portion

Good Green Stuff is a highly alkaline supplement that can help the body to redress its acid-alkaline imbalance.

Golden pea protein isolate is the world’s ONLY alkaline protein. Clean Lean Protein – the alkaline advantage, has a pH reading of 7.8!

11 Factors That Contribute to Needing Nutritional Supplements

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Here are 11 simple reasons that you may benefit from dietary supplementation.You may find that they all apply to you, or that only two or three hit home, but either way it is a fact of life that most people these days do not get all the nutrients their body’s need from diet alone. How much are you willing to compromise on your health and wellbeing?

  1. Stress Today’s fast paced; super busy lifestyles leave little room for well planned, wholefood meals. We arebombarded with physical, chemical and emotional stress that puts greater demands on our bodies. High stress levels may be aided by increased intake of the B vitamins, vitamin C and Zinc.
  2. Poor / Restricted Eating Habits Many people by accident or choice have a limited repertoire of what they are eating. Food allergies and sensitivities can greatly limit the foods one is allowed to eat. Adding a supplement such as Good Green S tuff may help to cover the vitamins and minerals that may be lacking in a restrictive diet.
  3. Alcohol and Smoking Everyone knows they are not healthy habits but what many people don’t realise is the burden that they can place on the body. The liver must process the alcohol and in doing so creates a higher need for the B vitamins and Zinc. Smoking causes free radical damage and this is where a diet high in antioxidants may help, especially Vitamin C.
  4. Soil Deficiencies Due to modern agricultural practices and pesticide use our soils are becoming more depleted of nutrients over the years. If the nutrients aren’t returned to the soil or crop rotation isn’t implemented the mineral content of the soil will suffer. If the nutrients aren’t in our soil they aren’t in our foods.
  5. Athletes / Sport Sport is fantastic for the body but also creates a higher need for certain nutrients. The B vitamins, vitamin C, Zinc and Magnesium are just a few of the nutrients the body needs for energy metabolism and repair. Exercise creates immune suppression and increased risk of upper respiratory tract infections. High antioxidant intake may help to counter balance this situation.
  6. Medications Many medications can alter our body’s ability to digest and absorb food properly. Antibiotics, though lifesaving can disrupt the friendly gut flora that is so important for immune and digestive health. Pre and Probiotics can help to restore this imbalance and strengthen one’s digestive system.
  7. Poor Digestion Stress, medications, spices and hot beverages such as coffee and tea can all have a detrimental effect on one’s digestion; potentially causing inflammation and/or interference with the absorption of nutrients from the foods we eat.
  8. Nutrient Losses in Foods The longer a food is sitting on a shelf in the supermarket, the length of time a food is waiting to be eaten from your cupboard or refrigerator plus the amount of cooking time it is exposed to can all lead to losses of nutrients such as the antioxidants and B vitamins. Fresh is best wherever possible!
  9. Packaged / Processed Foods Foods high in refined carbohydrates, sugars and preservatives typically do not have high amounts of vitamins and minerals as they can be lost during the refining process. Many people are dependent on packaged / fast foods and this may leave their body short of the recommended intake of nutrients.
  10. P.M.T. Research has found that many women suffering from P.M.T. may benefit from a higher intake of B6, Magnesium and Zinc.
  11. 5 + 2 can be hard to come by Many people find it very difficult to get in the 5 serves of vegetables and 2 servings of fruit that are recommended for a balanced diet. Good Green Stuff contains green super foods and berries to help assist with a healthy diet.

Protein Myths is too Much Protein Bad?

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Myth #1: Eating too much protein is bad for you

In reality, it’s extremely difficult for a healthy person to eat too much protein!  Protein is important because it contains amino acids − the building blocks for all cells and tissue.  Nine of these are called ‘essential amino acids’ because they are compounds that our bodies can’t create.

The average person needs as little as 0.8g of protein per kg of body weight per day.  However, this is not enough if we’re active.  People who exercise regularly should up their protein intake to around 1.4-2 grams per kilogram of body weight per day.  This quantity of protein should also be consumed on a daily basis as we age to help maintain muscle tone.

Myth #2: Vegetable proteins are incomplete

The definition of a complete protein is one which supplies all the essential amino acids.  While it’s true that most vegetable protein supplements on the market aren’t complete proteins, Clean Lean Protein is different.  Made from golden pea isolate, Clean Lean Protein has the highest protein content of any supplement on the market (up to 90%).  The protein is extracted at low temperatures underwater through a natural enzyme process to preserve the protein integrity and quality.

A single serve of Clean Lean Protein supplies you with between 45% and 120% of the daily requirement for all nine essential amino acids.

Myth #3: Soy is the best vegetable protein

As far as your body is concerned, all proteins are created equal.  The thing that makes a protein source better or worse for you is the other stuff that comes along for the ride.  Soy protein contains allergens and anti-nutrients like phytic acid which binds to minerals and prevents their absorption.

Clean Lean Protein is a low allergen, perfectly alkaline, low in fat, sugars and carbs and contains no preservatives, artificial colours or flavours.

Myth #4: Our bodies need every essential amino acid at every meal

Vegetarians and vegans used to spend a great deal of time and effort balancing the recommended ratios of amino acids in every meal – but Mother Nature is one step ahead of us.  As long as we’re supplying our bodies with all of the essential amino acids over the course of a day, we don’t have to go to these lengths to be healthy.

How Good Green Stuff Gives Your Brain the Nutrients it Needs

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Juggling the endless tasks we need to get through each day can often mean that our memory for remembering details is not always great. How often do you forget passwords, phone numbers, even just why on earth you walked into the room? Mental function is impaired when we’re stressed and tired; and declines as a natural part of the aging process that (scarily) begins around the age of forty.

The great news is that our brains are able to be trained. With the right nutrition and environment they can build new brain cells and slow cognitive decline. For centuries, herbs have also been used to boost memory and cognition and now there is strong research to support their use in improving attention, cognitive processing and memory by activating neurotransmitters and protecting damage to neurons that cause mental decline.

The following herbs you can find in NuZest’s Good Green Stuff – scientifically supported, memory-boosting herbs – just one of the plethora of benefits to taking your Good Green Stuff every day!

Panax Ginseng Extract – aids in concentration and enhanced mental function by activating neurotransmitters

Rhodiola Rosea – recognised as one of the best memory-boosting herbs, it enhances physical and mental performance and helps to retain a higher level of mental function by stimulating the central nervous system

Gotu Kola – thought to be able to improve blood flow to the brain, thereby enhancing memory and brain function

Sunflower lecithin – plays a role in nerve function so may be beneficial for neurological performance

Orgranic Chlorella – may help to prevent the progression of mental decline

Rosemary Leaf extract – traditionally used for improved memory, it also acts as an antioxidant, neutralising free radicals.

 

Good Green Stuff can be used as simply as adding two teaspoons to a glass of water, but if you want to get creative, visit our recipes section for ideas and inspiration.

Nutritional Advice on Processed & Unprocessed Food

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The American diet consists of 62% processed foods, 27% animal products, and 5% french fries and ketchup. That’s 94% of our diet, right there, leaving only 6% for fruits, vegetables and nuts.

When I first read this I’m sad to say I wasn’t so much shocked as dismayed. Having been a nutritionist for over 13 years I have been privy to not just the statistics showing our obesity epidemic, but to real life exposure with many of my clients. This quote demonstrates just how far we have removed ourselves from the style of diet we should be eating.

And the reality is that we need not be perfect.

In fact ‘perfect’ is the opposite of progress for the simple reason that it can’t be achieved and it therefore drives dissatisfaction because if our sense of fulfilment is predicated in achieving ‘perfection’ (an impossible goal) we will never in fact be satisfied. However by simply doing ‘most things right, most of the time’ we can achieve extraordinary health results.

The age old 80-20 rule could well provide at least some basis for good eating, just as it is so valuable for other things in life….and it would certainly make a vast improvement over the figures above if we were to eat well 80% of the time…

So my challenge to you:
For the next week – on any given day – make at least 80% of what you eat natural, whole and unprocessed food. This could be vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, berries, eggs, fish and meats. Don’t be concerned at this stage with quantities, simply stick to natural, whole and unprocessed food (preferably organic) 80% of the time….It’s that simple…

Notice the change in how you feel…and how you look!
80% isn’t so hard after all….

Starving on a Full Stomach, How to Feel Full and Nourished!

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You might be surprised to hear that many of us are starving. Not from a lack of calories but from a diet low in essential vitamins and minerals. Increased stress, a lack of variety in our diet, nutrient-depleted soil and a longer food chain all have a part to play.

In the modern world we are constantly surrounded by stress and, unlike our ancestors roaming the savannah thousands of years ago, we are not always able to simply respond and then relax.   Living in a constant state of ‘fight or flight’ creates high levels of residual stress. To counterbalance this we need a diet rich in B vitamins, magnesium and zinc.

The way that our food is grown and distributed doesn’t help.  Intensive farming practices have depleted the micronutrients in soil which used to be passed along the food chain.  Rather than eating locally-grown produce, we now source food from a global market.  Many vitamins and minerals begin to break down when exposed to heat, light and air – this effect increases the further food travels.  By the time food gets on to our plate, it has a much lower nutrient content compared with food several decades ago.

Many of us don’t have a very varied diet – especially vegetables, herbs and berries. Often we eat only three or four types of vegetables on a regular basis, many of which have very similar nutrient profiles. Decades ago, through choice and necessity, people ate a greater variety of seasonal foods.

Luckily there are several ways that we reclaim these lost nutrients.

1.  Six serves of vegetables per day – remember to increase the range of vegetables you eat as well as the quantity.

2.  Two to three serves of berries per day – berries are nature’s multi-vitamin.  They are packed with the highly antioxidant compounds that help to reduce visible signs of aging and the effects of inflammation associated with cancer and heart disease.

3.  Use Good Green Stuff – regular use of a high quality greens product is a great way to pack more nutrients in. NuZest’s Good Green Stuff contains over 70 whole food-based ingredients to help provide both nutrient density and variety.

4.  Eat organic – organic foods provide higher levels of secondary antioxidant nutrients.

5.  Make super-smoothies – smoothies are a great way to boost the nutrients in our diet.  Start with a high quality protein like Clean Lean Protein and add berries, vegetables, Good Green Stuff along with healthy fats like macadamia oil or coconut cream for improved brain health and energy.