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6 Reasons Why You Should Have Apple Cider Vinegar Every Day

6 Reason Why You Should Have Apple Cider Vinegar Daily

What is Apple Cider Vinegar?

Apple cider vinegar otherwise known as ACV has been used historically as a health tonic to treat wounds, diabetes, high fever, weight problems and much more. In fact Hippocrates, the “father of medicine” regularly used ACV as a cleansing and healing agent.

Natural Apple Cider Vinegar is made from fresh, crushed, organically grown apples that has been fermented in tanks. When mature, it contains a “web-like” substance called a “mother” which is made from the naturally occurring pectin and apple residue. This “mother” contains many minerals and enzymes that is often not present in processed vinegars.

There are many claims about the miraculous healing properties of ACV but very little science to back it up. The big players in ACV which drive a lot of the impressive actions are its acetic acid and phytochemical (antioxidant) content. While there is not a lot of solid research done on humans I still think it warrants space in your pantry and in your life.

Why ACV demands attention

  1. Type 2 Diabetes: Apple cider vinegar added to meals has the ability to reduce the digestion of complex carbohydrates. Preventing at least some of the starch from being digested and raising your blood sugar levels. It is thought that it’s anti-glycemic and blood sugar favourable properties are due to its acetic acid content. Making ACV fabulous for prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes. In fact the physiological effects of vinegar are similar to the drug commonly prescribed for treatment of Type 2 Diabetes, Metformin.
  2. Cholesterol lowering effect: ACV improves heart health by lowering total cholesterol, triglycerides and the dangerous form of cholesterol, very low-density lipoproteins (VLDL) which is often linked to risk of heart attack.
  3. Blood pressure: ACV is a valuable companion to those with high blood pressure as regular consumption has been shown to reduce the blood pressure in mice.
  4. Weight loss: Apple cider vinegar has been used in weight loss protocols for many years. Studies have shown that consuming ACV before a meal reduces the need to overeat as it improves satiety, that sense of being full. It is also an amazing digestive aid and let’s not forget point 1 and it’s ability to support a healthy blood sugar balance.
  5. Reflux, Heartburn and Digestion: Contrary to popular belief, acid reflux typically occurs from having too little stomach acid. ACV is a simple and effective way to improve the acid content of your stomach, reduce reflux symptoms and help you break down food better. It is also thought that drinking ACV before meals can improve your ability to absorb important minerals from the foods you eat.
  6. Cancer: Impaired digestion and bacterial and parasitic infections are common in cancer. It is therefore important to cleanse the digestive and excretory systems. While there is little research on the use of ACV in cancer, ACV is a valuable food to include because of it’s “sanitising” effect on the gut and it’s overall effect on all body systems.

How you can get your ACV fix daily

  1. As a digestive health drink; especially if constipated or have reflux. Dilute 1 tbsp in 200ml of warm or room temperature water and have daily or take 1 tbsp 10-20 minutes before meals.
  2. In salad dressings with healthy oils, herbs, spices, pepper and pink Himalayan rock salt.
  3. In sauces, mustards and dips. Homemade Dijon mustard and Coriander sauce.
  4. To help ferment gut loving vegetables such as sauerkraut.
  5. To tenderise beef, lamb, chicken and other meat in slow cooking.
  6. In bone broths to leech all of the amazing, gut loving minerals out of the bones.

Word of warning

Always dilute ACV in water or fresh juice before consuming. ACV is highly acidic so having it pure and undiluted can damage the enamel of your teeth, throat and tissues in your mouth.

One isolated study has shown that long-term excessive use could lower potassium levels and bone density.

Not all ACV’S are the same

Look for raw, organic, unfiltered, unpasteurised ACV which contains the “mother”. This ensures that it still has the beneficial probiotics, minerals and enzymes. Ideally the ACV should look cloudy. My favourite brands are Braggs and Honest to Goodness. By now you would have established that I am a HUGE fan of the humble ACV. It will continue to have a place on my shelf, an entire 5 litre shrine in fact. I recommend ACV to patients and use ACV daily, wherever I would normal vinegar and as a digestive aid to cut through sluggish bowel movements. I am more than happy to continue the legacy of Hippocrates and use this exceptional liquid medicinally. I just hope that more studies are carried out on ACV to give it the credit it so rightfully deserves.

Try This Daily Gut Nourishing Maintenace
 

 
It’s as easy as this:

- 1/2 a lemon
- 1/2 a tea spoon of 180nutrition Pure L-Glutamine
- 1 table spoon of apple cider vinegar (we like Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar)
- Glass of water

Simply mix it all together and drink once a day on an empty stomach first thing in the morning, or 1/2 hour before meals.

Learn more about the amazing properties of our L-Glutamine HERE .

lynda griparic naturopathThis article is brought to you by Lynda Griparic. She is a qualified Naturopath, Nutritionist, Writer and Speaker with over 14 years of experience in the health industry. Lynda specialises in gut health and weight loss. She has extensive experience in running healthy, effective and sustainable weight loss programs and has expertise in investigating and treating the underlying causes of weight gain, metabolic problems and gut disturbance. You can connect with Lynda here.

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References

  1. http://bit.ly/1ltAVNt
  2. http://bit.ly/1YXVDTw
  3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20068289
  4. http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/27/1/281.full
  5. http://bragg.com/products/images/CholesterolAges.pdf
  6. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1750-3841.12434/full
  7. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21561165
  8. http://1.usa.gov/1OjpWwo
  9. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1750-3841.12434/full
  10. http://1.usa.gov/1HXGEVC
  11. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17216979
  12. http://bit.ly/1SRiWLj
  13. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC305362/
  14. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23373303
  15. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1785201/#R66

 

5 Tactics To Reduce The Dreaded Hangover That You May Not Have Thought Of…

5 Tactics To Reduce The Dreaded Hangover

Lynda: What is an alcohol hangover? Technically a hangover from alcohol develops when blood alcohol concentration (BAC) significantly drops and peaks when it returns to almost zero.

Unfortunately “The Alcohol Hangover” can last up to 24 hours and commonly includes symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, poor concentration, dizziness, thirst, mood fluctuations, cognitive impairment and a general feeling of suffering.

Can a hangover be prevented? Outside of consuming alcohol in moderation or abstinence, unfortunately there is no evidence to suggest that conventional or complementary methods are effective for prevention or treatment of the dreaded hangover.

What We Can Do?

While we can not prevent or cure a hangover, there are a few things we can do to reduce it’s severity.

  1. Choose your fuel wisely; what you choose to drink can either be a nasty cocktail of chemicals and sugar that aggravate your hangover or a “cleaner” alternative with a few health benefits. Red wine contains many health promoting compounds such as polyphenols, phenolics, flavonoids and antioxidants namely Resveratrol. In moderation these compounds are anti-ageing, have been shown to support cardiovascular health, and even have anti-cancer and a neuroprotective effect in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimers. Unfortunately many people have allergies or intolerance to some ingredients in wine such as alcohol, amines or sulphites. If this is you, another option would be a potato based Vodka with soda water and fresh lime instead. Be mindful as many Vodkas are grain based. Potato based Vodka is gluten and sugar free and is low in carbohydrates. Be careful not to use tonic water instead of soda water, a common mistake. Store bought tonic water is often high in added sugar. Some may also contain fruit extracts and quinine to improve the flavour. If you would like slightly more antioxidant, polyphenol and flavonoid activity go for your organically produced wines. These wines are produced without sulphur dioxides/sulphites, making it a better alternative for those with sulphite sensitivity.
  2. Sleep; make sure that you are getting quality sleep, especially a couple of days prior to a drinking “binge”. Sleep deprivation has been shown to aggravate the severity of hangovers. Ask yourself the following questions. Are you getting 7-9 hours of undisrupted sleep most nights? Do you get to bed before 10pm? Do you wake feeling refreshed? Is your room dark, cool and without exposure to light, especially blue light from technology, computers, mobile phones etc? Are you avoiding blue light exposure for up to an hour before bed? If you have answered no to any of these questions, you may need to look at improving the quality of your sleep for many more reasons than reducing the symptoms of a hangover. To find out how you can improve your sleep here.
  3. Vitamins and minerals; Dose up on a B vitamins, magnesium and purified water before and after a drinking session. Alcohol consumption depletes many nutrients in the body that are essential for overall health, particularly the nervous and muscular system. The ones we deplete most are water, vitamin B1, B12, Folate, and Magnesium. A lack of these nutrients exacerbate hangover symptoms and add to that generalised feeling of misery. I like to use Magnesium bisglycinate for its enhanced absorption.
  4. Know your limitations; We are all unique and our genetic differences may influence the way we respond to alcohol and may contribute to alcohol addiction, dependence and abuse. Geneticist Dr Margaret Smith claims that around 50 per cent of the risk of drug or alcohol dependence abuse is genetic and although there’s no single addiction gene, there’s a cluster of inheritable traits that can make some people more vulnerable. Read more here.
  5. Ditch the smokes; if you are a smoker and need another reason to quit, I can accommodate. Studies have shown that smoking can increase the severity of your hangover…amongst other things.

Conclusion

So with all of this in mind and with the memory of what a hangover looks and feels like, thoroughly enjoy this festive season well prepared and ready to tackle alcohol in moderation so that you are not having to recalibrate your angry body and mind a week after a night of fun.

lynda griparic naturopathThis article is brought to you by Lynda. She is a qualified Naturopath and Nutritionist with over 14 years of experience in the health industry. Lynda specialises in gut health and weight loss. She has extensive experience in running healthy, effective and sustainable weight loss programs and has expertise in investigating and treating the underlying causes of weight gain, metabolic problems and gut disturbance.. If you would like to book a consultation with Lynda, CLICK HERE

Learn more about 180 Superfoods here

References:

  1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3827719/#R1
  2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1322250/
  3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25722174
  4. http://180nutrition.com.au/2015/10/20/my-top-4-hacks-for-the-best-sleep-ever/
  5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3371298
  6. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15138463
  7. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2572692/
  8. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7836619
  9. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20712596

 

13 Fruits To Eat (And 4 To Avoid) If You’re Trying To Lose Weight

Fruits To Eat And Avoid

Lynda: When did ‘nature’s candy’ become a poison to avoid? Many people are genuinely concerned about fruit intake. Some (including yours truly) have even gone as far as avoiding fruit altogether for extended periods of time. Do we all need to avoid fruit, and if we do, are we missing out on magical nutrients and flavours?

Why Are We Concerned?

The main reason some of us worry about fruit is because of the naturally high-sugar (fructose) content of some fruits, which some believe may affect our blood sugar levels and weight-loss goals and may contribute to diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

There are also those who are sensitive to fructose. These people may experience gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms such as bloating, belching, gas, abdominal pain, and diarrhoea after eating fruit.

While I believe food sensitivities and GI symptoms need personalised dietary attention and further investigation, I do think that most of us are avoiding fruit unnecessarily and missing out on a great deal of disease-preventing, health-promoting goodness.

Need convincing? A quick glance at the benefits of my top fruit picks below should sway you.

blueberries1. Blueberries
Blueberries are rich in the flavonoid anthocyanin, a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound. Studies show that blueberries can improve memory and learning and reduce depression.

raspberries2. Raspberries
Raspberries are rich in antioxidants that can improve cardiovascular health and prevent hardening of the arteries. Raspberries contain raspberry ketone (RK), which burns fat and prevents obesity and fatty liver. Raspberries have also been shown to possibly prevent the growth of cancer cells.

blackberries3. Blackberries
Blackberries burst at the seams with antioxidants. These compounds are protective and help to prevent tumor progression, neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, and bone loss.

cherries4. Cherries
Cherries are rich in the antioxidants anthocyanin and quercetin, as well as potassium, fibre, vitamin C, carotenoids, and melatonin. These nutrients have impressive health benefits such as prevention of heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and inflammatory conditions.

kiwifruit5. Kiwifruit
Kiwis are a personal favourite of mine. They are exceptionally high in vitamins C, E, K, folate, carotenoids, potassium, fibre, and phytochemicals. Kiwifruit have substantial cardiovascular benefits like reducing high blood pressure and increasing the “good” HDL cholesterol. Kiwis support the immune system and may even reduce the risk and severity of the common cold and flu. It’s even been shown to improve poor sleep quality in those with sleep problems due to its antioxidant and serotonin content.

papaya6. Papaya
Papaya and papaya seeds have proven anti­-parasitic activities. The dried papaya seeds in particular are effective in treating human intestinal parasites, without significant side effects. Papaya may be useful in preventing kidney damage, is amazing for digestion, and reduces common IBS symptoms, such as bloat
ing, constipation, and heartburn.

avocado7. Avocados
Avocados are fruits full of nutrients that can assist in weight loss, reduce inflammation, and protect and nourish the heart and brain. See more on avocados here: Can I Eat Too Many & Will They Make Me Fat?

tomato8. Tomatoes
Tomatoes are rich in the carotenoid lycopene. Lycopene is anti-inflammatory and a powerful antioxidant. Tomatoes are a very valuable addition to one’s diet, particularly to support heart health and prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

green banana9. Green Bananas (Raw)
Green bananas are an amazing resistant starch, which has many health benefits, like weight management, diabetes control, and cholesterol lowering.

grapefruit10. Grapefruit
Studies have shown that grapefruit can lower blood pressure and improve cholesterol levels. Grapefruit is also a great addition to a weight-loss program and can improve insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome.

oranges11. Oranges
Orange peel and flesh are rich sources of flavonoids and compounds associated with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity and cardiovascular benefits, and have been shown to lower high blood pressure.

lemons12. Lemons
The combination of lemon intake and walking has been shown to reduce high blood pressure. Lemons are also a good source of vitamin C, thiamin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, iron, and magnesium and are an excellent source of fibre, vitamin B6, calcium, potassium, and folate. They have been shown to suppress weight gain and body fat accumulation and improve insulin resistance. The presence of flavonoids in lemons helps to aid digestion and assimilation of food.

apples13. Apples
Research suggests that apples may reduce the risk of many chronic diseases such as heart disease, asthma, and type 2 diabetes. Apples also improve weight loss and lung function.

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What Fruits to Avoid

fruit salad1. Fruit Salad
Eating fruit salad is a very easy way to over-consume fruit. Stick to whole fruit pieces to avoid excessive fructose consumption.

fruit juice2. Fruit Juice
Fruit juice lacks the fibre, vitamins, and minerals that whole fruits contain. The fibre in whole fruits helps to slow down sugar absorption, regulate bowel movements, and reduce constipation. Manufacturers often add extra sugar to fruit juice, which can affect blood sugar balance associated with type 2 diabetes and obesity.

dried fruit3. Dried Fruit
Dried fruit has had its water content removed, making it extremely sugar dense. Dried fruit often contains preservatives, added sugar, and harmful inflammatory vegetable oils.

daiquiris4. Mango Daiquiris and Dessert Wines
Toxic sugar and chemicals in a fancy vehicle. Enough said.

 

How Much Fruit Should You Eat Daily?

Stick to a modest one to two medium-sized pieces of fruit or ¼ to ½ cup of berries daily.

lynda griparic naturopathThis article is brought to you by Lynda. She is a fully qualified Naturopath and Nutritionist with over 13 years of experience in the health industry. Lynda specialises in detoxification and weight loss. She has extensive experience in running healthy, effective and sustainable weight loss programs and has expertise in investigating and treating the underlying causes of weight gain and metabolic problems. If you would like to book a consultation with Lynda, CLICK HERE

Free Health Pack

Avocado Facts; Can I Eat Too Many & Will They Make Me Fat?

avocado facts

There are many foods that exist which cause genuine confusion amongst the health conscious. Especially when transitioning from an unhealthy diet to a healthy diet, when trying to lose fat, control blood sugar and support cardiovascular health.

A food I often get many questions and concerns about is avocados. How many can I have in a day? Is it alright to consume when on a fat loss program? Will they make me fat? What will they do to my cholesterol levels?

Before we flesh out these concerns, let me introduce our special dark green leathery skinned friend. Did you know that avocados are actually large berry fruits that were aptly named “Alligator pears” due to their green, bumpy skin before it was christened the “Avocado”. The name Avocado hails from from the Aztec word “ahuacati”, meaning “testicle tree” which is kind of fitting as the ancient Aztecs considered this fruit, important for fertility and the Mayans used it as an aphrodisiac.

With introduction aside, lets flesh out the Avocado (AKA Avo’) facts and tips out…

Nuggets Full of Nutrients

  • Avo’s are one of the few fruits rich in healthy fats. It is particularly rich in monounsaturated fat (MUFA). A great energy source for the body and one that supports heart and brain health amongst other things.
  • The healthy fat content in avo’s help absorb nutrients from other foods that need fat for transportation throughout the body, such as vitamin E, carotenoids, lutein and chlorophyll.
  • Consuming avocados with carotenoid rich foods such as carrots helps enhance carotenoid absorption. Adding avo to your salads can increase your absorption of carotenoids up to five times then salads without. Carotenoids protect us from free radical damage and all the problems that may arise from it, such as inflammation and poor immunity.
  • Avos are laced with many essential nutrients such as potassium, vitamin E, carotenoids, lutein, B vitamins (B5, B6), vitamin C, vitamin K and folate which contribute to deliciously vital health.
  • It’s lutein levels are higher than most fruits. Lutein is a potent carotenoid that prevents degenerative conditions of the eye and improves overall eye health. Lutein may also reduce the risk of cancer and type 2 diabetes.
  • Avos contain more than twice the potassium of a banana. Potassium is important for controlling the electrical activity of the heart. Potassium also helps your kidneys filter blood and supports the health of bones and muscles.
  • The greatest concentration of carotenoids or plant pigments are located close to the avo skin, in the dark green flesh. So be mindful of how you de-flesh this amazing fruit. Guidelines on how to de-flesh your avo well without losing it’s beneficial compounds are found here.

Healthy Weight Loss Maintenance

  • avocado fatAvos may help you maintain or reach a healthy weight. They are satiating, meaning they help you feel full and satisfied for longer, reducing the likelihood of unnecessary overeating. In fact, adding half an avocado with lunch has been shown to reduce hunger and improve satiety for up to 3-5 hours after consumption.
  • Avos may help regulate blood sugar levels.  Now who wouldn’t want less food cravings, a healthier, stable mood and improved sleep. Just a few benefits of balanced blood sugar.
  • Avos are loaded with more fiber than most fruit. Most of it being insoluble. Think regular, healthy bowel movements, removal of toxins, balanced blood sugar and less cravings.
  • Avos are very low in sugar/fructose. Unlike many of it’s fruit buddies. The primary sugar found in avos is D-mannoheptulose which may actually support blood sugar control and weight management.
  • MUFA rich diets help protect against belly fat and diabetic health complications.
  • Avo’s do not interfere with weight loss goals when consumed as part of a weight loss diet.
  • Avocado consumption is associated with reduced risk of metabolic syndrome. A collection of conditions which raise your risk of heart disease and diabetes.
  • If you are struggling with weight loss, try taking our quiz here.

Assists Inflammation, Heart & Brain Health

  • It’s MUFA content helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels. In fact those who consumed a high MUFA diet from avos for a week experienced a decrease in their LDL cholesterol and triglycerides and an increase in the often labelled “good” cholesterol HDL.
  • Avos may prevent the production of inflammatory substances when eaten with meals such as burgers. Studies suggest that eating avocado with inflammatory meals can reduce the after effects commonly experienced such as narrowing of blood vessels and inflammation. Now this is not your green light to go crazy on burgers and fries. Just FYI.
  • Healthy fats nourish the brain and heart and can help prevent Alzheimer’s, dementia, other degenerative brain disorders and heart disease. David Perlmutter, author of Grain Brain reports that the brain thrives on a fat-rich, low carbohydrate diet and that high levels of healthy fat consumption was found to be associated with a 44 percent reduction in risk for developing dementia.

Cancer Prevention

  • Avos are abundant in antioxidants and bioactive compounds such as carotenoids; lutein, zeaxanthin, alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and oleic acid and are one of the richest sources of vitamin E. These compounds are well known cancer fighters and may reduce the risk of cancers such as those of the prostate and breast. As mentioned the monounsaturated fat found in avos improve the absorption of these important carotenoids.
  • Vitamin E has been shown to slow down or stop the reproduction of cancer cells.
  • Natural sunscreen; the fat content in avos may offer protection from harmful sun damage, radiation, inflammation and skin cancer if consumed before exposure.

Beauty Tip

  • The flesh and the oil are moisturising and nourishing for the skin.

How Many Avocados Can I Eat?

As you may have guessed I am a huge fan of the avo. In my opinion all of the evidence I have come across welcomes daily avo consumption as part of a healthful diet.

As a general rule I think the inclusion of one small avocado or half a large avocado daily is a great addition to the diet of most people to promote optimal health, maintain a healthy weight, support blood sugar levels and support healthy brain and heart health. Avocados should not  be feared. Consider them creamy, delicious, protective and preventative powerhouses to be thoroughly enjoyed. I certainly do and consume at least half an avo every day, whenever possible.

There are many ways to get your daily avocado dose:

Below are some of my favourites:-

  • In a smoothie to add healthy fats, fiber and a creamy texture. Try this favourite green smoothie of mine.
  • In raw desserts such as healthy homemade ice creams or mousses.
  • Chopped and chucked onto a salad.
  • Blended with olive oil, himalayan salt, pepper and turmeric and made into a healthy anti-inflammatory dressing.
  • Made into healthy dips and spreads.
  • Blended with coconut cream to make whipped cream.
  • Side note: Avos can get a little pricey but do not fear if you can not afford to buy organic. Avos have tough,thick, protective skins which help to prevent pesticides and other chemicals from entering and contaminating its flesh. More on organic versus non organic fruits here.

I would love to hear in the comments section below how you like to get your daily avocado dose :)

lynda griparic naturopathThis article is brought to you by Lynda. She is a fully qualified Naturopath and Nutritionist with over 13 years of experience in the health industry. Lynda specialises in detoxification and weight loss. She has extensive experience in running healthy, effective and sustainable weight loss programs and has expertise in investigating and treating the underlying causes of weight gain and metabolic problems. You can learn more about Lynda, CLICK HERE

Eating Nuts… Will They Make Me Fat, How Many, Which Ones? End The Confusion Here.

health benefits of nuts

Guy: If ever there was a post that needed to be written for our blog, I think it would be this one. Even though eating nuts can come with some great benefits, there is often much confusion and misinterpretation too. From fear of making us fat to the newly converted clean eater who has taken up ‘paleo’, who eats nuts by the bucket load as they’ve ran out of snack ideas, this post covers the do’s and don’ts of the nut world.

So if you are wanting the low down nuts, that take five minutes and enjoy this post by naturopath Lynda Griparic. Over to Lynda…

Lynda: Are nuts really that healthy? Can they be eaten on a weight loss program? What about phytic acid? Are nuts too high in omega 6? Are nuts too high in carbs? How much is too much?

These are questions I get asked all the time. Let me pre-empt this article by saying that this is a broad view. You may need to tweak your nut consumption to suit your individual needs. At the very least I hope to reduce your fears and confusion about these multicultural babes.

In general, most nuts;

  • Support cardiovascular health
  • Extend your lifespan
  • Improve lipid profile;lower low density lipoproteins (LDL) and improve high density lipoproteins (HDL) levels.
  • Reduce risk of diabetes and metabolic syndrome
  • Improve antioxidant and nutrient status
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Contain a moderate amount of protein
  • And for the most part are a good source of fibre

Before we get nut specific let’s chat about phytic acid (aka phytate). Phytic acid is found in many plants, especially the bran or hull of grains, nuts and seeds. Unfortunately humans cannot digest phytic acid which is a problem because phytic acid binds to minerals such as iron and zinc in food preventing their absorption. Phytic acid disrupts the function of digestive enzymes such as pepsin, amylase and trypsin. These enzymes are required for the breakdown of proteins and starch in our food. A diet rich in phytates, such as grains can cause mineral deficiencies. Some of the phytic acid content can be broken down by soaking and roasting. On a more positive note phytic acid may have anti-cancer properties and can be converted to beneficial compounds in the gut.

How many nuts can I eat a day?

A loaded question that depends on a few factors;

  • your metabolic health and weight
  • your mineral and general health status
  • if you have any serious digestive issues
  • your nut preparation: soaking, dehydrating, roasting before consumption

Those with serious digestive issues may do better avoiding nut flour and nut butters. Even though nut flour does not contain much phytic acid because they are made from blanched nuts and phytates are found in the skin, many find it hard to digest nut flour in large amounts. Nut butters are often made from unsoaked nuts, making their phytic acid levels relatively high.

For most people with a low phytic acid diet, a handful of well prepared nuts daily would be a great addition, providing many amazing health benefits as you’ll soon see.

Which Nuts Should I Invest In?

Here is a list of the most popular nuts along with their pros and cons. If you are simply looking for weight loss tips, scroll to the bottom of this post.

Macadamia Nuts

macadamia nutsI must start with my all time favourite nut, the macadamia. No doubt, many feel the same. For starters macadamias simply taste amazing. They are buttery in texture and flavour, are amazing in raw desserts and offer much goodness such as healthy fats mostly monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA), followed by Linoleic acid (LA), Alpha-linolenic acid ALA and saturated fats (SFA). They are low in carbohydrate, harmful Omega 6 fats, phytic acid (no need for soaking) and pesticide residue and contain Vitamin B1, copper, iron and a fair whack of manganese (think bone and thyroid health). Great for those creaky knees. They are worth every pricey penny. Just be mindful of overconsumption. I find these guys slightly addictive. Stopping at a handful may be tricky :)

Interesting fact: Macs have been shown to improve lipid profile; reduce total cholesterol, low density lipoproteins (LDL) as well as increase high density lipoprotein (HDL) levels and may reduce inflammation and prevent coronary heart disease. Macadamias have around the same amount of the health promoting monounsaturated fat, oleic acid as olives.

Almonds

AlmondsAlmonds in moderation are amazing. They contain quality protein, fibre, healthy fats, namely MUFA, LA and SFA. They are rich in vitamin E, B2, copper, l-arginine, magnesium and manganese. The downside to almonds aside from our inability to control the amount we consume is their high phytate content. Soaking for around 12 hours and or roasting can help reduce these levels or purchase skinless almonds where possible.

Interesting fact: almonds and almond skins are rich in fibre and other components which support your gut flora (microbiome) and act as a prebiotic. Almond consumption can improve lipid profile, reducing total cholesterol and LDL. Almonds may also improve blood sugar balance and reduce appetite when eaten as a snack. The l-arginine content in almonds offer many cardiovascular health benefits. The almond skin is typically rich in antioxidants (polyphenols, flavonoids). In fact approx 30g of almonds have a similar amount of polyphenols as a cup of green tea or steamed broccoli.

Brazil Nuts

Brazil NutsSeriously great tasting, slightly sweet nuts that are mostly known for their selenium rich bodies. Per 30g they are comprised of 88% selenium. They are a good source of healthy fats (MUFA, LA, SFA). Are low in carbs and rich in other nutrients such as copper, magnesium, manganese and B1. A little bit goes a long way with these nuts, which is just as well because they are not the cheapest nut out there. A modest brazil nut or two a day will give you a good dose of selenium. Selenium is an extremely important antioxidant essential for thyroid health and for a healthy immune and cardiovascular system. It’s worth mentioning that Brazil nuts are high in phytates however eating small amounts to get your selenium and nutrient dose should not cause a problem.

Interesting fact: at small doses these nuts can improve selenium levels in the body. They are also a great anti-inflammatory food with the capacity to improve lipid profiles.

Cashews

Cashew NutsAnother dangerously delicious nut, creamy and sweet in texture and flavour. These nuts do not have as amazing nutrient profile as some of its nut colleagues but alas they do make for a great cheese substitute. Think raw cheesecake.

They are a little higher in carbs than the other nuts averaging around 8.6g per 30g. They contain healthy fats, quality protein, B1, copper, manganese, iron, magnesium and zinc. These guys are notorious for being over consumed and causing allergic reactions. You can soak cashews for 2-4hours.

Chestnuts

ChestnutsChestnuts are in a little league of their own. They are quite starchy in comparison to their fatty friends containing around 22 g of carbs per 30g. They are low in fat and protein and contain copper, manganese, Vitamin B6 and folate.

They are however low in phytates and are quite flavoursome raw, roasted or steamed. I would treat these guys as you would a starch and have them in moderation.

Hazelnuts

HazelnutsHazelnuts, also known as filberts, are not a popular nut, unless you consider Nutella your hazelnut source. God knows why, because roasting these and sprinkling them onto salads makes for an an amazing experience. They might be worth your attention though given their nutrient profile. Hazelnuts are rich in healthy fats (MUFA, LA, SFA), manganese, copper, vitamin E and have a decent amount of magnesium and iron. Hazelnuts have moderate levels of phytates and can be soaked for 8-12 hours.

Interesting fact: Hazelnut skins are rich in antioxidants (polyphenols) with total antioxidant capacity richer than dark chocolate, espresso coffee and blackberries. As most nuts they have the capacity to improve cardiovascular health, lipid profiles, reducing LDL and may have an anti-inflammatory effect.

Pecans

Pecan nutsPecans are an underrated, under-consumed nut and another favourite of mine. These quirky looking nutrient giants are packed full of antioxidants, healthy fats (MUFA, LA, SFA) with a decent whack of fibre and nice dose of protein, manganese, copper, B1 and Zinc. Apparently pecans have the highest level of antioxidants of any nut. You can soak pecans for 6 hours.

Interesting fact: aside from their impressive antioxidant status, whole pecans are fantastic for reducing inflammation and oxidative stress and improving lipid profile. Try them in your salads, have them raw or activated. Pecans are the nuts that make my raw brownies a healthy signature dessert. CLICK HERE for Healthy Pecan Chocolate Brownie Recipe.

Pine Nuts

Pine NutsPine nuts play a starring role in any good pesto and taste amazing, raw or toasted on salads. They are rarely eaten as a snack and are a wee bit pricey due to the labour intensive harvesting process. As most nuts, pine nuts contain healthy fats and other vitamins and minerals namely manganese, vitamin B1, copper, magnesium and zinc. You can soak pine nuts for a few hours.

Interesting fact: Pine nuts may suppress the appetite and lower LDL levels. Some may be prone to “Pine mouth”, a condition caused by pine nut consumption that makes everything you eat taste bitter and metallic.

Pistachios

Pistachio nutsPistachios look aged and strange and often come with a barrage of complaints such as “there is not enough nut-meat in the shell” and “the darn shell won’t open”. I dare say though that they are worth the effort for both taste and benefits. They are low in phytic acid and you can soak them for up to 8 hours.

Interesting fact: Pistachios act as a natural prebiotic (even more so than almonds) because of its non-digestible food components such as dietary fiber. This fibre stays in the gut and feeds our good bacteria, stimulating their growth. They also contain phytochemicals that have the potential to positively improve the balance and diversity of your gut microbiome.

Pistachios are also an excellent source of vitamin B6, copper and manganese and a good source of phosphorus and thiamin. Pistachios have the potential to significantly improve lipid profiles and blood sugar status so are a great addition to those individuals who already have or want to prevent diabetes and metabolic syndrome.

Walnuts

WalnutsMany primal eating folk have ditched the walnuts concerned that they are too high in Polyunsaturated fats (PUFAS) and contain unstable linoleic acid. You may want to un-banish your banish though as walnuts really do have an impressive nutrient profile and eaten every so often can be a valuable and delicious addition to the healthy diet of most.

Walnuts are a good source of copper, manganese and magnesium. They also contain protein, iron and as mentioned before are quite high in PUFA but if your diet as a whole has a significant amount of Omega 3’s and is relatively low in Omega 6 from other sources (seed oils etc) you should be fine. They are moderately high in phytates and can go rancid quite quickly so buy small quantities from a trusted supplier and store unshelled walnuts in the fridge or freezer. You can soak walnuts for around 4 hours. If you are feeling adventurous and do not mind the somewhat bitter taste eat the skin as up to 90 per cent of the antioxidants are found there.

Interesting fact: Walnuts are capable of supporting cardiovascular health by improving lipid profile (reducing LDL) and reducing blood pressure.

Peanuts

PeanutsIt would be fair to say most people reading this post has got stuck into a bowl of salted peanuts in their time! Would you believe these guys are actually legumes? Sadly there are a few things going against this legume/peanut. For starters peanuts are a common allergen for people. They contain aflatoxin (harmful to the liver) and are often heavily sprayed with pesticides.

The salted variety of peanuts are also a domino food. Very easy to over consume if you’re not careful! I would avoid regular consumption.

Conclusion (& weight loss tips)

In a nutshell (Oh yes I just went there). Given the extensive positive research out there, I believe that a handful (around 2 heaped tablespoons) of well prepared, good quality nuts daily would be a valuable part of a healthy diet and in most cases support fat loss, cardiovascular health and blood sugar irregularities. In fact studies have shown that nut eaters tend to be leaner, more physically active and non smokers.

The problem is stopping at a handful. If you struggle with self control when it comes to nuts try the following to avoid overconsumption.

Weight Loss Tips

If your goal is weight loss and not just health maintenance, then you should bare in mind the following tips.

- Be selective with which nuts you choose to stock: choose nuts with a decent amount of fibre and low carb such as almonds and pecans and stay clear of cashews.

- Avoid nut butters: they are ridiculously good and rarely do we stop at a tablespoon, let’s face it.

- Leave the skins on. Its where you may find protective antioxidants and fibre.

- Buy nuts with shells. If it takes time and effort to de-shell you are more likely to consume less.

- Buy small quantities to avoid temptation. This also ensures your stash does not go rancid too quickly.

- Rather than have a handful, get your quota by popping them on your salads, on top of fish and other meals.

- Chestnuts: probably not a nut to eat by the handful given their starchy profile. Treat them as you would starchy vegetables in your diet.

- They are small snacks. Treat nuts as you would snacks not a main course.

Did you enjoy this post or find it helpful? Do you eat nuts? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below…

lynda griparic naturopathThis article is brought to you by Lynda. She is a fully qualified Naturopath and Nutritionist with over 13 years of experience in the health industry. Lynda specialises in detoxification and weight loss. She has extensive experience in running healthy, effective and sustainable weight loss programs and has expertise in investigating and treating the underlying causes of weight gain and metabolic problems.

If you would like to book a consultation with Lynda, CLICK HERE

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Healthy Chocolate Pecan Brownie

Angela: These healthy chocolate pecan brownies are the perfect snack to take to bbq’s or parties where all your friends can admire your raw healthy culinary skills! Or you can simply cut them up into small slices and keep in the freezer and eat when needing a fix.

Just to note though, these do contain some dates and rice malt, so even though this a healthy dessert, it doesn’t give you license to eat the whole loaf in one sitting :) Enjoy…

Ingredients

Chocolate Icing

  • 1/4 cup of coconut oil
  • 2 heaped tbsp of cacao powder
  • 2 tbsp of warm water
  • 2 tbsp of rice malt

Method

Base: Drain dates. Process all ingredients in a food processor until moist, sticky and crumbly.

Chocolate Topping: Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender. Blend until silky smooth. Pour over brownie.

Serves 8-10 people: Place in freezer for a minimum of two hours until set. Then impress your family and friends with this fantastic raw food dessert recipe :)

lynda griparic naturopathThis recipe is brought to you by Lynda. She is a fully qualified Naturopath and Nutritionist with over 13 years of experience in the health industry. Lynda specialises in detoxification and weight loss. She has extensive experience in running healthy, effective and sustainable weight loss programs and has expertise in investigating and treating the underlying causes of weight gain and metabolic problems.

If you would like to book a consultation with Lynda, CLICK HERE

fuel your body with powerful, natural and nourishing foods – click here –

Walnut and Tahini Mini Cupcakes

healthy_recipes walnut tahini muffins

Angela: These little mini cupcakes are such a great healthy, grain and gluten free snack. They pack a mean protein, calcium and good fats punch. Over to Lynda for the recipe…

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1 heaped tbsp organic cacao powder
  • 2 tbsp rice malt syrup
  • 2 scoops 180 Superfood coconut powder
  • 1 cup roughly ground walnuts
  • ½ cup tahini
  • ½ cup coconut oil melted
  • 1 tbsp coconut flakes and 1 tbsp walnuts (roughly ground for sprinkles)

Method

  • Place all dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Add rice malt, melted coconut oil and tahini.
  • Mix together until mixture is moist and sticky.
  • Place in silicone cupcake tray or roll into balls.
  • Sprinkle with roughly ground coconut and walnuts.
  • Freeze for at least 2 hours.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

Makes 6 cupcakes or 12 mini cupcakes.

lynda griparic naturopathThis recipe is brought to you by Lynda. She is a fully qualified Naturopath and Nutritionist with over 13 years of experience in the health industry. Lynda specialises in detoxification and weight loss. She has extensive experience in running healthy, effective and sustainable weight loss programs and has expertise in investigating and treating the underlying causes of weight gain and metabolic problems.

If you would like to book a consultation with Lynda, CLICK HERE

Order 180 for your recipes here

Paleo Friendly Gluten Free Cinnamon & Coconut Bread

Angela: I love finding good homemade wheat free bread recipes that taste yummy and are nutritional dense. This one is high in protein, gluten free, paleo friendly and packed full of nutrients. It tastes amazing toasted with a thick spread of butter on the top. I store mine in the fridge in an airtight container. If you make a big batch of it you can keep it in the freezer and pull out the slices as you toast them. Mmmm, enjoy…

Ingredients

  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 1 cup 180 Nutrition powder (whey or vegan coconut)
  • 2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 5 eggs
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup walnuts (optional)
  • 1 tbsp dessicated coconut
  • ¼ tsp stevia

paleo friendly bread Process

Method

  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Line a bread pan with baking paper.
  • Combine 180 Nutrition powder, coconut flour, dessicated coconut, cinnamon, stevia, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.
  • Combine eggs and coconut oil large bowl. Mix until well combined using a blender.
  • Combine egg mixture with dry ingredients.
  • Add roughly ground walnuts and fold through.
  • Bake for around 40 minutes. Use a wooden stick to check if cooked through.

Notes

Serves 10. If you have any great 180 Superfood recipes you would like to share, we would love to hear from you. Simply email us support@180nutrition.com.au

lynda griparic naturopathThis recipe is brought to you by Lynda. She is a fully qualified Naturopath and Nutritionist with over 13 years of experience in the health industry. Lynda specialises in detoxification and weight loss. She has extensive experience in running healthy, effective and sustainable weight loss programs and has expertise in investigating and treating the underlying causes of weight gain and metabolic problems.

If you would like to book a consultation with Lynda, CLICK HERE

Order 180 for your recipes here

Eating Organic & Fresh Food On A Budget; How To Make The Right Choices

eating organic on a budget

Guy: Bare with me here… If someone was eating a quick and easy microwave meal for lunch and one day decided to replace that with a non-organic beef salad instead, I think it would be fair to say that’s a step in the right direction… right? What about those that eat the non-organic beef salad on a regular basis and then decide to have an organic version… the right step? Of course!

But what about the family with five kids to feed, or the parent that just lost his job and needs to tighten the financial reigns… then what? Personally I think you have to make the most of what you’ve got and work towards constant improvement over time. Everyone’s circumstances are different and you have to adjust accordingly. That doesn’t mean excuses, it just means being practical and looking for the best ways to make the most of your circumstances. So if you want to find out cost effective ways and strategies of how and what organic foods to shop for, then read on, as this is a fantastic post by naturopath Lynda Griparic on being street smart with your organic food. Over to Lynda…

Lynda: Do I need to eat organic is a question that I get asked very often. In fact it is one that I have asked myself from time to time as well.

Let’s start with what “Organic farming” actually means. Put simply it is a label given to food that is produced without synthetic chemicals such as fertilizers, pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, modified organisms, nanomaterials and human sewage sludge.

The benefits to eating organic foods are less exposure to these harmful pesticides and other disruptive chemicals. An interesting fact is that on average organic foods are 180 times lower in pesticides than the conventional types. Eating organic also ensures that we are not getting any genetically modified ingredients.

Plants and animals are exposed to many chemicals such as antibiotics, hormones and pesticides to accelerate crop production, boost quantity and weight and ward off nasty agricultural pests and bacteria. Animals are often fed antibiotics and hormones (estrogen and testosterone) to accelerate their weight and growth. As you can imagine if they are lethal and toxic enough to kill pests and interfere with natural growth rate then they could only be causing harm in the body of a human.

Humans accumulate toxins as do animals predominantly in fat (Adipose tissue), where they remain and disrupt many bodily systems such as the nervous system, digestive system, immune system and reproductive system.

The following list is not conclusive but will give you a taste of how these toxins can affect the body and mind:

  • Hormonal imbalance; early puberty, ovarian cysts, breast enlargement
  • Shorter pregnancies
  • Behavioural and developmental disorders
  • Poor brain function: Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, memory, concentration
  • Leaky gut and the digestive consequences that arise from this

In a perfect world consuming everything organic would be ideal, but is it really realistic on a cost front?

For most, probably not. At times during our lives certain situations may cause you to re-evaluate your spending, such as a change in working environment, pregnancy, a new addition to the family, athletic competition, retirement or illness.

The good news is that while there are certain foods I would not consume unless organic, there are many conventionally grown foods typically lower in harmful chemicals. If unable to go completely organic, go conventional with these foods. Eating well does not need to send you into debt. It really is possible and well worth the effort and attention when choosing food.

Foods I ALWAYS Have Organic

Animal products:

  • meat
  • poultry
  • dairy (cheese, milk)
  • eggs

The pesticides, antibiotics, hormones and other chemicals that these animals are exposed to accumulate in their tissues, for the most part in their fat. If they eat it, so do we.

Fruits & Vegetables

The Environmental Working Group (EWG), a US health and environmental research organisation has put together a couple of lists called The Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen. They are useful guidelines that can actually reduce your exposure to pesticides by almost 90 percent. Although these are lists based on farming in the USA, the non-organic practices in Australia are similar so for the most part this content is a good “guideline”.

The Dirty Dozen Fruits & Vegetables List:

  • blueberries
  • apples *
  • peaches *
  • nectarines *
  • strawberries*
  • grapes *
  • celery *
  • spinach
  • cucumbers *
  • potatoes
  • capsicum
  • lettuce *
  • kale (newly added)
  • carrots *
  • broccoli *
  • pears *
  • zucchini * (newly added)

* added to the list because they relate to Australia in particular.

In general fruits that have a thin, delicate, skin are extremely unprotected and are exposed to a medley of chemicals used in farming. Peaches, apples, grapes, blueberries and nectarines are an example and are considered one of the most “dirty” fruits if non-organic.

Unfortunately even scrubbing the skins of fruits such as apples does not remove all of the chemical residue and peeling the skins off removes valuable nutrients found in the skin. It is a similar story with vegetables. Vegetables such as celery, spinach, kale and capsicum either have thin or no protective skins which make them more vulnerable to the effects of toxic chemicals.

A sad side note about grapes. Their thin skins do not protect them from chemicals and sadly this extends to wine as well. Studies have shown that up to 34 different pesticides can be found in wine. Sigh!

The Clean Fifteen Fruits & Vegetables List:

  • avocados
  • sweet corn
  • pineapples
  • cabbage
  • peas (frozen)
  • onions
  • asparagus
  • mangoes
  • papayas
  • kiwis
  • eggplant
  • grapefruit
  • rockmelon
  • cauliflower
  • sweet potatoes

EWG-Dirty-Dozen-Clean-15-list

Fruits and vegetables on the Clean 15 list need minimal exposure to chemicals in order to thrive. Low concentrations of pesticide residues have been found on these vegetables.

How can you reduce exposure to pesticides and chemicals found in food?

  • Ensure that you consume purified water.
  • Grow your own vegetables using organic methods.
  • Help your body detoxify well and remove chemicals by nourishing your gut flora. Click Here to find out how.
  • Move your bowels every day to help remove inflammatory toxins.
  • Buy organic or chemical free foods from your local farmers markets. They are often cheaper and if you purchase at the end of the day you may be able to snag a better price.
  • Wash fruit and vegetables thoroughly using a fruit/veg wash. I use EnviroClean by EnviroCare.
  • Peel non-organic vegetables and fruit or remove the outer leaf layers.
  • Trim visible fat from non organic meats as most of the toxins live in fat.
  • Enjoy some meat free days.

If you are time poor, buy fresh, local, organic or chemical free produce online from ethical companies.

The online food produce company I personally use and highly recommend to patients is Ooooby. Ooooby is an acronym for Out of Our Own BackYards. Oooby finds local, seasonal, organic or chemical free foods and deliver it straight to your door. Aside from being highly affordable I appreciate knowing how much I spend on groceries weekly which helps me budget well.

I simply love their ethics as they ensure all of those involved in the supply of the fresh produce are fairly rewarded and that farmers get 50% of the total retail value. There is also a note in your box highlighting where the food has come from (location and grower), allowing a deeper connection and appreciation between consumer and farmer. It truly makes me feel great to support local businesses. It is win-win really as my loved ones and I benefit by eating well and it frees up valuable time that I can spend doing the things I love.
As you can see there is a lot to consider when prioritising what foods should be organic. I have not even touched on fish; farmed, genetically engineered versus wild and sustainable. This topic is big enough to be it’s own blog post.

Conclusion

My parting words to you are, rather than let this information generate fear within you, let it empower you to make better choices for your health and remember that humans do not live in a sterile bubble. We like to socialize from time to time where we may not have control over what is dished up for us. However if you do your best where you can, your body and mind can allow for a few sneaky toxic culprits and will be in better condition to deal with any harmful side effects should they occur.

Lynda Griparic NaturopathLynda is a fully qualified Naturopath and Nutritionist with over 13 years of experience in the health industry.

Lynda specialises in detoxification and weight loss. She has extensive experience in running healthy, effective and sustainable weight loss programs and has expertise in investigating and treating the underlying causes of weight gain and metabolic problems.

If you would like to book a consultation with Lynda, CLICK HERE

fuel your body with powerful, natural and nourishing foods – click here –

Raw Caramel Maca Protein Slice

Vegan Raw Tahini Protein Slice

Angela: Melt in your mouth caramel tahini maca slice. Good for the soul and high in nutrition. Great vegan, gluten free, high in protein and good fats little treat. Thanks Lynda for a great recipe ;)

Ingredients (for the Base)

Ingredients (for the Caramel)

  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1/2 cup rice malt syrup
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp himalayan salt

Ingredients (for the Chocolate Topping)

Method

  • Line a baking tray with baking paper
  • Process the dates and walnuts in a food processor
  • Add the maca, coconut and 180 Nutrition powder & blend until moist and crumbly
  • Add date water if more moisture is needed
  • Press base into the baking tray with your fingers
  • Blend the caramel ingredients together and pour over the base
  • Place in freezer for 30 minutes
  • Prepare chocolate topping. Blend all ingredients together and pour over caramel layer. Top with crumbled walnuts and place back in freezer to set

Notes

  • You can make cupcakes using this recipe as well
  • Serves 8/­10

lynda griparic naturopathThis recipe is brought to you by Lynda. She is a fully qualified Naturopath and Nutritionist with over 13 years of experience in the health industry. Lynda specialises in detoxification and weight loss. She has extensive experience in running healthy, effective and sustainable weight loss programs and has expertise in investigating and treating the underlying causes of weight gain and metabolic problems.

If you would like to book a consultation with Lynda, CLICK HERE

Order 180 for your recipes here