7-Day Detox to get the SPRING in your step

Happy Spring everybody. The sun is up for longer, the days are getting warmer, and flowers are beginning to bloom, we don’t know about you, but this got us at Alex Royal Dietetics feeling all inspired and motivated. So we decided to develop a 7 day detox program, following on from the incredible success of our 10-Day Thrive Detox we ran in August.  The 7-Day detox is just what you need to kick start the new season and get that spring in your step. 

 

What does the 7-Day Detox Entail?

The 7-day detox is done on an on-line platform. You will be assigned to a small Whatsapp group, of +/- 4-6 participants. One of our dietitians Aimee or Kirby, will also be part of the group, and will be your go to dietitian for the duration of the program. You will get the 7-Day Detox guide, as well as daily support, motivation, recipe’s and meal ideas. The Whatsapp group will also enable you to lean on each other for support and motivation, as well as allow you to share recipe’s, ideas and tips. The cost of the program is R400.

             

 

Feedback from our last detox…

“I modified my detox a bit, but what I will say is that it was fantastic to have a group and daily prompts from your team to remind us to stay on track and share ideas and inspiration. I have done many detoxes on my own and it is waaaay harder without this support.” TK

“I wanted to say WELL DONE! You guys did that so well! I loved the mindful aspect, the holistic approach.” J

“Just thought I would let you know how wonderful I think you all are. I am done with my 10 day. I did a 4 day juice cleanse in-between and have lost 5kg in the 10 days. Pretty happy here. 1.5kg to go & I will be at my target weight.” TG

“Feeling fantastic, and so happy to have done this” T

 

Interested?

Email info@alexroyaldiet.co.za and one of our dietitians will be in contact with you to sign up for our next enrollment. Enrollment opens on the 6’th September, and start date is 12’th September.

The low-down on Depression and Diet

April is here and the month of April features not only Easter, but also World Health Day. The theme this year for World Health Day, which falls on Friday the 7th, is Depression. So without dampening the mood of Easter and the hype of long weekends, quality family time and delicious foods, I thought it best to give you the low down on diet and depression.

Depression is a topic most people shy away from but knowing the cold, hard facts can only be beneficial. The more you know, the easier it becomes to understand and once you’ve mastered the skills of understanding depression, you’ll realise in actual fact, it cannot be understood but there are actions we can take to lessen the risk of suffering from depression.

The World Health Organisation has a wonderful factsheet that gives information on the types of depression, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment. Worth a read.

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs369/en/

I am no expert in the field of depression itself, so I am going to stay within my area of expertise and speak about the relationship between diet and depression. A diet rich in the following nutrients has been proven to decrease the risk of depression.

Anti-oxidants: A good balance between oxidative stress and antioxidants is very important. Inflammation and oxidative stress are major contributors in the pathogenesis of depression. When I refer to anti-oxidants I mean vitamin E, vitamin C, Beta carotene and selenium (amongst others). Foods high in these antioxidants include: Pumpkin, apricots, mangoes, carrots, spinach, parsley, seafood, lean meat, whole grains, oranges, berries, kiwi fruit, broccoli, peppers, vegetable oils, nuts, avocados and seeds.

Folate (also called 5-MTHF): Folate is crucial to synthesise the neurotransmitters—dopamine, noradrenalin, and serotonin—all of which have antidepressant effects. So, without enough of the 5-MTHF form of folate, serotonin levels decrease in the brain, contributing to depression. Folate-rich foods include: eggs and leafy green vegetables such as kale, broccoli, spinach, swiss chard.

Vitamin D: Vitamin D modulates the part of the brain which regulates adrenalin, noradrenaline and dopamine production. Vitamin D protects against the depletion of dopamine and serotonin centrally. Simply speaking, low vitamin D levels can be a contributing factor to depression. Vitamin D can be found in fatty fish, liver and egg yolks (not forgetting sun exposure).

Tryptophan: Tryptophan is an amino acid that is used in the biosynthesis of proteins. Tryptophan is converted into 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan), which is then converted into serotonin. So, tryptophan and 5-HTP both act as precursors to the production of serotonin in the brain. As you can already tell, it is very important to include this amino acid in your diet. Foods containing tryptophan are: turkey, nuts, seeds and legumes.

Omega 3: People with depression may have low blood levels of brain chemicals called eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) which play an important role in brain function. Food sources of Omega 3 (EPA and DHA) are: sardines, salmon, herring, trout and tuna.

5 Eating tips to brighten your day

  1. Include folate rich foods daily: foods containing folate are amongst others eggs and leafy green vegetables such as kale, broccoli, spinach, swiss chard etc
  2. Get your dose of vitamin D: monitoring the amount of time you spend outdoors is important, but also make sure to get in enough eggs and fatty fish.
  3. Protein, protein, protein: we already mentioned the very important tryptophan. Aim to have protein at every meal and remember to incorporate plant-based proteins (lentils, beans, quinoa, soya) into your diet too.
  4. Variety is key: eating a variety of foods ensures you are getting in all the very important micronutrients, amino acids and trace minerals.
  5. Enjoy your food: eating can boost your mood, not in the obvious physiological response, but in the enjoyment of taking 30 minutes down time, or enjoying the company of a friend or family member so sit, chew, relax and be grateful for all the positives in your life.

Not quite food related, but advice none-the-less. Remember how important it is to get 7-8 hours of sleep every day, to rest and recuperate on weekends, to spend quality time with loved ones and last but not least, to take some “me-time”.

Why are seeds good for you?

Suddenly seeds are everywhere—bars, smoothies you name it. Seeds are nutritional powerhouses. It is always useful to know what seeds are better suited for certain tasks.  Just the same, when it comes to eating, particular seeds have standout flavours and many work all over the place. Lets get started 🙂

  1. Chia Seeds

Chia Seeds  are rich in fiber, omega 3 fats, protein, vitamins and minerals. Chia seeds provide much more Omega 3 than Omega 6, useful in keeping those omega ratios right to combat inflammation. They also blend quietly into foods, though they don’t add a distinctive flavour, making them excellent for smoothies. They can also be used to create an egg substitute in baking. Whole chia seeds also expand in liquid, they can give texture to juice, iced tea or smoothies.

 

  1. Flax Seeds

Flax seed benefits could help you improve digestion, give you clear skin, lower cholesterol, reduce sugar cravings … and that’s just the beginning! Flaxseeds, sometimes called linseeds, are small, brown, tan or golden-coloured seeds that are the richest sources of a plant-based omega-3 fatty acids, called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) in the world. Just be sure to use ground flax seeds, since the whole seeds will pass through the body without providing nutrients. Flax seeds keep better if you buy them whole, however, but can be ground in a coffee grinder or spice blender. Sprinkle the ground seeds on anything, including salads, smoothies, and baked veggies, as an egg-replacer, or even make them into crackers.

 

  1. Hemp Seeds

Hemp seeds are easily digested by the body and is one of the most nutritious foods available in nature. They contain high amounts of essential fatty acids, essential amino acids and proteins. A perfect 3:1 ratio of Omega-6 Linoleic Acid and Omega-3 Linolenic Acid – for cardiovascular health and general strengthening of the immune system. When it comes to eating hemp seeds, they add a nice, nutty background flavour and mild texture. They blend well in smoothies or oats.

 

  1. Pomegranate Seeds

Pomegranates are rich in vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. The majority of that fiber is found in the white seeds hiding beneath the pockets of juice. It contains 48% of the recommended daily vitamin C intake, important for a variety of health functions. Pomegranate seeds contain a high number of antioxidants, which help protect the body against inflammation and free radical damage. These seeds can be eaten as a snack or added to recipes when you’re looking for a burst of sweetness, such as oatmeal, salads, or in sweet and sour stir-fry. They can also be added to a fresh trail mix in place of raisins or quinoa dishes.

 

  1. Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds are nutritional powerhouses wrapped up in a very small package, with a wide variety of nutrients ranging from magnesium and manganese to copper, protein and zinc. They contain a wide array of beneficial plant compounds known as phytosterols and free-radical scavenging antioxidants, which can give your health an added boost. In order to preserve the healthy fats present in the seeds, pumpkin seeds should be eaten raw. Pumpkin seeds are a great snack on their own and also add a nice flavourful crunch to salad, pastas and breads, or they can be blended to accentuate smoothies.

 

  1. Quinoa

A complete protein and fantastic wheat-free alternative, the demand for quinoa has risen sharply in recent years but it’s also high in minerals, including: phosphorus, folate, copper, manganese, and magnesium. Quinoa is a great food to include for its high fiber content. Plus, it’s extremely versatile for cooking, standing in for grains like rice or oatmeal.

 

  1. Sunflower Seeds

The sunflower seed is the fruit of the sunflower. Sweet, nutty sunflower seeds are an excellent source of essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. Sunflower kernels actually employed to extract edible oil at commercial levels. Besides being eaten as popular snacks, they are also used in the kitchen to prepare variety of recipes.

 

  1. Sesame Seeds

Sesame seeds add a nutty taste and a delicate, almost invisible, crunch to many Asian dishes. They are also the main ingredients in tahini (sesame seed paste). They are available throughout the year. They are also a good source of iron and calcium, and provide fiber that lower cholesterol and protect the heart.