Archive for the ‘Nutritional Spotlights’ Category

Quick Tip: steam your veg

Friday, August 1st, 2008

21%. According to the US Department of Agriculture that’s how much vitamin C is lost when you cook broccoli. To retain as many nutrients as possible don’t boil but lightly steam vegetables using small amounts of water.

In the News: Ageing process can be slowed by multivitamin and mineral pill a day

Tuesday, April 1st, 2008

Taking a daily multivitamin and mineral supplement every day could help slow down the natural ageing process. It’s common knowledge that many illnesses associated with ageing such as cancer, heart disease and osteoporosis are linked to mineral and vitamin deficiencies caused by an unhealthy diet. But now new research suggests that even the ageing process itself may be speeded up by a diet rich in vitamin poor fast food and refined, processed food.


Nutrition expert and biochemist Dr Bruce Ames recently told the American Association for Advancement of Science’s conference in Boston that studies showed shortages of vitamins and minerals are linked to a host of diseases associated with premature ageing. For instance, low levels of magnesium are linked with cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes and osteoporosis, while lack of vitamin D is associated with breast, bowel and prostate cancers. Calcium deficiency has been associated with diabetes, lack of potassium to heart disease, and low vitamin B12 intake is linked to multiple sclerosis.


Lack of nutrients may also accelerate ageing itself, with Dr Ames’s research, which is now published in the Journal proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showing that dietary supplements can boost both energy and memory in elderly rats. (Go to to find a good multivitamin and mineral for your needs and age group.)

Nutritional spotlight: celery

Monday, October 1st, 2007

In Chinese Traditional Medicine, celery is used as a cure for hypertension. It is now known that celery contains phytochemical compounds called phthalides, which not only give it its flavour but have also been shown to lower blood pressure. In lab tests, when animals were injected with 3-n-butylphthalide (3nB) extracts from celery, their blood pressure fell by 12-14%.

Studies in vitro and in animals have also shown that 3nB can lower blood cholesterol levels and reduce the formation of the arterial plaques which can result in cardiovascular disease. In animal studies, 3nB has also been found to help prevent strokes and to enhance energy production in the brain, as well as to improve neurological function after simulation of a stroke.

Antioxidant celery compounds called coumarins are the focus of much current scientific research due to their potential as anti-cancer therapies. The celery seed oil extract sedanolide has, along with 3nB, been found to inhibit tumours in lab tests. Celery is an excellent source of vitamin C, which has anti-carcinogenic properties through its role as an antioxidant and is rich in folate a vitamin required to make DNA and to prevent pre-cancerous changes to it. In addition, celery is a good source of Manganese, which is important for normal central nervous system and reproduction functions; fibre, which keeps your colon healthy, preventing constipation, diverticulitis and cancer, and potassium which can also help to keep blood pressure low.