Do I need to take supplements?
If you are eating a varied, nutrient-
What is generally not appreciated, is that the current recommended daily allowances
do not provide for optimal amounts of nutrients, but are the minimum amounts required
to prevent nutritional disorders such as scurvy, rickets and pellegra -
If your diet is not up to scratch, you would benefit at least from a good quality
multivitamin and mineral each day. You may also need additional support depending
on your circumstances, e.g. if you are highly stressed, menopausal, exposed to high
levels of pollution or workplace chemicals -
Can I get enough calcium without drinking milk?
Most people associate milk and dairy products with calcium and are worried that avoiding these foods will lead to a calcium deficiency. However, many populations consume no milk or dairy, yet they experience much lower incidences of calcium related disorders such as osteoporosis.
Although milk is a good source of calcium, it does not provide a balance of other minerals such as manganese, chromium, selenium and magnesium. Since magnesium works alongside calcium in the body, it is important to get sufficient amounts of this mineral too. Unfortunately, most modern diets are deficient in magnesium and we see evidence of this in PMS sufferers and those with low energy levels. Relying on milk and dairy products for calcium is likely to cause further magnesium depletion and an imbalance between calcium and magnesium.
A more balanced source of calcium comes from green, leafy vegetables such as kale, cabbage, broccoli, nuts (e.g. almonds) and seeds (e.g. sesame). Other high calcium foods include small bony fish such as whitebait and sardines, tofu, beans and chickpeas.
It is not necessary for adults to consume dairy foods provided they are following advice on healthy eating and consuming a diet high in vegetables, nuts and whole grain foods. When the diet is not healthy, a calcium supplement should be considered and this is better absorbed in the form of citrate or gluconate, rather than carbonate. Consult a nutritional therapist or health shop for good brands.
We are told to eat 5 portions of fruits and vegetables daily -
Firstly, the five portions mean both fruits and vegetables, it is not five of each.
That having been said, ten portions a day is even better, especially for those at
risk of heart or bowel disease, and this amount can be easily reached when including
salads, soups and stir-
A portion of fruit is a whole single fruit, such as a medium-
A portion of vegetables is three tablespoons of large veg. such as broccoli, cauliflower,
carrots, or two tablespoons of smaller vegetables such as peas or broad beans. Do
not include potatoes in the daily total though -
Here are some simple ways to increase your daily intake:
Include fresh or dried fruits at breakfast, e.g. banana on cereal, raisins in porridge, fruit smoothies (can easily get three portions in a single smoothie)
Start your main meal with a small salad or accompany it with a side salad
Have snacks of raw carrot sticks, celery, peppers or fruit
Eat more vegetable soups and stews
Add extra toppings of vegetables to shop-
Add fresh fruits to yoghurts, fromage frais or ice-