Welcome to your food and nutrition tips for November to help keep you motivated and living healthy. This month you’ll learn easy ways to reduce your reliance on reflux medication, discover the delights of asparagus, hear how you can become a supermarket sleuth and find out a clever way to clean the inside of your kettle, naturally of course!
Reduce Acid Reflux without Medication
Gastroesophageal reflux (GORD), also known as heartburn, is a common condition that causes a painful burning sensation in the chest, belching or hoarseness and can lead to ulcers or even cancer of the oesophagus. It can affect men, women (especially during pregnancy) as well as children. Pain is experienced as the acidic contents of the stomach “reflux” back up the oesophagus (your food pipe) because of increased abdominal pressure and a relaxed status of the muscle ring that normally keeps the entry to the stomach shut after meals.
Although simple lifestyle and dietary remedies can manage most cases of reflux, too many people rely on anti-reflux medications known as proton pump inhibitors, or PPIs. This is a concern due to the numerous health implications linked to long-term use of these medications.
The dark side of PPIs
Are you or your child taking PPSs right now? While PPIs do play a role in preventing serious complications of reflux, such as esophageal and stomach ulcers, in recent years the US Food and Drug Administration has issued numerous warnings about these drugs, stating that their long-term use and high doses are associated with an increased risk of bone fractures and infections, which can be especially dangerous to older people. Studies have also shown that popping PPIs over the long term may reduce your absorption of important nutrients, including magnesium, calcium, iron and vitamin B12. It could also reduce the effectiveness of other medication.
Although experts agree that using PPIs for short periods may not be problematic, the issue is that many people tend to take them for far longer than is recommended. The way PPIs work is by blocking the production of acid in the stomach. However, this results in over-compensation by the body, which increases acid-producing cells and thus more acid, making it difficult to discontinue use of the drug.
In light of such findings, experts now recommended that older adults, in particular, use these drugs for the shortest duration possible.
Natural ways to combat reflux
As PPIs work by controlling the symptoms of reflux, not by fixing the underlying problem, it is important that you make some simple lifestyle and dietary changes before resorting to medications, or in order to reduce your reliance on them. Take a glance at what you can do and see your dietitian for more personalised nutrition information.
Diet rescue for reflux
- Avoid coffee and strong tea – try Caro, Ecco or rooibos tea fruit infusions instead. Also avoid other caffeinated drinks and foods, such as Coke, “energy drinks” (e.g. RedBull, V) and chocolate.
- Avoid alcohol as alcohol increases stomach acid secretion.
- Avoid peppermint and spearmint (e.g. peppermint/spearmint tea, mints).
- Minimise your intake of added fats and fatty foods (including full-fat dairy products) and hidden fats from processed and take-away foods.
- Eat a high fibre diet.
- Drink most fluids between meals and sip only small amounts of fluids with meals, if required.
- Eat smaller meals spread throughout the day.
- Avoid irritants such as citrus juices, tomato (including pasta and tomato sauce), spicy foods, onions and carbonated beverages that may cause heartburn if you experience reflux.
- Learn to read food labels to identify low-fat, high-fibre products.
Lifestyle tips to ease your symptoms
- Stop smoking if you currently do, as this will greatly improve your reflux.
- Reduce any excess weight as added body fat around the abdominal area puts extra pressure on your stomach.
- Avoid wearing tight clothes, waistbands or belts that can create extra pressure around your stomach.
- Check your medications with your GP and/or pharmacist, as some can produce reflux as a side effect (e.g. some anti-inflammatory drugs) and alternatives may be available.
- Avoid eating late at night (eat at least 2-3 hours before you go to bed). It may also help to eat your main meal at lunch time and a lighter meal in the evening.
- Avoid lying down for at least one hour after eating.
- Avoid bending down from the waist as this can trigger reflux (bend through your knees – it’s better for your back as well!).
- Raise the head of your bed by 15-20 cm or use a supportive pillow.
- Reduce stress in your life as much as possible. Talk to your dietitian about nurturing activities and consult your GP if further assistance is required.
"The doctor of the future will no longer treat the human frame with drugs, but rather will cure and prevent disease with nutrition." – Thomas Edison
Virtual Supermarket Tour – Get Coached to Read Food Labels & Understand the Fine Print
How do you determine the best food brands to buy at the supermarket? Do you spend hours ogling the options in the aisles? What levels of sugar, salt and fat should you look for when checking labels?
Why not join us for a Virtual Supermarket Tour?
Rather than fight the crowds, we will take you through the aisles in the comfort of your chair with the help of food photography and a big screen. Learn what to look for and practise your own product comparisons.
Boost your confidence to make the best food choices available and become a supermarket sleuth.
When: Wednesday 28th November, 6:30 – 8:30 pm.
Where: Nutrition and Wellbeing Clinic, Castle Hill.
This is an educational event and it’s heaps of fun. Our senior dietitian Monica Kubizniak will be running it so you won’t want to miss out! Find out more about the virtual supermarket tour.
Call NOW on (02) 9899 5208 to book a spot and bring your shopping partner.
What’s Fresh? – Asparagus
Did you know that asparagus are part of the lily family, which also includes onions, garlic, leeks and turnips?
Meaning sprout or shoot, asparagus cultivation began more than 2,000 years ago in the eastern Mediterranean region and quickly grew in popularity due to its unique flavour and texture. Today asparagus remains loved for its versatility, unique herbaceous flavour, distinctive shape and many health properties. It is enjoyed worldwide.
There are three main types of asparagus available – green, white and purple – all differing in appearance and seasonal availability. Green asparagus is characterised by its long, thick dark green glossy spears with tightly closed heads. Cooked green asparagus results in vibrant green spears with a delightful tender crisp texture. In Australia, they are available from early September until the end of March. White asparagus has long been considered a delicacy and due to the limited supply and high production costs, is about double the price. Interestingly, white asparagus is exactly the same variety as green asparagus; however, they are grown in the dark to prevent the familiar green colour forming. White varieties are usually available from September to January. Purple asparagus are different to the green and white varieties, with the purple colour coming from the high levels of potent antioxidants in the spears. Purple asparagus are more tender and sweeter in taste than green and white asparagus and the whole spear can be eaten from tip to butt. They are usually available Down Under in October and mid-December but currently only in limited supplies.
Asparagus are a dieters dream, containing very little calories (only 21 calories for six spears!), no fat or cholesterol and a source of fibre to help you stay fuller for longer. Asparagus also provides a wide range of nutritional benefits and are packed with vitamins and minerals such vitamin C, B group vitamins, iron and folate.
It is best to store your asparagus in the fridge, standing in some cool water and covered. Trim the bases beforehand to increase freshness. If handled and stored correctly, your asparagus will last for up to two weeks.
Asparagus makes a healthy accompaniment to meals and can be simply boiled, grilled or steamed. As the peak growing season is from September to March, it is the perfect spring and summer addition to your plate.
3 ways with Asparagus:
- Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and lemon and sprinkle with toasted walnuts for a simple, delicious starter.
- Blend some low-fat ricotta cheese and asparagus to make your own low-fat asparagus dip!
- Throw a bunch into your favourite summer salad for a healthy burst of flavour and texture.
See more healthy recipe ideas.
What’s Cooking in December – Scrumptious Low-GI Dishes for the Festive Season
The festive season is just around the corner. How will your waistline and blood sugars cope?
Come along to our highly popular low-GI festive cookshop and learn to make delicious party food that will also support your health journey and keep your sugar readings under control.
Whether you’re planning a BBQ or a dinner party, we will show you easy ways to impress your guests while keeping on track with your health goals. From moreish nibbles to mini chocolate mud cakes with raspberries, your guests will be coming back for more!
Join us on the 4th December 6:30 – 8:30 pm and find out how to make your Christmas and New Year both fun and healthy!
Learn more about this exciting cookshop.
Call TODAY on (02) 9899 5208 to book your place. More than half of the seats are already booked out!
Welcome Marike Joubert – Lifestyle Dietitian & Fitness Professional
We are excited to announce that Marike Joubert has joined us from Perth and will be available over four clinic sessions per week to help you work on your health goals and stay motivated with healthy eating! When you meet Marike, you will experience first hand her infectious enthusiasm for good food. Marike also oozes warmth and has a genuinely caring personality – all the things you have come to love about our team of dietitians at the Nutrition and Wellbeing Clinic. Welcome on board Marike!
Food InFocus with Sue Radd – How Many Eggs Should You Eat?
Some media reports would suggest that dietary cholesterol is harmless and you can now eat as many eggs as you like without risk. But leading international scientists warn that egg yolks should not be eaten indiscriminately without considering your genetic predisposition, overall food habits and risk of heart attack. To help you unscramble fact from fiction, check out this recent TV segment with Sue Radd.
Kitchen Tip – How to Clean Your Kettle From the Inside
Your kettle may be the most used and useful kitchen gadget in your kitchen. But how often do you give it a really good clean – from the inside?
With regular use, you may see a white, chalky build up of calcium on the internal walls. Limescale is not harmful and results when hard water containing high levels of calcium is evaporated on a regular basis. However, it can look unattractive.
What do you do? Forget harsh chemicals. Grab a juicy lemon from your fruit bowl and squeeze the contents into your kettle. Fill it up with water to maximum capacity and boil. Pour out the boiled water into the sink then repeat with plain water and presto! You have a clean kettle.
If you practice this trick every so often, you’ll find that you can maintain your kettle in good condition with little effort.
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Published by the Nutrition & Wellbeing Clinic, Copyright 2012.
Suite 10, 80 Cecil Avenue, Castle Hill NSW 2154 Ph: +61 2 9899 5208 Fx: +61 2 9899 2848 www.nwbc.com.au
We are a boutique Dietitians clinic in Sydney, Australia, offering one-on-one consultations, culinary medicine cooking workshops, motivational health seminars and nutrition advisory services to businesses in the local and global area.
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