Tag Archives: nutrition

The benefits of Cannabis and CBD oil

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The marijuana plant or Cannabis sativa contains two main active constituents, Cannabidiol (CBD) and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Unlike THC, the CBD is not psychoactive and therefore has not been found to cause any of the negative psychological affects associated with cannabis intake, such as anxiety, paranoia and memory issues.

Some of the proposed benefits of CBD include:

  • It can help to reduce inflammation by decreasing the production of many pro-inflammatory substances by the immune system. It can also act directly on the immune cells to enhance their anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory reactions.
  • It can help treat depression and reduce anxiety.
  • Some studies have suggested that CBD can help with psychosis and schizophrenia, with some reporting similar effects to pharmaceutical interventions, with less instance of side effects.
  • On its own or in combination with THC, CBD has been shown to reduce pain and inflammation. This, along with the anti-inflammatory effects have been shown to provide relief of joint swelling, pain and disease progression in sufferers of rheumatoid arthritis.
  • It can provide relief of digestive symptoms; reducing nausea and increasing appetite, as well as reducing bowel inflammation in patients with inflammatory bowel diseases. It may be particularly useful for food allergy sufferers.
  • Benefits for diabetes sufferers have also been shown, with lower fasting insulin, and waist circumference after taking CBD. It may also have a protective effect on the insulin producing cells of the pancreas in patients with type 1 diabetes.
  • Cardiac health may also be improved with CBD. Positive effects on arterial stiffness, blood vessel damage, blood pressure responses to stress, and blood clotting have been observed.
  • It has a protective effect on brain function, and has been shown to help preserve brain cells after stroke. It has also shown promise in helping patients with degenerative nerve and brain conditions such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Epilepsy and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). It may help Multiple Sclerosis patients reduce some of the symptoms associated with the condition, such as muscle tightness, pain and problems sleeping.
  • It has tumour fighting effects in many cancers patients, and can also help the immune system to work more effectively at tackling tutor cells. In addition CBD can benefit the nausea, pain and appetite loss experienced in many cancer sufferers, and it can also increase the effectiveness of certain cancer fighting drugs.
  • The regrowth of broken bones may be expedited with CBD treatment.
  • There have been positive effects on insomnia after taking CBD before bed.
  • Skin problems such as psoriasis and acne have also been improved with CBD.

 

Overall CBD is generally well tolerated by the body with very few side effects. If you want to improve your body function in any of the areas listed above, you may wish to consult with a specialist doctor about how a CBD prescription could help you, when it becomes legal in the UK on November 1st.

 

Chief Scientific Officer – Soza Health

Eating 5 or more small meals a day can help with weight loss and body composition

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Changing dietary intake to comprise the eating of smaller meals at more frequent intervals is thought to be more beneficial for weight loss than eating larger meals less frequently. This is likely due to improved control of glucose levels, better appetite control, and increased calorie use by the body during digestion. Also eating protein at regular intervals during the day increases muscle mass after exercise training, as more protein is available for repair, regeneration and growth of muscle tissue. The number of calories you burn throughout the day while at rest is largely dependent on muscle mass and a fat burning diet can be enhanced though gains in muscle. Maintaining or increasing muscle mass is a key factor in health as we age and also with survival and recovery from many disease conditions. The best results were observed when daily calorie intake was split over 5 or more meals a day. Increased fat loss as well as gains in muscle mass were noted. A high protein diet in conjunction with higher feeding frequency, has also shown beneficial effects on body composition, greater appetite control has also been observed with higher feeding frequency, with many people consuming less calories when adopting this method.

 

  • Eat little and often (5+ small meals per day).
  • Eat slowly and focus on chewing food thoroughly.
  • Be careful not to exceed daily calorie intake (using a small side plate for meals can help you judge portion sizes). Also do not snack between meals.
  • Keep to a balanced diet with low glycaemic index, high protein and vegetable content.
  • Thick soups or healthy green smoothies fill you up more quickly with smaller portions.
  • Exercise (you will see better gains in muscle mass from eating protein regularly throughout the day).

Food additives – Potato starch

Potato starch is starch extracted from potatoes. The cells of the root tubers of the potato plant contain starch grains (leucoplasts). To extract the starch, the potatoes are crushed; the starch grains are released from the destroyed cells. The starch is then washed out and dried to powder.

Potato starch

Potato starch is a very refined starch, containing minimal protein or fat. This gives the powder a clear white colour, and the cooked starch typical characteristics of neutral taste, good clarity, high binding strength, long texture and a minimal tendency to foaming or yellowing of the solution.

Potato starch contains approximately 800 ppm phosphate bound to the starch; this increases the viscosity and gives the solution a slightly anionic character, a low gelatinisation temperature (approximately 140 °F or 60 °C) and high swelling power.

Starch derivatives are used in many recipes, for example in noodles, wine gums, cocktail nuts, potato chips, hot dog sausages, bakery cream and instant soups and sauces, in gluten-free recipes in kosher foods for Passover and in Asian cuisine. In pastry, e.g. sponge cake, it is used to keep the cake moist and give a soft texture. It is also occasionally used in the preparation of pre-packed grated cheese, to reduce sweating and binding.

It is also used in technical applications as wallpaper adhesive, for textile finishing and textile sizing, in paper coating and sizing and as an adhesive in paper sacks and gummed tape.

Food additives – Sodium Nitrate

Sodium NitrateSodium nitrate is the chemical compound with the formula NaNO3. This salt is also known as Chile saltpeter or Peru saltpeter. Sodium nitrate is a white solid which is very soluble in water. It is a readily available source of the nitrate anion (NO3−), which is useful in several reactions carried out on industrial scales for the production of fertilizers, pyrotechnics and smoke bombs, glass and pottery enamels, food preservatives, and solid rocket propellant. It is used in solar panels for heat transfer. It is also used in food! Sodium nitrate is also a food additive used as a preservative and colour fixative in cured meats and poultry; it is listed under its INS number 251 or E number E251. It is approved for use in the EU, USA, Australia and New Zealand. Sodium nitrate should not be confused with sodium nitrite, which is also a common food additive and preservative used for example, in deli meats.

Health concerns

Studies have shown a link between increased levels of nitrates and increased deaths from certain diseases including Alzheimer’s, diabetes mellitus and Parkinson’s, possibly through the damaging effect of nitrosamines on DNA. Nitrosamines, formed in cured meats containing sodium nitrate and nitrite, have been linked to gastric cancer and oesophageal cancer. Sodium nitrate and nitrite are associated with a higher risk of colorectal cancer. World Cancer Research Fund UK states that one of the reasons that processed meat increases the risk of colon cancer is its content of nitrate. A small amount of the nitrate added to meat as a preservative breaks down into nitrite, in addition to any nitrite that may also be added. The nitrite then reacts with protein-rich foods (such as meat) to produce NOCs (nitroso compounds). NOCs can be formed either when meat is cured or in the body as meat is digested.

Trans Fats (Plastic Fats)

Trans FatsIn the 1920’s food merchants were concerned about the amount of money lost to spoilage. They found that if they put certain chemicals like nitrates into food, it was less likely to spoil. Nitrates are also used as fertilisers by farmers. The problem is that these chemicals preserve the cells in your body as well as the cells in food. The cells stop working. Cells that stop working are called disease.

Next, food manufacturers found that if they cook fats at about 350 degrees fahrenheit for about five hours, the fats turned into something similar to plastic. Foods processed this way are called ‘partially hydrogenated fats’ or ‘trans fats’ or ‘plastic fats’. If you look in your larder, you will probably find processed food with these fats in them.

When you eat these plastic fats, your cell membranes become more plastic. Think of a cell with a plastic membrane. It is like wrapping the cell in sellotape. The cell sends out a signal that it is hungry. In response, the body sends glucose and insulin to the cell. However, they can’t get through the membrane. The cell continues to signal that it is hungry, and the body continues to send it more food. Soon the cell is surrounded by glucose and insulin but the cell is still hungry. This is known as insulin resistance and type II diabetes. The cell membrane becomes so saturated that it starts to offload excess glucose into fat cells. Thus people who continue to eat plastic fats get fatter and fatter.

Guess what happens to a brain made of plastic? It doesn’t work well and becomes prone to depression, chronic fatigue, attention deficiency and brain fog.

Guess what happens to a liver that is made of plastic. It can’t clean out the toxins in your system, causing things like fibromyalgia. Without a functional liver, your immune system fails and you get all sorts of chronic infections.

Nutrient Robbers

RobberNutrient Robbers are processed foods that not only fail to provide any valuable nutrients or energy to the body, but also rob it of its nutritional reserves as it strives to break them down. Many degenerative diseases have been linked to the consumption of processed foods. These include:

–        Refined sugars, biscuits and snacks

–        Trans fats, hydrogenated fats and oils

–        Fried foods

–        Coffee, tea, fizzy drinks, sugar and chocolate

–        Alcohol

The key to good nutrition is balance, variety and moderation

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To stay healthy, your body needs the right balance of carbohydrates, fats and protein, the three main components of nutrition. You also need vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that are contained in many different foods. Eating a variety of different foods is essential because no single food or food group contains all the nutrients that your body requires to function properly. Moderation means that we need to eat neither too much nor too little of any food or nutrient. Too much food can result in excess weight-gain and an excess of certain nutrients, whilst eating too little can lead to nutrient deficiencies and low body mass.So very often it is as important to look at what we are not eating as to look at what we are eating!