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Category: Nutrients

5 reasons to eat beetroot

Image: thriftywholesome Image: thriftywholesome

by Johanna Hagenauer

It is one of Australia’s favourite vegetables: the beetroot. And for a reason: the red beet with its slightly sweet and naturally earthy taste is super versatile (you can eat it raw, cooked, roasted, fermented or juiced) and almost always in season. Most importantly, however, beetroot is packed with lots of healthy goodness and eating it has been linked to numerous health benefits.   

Food For A Good Night's Sleep


By Doralise Halepis, Nutrition Student

When sleep is disrupted or your body doesn’t receive the rest it needs, it spells disaster for both your mental, and physical health. A not-so-good night’s sleep for some may be waking up a couple of times in the night; for others it’s a constant battle to get to sleep until the early hours of the morning. Either way, when sleep is interrupted or you’re body does not rest for as long as it needs to, it creates a disturbing ‘snowball’ effect. We feel tired and irritable, our concentration skills slip, our ability to feel positive deteriorates and the best food choices aren’t made. The food choices we make throughout the day have the ability to affect the quality of sleep we receive that night, not just what is consumed in the hours leading up to bed.

It has been around for a while, popping up more and more in health food stores around Australia. It’s creamy off white colour resembling a soft protein powder. While I don’t usually support the addition of ‘superfood’ powders to a person’s diet as I find them pointless if you’ve already got a healthy diet – this one may actually be useful….

Should you juice?

Image: bitemywords.com
Image: bitemywords.com

Increasingly popular over the last 30 years. It’s now hip to be seen with a juice in tow, and usually the greener the better. But is chopping, juicing, then dismantling and cleaning your cold press juicer every day really worth it?


First up, juice from the supermarket is not the same thing! Most juices are made from concentrate, contain added sugar, and don’t contain any vegetables. I don’t ever recommend straight fruit juice as it’s so easy to over-consume, and eating fruit whole is a much better option nutritionally for a variety of reasons. 

The pros:

  • Tasty drink that isn’t just water
  • Convenient to drink as you do something else (on the go nutrition)
  • Rich in nutrients
  • Easily digested

The cons:

  • Convenient to drink as you do something else (easy to over consume!)
  • Lacks fibre, and therefore filling power, unless you drink a lot (which adds up in calories if you’re adding fruit). One 300ml apple juice can be drank easily, whilst the equivalent 3 apples will take you longer, more effort and fill you up much quicker!) Plus your tummy bacteria won’t be too happy as you’re leaving out their food source! Unless you’re getting plenty of fibre from other food, you’ll be missing out on the protective compounds the bacteria create after eating fibre. These compounds support your gut function and help protect your gut lining from damage and ultimately cancer development. 

The misguided information

  • The ‘rich in live enzymes’ story is irrelevant. As Glenn Cardwell so gracefully put’s it: “Enzymes are proteins. We eat them. They die. Then their amino acids get made into human proteins we can use and bingo!, they start a new life.”
  • The claim juices should be used to ‘detox’ is misleading. They simply don’t act like a housekeeper sweeping away all the ‘naughty food’ and toxins. Your liver, lungs and kidneys do this for you 24/7, 365 days of the year, and it doesn’t cost you a thing. 

Many of my clients are asking about how much fish is ok to eat in their diet. Many ask due to the concerns over mercury in fish. So let me break it down for you.

How much?

FSANZ report that Australian’s can safely eat 2–3 serves a week of most types of fish. However, because of the presence of higher levels of mercury in some fish there are a few types you should limit in your diet, especially if you are pregnant.

What about during pregnancy?

Pregnant women, women planning pregnancy and young children should eat shark (flake), broadbill, marlin and swordfish no more than once a fortnight and should not eat any other fish during that fortnight.

Orange roughy and catfish should be eaten no more than once a week, and no other fish should be eaten during that week.

What about the rest of us?

The general population should also only eat shark (flake), broadbill, marlin and swordfish once per week and no other fish that week.


The named fish may contain more mercury than other species because they are long living fish and/or predators and can accumulate higher levels of mercury by eating other fish.

What is Mercury?

Mercury is an element found both naturally and as an introduced contaminant. It tends to affect the nervous system, and the developing nervous system in the unborn baby is particularly sensitive to mercury. However, it’s important to remember the unborn baby is generally only exposed to low mercury levels through its mother’s diet.

A handy guide

Beauty School In The Kitchen - Foods For Your Skin


By Doralise Halepis, Nutrition Student

We know that nutrient rich foods are essential for keeping our bodies healthy both physically and mentally, but there are particular foods that can also be added to our edible beauty regime! There are so many foods that contribute to how we look on the outside. A healthy, nutrient-rich diet with lots of vegetables and some fruit is a great base. Though there are certain foods that have been found to promote clear, glowing skin that naturally give us the radiant look! Here’s just some of our favourites.

Overfed And Undernourished - Documentary Review

I watched this earlier this evening with such an interest. The title itself sums up the state of the current population. We’re eating more. But we’re nourishing less. We’re choosing the wrong foods, by choice, and also because of a lack of access to better foods. We try and counteract this by chemical drugs, pills, potions and quick fixes, without correcting the underlying issue. The food we eat and what we drink on a daily basis.

The Journal of the American College of Nutrition is about to release six new guidelines for healthy eating to help prevent cancer. And with anything, prevention is better than cure.  

Eating well and exercising regularly have consistently been shown to reduce the risk of cancer. But our view on what eating well actually entails is forever being tweaked and revised.

Here are the six (slightly surprising) guidelines to be published on June 30:

  1. Limit or avoid dairy products to reduce the risk of prostate cancer.
  2. Limit or avoid alcohol to reduce the risk of cancers of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, colon, rectum and breast.
  3. Avoid red and processed meats to reduce the risk of cancers of the colon and rectum.
  4. Avoid grilled, fried and broiled meats to reduce the risk of cancers of the colon, rectum, breast, prostate, kidney and pancreas.
  5. Consume soy to reduce risk of breast cancer and to reduce the risk of recurrence and mortality for women previously treated for breast cancer.
  6. Emphasize fruits and vegetables to reduce risk of several common forms of cancer.


When low-fat, high carbohydrate was the latest craze in the 1980’s-1990’s, rice cakes were a sure fire hit! A staple in all low-fat diets replacing everything from cookies, snacks, and sometimes used as a main meal. Thinking we’d lose weight because they were low calorie and low fat. 

They may be low in calories, but if you’re snacking solely on rice cakes,  they’re simply not doing your body any favours. Take a look at the nutrition panel for a name brand original thin brown rice cake:

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