Nutritionist - Life and Wellness Coach -
Beautician - Skin Specialist - Massage Therapist
|Posted on October 12, 2020 at 9:55 PM|
Currently 1 million Australians are living with depression each year. Depression is one of the most common mental health problems experienced by young people with three quarters of mental illnesses occurring before the age of 24. Research has also found that men are less likely than women to seek help for their depression with only 13% of young men aged 15-24 seeking help for their mental health. Standard treatment options for depression include antidepressant medications and talking therapies. Although these options help many people, they can sometimes be expensive, ineffective and result in unwanted side effects. New evidence-based treatment options are urgently needed to assist with this growing health crisis. Interventions aimed at prevention or early treatment of mental disorders should therefore focus on young adults.
Recently, the role of diet in mental health has been gaining much attention. Studies have shown that healthier eating patterns such as a Mediterranean Diet are associated with a reduced risk of depression while unhealthy “western” style diets are associated with increased depression risk. We also know that there are large differences between the eating patterns of men and women. With men eating fewer fruits and vegetables and consuming more high sugar foods and alcohol. However, studies on diet pattens of men with depression is lacking.
To understand the diets, nutritional knowledge and opinions of young men (aged 18-25) with depression, we designed a cross-sectional online questionnaire. We surveyed 384 young men and uncovered a number of important findings.
Most Significant Findings:
• Diet quality among young men with depression is relatively poor.
• Most discretionary foods were consumed 2-3 times per week such as pizza, fried potato such as French fries or hash browns and chocolate.
• Roughly half of participants (47%) report never consuming wholegrains or legumes.
• Only 9% consume two or more serves of vegetables per day!
• Despite their relatively poor diets, the majority of participants (84%) believe it is ‘important’ or ‘very important’ to eat an overall healthy diet.
• Potential barriers to healthy eating were highlighted. The majority of participants indicated that they perceive healthy eating to be both expensive and time consuming.
• Two thirds of participants feel that their diet has an effect on their mental health.
• Only 5% report not noticing any effect of diet on their mental health.
• Encouragingly, the majority (77%) indicated that they will consider changing their diets if it helps their symptoms.
• This data supports the viability of dietary intervention trials in this demographic.
So what are our next steps?
We are currently in the process of recruiting for a randomised clinical trial which tests the effect of a Mediterranean diet or social support on the symptoms of depression in young men. More information about the study can be found at: https://mendds.wixsite.com/ammend
|Posted on October 8, 2020 at 4:05 AM|
Polyphenols for Depression
Most of us can probably think of a time where a food or drink has affected our emotions. Making us feel either good or bad. For me, nothing lifts my spirits more than a nice cup of tea when I’m feeling down. I mean, is there anything a cup of tea can’t fix?
The idea that foods affect our mood isn’t a new one. However, only recently have scientists started to research this concept more thoroughly, in an emerging field called Nutritional Psychiatry.
Nutritional psychiatry explores the effects and relationships of different foods, nutrients and dietary patterns on mental health.
So far, several observational studies have shown healthy dietary patterns high in fruits and vegetables and low in processed foods are associated with reduced depression risk. While diets high in processed foods have been linked to an increased depression risk.
The diet with the most evidence for reducing depression risk is the Mediterranean diet (MD). Which is known for being high in vegetables, legumes, whole grains and olive oil while lower in meat, processed foods and sugar.
Several mechanisms for how the Mediterranean diet effects depression have been speculated. These include theories involving fiber and the microbiome, folate and methylation and omega 3 fatty acids and inflammation. But the theory which caught my eye was the role of polyphenols.
Polyphenols are compounds found in a wide variety of plant foods. They have anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and are classed according to the nature of their carbon skeleton: These include phenolic acids, flavonoids, and the less common stilbenes and lignans.
When considering depression, we know that it is commonly associated with subclinical inflammatory status characterised by an increase in proinflammatory cytokines and neuronal damage.
Polyphenols may exert protective effects on mental health via upregulating the body’s natural defence systems, stabilising free radicals, and reducing oxidative damage. In addition, neuroprotective properties have been observed, with polyphenols modulating specific cellular signalling pathways involved in cognitive processes.
I wanted to explore this concept further. So myself and other researchers at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) Australian Research Centre in Complementary and Integrative Medicine (ARCCIM) conducted a systematic review of the literature. The aim of this literature review was to assess the effects of polyphenols on the symptoms of depression to help verify polyphenols as a potential mechanism for the efficacy of the Mediterranean diet.
We ended up with 37 papers included in the review. Twenty of the papers were observational which provided a strong foundation for suggesting that polyphenols play a role in depression, but they can only infer correlation in regards to disease risk and prevalence. Seventeen of the included studies were experimental and provide more information about causation in regards to polyphenols exerting a therapeutic benefit for depressive symptoms.
Several different classes of polyphenols were assessed in this review including those from: tea, coffee, citrus, nuts, soy, coco, legumes and spices. So all the tastiest foods really!
So, what did we find?
• Twenty-nine of the studies found a statistically significant effect of polyphenols for depression.
• The majority of observational studies looked at polyphenols from tea and coffee consumption and depression risk.
• And the majority of the experimental studies looked at turmeric in randomised control trials for clinical depressive symptoms.
• Several studies showed soy isoflavones being effective at reducing depressive symptoms in menopausal women
• Only a couple of studies tested overall dietary polyphenols intake.
• The polyphenols which currently show the most promise: tea and cocoa flavonoids, curcumin and coffee hydroxycinnamic acid, walnut flavonols, citrus flavanones and the stilbene resveratrol.
So, am I going to start prescribing chocolate covered coffee beans and turmeric lattes for all of my depressed patients? Maybe, because those foods are delicious! But, as is often the case, more research is needed. Particularly high-quality randomised control trials in patients with clinical depression for the polyphenols which currently show the most promise.
|Posted on March 19, 2018 at 12:35 AM|
There are several different ways of supplementing with vitamin B12. The most popular choices include fortified foods, tablets and injections. To decide which is the best form for you, first you need to understand the different forms of B12.
This is the most active form in the human body. It can cross the blood-brain barrier–without assistance to protect brain cells and contributes methyl groups needed for detoxification.
This is a synthetic version of vitamin B12 which is created in a lab. It is the cheapest supplement option and offers the most stable form of B12. This form contains a cyanide molecule and while the amount is not dangerous, it does require the body to expend energy to convert and remove it. This form has also been liked to acne breakouts in a number of studies.
This form is naturally created by bacteria, making it the main type found in foods. It easily converts into methylcobalamin in the body.
The energy formation that occurs during the Citric Acid cycle requires this form of B12. Although naturally occurring, it is the least stable of the four types of B12 outside the human body and does not translate well into a tablet-based supplement and can thus be difficult to find in supplement form.
In addition to the 4 different types of B12 which exist, there are also several different modes of transport. For example, tablet form, sublingual drops, skin patches and injections.
1. Tablets or pills
These are easy to find and often inexpensive. However if you have gastrointestinal problems (gastric surgery, crohn’s disease, etc) they are of little value since the orally taken B12 won’t be absorbed.
The maximum amount of intrinsic factor production will only help you absorb around 10 mcg even if the ingested dose is 500 mcg. So if you want to take in high doses of B12, forget about ingestible tablets.
2. Sprays or sublingual drops
Sublingual (under the tongue) drops and oral spray forms of vitamin B12 are both absorbed by the blood vessels in the mouth. These are often better options for those with gastrointestinal problems as it bypasses digestion.
3. Skin Patches
Patches are extremely easy to use. You can wear the patch once a week and it usually only needs to be worn for 24 hours. It is very cost effective as you only have to wear it once a week and you can easily order it online. Some mild skin reactions have been reported but these are rare and usually only miner irritations.
Injections are another good option because it does not depend on intrinsic factor for absorption and high doses go straight into the blood stream. The disadvantage is that B12 injections can cause pain where injected and require a trip to the doctors for administration.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide which is the best form of B12 for your body. If you have been recently diagnosed with a B12 deficiency consult an accredited nutritionist who can help guide you through the process of selecting the best supplements for your body and incorporating fortified foods into your diet.
To book an appointment email [email protected]
Jessica Bayes BHSc NutMed (Honours) ANTA
Clinical Nutritionist, Wellness Coach, Skin Therapist
|Posted on February 25, 2018 at 10:05 PM|
GORD is a very common disorder and occurs when stomach acid refluxes into the lower oesophagus through the lower oesophageal sphincter (LES). The LES is a band of muscles that act as a protective barrier against reflux material by contracting and relaxing. If this barrier is relaxed at inappropriate times or otherwise compromised, reflux occurs. Chronic or reoccurring reflux allows prolonged contact of stomach contents with the lower oesophagus, leading to symptoms.
In general four underlying conditions are associated with GORD:
1. Decreased lower oesophageal sphincter pressure.
2. Irritation of the lining of the oesophagus by the stomach contents.
3. Abnormal clearance of oesophageal acid.
4. Delayed stomach emptying.
The primary symptom of GORD is persistent heartburn, a burning discomfort felt in the upper chest or abdomen. Symptoms vary from person to person and at times there may be no symptoms at all. The majority of people with GORD have mild symptoms, with no visible evidence of tissue damage and little risk of developing complications.
Recommendations to lessen the likelihood of reflux and to avoid irritation of sensitive or inflamed oesophageal tissue.
• Decrease total fat intake - High fat meals and fried foods tend to decrease LES pressure and delay stomach emptying thereby increasing the risk of reflux.
• Avoid large meals - Large meals increase the likelihood of increased gastric (stomach) pressure and reflux.
• Decrease total caloric intake if weight loss is desired - Since obesity may promote reflux, weight loss may be suggested by your healthcare provider to control reflux.
• Avoid chocolate - Chocolate contains methylxanthine, which has been shown to reduce LES pressure by causing relaxation of smooth muscle.
• Avoid coffee depending on individual tolerance - Coffee, with or without caffeine, may promote gastroesophageal reflux.
• Avoid other known irritants - Alcohol, mint, carbonated beverages, citrus juices, and tomato products- all may aggravate GORD. These products may be consumed depending on individual tolerance.
Other modifications for treating GORD
• Maintain upright posture during and after eating.
• Stop smoking.
• Avoid clothing that is tight in the abdominal area.
• Avoid eating within 3 hours before bedtime.
• Lose weight if you are overweight.
• Sleep on your left side.
• Chew non-mint gum which will increase saliva production and decrease acid in the oesophagus.
• Elevate the head of your bed 4-6 inches by placing bricks under the headboard.
|Posted on February 21, 2018 at 8:10 PM|
So you’re thinking about starting a detox or a body cleanse? Many detoxes make extravagant claims and promises of “perfect skin”, “abundant energy” or “rapid weight loss”. Regrettably most detoxes are a waste of money and potentially dangerous – especially if they have you starving yourself of food and consuming nothing but lemon water for a week.
The body does a pretty good job of detoxifying itself. The body is naturally designed to be able to clear waste materials such as toxins, chemicals and old hormones in order to prevent an accumulation of potentially toxic and harmful by products building up in our systems. So our bodies do not usually need to be “detoxed”. This is because they already do a very good job of this naturally -- mainly through the actions of the liver, kidneys, lungs and gastrointestinal tract. These organs help remove any harmful substances that should not be in the body.
However, sometimes there are periods in our lives where are bodies are under stress and may struggle to carry out their normal functions. You may have had a really stressful month at work. Slipped into unhealthy dietary habits and be living off junk food, you may be over working or deprived of sleep or may have neglected exercise recently. In these instances you can be left feeling tired, bloated, irritable and sick. So we need to get your body back into balance by supporting your body’s natural detoxification processes and removing any unnecessary burdens while it heals and resets.
The four major detoxification organs in the body:
Liver -- acts like a filter in preventing toxic substances contained in foods from passing into your blood stream
Kidneys -- are constantly filtering your blood and getting rid of toxins in the form of urine
Colon -- contains bacteria that produce both healthy and unhealthy chemicals. You want to keep your bowel movements regular since its main role is to flush out toxic chemicals before they can do you any harm
Lungs -- are able to eliminate toxins that enter your body via breathing.
For more information check out my Body Rebalance Detox Program found in the Webstore tab for an evidence based, safe and effective program to help get that spring back in your step.
|Posted on February 15, 2018 at 7:05 PM|
When it comes to taking care of our skin the first thing that usually jumps to mind are the various cleansers and serums that we use topically. These products are vital for thoroughly cleaning the skin and delivering crucial ingredients for happy glowing skin. However, this is only half the battle. So much of our outer beauty is regulated by our inner health, in particular our gut health.
When I talk about gut health, I am referring to all stages of digestion and function. From the hydrochloric acid in your stomach to the diversity of bacteria in your bowel, it all needs to be strong and balanced to function at its best.
Over recent years there has been an increased interest in the gut/skin axis (or the gut/skin connection) which is changing the way we view skin health and improve clinical outcomes. The human body is fascinating! The way it works to keep its self in balance and carry out its functions tirelessly everyday – never stopping for a break, it is truly a wonder to behold. It is therefore important to treat it with respect and appreciate when we may need to give a little helping hand when things get though.
Have you ever noticed how after a night of heavy drinking or fast food you wake up to an unwanted breakout or tired dehydrated skin? This is because poor dietary and lifestyle choices can lead to intestinal permeability (commonly called leaky gut) which can cause a whole host of problems.
When the protective barrier that lines our digestive track becomes damaged an increased passage of antigens can enter into the body. Over time this can lead to a vicious cycle of inflammation and tissue damage. If we also have a degree of dysbiosis (overgrowth of bad bacteria), which are releasing endotoxins, further inflammation and loss of barrier function will occur.
This cycle results in the nervous system releasing substance P in the gut and skin which increases sebum production (the oil in your skin). An overgrowth of the bacterium Propionibacterium acnes further triggers inflammatory pathways leading to blackheads, pimples, lines and wrinkles.
But luckily, we can stop this process. Your skin care routine prescribed by your skin therapist is still crucially important but investigating and treating the underlying cause is a central step which shouldn’t be over looked. High strength broad spectrum probiotics, digestive enzymes and anti-inflammatory ingredients will all help to rebalance, strengthen and heal the gut, resulting in a healthy and happy body inside and out!
Jessica Bayes BHSc (NutMed), Dip (BTh), ANTA
Clinical Nutritionist, Wellness Coach and Skin Therapist.
|Posted on February 10, 2018 at 1:15 AM|
Legumes are rich sources of proteins, healthy fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and fiber. They are an excellent sources of β-carotene (provitamin A), thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin, pyridoxine (B6), pantothenic acid, folic acid (folacin), ascorbic acid, and vitamin E and K (1). Legumes represent a crucial component of the human diet and their regular consumption is vital for good health.
Legumes are excellent sources of several phytochemicals with proposed health-related benefits (2). Phytochemicals are natural bioactive compounds used for combating free radicals and reducing the oxidative damage responsible by chronic diseases (3). Recent studies have confirmed that cooking methods and various preparation techniques can alter the nutritional quality of food. Hence, understanding the changes which occur in these foods from preparation to table is critical. This is important not just for scientific research, but also for the consumer, who can then prepare and cook legumes in a way which increases their nutritional value (4).
Legumes have been known to contain anti-nutrients such as phytic acid, protease inhibitors and tannins (5). Reducing or eliminating these anti-nutrients is necessary to improve the biological utilisation of legumes. Most anti-nutrients can be reduced or destroyed by using the proper cooking method (5).
Soaking beans prior to cooking is often recommended to decrease the cooking time required. During soaking, the water is dispersed into the starch granules and protein fractions of beans, which facilitate processes, such as gelatinisation and protein denaturation, which soften the texture (6). Adding salt to the soaking water further improves this outcome. Soaking in sodium bicarbonate solution eliminates tannin contents and reduces trypsin inhibitor activity (TIA) in beans (7).
When it comes to cooking methods studies have observed a marked reduction in the content of vitamins when fava beans, lentils and chickpeas were cooked (1). According to the USDA, cooking beans for more than 2 hours, and then frying or baking them can reduce the folate retention by 50%. Beans contain some complex sugars of the raffinose family, and if not broken down by enzymes in the digestive system, can result in gastric issues such as gas production and flatulence. Soaking beans in a salt solution, discarding the soaking solution and cooking with fresh water is the best way to improve the nutritional quality of beans are reduce digestive issues. Many studies have shown that the digestion and absorption of iron can be improved by cooking and heat processing (8 ).
Legumes are an incredibly important source of nutrients in the diet. When prepared correctly anti-nutrients can be significantly reduced and digestive symptoms diminished. Legumes provide an excellent source of fibre, protein and numerous vitamins and minerals. Enjoy legumes as part of your daily diet for optimal health.
1. Prodanov M, Sierra I, Vidal-Valverde C. Influence of soaking and cooking on the thiamin, riboflavin and niacin contents of legumes. Food chemistry. 2004;84(2):271-277.
2. Boccaletti S, Latora V, Moreno Y, Chavez M, Hwang D-U. Complex networks: Structure and dynamics. Physics reports. 2006;424(4-5):175-308.
3. Tiwari U, Cummins E. Factors influencing levels of phytochemicals in selected fruit and vegetables during pre-and post-harvest food processing operations. Food Research International. 2013;50(2):497-506.
4. Fabbri AD, Crosby GA. A review of the impact of preparation and cooking on the nutritional quality of vegetables and legumes. International Journal of Gastronomy and Food Science. 2016;3:2-11.
5. Habiba R. Changes in anti-nutrients, protein solubility, digestibility, and HCl-extractability of ash and phosphorus in vegetable peas as affected by cooking methods. Food chemistry. 2002;77(2):187-192.
6. Siddiq M, Uebersax MA. Dry beans and pulses production and consumption—an overview. Dry Beans and Pulses Production, Processing and Nutrition. 2012:1-22.
7. Taiwo K, Akanbi C, Ajibola O. The effects of soaking and cooking time on the cooking properties of two cowpea varieties. Journal of food engineering. 1997;33(3-4):337-346.
8. Wang N, Hatcher D, Tyler R, Toews R, Gawalko E. Effect of cooking on the composition of beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) and chickpeas (Cicer arietinum L.). Food Research International. 2010;43(2):589-594.
|Posted on February 7, 2018 at 10:50 PM|
Stress effects everyone at some stage and short periods of stress are normal and can actually be quite helpful - think about the stress before an exam that helps you perform at your best. But chronic stress can be harmful and lead to additional health issues. So having a few techniques to fall back on and help you manage your stress is always a good thing!
|Posted on January 29, 2018 at 3:05 PM|
So what is LED skin therapy and how does it work?
First perfected by NASA whilst conducting experiments on how to grow plants in space, they discovered that LED lights also helped Astronauts recover faster from injuries sustained during weightlessness. Trials have found that a 20 minute LED treatment over 6 to 12 week period had a positive smoothing effect in 83% of participants and improved skin tone by an incredible 91%! Another study found that 81% had a positive effect on the reduction of fine lines and wrinkles.
LED light therapy is a non-invasive anti-aging approach that works by emitting energy-producing packets of light deep into the skin’s layers to stimulate collagen and elastin production and destroy acne-causing bacteria. Cells in the human body convert light into ATP (adenosine triphosphate), which is the fuel that powers life on a cellular level. Plant cells have a similar process called photosynthesis that develops chlorophyll, their fuel for life. When light therapy is used, this triggers cellular activity producing ATP and, once produced, the tissue uses it to carry out healing and rejuvenation in the treated area underneath the skin.
In most cases, you will see immediate improvements after only one treatment. The skin will appear more plump and radiant, and any redness or irritation is calmed. Results are cumulative, so more noticeable improvements are usually achieved in 8 to 10 LED light therapy treatments.
I often add LED treatments to my skin care treatments. A session usually lasts for about 20 minutes and in that time you lay back and relax under the warm light/. Four different colours are avaialble. Red light (620nm - 625nm) penetrates the dermis and is absorbed by all layers of the skin. It is predominantly used for anti-aging although it has a wide range of other benefits it can be used for.
Red LED increases collagen production by fivefold and slowing cell degeneration via the enzyme collagenase. Research has proven that red light therapy increases production of ATP (the energy engine of cells) and the modulation of reactive oxygen. It also work by targeting water layers on elastin, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
YELLOW LIGHT THERAPY (590nm - 595nm) has anti-inflammatory properties and reduces visible redness with rosacea and other skin conditions. It improves elasticity of skin by increasing collagen in the damaged areas and helps to remove toxins by stimulating lymphatic drainage. It will assist in strengthening the muscles under the epidermis, bringing tightness back to skin.
GREEN LIGHT THERAPY (525nm - 535nm) helps with skin discoloration and slows melanin production by 40 - 60%. Theoretically, green light targets melanocytes, melanin producing cells located in the bottom layer of the skin's epidermis. It will also triggers repairs in the capillary beds, while soothing redness and inflammatory problems and assist with oil control.
BLUE LIGHT THERAPY (460nm - 465nm) targets the strain of bacteria that plays a pivotal role in causing acne for many people. The light causes the development of oxygen radicals that kill bacteria without damaging healthy skin.
The recommended professional LED protocol for acne is 4 to 6, 20 minute treatments per week for a minimum of 3 to 4 weeks or until cleared up, followed by a maintenance treatment every month to ensure the propionibacterium (p-acne) bacteria does not return.
Blue light therapy is excellent for balancing the pH balance which makes it ideal to use prior to peels, it can assist with SAD and sleeping disorders.
LED packages are now available! Head to the 'webstore' tab to invest in your skin health today.
Unsure of what your skin needs to thrive? Book in for a skin analysis and consultation to get tailored advice and set you on the right path for glowing healthy skin.
|Posted on January 18, 2018 at 8:40 PM|
A body composition analysis is an important health and nutrition assessment tool which uses a bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) technology. It is a method of assessing your body composition, the measurement of body fat in relation to lean body mass. Research has shown that body composition is directly related to health. A normal balance of body fat is associated with good health and longevity. Excess fat in relation to lean body mass, altered body composition, can greatly increase your risks for cardiovascular disease diabetes, and more. BIA allows for early detection of an improper balance in your body composition, which fosters earlier intervention and prevention. BIA also provides a measurement of fluid and body mass that can be a critical assessment tool for your current state of health.
In my clinic I use a Tanita body composition monitor. When you stand on a Tanita monitor, a very low, safe electrical signal is sent from four metal electrodes through your feet to your legs and abdomen. The electrical signal passes quickly through water that is present in hydrated muscle tissue but meets resistance when it hits fat tissue. This resistance, known as impedance, is measured and input into scientifically validated Tanita equations to calculate body composition measurements.
People with an electronic medical implant, such as a pacemaker, should not use a body composition monitor. The electrical signal travelling through the body may interfere with its operation. Pregnant women should use the weight function only, all other functions are not intended for pregnant women.
Tanita body composition monitors with Advanced Dual BIA Technology use two different frequencies to capture your body composition data. By using different frequencies, even higher accuracy of measurements can be achieved.
Using Tanita’s exclusive FDA cleared Bioelectric Impedance Analysis (BIA) technology, this scale not only measures weight and body fat, it also tells you your muscle mass, body water %, daily caloric intake (DCI), metabolic age, bone mass, visceral fat and rates your physique. BIA is quick and non-invasive, and is one of the most thorough and reliable ways to measure body composition, clinically comparable to DXA (dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry) and hydrostatic (underwater) weighing.