Nuts

Amazing Nuts

Amazing Nuts

Leigh Carter

Personal Trainer Kelowna

Private Gym Training

 

Following on from the “vegetarian” article, I thought I would say a few things about nuts as they can play an important part in a vegetarian diet.

Studies are suggesting that a small amount of nuts daily could cut your risk of major diseases. The high content of dietary fibre, magnesium and unsaturated fats could be protection against heart disease. The unsaturated fats unlike saturated fats, don’t raise blood LDL (‘bad’) cholesterol levels. The monounsaturated fats have the additional benefit of raising high-density lipoprotein, the ‘good cholesterol’ in our blood. Nuts are rich in protein and dietary fibre, and also one of the best natural sources of anti-oxidant vitamin E, magnesium, copper, phosphorus, potassium, selenium and folic acid, making a small portion (about 30g) of unsalted nuts makes a vitality-boosting snack and, unlike most other options. All nuts have different nutrition credentials and will offer various health benefits.

Almonds are high in vitamin E, a nutrient which helps to improve the condition and appearance of your skin. The almond’s skin is full of heart-protecting compounds called flavonoids and almonds are also rich in calcium, beneficial for teeth and bones.

Cashew nuts make an excellent choice if you’re following a vegetarian diet as they contribute a good level of protein and are a useful source of minerals like iron and zinc. They’re also rich in the mineral magnesium, which is thought to improve recall and delay, age-related memory loss.

Chestnuts are the nuts with the lowest fat content and calories, they are rich in starchy carbs and fibre, and in their raw form are a good source of vitamin C. They’re lower in protein than other nuts but make a useful contribution of B vitamins including B6.

Pecans are packed with plant sterols, valuable compounds that are effective at lowering cholesterol levels and they are also antioxidant-rich which helps prevent the plaque formation that causes hardening of the arteries. Pecans are also a good source of vitamin B3 making them them perfect option for fighting fatigue as this vitamin helps us access the energy in our food.

Pistachios are especially rich in vitamin B6, which is important for keeping hormones balanced and healthy. They are also the only nut to contain reasonable levels of lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants that play an important role in protecting the eyes. Pistachios also contain potassium and fibre.

Walnuts with their superior antioxidant content make them good in the fight against cancer. Studies show walnuts their good source of mono-unsaturated, heart-friendly fats, help to lower the bad form of cholesterol (LDL). As they are rich in omega-3, they are a great alternative to oily fish in a vegetarian diet.

Eating nuts as part of a healthy diet may be good for your heart, they contain unsaturated fatty acids and other nutrients. They are a great snack food, inexpensive, easy to store and easy to pack when you’re on the go. But don’t forget they are high in calories, so it’s important to limit portions. Your personal trainer can advise how to include nuts as a healthy and beneficial part of your diet.

And don’t forget to include seeds in your weekly diet, the natural fibre, iron, protein, good fats, vitamins, and minerals they contain contribute to a wide range of potential health benefits. They are a great source of energy, can help reduce fatigue and will contribute to healthy hair and skin, muscle and bone growth and maintaining a healthy heart. They can boost the body’s immune system, and can be a great food supplement for those living to a particular diet, for example providing protein and iron for vegetarians and vegans. They are naturally crammed with real goodies like protein, iron, fibre, vitamins and minerals which makes them a super nutritious food for a healthy diet.

 

Contact Leigh Carter Personal Trainer Kelowna today for your free consultation

Start building a better body for your future

#leighcarterfitness

#personaltrainerkelowna

 

Vegetarian Diet Kelowna

Vegetarian Diet

Vegetarian Diet

Leigh Carter

Personal Trainer Kelowna

Private Gym Training

 

Apparently according to new figures, one in three of us now eats a semi vegetarian diet, with 39% of women choosing to eat less meat. Sometimes the choice is made from an ethical and environmental point of view and sometimes for health reasons.

Generally it is said that vegetarians and vegans have a lower body mass index, better control of blood pressure and blood glucose, less inflammation and lower cholesterol levels compared with non vegetarians.

But if is the way your diet is going you need to make sure you don’t miss out on any of the important nutrients.

Protein is an important part of your diet and vegetarians can take their protein in different foods from meat eaters. Protein helps maintain healthy skin, bones, muscles and organs. Eggs and dairy products are good sources, and you don’t need to eat large amounts to meet your protein needs. You can also get sufficient protein from plant-based foods if you eat a variety of them throughout the day. Plant sources include soy products and meat substitutes, legumes, lentils, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.

Taking red meat out of your diet can sometimes mean that you are missing out on important iron in your diet as it is a crucial component of red blood cells. Dried beans and peas, lentils, enriched cereals, whole-grain products, dark leafy green vegetables, and dried fruit are good sources of iron. Iron isn’t as easily absorbed from plant sources, the recommended intake of iron for vegetarians is almost double that recommended for non vegetarians. By eating eating foods rich in vitamin C, such as strawberries, citrus fruits, tomatoes, cabbage and broccoli, at the same time as you’re eating iron-containing foods you will help to increase the amount absorbed.

Zinc is an essential component of many enzymes and plays a role in cell division and in formation of proteins but it is also is not as easily absorbed from plant sources as it is from animal products. Cheese is a good option if you eat dairy products. Plant sources of zinc include whole grains, soy products, legumes, nuts and wheat germ.

Another vitamin you may need to top up is Vitamin B12 which is necessary to produce red blood cells and prevent anaemia. Eggs, dairy products, B12 fortified dairy milk, yeast extract and fortified cereals could help with this.

Omega-3 fatty acids are important for heart health. Omega 3 enriched eggs, pumpkin and hemp seeds, walnuts, ground flaxseed and soya oil and soya based foods such as tofu are good sources of essential fatty acids. Evidence suggests that vegetarian sources of omega-3 fatty acids may not have the same benefits for reducing the risk of heart disease as those in oily fish and you could consider taking a supplement.

Calcium helps build and maintain strong teeth and bones, milk and dairy foods are highest in calcium. But good plant sources are dark green vegetables, such as turnip and collard greens, kale, and broccoli, when eaten in sufficient quantities. Calcium-enriched and fortified products, including juices, cereals, soy milk, soy yogurt and tofu, are other options.

Vitamin D also plays an important role in bone health. It is added to cow’s milk, some brands of soy and rice milk, and some cereals and margarines. Again if you don’t eat enough fortified foods and have limited sun exposure, you may need a vitamin D supplement (one derived from plants).

If you are considering a vegetarian diet, make sure you pay attention to these important nutrients and don’t rely too heavily on processed foods, which can be high in calories, sugar, fat and sodium. Your personal trainer can advise on your dietary needs and with a little planning a vegetarian diet can meet the needs of people of all ages, including children and teenagers. The key is to be aware of your nutritional needs so that you plan a diet that meets them.

 

Contact Leigh Carter Personal Trainer Kelowna today for your free consultation

Start building a better body for your future

#leighcarterfitness

#personaltrainerkelowna

#functionalstrengthandfitness

 

Leigh Carter Personal Trainer

My Daily Supplement Stack

My Daily Supplement Stack

Leigh Carter

Personal Trainer Kelowna

Private Gym Training

 

Below is a list of all the supplements that I take daily and where I get them from.

 

Vitamin C 3000 mg (can be split morning and night or one dose) Costco

 

Vitamin D in oil base 7000iu (one dose) Popeyes and most health food stores

 

Primrose oil (omega 6) 3000mg (can be split morning and night or one dose) Costco

.

.….…...

 

Fish oil (omega 6) 3000mg (can be split morning and night or one dose) Costco

 

Multivitamin/mineral (take the suggested dose advised on product) Popeyes

 

Psyllium husks 20grams (10 grams in the morning and night, avoiding taking this alongside your other supplements as it inhibits total absorption) Bulk Barn 

 

 

Vitamin C is also known as absorbic acid and has several important functions and potential health benefits. It is necessary for the maintenance of healthy connective tissue, which gives support and structure for other tissue and organs. The body needs vitamin C to make collagen, a protein required to help wounds heal. It also improves the absorption of iron from plant-based foods.

Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant, helping to protect cells from the damage and mutation caused by free radicals. Free radicals are compounds formed when our bodies convert the food we eat into energy. People are also exposed to free radicals in the environment from cigarette smoke, air pollution, and ultra violet light from the sun. It strengthens and supports the body’s immune system, the first line of defence against cancer, and prevents certain cancer-causing compounds from forming in the body.

Vitamin D which is also known as the “sunshine vitamin,” since it is made by the body after being in the sun and 10-15 minutes of sunshine three times a week is enough to produce the body’s requirement of vitamin D for most people. Those who do not live in sunny places may not make enough vitamin D and it is hard to get enough vitamin D from food sources alone. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium which is required for the normal development and maintenance of healthy teeth and bones. It also helps maintain proper blood levels of calcium and phosphorus.

I take my vitamin D3 in liquid drops in a base of Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, as a fat soluble vitamin, Vitamin D3 is best absorbed in a natural food oil base.

Evening primrose oil is extracted from the seeds of evening primrose, a plant native to North America. It gets its name from the flowers which bloom in the evening. The oil contains gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), an omega-6 fatty acid required by the body for skin and hair growth, brain function, and reproductive and bone health. When you eat food or take a supplement that contains this fatty acid, your body converts it into a hormone-like substance called prostaglandin E1, which stimulates contraction of the blood vessels. Because of this anti-inflammatory effect, evening primrose oil has been used to treat a wide range of aches and pains caused by swelling, such as bloating, breast tenderness and cramping associated with PMS and joint pain in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. It’s also been used to treat numbness and tingling in diabetics, skin problems like eczema and acne and patients with high cholesterol, multiple sclerosis and osteoporosis.

Fish oil one of the best sources of omega 3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) and contains relatively high amounts of vitamin A and vitamin D. Fat is essential for every single cell in your body and by eating the right kinds of fats such as the omega 3 fatty acids in fish oil, your skin will glow, you will have increased vitamin and mineral absorption and a boost to your immune system. Eating healthy fats with a meal helps slow the breakdown of carbohydrates into sugar, which helps to keep blood sugars levels in your blood stable.

Benefits of omega 3 fish oils to your health include maintenance of joint mobility and flexibility. It could also be beneficial for your heart as they have beneficial effects on blood pressure, blood stickiness, inflammation and are prescribed to lower abnormally high blood fat levels. Fish oil is a rich source of vitamin D3, which is essential for absorbing dietary calcium and maintaining strong, healthy bones. Omega-3 fish oils, especially DHA, may protect against progression of age-related macular degeneration.

I take a multivitamin/mineral supplement I believe this to be very important on a daily basis in insuring you meet your daily requirements that you might miss out on if your diet is not perfect that day.

Taking a multivitamin/mineral increases nutrient intake and helps people get the recommended amounts of vitamins and minerals when they cannot or do not meet these needs from food alone. Multivitamin/minerals cannot take the place of eating a variety of foods that are important to a healthy diet as food provides more than vitamins and minerals. Some people take a multivitamin/mineral as a form of dietary or nutritional “insurance”.

Lastly I take psyllium which is a form of fibre made from the Plantago ovata plant, a native of India and Pakistan, specifically from the husks of the plant’s seed. It’s most commonly known as a laxative. Research shows that psyllium has many benefits to the human body, from your heart to your pancreas. Psyllium is a bulk-forming laxative, which means it soaks up water in your gut and makes bowel movements much easier.

Research has also shown that soluble fibre can help manage cholesterol levels. Psyllium is used in weight control and for general intestinal health. It contains a spongy fibre that reduces appetite, improves digestion and cleanses the system, making it an excellent choice for healthy dieting. It can provide the fibre that is missing on low carbohydrate diets. Studies and clinical reports suggest that psyllium may enhance the sensation of fullness and reduce hunger cravings. Fibre supplements are best taken separately from your other supplements as it inhibits total absorption of them.

Protein Powder whilst I strongly believe that food is always better than supplements I do use a protein powder most days when I simply have not got time to eat a meal, my favourite make is Magnum Quattro in chocolate or vanilla. Available at Popeyes supplement store.

 

Contact Leigh Carter Personal Training Kelowna today for your free consultation

Start building a better body for your future

#leighcarterfitness

#personaltrainerkelowna

Essential Fibre

Essential Fibre

Essential Fibre

Leigh Carter

Personal Trainer Kelowna

Private Gym Training

 

Although there are many different types of fibre, they all fall into two main groups, soluble which dissolves in water and insoluble which doesn’t dissolve and each group benefits your body in different ways.

When soluble fibre dissolves it forms a gel in the gut. Soluble fibres such as beta-glucans and pectins, can help reduce blood cholesterol, so eating plenty of foods like oats, fruit, root vegetables and pulses is a good idea, particularly if you know you have a high cholesterol level or other risk factors for heart disease.

Good sources of insoluble fibre is found in whole wheat flour, wheat bran, nuts, beans and vegetables, such as cauliflower, green beans and potatoes.

Most plant-based foods, such as oatmeal and beans, contain both soluble and insoluble fibre. However, the amount of each type varies in different plant foods, so by eating a wide variety of high fibre foods you will benefit the most. Unlike fats, proteins or carbohydrates, which your body breaks down and absorbs, fibre isn’t digested by your body but passes relatively intact through your stomach, small intestine and colon and out of your body.

Dietary fibre has many health benefits, apart from reducing your risk of heart disease, reducing blood pressure, diabetes and some cancers, helping with weight control, it is also important for digestive health – insoluble fibre bulks up stools and makes waste move through the digestive tract more quickly, which is better for the gut and can help to prevent constipation. Some types of fibre can be fermented by gut bacteria, producing substances that appear to be good for gut health and helping waste products to move more quickly through the gut. Providing ‘food’ for gut bacteria can also help increase the number of healthy bacteria in the gut.

High fibre foods tend to be more filling making it likely you will eat less and stay satisfied longer. They also tend to take longer to eat and to be less “energy dense,” which means they have fewer calories for the same volume of food.

The soluble fibre found in beans, oats, flaxseed and oat bran may help lower total blood cholesterol levels by lowering low-density lipoprotein, or “bad,” cholesterol levels. In people with diabetes, fibre, particularly soluble fibre, can slow the absorption of sugar and help improve blood sugar levels and by having a healthy diet including insoluble fibre may also reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

If you need to increase your fibre intake, it is a good idea to so gradually, especially from foods providing insoluble fibre. It is also important to drink plenty of fluids and to try to be active. Your personal trainer can help you with the best diet and exercise plan to benefit your lifestyle. Good examples of high fibre foods are all types of beans, whole grain and whole meal, for example whole grain pasta, bread and rice. Pulses such as lentils and chickpeas are again high fibre, they are also high in protein and low in fat. Nuts such as almonds, walnuts and pecans are all high in fibre. If you eat a jacket potato make sure you eat the skin as this is the fibre, and dried fruit such as figs are also a good source. Porridge made from oats is a good fibre cereal to start the day, but any bran based cereal would be a healthy option. And don’t forget your veg and fruit portions, and although raw veg contains more fibre they are often harder to digest. But apples are up the top of the fruit list so make sure you have your apple a day!

 

Contact Leigh Carter Personal Trainer Kelowna today for your free consultation

Start building a better body for your future

#leighcarterfitness

#personaltrainerkelowna

#functionalstrengthandfitness

Personal Training Kelowna

Get some Energy

Get Some Energy

Leigh Carter

Personal Trainer Kelowna

Private Gym Training

 

 

Did you know that some foods can actually drain your body of energy whereas some are energy boosters. So make sure if you’re feeling that you are lacking energy, have a look at your diet and maybe make some changes.

You made need to reduce your carbohydrates, if you’re having a lot of sugars or unrefined carbs such as pasta and white bread, these can cause your blood sugar to rise and then rapidly fall and therefore leaving you feeling tired. Ready meals are a good example of foods usually high in sugars and refined carbs. Your meals should be focused around protein such as lean chicken, fish or eggs, alongside some healthy fats such as nuts or avocado, topped up with some green vegetables. This should improve your stamina. If you are eating carbs make sure they are whole grains such as oats and brown rice.

Caffeine can raise energy levels but too much can also cause a sudden dip. Likewise energy drinks, while briefly boosting you up, research has shown that within an hour of drinking them people had poorer levels of concentration and reflexes than before.

Don’t skip meals, this is an energy drainer, try to eat regularly, with maybe a healthy snack – a handful of nuts to keep up your energy levels.

Sometimes an intolerance to some kinds of foods can cause tiredness. If you feel you are becoming tired within a few hours of eating a certain type of food, try cutting that food out for a while and see if it makes a difference.

Iron is an important nutrient you need to transport oxygen around your body and is therefore vital for energy. So make sure your diet includes some food that is a good source of iron, red meat is one but it is also found in dark green leafy vegetables, mushrooms, lentils, beans and pulses, pumpkin seeds, nuts, whole grains and fortified cereals. To maximise the absorption of the iron especially if you are eating a plant based food, ensure that the food is eaten alongside a source of Vitamin C, such as red peppers, broccoli, strawberries or orange juice.

The B vitamins are also necessary as they help our bodies to release energy from foods, once again these are found in green leafy vegetables, whole grains such as oats, poultry, meat and eggs.

According to one study eating a large portion of blueberries for breakfast can help to improve focus, the berry flavonoids increase the flow of energising blood and oxygen to the brain. So could be good for days when you really need a brain boost!

Dehydration is a major cause of tiredness, you need to stay hydrated, mental fatigue is the first sign of dehydration. Make sure you drink enough water every day.

And remember exercise energises us physically, mentally, and emotionally, without it, we’re naturally more sluggish. Exercise also enhances our mood by increasing the release of endorphins, a “feel good” chemical that increases energy levels. So speak to your personal trainer who can advise you on diet and design a program to target your exercise needs.

 

Contact Leigh Carter Personal Training Kelowna today for your free consultation

Start building a better body for your future

#leighcarterfitness

#personaltrainerkelowna