Are you deficient in essential nutrients?

1. Are You Deficient?

1. Vitamin D

This vitamin helps regulate calcium absorption in your gut. It also helps maintain bone strength, healthy muscles, a well functioning nervous system, and is important for immune function and cell growth.

You might be deficient if you are experiencing digestive or gut issues, a weakened immune system, or even feeling depressed.

To get more try eating more eggs, milk, cheese and butter. Mushrooms can also be a great source of Vitamin D. Fish such as cod, salmon, mackerel, and tuna. Perhaps the most efficient way to get more Vitamin D is to get out in the sun. Our bodies naturally produce it when exposed to sunlight so try getting at least 10 to 20 minutes a day.

Go for a walk at lunchtime, park further away from work or the shops, expose your skin – you don’t need factor 50 ALL year round – feel healthy and alive! 
P.s. I’m not suggesting you strip off in public tho’, especially this time of year. The UK is at a latitude meaning we don’t get the Suns rays at an angle where we get enough Vitamin D even if we streak around the garden naked in Autumn, Winter and even part of Spring. 
Think about a supplement – you can get soft gels to chew or an under the tongue spray and you’re golden! 

Are You missing this Vital Nutrient?

One Crucial Vitamin You are NOT Getting Enough Of

“Eat a balanced diet and there’s little need for supplements.”

It’s a refrain we hear a lot, whether from doctors, dieticians, or even our mothers. And in many cases, it’s true. Why waste your money on pricey vitamins when you can easily get them from food?

Well, when it comes to vitamin B12, supplements not only aren’t a waste of money – they’re a crucial part of optimal health for many people.

See, not everyone can get enough B12 from diet alone. If you don’t eat animal products – the richest source of this vitamin – you could be missing out.

And if you’re over age 60, you might not even be able to absorb B12 from food.

The result: anemia or other potentially fatal deficiencies.

That’s reason enough to seek out supplements.

An added bonus?

Vitamin B12 may have big benefits for your heart, too.

A Healthy Diet Isn’t Always Enough…

There’s no doubt that vitamin B12 is essential for good health. Our bodies need the largest and most complex of the eight B vitamins to form blood cells, nerve sheaths, and certain proteins.

Researchers discovered the benefits of vitamin B12 in the 1930s, when they found that consuming large amounts of raw liver – which is high in B12 – could save the lives of patients diagnosed with pernicious anemia, a previously untreatable condition.

It was a finding so impressive that the researchers won the Nobel Prize.

But raw liver? Yuck!

Fortunately, other scientists later isolated B12 from liver, making it easier – and more palatable – to get enough of this crucial vitamin.

That’s even more important, since some groups of people just can’t get B12 from their diet.

See, no plants naturally contain B12 – it’s only found in meat and other animal-based foods, as well as fortified products like cereal.

And that’s a problem for vegetarians and vegans.

Even if you do eat meat, you still might be dangerously low in vitamin B12. That’s because an estimated 15 percent of people over age 60 lack enough intrinsic factor, a compound that helps the body absorb B12 from food.

The result?

These groups are at higher risk for developing pernicious anemia and other potentially life-threatening deficiencies.

A Natural Blood Booster…

Pernicious anemia occurs mostly in older people who lack the ability to absorb vitamin B12 properly. When B12 is low, the red blood cells don’t function as well as they should, which reduces their ability to ferry oxygen throughout the body.

Other deficiencies of B12 can lead to neurological and psychiatric problems, including muscle weakness, incontinence, dementia, and mood changes.

Research has looked at the effects of vitamin B12 supplementation on the risk of anemia and deficiency.

For example, one study of elderly people who had lower-than-normal levels of B12 found that supplementing with 50 micrograms (mcg) of the vitamin daily led to significant increases in their blood levels of B12.1

This and other evidence suggests that vitamin B12 is a necessary supplement for keeping our blood healthy.

This Vitamin’s Got Heart…

But B12 may have other benefits, too.

In fact, a newer area of research suggests that vitamin B12’s effects on the cardiovascular system may be even more impressive.

There’s good evidence that supplementing with B12 can lower blood levels of homocysteine, a compound that’s been linked to a higher risk of heart disease and stroke.

One study of 300 people found that taking 2 to 10 mcg of B12 a day was associated with decreased levels of homocysteine.2

Another study followed 299 older men for two years. The researchers found that those who supplemented with 400 mcg of B12 a day had significantly lower homocysteine levels, especially if they were previously deficient in the vitamin.3

And a study of 209 people showed that B12 supplementation (0.5 mg) lowered homocysteine after just 4 months.4

Now that’s worth taking a daily supplement!

When Supplements are a Must…

Vitamin B12 is naturally found in animal products such as beef, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy products, as well as in some fortified foods (like cereal). But if you don’t normally consume these foods – or if you’re over age 60 – supplementation is a must.

B12 is typically combined with other B vitamins, such as B6 and folic acid, and sold as B-complex supplements. You may also be able to find individual B12 products.

The recommended daily allowance of B12 to prevent deficiency is just 2.4 mcg daily. But higher doses may be necessary if you have already been diagnosed with pernicious anemia: Sources recommend up to 1,000 mcg a day. To lower homocysteine, take 500 mcg of B12 daily, along with folic acid and vitamin B6.

Vitamin B12 appears safe even in very high doses. That said, it may rarely cause side effects in some people, including itching, diarrhea, and even blood clots. And you should avoid taking B12 if you have an allergy to cobalt, cobalamin, or other ingredients found in these supplements.

Otherwise, vitamin B12 can’t hurt – and may very well help – your health.

When Supplements are a Must…

Vitamin B12 is naturally found in animal products such as beef, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy products, as well as in some fortified foods (like cereal). But if you don’t normally consume these foods – or if you’re over age 60 – supplementation is a must.

B12 is typically combined with other B vitamins, such as B6 and folic acid, and sold as B-complex supplements. You may also be able to find individual B12 products.

The recommended daily allowance of B12 to prevent deficiency is just 2.4 mcg daily. But higher doses may be necessary if you have already been diagnosed with pernicious anemia: Sources recommend up to 1,000 mcg a day. To lower homocysteine, take 500 mcg of B12 daily, along with folic acid and vitamin B6.

References

1 Seal EC, Metz J, Flicker L, et al. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of oral vitamin B12 supplementation in older patients with subnormal or borderline serum vitamin B12 concentrations. J Am Geriatr Soc.2002 Jan;50(1):146-51.

2Deshmukh US, Joglekar CV, Lubree HG, et al. Effect of physiological doses of oral vitamin B12 on plasma homocysteine: a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial in India. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2010 May;64(5):495-502.

3 Flicker L, Vasikaran SD, Thomas J, et al. Efficacy of B vitamins in lowering homocysteine in older men: maximal effects for those with B12 deficiency and hyperhomocysteinemia. Stroke.2006 Feb;37(2):547-9.

4 Lewerin C, Nilsson-Ehle H, Matousek M, et al. Reduction of plasma homocysteine and serum methylmalonate concentrations in apparently healthy elderly subjects after treatment with folic acid, vitamin B12 and vitamin B6: a randomised trial. Eur J Clin Nutr.2003 Nov;57(11):1426-36.

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Is Your Diet Really Healthy? Pt. 1

Is Your Diet Really Healthy? Pt. 1

Identify and remove nutritional deficiencies

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Mission Impossible Plan….
Most people think they need a complete overhaul at first.
“I have to cut out sugar… and dairy… and carbs… and saturated fat.
Plus I have to eat more protein… more healthy fats… and more vegetables.
Not a lot of fruit, though.
I have to start drinking lots of water too.
And exercise… maybe a 6 am boot camp… yeah.”

I don’t know about you, but I get exhausted just thinking about changing all this, all at once. Let’s call it the “Mission Impossible” approach.

After coaching many clients over the years, I’ve come to realize that the Mission Impossible approach isn’t just difficult; it’s misguided.

Because a complete overhaul rarely addresses what’s making most people feel bad in the first place.
Often, people struggle with how they look and feel because their physiology doesn’t work the way it should.
This can be hormonal imbalances, but it’s more often dietary deficiency: not getting the right nutrients, in the right amounts, to get the best results.
Dietary deficiencies, therefore, are the first red flag that something’s wrong.

Just how common are dietary deficiencies?
The research in this area is pretty telling. A study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition showed that it’s really hard to get all the essential vitamins and minerals from food alone.
This study analyzed 70 athlete diets. Every single diet was deficient in at least three nutrients. Some diets were missing up to fifteen nutrients! The most common deficiencies?
iodine
vitamin D
zinc
vitamin E
calcium

Another study, also published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, showed that people following one of four popular diet plans (including Atkins, South Beach, and the DASH diet) were also very likely to be micronutrient deficient, particularly in six key micronutrients:
vitamin B7
vitamin D
vitamin E
chromium
iodine
molybdenum

A study at University of Western Ontario, of nearly 600 fourth-year exercise and nutrition undergraduate students showed less than 10% met the minimum standards for a “complete, balanced diet”. Like the other studies, they were missing such nutrients as:
zinc
magnesium
vitamin D
omega 3 fatty acids
protein

Bottom line: Dietary deficiencies are very common. Chances are, you’ve got one, no matter how good you think your diet is.
That’s a problem because when you’re deficient in key nutrients, your physiology doesn’t work properly. And when your body doesn’t work as it should, you feel rotten.

Just how important is this first step?
Energy levels, appetite, strength, endurance, and mood all rely on getting enough of these essential nutrients. When you don’t get them, things break down.

That’s why you can eat “clean”, go Paleo, avoid meat, lower your carbs, or count calories – you can do “everything right” nutritionally – and still feel lousy.

You need to identify your red flags from the very beginning and start eliminating them, one by one.

What are the common nutritional red flags?
Here are the most common deficiencies I see with new clients:
water (low-level dehydration)
vitamins and minerals
protein (particularly in women and in men with low appetites)
essential fatty acids (95% of the population is deficient here)

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To find out where you stand-
A). you could get your diet analyzed by a dietitian
B). you could also record what you eat each day and enter it into an online diet calculator like the ones at Fitday or Livestrong.com.

Or – let me do a quick survey of what you’re eating, analyse your body composition and measure where you are now.
From there, I can advise you better towards
– eating more of the protein-rich foods you prefer;
– drinking more hydrating fluids;
– taking in more essential fats (through the use of fish or algae oil);
– eating more foods rich in the vitamins and minerals you need most.

Without any other advanced screening or crazy dietary changes, you will start feeling better. You will lose fat and gain lean muscle. Feel more motivated. And your workouts will become easier and better.

The power of removing nutrient deficiencies
Here’s just one example (of many): Research in the British Journal of Psychiatry shows that providing fish oil and a multivitamin to prison inmates reduces aggressive and violent behavior by 35% and decreases antisocial behavior by 26%.
Also, a paper published in Nutrition Reviews shows that giving children fish oil and a multivitamin improves both their behavior and intelligence scores. (Who doesn’t want a smarter, better-behaved children?)

That’s the power of removing nutrient deficiencies. When our bodies don’t have the nutrients they need to do their work, we all suffer.

But as soon as we get these nutrients, we thrive.

Book your Nutrition check up NOW
If you’re training with me you get this included with your plan.

If you’re local you can message or text me to book
07831 680086. Jaxallenfitness@gmail.com

Fees: £25 initial assessment. £20 follow-ups
Time: 40-60minutes

Eat Clean. Train Smart. Expect Results

Jax

9 A Day?

Eat a variety of veggies for a healthier you

The new food guidelines issued by the United States government recommend that all Americans eat between five and nine servings of fruits and vegetables each and every day.
The story is much the same in Australia.
When you first hear that you might think, hang-on, what happened to 5A Day? If you read papers about Nutrition you will notice that ideally you will eat more than 5 and some reports say 9 portions a day.

When you take into account how much a serving really is, it is actually quite easy to get nine servings of fruits and vegetables per day.

For instance, the recommended daily amount actually equates to a quite reasonable two cups of fruit and two and a half cups of vegetables every day. When you consider how many fruits and vegetables are available, and how easy it is to find fresh, in season, produce it becomes much easier to reach this daily goal.

Eating the same thing every day quickly becomes boring, so why not pick a variety of fruits and vegetables, in every colour of the rainbow and in every conceivable shape, size and texture, to give yourself a varied diet.

When shopping for fruits and vegetables, it is important to choose a variety of colours. This is for more than purely artistic reasons. Different colour fruits and vegetables have different types of nutrients, and choosing various colours will help ensure you have the vitamins and minerals you need each and every day.

Finding new recipes is another great way to ensure you get nine daily servings of fruits. Everyone likes to try out new recipes, and they may provide the impetus you need to keep going.

New recipes also provide you opportunities to try new and unusual fruits and vegetables. For instance, everyone has eaten oranges, but have you tried kiwi or mangoes? How about spinach or kale? Trying new things is a great way to find new favorites while getting the best nutrition possible.

Many think a daily vitamin supplement/is the same? Actually, nothing could be further from the truth. That is because fruits and vegetables contain far more than the micronutrients identified by science and synthesized in vitamin pills. While these micronutrients, such as vitamin C, vitamin A and vitamin E are important to good health, so too are the hundreds of other elements, plus fibre and water, that are contained in healthy foods like fruits and vegetables. These elements are not available in any pill, they must be ingested through a healthy, balanced diet that contains plenty of fruits and vegetables.

In the long run, getting the nutrition you need from the food you eat is much less expensive, and much better for you, than popping vitamin pills every day.

So don’t give up – get your five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables every day. It may seem like a lot, but you can meet this quite reasonable goal simply by including fruits and vegetables as snacks, as garnishes, as side dishes and as meals.

Veggies in your eggs for breakfast, fruit and veggie snacks mid-morning and afternoon, a huge bouncy salad with lean protein for lunch then a new and exciting recipe for your main meal with lots of colourful veggies and a different free-range/wild protein source in the evening.

Go On – Get Your 9 A Day

Jax

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