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So important to do everything you can to improve how your digest your food.

Nutritionguru1's Blog

Did you ever try soaking your cereal grains the night before eating? Its a fantastic way to increase their digestibility if you have issues with digestion. Try soaking some porridge oats in rice milk, along with some dried prunes and cinnamon, then heat in the morning or eat cold. Remember your stomach doesn’t have teeth, so we need to do whatever we can do improve the digestibility of our food and also really chew it well. Enjoy!

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Did you ever try soaking your cereal grains the night before eating? Its a fantastic way to increase their digestibility if you have issues with digestion. Try soaking some porridge oats in rice milk, along with some dried prunes and cinnamon, then heat in the morning or eat cold. Remember your stomach doesn’t have teeth, so we need to do whatever we can do improve the digestibility of our food and also really chew it well. Enjoy!

Food industry leaves us wanting more


Cheap food industry keeps us fat

Dora Walsh, Head Nutritionist and founder of unearths the dirty tricks used by cheap food producers  to keep us wanting more.

The average person in the UK has at least eight food contacts a day – a far cry from the three square meals our parents ate.  But. why  can’t we stop eating and  why does the food industry keep us on our knees and coming back for more?

Junk food almost as addictive as heroin

Food producers manipulate foods to be as addictive as drugs. For millions of people, modern food is simply impossible to resist, they become addicted to a bad diet in the same way as people became addicted to cocaine and heroin.

Studies suggest our brains may react in the same way to junk food as they do to drugs and unfortunately for us, the food industry is cashing in. Addictive formulations will keep us eating and feeling unsatisfied. The cycle’s hard to break and many junk food addicts would benefit from a detox programme to get them off addictive foods. Problem is, many  go back for another hit…

Specific mix of fat, salt and sugar gets you hooked

Fast food chains have spent millions researching how to create the “bliss sensation” to make people addicted (meaning their brain becomes physically dependent on this chemical “bliss” sensation to function properly).

The “once you pop, you can’t stop” slogan holds true! A secret and  precise mixture of fat, salt and sugar triggers chemicals in the brain causing a “bliss” sensation.  The bliss point makes it difficult for us to stop eating and keeps us coming back for more.

Red, yellow and green make you hungrier

Red and yellow cars are more likely to be stolen and studies have shown how these colours do  increase our appetite. Fast food chains use these colours to attract more customers and make them hungrier. 

The pull of a fast food restaurant is psychological and MacDonald’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Pizza Hut and Wimpy are the experts at reeling us in and keeping us eating. Just be prepared for your cravings next time you walk past those golden arches.

Addictive additives keep you eating

Ever heard of Chinese restaurant syndrome? It’s the bad feeling you get when you binge on cheap Chinese and overdo it on the prawn crackers. One cracker is never enough is it?

Addictive foods  mean more cash and cheap restaurants and junk food producers routinely lace products with additives like MSG (monosodium glutamate) added for the addictive effect it has on the body.

MSG can be found in anything from cheese and onion crisps to stock cubes, yeast extract, soy sauce, seasoning and spices. Check the ingredients next time you shop and you will be amazed.

Food engineered to change your “mouth feel”

Food technologists can alter the “mouth feel” and “oral wetness” of food to make it taste better. Chemicals and aromas to boost the production of saliva making food juicier or more refreshing to improve pleasurable sensations.

They also know what to add to make us feel full, but they save that for diet products…

Sugar addiction harder to break than cocaine

Sugar isn’t the only white powder that’s addictive. It’s a cheap additive that tastes so good it keeps us reaching out for just one more biscuit.

Sugar is everywhere and food manufacturers will even hide it in the savoury foods we think are healthy. We are so accustomed to the sweet taste that food tastes bland without it.

Sugar addicts consume confectionary to excess in a manner similar to drug addicts and find it extremely difficult to stop.  Similar  to an alcoholic or drug addict, they can only stop if they cut it out altogether.

Is your body trying to tell you something?

 Is your body trying to tell you something?

Dora Walsh, Nutritionist and Founder of  explains your body signs that your diet is lacking and what to eat to combat it.

We all have annoying niggles, but sometimes we ignore them and just keep going. But, have you considered that perhaps your body might be trying to tell you something? Why else does pain or an itch exist, other than to tell you when something’s not quite right.

Listen to your body and it will reward you handsomely, ignore it, and those warning signs will get stronger –  sometimes with devastating effects…

Your body knows

Illness could be staring you in the face since the face reflect our sense of wellbeing. Eye, hair, nail, mouth and skin symptoms are early outward warning signs of vitamin and mineral deficiencies which can severely impact your health. Get smart and get in touch with what you body ‘s trying to tell  you.

Signs and symptoms

Dark under eyes circles

We all dread that panda eyed look, and many of us are such experts at covering it that we don’t even consider why we look this way or what we can do about it. The good news is that if you get to the root of the problem you won’t have to spend hours in make up just to look normal. Hooray!

Other than lack of sleep dark under eye circles could signal possible food allergies, poor kidney function, or dehydration.

Get tested for food allergies and intolerances or simply try eliminating foods you are most likely to be allergic or intolerant to like wheat and dairy. Try this for one month to see if how your symptoms improve. You will probably lose some weight too. Drink plenty of pure water to rehydrate your system, cut down on caffeine and alcohol and support your kidneys with a healthier diet.

To support your kidneys cut down a little on the animal protein and avoid foods that are high in salt or monosodium glutamate (MSG). Steer clear of canned, pickled, or smoked meats and avoid adding salt to your food. Try to use lemon, herbs or spices to improve the flavor of your meals as this is much healthier for you.



Foods to support the kidneys include: Azuki and kidney beans, parsley and black sesame seeds will support your kidneys. And apples, cranberry juice, canned fruit, berries, plums, cabbage, mustard greens and broccoli are nutrient-rich, low in potassium foods that won’t send your potassium levels soaring. 

Muscle twitches

Quivering eyelids, muscle twitches, restless legs and spasms are common deficiency symptoms for the mineral magnesium.

This essential mineral is crucial for muscle contraction, nerves and many other bodily functions. However, this is such a common deficiency as the mineral is depleted by prolonged stress and physical exertion. Luckily this can be addressed by taking in more magnesium from your diet or supplements.

Magnesium rich foods include:  raw almonds, seeds, all green vegetables, lentils, kidney beans and whole grains such as oats and rye and spelt.  


Have you ever dreamt of having beautiful hands but can’t stop yourself picking  the dry skin around your cuticles? It’s a nasty habit, but you wouldn’t have this problem if you loaded up on healthy fats… 

Yes, hangnails are caused by essential fatty acid deficiency, and by that I’m referring to the omega 3 and 6 fats we keep hearing about in the news. Guess what? Those fats don’t just work on your brain, they are essential for your whole body and that’s why they have been termed “essential” because  we can’t do without them and we don’t have the ability to  make them ourselves.

Omega 3 rich foods include: sardines, salmon, mackerel or flax oil

Omega 6 rich foods include: avocados, olives, raw nuts and seeds


Are you embarrassed about dandruff and avoid wearing black? Maybe you are tired of using harsh shampoos that don’t get to the root of the problem. When you identify and treat the cause from within you will become flake free.

Dandruff is often a sign of vitamin B6, zinc, magnesium and biotin deficiency. It can also signal hormone  imbalances,  too much sugar in the diet, stress or allergies to dairy produce, chocolate, nuts and shellfish. Sometimes it’s attributed to inadequate rinsing or even fungal overgrowth.



Consume a healthy diet full of fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins. The diet must be low in saturated fats, sugar and excessive alcohol or caffeine which can deplete essential vitamins and minerals further.

Vitamin B6 foods include: Fish, pork, brown rice, whole grains, peanuts, walnuts, avocados.

Zinc rich foods include: peas, turnips, legumes, kelp, lean red meat, fish, poultry, and lamb (once a week ok).

Biotin rich foods include: almonds, peanut butter, tuna, pork, banana, papaya, carrots, avocado, tomato sauce, salmon, Swiss chard, sweet potato, haddock, cashews.

Magnesium rich foods include:  raw almonds, seeds, all green vegetables, lentils, kidney beans and whole grains such as oats and rye and spelt

Wash your hair in chamomile or tea tree shampoos and rinse with 1 cup cider vinegar and 10 drops of peppermint oil.

Mouth ulcers

Recurrent mouth ulcers are very common and can be linked to various nutrient deficiencies including vitamin B12, folic acid, vitamin B6 and zinc.

Many vegetarians and vegans suffer from mouth ulcers since it’s difficult to get enough B12 and folic acid from a vegetarian diet, however it is possible if you know how.

Recurrent mouth ulcers are sometimes a sign of celiac disease sensitivity to gluten in the diet) and should be discussed with your doctor.  Seek medical advice if ulcers keep coming back or last more than 3 weeks.

Vitamin B12  rich foods include:  Red meat, aloe vera, sardines,   eggs, liver, nutritional yeast

Vitamin B6 rich foods include: Fish, pork, brown rice, whole grains, peanuts, walnuts, avocados

Folic acid rich foods include: Liver, chicken, egg yolks,  beans,  almonds, sweet potatoes

Zinc rich foods include: peas, turnips, legumes, kelp, lean red meat, fish, poultry, and lamb (once a week ok).

Applying aloe vera gel can help this condition enormously, and you should also avoid toothpastes containing sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) .

Seek medical advice if ulcers keep coming back or last more than 3 weeks.

Sallow or yellow tinged skin

Sallow skin could be an outward sign of dehydration. Load up on two litres of pure water daily to combat dull, lifeless skin and get enough sleep.

A yellow tinge can also be a sign of liver toxicity, jaundice and liver problems, and should always be checked by your doctor. This is the result of a pigment called bilirubin being deposited in the skin instead of being removed by the liver.

Foods to support liver detoxification pathways include: broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, onions,  garlic, oranges, sweet peppers

Pale inner eyelids

Pull your lower eyelids down and check to see if they look very pale. If they do you may be sufferingfrom iron deficiency anaemia which is especially common in women due to menstrual blood loss although men get also become anaemic.

Other signs and symptoms to watch out for include white half moons at the base of the fingernails, pale skin, rapid heartbeat and excessive tiredness. Ask your doctor to check your iron levels and consume foods high in iron and vitamin C which you need in order to absorb the iron in your diet.

Iron rich foods include: lean red meat, (lamb, game, beef),  eggs (especially the yolk)

Vitamin C rich food include: kiwi fruits, bell peppers, berries, citrus fruits



Bleeding gums

Vitamin C, vitamin C, bioflavonoid, calcium, alkalizers

Pimply bumps on upper arms

Pimply bumps on arms – EFA deficiency. Also possible deficiency of Vit A and B vitamins


What’s the correct size for your food portions?

What's the correct size for your food portions?

I see people chowing down on massive amounts of food, without realising the strain it puts on their digestive system.

Are your eyes are bigger than your stomach?

We all love a good nosh-up but many of us eat far too much. Wouldn’t life be so much better if you knew exactly how much you should eat? Then you might stop overloading your plate at the buffet.

How much should you be eating?

Physically active people need more food than others so work out whether you need to increase or decrease your portions according to your activity level.

Let me give you some guidelines to work towards…

Use your hands as a guide to food portions

Remember that your stomach is the size of your two fists put together, which gives you an idea of just how much we overeat. But if you start to measure your portions according to your hands then you automatically portion control your food according to your body size.

Portions of vegetables should be two fists, meat one palm, and cereals, breads and fruit are a full fist. Light dairy products and peanut butter are about palm size. Remember to try to eat carbs, protein and vegetables at most meals.

What about sauces and butter?

One squirt of mayonnaise, ketchup or butter should be the size of a dice.

Do you find it hard to control your food intake?

By Dora Walsh, Head Nutritionist and founder of Nutriheal Nutrition: Twitter:

Foods to burn fat

Yes! Certain foods can help you raise your metabolic rate and burn calories. So let me show you some of the best fat burning secrets to a slim line body.

Make your daily cuppa green

Green tea contains a little bit of caffeine and this stimulant activity can help burn more calories. It also contains flavenoid antioxidants which can help boost metabolism. You can find green tea supplements as well as normal tea bags in your local supermarket.

Spice up your diet

By eating spicy food, you can have a great taste minus the guilt. The capsaicin present in peppers and other hot spices revs up your body’s metabolic rate burning more calories. So try adding some Tabasco sauce to your dishes for a calorie burning kick.

Vitamin C rich foods

Foods rich in vitamin C such as limes, lemons, oranges, grapefruit and vegetables like, broccoli, cabbage, celery, watermelon can act as fat burners. Vitamin C dilutes fat in the body rendering it less effective and easier to be flushed out of the system.

Fibre makes you feel fuller

Fibre makes you feel fuller and will help you stop over eating. It also absorbs bad cholesterol in your body and helps to flush it out of your system. Try multicoloured fruits and vegetables with their skins and wholegrains like oats, rye and spelt.

More protein and a little less carb

Your body needs protein to support muscle muscle mass which helps you burn fat Stick with quality proteins like lean meats, fish, poultry and whey and stay away from fatty meats like pork and processed meat products.

5-6 mini meals a day

Don’t ever let yourself go hungry! Instead of 3 meals a day, go for 5-6 smaller meals to keep your metabolism geared up to burn fat and your blood sugar balanced. This will ensure your don’t get those uncontrollable cravings.

Extra tips

The focus should be on eating the right kind of foods in the right proportions and burning calories through movement and exercise. This combination will get you fat burning faster.

Nutrition trends 2010

Immunity supporting foods

Swine flu fears have fuelled a demand for immunity boosting products in many countries, and it is likely we could see ingredients like various antioxidants, beta-glucans and botanicals such as elderberry marketed on this premise in 2010.

Even though companies cannot talk about the flu virus when talking about their ingredients or products, the current global fear over the swine flu pandemic will boost interest in all ingredients and products touting immune-support properties. But if you are into good old fashioned nutrition then just eat onions,  garlic and shitake mushrooms for their immunity supporting benefits.

Natural sweeteners – stevia, agave, maple syrup

Stevia from South America is a zero calorie natural sweetener not yet licensed in the UK but on trial in France. It can currently be used for medicinal use in the UK. European wide approval is on the horizon.

Stevia tastes up to 300 times sweeter than sugar without providing calories and as an alternative to sugar it could help with weight management. We will also see an increasing demand for other alternative sweeteners extracted from sources such as apple, agave and maple syrup. These natural, healthier sweeteners will become much more mainstream as sugar alternatives.

Food simplicity – “back to basics”

The downturn is making people nostalgic for simpler times, and simpler foods. In 2010 we will see more food simplicity driven by the demand for natural and clean-label foods.

Consumers are reaching out for cleaner foods free from chemicals and unnatural ingredients. They want to know what’s in their food and they want cleaner food labels:  no artificial food colorings (some of which have been linked to hyperactivity in children), no chemical additives (such as MSG) and no chemical preservatives (such as BHA).  If they can’t pronounce it, consumers won’t want it.

Eco nutrition and conscious nutrition

As we approach 2010 another big trend to watch out for is `eco nutrition’. Health conscious consumers will continue to grow in numbers but will increasingly question the link between food, diet and the environment and combine their passion for food and nutrition with conscious consumerism. They will not only regularly seek out nutritious food as part of their daily buying behaviours, but these products mustn’t exploit the environment or the communities from which they came.  

For example a consumer may be searching for high a quality organic dark chocolate because of the touted health benefits, however their purchasing decision will also be influenced by how and where the cocoa in the chocolate was sourced i.e. its provenance, how the workers were treated, whether those farming communities benefited if at all and how much C02 was produced.  The food industry will continue to step up in this respect by using more responsibly sourced ingredients from communities which are treated responsibly and by reducing carbon emissions etc. We will see conscious consumerism for healthy, sustainable food products becoming an increasingly mainstream behaviour.

Ancient grains – modern market rediscoveries make a comeback

We will see more ancient grains like amaranth, buckwheat, spelt, quinoa, chia, and rye in 2010. Whole grains have received so much attention in the nutrition world for their heart-healthy benefits and this popularity is opening up doors to lesser known ancient grains which have been around for much longer but people forgot them.


The use of less processed ancient grains addresses the concern that today’s foods are over processed and consumers do want fresh, natural unprocessed foods. Ancient grains also provide a great alternative to the growing numbers of consumers who are wheat intolerant.

  • Amaranth –  has a malty taste and can be popped like corn. The pre-Colombian Indians believed it had supernatural powers. Its certainly very nutritious.
  • Chia – high in protein and fibre, the Aztecs called it “running food” and used it for nourishment on long trecks .  Mila, the best of chia will be launched into the UK in 2010          
  • Buckwheat –  an excellent alternative to rice or porridge, and its flour has a mild flavour good for buckwheat pancakes
  • Spelt – a nutty flavour and dates back before even wheat. It can be used in many of the same ways as wheat, it has a broader spectrum of nutrients and it is a great substitute
  • Rye – a rich flavour and a favourite for making bread. Rich in manganese, fibre, selenium, tryptophan, phosphorus, magnesium and protein
  • Quinoa – a Peruvian grain once considered the “gold of the Incas” because its high protein content which gave warriors stamina

Healthy indulgence – raw chocolate

Raw chocolate is one of the world’s fastest growing health foods and provides a concentrated source of antioxidants. We will see more raw chocolate products hitting the shelves in 2010 as consumers indulge themselves with cheap, healthy treats they can afford in order to keep their spirits high. Raw chocolate is a health food and a great alternative to cheap, mass produced, low cocoa content chocolate. It’s full of magnesium which is nature’s tranquiliser. 

Local butchers make a comeback

The re-emergence of the local butcher will be another major trend in 2010 for the high street as well as within supermarkets.  This is because shoppers are more conscious about where their meat comes from and are choosier about selecting the best, healthiest, leanest cuts and have it ground on demand.  The popularity of the local butcher is also fuelled by our desire to supporting local enterprises vs. supermarket giants.

Dora Walsh

Head Nutritionist