Sugar consumption, common sense and cultural hegemony

Alice confronts the Spin Doctor

The popular press has recently been awash with the hazards of fizzy drinks, fruit juices and the sugars they contain such as sucrose, fructose and high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS).1,2 The list of conditions which result from excess sugar consumption is depressingly long, and gets longer with each new study and each passing year. Nutritional Therapists have […]

Soluble & Insoluble Fibre

Thought and Inspiration

Soluble fibre: beans and lentils, oats, pulses, fruit and vegetables

Insoluble fibre: wholegrain bread and cereals, brown rice, fruit and vegetables

“Soluble fibre dissolves in water, forming a gel, and is fermented in the colon by bacteria to a greater extent than insoluble fibre. Short-chain fatty acids and gas are the active metabolites of soluble fibre, both of which decrease the gut transit time. In contrast, insoluble fibre undergoes minimal change in the digestive tract and shortens colonic transit, causing an increase in the faecal mass.”

Bijkerk C et al (2004), Aliment Pharmacol Ther, 19: 245–251

An apple a day, but make it Egremont Russet

Older, pre-domesticated species of fruit and vegetables contain much higher levels of bioactive compounds that protect against oxidative damage and reduce incidence of chronic disease. Furthermore, our stone-age ancestors would have eaten 20-25 different types of fruit and vegetables per day, compared to the few mass-produced varieties we now favour which have been intensively farmed for a higher yield and pristine appearance.

‘Health-promoting Properties of Fruit and Vegetables’, Edited by L Terry, Head of Plant Science Laboratory, Cranfield University, UK

For breakfast or a snack, all you need is an avocado and a spoon…

“The avocado is a food without rival among the fruits, the veritable fruit of paradise.” David Fairchild (1869-1954), an American botanist and plant explorer who supervised the introduction of over 20,000 exotic plants and varieties of established crops into the US.

Elderberries and flu

Black Elderberry (Sambucus nigra), a fruit-bearing shrub native to Europe and North America, has long been researched for its immune boosting potential. Elderberry is unusually rich in anthocyanins, a class of flavonoids that may protect cells against damage or infections. Clinical and experimental studies suggest elderberry fruit extract is particularly useful against viral influenza.

Does dark choc every day keep doctor away?

Hunter-gatherer Kuna Indians living on remote islands in Panama suffer remarkably less from hypertension and cardiovascular disease than those that have migrated to urban areas. They eat more fish and fruit, but they also have a notably high intake of cocoa which contains flavonoids such as epicatechin.

Fermented Foods

More than 3,500 fermented foods and beverages (milk, vegetable or fruit based) are produced worldwide, primarily in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Fermentation is the ancient and economical art of preserving food through the action of lactic acid bacteria, yeasts and their enzymes. Fermented foods are easy to digest, nutritious and associated with significant health benefits.

Memory like an elephant

elephant memory

A distant cousin of mine called Manori works at an elephant conservation park on the beautiful island of Sri Lanka. Elephants are long-lived, highly social animals that have evolved a good long-term memory. They are known to hurl stones at their keepers for months after having been fed foul-tasting medicine. Manori tells me that elephants […]

Bad skin and acne – nutrition secrets for beautiful skin

facial treatment acne

The Secret of beautiful skin – nutrition from the inside Between the passing agony of teenage spots and the inevitability of wrinkles, there is a stage when one hopes to become the proud owner of velvety smooth skin. Not for those suffering from bad skin or adult acne, though, who have to contend with ‘bad […]

A Growing Problem …


Focus on the prevalence of childhood obesity, the scientific and social issues behind it, and how we can reverse the trend. (Pub: Optimum Nutrition, Summer 2007) Media attention on the 14-stone eight-year-old Connor McCreaddie earlier this year yet again raised a very important but uncomfortable question: are the parents of obese children to blame for […]