April 2014 Newsletter

Welcome to my April e-news.  I hope you enjoy the snippets and recipe.   Hopefully you’ll decide to read it but if not, just unsubscribe below.  This month: 
  • Coloured foods to beat stress, irritability and insomnia
  • You are what you use on your skin
  • Why organic produce has more essential minerals
  • Plus my warming goulash recipe from my recipe blog annaslarder.wordpress.com
Coloured foods to beat stress, irritability and insomnia
These days we all know that chronic stress impacts every area of our physical and mental wellbeing. But did you know that the many eating and drinking decisions you take every single day have immense power over your stress levels.  An interesting research paper I came across backs this up.  A study of 9,194 people showed that eating green or yellow vegetables every day makes you sleep better and feel less irritated in everyday life.  These powerful health-promoting foods give longer life even among smokers and heavy drinkers.  In my practice, around 80% of people are extremely stressed when they first consult me.  We find that simple changes such as eating at least 2 servings of green veggies every day can really help lower stress.  In fact, I  encourage people to eat a rainbow of colours of fruit and vegetables every day.  When combined with easing off on stimulants and refined foods and learning my easy-to-do stress reduction techniques the effect is even more powerful. Read more

You are what you put on your skin

Did you know that your skin absorbs quite a lot of whatever shampoos, gels and cosmetics you put on it. When you eat a harmful chemical in food, it eventually ends up in your liver where your body will usually process it for elimination.  By contrast, when you absorb a chemical through your skin it does not get filtered out by your liver.  This means it has a potentially stronger effect on your health.  Most personal care products contain chemicals such such as petrolatum, paraffin, paraben, tuolene and pthalates.  These are known carcinogens or have negative effects on skin quality, weight, hormone balance, liver or kidney health.  Another chemical, contained in over 90% of personal care items, is a foaming agent called sodium laureth/lauryl sulphate (SLS). It increases penetration of all other chemicals through your skin by stripping off the natural anti-bacterial protective layer.  i often do sessions with patients, teaching them how to choose personal care products that are better for their health.

If you want to switch to safer products, go to cosmeticsdatabase.com and put in the product you want to check.  It comes up with a safety rating and covers thousands of products.  Health shop toiletries with fewer risky chemicals include Jason, Dr Haushka, Lavera and Trilogy while Dublin Food Coop stocks exclusively non-harmful personal care brands.

Why organic fruit and vegetables have more minerals
You’ll have heard of the controversial herbicide glyphosphate (sold as Roundup).  It’s used to treat crops and remains in the soil afterwards. Did you know that glyphosphate was originally designed for a purpose other than weedkilling?  It was patented as a strong metal chelator that binds to zinc, manganese, calcium and magnesium.  When used on crops or as a long-lasting residue in soil it makes these nutrients unusable by plants.  This is one reason why studies show organic crops score much higher in disease-busting essential minerals than “conventional” crops.  If you can eat mostly organic, that’s great.  Otherwise, to check out the “clean 15″ and “dirty dozen” fruit and veg click here.   Combining the 15 cleanest (conventionally produced) foods with organic where it matters most (in the 12 most contaminated) could also be a winner.  Surprisingly, organic fresh produce at places like Dublin Food Coop is equivalent in price to non-organic produce in the big supermarkets.  Cut-price supermarkets also sell some organic vegetables and fruit. 
Read about glyphosphate

Goulash with haricots
Warming goulash with white haricots
It’s been a real weather roller-coaster lately, with lovely sunshine one minute, hailstones, cold and sleet the next.  I really felt the need of a nice, warming goulash the other day and trotted out this old favourite.  This recipe is super-easy as you don’t have to brown anything.  It’s ideal if you have a few hours at home and it can bubble away as you go about your business.  It’s also economical as with the protein-rich haricot beans, you need less meat.  It tastes even better the next day so I always make enough to have leftovers.  Read the recipe on annaslarder.wordpress.com

Wishing you the best of health

Anna Collins Nutrition