If you find wheat difficult try sourdough bread

sourdough bread from tortoise bakery

Sourdough bread is different from your average loaf…

The natural process which makes them rise without yeast enhances their flavour, increases their nutrients and makes them more digestible.

In fact trials were suggesting that those with a wheat or gluten intolerance may be able to eat sourdough without any side effects. But analysis suggests the gluten level is still too high to be safe for coeliacs.

(See Research on Non-Dietary Therapies for Coeliac Disease, Coeliac UK, January 2013)

The taste and texture is less bland, more wheaty and chewy. Some say it has a creamy mouth-feel and the crust is always excellent.

As for nutrition, the natural fermenting process means that sourdough bread  actually becomes more nutritious than the grain from which it is made. Protein in increased, as is vitamin B12 and iron.

So step up Tortoise Bakery which will deliver sourdough bread nationally via GoodnessDirect.

I’ve just tried their Pumpkin & Sunflower Seed loaf and, believe me, it’s marvellous.

But there are many more styles of sourdough from Tortoise Bakery, all of them are organic and vegan and made with a commitment to a very ancient art of of bread baking.


Get the right nutrient mix for a power boost for your body

I don’t know if you’re a pill-type person…

My confession is that I am.

I don’t mind taking a vitamin or some other little tablet to boost my health, and the strength of the supplement industry shows I’m not alone.

Bioglan deliver unique mixes of nutrients for your health
Bioglan deliver unique mixes of nutrients for your health

Bioglan are a company who sell themselves on the basis of being “serious about health”. As I get older, their newest products are beginning to look more attractive.

For me their best selling points are the unique mixes of nutrients designed to help the body and the transparent information on their packaging.


Super Fish Oil 30s 
Capsules designed to be high in EPA and DHA Omega 3 fatty acids and deliberately coated for release in the intestines where they can be more easily absorbed. Also preventing a fishy after taste.

Red Krill Oil
Again designed to be better absorbed, krill oil is 10 times more powerful than a standard fish oil capsule.

Joint-Aid Triple Action
Combines three important and powerful nutrients help maintain healthy joints: glucosamine, chondroitin and MSM (methyl sulfonyl methane)

Probiotic Gastrohealth
Contains 4 strains of probiotic that can help sustain a healthy level of friendly bacteria.

Uses CoQ10, vitamin E and zinc to support cardiovascular health and  metabolism which can be affected by statins.

Immune Support in a Couple of Shakes: Why Bugs are good for you!!

This article is written by nutritionist, Christine Bailey from Advance Nutrition Consultancy.

Is your immune system in need of some support?  Suffering with a few digestive upsets?

If so forget those TV adverts that suggest we should sterilise everything and that all bugs are bad. In fact your body is teeming with bacteria, providing a warm residence to approximately 10 times as many bacterial cells as human cells. Our mutual inhabitants live on skin, in the respiratory tract and throughout the digestive tract. Your digestive tract alone is home to between 1,000 and 40,000 bacterial species depending on which journal you read so it is nonsense to say we don’t need them.

While some bacteria cause infections, most species are harmless or perform beneficial functions, such as aiding digestion. These beneficial bugs are called commensal bacteria. One of their most important functions  is optimising the immune system. 

Recent studies¹ have shown that when certain bacteria were exposed to immune cells (B cells) they helped produce antibodies that fight harmful viruses and bacteria. Two of the principle antibodies produce in the human gut is the immunoglobulin SIgA and SIgM and these are stimulated by the presence of the commensal and pathogenic bacteria as well as the non commensal yeast Saccharomyces Boulardii. Known as immunoglobulins they are play an important role in our immune system defences.

If you’ve read my Healthy Kitchen Blog recently you will see I have started making my own Kefir – this amazing fermented drink is rich in probiotic bacteria – great for gut health and the immune system. See my blog to see how to make it yourself.

Another great immune supporting shake is Whey protein.  Whey protein supports optimal immune health by replenishing levels of glutathione an important immune regulating compound found in cells of the body but also contains other naturally immune supporting compounds too such as lactalbumin and immunoglobulin.

Combine it with some antioxidants and make up a delicious shake – perfect for breakfast or pre / post training. See my recipe blog for a great recipe.

But if you do feel your health needs further support then why not book in for a one to one nutritional consultation at our clinic

(To get hold of a Kefir Starter Culture or simply order Kefir made by Nourish or Biona visit GoodnessDirect.)

1. e.g Severson KM, Mallozzi M, Driks A, Knight KL. B cell development in GALT: role of bacterial superantigen-like molecules. J Immunol. 2010 Jun 15;184(12):6782-9. Epub 2010 May 7

If you’re having a flu vaccination it’s likely that you can improve it with probiotics

Did you know that probiotics are thought to boost the effectiveness of flu vaccines?

A study (see the British Journal of Nutrition) found that probiotic supplements may boost the effectiveness of the flu vaccine.

Probiotics increase immunity, but health experts don’t know exactly how the friendly bacteria help or why. However, the study found that probiotic supplements can improve a person’s immunity as a result of a flu vaccination. That means that you’re more likely to be protected from flu when it comes knocking.

But, when it comes to probiotics, if you need a flu vaccine, it’s still best to talk to your doctor about the safety of probiotics for you. Then, if you plan to take a probiotic supplement with a flu vaccine, it is suggested you take it daily for several days beforehand, and use it for a few weeks as well after the vaccination.

(Please note that the probiotics strains Bifidobacterium animalis subspecies lactis (BB-12) and Lactobacillus paracasei (L. casei 431) were the probiotics found to be effective in the study.)

Of course, as always in flu prevention, pay attention to basic hygiene as well. Wash hands, sleep well, include lots of fruit and veg in your diet, and keep drinking water or other fluids.

Gut Feeling

The thought of ones guts being home to more bacteria than the world’s population may sound a little gruesome, but read on before you call your doctor or reach for a bucket.

True enough there are billions upon billions of bacteria colonising our digestive tract but the majority of them are not harmful but are in fact vital to our health. They are needed for breaking down our food, maximising the absorption of nutrients into our bloodstream and protecting us from parasites, viruses, e-coli, salmonella and other harmful organisms.

There are around 400 different strains of bacteria in the human digestive system, each performing certain tasks and thriving in particular conditions. For example, the lactobacillis family are the main residents of the small intestine where the environment is highly acidic. In the less acidic large intestine, where there is less oxygen, the bifidobacterium species are more prevalent. In a healthy intestine, these two are the predominate strains of bacteria and act as a barrier to invading organisms.

However, the population of friendly bacteria can be decimated by the use of antibiotics, which indiscriminately destroy both good and bad bacteria. Other factors that can upset the gut flora balance are stress, a diet heavy in processed, additive ridden food or a bout of diarrhoea or food poisoning. An imbalance of the gut flora, termed ‘dysbiosis’ is indicated by symptoms such as constipation or diarrhoea, IBS, poor skin and lack of energy. Eventually unchecked dysbiosis can lead to a serious weakening of the immune system, leaky gut syndrome, food sensitivities or candidiasis.

Foods that encourage the growth of friendly bacteria are fruit and vegetables, pulses and whole grains, while pathogens thrive on sugary and high protein foods. Fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) is a well researched substance that feeds only friendly bacteria. Because it is a type of fibre, it passes undigested through the stomach and arrives intact in the intestine where it stimulates growth of helpful gut bacteria. Artichoke, bananas, leeks and asparagus are the richest food sources of FOS and it is also incorporated into supplements. known as prebiotics.

Probiotics, literally meaning “pro life”, are foods or supplements that actually contain a dose, usually in the billions, of live bacteria of the kind that naturally grow in the gut. A probiotic supplement is particularly recommended during and after a course of antibiotics to restore a flourishing population of friendly microflora. These products must be either chilled or treated in some way to ensure that the bacteria present at manufacture are still alive at the time or purchase. To maintain a healthy gut flora, probiotic foods like live yogurt, which stirs up great activity in the digestive tract, should be eaten regularly.

The purpose of taking probiotic supplements, for example, acidophilus is to try to transplant the live organisms in the digestive tract. Reinforcing the colonies of beneficial microbes like this means that there is less room for the not so helpful bacteria. Taking probiotics is therefore recommended when travelling, particularly in developing countries, when there is greater exposure to harmful bacteria.

Probiotics have also been found to help to prevent allergy in children. It is widely accepted that the increasing incidence of allergy in our society is due to a reduction in exposure to bacteria in infancy. In a trial, pregnant women whose families had a history of allergy were given lactobacillus and then their babies given it until the age of six months. The infants that were given the probiotic were only half as likely to develop atopic eczema as those that weren’t. The concept of live bacteria having a beneficial effect on our health was first put forward at the beginning of the last century by Nobel Prize winner Elie Metchnikoff. He observed in 1908 that Bulgarian peasants enjoyed remarkable health and lived to a good age and he suggested that this was because of their ample consumption of yogurt. Incidentally, the Bulgarians ate a lot of vegetables too but this was before anyone knew anything about vitamins or vegetable fibre!

Since that time, numerous studies have been carried out on the yogurt making bacteria, lactobacillus and other probiotics. The results have indicated that friendly bacteria may be of benefit in a wide range of conditions including ulcerative colitis, travellers and children’s diarrhoea, candidiasis, osteoporosis, high cholesterol, lactose intolerance and even cancer. As research continues, who knows what new ways in which bacteria will be found to improve our health. They certainly have a useful role to play in preventative medicine, which is particularly valuable in an age when we can rely less and less on antibiotics and increasingly costly healthcare.

© Jemma Morriss 2001

Advanced Formula Multibionta – For today’s hectic lifestyles

The words ‘hectic lifestyle’are synonymous with being too busy, rushing around and generally feeling as though there aren’t enough hours in the day. If you do have a hectic lifestyle, one of the most important things you need to cope with the stress and pressure in life is your health. In order to maintain good health you need to eat properly. Also, building in at least one relaxing activity into your life daily may help, as this is beneficial to your overall wellbeing.

Foods that feed your body better

It is important that you take the time to enjoy good food while sitting down in a relaxed state, not eating on the run. Hectic lifestyles often mean missed meals or grabbing a snack which does not help. Ideally a balanced diet should provide you with all the nutrients you need. However, with today’s hectic lifestyle it’s not always easy to ensure your body receives the nourishment it needs.

Multibionta – for today’s hectic lifestyle

Advanced formula Multibionta is the only Complete Multivitamin that contains Probiotic nutrients. A breakthrough in nutrition by Seven Seas, Multibionta helps your body cope by providing the missing nutrients in an unbalanced diet that can result from a hectic lifestyle. Multibionta helps your body cope with stressful days when the pressure’s on.

Why do we need advanced nutrition?

Multibionta is the only complete Multivitamin with added Probiotics which work in tune with your body to help maintain its natural balance. These are the ‘friendly bacteria’ which exist naturally within the body and help maintain a healthy immune system which, in turn, helps maintain the body’s natural resistance to infection.

What do Probiotics do?

The immune system is our body’s natural defence against bad bacteria and infections. Probiotics form a line of defence against the bad bacteria that inhabit our bodies. By doing this, Probiotics help to support our immune system in helping us cope with being run down. It is important that we have a good level of Probiotics in our bodies at all times for our health and wellbeing.

Does my body really need Probiotics?

Ideally a balanced diet should provide us with all the nutrients that we need. However, with today’s hectic lifestyles we don’t always eat what we should. We often consume processed and convenience foods, skip meals completely, alter our diets for slimming or have selective eating habits. A combination of these factors may mean that we are not getting all the nutrients that we need.

Other items of interest

Where else can I get Probiotics?

Certain yoghurt, milk, cheese and buttermilk products contain Probiotics. Unlike other Probiotic supplements, Multibionta does not need to be kept refrigerated, which makes it easy nad convenient to take everyday. Multibionta has also been specially formulated to release its Probiotic nutrients where they are most beneficial.

Advanced Formula Multibionta

  • Helps release energy
  • Helps to maintain the immune system which fights infections
  • Helps you cope with stressful days
  • Helps you cope with being run down
  • Helps to maintain a healthy digestive system

© Seven Seas

Natural management for Autism

Dr Natasha Campbell-Mcbride is the mother of an autistic child and became a pioneer in the nutritional treatment of autism and here describes the basics of her protocol.

There is an unmistakeable epidemic of autism sweeping across the globe, which cannot be explained by genetics or better diagnosis.

So, how and why does autism develop and why do we have an epidemic of this devastating disorder

Autism is essentially a digestive disorder. In the first two years of life the child’s digestive system, instead of being a source of nourishment for the child, becomes a major source of toxicity. Hundreds of toxins produced in the gut of the child get absorbed through the gut lining into the bloodstream, are carried to the brain and “clog” the brain with toxicity.

Autistic children usually have normal eyes, ears,tactile sensitivity and taste buds. All the information gathered by these sensory organs is passed to the brain to be processed and learned from. By looking, listening, tasting and touching the baby and toddler learn how to communicate and experience behave appropriately. However, if the brain is hampered by toxicity, it cannot process this sensory information and cannot learn from it. As a result everything the child hears, sees, touches and tastes turns into a noise in the child’s head, sometimes frightening, sometimes pleasurable, sometimes overwhelming. From this noise the child cannot learn anything useful. In the first two years, language, normal communication, normal behaviour are learned – these are all the things an autistic child does not acquire.

Babies are born with sterile digestive systems. In the first 20 or so days of life that sterile surface gets populated by a mixture of microbes, which becomes the child’s gut flora. If the child does not acquire the normal gut flora then the digestive system will not be healthy and cannot digest and absorb food properly. It follows that the autistic child will suffer colic, abnormal stools, bloating, reflux and malabsorption with multiple nutritional deficiencies. The child is then immune-compromised and this leaves them open to allergies, auto-immunity, ear and chest infections, impetigo and colds for which they are prescribed broad-spectrum antibiotics.

Autistic children receive numerous courses of antibiotics during the first few years of life and this affects the quantity and quality of friendly bacteria in the gut. The role of beneficial bacteria is to control the growth of pathogenic (bad) bacteria, viruses and fungi which are responsible for Clostridia and yeast, mainly of the Candida family. The toxins produced by these microbes flow from the gut to the brain and this is what makes the child autistic. Abnormal gut flora, gut dysbiosis, caused by use of drugs and antibiotics and modern lifestyles, is passed mainly by the mother to the child thus starting the slide into autism.

Diet for autism is a big subject but needs to be the most important part of treatment. Beneficial bacteria orchestrate the process of cell regeneration in the intestine. If these bacteria are not available or damaged then the process gets out of order and the job of digesting and absorbing food is hampered. This results in a lack of nutrition to the brain thus producing a child with autistic tendencies. The therapeutic diet is to remove starches and sugars from the diet as these are the one which challenge the child’s damaged gut lining and feed on pathogenic microbes. In order to remove all starches and complex sugars from the diet we have to exclude:

  • All grains and end products
  • Sugar in any shape or form
  • Starchy vegetables, such as potato, parsnip, yams, sweet potato and Jerusalem artichokes
  • Most beans including soy
  • Milk sugar, lactose which means milk is excluded. However, fermented milk products,
    such as natural yoghurt, butter, natural cheeses, créme fresh and soured cream are
    lactose-free and are allowed.
  • Processed foods are completely out as most of them contain starches, sugars, milk, soy and
    other ingredients.

Also they are full of E-numbers, colours, flavourings, preservatives and additives which are not helpful for autistic children

Having listed the foods which are not good for an autistic child it would seem like there isn’t much left that they can have but there are quite lot of options and alternatives:

  • All meats bought fresh or frozen and cooked at home
  • Fish and shellfish bought fresh or frozen and cooked at home
  • Good quality eggs
  • Fermented milk products
  • All fresh vegetables except starchy ones
  • All ripe fruit, as unripe fruit contains starch
  • Dried fruit without additives
  • Nuts and seeds, unprocessed
  • Cold pressed oils
  • Natural unprocessed honey

The majority of autistic children are extremely fussy eaters and can get trapped in a vicious cycle of food cravings, intolerances and addictions and without intensive help are unable to break out of the habits. It takes determination and effort on the part of the parents but meal times become enjoyable as a result.

There are a few supplements which are essential in order to heal the gut and restore immunity and brain function. It needs to be worked out by a practitioner to meet the requirements of the individual child.

  • A therapeutic strength probiotic containing a mixture of lactobacilli, bifidobacteria and soil bacteria. It needs to be introduced gradually as it can cause an increase in symptoms
    until the body adjusts.
  • Essential fatty acids – omega 3 & omega 6,lot of research and clinical experience has been accumulated to show their effectiveness. Arachidonic acid is not found in any
    supplement but is the most abundant fatty acid in the brain. Research shows that patients
    with autism lose it in large amounts from their cell membranes. It comes from animal fats in meat,
    eggs and dairy products.
  • Cod Liver Oil is the best source of vitamin A for autistic children and is essential for cell regeneration in the gut, functioning of the immune system and a myriad of other
    functions in the body.

Autism is not a doom and gloom disorder, there are hundreds of published cases around the world where autistic children have fully recovered and lead normal lives.