Iron Deficiencies in Runners

Iron is a trace mineral, and two thirds of it in our body is found in hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is the oxygen-carrying protein found in our red blood cells. No human can survive more than a few minutes without oxygen, which is why hemoglobin’s ability to transport oxygen throughout the body is a crucial for the preservation of the human body. The iron in hemoglobin is found in the heme groups within hemoglobin. Iron acts as shuttle bus somewhat in the bloodstream to bind to and release atoms, by transferring electrons to and from the other atoms as it moves between various oxidation states. When it comes to oxygen, iron picks it up, binds to it while transporting it through the bloodstream, then releases it in our tissues. Not only is iron found in hemoglobin, but also myoglobin, which is iron-containing protein similar to hemoglobin but it is found in ones muscle cells. Iron is also a cofactor involved in energy production, which is a key process when participating in exercise, seeing as energy is in higher demand when experiencing any type of physical activity or exercise. Cytochromes, which are the electron carrier found in the metabolic pathways contain iron, and in combination work together to provide energy to the body. After touching base of what exactly iron does within the body, and why it is crucial for the body, then iron deficiencies in runners can be discussed. Continue reading

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The Up and Coming Berry!

Written by Toronto Nutritionist Janet Zdichavsky RNCP ROHP

There’s a new craze upon our hands, and no it’s not the new trend in the fashion world you’re hearing about, but something much more superb! Lately in the food world there has been a certain something that has caught scientist’s eyes. While being no bigger than a grape, and yellow/orange in colour, the Sea Buckthorn berry has taken over the health world in only a short amount of time. What is the Sea Buckthorn Berry you may ask? Aside from the peculiar name, it’s being called the next big super food! This little berry has almost 50 times the amount of Vitamin C as an orange does, yet it’s nearly 10 times as small as an orange. Not only does it contain an immense amount of Vitamin C, but is also packed with high amounts of other vitamins such as vitamins A, K, E, B1 and B2. All of these vitamins have some form of contribution to enhancing healthy bone growth and the immune system, enhancing the absorption of iron, assisting with collagen synthesis, coenzymes involved in the synthesis of proteins that assist in maintaining bone density, & so much more health benefits! The berry also contains other nutrients such as fatty acids, lipids, organic acids, amino acids, carbohydrates, folic acid, and flavonoids. It is shown to be healthier than the past crazed acai berry! It has other uses other than just eating as well such as; essential oils from the seeds, but most of all can be made to produce jams, juices, preserves, compote, and tea. Continue reading

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Stress Management through Diet

Written by Toronto Nutritionist Janet Zdichavsky CNP

Do you crave the double chocolate brownie when you are stressed? Well, your overeating during a stress period could be because of increased cortisol levels.

Cortisol, a steroid hormone, is also known as Stress hormone. It is an essential hormone that is produced by the adrenal gland in response to stress and its role is to increase blood sugar levels by converting it from protein, reduces inflammation and suppresses the non-essential functions in an emergency situation such as the immune system. It prepares the body to survive stress. However, excessive secretion of cortisol due to chronic stress leads to many side effects including weight gain, high blood pressure and cholesterol, fatigue, muscle wastage and bone loss. It is the high cortisol levels that cause you to crave the cheese puffs or chocolate in a stressful situation. Chronic stress and increase in cortisol levels can lead to an increase in body fat, especially in the abdominal region. So next time you feel stressed, reach for the following foods to lower your cortisol levels:

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Celiac Disease Relief from Brain Fog Symptoms

Written by Toronto Nutritionist Janet Zdichavsky CNP

Have you ever had difficulty concentrating and felt you were operating in a fog? This common condition is aptly known as Brain Fog. Its symptoms can include forgetfulness, confusion, poor concentration, lack of clarity, feeling tired and difficulty in completing tasks. Although brain fog can be caused by many conditions such as fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome or factors such as lack of sleep, recent studies indicate that it is also one of the symptoms for Celiac Disease.

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Winter Food Remedies: Iron Packed Borscht

Written by Toronto Nutritionist Janet Zdichavsky RNCP ROHP

BorschtOur winters in Toronto can be challenging at times. The cold weather and snow, lack of sunshine, all the extra clothing we wear, and just getting from one place to another takes a lot more strength than living in the sunny days, not to mention the snow we have to shovel as well. Making sure you have adequate iron levels in these winter months is especially important to make you stronger. By the end of the week I have found making Iron Packed Borscht helps me with just that, feeling stronger, not to mention what a treat and how delicious it taste and easy it is to make. Continue reading

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Detoxification the Right Way

broccoliBeing a Toronto Nutritionist for many years I’m totally aware of the importance of detoxification and all the different diets, and cleanses out there that are offered to you. What your really being offered is a quick fix!  Many of you are under the impression that cleansing is the answer to detoxifying the body and very low caloric diets are recommended which translates into rapid weight loss. Rapid weight loss though is not a healthy way to go and is not the answer to cleansing. Studies have shown that fasting, low caloric diets etc. can increase the risk of organ injury from new toxins because it depletes nutrients required to sustain detoxification pathways. Detoxification is an extremely complex process. The liver filters blood, enzymatically breaks down and removes toxins through phase 1 and phase II detoxification. During phase 1, toxins are prepared for elimination via the phase II detoxification pathway. Continue reading

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Sports Nutrition – Eat Well, Play Well

Written by Toronto Nutritionist Janet Zdichavsky RNCP ROHP

Healthy FoodsHockey players not only work hard but they play hard, from practice to competitive games.  The question is how and where do they get all that energy from?  Optimal nutrition is something that all athletes strive for in order to increase their performance for longer periods of time, lessen their fatigue and recover quicker between training sessions as well as from competing.[1] Continue reading

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Cancer Prevention Foods

Written by Toronto Nutritionist Janet Zdichavsky RNCP ROHP

cancer prevention foodsAbout 35% of all cancers can be prevented by following one simple rule – eat healthy, eat less. Obesity, foods rich in fats, refined flour and sugar are frequently the cause of diabetes and cancer.

Having too much food (especially animal proteins and fats) is one of the main causes of cancer. Obesity is already considered as an epidemic disease in the US, Canada, and several European countries. More than six percent of adult population is obese. Obesity is the common cause of deaths through esophagus, colon and rectum, liver, pancreas, prostate, uterus, cervix and ovarian cancers. Continue reading

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Candida and Candida Diet

Written by Toronto Nutritionist Janet Zdichavsky RNCP ROHP

Candida albicans is a single-celled fungus always present in the genital and intestinal tract. If it is present in disproportionable quantities it can cause infection. Diaper rash, vaginitis, and thrush are some of the possible manifestations of candida infection.

Candidiasis affects many parts of the body—most common are the mouth, ears, nose, fingernails, toenails, intestinal tract, rectal itching, and vagina. Symptoms range from constipation, diarrhea, colitis, abdominal pain, headache, bad breathe, impotence, memory loss, mood swings, muscle and joint pain, sore throat, congestion, persistent heart burn, numbness in face or extremities, night sweats, white spots on tongue, extreme fatigue, depression, even diabetes and others. Continue reading

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Going Organic

Genetically Modified Foods? Pesticides? Chemicals? Food Additives? Artificial Flavourings? Organic? Natural? Local? Free-Range? Grass-Fed? Natural Source? Converting to an Organic lifestyle can seem overwhelming. Our “Beginnner’s Guide to Going Organic” explains the basics and outlines some easy changes you can make that will benefit you, your family, and our Earth. Continue reading

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