Gluten Free Food
Categories Fitness, Health, Nutrition Advise, Recipies

How to Go Gluten-Free Without Going Crazy

How to Go Gluten-Free Without Going Crazy

If you’ve recently been diagnosed with Celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, navigating a gluten free diet can feel overwhelming. You’re not alone in feeling this way – it takes effort and commitment to adjust to a new diet properly. But don’t be afraid! Going gluten-free is totally doable, and it doesn’t have to mean struggling with unfamiliar ingredients or giving up the foods you love.

In this blog post, our goal is to share our expertise on the gluten-free diet plan and provide you with practical tips to help you follow it without feeling overwhelmed. So, whether you’re just starting out or already on your way, let’s explore practical tips to maintain the nutritional balance of your meals while enjoying delicious food that won’t compromise your well-being!

Symptoms of coeliac disease can vary from person to person and can be diverse, including diarrhea, constipation, anemia, and unexplained changes in weight.

What is the difference between coeliac disease and non-coeliac gluten sensitivity?

Coeliac disease is an autoimmune disorder in which the consumption of gluten causes damage to the villi, which are finger-like projections in the small intestine. Non-coeliac gluten sensitivity refers to a condition where individuals experience discomfort or adverse symptoms when consuming large amounts of gluten in their diet, without causing any damage to the villi. For individuals with non-coeliac gluten sensitivity, small amounts of gluten in the diet are typically well-tolerated, without causing significant discomfort or adverse symptoms. Coeliac disease can be diagnosed through specific tests; however testing methods for gluten sensitivity, specifically non-coeliac gluten sensitivity, are not as well-established as those for coeliac disease.

What is a Gluten Free Diet?

A gluten-free diet is a dietary pattern that excludes all sources of gluten, including wheat, barley, rye, triticale and debatably oats. The purpose of the diet is to avoid the potentially harmful effects of consuming gluten in those with Celiac disease or non-Celiac gluten sensitivity.

Diagnosis:

Typically, a blood test is conducted to measure coeliac antibodies, which are elevated in individuals whose bodies react to gluten. It is important to have gluten in the diet at the time of testing to ensure accurate results for this testIf the antibody tests yield positive results, it is typically followed by a small bowel biopsy, which is conducted to confirm the diagnosis. Sometimes genetic testing is also done. More than 99% of individuals with coeliac disease possess the coeliac genes HLA-DQ2 and HLA-DQ8. Therefore, the absence of these genes effectively eliminates the possibility of coeliac disease.

Treatment:

The sole treatment for coeliac disease is adhering to a strict gluten-free diet.

Tips:

1- Know What You Can and Cannot Eat: The most important step for gluten-intolerant people is to become familiar with what items you can and cannot eat. Gluten is found in many processed foods, so it’s essential to read labels carefully when grocery shopping or eating out. A great way to get started is by checking the ingredient list of any food item you purchase. Be sure to avoid anything containing wheat, barley, rye, or oats (unless they are labeled “gluten-free”).

2 – Focus on Eating Whole Foods: Incorporating whole foods into a gluten-free diet is highly beneficial. Whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds are naturally gluten-free and provide a rich source of essential vitamins and minerals. Moreover, these foods are packed with fiber, which promotes satiety and aids in digestion.

3- Find Alternatives: Although it may seem difficult to part ways with your beloved baked goods and pastas, there are numerous alternatives available that can replace gluten-filled counterparts without compromising taste. When shopping at the grocery store, keep an eye out for products labelled as “gluten-free,” such as rice flour and quinoa pasta. If you enjoy baking, you can even create your own gluten-free versions using simple ingredients like almond flour or coconut flour!

4- Connect With Others: Maintaining a healthy diet with a food intolerance can sometimes feel isolating, so remember to connect with others who share the same experience. Find online support groups, attend local meetups, and talk to your doctor or nutritionist for further advice. Connecting with others who understand what you’re going through can offer comfort and make the transition easier..

Going gluten-free doesn’t have to be daunting; it simply requires some extra effort and education. By following these tips, you can make informed decisions that will help you maintain a balanced diet while minimizing potential health risks associated with gluten consumption. Give some of these suggestions a try and discover which ones work best for you! You might be pleasantly surprised to find that adopting a gluten-free lifestyle is easier than you anticipated. Best of luck on your journey!

If you have been diagnosed with coeliac disease or suspect you may have non-coeliac gluten sensitivity, we encourage you to reach out to us. At Beyond Nutrition, we offer special packages that include comprehensive testing for coeliac disease, along with personalized 1:1 appointments with our clinical dietitian. We’ll guide you on following a gluten-free diet, including label reading and preventing cross-contamination and will provide educational resources, meal ideas, and recipes to empower you for lifelong disease management and the best quality of life possible.

As specialists in food allergies and sensitivities, we are dedicated to supporting you and helping you thrive.

 

ibs_irritable_bowel_syndrom_dubai
Categories Fitness, Health, Nutrition Advise, Recipies

Living with IBS: Tips for Managing Symptoms

 

Living with IBS: Tips for Managing Symptoms

Living with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can be incredibly difficult and stressful. Symptoms of IBS, like abdominal pain, bloating, and changes in bowel habits may affect both your physical and mental health. Furthermore, IBS can significantly reduce the quality of life when not appropriately managed. It is for this reason that seeking IBS treatment is necessary.

If you have been recently diagnosed with IBS or have been dealing with it for some time, this blog post will help explain ways to effectively manage symptoms so that you can live a more comfortable life. With the proper knowledge, understanding, and change in lifestyle, living with IBS doesn’t have to feel so overwhelming.

1-  Consider making dietary changes: A well-balanced diet is essential for managing IBS symptoms. Eating foods that are low in fat and high in fiber has been found to be beneficial. A good place to start is by removing gastric triggers such as high-fat, greasy foods, spicy foods, carbonated beverages, and caffeine. In some cases, the low-FODMAP diet is used to identify dietary triggers for IBS. FODMAPs are fermentable carbohydrates, such as onion, garlic, and fructan sugars found in wheat products. However, it is recommended that you seek guidance from a dietitian when following the low-FODMAP diet.

2- Try relaxation techniques: Stress can worsen IBS symptoms due to the gut-brain connection. The gut has its own nervous system, known as the enteric nervous system, which can react to external stimuli such as emotional stress, worsening symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, and diarrhea. Deep breathing exercises, yoga, meditation, and massage are all effective ways to reduce stress and relax the body. Gut-directed hypnotherapy is an evidence-based management strategy for IBS. This technique changes the way your gut and brain communicate with each other, improving IBS outcomes.

3- Exercise regularly: Regular physical activity can help reduce overall IBS symptoms. Gentle exercises such as yoga work on the mind to reduce stress and on the body to improve the movement of muscles around the intestine. It’s important to note that not all types of exercise may be beneficial for people with IBS. High-intensity workouts or activities that involve a lot of jarring or bouncing movements may actually worsen symptoms for some individuals. It’s best to start with low-impact exercises and gradually increase intensity as tolerated.

4- Get plenty of sleep: Quality sleep is essential for good health, and ensuring you get enough restful sleep is particularly important for gut health. Poor sleep can cause an increase in pain signals between the gut and the brain, exacerbating IBS symptoms. Aim for at least seven to eight hours of sleep per night on average, but feel free to adjust this depending on how you feel on a given day. If needed, try using relaxation techniques before bed, such as deep breathing or meditation, or speak with your doctor about potential treatments if insomnia is a problem.

Living with IBS can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be unmanageable. By making some dietary changes, incorporating relaxation techniques, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep, you can help reduce your symptoms and improve your quality of life. Working with your healthcare provider on developing an individualized plan will ensure that you are able to manage your condition in the best way possible. With the right knowledge and support, it is possible to live a good quality life despite having IBS.

At Beyond Nutrition, our experienced dietitians and nutritionists specialize in creating customized, evidence-based IBS treatment plans for managing IBS symptoms. We take a personalized approach to identify your specific triggers and develop a plan tailored to your needs and health goals.

If you’re ready to take the first step towards living a more comfortable life with IBS, contact us today to schedule a consultation. Let us help you make positive lifestyle changes and regain control over your health.

Categories Fitness, Health, Nutrition Advise, Recipies

What are the  most popular 5 weight loss diets?

What are the  most popular 5 weight loss diets?

Are you looking to begin a weight loss diet that will deliver tangible results and help to improve your health and overall well-being? It’s no secret that the key to sustainable, long-term success when it comes to losing weight is having a  well-designed plan. With so many different weight loss  diets out there, however, it can be hard to choose one that works for you. In this article, we take an in-depth look at the top 5  most popular weight loss diets  – what they offer, why they work, and how effective they are in helping people reach their goals. Read on to find out which program might be right for you!

1-  Keto Diet:

The ketogenic diet, or “keto” for short, is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet. The goal of the keto diet is to put your body in a state of ketosis, where it starts to break down stored fat into molecules called ketones for energy instead of glucose from carbohydrates. This is achieved by drastically reducing carbohydrate intake and increasing fat intake, while also moderating protein intake.

The ketogenic diet has gained popularity in recent years due to its effectiveness in weight loss and improving certain health conditions such as type 2 diabetes. However, it can be challenging to follow and may have some potential side effects such as constipation, fatigue, and nutrient deficiencies. It is important to ensure that you are getting all the necessary nutrients through a well-planned diet or supplements.

2- Intermittent Fasting:

Intermittent fasting is a dietary approach that involves alternating periods of fasting and eating. There are several different methods of intermittent fasting, including the 16/8 method, where individuals fast for 16 hours and eat during an 8-hour window, and a 24-hour fast,  that involves abstaining from food for a full day, typically from dinner to dinner or lunch to lunch. This method of fasting is also known as “Eat-Stop-Eat” and is usually done once or twice a week.

Intermittent fasting has gained popularity due to its potential health benefits, including weight loss, improved blood sugar control, lowered insulin levels, and reduced inflammation. Some studies suggest that intermittent fasting may also promote cellular repair and improve brain function. However, fasting may not be suitable for everyone and should be approached with caution by those with certain medical conditions or a history of disordered eating.

3- A plant-based diet:

A plant-based diet emphasizes on the consumption of whole, minimally processed plant foods while limiting or eliminating animal products. Plant-based foods are rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, and are often lower in saturated fat than animal-based foods. The diet typically includes fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds as primary sources of nutrients and protein. However, it is important to ensure adequate intake of certain nutrients like protein, iron, and vitamin B12 which can be found in plant-based sources or supplements.

Plant-based diets can be tailored to meet individual needs and preferences, whether it be a fully vegan or vegetarian diet or simply incorporating more plant-based meals into an omnivorous diet.

4- The Mediterranean Diet:

The Mediterranean Diet is a dietary pattern based on the traditional foods and cooking styles rooted in traditional Mediterranean cuisine. This dietary pattern emphasizes on plant-based foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds, along with fish and seafood, moderate consumption of dairy products, and limited intake of red meat, sugar, and saturated fats.

The Mediterranean Diet has been associated with numerous health benefits, including a reduced risk of heart disease, stroke, and certain types of cancer, and for a long time has been considered as one of the most balanced diets for long-term health benefits and weight loss.

5- Paleo Diet:

The paleo diet is based on the idea that our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate a healthier, more natural diet than modern humans. It eliminates processed foods and typically includes lean meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds, while excluding processed foods, grains, legumes, dairy, and refined sugars.

This diet is effective for improved digestion, weight loss and improved overall health.

These are just a few of the many different weight loss  diets out there. Ultimately, the best  diet for you is one that  suites your lifestyle and helps you reach your goals safely and healthily. At Beyond Nutrition, we specialize in helping our patients and clients  to find the right weight loss program for their needs. We understand that everyone is different and that one size does not fit all when it comes to health and wellness. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you reach your goals!

Categories Advice, Fitness, Health, Nutrition Advise, Sports Nutrition, Supplements

What are the most common sports supplements used for healthy diet plans in Dubai?

What are the most common sports supplements used for a healthy diet plan in Dubai?

Many athletes, bodybuilders as well as recreational athletes add supplements to their healthy diet plan to boost their strength, performance and recovery. The number of available supplements seems endless. Products start from multivitamins and minerals through to protein, creatine and various others.

Here are two of the most commonly used supplements for sports nutrition in Dubai:

Whey protein

Whey protein is one of the most used supplements for sports nutrition in Dubai. It is a protein made from cow’s milk and contains only small amounts of fat, carbohydrates or lactose. Lactose is the sugar found naturally in milk. The protein provided by whey is often referred to as a naturally complete protein and therefore commonly used in combination with a healthy diet plan. Complete proteins contain all nine essential amino acids which cannot be synthesized by the human body.

As part of well-planned sports nutrition, whey protein does not only provide the perfect combination of amino acids, it also contains BCAAs. BCAAs, or branch chain of amino acids, are the first amino acids used during intense exercise.

Combined with a healthy diet plan, whey protein provides the body with the required amino acids. These are needed to repair and rebuild lean muscle tissue. In addition to this, whey protein is very easy to digest for most people. It is absorbed quickly and can provide rapid nourishment to the muscles.

Creatine

Creatine is produced within the human body, occurs naturally in meat and fish or can be taken as a supplement as part of a healthy diet plan. Creatine supplements are used by many athletes and sportsmen and women in Dubai to boost their muscle strength and explosive power. It can help to train for longer and to increase overall performance.

Should you be taking supplements as part of a healthy eating plan?

Before you start to buy any supplements, you should make sure that your diet is healthy, well balanced and suitable for the type of sport you are conducting. If you are not sure if you are doing it right, you should consult a sports nutritionist in Dubai to discuss your diet and exercise regimen. We here at Beyond Nutrition can help you with a healthy diet plan and advise you on supplements. To design the best diet plan for you, we will take your lifestyle, eating habits, medical history, medications and supplements into consideration.

A healthy diet plan from a professional sports nutritionist in Dubai can help you to:

  • Increase your energy levels
  • maintain good health
  • help losing weight or body fat mass
  • help gaining lean muscle mass
  • speed up recovery
  • improve concentration

To read more about our sports nutrition experts or to book an appointment, click here.

Categories Health, Nutrition Advise, Recipies

Healthy Diet – Eating at Home

Healthy Diet – The Importance of Eating at Home Instead of Restaurants

Many people nowadays struggle to prepare or cook food at home for a variety of reasons including lack of time, long working hours, social media distraction, tiredness, lack of ideas what to prepare, inability to cook, travelling and many more. Eating out or ordering food seems like the simplest choice for many people – especially in Dubai.

There’s a multitude of benefits for eating at home compared to eating at restaurants or ordering take out. Eating at home means preparing and cooking the food at home, not merely heating up convenience pre-made food bought at the store.

When you prepare and cook food at home, you are able to control exactly what you put into the food. Although many restaurants or convenience food companies claim to be healthy, with no added salt or sugar, or even preservatives, there are often many unknown ingredients added to their food to improve taste. Therefore, eating out often can have harmful effects on your health. Studies have shown that eating out more frequently is linked to higher weight, body fat and obesity. What studies have also shown is that when you consume more fast foods, often you are consuming more calories, fat, saturated fat and sugary drinks and much fewer vegetables and fruit. This can impact your risk for other chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and even digestive disorders.

A misconception about healthful food is that it is boring and tasteless. Many people eat certain foods purely because it tastes good. It is important to note that cooking and preparing food doesn’t mean a lack of flavour, decreased taste or even boring food. Making use of your favourite herbs and spices as well as healthy oils, for example, can play a big part in making the food taste delicious.

Reasons to prepare healthy diet food at home instead of eating out:

  1. You can more easily decide on healthier choices

When you eat at home you can choose to use protein sources lower in fat such as skinless chicken or meat without the fat. You are also able to increase the amount of vegetables you consume. When you eat at home you can replace the refined carbohydrates (e.g. white rice, white pasta, etc.) with more complex whole grain versions such as brown rice, whole wheat pasta, quinoa, buckwheat and more.

  1. Cooking methods at home are controlled

When you prepare food at home to eat, you can decide on the best cooking method to use for your dish. For example, instead of frying, you can bake in the oven, grill or even steam. Cooking methods play a significant role in how healthy a specific food item is.

  1. You can control the amount of salt (sodium) used

Sodium has a direct impact on blood pressure and many restaurant or convenience foods contain very high levels of sodium. When you prepare foods at home you can rather use herbs and spices that do not contain sodium for flavouring.

  1. You will experience fewer temptations

Eating out allows for plenty of temptations, such as eating the bread that is served as a complimentary appetizer, ordering dessert, having an extra refill of your favourite soda and many more. At home, you will be less tempted to indulge in these types of treats.

  1. Better portion control when eating at home

Restaurant portions are often much larger than your body needs. It is very easy to overeat when you eat out compared to when you prepare your own food at home. Portion control will help with managing your weight.

  1. Higher fibre consumption when cooking at home

Individuals who prepare at home are more likely to eat more fibre-rich food sources such as fruit and vegetables, whole grains and legumes compared to typical restaurant-type foods. This will improve digestive health and also have a beneficial effect on heart health and blood sugar control.

  1. Fewer calories in home-cooked food

Studies have shown that people who are preparing and eating most of their meals at home consume fewer calories than those who eat out – even when weight loss is not the main goal.

  1. Better fat choices when cooking food at home

When you eat out or order food from outside, the type and amount of fat used in preparation are out of your control. The types of fat chosen are important for a healthy diet, especially your heart health. At home, you are able to choose healthier oils such as olive oil or avocado oil. Restaurants also often reuse oil multiple times which changes the structure of the oil and increases the amount of trans-fats (an unhealthy type of fat).

Overall, when you prepare food at home to eat, the benefits of a healthy diet are much greater than the convenience that you find from ordering in or eat out. Taking care of your health is essential and the food you eat plays a big role in that!

Not sure how to get started? Let our team of nutritionists and dietitians help you with customized eating plans and easy to follow recipes.

Click here to see our team!

Categories Advice, Bloating, Blood Test, Cramping, Diarrhea, Health, IBD, IBS, Nutrition Advise, Stomach Pain

What is the difference between IBS and IBD?

What is the difference between IBS and IBD?

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are often mixed up, but they are not the same condition. IBS is a functional disorder (abnormal function of the bowel) that results in a group of different symptoms, but it’s not a disease itself. IBS does not cause inflammation, intestinal bleeding, ulcers, rectal bleeding, and/or permanent damage to the intestines.

The causes of IBS are currently unknown, but it is a chronic condition that needs to be managed on the long term. In many cases, the symptoms can be controlled by managing diet, lifestyle and stress.

Symptoms of IBS include:

  • Bloating
  • Gassiness
  • Cramping and abdominal pain
  • Altered bowel habits (alternating periods of diarrhea and constipation)

Females might experience that symptoms of irritable IBS may worsen during their menstruation.

There are different dietary approaches for patients with IBS and a qualified dietitian or nutritionist will help you to find the best method for you and guide you through the process of adapting your diet:

  1. High-fiber diet
  2. Low-fiber diet
  3. Gluten-free diet
  4. Elimination diet
  5. Low-fat diet
  6. Low FODMAP diet

 

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) may have similar symptoms, but IBD is more serious than IBS. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a term used to describe disorders that involves chronic inflammation of your digestive tract.

Types of IBD are:

  1. Ulcerative Colitis
  2. Crohn’s Disease

Ulcerative Colitis causes long-lasting inflammation and ulcers in the deepest lining of your large intestine and rectum. Crohn’s Disease on the other hand can affect different areas of the digestive tract and is also characterized by inflammation of the lining of the bowl tissue, which often spreads deep into affected tissue layers.

Symptoms of IBD vary depending on the location and severity of inflammation, but they may include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Bleeding
  • Stomach pain
  • Weight loss and anemia

Patients with Crohn’s Disease may get sores in their mouths.

IBD can also be associated with problems outside of the digestive system, such as:

  • Eye inflammation
  • Skin disorders
  • Arthritis

There is no special diet that is recommended for treating inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), but some patients suffering from Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis manage symptoms with dietary changes and a low-residue or low-fiber diet that includes:

  • Eating smaller and more frequent meals
  • Taking vitamins and other nutritional supplements
  • Avoiding problem or trigger foods such as fatty and fried foods, meats, spicy foods, diary, and high fiber foods as these often lead to symptoms of bloating, diarrhea, and stomach pain and cramps.

IBD are serious conditions that require medical attention. In addition to the medical treatment provided by doctors (medical or surgical treatment), a dietitian or nutritionist can help with dietary changes. Speak to one of our dietitians today to find the most suitable approach for you and find the right dietary approach to reduce or eliminate your symptoms.

Categories Health, Nutrition Advise, Recipies

How To Avoid Iron Deficiency & Stay Healthy!

 

IRON DEFICIENCY is a common problem all around the world. Iron plays a very important role in the body as it helps transport oxygen through our blood. Iron is also used to make hemoglobin which is a part of the red blood cells. When there is a deficiency in iron, it means that your body will be making less and smaller red blood cells.

In the United Arab Emirates there are many different cultures and nationalities and therefore iron deficiency is also a common problem that we see. Iron deficiency affects both men and women however women have been shown to be at an increased risk. Women of child-bearing age have an increased risk due to heavy menstrual periods and bleeding that they may experience. Women are also more likely than men to follow very restrictive or low calorie diets which can increase the risk for iron deficiency as they are often not consuming adequate iron rich food sources. When women are pregnant or breastfeeding this further increases their risk for iron deficiency because there is a much increased blood volume which in effect requires that more iron is used for oxygen transport to the baby, leading to possible iron deficiency.

 

So what causes iron deficiency? There are various causes of iron deficiency among individuals. One of the causes is a lack of intake of iron rich food sources. Another cause of iron deficiency is blood loss. An inability to absorb iron is another cause of iron deficiency – iron absorption takes place in the small intestine and when there is damage in the small intestine, lack of iron absorption can lead to a deficiency. This often occurs in individuals that have celiac disease because they experience damage to their intestinal lining.

How do we know that we have a deficiency in iron? Well, the symptoms are many. If you experience tiredness and fatigue, or have pale skin, increased heart rate, weakness, dizziness, hair loss or headaches it could intake a possible iron deficiency. If you suspect you may have iron deficiency it is a good idea to speak to your doctor regarding your medical history and symptoms. A blood test is also advised to see what your red blood cell levels are as well as an iron test that will determine how much iron is in the blood.

From a nutrition perspective, there are many ways that we can combat iron deficiency. Eating a diet rich in iron will boost blood iron levels. These foods include meat, fish, tofu, iron-fortified cereals, eggs, pulses, beans, dried fruit (e.g. apricots and prunes), and dark green leafy vegetables. It is also important to increase your iron absorption by including vitamin C rich foods at the same meal as your iron rich meals. Vitamin C is found in tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, peas and green leafy vegetables to name a few. Some factors have been shown to decrease absorption of iron. These include calcium found in dairy products as well as polyphenols found in teas and coffee. It is best not to have these at the same time as iron-rich meals.


Fe ingredients and product containing iron and dietary fiber natural sources of ferrum healthy lifestyle food and nutrition

 

Iron Recipes

Plant Based:

Herbed Lentils with Spinach and Tomatoes

Ingredients:

1 cup French lentils

2 cups water

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons diced shallots

3 cups baby spinach leaves

1 cup halved grape tomatoes

¼ cup chopped fresh basil leaves

¼ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley

¼ cup fresh mint leaves

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Instructions:

  • Place the lentils in a pot with the water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 30-35 minutes, until the lentils are tender but still retain their shape. Drain any excess water from the lentils and set them aside.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over a medium-high heat. Add the shallots and cook until they are softened, about 3 minutes. Add the spinach and cook until just wilted, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, lentils, basil, parsley, and mint to the pan and stir to combine. Cook until warmed through, about 1 minute. Stir in the lemon juice, salt and pepper and serve.

 

Warm Lentils with Quinoa and Spinach

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large shallot, chopped

1 cup carrots, peeled and chopped

2 cups mushrooms, chopped

1-3 garlic cloves, minced

½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon dried oregano

½ teaspoon dried thyme

½ teaspoon dried rosemary

2 bay leaves

1 cup lentils

2 cups vegetable broth

2 ½ cups water

½ cup quinoa, uncooked

4-5 cups fresh baby spinach

Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  • Heat the oil over medium heat in a large cast iron pot. Add shallots and carrots and cook until the carrots have started to soften, about 3 – 4 minutes. Add mushrooms and continue to cook until mushrooms are tender, another 5 minutes.
  • Add garlic, red pepper flakes and herbs. Stir the mixture until it becomes fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Pour in lentils, broth and 2 cups of water. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover and reduce to simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Remove lid and add quinoa and remaining water. Stir to combine. Bring the mixture back to a boil, recover and reduce to simmer for another 15 minutes.
  • Remove the pot from the heat, uncover and add spinach, stirring gently to combine. Season with salt and pepper.

 

Non Plant-Based

Chicken Soup with Kale and Cannellini Beans

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 onion, peeled and chopped

2 gloves garlic, peeled and minced

2 sprigs fresh thyme (or ½ teaspoon dried)

1 stick celery, sliced

2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped

2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced

½ cup good quality chicken broth

½ cup water

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

400g cooked cannellini beans

2 skinless cooked chicken breasts, shredded

2 cups kale, chopped

Small bunch of fresh parsley, chopped

Instructions:

  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion and cook for 10 minutes on a low-medium heat, stirring occasionally until softened.
  • Add the garlic and thyme and cook for a further 2 minutes. Add the celery, carrots and sweet potatoes, stir, then add in the chicken broth and water, salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Add in the drained cannellini beans and cook for a further 5 minutes
  • Add the shredded chicken and heat through for 2-3 minutes, then add the kale. Stir and simmer for 1-2 minutes until the kale has wilted. Season with more salt and pepper if needed.
  • Divide between four bowls, topped with fresh parsley and a couple of sprigs of fresh thyme.

 

Want to know more? Make an Appointment with one of our Nutritionists or Dietitians!

Categories Health, Nutrition Advise, Ramadan

7 Steps to Healthy Eating During Ramadan


The holy month of Ramadan stands for mercy and forgiveness, but we should also make health a priority and make sure to eat healthy during Ramadan. Fasting can have beneficial effects on our overall health if we follow these easy steps:

Step one: Break your fast with a few dates and eat the main meal after prayer

After long hours of fasting, dates are the perfect food to break the fast as they provide simple sugars that the body can digest and absorb easily. They provide you with quick energy and prepares your digestive system for the meal that will follow. Let your stomach take a rest after breaking the fast and continue with your main meal after prayer.

Step two: Make healthy food choices and avoid overeating during Ramadan

Ramadan banquets offer a variety of tasty dishes and we would like to offer good and plenty food to our families and friends. Still, we should rather think of simple yet complete meals that contain all the important nutrients our bodies need. Overeating during Ramadan will otherwise result in weight gain as the body stores excess calories consumed at night as fat even if we don’t eat during the daytime. Include plenty of vegetables and complex carbohydrates like brown rice into the meals served. If in doubt, ask our nutritionist to help you with your diet plans.

Step three: Sleeping is great – but don’t skip Suhoor

Suhoor is the most important meal during Ramadan as it provides the energy for the upcoming day. Eat a breakfast-like meal including complex carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats. For example, whole-wheat bread with white cheese, boiled eggs, olives and fresh cucumber and tomato slices or plain Greek yogurt with fresh fruits and a handful of nuts and seeds.

Step four: Stick to your eating structure

Your normal eating structure including 3 main meals should remain the same during Ramadan, just the timings will change. Iftar will be the equivalent of your dinner, and Suhoor equals your usual breakfast. Before going to bed, you should have a light meal that can be considered as lunch. All the meals should be wholesome and include complex carbohydrates, proteins and healthy fats. Include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and don’t forget to drink plenty of water.

Step five: Consume plenty of vegetables and fruit

Try to include at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables in your 3 main meals. You can consume them raw in form of salads or cooked as soups or stews. Fruits and vegetables provide you with important nutrients like vitamin, minerals and fiber. They also make you feel full without adding too many calories to your diet – which is great when you are looking for weight loss. Choose several types of fruits and veggies every day – eat the rainbow!

Step six: Eat less sweets

Many Ramadan desserts are especially high in fat, sugar and calories. Safe these treats for special Iftar events or invitations and try to stay away from them on ‘normal’ nights. Instead of having sweet deserts, rather indulge in fresh fruits and refreshing fruit sorbets.

Step seven: Drink plenty of water

Drinking enough water between Iftar and Suhoor is a must during Ramadan to reduce the risk of dehydration, especially when fasting during the hot days in Dubai. Drink at least 2-3 liters of liquids. If you exercise, add an extra of 500 ml per hour of exercise. Liquids can include natural juices, milk, laban and soups, but your main beverage should be water. Reduce the consumption of caffeinated drinks such as coffee, black tea and cola or energy drinks.

Categories Blood Test, Health, Nutrition Advise

Reliable Testing for Celiac Disease

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease where the body has an immune response to gluten, a protein found in wheat products as well as in rye and barley. Celiac disease causes damage to the intestinal villi. This means that the hair-like lining of the intestines, which functions for absorption of nutrients, are flattened. This then leads to malabsorption. Celiac disease should not be confused with gluten sensitivity as this is not an autoimmune disease.

Screening for celiac disease is recommended for various individuals. Children older than 3 years of age and adults that experience any celiac symptoms should get tested. Those individuals with a direct family member (parents, sibling and even child) that has celiac disease should also strongly consider getting tested. If any other autoimmune disease is present such as autoimmune thyroid disease, type 1 diabetes, Downs Syndrome etc. then these individuals should also consider getting tested.

Symptoms:

When someone suffers from celiac disease, a multitude of symptoms could be experienced. Some of the gastrointestinal symptoms include: abdominal pain, abdominal distension, blood in stool, flatulence and vomiting. Other symptoms include iron-deficiency anemia, fatigue, weight loss, easy bleeding, and joint pain. There are many more symptoms too which often makes it difficult to identify.

Screening – The First Test

The first test that is recommended to screen for celiac disease is the tissue Transglutaminase antibody test for IgA (anit-tTG-IgA). This is a simple blood test that is done and it is currently the most sensitive and specific test for screening for celiac disease. When someone goes for this test, it is important that they be on a gluten-containing diet – otherwise results may not be accurate. When gluten is eliminated from the diet completely then the antibody levels will go down.

Other Tests:

There are a variety of other tests that can also be done to screen for celiac disease but these are not as specific or sensitive and some are not as easy to do or interpret as the anti-tTG-IgA test. These other tests include Quantitative Immunoglobulin A (IgA), Deaminated Gliadin Peptide (DGP IgA and IgG), Anti-Endomysial Antibodies (EMA) and Anti-Reticulin Antibody (ARA).

Quantitative Immunoglobulin A (IgA):

Some people may be deficient in immunoglobulin A (IgA). The dietitian may order the Quantitative Immunoglobulin A (IgA) test either before, after or with the anti-tTG-IgA test to determine whether or not an individual has an IgA deficiency. Having this deficiency can cause the anti-tTG-IgA test results to have a false negative (stating that you do not have celiac disease when in fact it is due to the deficiency in IgA). If there is a deficiency in IgA, then the IgG form of the antibody tTG test can be ordered.

Deaminated Gliadin Peptide (DGP):

This test can be useful in some individuals because if anti-tTG-IgA results come up as being negative for celiac disease, the results of this test can show up as positive. This is likely for children that are younger than 2 years of age.

For the individuals that have a low IgA, the DGP test is recommended along with the anti-tTG-IgG test because if the results of the DGP show positive then it will be necessary to monitor for celiac disease.

The EMA and ARA tests are not used very often. The EMA test is difficult to perform and the results are difficult to interpret. The ARA test results are not as accurate in screening for celiac as the anti-tTG-IgA test.

Diagnosis and Treatment

After receiving positive screening results, the diagnosis of celiac disease will be confirmed by undergoing a biopsy of the small intestine. Biopsies are very expensive and therefore many people do not go for a biopsy. If the anti-tTG-IgA test is found to be positive then many will eliminate gluten from the diet and show much improvement in symptoms. Treatment of celiac disease is the total elimination of gluten from the diet for life. It is important to make sure to read labels because gluten can be found in unexpected places.

Our celiac profile includes testing of: Anti-tissue transglutaminase IgA, Immunoglobulin A (IgA) and Deamidated Gliadin IgA to reliably diagnose or rule out celiac disease.

Please call us on 04 243 4166 to book your appointment for a celiac screening.

Categories Health, Nutrition Advise, Superfood

Chia Seeds – Superfoods or Dirty Lie?

Chia seeds originally come from Central America. They are full of healthy ingredients and can be used in a variety of options as part of a balanced diet.

Superfood, remedy, vegan miracles, weight loss wonder – chia seeds are the trend and call both advocates and critics on the plan. Chia seeds contain many healthy ingredients, they are filling and very versatile. However, they are also quite expensive and similar benefits can be found in other foods such as linseed. Whether chia seeds enrich your muesli or yogurt, everyone has to decide for themselves if they want to include chia seeds into their diet. Here is some helpful information about chia seeds.

Origin of chia seeds
They already served as a basic food and medicine in the Mayan period. The seeds, whose name literally means “strong”, are oval-shaped and about one to two millimeters in size. They are available in black, black spotted and in white and grey. They count as oilseeds or pseudo-cereals and are gluten-free. The cultivation takes place in Central and South America and they are also being cultivated in Southeast Asia and Australia now.

Use of chia seeds
Chia seeds are popular especially in the vegan cuisine, because the small grains have a special power. They rapidly swell in liquid and form a stable gel. From a tablespoon of chia seeds and three tablespoons of water, a gel is formed within 10 minutes, which can replace an egg. In a cake, this gel replaces up to 50 percent of the amount of fat. Thus, baked goods obtain crispness and a resilient structure. In addition, chia seeds can solidify smoothies or jam, which then requires less sugar for gelling. Vegan puddings from chia and vegetable milk are also prepared quickly. Ask your dietitian or nutritionist to include healthy recipe with chia seeds into your diet plan.
Some athletes swear by the power of iskiate, a drink made of Chia, water, lemon juice and honey. Originally from the tribe of the Tamahumara from the north of Mexico, whose relatives are famous as long distance runners.

Chia seeds in the trade
In Dubai chia seeds are sold in almost every supermarket and there are many products on the market that contain chia seeds. For example, there are chia seeds in bread, supplements for muesli or cereals. The special properties of the chia seeds can also act as thickeners, emulsifiers or stabilizers in the food industry.

Chia seeds as a nutrient supplier
These tiny seeds have many valuable ingredients. They contain more protein than grains, while delivering dietary fiber and high-quality polyunsaturated fatty acids. They also supply the body with vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. Chia seeds primarily provide phytochemicals with antioxidative benefits. Such plants can stop free radicals in the body and thus protect the cells from damage. The superfood does not only complement the vegan cuisine, but the “strong” seeds also enrich a balanced mixed diet.

Can the consumption of chia seeds have undesirable effects?
Besides the valuable components and possible positive effects of chia seeds, side effects can also be thinkable. The high proportion of dietary fiber can lead to problems in the event of sudden changes in diet. In order to prevent flatulence and possibly diarrhea, the intake of high-fiber foods should be increased gradually step by step. At the same time, it is important to drink a lot of liquid, so that the fiber can swell.
The proteins from chia seeds can theoretically cause allergic reactions. So far, however, there is no evidence of such effects. Should you suspect that the consumption of chia seeds causes any type of intolerance, please speak to your dietitian or nutritionist.

Are there studies on the health effects of chia seeds?
Chia seeds can lower the blood pressure in some hypertensive patients. They also show positive effects in type II diabetes by reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. Chia seeds increase the stool volume and accelerate the digestion time, which can be helpful in case of constipation. The swollen chia seed increases the volume of a meal, thus, contribute to a longer saturation. Dietitians and nutritionist agree that a supportive effect on losing weight has not yet been confirmed, but chia seeds can still be part of a healthy weight loss diet plan because of their beneficial effects on your digestive and general health.

Want to know more? Meet our expert dietitians & nutritionists for more advise on healthy eating habits!

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