Sunday, 18 October 2009

Exercise and Daily Diet.

I do 30 minutes arm exercises daily and use a Motomed for legs, also daily for 39 minutes.

My advice is in possible get one as they are very good.

My diet is very good; I eat a varied diet, with lots of fresh vegetables and fruit, nuts, seeds, everyday.

Lots of fresh Tofu and Tempe from the Asian shop, they make it themselves.

Regular fish, especially fatty fish like herring and mackerel and smoked eel, as well as tins of sardines and anchovy, very occasionally.

Freeh pasta, Richie makes it; he makes lasagne, cannelloni, ravioli, and tagliatelli.

He makes great stews, casseroles and soups and curries and cous cous

We eat no processed food, apart from the occasional tin of sardines or anchovy and jar of roll mops herring all fresh food is bought on the market.

Soya products and some pulses from Asian shop, rice and Asian/Caribbean vegetables/fruit from the Indian shop and soft goat cheese and olives and some fruit and vegetables, if needed from our friendly Turkish shop.

Sometimes when Richie wants a break from making bread he gets bread from an excellent Moroccan baker, who is just up the road.

Richie uses thick coconut cream in place of dairy cream, he makes delicious ice cream and custards.

He also uses fresh herbs in place of dried herbs where possible and available, he grows his own, and has indoor thyme on the kitchen windowsill all year around.

Bread is made with a mixture of whole wheat and brown and white flour plus oats and linseed, linseed is also added to cooked food.

Love avocados and mangos and bananas which we have regularly, daily in the summer.

Think that my/our daily vitamin and mineral intake is very good.

Sunday, 28 June 2009

Vitamin D.

New York State
Department of Health

Vitamin D and Healthy Bones
Vitamin D is essential for the absorption and use of calcium in our bodies.
It promotes the growth and maintenance of strong bones.
How can I get enough vitamin D.

Vitamin D has been referred to as "the sunshine vitamin." Your body can make vitamin D from casual sun exposure of short duration (as little as 5 to 15 minutes of sunshine per day, two to three times per week on the face and hands).

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is stored in your body fat. In general, adults and children living in New York State can get enough casual sun exposure from March to October to store a significant amount of vitamin D.

It will later be released for the body's use during the winter months. However, the use of sunscreen and/or sun-protective clothing, cloudy northern climate, and window glass block your body's ability to make vitamin D from sun exposure.

It is important to know that your body is not able to overdose on vitamin D from the sun, but your skin can suffer damaging effects from too much sun. Therefore, to prevent sunburn and reduce the risk of skin cancer, it is important to limit sun exposure to brief periods (5 to 15 minutes) and then apply sunscreeen (SPF of 15 or higher).

How much vitamin D do I need?
It is difficult to know how much vitamin D your body makes from sunlight. Scientists have established Adequate Intakes (AI) for vitamin D to help you know the amount of vitamin D needed from dietary and/or supplemental sources regardless of your sunlight exposure and body stores.

The AI may overestimate your true biological need if you are able to obtain vitamin D from the sun. However, the AI is a safe level for individuals even if adequate vitamin D is already obtained from the sun.
Adequate Intakes of Vitamin D
Age (years) Vitamin D (IU/day)*
Birth to age 50 200
51-70 400
71 and older 600
*IU = international units/day.

Dietary Reference Intakes, National Academy of Sciences, 1997
For individuals with certain conditions, a physician may recommend slightly more vitamin D than indicated in the table above. For example, some scientists have reported that homebound individuals or people over age 65 achieve optimal bone health benefits when consuming approximately 800 IU of vitamin D daily. Since vitamin D can be stored in your body, too much can be harmful. It is important to follow your medical professional's advice and not to exceed 2000 IU of vitamin D from diet and/or supplements without a prescription.

What foods and supplements contain vitamin D?
There are only a few naturally occurring food sources of vitamin D, most of which are high in fat. These include fatty fish and eggs. Some foods are fortified with vitamin D. These include cow's milk, some soymilk and rice milk, some breakfast cereals and some breakfast bars. Vitamin D can also be obtained from multivitamins (most contain 400 IU), in combination with some calcium supplements, or alone as a separate vitamin D supplement.

Special considerations about vitamin D.
Healthy children and adults can usually get enough vitamin D from sunlight, food and/or multivitamins. Adults, who carefully protect their skin with sunscreen and/or wear protective clothing, do not consume milk or other vitamin D rich foods and do not take a multivitamin should speak to their healthcare provider about how to get enough vitamin D. Homebound individuals with little sun exposure should discuss their risk of vitamin D deficiency with their healthcare provider and try to get enough vitamin D from diet and/or supplements. Senior adults over age 70 have the greatest need for vitamin D and are less able to make vitamin D from sunlight.

Seniors need to be sure to consume enough vitamin D. It is difficult for many seniors to get enough vitamin D from foods and therefore a supplement may be needed. There is some evidence that adequate calcium and vitamin D intake in seniors may even reduce the risk for fracture.

Sources of vitamin D.
The table lists the average vitamin D content for sources of vitamin D that have been measured. Vitamin D content is stated in international units (IU). The list is limited because there is currently little information available about the vitamin D content of other foods.

There are natural sources of vitamin D that also tend to be high in fat. In addition, there are fortified foods (food with vitamin D added) and supplements that contain vitamin D. The amount of vitamin D that is found in food varies depending on the feed given to animal sources of vitamin D, the brand purchased, as well as the amount of vitamin D added to fortified foods.

For example, milk is fortified with 100 IU of vitamin D per 8-ounce cup. On the other hand, most dairy products including yogurts and cheeses are not made with fortified milk so they are not good sources of vitamin D. Recently, a few dairy products and other foods have been manufactured with vitamin D added. It is important to read food labels.

Natural Sources IU Vitamin D/Serving
Herring 1383 per 3 ounces
Herring, pickled 578 per 3 ounces
Salmon, pink, canned 530 per 3 ounces
Halibut 510 per 3 ounces
Cod liver oil* 450 per teaspoon
Catfish 425 per 3 ounces
Mackerel, Atlantic 306 per 3 ounces
Oyster 272 per 3 ounces
Shitake mushrooms, dried 249 per 4
Sardines, pacific, canned in tomato sauce 213 per 1/2 cup or 182 per sardine
Sardines, atlantic, canned in oil 203 per 1/2 cup or 33 per sardine
Tuna, light meat, canned in oil 200 per 3 ounces
Shrimp 129 per 3 ounces
Egg, cooked 26 per whole egg 25 per yolk
Fortified Sources IU Vitamin D/Serving
Tofu, fortified 120 per 1/5 block
Cow's milk, all types 100 per 8 ounces
Milk, canned evaporated 102 per 4 ounces
Rice milk, fortified 100 per 8 ounces
Soy milk, fortified 100 per 8 ounces
Orange juice, fortified 100 per 8 ounces
Pudding, made with fortified milk 50 per 1/2 cup
Cereal, fortified 40 per serving
Yogurt, fortified (Danimals) 40 per 1/2 cup
Supplemental Sources IU Vitamin D/Dose
Most multivitamins** Usually 400 IU
Calcium with Vitamin D Amount varies
Vitamin D only Amount varies
* High in retinol
** May be high in retinol
USDA National Nutrient Data Base:

It's sensible to avoid sources of vitamin D that are high in retinol.
Vitamin D and vitamin A are both fat-soluble and may be present in the same foods or supplements. Cod liver oil, for example, contains high amounts of both vitamin D and a type of vitamin A called retinol.

Recent studies have found that postmenopausal women who consumed very high intakes of retinol (from sources such as cod liver oil, liver, certain multivitamins or vitamin A supplements) appeared to have an increased risk for hip fractures.

However, there was no association between high intakes of another type of vitamin A, called beta-carotene and the risk of hip fracture. Beta-carotene is found in darkly colored orange and green fruits and vegetables. Although further investigation is needed to study the relationship between retinol and fracture risk, it is sensible to avoid consuming too much retinol.

You can get your adequate intake (AI) of vitamin D by selecting foods and supplements that are lower in retinol. It is important to note that retinol may also be listed on the label of fortified foods or supplements as vitamin A acetate or vitamin A palmitate. Multivitamins may be a major source of retinol so it is important to check the label and choose those with more beta-carotene and less retinol.

Even though fortified foods may contain vitamin A from retinol sources, the small amounts that they contain are generally not a concern. It is important and easy to get enough vitamin A from by eating generous servings of darkly-colored orange and green fruits and vegetables each day.

How do you read a food label for vitamin D content?
1. It is important to know that on food labels, 100% Daily Value (%DV) for vitamin D is 400 IU per day.
2. Read the % DV for vitamin D per serving. For example, 1 serving (8 ounces) milk contains 25% vitamin D.
3. Calculate vitamin D content (IU per serving) For example, 25% vitamin D = 25% of 400 IU = 100 IU per serving.
Nutrition Facts
100% JUICE Fortified with Calcium & Vitamin D
Serving Size 8 fl oz (240mL)
Servings per Container 12 There are about 12 - 8 ounce servings in this container.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 110 Calories from Fat 0
% Daily Value Percent Daily Values are based on the recommendations for an adult male consuming a 2,000 calorie diet.
Total Fat 0g 0%
Sodium 0mg 0%
Potassium 450mg 13%
Total Carbohydrates 26g 9%
Sugars 22g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 130% Calcium 35%
Thiamin 10% Riboflavin 4%
Niacin 4% Vitamin B6 6%
Folate 15% Magnesium 6%
Vitamin D 25% One 8 oz serving of this juice contains 25% Daily Value for Vitamin D = 100 IU

(c) Helen Hayes Hospital/NYS Department of Health - 11/03

Thursday, 7 May 2009


Health benefits
High avocado intake has been shown to have an effect on blood serum cholesterol levels. Specifically, after a seven day diet rich in avocados, hypercholesterolemia patients showed a 17% decrease in total serum cholesterol levels. These subjects also showed a 22% decrease in both LDL (bad cholesterol) and triglyceride levels and 11% increase in HDL (good cholesterol) levels.[17]
Avocado, raw (edible parts)
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 160 kcal 670 kJ
8.53 g
- Sugars 0.66 g
- Dietary fiber 6.7 g

14.66 g
- saturated 2.13 g

- monounsaturated 9.80 g

- polyunsaturated 1.82 g

2 g
Thiamine (Vit. B1) 0.067 mg
Riboflavin (Vit. B2) 0.130 mg
Niacin (Vit. B3) 1.738 mg
Pantothenic acid (B5) 1.389 mg
Vitamin B6 0.257 mg
Folate (Vit. B9) 81 μg
Vitamin C 10 mg
Calcium 12 mg
Iron 0.55 mg
Magnesium 29 mg
Phosphorus 52 mg
Potassium 485 mg
Zinc 0.64 mg

Percentages are relative to US
recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient database

The fruit of horticultural cultivars ranges from more or less round to egg- or pear-shaped, typically the size of a temperate-zone pear or larger, on the outside bright green to green-brown (or almost black) in color. The fruit has a markedly higher fat content than most other fruit, mostly monounsaturated fat, and as such serves as an important staple in the diet of various groups where access to other fatty foods (high-fat meats and fish, dairy, etc) is limited. A ripe avocado will yield to a gentle pressure when held in the palm of the hand and squeezed. The flesh is typically greenish yellow to golden yellow when ripe. The flesh enzymatic browning and turns brown quickly after exposure to air. To prevent this, lime or lemon juice can be added to avocados after they are peeled.
The avocado is very popular in vegetarian cuisine, making an excellent substitute for meats in sandwiches and salads because of its high fat content. The fruit is not sweet, but fatty, distinctly yet subtly flavored, and of smooth, almost creamy texture. It is used as the base for the Mexican dip known as guacamole, as well as a filling for several kinds of sushi, including California rolls. Avocado is popular in chicken dishes and as a spread on toast, served with salt and pepper. In Brazil and Vietnam, avocados are frequently used for milk-shakes and occasionally added to ice cream and other desserts. In Brazil, Vietnam, the Philippines and Indonesia, a dessert drink is made with sugar, milk or water, and pureed avocado. Chocolate syrup is sometimes added. In Australia it is commonly served in sandwiches, often with chicken. In Ghana, it's often eaten alone in sliced bread as a sandwich.
In Mexico and Central America, avocados are served mixed with white rice, in soups, salads, or on the side of chicken and meat. In Peru avocados are consumed with tequeños as mayonnaise, served as a side dish with parrillas, used in salads and sandwiches, or as a whole dish when filled with tuna, shrimps, or chicken. In Chile is used as a puree in chicken, hamburgers and hot dogs, and in slices for celery or lettuce salads. The Chilean version of caesar salad contains large slices of mature avocado. In Kenya, the avocado is often eaten as a fruit, and is eaten alone, or mixed with other fruits in a fruit salad, or as part of a vegetable salad.
The fruit was the basis for the original alcoholic drink Advocaat, made by the Dutch population of Suriname and Recife, with the name deriving from the same source.
Nutritional value
About 75% of an avocado's calories come from fat, most of which is monounsaturated fat. Avocados also have 60% more potassium than bananas. They are rich in B vitamins, as well as vitamin E and vitamin K.[18] They have the highest fiber content of any fruit - including 75% insoluble and 25% soluble fiber.[19]
A fatty triol (fatty alcohol) with one double bond, avocadene (16-heptadecene-1,2,4-triol), is found in avocado.[20]

Wednesday, 22 April 2009


Due to the important interaction between phosphate and magnesium ions, magnesium ions are essential to the basic nucleic acid chemistry of life, and thus are essential to all cells of all known living organisms. Over 300 enzymes require the presence of magnesium ions for their catalytic action, including all enzymes utilizing or synthesizing ATP, or those which use other nucleotides to synthesize DNA and RNA. ATP exists in cells normally as a chelate of ATP and a magnesium ion.

Plants have an additional use for magnesium in that chlorophylls are magnesium-centered porphyrins.Magnesium deficiency in plants causes late-season yellowing between leaf veins, especially in older leaves, and can be corrected by applying Epsom salts (which is rapidly leached), or else crushed dolomitic limestone to the soil.
Food sources of magnesium

Magnesium is a vital component of a healthy human diet. Human magnesium deficiency (including conditions which show few overt symptoms) is relatively common, with only 32% of the United States meeting the RDA-DRI,[8] and has been implicated in the development of a number of human illnesses such as asthma, osteoporosis, and ADHD.[9]

Adult human bodies contain about 24 grams of magnesium, with 60% in the skeleton, 39% intracellular (20% in skeletal muscle), and 1% extracellular. Serum levels are typically 0.7 – 1.0 mmol/L. Serum magnesium levels may appear normal even in cases of underlying intracellular deficiency, although no known mechanism maintains a homeostatic level in the blood other than renal excretion of high blood levels. Intracellular magnesium is correlated with intracellular potassium. Magnesium is absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract, with more absorbed when status is lower. In humans, magnesium appears to facilitate calcium absorption. Low and high protein intake inhibit magnesium absorption, and other factors such as phosphate, phytate, and fat affect absorption. Absorbed dietary magnesium is largely excreted through the urine, although most magnesium "administered orally" is excreted through the feces.[10] Magnesium status may be assessed roughly through serum and erythrocyte Mg concentrations and urinary and fecal excretion, but intravenous magnesium loading tests are likely the most accurate and practical in most people.[11] In these tests, magnesium is injected intravenously; a retention of 20% or more indicates deficiency.[12] Other nutrient deficiencies are identified through biomarkers, but none are established for magnesium.[13]

Spices, nuts, cereals, coffee, cocoa, tea, and vegetables (especially green leafy ones) are rich sources of magnesium. Observations of reduced dietary magnesium intake in modern Western countries as compared to earlier generations may be related to food refining and modern fertilizers which contain no magnesium.[10]

There are a number of magnesium dietary supplements available. Magnesium oxide, one of the most common because it has a high magnesium content per weight, has been reported to be the least bioavailable.[14][15] Magnesium citrate has been reported as more bioavailable than oxide or amino-acid chelate (glycinate) forms.[16]

Excess magnesium in the blood is freely filtered at the kidneys, and for this reason it is difficult to overdose on magnesium from dietary sources alone.[9] With supplements, overdose is possible, however, particularly in people with poor renal function; occasionally, with use of high cathartic doses of magnesium salts, severe hypermagnesemia has been reported to occur even without renal dysfunction.[17] Alcoholism can produce a magnesium deficiency which is easily reversed by oral or parenteral administration, depending on the degree of deficiency.[18]

From Wikipedia


Health benefits
By a high potassium to sodium content, bananas may prevent high blood pressure and its complications.[31][32] High fiber content may also contribute to this effect.[31] High potassium may also prevent renal calcium loss, in effect preventing bone breakdown.[31] In diarrhea, it contributes with electrolyte replacement, as well as increased absorption of nutrients.[31] Bananas also have some antacid effect, protecting from peptic ulcers.[31] [32] Pectin content, a hydrocolloid, can ease constipation by normalizing movement through the intestine.[31] The low glycemic index in unripe bananas is of particular benefit to people with diabetes.[31][32] High fructooligosaccharide content may work as a prebiotic, nourishing the intestinal flora to produce beneficial vitamins and enzymes.[31] Carotenoid content has antioxidant effects, and protects against vitamin A deficiency, resulting in e.g. night blindness.[31] Moderate consumption decreases risk of kidney cancer, possibly due to antioxidant phenolic compounds.[31] In contrast, large consumption of highly processed fruit juice increases the risk of kidney cancer.[31]

Fruit consumption in general decreases the risk of age-related muscular degeneration.[31]

Friday, 27 February 2009

National Multiple Sclerosis Society

Nutrition and Diet
Maintenance of general good health is very important for persons with MS or any chronic disorder. A well-balanced and carefully planned diet will help to achieve this goal. MS specialists recommend that people with MS adhere to the same low-fat, high fiber diet that is recommended for the general population.
The Problem with Special Diets
While many different diets have been proposed as a treatment, or even a cure, for the signs and symptoms of MS, evidence of effectiveness is very limited. There is some evidence that a diet low in saturated fats and supplemented by Omega 3 (from fatty fishes, cod-liver oil, or flaxseed oil) and Omega 6 (fatty acids from sunflower or safflower seed oil and possibly evening primrose oil) may have some benefit for people with MS.Most of the diets that have been touted as helping people with MS have not been subjected to rigorous, controlled studies, and the few that have been evaluated have produced mixed results. Most of the claims made for dietary treatments are based on personal accounts, and the reported benefits may have been spontaneous changes that would have happened without any treatment.
Some Diets May Be Harmful; Others Are Fine
Some special diets may be harmful because they include potentially toxic amounts of certain vitamins, or exclude important nutrients. Others conform to the low fat, high fiber diet recommendations of the American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society for all Americans.
Vitamin D
It’s well known that vitamin D works to promote calcium absorption for strong bones. However, recent research also suggests that vitamin D may have important effects on the immune system and may help regulate cell growth and differentiation.

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Diet in Multiple Sclerosis

Generally agreed nutritional guidelines for everyone advise us that to maintain our body and nervous system in good health we need to eat more fruit and vegetables and fibre, and less saturated fat. Advice to those with multiple sclerosis is basically to follow good nutrition, while adding extra sources of essential fatty acids (EFAs). Oily fish are rich sources of two EFA's in the Omega 3 group, and pure vegetable oils, such as Sunflower and Safflower oils, rich sources of linoleic acid, which is part of the Omega 6 group.
A good balanced diet will achieve two objectives:
• Supply the body with the nutrients it needs to keep healthy, while avoiding potentially damaging ingredients.
• Prevent excessive weight gain - a hazard for those who are less mobile than they used to be (and even the "healthy" population is reported to be getting heavier all the time)
There is much scientific evidence indicating that an appropriate nutritional balance and diet have a positive role in MS. Studies looking at the area of the world where MS occurs have shown that its incidence is closely correlated to the consumption of saturated fats. These are present in full fat dairy products, meat and confectionery.
The brain and nervous system are composed of approximately 60% fat, a large proportion of which is derived from the essential fatty acids. Investigations have shown that the levels of essential fatty acids in the blood have tended to be low in some people with long-standing MS.
One of the essential fatty acids is linoleic acid which is found in polyunsaturated oils such as sunflower and safflower. It was demonstrated that patients given unsaturated fats had a reduced number and severity of relapses and Professor R. L. Swank in the USA has been advising MS people to adhere to the low-fat diet for 30 years. His findings of reduced relapses and slowing of the disease progression compare favourably with the natural history of patients on a normal diet.
In the diet recommended by the Therapy Centres, the consumption of essential fatty acids is increased and that of saturated fats decreased. This nutritional programme also includes increased consumption of vitamins, minerals, trace elements and fibre which are important for general health.
A three-year research study on this diet indicated reduced frequency and duration of relapses plus no significant deterioration in patient's condition.
A more recent trial (April 2002) at the state University of New York at Buffalo "suggests that a very low fat diet (15%) with supplemental Omega3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid was very well tolerated and may have a beneficial effect on disease parameters in patients with RR-MS"

Healthy Eating
Various diets have been recommended over the years, but the MS healthy eating plan has proved most beneficial for the majority of people

Health eating
for MS is based on research
and specifically:- The incidence of MS varies from country to country. It seems to be lower where polyunsaturated fats are eaten in preference to saturated.
Scientific research has shown that those who followed the healthy eating plan carefully had fewer, less severe relapses. General health either improved or stayed the same.
People with MS tend to have an altered pattern of fats in the blood. This can be corrected, as long as the healthy eating plan is followed.

Healthy Foods are Readily Available

The aim
With the increased awareness of the importance of healthy eating, many low fat and high fibre foods, including some convenience meals, are available from food stores. There has never been a better time to follow a Healthy Eating Plan.
This way of eating is low in fat and should include foods high in fibre, vitamins and minerals. Following the healthy eating plan will benefit the whole family, although children under 5 years will need more fat and less fibre. Similar dietary recommendations are made for reducing the incidence of heart disease, certain cancers and for the treatment of diabetes.
The aim is to eat less fat, particularly saturated fat (generally hard animal fats). See USA govt advice for everyone on fat

However, you still need adequate amounts of polyunsaturated fat (soft vegetable based fats and fish oils). Polyunsaturated fats are made up of smaller units known as essential fatty acids (EFA's) - essential because our bodies are unable to make these substances which have many important functions. For example, they are vital to the immune system, brain and nervous systems.

As nature does not supply us with EFA without some saturated fat it makes it all the more important to keep down the level of saturated fat from other food.

"Omega 3" and "Omega 6"

Oily fish are rich sources of two EFA's in the Omega 3 group, and pure vegetable oils, such as Sunflower and Safflower oils, rich sources of linoleic acid, which is part of the Omega 6 group. The body uses linoleic acid to make an important EFA called arachidonic acid. Liver is an excellent source of arachidonic acid and should be eaten weekly (1/4lb, 100g).

For more about the healthy MS diet see Food for thought

Other diets
There are several other diets which have been widely publicised as being helpful to people with MS. Some are more extreme than others.
For instance the Paleolithic diet is restricted to foods which were eaten in the early Stone Age, arguing that the human digestive system evolved to deal only with these and cannot cope with "modern" introductions such as dairy products, meat from domesticated animals, refined sugar, and farmed cereals. Part of the regime advises cutting out those foods which contain gluten, a component of many cereal crops used for bread and pasta, as an intolerance to this causes some MS-like symptoms. Most nutritionists do not accept that these extreme measures are necessary, but they may help some people.
The most sensible approach to diet, for people with MS as for everyone else, is to find out all you can on general nutrition and make sure that, on the one hand you are eating enough of all the essentials, and on the other you are NOT eating all those foods (many of them delicious and enticing) which make you obese, or any which have been proved to affect you adversely.
There are standard medical tests which will establish food allergies and sensitivities, and your GP can either test you or direct you elsewhere. But bear in mind that a firm which also hopes to make profits by selling you expensive specialised foodstuffs could be a little bit biased in diagnosing whether or not you need them.
Certainly, eating the right foods can help everyone to live longer. See the report of the American Medical association.