What are “whole foods”?
Foods that have been minimally refined or processed, and are eaten in their natural state. In general nothing is removed from, or added to, the foodstuffs in preparation. Wholegrain cereal products are made by milling the complete grain.
Nushie’s Natural Wholefoods have the added benefit of also being lactose and casein free, gluten free and having no added refined sugar.
Isn’t flaxseed hard to digest in its seed form?
Yes in its originally harvested form flaxseed is not easily digested , that is why most people take it as an oil. However recently growers have learnt that if they roll the flax seeds they can crush the outer shell which is hard to break down by our digestive system and protect the oil bearing inner membrane and all its natural nutrients. This process allows the flaxseed to be easily digested. All our flax seeds are rolled.
What is Gluten?
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye barley and oats.
What is Coeliac disease?
Coeliac disease is a permanent intestinal intolerance to gluten. It is an autoimmune disease whereby the body mistakenly produces antibodies that damages its own tissues. Upon exposure to gluten the body modifies the protein, and the immune system cross-reacts with the small-bowel tissue, causing an inflammatory reaction. This in turn leads to a truncating of the villi lining the small intestine thereby interfering with the absorption of nutrients. The only known effective treatment is a lifelong gluten free diet.
Approximately 1 in 100 persons suffers from coeliac disease however the overwhelming majority (perhaps 75%) go undiagnosed. Symptoms include chronic diarrhoea, slow development in children and fatigue but these may be absent, and symptoms in other organs have been described.
Can Coeliac Disease be cured?
People with coeliac disease remain sensitive to gluten throughout their life, so in this sense they are never cured. There is no correlation between symptoms and bowel damage, so even if asymptomatic (you have no symptoms), damage to the small bowel can still occur if gluten is ingested. Once gluten is removed from the diet, the small bowel lining steadily repairs and the absorption of nutrients from food returns to normal. People with coeliac disease should remain otherwise healthy as long as they adhere to a diet free of gluten. Relapse occurs if gluten is reintroduced.
What are the Long Term Risks of Undiagnosed Coeliac Disease?
The long term consequences of coeliac disease are related to poor nutrition and malabsorption of nutrients. Untreated coeliac disease can lead to chronic poor health, osteoporosis, infertility, miscarriage, depression and dental enamel defects. There is also a small, but real, increased risk of certain forms of cancer such as lymphoma of the small bowel. In children, undiagnosed coeliac disease can cause lack of proper development, short stature and behavioural problems. Fortunately, timely diagnosis of coeliac disease and treatment with a gluten free diet can prevent or reverse many of these problems.
What is the Glycemic Index? GI
The Glycemic Index (GI as it is commonly known) is a measurement of the quality of carbohydrates in a particular food and how fast 50 grams of this carbohydrate raises blood glucose levels, (and consequent insulin secretion and effects produced by the pancreas) as it is digested.
The GI ranks carbohydrates on a scale from 0 to 100 according to the extent to which they raise blood sugar levels after eating. Foods with high GI levels and which are rapidly digested and absorbed result in marked fluctuations in blood sugar levels. Low GI foods are slowly digested and absorbed and therefore produce gradual rises in blood sugar and insulin levels. Low GI foods have been proven to have benefits for health.
Low GI diets:
- improve both glucose and lipid levels in people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and
- reduce insulin levels and insulin resistance
Recent studies from Harvard School of Public Health indicate that the risks of diseases such as coronary heart disease and type 2 diabetes are strongly related to the GI of the overall diet. The World Health Organisation in 1999 recommended that we base our diets on low GI foods in order to avoid the common diseases of affluence such as obesity, coronary heart disease and diabetes.
Low GI foods are most fruits and vegetables, legumes, nuts and wholegrains and fructose. High GI foods include corn syrup, most ice creams, starches, rice, glucose and sucrose.
A low GI diet can also help reduce stress. By providing a steady low release of glucose to the blood stream through a low GI diet, the body is able to have a long lasting supply of energy which can maintain a high performance at work, or be used for extra leisure activities and a good general mood.
Stress is a major factor affecting our overall health today Stress is a non-specific ailment that affects the body as a whole. The immune system is depress arising allergies and prone to get sick. The digestive system does not function effectively and the absorption of nutrients is reduced.
Managing stress involves a good diet. A low GI diet can prove beneficial by improving digestive function, enhancing the immune system and providing a long lasting and steady supply of energy (glucose) to maintain an active life style.
Try Nushies Natural Ice Creamery. It is an all natural plant based food that is not only lactose and gluten free but also low GI. A fabulous healthy alternative to unhealthy high GI foods.
American Diabetes Association 2006
Practical Use of the GI Johanna Burani, MS, RD, CDE
What is Anaphylaxis?
Anaphylaxis is the most severe form of allergic reaction to food and is potentially life threatening. It must be treated as a medical emergency, requiring immediate treatment and urgent medical attention.
Anaphylaxis is a generalised allergic reaction, which often involves more than one body system (e.g. skin, respiratory, gastro-intestinal, cardiovascular). A severe allergic reaction usually occurs within 20 minutes of exposure to the trigger and can rapidly become life threatening.
Recent research has revealed that 1 in 10 children suffer from a food allergy.
What causes Anaphylaxis?
Common triggers of anaphylaxis include:
Milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, fish, crustaceans and soy are the most common food triggers, which cause 90% of allergic reactions, however, any food can trigger anaphylaxis. It is important to understand that even trace amounts of food can cause a life-threatening reaction. Some extremely sensitive individuals can react to even the smell of a food (e.g.fish)
Bee, wasp and jumper ant stings are the most common causes of anaphylaxis to insect stings. Ticks and fire ants also cause anaphylaxis in susceptible individuals.
Medications, both over the counter and prescribed, can cause life threatening allergic reactions. Individuals can also have anaphylactic reactions to herbal or ‘alternative’ medicines.
Other triggers such as latex or exercise induced anaphylaxis are less common and occasionally the trigger cannot be identified despite extensive investigation.
Signs and Symptoms
The signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis may occur almost immediately after exposure or within the first 20 minutes after exposure. Rapid onset and development of potentially life threatening symptoms are characteristic markers of anaphylaxis.
Allergic symptoms may initially appear mild or moderate but can progress rapidly. The most dangerous allergic reactions involve the respiratory system (breathing) and/or cardiovascular system (heart and blood pressure).
Mild to moderate allergic reaction
• Tingling of the mouth
• Hives, welts or body redness
• Swelling of the face, lips, eyes
• Vomiting, abdominal pain
Severe allergic reaction- ANAPHYLAXIS
• Difficulty and/or noisy breathing
• Swelling of the tongue
• Swelling or tightness in the throat
• Difficulty talking or hoarse voice
• Wheeze or persistent cough
• Loss of consciousness and/or collapse
• Pale and floppy (young children)
A person who is suspected of having a food allergy should obtain a referral to see an allergy specialist for correct diagnosis, advice on preventative management and emergency treatment. Those diagnosed with severe allergy must carry emergency medication as prescribed as well as an Anaphylaxis Action Plan signed by their doctor. Food allergic children who have a history of eczema and/or asthma are at higher risk of anaphylaxis. Administration of adrenaline is first line treatment of anaphylaxis.
Management & Treatment
Anaphylaxis is a preventable and treatable event. Knowing the triggers is the first step in prevention. Children and caregivers need to be educated on how to avoid food allergens and/or other triggers.
However, because accidental exposure is a reality, children and caregivers need to be able to recognise symptoms of an anaphylaxis and be prepared to administer adrenaline according to the individuals Anaphylaxis Action Plan.
Research shows that fatalities more often occur away from home and are associated with either not using or a delay in the use of adrenaline.
In Australia, adrenaline can be purchased on the PBS in the form of an auto-injector known as the EpiPen®.
Food allergy is manageable provided individuals at risk are educated and they have the support and understanding from their friends, family and work colleagues.
For more information visit: www.allergyfacts.org.au