Food Allergy Awareness Month – May 2019

Written by Gaby Burt-D’Agnillo, BSc Nutrition Candidate

Reviewed by Andrea Miller MHSc, RD

May is Food Allergy Awareness Month in Canada. To raise awareness and educate the public, let’s talk about food allergies, symptoms, and common food allergens in Canada.

Food Allergy vs Food Intolerance

Food allergies are caused by a reaction of the body’s immune system to a specific food or food component, known as an allergen. If you have an allergy, your immune system is hypersensitive to a particular allergen and releases antibodies called immunoglobulins causing an allergic reaction. Food intolerances are also characterized by an abnormal response to a food product, but differ from food allergies as they do not involve antibodies and symptoms may not be as severe. Lactose intolerance is an example of a food intolerance.

Bone Building Nutrients Part 2: Other Nutrients

Written by Erika Martin BSc Nutrition Candidate

Reviewed by Andrea Miller MHSc, RD

This month, we are looking at the importance of maintaining bone health to reduce the risks of osteoporosis, falls and fractures. As mentioned in our previous post, two key nutrients in maintaining healthy, strong bones are Calcium and Vitamin D. While these are often the nutrients we think of, when it comes to healthy bones, there are other nutrients that are also worth considering, to ensure we maintain healthy bones, throughout our lifespan. Magnesium, potassium and Vitamin K are all important for bone health.

The Detox Debate

 Written by Hilary Rock BSc, Nutrition

Reviewed by Andrea Miller MHSc, RD

These days, consumers are paying closer attention to ways to improve their health and prevent disease. At the same time that interest in health is growing, so is the ease of which consumers can access health-related information to support self-care, online. The Canadian Council of Food and Nutrition Tracking Nutrition Trends survey revealed that 46% of Canadians use the Internet to find food and nutrition information; 76% use magazines, newspapers and books; friends, relatives and colleagues are the source for 66%. In other words, many of the most common methods for obtaining food, nutrition and health-related information are not necessarily science-based and may not be reliable. One area of current popular interest where misinformation abounds is detoxification (detox) and cleansing diets and other procedures supposedly designed to rid the body of toxins. Detox diets are popular strategies that claim to facilitate toxin elimination and weight loss, thereby promoting health and well-being.

Calcium

 

By: Dianna Yanchis, BSc (Nutrition)

Reviewed by Andrea Miller MHSc, RD

Calcium is an important nutrient that contributes to bone strength and density.  Calcium is important for people of all ages. It is the most abundant major mineral in the body. Calcium has other important functions including assisting in muscle contraction and blood clotting, and maintaining cell membrane integrity. It can be found in many foods such as, dark leafy greens, cheese, milk, yogurt, bok-choy, broccoli, almonds, and legumes.

All About Protein

By: Dianna Yanchis, BSc (Nutrition)

Reviewed by Andrea Miller MHSc, RD

Protein is an essential nutrient that performs a variety of important functions in the body. This includes cell growth and repair, forming the structural component of tissues, producing hormones, building enzymes, maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance as well as pH balance, producing antibodies to protect against disease and use as an energy source. Protein can also act as building materials for bones, ligaments, tendons, muscles and organs.

The Truth About Gluten

By: Dianna Yanchis, BSc (Nutrition)

Reviewed by Andrea Miller MHSc, RD

“Going gluten free” appears to be a diet trend that has grown in popularity over the past several years. Grocery stores devote entire aisles to gluten free foods and celebrities and fitness enthusiasts promote its’ “health benefits.”  Health claims that are associated with a gluten-free diet include weight loss, a reduction in bloating, improving skin tone, increasing alertness, and many others. Is a gluten free diet as beneficial as it is made out to be? What exactly is a gluten-free diet?

What Are Antioxidants and Why Are They Important?

By Dianna Yanchis BSc (Nutrition)

Reviewed by Andrea Miller MHSc, RD

Antioxidants: The superheroes in our body! Antioxidants include Vitamins A, C and E, plant chemicals like flavonoids and minerals such as selenium. Antioxidants act to protect many of the cells in the body and to ensure they are working properly. Cell damage occurs naturally with increasing age and with exposure to pollution or cigarette smoke. Cell damage can lead to chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. A diet rich in antioxidant nutrients can help lower the risk of these diseases.