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Vitamin & Food Guide

Know your vitamins & minerals: A Guide to vitamins, how they work in the body, where they can be found, and signs of deficiencies / overdose.

PLEASE NOTE: This information is not to be used for diagnosis or instead of consultation and support of a medical professional.  As with all things in life, take vitamins and minerals in balance – too much of one vitamin can have a negative effect.  For example, too much vitamin A may cause hair loss and bones becoming more prone to fracturing, and research has found that high intakes of Beta-Carotene can increase the risk of cancer. (Read more about Beta-carotene on the NHS website at - http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/vitamins-minerals/Pages/Other-vitamins-minerals.aspx#beta-carotene).  The most important thing to remember is - Healthy eating means varied and balanced meals, with exercise and minimal stress in our lives – living in equilibrium.

Know Your Vitamins: Omega - Zinc

The Nutrient

Body Benefits

Animal-Free/vegetable food sources (or supplements)

How much

do you need?

OMEGA- 3 FATTY ACIDS*

(including ALA, EPA, DHA)

 

Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fat.  They are an essential staple in our diets, as the body cannot manufacture these types of acids.

 

ALA, EPA and DHA are the different types of Omega-3 fatty acids.

 

ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) found in flaxseed, canola, soybean oils, and walnuts, supports the body in reducing the risk of stroke and heart disease; lowering cholesterol and triglyceride levels, enhancing the elasticity of blood vessels, and preventing the build-up of harmful fat deposits in the arteries.

 

*EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) are found in fatty fishes such as herring, mackerel, salmon, tuna, and trout. EPA and DHA supports  brain and eye development, helps to prevent cardiovascular disease, and can help to prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

 

Striking a balance between omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids is essential in promoting health.  An improper balance / too much omega-6 fatty acid,  promotes inflammation and can contribute to the development of diseases such as coronary heart disease, cancer and arthritis.

BENEFITS OF OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS:

 

  • Strong anti-inflammatory nutrients

  • Coupled with vitamin D supplementation, improves artery health by helping to reduce coronary calcium scores, plaque buildup and blood clots in arteries that lead to the brain.

  • Strengthen cell membranes and skin barrier

  • Improve cholesterol by lowering triglycerides and elevating HDL (good cholesterol) levels. These benefits come primarily from DHA and EPA.

  • Aid in healthy oil production, for well hydrated skin with fewer blackheads, and healthy scalp and hair

  • Assist in mood and hormone regulation

  • Improves bone health by positively impacting the body's calcium levels, reducing the incidence of bone loss.

  • Important for brain and eye health; helping to protect our eyes and vision

  • An immune-booster

  • Supports the defense against UV damage to our skin

  • Omega-3 in modest doses reduces cardiac deaths, and in high doses reduces nonfatal cardiovascular events.

  • `Supplementationof Omega-3 fatty acids has a therapeutic effect in children with ADHD.

  • Supplementation of Omega-3 fatty acids decreases homocysteine levels in diabetic patients.

  • Omega-3 fatty acids improve macro- and microvascular function in subjects with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

  • Said to improve the texture of hair

ANIMAL-FREE FOOD SOURCES:**

 

avocados, chia seeds, flaxseeds (ground, oil), hemp seed, mustard greens, mustard oil, olives, rapeseed oil, seaweed (such as, spirulina, wakame),  soya oil and organic soya-based foods (such as organic tofu). walnuts  

 

ANIMAL SOURCES:

anchovies, herring, mackerel, salmon (wild), sardines, shad, trout

DAILY ALLOWANCE:

 

According to The World Health Organization,

the average adult needs:

a daily EPA and DHA intake of 0.3-0.5 grams and a daily ALA intake of 0.8-1.1 grams.

 

*For the vegans and vegetarians. It has been suggested that vegetarians and vegans, in order to meet DHA and EPA recommendations, strive to exceed the RDA for Omega 3 while simultaneously keeping their Omega 6 intake low

 

 

** People taking blood thinning medications, including warfarin (Coumadin) or clopidogrel (Plavix), should not take omega-6 fatty acid supplements without consulting a health care provider. Omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids may increase the risk of bleeding.

DAILY ALLOWANCE:

 

Those with a balanced diet will usually, be receiving their daily allowance, but it is roughly suggested that there should be a balance between omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids of a ratio in the range of 2:1 - 4:1, omega-6 to omega-3 -- and some health educators advocate even lower ratios.

 

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, the dose and form of omega-6 fatty acids to be supplemented depends on many factors, including condition being treated, age, weight, and other medications and supplements being used.

 

It is therefore advised that you speak to your doctor to determine what form and what dose of omega-6 fatty acids are most appropriate for you, before taking additional supplements, or increasing your intake.

PHOSPHORUS

 

Phosphorus, only second to calcium, is the most abundant mineral in our body; present in every cell of the body, with 85 percent of this resting in our bones and teeth.

 

Altough rare, a lack of it within the body maybe seen through a loss of appetite, bone pain,

irritability, anxiety, or

fatigue

 

Medications such as, ACE inhibitors, antacids, anticonvulsants, corticosteroids, and insulin, can lower our body's phosphorus levels.

 

Overdosing for a long period of time can reduce the amount of calcium in the body, which means that bones are more likely to fracture.

BENEFITS OF OMEGA-6 FATTY ACIDS:

 

  • Plays a role in modulating inflammation throughout the body

  • Proven benefits in inflammatory diseases such as eczema, asthma, and rheumatoid arthritis.

ANIMAL-FREE FOOD SOURCES:

acai, almonds, avocados, canola oil, cashews, hazelnuts, , macadamias, olive oil, peanuts, peanut oil, pecans, pistachios, safflower oil, sunflower oil, sunflower seeds (raws), walnuts*

 

 

 

DAILY ALLOWANCE:

 

In adults, roughly one or two tablespoons of extra virgin oil, taken gradually throughout the day, should provide enough oleic acid for adults.

BENEFITS OF OMEGA-9 FATTY ACIDS:

 

  • Protective against metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease risk factors

  • Increases HDL (“good”) cholesterol and decreases LDL (“bad”) cholesterol

  • helps to eliminate plaque buildup in the arteries, which may cause heart attack or stroke.

BENEFITS OF PHOSPHORUS:

 

  • Aids in DNA and RNA repair and production replication

  • Assists in maintaining a regualr heartbeat

  • Builds strong bones and teeth

  • Maintains electrolyte balance

  • Reduces muscle pain after exercise

  • Support the immune system

ANIMAL-FREE FOOD SOURCES:

 

Broccoli, burdock root, millet, potatoes, pumpkin seeds, quinoa, rice (brown),

 

ANIMAL SOURCES:

 

Sardines, red meat

DAILY ALLOWANCE:

 

According to the NHS,

the average adult needs:

 

550mg per day.

 

POTASSIUM

 

Potassium helps trigger your heart to squeeze blood through your body; literally playing a role in every beat that our heart makes to keep us alive.

 

It also helps your muscles to move, your nerves to work, and your kidneys to filter blood.

BENEFITS OF POTASSIUM:

 

  • Maintains pH balance in the body

  • Supports the kidney to filter blood

  • Supports nerve function

  • Supports healthy electrolyte balance and circulation in the body

  • Supports healthy muscle movement

ANIMAL-FREE FOOD SOURCES:

 

Bananas, beans (white beans), butternut squash, chard,  potatoes, pulses

 

ANIMAL SOURCES:

 

beef, chicken, shellfish, turkey

 

 

DAILY ALLOWANCE:

 

According to the NHS,

the average adult needs:

 

 

3,500mg per day

Categories:

PROBIOTICS

 

Probiotics are live bacteria and yeast, known as 'good'  or 'friendly' bateria, because they keep your gut healthy by assisting your digestive system.  

 

The body contains 'friendly', and not so 'friendly' bacteria, usually inbalance.

 

 

Often there is a difference between the pharmaceutical-grade probiotics that are used within clinical trialsm and the probiotic yoghurts and supplements sold in shops.

BENEFITS OF PROBIOTICS:

 

  • Encourages better elimination

  • Believed to restore the natural balance of your gut bacteria when it has been disrupted.

  • Supports the prevention of antibiotic-associated diarrhoea (AAD).

  • Helps to reduce bloating and flatulence in some people with IBS

ANIMAL-FREE FOOD SOURCES:

 

Fermented foods such as kefir, kimchi, misco, yogurt, supplements

 

DAILY ALLOWANCE:

 

There no recommended daily dose of probiotics, but research suggests aiming for 1 billion to 10 billion live bacteria cultures (measured in Colony Forming Units, or CFUs).

 

As a rough guide,  a cup of kefir, or consuming a yogurt labeled “live and active cultures, puts you within that range.

PREBIOTICS

 

Prebiotics are carbohydrates that feed the gut bacteria; the probiotics . It is therefore believed that eating prebiotics causes more protective bacteria to grow in the gut.

BENEFITS OF PREBIOTICS:

 

  • Helps feed the 'good' bacteria in the digestive tract.

ANIMAL-FREE FOOD SOURCES:

 

asparagus, artichoke, bananas, chicoryonions, garlic, tomatoes,

DAILY ALLOWANCE:

 

The average adult roughly needs:

 

5g of prebiotics per day

PROTEIN

 

Proteins are essential nutrients for our body. One of the building blocks of body tissue, it is present in hair, skin, nails,  and muscle, and can also serve as a fuel source.

 

The most important aspect of protein, from a nutritional standpoint, is  that it is an amino acid (our body breaks down protein from food and  creates the amino acids it needs). The body needs twenty amino acids, and although it can create (or synthesize) eleven of the these itself, there are nine called 'essential amino acids', that it cannot create by itself.

 

These ‘essential amino acids’ are: Histidine, Isoleucine, Leucine,  Lysine, Methionine, Phenylalanine, Threonine, Tryptophan, and Valine.

 

Having carbohydrates and fats within our diet, along with  other nutrients, especially B vitamins and zinc, supports the functining of proteins and the production of amino acids.

BENEFITS OF PROTEIN:

 

  • Supports some of our hormones

  • Supports the immune system

  • Supports the digestive system

  • Used to make hemoglobin (the red blood cells that carries oxygen around the body)

 

ANIMAL-FREE FOOD SOURCES:

 

Protein is found in nearly all foods (except fats), and is within the following foods:

 

Almonds, black beans, broccoli (30 calories = 4.5 grams of protein, more than beef, chicken and soybeans), butter beans, cashews, flaxseeds, hemp seeds, hemp protein powder, kidney beans,  pinto beans, pumpkin seeds, soy beans (matured, organic, dry roasted - 40g per 100 grams), spinach, spirulina* (ithe most richest sources of protein,1 teaspoon = 4 grams of protein, or 58g per 100 grams), tofu (organic), quorn, walnuts, protein supplements such as whey powder, and soya based proteins for protein rich drinks.

 

 

ANIMAL SOURCES:

 

Beef (37g per 100 grams), chicken breast (roughly 33g per 100 grams), eggs (boiled, poached), lamb (shoulder, 36g per 100 grams), turkey breast, (roughly 33g per 100 grams)

 

* Spirulina is not suitable for those who have seafood or iodine allergies.

DAILY ALLOWANCE:

 

The daily allowance of protein depends on your weight, levels of activity (body builders needing more to build and repair muscle, for example), and age.

 

To calculate roughly how much protein you need to consume daily - multiply your weight in kilograms by 0.8.  The answer is the number of grams of protein you should consume every day.  

For example, if you weigh 100kg you should be consuming around 80 grams of protein a day.

 

 

COPYRIGHT © 2015 NOVENA-CHANEL DAVIES  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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Phytochemicals:

Anthocyanins  -  Catechins

Flavonoids  -  Phenolic Acids

Others

OMEGA-6 FATTY ACIDS

(including LA, GLA, AA)

 

Omega-6 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats, essential in a balanced dose within the body, as like omega-3, the body cannot manufacture them.  However, as said above, they are not to be taken in excess, and must be used in balance with omega-3 fatty acids, because omega-6 works as an inhibitor of omega-3 fatty acids; preventing the conversion of omega-3 to DHA and EPA.

 

 

Omega 6 inhibits the conversion of Omega 3 into DHA and EPA. Ttherefore a higher intake of omega-3 fatty acids, and less omega-6 fatty acids, is recommended.  An excess of omega-6 fatty acids has been shown within studies to contribute towards diseases such as arthritis, cancer, coronary heart disease, and production of inflammation.  

OMEGA-9 FATTY ACIDS

 

Omega-9 is a monounsaturated fatty acid that the body can produce; however, it is said to be beneficial when obtained in food.

ANIMAL-FREE FOOD SOURCES:

 

Omega-6 is found in the following forms:

 

LA (linoleic acid) is an unsaturated omega-6 fatty acid, found in canola, corn, peanut, safflower, soybean, sunflower oil, etc.    

 

GLA (gamma-linolenic acid) is also an unsaturated omega-6 fatty acid, found in black currant seed oil, borage oil, evening primrose oil, etc.

 

AA (arachidonic acid) is found in eggs, poultry and red meat.

SELENIUM

 

A trace element that plays a role in supporting our immune system's function and reproduction.

 

Overdosing on selenium may lead to the loss of hair, nails, and skin.  

BENEFITS OF SELENIUM:

 

  • Helps to prevent damage to cells and tissues.

  • Supports the maintenance of skin elasticity

 

ANIMAL-FREE FOOD SOURCES:

 

Brazil nuts, coconut water, mushrooms, rice (brown)  oats, pearl barley

 

ANIMAL SOURCES:

 

beef (lean steak, cooked), cjicken, Tuna (cooked), turkey (back or leg), oysters,

DAILY ALLOWANCE:

 

According to the NHS,

the average adult needs:

 

Men -  0.075mg a day

 

Women - 0.06mg a day

SILICON

 

A mineral that helps to keep bones and connective tissues healthy.

BENEFITS OF SILICON:

 

  • Promotes the strength and elasticity of hair and skin

  • Helps to build collagen and connective tissues

ANIMAL-FREE FOOD SOURCES:

 

bananas, burdock root, celery, cucumbers, leeks, oats, radishes, red cabbage

 

DAILY ALLOWANCE:

 

There is no recommended daily allowance , with the NHS website (accessed 26/06/15) stating that a well-balanced diet should provide enough silicon.

 

However, if taking a supplement, taking up to 700mg per day is unlikely to cause any harm.

SODIUM

/ SODIUM CHLORIDE

(SALT)

 

Sodium and chloride are minerals needed in small amounts to help keep the level of fluids in the body balanced.

 

Chloride is an essential component of the stomach and intestine fluids, aiding  digesting.

BENEFITS OF SODIUM CHLORIDE:

 

  • Maintains electrolyte balance in the body

  • Supports nervous functions

ANIMAL-FREE FOOD SOURCES:

 

Misco, olives, sun-dried tomatoes

 

ANIMAL SOURCES:

 

Cheese, oysters, bacon

DAILY ALLOWANCE:

 

According to the NHS,

you should not have  more than 6g of salt (2.4g of sodium) a day.

SULFUR

 

Sulphur is an abundant mineral within the body, involved in many different processes, such as making up vital amino acids used to create protein, and being present  in your muscles, skin and bones.

ZINC

 

Zinc is a trace element

BENEFITS OF ZINC:

 

  • Maintains electrolyte balance in the body

  • Supports nervous functions

BENEFITS OF SULFUR:

 

  • Supports healthy hair

  • Helps to produce tissues, such as cartilage

  • Supports insulin production

ANIMAL-FREE FOOD SOURCES:

 

Arugula, cacao, garlic, radishes, red cabbage

 

Sulphur can also be seen as food additives in some processed foods, in the form of sulphates and sulphites.

ANIMAL-FREE FOOD SOURCES:

 

Chickpeas, mushrooms, pecans, pumpkin seeds, quinoa, tahini, walnuts, wheat germ

 

ANIMAL SOURCES:

 

Cheese

DAILY ALLOWANCE:

 

A balanced diet provides all the sulphur we need.

DAILY ALLOWANCE:

 

According to the NHS,

the average adult needs:

 

Men - 5.5-9.5mg a day

 

Women - 4.0-7.0mg a day