Thought for Food Blog

Most milk substitutes are low in iodine - here's why it matters

Posted by Shira Rossiter

04-Oct-2017 22:45:00

This post was originally published on The Conversation, and was written by Sarah Bath, a lecturer in Public Health Nutrition and Margaret Rayman, a professor of Nutritional Medicine, both based at the University of Surrey.

Milk and dairy products are the main source of iodine in many diets, and an important iodine source in many countries. However, our latest research found that the iodine concentration of most alternatives to cows’ milk – such as soy and almond “milk” – is very low. This matters because deficiency of iodine, especially during pregnancy, affects brain development and is linked to lower intelligence.

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Topics: milk and milk substitutes, labelling, fish, nutrition, allergies and allergens, seafood, pregnancy, iodine, eggs, soy, dairy, nuts, vitamins and minerals, health, cognitive function, plant-based diets, supplements

Gut Feelings: The gut-brain axis and mental health

Posted by Chris Cattini

01-Sep-2017 12:12:02

Our second brain

We have a second brain in our guts. Known as the enteric nervous system, it consists of a mesh-like network of around 100 million neurons lining the entire gastrointestinal tract. These neurons include a range of cell types operating via a complex system of circuitry largely independent of the central nervous system.

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Topics: zinc, sleep, fish, cereals, seafood, bacteria, fruit, vegetables, eggs, fibre, soy, meat, dairy, immune system, amino acids, neuroscience, fatty acids, nuts, tryptophan, gut health, cognitive function, mental health, central nervous system, fermented foods, supplements

Heavy Metals in the Food Chain: Could They Be Harming Your Health?

Posted by Naomi McGrath

14-Nov-2014 15:59:00

Heavy metals are natural components of the earth’s crust; however, certain activities of mankind, such as mining and smelting, have led to them becoming concentrated in the environment, in some areas reaching potentially harmful levels. Other sources such as vehicle emissions, industrial waste and fertilizers also contribute to the accumulation of heavy metals in the soil, atmosphere and surface water.

Heavy metals can be severely detrimental to the human body, having toxic and carcinogenic effects and causing the oxidative deterioration of biological macromolecules. The various metals have been implicated in the development of many diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes and several forms of cancer.

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Topics: omega-3, rice, fish, copper, cancer, arsenic, cereals, seafood, diabetes, vegetables, pregnancy, agriculture, toxins, regulations and guidance, contaminants, water, cognitive function, central nervous system

How Does Food Affect Sleep?

Posted by Naomi McGrath

01-Sep-2014 15:50:00

Sometimes, we all have trouble getting a good night’s sleep. Stress, noise disturbances and too much stimulation before bedtime can all contribute to us having difficulty drifting off. Sleep is essential for maintaining mood, memory and cognitive functions, and as well as having a negative impact on these factors, a lack of sleep can also have serious consequences for our health. Not only is it crucial for normal functioning of the endocrine and immune systems, a lack of sleep has also been linked with obesity, diabetes, hypertension and depression. Some dietary components have long been known to have a disruptive effect on sleep, but evidence is emerging of other interesting foods that may help us on the way to the land of nod.

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Topics: zinc, milk and milk substitutes, sleep, fish, caffeine, cereals, protein, diabetes, fruit, vegetables, eggs, coffee, obesity, alcohol, meat, magnesium, dairy, immune system, amino acids, tryptophan, enzymes, vitamins and minerals, carbohydrates, hormones, cognitive function, mental health

Engineering Sustainability – The Quest for a Novel Source of Omega-3

Posted by Naomi McGrath

02-May-2014 09:57:00

From improving cognitive performance to reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, the purported health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids have been well documented in recent years. As consumers become more aware of the health benefits they have to offer, the pressure is on to find a sustainable source of these fatty acids to meet the ever-increasing demand.

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Topics: omega-3, fish, nutrition, oily fish, cardiovascular health, fatty acids, enzymes, environment and sustainability, cognitive function

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