You asked, we answered!
As per our monthly segment “Ask our Nutritionist” we asked you to submit any nutrition related questions that you may have! This month we have received 3 such questions.
1. Should my diet change as the weather starts to get warmer?
Let’s take a look at what grows during months of the year in Canada. In the Fall/Winter, we’re offered starchy and hearty vegetables like squash and sweet potatoes and kale. In the Spring/Summer it’s generally lighter foods with more water content, like berries and watermelon and leafy greens. Nature knows what our bodies need during different times of the year, and I bet if you tuned into your internal cravings you’re starting to look forward to fresher and lighter items now that the weather is turning. Go with this instinct and eat as seasonally as you can to get food at its peak freshness!
2. Eating plant-based I’m worried about Vitamin B12, what are my best options?
Vitamin B12, dubbed our “energy vitamin” is certainly important. It has a role in red blood cell production and keeps our nerves healthy. Without it we feel tired and eventually will start to experience nerve damage. Sources mainly come from animals, so your best bet sans meat is to take a B complex supplement, or enjoy foods that are fortified with it. These include non-dairy milks, some cereals, nutritional yeast, and the algae supplement chlorella also has B12.
3. Is gluten bad for you?
This is a tricky question and has gotten a lot of attention lately. There is a segment of the population that experiences Celiac disease which means a person cannot digest gluten and it’s harmful for the intestines, resulting in upset stomach, gas and bloating. Wheat itself is not inherently bad, and offers us protein, fibre, B vitamins, and minerals such as zinc, iron, and magnesium. Although it should be noted that when wheat is refined or processed most of these nutrients are stripped away. Many people are blaming wheat for symptoms of bloating, brain fog, skin rashes, among others. I’d like to stress that it is not wheat/gluten that’s the issue, it’s the fact that the digestive system itself has a problem. Not enough good bacteria and protection in the intestines leads to inflammation and irritation and then undigested food particles can slip out causing an immune reaction in the body. Just removing gluten doesn’t fix the underlying issue here. A full gut health protocol by a Nutritionist is needed in this case!