Thursday, August 30, 2012

The bioavailability revolution

This month we are taking a quick look at how nutritional research is providing new and better ways to deliver essential vitamins and minerals to the body.

Many of us know that the human body, when given the right environment, foods and nutrients has an amazing ability to repair itself and return to a normal and healthy state. Some of the great advances in natural health products in recent years have been in improving how we deliver essential nutrients and minerals in an effective way so we can really make use of them. This is known as making the ingredients more Bioavailable. However this can be more difficult than you might think.

The ideal situation is to get as many of our essential nutrients as possible from our food, as food offers the best bioavailability. Unfortunately this has become more difficult over the last 100 years or so due to many factors such as the depletion of nutrients from our soils and modern farming and food processing techniques, as the following graph shows:

The following graph shows dietary deficiencies of essential vitamins and minerals in the US population.

What to look for in a nutritional supplement

Here are some key things to be aware of when choosing from the bewildering array of Mineral and Vitamin supplements on the market today.

  • Solubility: Did you know that 54% of the leading Mineral and Vitamin supplements on the market today do not even dissolve in your stomach?
  • Balance: Our bodies are incredibly complex and a deficiency in one nutrient has been shown to interfere with the absorption and/or metabolism of other nutrients. A chain reaction can result in multiple deficiencies, so taking just one mineral or vitamin is not likely to bring things back to normal. Nutritional supplements are often used to compensate for lifestyles which result in a deficiency of one or two vitamins or minerals, but what is now being recognised is how much different nutrients depend on each other in order for the body to fully utilise them.
  • Completeness: 61% of vitamin and mineral supplements on the market today are single ingredient products which cannot possibly overcome multiple Vitamin / Mineral deficiencies, and 75% of the Multi Mineral – Vitamin formulations have less than 30 ingredients.
  • BioavailabilityWhereas the nutrients in your food have been prepared for you by nature’s own chelation and micronisation processes, the best Multi Mineral Vitamin companies need to devote a lot of their resources to studying and imitating Natures ways of delivering nutrients to improve the bioavailability of their products. Chelation involves wrapping minerals in organic molecules and binding them to proteins which the body finds easier to recognise and digest than the mineral on its own. Micronisation is the art of making the mineral particles small enough for the body to capture.

In the end many of the improvements in the bioavailability of natural health products are developed using nature a guide. Eating a healthy variety of food, including un-processed and organic food is your best primary source of essential nutrients. However, due to the lower nutritional density of today’s foods, supplementing your diet with a premium Multi Mineral Vitamin formula that delivers completeness, balance and bioavailability is both an effective and convenient way to ensure that your body is receiving an adequate or even an abundant supply of essential nutrients, and may also help to resolve any known or unknown nutritional deficiencies.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Digestion and nutrition

We often hear people say "you are what you eat". But maybe more accurately you could say "you are what you digest". A compromised digestive system will not be able to absorb nutrients efficiently. Bloating, Constipation, loose bowels, stomach pain, heartburn and excessive wind can all be signs of probiotic deficiency related digestive problems. We have offered a range of probiotics over the years, with each new formulation offering more benefits than the last, the latest and best one being Greenbac Probiotic.

Sauerkraut is the original probiotic superfood

Sauerkraut is a popular traditional German recipe which has gained a marvellous reputation for promoting intestinal health thanks to its probiotic properties.

You don’t need to eat a lot - a few tablespoons a day is sufficient, making it a great side dish or something to add to your salads.

You can find Sauerkraut in the supermarkets but it is the traditional version made from only Cabbage and salt that has developed a reputation for supporting intestinal health. If you have difficulty sourcing this or just want to make your own unpasteurised batch (unpasteurised is better) it is quite easy.


10 lbs (4.5 kg) shredded cabbage (preferably organic)

6 tablespoons canning or pickling salt


Prepare half of the cabbage at a time. Discard outer leaves and any insect damaged areas.

Rinse heads under cold running water and drain. Cut heads in four wedges. Discard cores, shred or slice to a thickness of a 50 cent piece.

Put 5 lbs (2.2 kg) of cabbage in a suitable fermentation container, and add 3 tablespoons of salt. Mix thoroughly, using clean hands. Pack firmly until salt draws juices from cabbage.

Repeat shredding, salting, and packing until all cabbage is in the container. Be sure the container is deep enough so that its rim is at least 4 or 5 inches (10 – 12 cm) above the cabbage. If juice does not cover cabbage, add boiled and cooled brine (1 ½ tablespoons of salt per quart (1 quart = 1.14 Litres) of water.


Place a plate that fits snugly inside the fermentation vessel so that it covers the cabbage, and is below the waterline. Place weights on the plate. Weights can be two to three sealed 1 litre jars filled with water or a well cleaned rock. The plate is used to keep the cabbage about 5 cm under the brine during fermentation.

Cover the fermentation vessel with a clean, heavy bath towel to help prevent contamination from insects and mould.

Fermentation time varies according to temperature:

At temperatures below 12 degrees C the product may not ferment.

At temperatures from 12 degrees to 18 degrees C allow 5 – 6 weeks.

At temperatures from 21 degrees to 24 degrees C allow 3 – 4 weeks. This is the ideal temperature range.

The product may spoil at temperatures higher than 26 degrees C.

Check the kraut 2 or 3 times a week and remove any scum if it forms.

Once the kraut has fully fermented in the container, you can pack it into glass bottles, pack tightly so that the juice covers the cabbage, a thin layer of olive oil at the top of the glass bottle will help prevent the product from spoilage. It will keep for several months when sealed and kept in a cool, dark place (e.g. in the refrigerator).