When it comes to nutrition, there are so many questions. Luckily, we have Dr Emma Kirke OSTM to watch our backs. Ask her stuff, she responds. It really is that easy. Be sure to watch her slot on BESTFIT TV, and follow her on the twitters @DrEKirkeOSTM
Why do I need to eat Iron?
It is an essential mineral, which performs several important roles in the body. For example, it helps to make red blood cells, which carry oxygen around the body. A lack of iron can lead to a deficiency. Iron-rich foods include: red meat, pork, poultry, seafood, beans and dark green leafy vegetables, including spinach. You can also have dried fruit, such as raisins and apricots, plus iron-fortified cereals, breads and pastas. Ensuring a good level of iron in the diet can help to fight mental and physical fatigue.
I’ve heard about Vitamin K, how important is it?
A group of structurally similar and fat-soluble vitamins, the human body needs vitamin K for synthesis of certain proteins required for blood coagulation, which in turn helps the body control the levels of calcium in bones and other tissues. Without vitamin K, blood coagulation is seriously impaired, and uncontrolled bleeding occurs. Low levels of vitamin K also weaken bones and promote calcification of arteries and other soft tissues. Leafy vegetables high in vitamin K include frozen kale, frozen spinach, mustard greens, spinach, beet greens, Swiss chard and broccoli raab.
How much use is a daily multivitamin tablet?
Multivitamins are a convenient form of tablet or powder used to provide vitamins that are not taken in through the diet. Multivitamins are also used to treat deficiencies caused by illness, pregnancy, poor nutrition, digestive disorders, and many other conditions.
How important is it that a regular gym-goer eats loads of nuts and nut butters?
Sales of nut butters are soaring, especially in the fitness fraternity. A nut butter is a spreadable food made by crushing nuts into a paste. The result has a high-fat content and can be spread like true butter. Nut butters include almond butter, cashew butter and, of course, peanut butter.
Cashew nut butter isn’t always the best choice for your diet — it is a bit lower in fat and protein and perhaps slightly higher in sugar than peanut or almond butter — but it can still be a healthy snack option, particularly if you are avoiding legumes. Peanuts are part of the legume family and are technically not a nut. Peanut butter, while a classic, shares some health benefits with other nut butters, but there tend to be fewer healthy versions available on the market. Peanut butters are most often processed with hydrogenated oils and sugar, so make sure you check the label carefully.
Where do I go for Riboflavin in my diet?
Riboflavin is a yellow vitamin of the B complex and is essential for metabolic energy production. It is present in many foods, especially milk, liver, eggs, and green vegetables, and is also synthesized by the intestinal flora.
I eat lots of cod, does that mean I don’t need to take Omegas as a supplement?
Omega-3 essential fatty acids (EFAs) provide energy, and their caloric value is similar to other fats and oils, but unlike saturated fats, they have important health roles. As their name suggests, they are essential and must be consumed daily because the body has limited storage for them.
Two crucial ones, EPA and DHA, are primarily found in certain fish. ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), another omega-3 fatty acid, is found in plant sources such as nuts and seeds. Not only does your body need these fatty acids to function, but also they deliver some big health benefits.