The Canadians Get It!!

Recently, in a policy statement published in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology, fifteen leading health organizations came together to encourage the government to improve access to affordable, healthy food as a mechanism for improving cardiovascular health.

Not surprisingly, one of the specific recommendations was to increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables – disease exists in part due to undernourishment and the simplest, safest and most effective way to address this problem is by improving one’s diet.

At ENOF, we encourage everyone to eat lots of fruits and vegetables, but having access to a nutritional product like ENOF can be a really helpful tool to insure that you and your family are getting the essential nutrients your body needs from vegetables.

7 SIGNS YOU ARE DEFICIENT IN VITAMIN D (and what to do about it)

You’ve hit the big 5-0. Your body is simply less efficient at synthesizing vitamin D the older you get, and your kidneys become less productive in the conversion of vitamin D into the bioactive variant that your body actually uses. Also, older Americans statistically spend less time outdoors than people under 50, thus reducing vitamin D production from exposure to sunlight.

You have achy bones Are your joints stiff in the mornings? Do you struggle with achiness in your bones and muscles, particularly in the winter? Winter in the northern hemisphere is the time when vitamin D deficiency is most pronounced because people are not creating sufficient amounts of vitamin D through their exposure to sunlight.

You’re carrying too much weight around with you Okay, so you are carrying around a few extra pounds, what’s the big deal? Well, your body might still produce the same amount of vitamin D as someone at their target weight, but that quantity of vitamin D is spread over a greater amount of body fat (vitamin D is a fat soluable vitamin). Thus, if you are overweight you probably need a proportionately greater amount of vitamin D.

You feel generally blah Vitamin D appears to improve serotonin levels which can improve your spirits.

You have a dark complexion Skin pigment acts as a natural sunscreen – thus people with dark skin need significantly more sunlight to generate an appropriate amount of vitamin D. The statistics are quite alarming on this point –about 97% of African-Americans are considered as having vitamin D deficiencies!

You’re head just doesn’t stop sweating It isn’t totally clear as to why, but this symptom is highly correlated to vitamin D deficiency.

You have problem in your gut Do you suffer from Crohn’s, celiac or inflammatory bowel disease? These conditions effect how you absorb fat in your gut and, since vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin, you may not be absorbing vitamin D efficiently.

Getting enough outdoor sun exposure is still probably the best approach to resolving a vitamin D deficiency, however food sources (seafood, milk) and products like ENOF can play an important role in improving your vitamin D profile. ENOF is an excellent dietary source of vitamin D providing 240 IU per serving.

How I Know You Are Undernourished

Don’t your kids deserve the best?

Whether considering education, extracurricular opportunities or health, as parents we all strive to give our children as many advantages as we can muster. We know that our children’s success in the world is in part a function of our giving them the tools to be successful. This certainly applies to providing proper eating habits as well as age appropriate nutrition

NUTRTITION IS A COMPLEX TOPIC

The problem we all face, is that few of us really understand what proper nutrition for our kids looks like – it is an incredibly complex topic and unless you are a trained nutritionist you probably are as lost on this topic as I was. For instance, who knows how many grams of whole grains is enough? Or how many servings of fruits and vegetables our kids are supposed to eat?   For that matter, when was the last time you actually counted the number of servings they received throughout the day, week or month? Or, exactly how big is a serving? Do you know the answers to any of these questions?

Many packaged food producers further confuse the landscape when they claim that eating one serving of their processed product is the equivalent of one serving of fruits or vegetables. You should be asking yourself how is this determined? Is it based on the fiber content, phytonutrient profile or some other measure?

Well, at least we can rely on good old fortified breakfast cereal and enriched bread to cover our children’s vitamin and mineral requirements, right? Before you jump to this conclusion it is imperative that you understand what “fortification” means in this context. First, when food ingredients are processed pretty much all of the micronutrients are stripped away or destroyed. The food industry had to figure out a way to add the nutrients back in a cost effective way and so that the nutritional profile would not degrade over time in their shelf stable product. The solution? Synthetic vitamins, of course (all of our needs served through a lab)!

SYNTHETIC VITAMINS ARE NOT THE ANSWER

Synthetic vitamins look chemically identical to naturally occurring vitamins but with one BIG difference – synthetics are completely isolated from the scores of bioflavonoids, carotenoids and other biologically active substances present in actual fruits and vegetables, all of which are thought to work in concert when processed by our bodies. These natural systems are extraordinarily complex and way beyond our current scientific capabilities to replicate in a lab.

Frankly, we really don’t understand the mechanics of nutrition very well at all because biological systems are so incredibly complex. The end result, though, is that not only is there a vast difference between synthetic Vitamin A and what you get from eating a carrot, but also synthetic vitamins can actually be harmful rather than helpful in large doses.

Don’t take my word for it, check out this link to the Linus Pauling Institute, one of the foremost research institutions on the subject of vitamins. Look specifically at the commentary about disease vectors and the impact of dietary vitamin intake (i.e. from fruits and vegetables) versus supplementation with synthetic vitamins. For instance, taking synthetic Vitamin A supplements is a bad idea when women are considering getting pregnant – this is the primary reason women taking retinol medications for skin conditions are advised to terminate the use of the medication prior to pregnancy, but no such restriction exists for dietary sources of Vitamin A.

Additionally, many synthetic vitamins do not provide the same level of bioavailability as the vitamin package you would get if you ate, say, an apple or raw broccoli, thus if your cereal box says 100% DV Vitamin E it is highly probable that you are receiving a benefit far less than that. The law only requires that the quantity of vitamins and minerals in the product be disclosed rather than what percentage is bioavailable. This is the single most troubling aspect of the vitamin supplement industry – a high percentage of the synthetic vitamins contained in multivitamin supplements are never absorbed. The same is true about most synthetic vitamins used to fortify processed foods.

CHANGE STARTS RIGHT HERE

So, what can we do knowing that our kids are probably not getting adequate nutrition (which, incidentally, is directly associated with a variety of negative health outcomes)? We MUST DEMAND that packaged food manufacturers start using nutrients from whole food sources – it is imperative to our children’s (and our own) long term health and wellness – we need to start a veritable nutrition revolution, a revolution that ENOF is prepared to lead.

An ever increasing percentage of consumers are spending more time reading nutritional labels. Help us give them some good news with continuing innovation in whole-food nutrition.

Mark Gillis
Founder and Chief Health Officer, ENOF

Nutrition for Athletes

Tags

, , , ,

DO ATHLETES NEED EXTRA NUTRITION?
My twin 13 year-old daughters are competitive gymnasts.  They are literally in the gym 24 hours per week (yeah, that’s 4 hours per day, 6 days per week).  With as much time as they are in the gym you can imagine how much food they have to consume to replace the extra calories they are burning – my weekly food bills have reached the realm of the ridiculous – just one of the many hidden costs of youth athletics.

But the real question I want to address is “Do athletes just need more calories, or do they require more vitamins and minerals to perform at their peak levels?”

BASIC NUTRITIONAL NEEDS SHOULD COME FROM FOOD
The overwhelming opinion in the nutrition community is that everyone, whether an athlete or not, should look to their diet first as their source for nutrition.  Having said this, the problem is that most Americans do not have well-balanced diets and, as a result, may be deficient in certain nutrients, particularly those coming from fruits and vegetables.  In fact, according to the Center for Disease Control, only 6% of Americans consume the recommended 5 servings of vegetables every day and only 8% consume the recommended 4 servings of fruit every day.  I have read recently that the official recommendations should be changed to 7 servings of vegetables and 6 of fruit, but most people are so far away from the current recommendations there is really no point in updating them.

The point is that most people are SIGNIFICANTLY DEFICIENT in numerous nutrients based on their dietary intake of fruits and vegetables, and this includes athletes.

IMPLICATIONS OF UNDERNOURISHMENT IN COMPETITIVE ATHLETICS
Not getting sufficient amounts of phytonutrients in one’s diet can lead to numerous problems such as fatigue, a depleted immune system, slow recoveries from injury and slower bone/muscle/tissue growth.  Of course, one’s long term health and wellness has been closely tied to diet in numerous studies.  It is no wonder that the call for increased consumption of fruits and vegetables has been sounded so frequently.  Athletes, in particular, need to be aware of their fruit and vegetable consumption to insure that they are getting all of the nutrients they need because they are often putting the greatest strain on their bodies.

HOW MUCH AND WHAT IS BEST?
But exactly how much should people be eating and what are the best fruits and vegetables to be consuming?  A great resource on this is The World’s Healthiest Foods by George Mateljan.  In this book Mateljan not only walks through exactly what nutrients are in each fruit and vegetable, he also provides a wealth of information about why each nutrient is important and provides really great advice about how to prepare each fruit and vegetable too.  Personally, I find the “Rainbow” idea the easiest to follow.  In essence, the Rainbow is a reference to eating fruits and vegetables that cover the color spectrum.  I try to use this concept every day when feeding my gymnasts.  Here are some of my thoughts on fruits/vegetables that fit into this program (these are available almost year-round, but always best when in season locally):

  • RED        – Red peppers, strawberries, raspberries, tomatoes, watermelon, beets
  • ORANGE  – Carrots, butternut squash, oranges, mango, canteloupe
  • YELLOW   – Yellow peppers, lemons, corn, yellow squash, yellow onions
  • GREEN    – Spinach, broccoli, lettuce (I prefer romaine), cucumbers, kiwi, green apples, green grapes, avocados, green beans, snap peas, zucchini
  • BLUE/PURPLE – Blueberries, plums, red grapes, eggplant, blackberries
  • WHITE/TAN – Garlic, potatoes, cauliflower, mushrooms, bananas

You can find a more complete list at http://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/fruit-and-veggie-color-list.

The question about how much to eat is also quite straightforward – use the following as a quick guide:

All leafy green vegetables (and cucumbers): 1 serving = 1 cup (packed)
All other vegetables                                  : 1 serving = 1/2 cup
All fruits                                                   : 1 serving = 1/2 cup

Pretty simple, right?  Try adding up exactly how many servings of fruits and vegetables you (or your athlete) consumed yesterday.

CAN SUPPLEMENTS BRIDGE THE NUTRITION GAP (if one exists)?
This is a great question that people are constantly asking.  Most nutritionists that I have read push back by saying that people must get their nutrition from whole foods, PERIOD.  I agree with this conceptually, however it isn’t practical or realistic.  For that matter, most people already know they are deficient on the diet side of things, but they are not willing or able to change their behaviors.  In these cases I believe that a whole food concentrate can be a positive addition to one’s daily regimen.  While not perfect (you won’t get any fiber for one), it can help to bridge what I think of as the nutrition gap and for athletes this is particularly important since anything less than complete nutrition can contribute to less than optimum performance or possibly even injury.

Conversely, I am not a fan of standard multi-vitamins since the scientific data generally does not demonstrate their effectiveness and, in some cases, have been shown to have toxic side-effects whereas whole food-based nutrition is built entirely on the fruits and vegetables we all should be eating anyway.

 

A Nutrition Revolution is Born…

IMAGINE IF. . .

  • You could get all of your nutritional requirements from vegetables EVERY SINGLE DAY
  • You DIDN’T FEEL GUILTY about what you or your kids ate
  • You could get the nutritional benefits from ORGANIC VEGETABLES without breaking the bank
  • You could get these nutritional benefits WITHOUT CHANGING YOUR FOOD’S TASTE

ENOF MAKES IT ALL POSSIBLE – ENOF IS. . .

  • NATURAL NUTRITION – Made from six organic vegetables
  • FOOD – ENOF is not a supplement. It contains nothing but vegetables
  • CONCENTRATED -Just 1/20th of a teaspoon is the nutritional equivalent of 2.5 servings of fresh vegetables
  • AFFORDABLE at about $1 per day with a monthly subscription
  • GLUTEN-FREE
  • GMO-FREE
  • HASSLE-FREE – incredibly easy to put into or onto anything you are eating or drinking without affecting taste

ENOF is the culmination of efforts from natural food industry leaders and scientists who have been able to create an incredibly nutrient dense powder made entirely from vegetables that can be sprinkled onto anything you eat or drink effectively supercharging your food.

In the days and weeks to follow we will be posting information that we hope will make it easier for you and your family to achieve what we like to think of as nutritional security.  We also invite you to check out our website at http://www.simplyenof.com to learn more about our revolutionary new technology that “makes healthy simple.”

Mark Gillis
Founder & Chief Health Officer – ENOF