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Welcome From FoodWrite !

FoodWrite Ltd. loves helping businesses achieve their market potential, make the best business decisions and improve their profits !

FoodWrite Ltd. provides consultancy on technologies and markets for the food and beverages industry, and in related industries such as personal care, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, resources, biochemical engineering and nutritional healthcare.  Food and nutrition ingredients, dietary and health supplements, and animal products are all core areas of expertise.

♦ FoodWrite Ltd writes web-content and has increased web-site rankings simply by providing high quality written material to support sales and marketing. It also offers SEO, website development in WordPress, PHP and Magento.

♦ FoodWrite Ltd brings together all the skills needed for creativity, entrepreneurship, innovation and quality of advice in helping businesses develop their strategies for growth.

It covers:-

– technical and business writing, and both scientific and commercial bid  proposals,

– patent writing, applications, support and appeal documents and interpretation,

– product marketing,

– consumer consultancy,

– costings and cost effectiveness on projects

– product concepts and development

– provides high quality technology analysis, updates, action plans and reports based on data and scientific literature.  

♦ It also offers technology scouting, identifying partners for collaboration, business and market development, and a B2B strategy for emerging technologies in food science and processing.

♦ It  provides product documentation and specification services coupled with technical market research to the food industry. White papers and marketing materials to support web-sites are a speciality and a number of clients use this service including the copyright more than any.

FoodWrite Ltd. helps a range of companies, from multinational manufacturers and suppliers, venture capital firms to research organisations and to smaller companies.  The consultancy draws upon great technical skills and knowledge coupled with management insight to provide a comprehensive service.

♦ We help customers realise their potential by providing support, expertise, support and advice to encourage best practice and continuous improvement. 

FoodWrite Ltd. started in 2011. Communication with the client is the heart of the service, ensuring we work closely to deliver all your milestones on time. You may be starting a food business or trying to understand the market place for a technology, please be confident that your project is managed professionally. Project proposals are generated ensuring all steps, their costs and timings are clear and transparent. The advice is high quality and tailored to your needs with progress updates provided as required. The knowledge has helped clients develop their intellectual property (IP), or otherwise supported their investment decisions in new markets or technology. 

♦ Checkout the case studies on this web-site.

♦ Give us a call or e-mail and use FoodWrite Ltd‘s experiences to open up new markets, meet the challenges you face and add value to your business.  Telephone consultancy is also available.  Our passion is to provide answers that can be actionable and to work closely with you

Lets transform your business at an affordable cost. If you are interested in other topics to be written about- just let me know !

Contact: 4, Bowens Hill, Coleford. Glocs. GL16 8DH  T: 01594 810704 M: 07714101039

Clients we work with include the European Commission, General Mills, GlaxoSmithKline, Lucozade Ribena Suntory (LRS), Riskaware, ThermoFisher Scientific, Sumitomo and Unilever.

 

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Shanklish – A Blue Cheese From the Middle East

Cheeses are one of the great cultural food markers and one in particular, shanklish is an important economic product on the Middle East. Shanklish cheese which can also be known as shinklish, shankleesh, sorke, or sürke is a cow or sheep derived milk cheese found mainly in the Lebanon and Israel, but there are variants in Egypt and Syria. It was generally made in areas where the climate was harsh, especially the dry, mountainous regions close to the coast.

The cheese is made by a dry salting (2%w/w) acid-coagulating process. It is generally rolled into small balls of about 4-6cm diameter and sometimes covered with Aleppo pepper, thyme or the spice mix, za’atar. Chili powder is another popular covering especially in Syria where the ball of cheese takes on a reddish appearance.

In the process, the cheese is allowed to mature and ripen with blue-green molds in jars for about 2 months where it forms a skin as it dries. It lasts for up to a year where it is stored in olive oil. (Hilali et al., 2011).

The flavour and texture of the cheese is highly variable because of the extreme variations in processing and quality of the milk used. It could be regarded as a blue-green cheese in the same stable as Dolcellate and Gorgonzola, especially as the cheese hardens in the maturing process. Very often extra spices including aniseeds and chilli are added to give extra flavour. Overheated butter milk often produces a more crumbly cheese. Too high a fat content produces highly undesirable rancid notes.

Mold growth is a key component of the cheese and there have been investigations into the possible toxins generated, especially aflatoxins. Typical molds are found in the Aspergillus family. There is a need to reduce the content of these aflatoxins to meet USA FDA regulations if they are to be exported. One way to reduce aflatoxin production is to reduce the moisture content of the cheese (Salameh et al., 2016).

Shanklish cheese is usually eaten with small pieces of onion, tomato, salads and green leaves. Within the Lebanese menu, it is served within a meze.

References:

Hilali, M., El-Mayda, E., & Rischkowsky, B. (2011). Characteristics and utilization of sheep and goat milk in the Middle East. Small Ruminant Research, 101(1), pp. 92-101.

Salameh, C., Banon, S., Hosri, C., & Scher, J. (2016). An overview of recent studies on the main traditional fermented milks and white cheeses in the Mediterranean region. Food Reviews International, 32(3), pp. 256-279.

 

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What’s the difference between the lact-ovo vegetarian and the vegan diet ?

This is a question I’m often asked by students studying food technology and nutrition because there are some distinct differences between the two diets. There are many divisions between those who follow a particular diet regime. Much of the decision to adopt a diet is based on a host of factors, principally nutritional but also political, moral, ethical, social, animal welfare, environmental, sustainability etc. There is some issue that an omnivorous diet confers considerable biological advantage over all other diets including the vegan diet because it is so wide ranging in nutritional content and availability.

A distinction between lacto-ovo vegetarians and vegans needs to be made before we look at how the diets differ. Firstly, lacto-ovo vegetarians will not eat dairy products but will consume eggs usually as long as they are free range. Vegans will simply not eat any animal derived produce including dairy and any egg, even honey.

Lifestyle trends have a major impact in food choice for many of us. Vegans and lacto-ovo vegetarians have strong preferences for the way food stuffs in general are produced and tend to purchase or grow organic and whole foods. Freetrade foods are an important consideration for all but especially those adopting these two diets. Vegans do not consume honey on the basis that in its production, bees are starved and killed in the process.

The nutritional value of the diets shows some variation. Vegans have a lower calorie consumption than lacto-ovo vegetarians because their diets often rely wholly on fruit and vegetables. The protein content of the vegan diet is about 75% that of the non-vegan diet on average although this is still high enough to be regarded as appropriate and acceptable. Vegans usually have to consume complementary proteins so that the full range of essential amino acids are available. On that basis, more LBV (low biological value) proteins are consumed given that meats which are treated as HBV (high biological value) proteins are deliberately avoided. For interest, the essential amino acids are isoleucine, leucine, valine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, tryptophan and histidine.

A number of vegans look to a variety of nutritional sources to obtain a wealth of amino acids. Soya and other legumes offer a great deal in terms of protein value and the presence of essential amino acids and some minerals, but obtaining certain vitamins can prove to be an issue. Products such as Vecon, a concentrated vegetable stock and Marmite provides vitamin B12 for example. This is one vitamin that is very often only obtained in sufficient quantity from meat sources and is of little concern to carnivores. Quorn, the trademarked fungal protein from Fusarium is accepted by lacto-ovo vegetarians but generally not by vegans because it often contains egg proteins as part of the product development.

Let’s take a look at those vitamins and minerals which can be problematic in supply for vegans rather than lacto-ovo vegetarians. Calcium comes from a wide variety of sources including, bread, leafy green vegetables, pulses and legumes, baked beans, nuts, muesli and various fortified nut milks and soya milk. Selenium which is important for immunity is most often derived from brazil and cashew nuts, sunflower seeds, wholemeal bread and lentils.

Iodine which is needed for the hormone, thyroxine is obtained from seaweed and kelp supplements. Vitamins as mentioned before can be an issue in terms of supply although some unique sources are available. We’ve mentioned that vitamin B12 (cobalamin) comes from various fortified breakfast cereals and breads, soya milks and Vecon. Vitamin D which is needed for immunity and protecting a range of cellular structures can be obtained from fortified variants of vegetarian margarine, cereals and soya milk. Another vitamin B2 (riboflavin) comes from similar fortified products especially soya milk but also Marmite as well as Vecon.

It is thought that vegans obtains more than the national average of various vitamins including vitamin C, magnesium, copper, folate, beta-carotene and mostly all the essential fatty acids. Having said that , the total fat intake is about 25% lower than the average and the saturated fat intake is about 25% lower than the average. The carbohydrate intake is about 55% higher as in fibre and this can be even higher than lacto-ovo vegetarians.

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Foods To Avoid, Foods To Seek Out When Cystitis Occurs

Cystitis is inflammation of the bladder and urethra and is usually caused by bacterial infection. It can be a difficult infection to remove and very often, antibiotic treatment is required.

Lifestyle choices and diet play an important part in alleviating or propagating the symptoms of cystitis. One of the most unpleasant aspects is the sharp burning pain experienced when passing urine. Fortunately it is not infectious ! Bacteria which are commonly living within the gut are often the cause of the infection such as E. coli.

Diet

  1. Cut out acidic foods

– it seems foods and beverages with a high acid content are problematic here. Coffee, fruit juices including tomato are implicated. The caffeine content of coffee is also an issue because of its stimulatory and diuretic effects concerning the bladder. Cranberry juice consumption is up for debate simply because the evidence for alleviating cystitis has been confused by conflicting studies which claim it works when it might not have any benefit at all.

-There is another almost ironic aspect to the consumption of fruit juices because any juice which contained benzoic acid or one of its derivatives might inhibit bacterial growth. There is a reasonably high presence in both cranberry and raspberry juice. It’s worth noting that these acids are food preservatives. The polyphenols in cranberry juice are thought to prevent bacteria sticking to the walls of the bladder but this is based mainly on cell experiments.

  1. Increase fibre content.

– Fibre helps relieve constipation. Soluble and insoluble fibre both help here and when added in the form of seeds to cereal, granola, as sprinkles, to wholemeal bread etc. One benefit may be to overcome the constipation created very often by the

  1. Reduce simple sugar intake and increase complex carbohydrate intake.

– there is some evidence that consumption of simple sugars such as sucrose, fructose and glucose contribute a high energy content not only to the human body but feed bacteria and yeast. The more complex carbohydrates have less ‘metabolic potential’ and many have a fibre potential such as pectins

  1. Consume natural yoghurt for the probiotic benefit.

– any contribution to our natural flora and fauna helps and natural yoghurt is rich in Lactobacilli species amongst others associated with dairy culture. Supplementation with a probiotic in capsule is also claimed to be helpful.

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Niacin (Vitamin B3): Some Simple Points

Vitamin B3 or niacin as it is also known is an important vitamin for nutrition, especially energy metabolism. The best foods containing the enzyme are:-

  • Red meat
  • Poultry
  • Fish, especially tuna, salmon, prawns and shrimp.
  • Peanuts
  • Eggs
  • Kale, broccoli, purple sprouting
  • Carrots
  • Avocados
  • Pulses
  • Potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Sweet potato
  • Milk
  • Mushrooms
  • Dates
  • Brown Rice
  • Fortified cereals
  • Bread

Metabolic Functions

Niacin is essential for the metabolism of fats, carbohydrates and proteins for energy production. Such energy is required for general growth. It also helps maintain healthy skin and keeps the digestive and nervous systems working well. Niacin is essential to the production of hormones including oestrogen and insulin.

When niacin is deficient, we suffer from the disease known as pellagra.

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What Are The Best Sources Of Protein For People ?

Protein is the main source of amino acids. The food groups supplying all amino acids are:-

  • Meat
  • Poultry
  • Fish
  • Dairy foods
  • Eggs
  • Legumes (peas, beans)

The amino acids are the building blocks of proteins and also provide metabolites for energy production.

Protein is essentially used for growth of the human body, especially organs and tissues, cells and enzyme formation. It is also needed for repair and maintenance of cells and tissues, and for generating energy when broken down to its constituent parts.

Amino acids are classified into three groups:

  • Essential amino acids
  • Nonessential amino acids
  • Conditional amino acids

The essential amino acids, nine in total are those that cannot be synthesised by the human body (as in ‘de novo’ synthesis) and must be taken in as food. They are the following:-isoleucine, leucine, valine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, tryptophan and histidine. Histidine is essential for children but not for adults but this aspect is still debated upon, although it is best for simple nutrition to regard it as being wholly essential.

Protein complementation is a term used to describe the combining of two sources of protein to obtain the essential amino acids.

The nonessential amino acids are ones that can be synthesised by the body and are alanine, asparagine, aspartic acid, and glutamic acid. 

The conditional amino acids are usually not essential, except in times of illness and stress. These are arginine, cysteine, glutamine, tyrosine, glycine, ornithine, proline, and serine.

The Biological Value Of Proteins – LBV Versus HBV

Food protein sources are assigned a biological value, which is an indication of how closely the type and content of amino acids in proteins matches the human body’s protein requirement.

Protein food sources are often described as either LBV or HBV. These acronyms means lower biological value (LBV) as opposed to higher biological value (HBV). LBV protein sources are ones that do not have all the essential amino acids, compared to the HBV proteins sources which are usually rich in all the essential types. Meats are HBV whilst legumes fall into the LBV category.

Reference

Trumbo, P., Schlicker, S., Yates, A.A., Poos, M. (2002) Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine, The National Academies. Dietary reference intakes for energy, carbohydrate, fiber, fat, fatty acids, cholesterol, protein and amino acids. J. Am. Diet Assoc. 102(11) pp. 1621-1630.

 

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Forskolin

Forskolin is a key active ingredient from the root of Plectranthus forskohlii (syn. Coleus forskholi ) which predominantly grows in India, Napal and Thailand. It is a perennial plant of the Lamiaceae (mint) family and the many properties of the components in the plant have been reviewed (Lakshmanan et al., 2013).

Considerable interest in natural supplements for fat burning and healthy weight loss has led to a spate of interest in these types of products. Forskolin is as yet an unregulated plant product which deserves further attention.

The concoctions of the roots of Plectranthus forskohlii are used to treat a range of conditions such as asthma, glaucoma and heart disease. Weight loss has become a recent focus of attention.

Forskolin (7 -Acetoxy-8, 13-epoxy-1, 6, 9-trihydroxy-labd-14-ene-11-one) is a diterpene in the labdane family of chemicals and was first isolated from the roots in 1974. It activates adenylate cyclase in ‘in vitro’ cell preparations which produces a rise in intracellular cyclic AMP in the cell. The underlying biochemical basis is thought to help potentiate hormone responses and was first examined back in the late 70’s and early 80’s (Seamon & Daly, 1980). There are some excellent reviews on this molecule in biochemical terms (Daly, 1983; Seamon & Daly, 1986).

Cyclic AMP promotes the breakdown of stored fats in animal and human fat cells. The action of forskolin was examined in hamster adipocytes giving clues as to how it might promote fat burning for example (Schimmel, 1984).

Clinical Studies

Few high quality human studies have shown supplementation with either C. forskohlii extract or forskolin itself have produced favourable changes in body composition. A study in 2005 by Godard et al., (2005) found improvements in body weight loss in obese men in what was a relatively small study but set a marker for forskolin action.

Word Of Caution

The safety and efficacy of forskolin has yet to be fully established although there is research underway to define acceptable limits. There are no defined guidelines and one of the main issues to overcome is the quality of the extracts on offer which all appear to provide varying levels of active ingredients.

References

Daly, J. W. (1983). Forskolin, adenylate cyclase, and cell physiology: an overview. Advances In Cyclic Nucleotide And Protein Phosphorylation Research. 17, pp. 81-89

Godard, M.P., Johnson, B.A., Richmond, S.R. (2005) Body composition and hormonal adaptations associated with forskolin consumption in overweight and obese men. Obes. Res. 13, pp. 1335–1343.

Lakshmanan, G.M.A.; Manikandan, S.; Panneerselvam, S. (2013) Plectranthus forskohlii (Wild) Briq. (Syn: Coleus forskohlii)—A compendium on its botany and medicinal uses. Int. J. Res. Plant Sci. 3, pp. 72–80.

Litosch, I., Hudson, T.H., Mills, I., Li, S.Y., Fain, J.N. (1982) Forskolin as an activator of cyclic AMP accumulation and lipolysis in rat adipocytes. Mol. Pharmacol. 22 pp. 109-15.

Seamon, K. B., & Daly, J. W. (1980). Forskolin: a unique diterpene activator of cyclic AMP-generating systems. J. Cyclic Nucleotide Research, 7(4), pp. 201-224.

_______________________(1986) Forskolin: its biological and chemical properties. Advances In Cyclic Nucleotide And Protein Phosphorylation Research. 20, pp. 1

Schimmel, R.J. (1984) Stimulation of cAMP accumulation and lipolysis in hampster adipocytes with forskolin. Am. J. Physiol. 246, C63–C68.

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Punarnava (Boerhavia diffusa)

Punarnava (Sanskrit) or mookirattai in Tamil is a creeper that grows throughout India. It is also known as Boerhavia diffusa.

In Ayurvedic medicine it is used as a purgative for toxins by helping to support both kidney and liver function, reduce oedema associated with heart and kidney, and treat gastro-intestinal disorders. The product is targeted at women’s health.

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Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus)

Asparagus racemosus or satavar, shatavari, or shatamull/shotomul (Bangladeshi) as it might also be known is used in Ayurvedic medicine for a number of health reasons. In the local dialect, Shatavari literally means 100 cures, although a more fruity translation is “she who possesses a hundred husbands”. The plant has been used traditionally for hundreds to thousands of years as a general female reproductive tonic and hormonal balancer by Ayurvedic healers. It is a member of the lily family Liliaceae and is related to the culinary asparagus.

It is also widely used to treat numerous conditions such as gastric ulcers, dyspepsia, to stimulate the immune system and hormones, and to reduce the impact of lung disorders (Goyal et al., 2003). A few recent suggest additional beneficial effects of this herb including anti-hepatotoxic, immunomodulatory (Rege et al., 1989), immunoadjuvant and anti-lithiatic effects (Alok et al., 2013). It also acts as a galactagogue which means it promotes breastmilk flow.

References

Alok, S., Jain, S. K., Verma, A., Kumar, M., Mahor, A., & Sabharwal, M. (2013) Plant profile, phytochemistry and pharmacology of Asparagus racemosus (Shatavari): A review. Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Disease. 3 (3) pp. 242–251. doi:10.1016/S2222-1808(13)60049-3. ISSN 2222-1808. PMC 4027291

Bopana, N. et al. (2007) Asparagus racemosus—ethnopharmacological evaluation and conservation needs. J. Ethnopharmacol.; 110(1) Mar 1 pp. 1-15.

Goyal, R.K., Singh, J., Lal, H. (2003) Asparagus racemosus—an update. Indian J. Med. Sci. 57 pp. 408

Rege, N. N., Nazareth, H. M., Isaac, A. A., Karandikar, S. M., Dahanukar, S. A. (1989) Immunotherapeutic modulation of intraperitoneal adhesions by Asparagus racemosus. J. Postgrad. Med. [serial online] 1989 [cited 2015 Jun 24];35:199-203. See: http://www.jpgmonline.com/text.asp?1989/35/4/199/5684

 

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Ashwagandha

 

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera. Dunal) is an adaptogen known primarily for its stress-reducing properties. It’s also known as Indian ginseng, poison gooseberry and winter cherry, a member of the Solanaceae family and is a common herbal in Ayurvedic medicine. The herb is commonly available as a churna, a fine sieved powder that can be mixed with water, ghee (clarified butter) or honey.

A recent upsurge in new product development opportunities has led to interest into an ingredient that induces relaxation (Mishra et al., 2000). The species name hints at its ability to help with restful sleep. There is a growing awareness that ashwagandha demonstrates some promise for health benefits in sports nutrition, aging, cognition and maintaining memory and immune support (Bone, 1996). It is also prescribed in the Ayurvedic medicine system for arthritis and rheumatism, as an aphrodisiac, to treat male sexual dysfunction and infertility.

Componentry

The genus Withania includes more than 23 species of herbs with distinct cultivars. Based on chemical composition, Withania somnifera has been classified into different varieties. Steroidal alkaloids and lactones comprise a class of chemicals known as withanolides which predominate in the plant’s roots. These were identified in the mid-50s (Majumdar, 1951) which stimulated interest into the different types available.

Ashwagandha found in Israel contains the components withaferin A, withanolide D and E. The same plant found in South Africa contains mostly withaferin A and a form called D whilst the Indian variety boasts strong levels of withanone and withaferin A. Hybridization has also occurred among these varieties which allows for considerable genetic variation and contents of these various alkaloids.

The aerial parts of Withania somnifera yielded 5-dehydroxy withanolide-R and withasomniferin-A (Atta-ur-Rahman et al., 1991).

Clinical Studies

One recent study found that it might be useful in reducing chronic stress which is linked to higher than normal levels of obesity amongst a number of other problematic stress related conditions. Cortisol is a naturally produced steroid generated during types of stress if effective control is feasible, it is possible to manage weight in part by controlling its production in the body.

One clinical study from India ascribed regular use of Ashwaganda to improved scores in a series of rating assessments -the Perceived Stress Scale and Food Cravings Questionnaire, Oxford Happiness Questionnaire, and Three-Factor Eating Questionnaire. The herb also positively affected serum cortisol, body weight and body mass index (BMI) (Choudhary et al., 2017).

Human trials also indicated the herb might help sportsmen and women by benefitting those undergoing resistance training when increasing muscle mass and strength (Wankhede et al., 2015)..

Sales & Marketing

The plant has been included in the list of the top thirty-two medicinal plants of prime concern by the National Medicinal Plant Board of India (http://www.nmpb.nic.in) owing to its huge demand in both domestic and international markets (Prajapati, 2003).Regardless of the variety on sale, growth is observed in the marketplace for the herb. Between January 2015 and January 2016, overall U.S. sales of products containing ashwagandha rose by 63 percent, reaching more than US$13 million in sales by the end of 2016, according to SPINSscan data.

As a powerful contributor of healing and wellness, ashwagandha’s adaptogenic and whole-body approach promotes an overall feeling of well-being regardless of the health concern it’s being used to support. In light of its myriad uses, and comparability to other pharmaceuticals on the market that offer similar benefits, an increasing number of studies and clinical trials are showing ashwagandha adds to any holistic or nutraceutical supplement or regimen. It may be a very interesting component for any herbal drink marketed at inducing sleep or improving overall fitness.

Sadly, over collecting may have put the plant on the verge of extinction. There is a great deal of interest in cell culturing the plant.

References

Atta-ur-Rahman, Samina-Abbas, Dur-e-Shahwar, Jamal, S.A., Choudhary, M.I. and Abbas. S. (1991). New withanolides from Withania spp.. J. Natural Products 56 pp. 1000–1006.

Bone, K. (1996) Clinical Applications of Ayurvedic and Chinese Herbs. Monographs for the Western Herbal Practitioner. Australia: Phytotherapy Press. Pp. 137-141

Choudhary, D., Bhattacharyya, S. & Joshi, K. (2016) Body Weight Management in Adults Under Chronic Stress Through Treatment With Ashwagandha Root Extract. A Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial. J. Evid. Based Complementary Altern. Med. 22(1) pp. 96-106

Majumdar, D.N. (1955) Withania somnifera Dunal. Part II: alkaloidal constituents and their chemical characterization. Ind. J. Pharm. 17 pp. 158-161

Mishra, L.C., Singh, B.B., Dagenais, S. (2000) Scientific basis for the therapeutic use of Withania somnifera (ashwagandha): a review. Alternative Medicine Review. 5 pp. 334–46.

Prajapati, N.D., Purohit, S.S., Arun, K.S., and Kumar ,A, T. (2003) Hand Book of Medicinal Plants, A Complete Source Book. Jodhpur, Agrobios, India.

Verma, S. K., & Kumar, A. (2011). Therapeutic uses of Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) with a note on withanolides and its pharmacological actions. Asian Journal of Pharmaceutical and Clinical Research, 4(1), pp. 1-4

Wankhese, S., Langade, D., Joshi, K., Sinha, S.R., Bhattacharyya, S. (2015) Examining the effect of Withania somnifera supplementation on muscle strength and recovery: a randomized controlled trial. J. Int. Soc. Sports Nutr. Nov 25 pp. 12:43

 

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Are You A Morning Person ? It Appears You Might Be Better At Choosing Healthier Foods

Circadian rhythms are essentially about how our body clock works to you and me. Recent evidence from a study by the National Institute for Health and Welfare at the Dept. of Public Health Solutions in Helsinki, Finland, suggests our internal body clock affects what we eat and indeed our general health. It poses some interesting questions for those of us who think we are a morning person as opposed to any other time. It seems morning people may make better healthy food choices as a consequence of how our circadian rhythms are operating.

The research examined data from 2,000 people chosen at random using data from the national FUNRISK study started in 2007. They established what their body clock or circadian rhythms, technically known as their chronotype and looked at their food choices and when they ate. The study showed significant differences between the two basic chronotypes in terms of how much food and energy was consumed.

Evening types seem to be performing the less well in terms of food choice than their morning counterparts. The morning types eat generally more protein and less sugar such as sucrose in the morning. When it comes to the evening, the morning types still eat healthily by eating less sugar as sucrose, fats and saturated fatty acids. Perhaps most striking was what happened at the weekends. These differences in eating habits were even more pronounced because the morning types had “better” and more regular feeding habits and they ate more often, in fact possibly twice as often. Evening people don’t seem to sleep as well or are not as active physically. There was no reference to their mental health.

The evidence comes on the back of previous assessments about evening types who seem to engage with less nutritious food. In other words, they consume more ‘junk’ food including larger amounts of soft drinks, higher intakes of various fats but less vegetables and fibre. The overall quality of the diet is said to be much lower for evening types compared to morning types (Baron et al., 2011; Kanerva et al., 2012; Maukonen et al., 2016)

The researchers almost paraphrased Benjamin Franklin’s famous saying “early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise”. The implications for evening people is that their feeding habits make them more prone to obesity, diabetes and a host of other unwelcome conditions. Likewise, it may explain why diets are difficult to sustain for some compared to others because their body clocks are almost dictating when and what they need to eat.

The evidence is provided in greater detail by The Obesity Society which has offered a press release for editing or publication in full.

Maukonen, M., Kanerva, N., Partonen, T., Kronholm, E., Tapanainen, H., Kontto, J. and Männistö, S. (2017), Chronotype differences in timing of energy and macronutrient intakes: A population-based study in adults. Obesity, 25: 608–615. doi:10.1002/oby.21747

References:

Baron, K.G., Reid, K.J., Kern, A.S., Zee, P.C. (2011) Role of sleep timing in caloric intake and BMI. Obesity (Silver Spring). 19 pp. 1374-1381.

Kanerva, N., Kronholm, E., Partonen, T., et al. (20120) Tendency toward eveningness is associated with unhealthy dietary habits. Chronobiol. Int. 29 pp. 920-927

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