Category Archives: Dietary Tips for the Health Conscious

What are the nutritional benefits of barley?

A brief history of barley Barley has been harvested by humans for thousands of years with some experts barleydating its first cultivation as early as 7000 B.C. There were similar finds made in Asia Minor, Palestine and Mesopotamia, and evidence seems to suggest that it was the preferred grain in these regions. Egyptians, Sumerians and Babylonians all used barley as a form of sustenance, in fact Sumerians and Babylonians used it as a form of money. Perhaps the most famous use for barley in history is its role in Ancient Rome. roman soldier marchingGladiators in the arenas of Rome used barley as a nutritional source of strength and stamina. They were so well known for it that they were nicknamed ‘horidearii’ which translates to ‘barley men’. It was this use of barley that allowed the Roman army to march across much of Europe and the Middle East. They found the grain easy to grow and harvest and it offered them a perfect mixture of protein and nutrients. This allowed them to trek long distances and spread their empire over thousands of miles. Pre-Sprouted Barley Nutrition… Using a unique, patented process (Aktivated Barley®), all the nutrients and enzymes present in barley are captured at the barley grain’s most active point; just before sprouting and while there is no exact count of all the nutrients in barley, it is known that there are at least 14 vitamins, 12 minerals, 3 essential fatty acids, all 8 essential amino acids and many trace minerals so it packs a fairly hefty punch. . Barley also contains a high-profile enzyme called Super Oxide Dismutase. It is a scavenger enzyme that find free radicals and destroys them. It converts a harmful substance called superoxide and turns it into water and oxygen, rendering it harmless. amino acids diagram The high protein content in pre-sprouted barley is key. Protein is made up of amino acids of which 20 are ‘standard’ amino acids which the body can make itself, and 8 are essential and the body cannot make these itself, though as the name suggests, they are essential to overall health and function of the body. Pre-sprouted barley contains all 8 essential amino acids in the ratios they are needed in o make the complete protein mentioned earlier, Three stages One of the key observations about pre-sprouted barley was its ability to boost the metabolism within a very short period of ingesting it. This seemed to stand in direct contradiction to the fact that its complex carbohydrate content offered a gradual, sustained support to energy levels. Later analysis revealed such a Vitamin B1 intake geared towards activityvolume of nutrients combined with the pre-sprouted barley’s enzyme content and amino acids, it became  clear that there was a three stage progression of the grain’s nutrition within the body. 1) The initial uptake and subsequent intercellular exchange that immediately permeates the body; because of extremely high bioavailability of many of the nutrients and the trace enzymes within the pre-sprouted barley that assist oxygen, there is a fast-paced catabolism resulting in a rise in the metabolic rate. 2).  The amino absorption whose distribution is helped by two factors. Vital for the generation of cellular energy, the amino acids in pre-sprouted barley enjoy and easier assimilation because of its mineral content and fatty acids. 3). The soluble fibre in the pre-sprouted barley after ingestion turns into a gelatinous medium. This medium then envelopes the remaining, unassimilated nutrients as well as the complex carbohydrates. The slow release aspect of the gel combines with the gradual release of the complex carbohydrates to give a steady, sustained release of energy.  Vitamins, minerals etc. The vitamin content of pre-sprouted barley is vitamin A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, folic acid and vitamin E. Minerals include foodpotassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, zinc, copper, and manganese. Pre-sprouted barley also yields the essential fatty acids linoleic acid (omega 6), linolenic acid (omega 3) as well as lauric acid, stearic acid and oleic acid all in addition to the large representation of amino acids in pre-sprouted barley. In addition to pre-sprouted barley’s enzyme content enabling easier assimilation, its alkaline effect on the intestinal tract creates a better digestive environment for the body generally and may help ease some of the conditions associated witEF spillh excess acidity. The stone-ground grain of pre-sprouted barley has an added attraction – its taste. Unlike many plant-derived compounds, pre-sprouted barley mixes well with liquid and tastes pleasant even without the added flavour of fruit juice or milk. The ease of ingestion of pre-sprouted barley coupled with its palatability, make for a medium that offers new dietary possibilities and one that furnishes a nutritional foundation for general health and recovery. The gelatinous format that pre-sprouted barley means in plain terms, there is a biochemical ‘buffer’ inherent in this cereal medium that can ease the transition and essential-food-200g USE MEbioavailability of other nutritional compounds that may be combined with in other formats. Pre-sprouted barley is, unequivocally, a major breakthrough in dietary formats. Pre-sprouted Aktivated Barley® is the principle ingredient in the multi award-winning EssentialFood £14.95 for 200g, which is available at, telephone. 01342 312 811. Makes an excellent breakfast blended with Apple and Mango Juice (my favourite) – yummy.  Or with a fruit and vegetable smoothie….whatever you prefer. Enjoy the rest of your day 🙂 Nancy                                                                                                                               Natural Health Blogger


So Why Did It Win?

Organic EssentialFood – Platinum Award Winner – here’s why…JLG 2014 Winner Badge







No Doubt About It, It’s Yummy….


Organic EssentialFood what a start to the day!

Enjoy the rest of your day 🙂

The Natural Choice Blogger


Apparently Monday, 2nd December is dubbed ‘Cyber Monday’ as this is the day that we will spend absolutely millions online!

Weighing.Well okay then; why not get ahead of the game and get your post-Christmas ‘yikes I’ve put on 5 lbs.’ dietary supplements making sure that you are right there and ready to jump in to action on your  New Years’ resolutions of: 1) Eat healthily and 2) Have the best year ever ….

Enjoy the rest of your Cyber Monday 🙂

The Natural Choice blogger



Organic Fortnight Replaced With…

ORGANIC MONTH…September 2013

bigstockphoto_Market_669380The Soil Association, the governing body for all things organic and certification in the UK,  want to make sure that we are all aware of the healthier options available to us food wise in the organic arena and have declared September Organic Awareness Month.

Going wholly organic is perhaps not an option for everyone, but perhaps it is possible to go ‘one product organic’ as a start.

Here’s an organic option for breakfast that is tasty, quick and easy and bursting with energy and only 69 calories per serving – what’s not to love!

Quick to make and take… low calorie breakfast with attitude…and it’s organic!

 As part of your calorie balanced diet, check out this wonderful, quick to bigstock_Fruit_And_Vegetable_Juice_4045016make smoothie that has everything in it you need for a delicious low- calorie breakfast or lunch…with a bit of a boost.   And it is organic!

Bit of info…

 There are fifteen fruits and vegetables that whilst containing calories, actually use more calories to digest them!  In other words – negative calories fruits and veggies. Organic of course.

 Bit more info…

Organic Essential Food (green food) is only 69 calories per 20g scoop… (it contains spirulina, quinoa, bilberries, carrots, apples, barley grass, pre-sprouted barley, turmeric, flaxseed and kelp.)  It is sweetened only with apple, bilberry fruit and  carrot and every ingredient in it is organic.

 YHL Best Organic magazineOkay here’s the recipe…

  • Organic Strawberries to taste
  • Organic Apples to taste
  •  Organic Watermelon to taste

Blend it together in your smoothie maker, pour in to your ‘on the go’ cup and away you go!

 Totally yummy; total calories 138; totally organic!

 If you add fruit juice then remember to check the calories and add for your overall calorie intake and try to make your fruit juice organic too!

Enjoy the rest of your day 🙂

Nancy – The Natural Choice Blogger.

Can you do without vitamin D?

The sunshine vitamin; vitamin D.

Fatty fish such as mackerel and herring, liver, milk, eggs all have vitamin D – these are natural foods and as you can see, there are not a lot of sources of vitamin D naturally.  Some processed cereals, margarines and some processed milks have added vitamin D but we need to avoid the bad fats in margarine and the refined foods such as cereals as they are high in sugars, salts and fats, and low in any kind of nutrition, except what has been added!

Another major source of vitamin D is of course the sun!  However, with all the fear of skin cancer; we never sit in the sun without our sunscreen and we tend to slather our kids in sunscreen thereby stopping the sun from actually touching the skin which can result in a lack of vitamin D.  It is essential that we get sunlight onto the skin for at least 30 minutes per day three days per week and where it is not possible and where our food is such that we are not getting our vitamin D that way, then we must supplement with vitamin D.  It is essential that we get enough vitamin D into the body.

What does vitamin D do in the body?

Vitamin D regulates calcium in the body as well as the metabolism of phosphate.  It targets three tissues in the body: bone where it is instrumental in maintenance of the integrity of the skeleton and helps support the plasma calcium levels through bone formation; Kidney where vitamin D regulates calcium absorption, and the intestines where it aids with the uptake of calcium and phosphate in the gutVitamin D is also used by the liver for metabolic activation and a portion of it is released in to the circulation. Vitamin D is circulated around the body through the lymph nodes, having been absorbed through the small intestine.

How does vitamin D benefit me?

It has been suggested that vitamin D metabolites could protect against prostate and colon cancers according to epidemiological and observational evidence.  There is also some evidence that supplementation with vitamin D could benefit sufferers of rheumatoid arthritis and could result in the inhibition of multiple sclerosis; IBS is another condition that could well benefit from vitamin D as well as decreasing the risk of fracture and bone disease in older women.

What could happen if we are deficient in vitamin D?

When children are deficient in vitamin D during the time they are growing, they can end up with a condition called Rickets – this was a condition that was more prevalent in the Victoria times and whilst it disappeared during the 1940’s due to fortification of cereals and margarine, it is on the rise again mainly in children of Asian, African-Caribbean and Middle Eastern origin as having darker skin, their body needs more sunlight to get enough vitamin D. All children, whose diet is lacking in vitamin D or are not getting enough sun on their body, are at risk of developing rickets, it is also possible to supplement a child’s diet.  Also medications that affect vitamin D should be checked.

Rickets is not a child only disease, as adults who have prolonged deficiency in vitamin D also suffer from muscle and joint ache which are some of the symptoms of rickets.

I heard you can take too much…

There is no evidence of conditions resulting from the normal dosage vitamin D.  If you take excessive doses of vitamin D the result could be that calcium deposits are dropped in the soft tissue (i.e. kidneys, bronchi and arteries).

So, what is the normal dose?

All supplements are required to put the dose they recommend on the packaging.

A normal supplemental level of Vitamin D is 400iu* or 10mcg** which is considered ideal especially as we are not getting the needed amounts from the sun.  Taking 400iu of vitamin D will make sure that you can have all the vitamin D you need as well as covering up in the sun  if that is a concern.

400iu is the standard supplemental dosage for vitamin D

The safe upper level for Vitamin D is considered to be 1000iu* or 25mcg.

You will often find that vitamin A and vitamin D are together in the same capsules as both are fat-soluble.

Source material:

1. Vitamins and minerals An overview of benefits and safety by Dr. Derek Shrimpton and Professor David Richardson on behalf of the HFMA (Health Food Manufacturers Assoc.)2003.

* International units

** Micrograms

If you feel that your diet is lacking  click here for supplements to suit any diet.

Quick to make and take… low calorie breakfast with attitude…

 As part of your calorie balanced diet, check out this wonderful, quick to make smoothie that has everything in it you need for a delicious low calorie breakfast or lunch…with a bit of a boost!  

 Bit of info…

 There are fifteen fruits and vegetables that whilst containing calories, actually use more calories to digest them!  In other words – negative calories fruits and veggies. (use organic if you can).

 Bit more info…

Organic Essential Food (superfood) is only 69 calories per 20g scoop… (it contains spirulina, quinoa, bilberries, carrots, apples, barley grass, pre-sprouted barley, cayenne and kelp.)  It is sweetened only with apple and carrot and every ingredient in it is organic.

 Okay here’s the recipe…

  • Strawberries to taste                 
  • Apples to taste
  •  Watermelon to taste

Blend it together in your smoothie maker, pour in to your ‘on the go’ cup and away you go!

 Totally yummy; total calories 138

 If you add fruit juice then remember to check the calories and add for your overall calorie intake

Here is what one customer has to say…

by Liz Bailey on April 3, 2012, 9:29 a.m.

I use this product pretty much all the time. When I don’t have it, I notice the difference. Within a couple of days of starting again, I find my energy levels increase, I don’t get so tired and I feel able to operate much better in life. Even without other vitamins, Essential Food really works as a supplement on its own. It says it boosts energy and that’s exactly what it does. I thoroughly recommend it.
Liz Bailey


 Nancy Grier
G&G Vitamins for all your supplemental needs!