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Tag Archives: Nutrition

Water Kefir

Water Kefir - Nature's Probiotic


Water Kefir is an amazing home made probiotic that tastes a bit like soft drink; it’s fizzy but no where near as sweet… and it’s GOOD for you!

Many of the kefir grains claim to contain 33 different strains of Probiotic bacteria, but a 2010 study found 289 strains of...
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Walnut Cous Cous Ingredients

  • 3 cups walnuts
  • 2 Tbsn nutritional yeast
  • 2 Tbsn olive oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste


Lemon-Basil Cream Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup cashews, soaked overnight
  • 2 Tbsn fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup water (don’t use the cashew soaking water)
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil
  • 1 small clove of garlic
  • 1/4 tsn cayenne pepper (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Veggie Mix Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsn olive or coconut oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 large spring onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large carrots, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 1 bunch asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces (about 2 cups)
  • 400g artichoke hearts, drained (fresh or canned)
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • Salt and pepper to taste




  1. To make the walnut cous cous, pulse the walnuts, nutritional yeast and olive oil in a food processor until finely chopped to “cous cous” size.  Transfer to a large bowl, season lightly with salt and pepper.  The cous cous should be room temperature.  If you like, you can warm it up in the fry pan after Step 3.
  2. To make the lemon-basil cream, add all the ingredients to a food processor or high speed blender and process/ blend until mixture is smooth and creamy, adding more water if necessary.  Scrape the mixture into squeeze bottle or serving bowl and set aside.
  3. To make the veggie mix, heat oil over medium-high heat in a large pan.  Add garlic, spring onion and carrots.  Cook until the carrots start to become tender.  Add asparagus, cook for 3 minutes more.  Add artichokes and chickpeas, season mixture with salt and pepper.  Continue cooking for a further 3-5 minutes, until artichokes and chickpeas are heated through
  4. Add veggie mixture to serving bowl with walnut cous cous, toss to combine.  Serve with lemon-basil cream and garnish with fresh basil



Thanks to 86 Lemons for a great recipe



Riboflavin is one of the eight B-group vitamins that are responsible for converting glucose into energy.  It’s also involved in fat and protein metabolism.  All of the B vitamins are water soluble, which means the body doesn’t store them, but instead constantly excretes them in urine.  Riboflavin is that magical B vitamin that turns your urine a fluro yellow color.



Vitamin B2 is intricately involved in the Citric Acid Cycle, where it helps to convert succinate into fumurate, which inevitably goes on to produce ATP (which is basically the body’s energy source).  It’s also needed to convert tryptophan into niacin, to activate vitamin B6 and folate, and it plays a major role in the function of glutathione reductase, which is responsible for regenerating the body’s most important antioxidant, glutathione.  B2 is also essential for immune function, tissue repair, healthy growth of skin, nails, and hair, and is involved in red blood cell production.


Dietary Sourcesalmonds

The recommended dietary intake for riboflavin is 1.3mg/day for men and 1.1mg/day for women.

The best sources of riboflavin include brewer’s yeast, almonds, organ meats, whole grains, wheat germ, wild rice, mushrooms, soybeans, milk, yogurt, eggs, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and spinach. Flours and cereals are often fortified with riboflavin.


Deficiency signs

In Western countries poor riboflavin status is mainly seen in children and the elderly, although I personally see it in other groups.  Vitamin B2 is converted to flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD), which requires thyroxine (T4), produced by the thyroid gland.  For those with impaired thyroid function, B2 deficiency can quite often be a factor.

The main deficiency signs involve the eyes, due the function of glutathione perioxidase in this area.   Poor B2 status means impaired antioxidant function in the lens of the eye, which exposes it to an increased amount of oxidative damage.  Also, photoreceptors in the eye are riboflavin-dependant, which can cause issues with dark adaption.

Deficiency signs can include sensitivity to light, constant blood shot eyes, night blindness and cataracts in older people.   Other deficiency symptoms may include an inflamed tongue, cracked lips or split corners of the mouth, cold sores, swollen tongue or throat, hair loss, dermatitis and fatigue.

Other deeper pathologies include poor iron handling and anaemia, increased risk of cervical dysplasia, migraines, elevated homocysteine, and hypertension in those with the C667T MTHFR phenotype.


Role in MethylationRIboflavin MTRR

B2 is the co factor for the MTHFR enzyme, which is needed to convert 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate into 5-methyltetrahydrofolate (active folate).

It’s also needed as a cofactor for methionine synthase reductase (MTRR).  MTRR is an enzyme that is catalyzed by methionine synthase (MTR), but MTR is reduced by the continual oxidation of cobalamin (B12).  Vitamin B12 is needed to regenerate MTRR, so it can pass a methyl group to methionine.  Methionine then goes on to form S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe).

Those people with heterozygous or homozygous MTHFR mutations should make sure they’re including adequate B2 containing foods in their diet.






Australian Government. Department of Health and Ageing, National Health and Medical Research Council, Ministry of Health. Nutrient reference values for Australia and New Zealand – Executive summary. Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia, 2006.

Braun L, Cohen M, 2010. Herbs & Natural Supplements – an evidence-based guide, 3rd edn. Churchill Livingston, Elsevier, NSW

Breen C, Crowe A, Roelfsema HJ, Saluja IS, Guenter D, 2003. High-dose riboflavin for prophylaxis of migraine. Can Fam Physician. Vol.49, pp.1291-93.

Genecards, 2014. “5-Methyltetrahydrofolate-Homocysteine Methyltransferase”.  Viewed 21st July 2014 from

Powers H, 2003. Riboflavin (vitamin B-2) and health. Amer. Jour. Clin. Nut. Vol.77, pp.1352-60.

Head KA, 2001. Natural Therapies for Ocular Disorders, part two: cataracts and glaucoma.  Altern Med Rev, Vol.6, no.2, pp.141-6

Hustad S, Ueland M, Schneede J, Vollset S, Ulvik A et al, 2004. Phenotypic expression of the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase 677C-T polymorphism and flavin cofactor availability in thyroid dysfunction. Am J Clin Nutr. Vol.80, pp.1050-7.

Liu T, Soong SJ, Wilson NP, 1993. A case cortrol study of nutritional factors and cervical dysplagia. Cancer epidemiology, biomarkers & prevention : a publication of the American Association for Cancer Research, cosponsored by the American Society of Preventive Oncology. Vol.2, pp.525-30.

Moat SJ, Ashfield-Watt PA, Powers HJ, 2003. Effect of Riboflavin Status on the Homocysteine-lowering Effect of Folate in Relation to the MTHFR (C677T) Genotype. Clin Chem. Vol.4, no.2, pp.295-302.

Miyamoto Y, Sancar A, 1998. Vitamin B2-based blue-light photorecptors on the retinohypothalamic tract as the photoactive pigments for setting the circadian clock in mammals. National Academy of Science. Vol.95, pp.6097-102.

Schoenen J, Jacuy J, Lenaerts M, 1998. Effectiveness of high-dose riboflavin in migraine prophylaxis – a random controled trial. American Academy of Neurology. Vol.50, pp.467-70.

University of Maryland Medical Center, 2013.  “Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)”. Viewed 21st July 2014 from

Wahlqvist M, 2002.  Australian and New Zealand Food and Nutrition, 2nd edn. Allen & Unwin, NSW.

Wilson CP McNulty H, Ward M, Strain JJ, Trouton TG, Hoeft BA, Weber P, et al, 2013. Blood pressure in treated hypertensive individuals with the MTHFR 677TT genotype is responsive to intervention with riboflavin: findings of a targeted randomized trial. Hypertension. Vol.61, no.6, pp.1302-8.