Font Size





Nutrition Newsletter April 2014

This month Nutritionist Anna Collins discusses foods that beat stress & insomnia, why organic has more minerals & you are what you put on your skin.


  • Coloured foods to beat stress, irritability and insomnia
  • You are what you use on your skin
  • Why organic produce has more essential minerals
  • Plus my warming goulash recipe from my recipe blog



You are what you put on your skin

Did you know that your skin absorbs quite a lot of whatever shampoos, gels and cosmetics you put on it. When you eat a harmful chemical in food, it eventually ends up in your liver where your body will usually process it for elimination.  By contrast, when you absorb a chemical through your skin it does not get filtered out by your liver.  This means it has a potentially stronger effect on your health.  Most personal care products contain chemicals such such as petrolatum, paraffin, paraben, tuolene and pthalates.  These are known carcinogens or have negative effects on skin quality, weight, hormone balance, liver or kidney health.  Another chemical, contained in over 90% of personal care items, is a foaming agent called sodium laureth/lauryl sulphate (SLS). It increases penetration of all other chemicals through your skin by stripping off the natural anti-bacterial protective layer.  i often do sessions with patients, teaching them how to choose personal care products that are better for their health. 


If you want to switch to safer products, go to and put in the product you want to check.  It comes up with a safety rating and covers thousands of products.  Health shop toiletries with fewer risky chemicals include Jason, Dr Haushka, Lavera and Trilogy while Dublin Food Coop stocks exclusively non-harmful personal care brands.



Why organic fruit and vegetables have more minerals
You’ll have heard of the controversial herbicide glyphosphate (sold as Roundup).  It's used to treat crops and remains in the soil afterwards. Did you know that glyphosphate was originally designed for a purpose other than weedkilling?  It was patented as a strong metal chelator that binds to zinc, manganese, calcium and magnesium.  When used on crops or as a long-lasting residue in soil it makes these nutrients unusable by plants.  This is one reason why studies show organic crops score much higher in disease-busting essential minerals than "conventional" crops.  If you can eat mostly organic, that’s great.  Otherwise, to check out the "clean 15" and "dirty dozen" fruit and veg click here.   Combining the 15 cleanest (conventionally produced) foods with organic where it matters most (in the 12 most contaminated) could also be a winner.  Surprisingly, organic fresh produce at places like Dublin Food Coop is equivalent in price to non-organic produce in the big supermarkets.  Cut-price supermarkets also sell some organic vegetables and fruit.  Read about glyphosphate


Goulash with haricots

Warming goulash with white haricots



It's been a real weather roller-coaster lately, with lovely sunshine one minute, hailstones, cold and sleet the next.  I really felt the need of a nice, warming goulash the other day and trotted out this old favourite.  This recipe is super-easy as you don't have to brown anything.  It's ideal if you have a few hours at home and it can bubble away as you go about your business.  It's also economical as with the protein-rich haricot beans, you need less meat.  It tastes even better the next day so I always make enough to have leftovers.  Read the recipe on



For an appointment with Anna please contact the Littlejohn Centre on 01-4560300 or if you would like to subscribe to Anna's newsletter please see


Who's Online

We have 10 guests and no members online