5 ways to prepare your body for summer

The first day of summer is just around the corner – time to get fit and feel good about your “bikini body.” To prepare to impress, you first have to find the perfect summer body diet that works for you. It’s easy to be active when the weather gets nicer, but an easy diet can make a huge difference.

1. Start Juicing

We know it’s tempting but skip the mince pies and opt for a hydrating, nutrient-packed juices from Eric Helms, founder and owner of Juice Generation. In a juicer, combine 2 to 3 carrots (greens removed), 1 seeded apple, 1/2 small beet, and 1/4 peeled lemon. This combo will boost your vitamin A levels while also giving your skin a rosy glow and providing a little natural SPF for your skin thanks to all of the caroteoids packed in the beets and carrots. You can also try our green detox juice, get the recipe here.

2. Try HILT workouts

Warmer, sunnier days can make you want to spend more time outside—but not necessarily running. Cut your mileage and enjoy the weather with high-intensity interval training. Full-body circuit training not only burns a load of calories while you sweat, it also torches additional calories in the hours after by keeping your metabolic rate high. Here’s one sequence to try: Hold a heavy dumbbell or large water jug in each hand. Alternate walking lunges and pushups for 30-second intervals for a total of 5 rounds. Perform on the beach for an added challenge!

3. Opt for summer fruit

Melons are the perfect hot-weather food. They hydrate without bloating and fill you up without putting you in a food coma. You might also want to limit artificial sweeteners, even in diet soda—they can cause temporary belly expansion, as do broccoli, cabbage and beans. Summer also means loads of watermelon and berries, all delicious fruit and healthy too.

4. Control your hormones

Stress impacts hormones and is known to worsen inflammation. Stress can raise levels of cortisol and adrenaline, which disturbs neurotransmitter function and worsens symptoms of thyroid disease. These include low energy levels, poor mood, low concentration, disturbed appetite and weight gain and the inability to get restful sleep. Stress management will help with the symptoms related to thyroid disease. Read our blog for more information on natural supplements to support thyroid functions.

5. Ask for assistance

We know how hard it can be lose weight, and sometimes we all need a push. Sign up for our online 5 week weight loss challenge (it also makes the perfect Christmas gift for a friend struggling to lose weight). This weight loss program includes 5 weekly session of 15 minute consultations to keep you on track with your weight loss plan. These packages are ideal for weight loss or patients needing intensive help with weight gain. Clear weekly goals will be set out and a mealplan formulated to achieve these goals.

Why you are not losing weight?

If you can determine and understand why you fail, you can focus on fixing the problem. Long term weight loss success has to do with changes that are made not only for a short period but for the long run.  I have listed the 5 main reasons, in my opinion, why people do not lose weight or struggle to maintain their ideal weight.

Appetite Control

Appetite control is the most important factor in successful weight loss. The reason you are carrying extra weight is that you are eating too much. This can be too much in the form of healthy foods where portions are not controlled (too large) or it could be a craving for unhealthy foods and an inability to resist. Another factor would be the insatiable appetite – no matter what you eat you stay hungry or you are eating well but have a craving for sweet things.

Weight loss is inevitably a fight with your appetite, whether you think so or not. As soon as you start reducing your food intake, it is a natural thing to be hungry. Your body needs extra calories and will tell you to eat more. It is what you do with this “eat more” that is the problem. Some of my patients can control that craving with a strong mindset (they are few and far between but they exist) but most people can control their appetite to a point and then either give in or give up.

Bottom line:  if you don’t feel hungry – you will not eat too much and won’t crave the wrong foods. Wouldn’t it be so easier to stick to your healthy eating plan if you have no cravings and don’t feel hungry? Ideal scenario I would say. Therefore the market for Appetite Suppressants is booming but these often have horrid side effects like aggression and moodiness. Paired with a hungry person – can be quite dangerous….

So what to do about this?  This is where WHAT and WHEN you eat is very important. Firstly aim for proteins at each meal as this suppresses cravings and combine with eating regularly and having small snacks, it will keep your blood sugar in check. Secondly, invest in a natural Appetite Suppressant like 5 HTP (see suggested products below) AND remember to take it and also at the right times. Most people use these for the first month of the eating plan and thereafter decrease to a smaller dose for maintenance. These supplements can be taken when needed i.e. use it over weekends or on holidays or just a low dose at lunch to control your appetite in the afternoon.

Can my genes make me fat?

Often in my practice, clients would say: my mother was obese, so was her parents and so is my brother so it must be genetic….. I used to think, oh no, another one shifting the blame.

Let’s look at how your genes can impact your weight. Obesity is a complex disease which results from not only genetic factors but is triggered by your environment. Many individuals may have a genetic predisposition that may lead to obesity. The genes involved here are genes that interact with environmental factors like the type of foods you consume in your diet as well as your activity levels.

For instance: you come from an overweight family. You probably have the genetic potential to put on weight too. You however, exercise frequently, avoid unhealthy foods and use nutritional supplementation to control your appetite. You are the only person in your family that is of a normal weight. Your sister on the other hand was born with a dislike in physical movement, a love for sugar and spice and really struggles to control her dietary intake.  She has therefore given up the battle of the bulge as nothing she endeavours seems to last or help control her weight problem.

Sequence variations within a pool of 56 different genes have been reported as being related to obesity. Identification of these genes (See DNA DIET gene test) will help clarify the reason that you are struggling with your weight. A few genes to mention that can affect weight loss are:

  • Increased appetite (Yes this can be genetic, gene FTO, MC4R, TCF7L2)
  • A constant craving for sweet things (Yes this too is genetic TAS1R2)
  • Insulin Resistance (ARDB2 Gln27Glu, FABP2)
  • Saturated fat sensitivity (FABP2, ARDB2, APOA5)
  • Your bodies resistance to weight loss (Gene ARDB3, PLIN)
  • Reduced ability to mobilise fat from fat stores (Gene ARDB2 arg16gly)

By having your gene screen done (DNA Diet – we collect the test sample at the Practice or it is sent to you via Courier directly to you home with full instructions), you will have a very clear idea and understanding as to where your focus should be with your weight loss strategy. Whether it is to take something natural for appetite control, or to reduce the saturated fat or carbohydrate intake in your diet, using L-Carnitine based products can assist with the breakdown of fat in your body.  And there is plenty more products available to assist.

The tests will also identify patients who are at risk of gaining weight. You might want to consider screening your kids if both parents are overweight, or doing the test if your child struggles with his/her weight. Implementing good lifestyle habits when kids are young is much more successful in managing weight than trying to change habits when you are older.

Give this one a go, it worked for me……

Lack of proper planning and prioritisation

You know the saying; “Failing to plan is planning to fail”. I have seen this so many times.  Usually when you start with your weight loss plan, you are amped to do it right. You go and buy your goodies, stick to your mealtimes and make the right choices.  As time goes by, planning your day, mealtime and meal choices may whither. If the right foods are not in your fridge, you will eat whatever is in there. If you have not packed lunch for work or school, prepared a shake or snack foods when on the road, you will end up stopping at a One Stop or buy from your work canteen and as these do not cater for healthy eating habits, you will take the only and in all likelihood the wrong choice.

Same goes for dinner. If you do not stock up on fruit and vegetables in your house, you will not cook/eat them.  And if you didn’t take the meat for your next meal from the freezer the previous night, you will probably opt for a quick and easy meal. My advice to you is that you take some time and set up a weekly menu for your main meals and then do a shopping list based on the menu. This you can then repeat week on week so when things get out of hand at work level or on your social schedule – you are prepared. If making time to shop is a factor – look at doing online shopping on a Sunday which will be delivered to your door on a Monday. Another option is to double your cooking portions in the week and freezing a portion for the next week.

Make sure that your breakfast and lunches are easy to pack and not complicated so that you can stick to it easily. Yes, this might be boring but we were not made to have joy out of every meal in the day. Keep it simple and discuss the right eating plan for your day to day routine with your Dietitian. NO for complicated –  YES for keeping it simple.

Poor Activity

No you don’t need to run the Comrades! I mean that you should look at your day to day activity level. This is where a step counter can be very useful. In order to have enough exercise to boost weight loss, you should at least be doing 10000 steps per day. This is where I would start. Once you have achieved this, you would need to add on another 30 min of cardiovascular workout. So if this sounds like a lot of work – it is indeed!

30 minutes a day seems little but patients often struggle to fit in the 30 minutes. Again planning is essential. You must set a 30 minute exercise slot into your day. Suggestions would be to start work 30 minutes later, use your lunch break to go for a walk, train 30 minutes at your workplace after work. The key here is NOT to think about it. Put your gear on and do it. It is only 30 minutes after all. Push yourself!

Look at your diary – schedule a time that will work and if it means you have to have a trainer or walk while your kids participate in sports, join a class or just do a quick session at home before work, make it happen.  Of course with the emphasis of keeping it up!

Underlying Conditions

Some underlying conditions can cause unexplained weight gain. These include conditions like underactive thyroid (Hypothyroidism), insulin resistance, medication side effects like Cortisone and some anti-depressants. Usually the underlying condition is not the main cause of weight gain but an attributing factor. In order to ensure successful weight loss, these conditions should be managed during weight loss and especially on a long term basis. At Chocolate Nutrition, we assess all possible causes for weight problems and treat them accordingly to ensure that those targets and goals are achieved!

DNA Diet Tests is a genetic test that looks at the reasons why you may be struggling with your weight. With the information you get from doing this test you will be able to focus your eating plan and weight loss strategy around the environmental and dietary triggers that cause you to gain weight. The test is done at the Practice and is a simple mouth swab test. We courier your sample to the Laboratory and they email us your results.  Once we receive your results, a Dietitian will consult with you to discuss the results and to set up an eating and exercise plan to maximise your weight loss.

Test price is approximately R2600 * (*Prices are subject to change as per laboratory prices and excludes Dietitian consultation).

Suggested Products

 Xymogen Appe-Curb

Appe-curb contains amino acids that work in the brain to switch of the appetite centre. If is used for appetite control, carbohydrate and fat cravings.

Normal Price R540 |Sale Price R477


Metagenics Insinase

Insinase is a patented formula that addresses insulin resistance. It focuses on removal of abdominal fat.

Normal Price R780 |Sale Price R699


Medcaps IS

Medcaps IS is a combination of herbs and nutrients that help with insulin resistance and appetite control. For improved results, use in conjunction with Appe-curb.

Normal Price R530 |Sale Price R410


 Metagenics L-Carnitine with Chromium

This product is a blend of two nutrients that play a role in the metabolism of fat. This product is helpful when you are an active person or trying to reduce your body fat percentage.

Normal Price R345 |Sale Price R310


Wellness Essentials Healthy balance

This is a complete formula to target insulin resistance and support weight loss. Includes Multivitamins with weight loss nutrients, Omega-3-oils, Anti-oxidants and Alpha lipoic acid for energy balance.

Normal Price R1340 |Sale Price R1199


The above featured product specials are valid until 5th February 2018 *online sales only


Low Carb Breakfast Muffin Recipe

Try these delicious and healthy breakfast egg muffins with this simple recipe that has great taste. Low carb and high in protein. Perfect as a full meal or filling snack.


  • 3 Extra Large eggs
  • 50 ml fat free milk
  • 10 ml canola oil
  • 1 Onion Finely chopped
  • ½ cup spinach finely chopped
  • 1 tomato finely chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic
  • 300g lean bacon* chopped
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 5 ml smooth mustard
  • 125 ml mozarella cheese


  • Pre heat the oven to 180 Deg Celsius and grease non stick muffin pans with butter
  • Beat or mix the egg and milk together and set aside
  • Heat the oil and saute the onion & garlic until soft. Add the chopped spinach, tomato and bacon and fry until cooked.
  • Dish the onion and bacon mixture into a muffin pan, filling each muffin hole ¾ full.
  • Spoon the egg and milk mixture on top approximately .
  • Cover with grated mozzarella cheese before baking.
  • Bake for 20 – 30 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and cool on wire rack.

Good Carb Bad Carb – by Talia den Dulk

Good carb, bad carb and more to the point – Should Diabetics be eating carbs? 

A carbohydrate is a food that when eaten, converts into blood sugar. Types of carbohydrates are whole or complex carbs like wholegrain bread, cereals, potatoes, rice, pasta, fruits and vegetables. These foods are generally healthy. On the other hand, refined carbs include cakes, biscuits, fruit juices, pastries, white bread white rice, sugar etc. Carbohydrates are pretty much present everywhere in the diet. 

When you have Diabetes, your body’s metabolism of blood sugar is impaired and therefore important for you to look at the carbs in your diet. To keep it simple, I would suggest that you look at the following factors. 

  1. Body Weight 
  1. Blood glucose control 
  1. Diabetes treatment 

Body weight

The more you weigh the more insulin and glucose your body requires.  Insulin resistance is directly linked to being overweight. As soon as you gain weight, you become more resistant to your own insulin which means that your pancreas will produce even more insulin to get the blood sugars into the cells. The extra amounts of insulin floating around in your blood will increase your appetite and also increase fat storage. If you are overweight it would be a good idea to exclude refined carbohydrates from your diet and limit the amount of complex carbohydrates. Please consult with us before you strip your diet of all carbs. 

If you are normal or underweight it would be advisable to consume Carbohydrates that are complex however looking at the quantity that you consume at a time. Rather spread small amounts frequently during the day. Ensure that your carbohydrates are low in Glycemic Index…..(See attach list) 


Blood Glucose control 

If your blood sugars are normal, it means that there is a good balance between your dietary carbohydrates, your medication and insulin produced or injected. On the other end if your blood sugars are higher than normal range, it suggests that you are either eating too many carbohydrates, your medication is not adequate and/or you are not exercising frequently. The first step in managing raised blood glucose is to reduce the Carbohydrates in the diet. Firstly, excluding all the sugary foods and junk foods and secondly reducing or excluding the starchy carbohydrates i.e. bread, rice, pasta, cereals, crackers (whether they are low GI or not).

Diabetes treatment 

If you are already eating a low Carbohydrate diet, and following an exercise regime and your blood sugars remain elevated (> 7mmol/L any time in the day) then your medication regime might need a review. If you are unsure about this, you can consult any of our Dietitians at the practice.  

In general, moderation is key. This not only your diet, but includes your weight and exercise routine. If your chair has four legs and is balanced, by losing one, it will topple over. Diabetes management does not only consist of taking your medication and hoping for the best. Without the correct diet, exercise and body weight, your chair will topple at some point.



 Types of Carbohydrates BAD CARBS

Refined Carbohydrates



Complex Carbohydrates


Low Carbohydrates

  • White bread
  • White rice
  • White cereals i.e. corn flakes, rice crispies
  • White pasta
  • Pies & pastries
  • Cookies
  • Sweets
  • Chips
  • Sugar
  • Rusks
  • Puddings
  • Whole grains i.e. multi-seed bread
  • Brown rice, barley
  • Bran cereals, oats
  • Whole wheat pasta
  • Legumes i.e. lentils, baked beans, kidney beans, chick peas
  • Fruit
  • Vegetables i.e. potato, sweet potato, peas, corn, butternut, pumpkin
  • All Atkins products i.e. bread, crackers, muesli, bars
  • Red Basket products i.e. bread, muffins, pizzas, pancakes
  • Banting products
  • Low carb veggies i.e. broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, peppers, greens, green beans, spinach, leeks, onions, tomatoes, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots
  • Eggs & dairy
  • Meat, chicken & seafood
  • Nuts & seeds
  • Oils & fats
Overweight  Avoid  Avoid  Allowed
Normal Weight  Avoid  Moderation  Allowed
Underweight  Avoid  Allowed  Allowed
Uncontrolled Blood Sugar  Avoid  Avoid  Allowed
Controlled Blood Sugar  Avoid  Moderation  Allowed

Featured Items

Atkins Bread
1 slice (40g) = 140kCal

Protein 4.6g
Carbs 12g
Fat 6.8g
2 Protein Portions
½ Fat

Atkins Muesli
25g = 120kCal

Protein 4.6g
Carbs 12g
Fat 7.4g
1 Protein Portion
½ Fruit
1 Fat

Atkins Crispbread
10g = 42kCal

Protein 2.6g
Carbs 4.0g
Fat 1.5g
½ Protein Portions

Atkins Advantage Bar

Protein 17.9g
Carbs 17g
Fat 612g
2 Protein Portions
2 Fats

Atkins Endulge Bar

Protein 1.9g
Carbs 3.1g
Fat 11g
½Protein Portions
2 Fats

Atkins Daybreak Bar

Protein 11g
Carbs 11g
Fat 8g
1 Protein Portions
1 Fat

Atkins Shake
330ml = 147kCal

Protein 3g
Carbs 10g
Fat 9g
1 Protein Portion
2 Fat


Learning about diabetes from our Diabetic Dietitian

November is Diabetes month and who better to write this month’s newsletter than the Diabetic Dietitian, Talia den Dulk.

How old were you when you were diagnosed with Diabetes?
I have had Diabetes for the past 30 years and I was ten years old when I was diagnosed. I remember not wanting to eat food and I had a very big craving for Sparletta Pine Nut. I would dream about going to the shop and downing a 2lt on the spot. 

What was the telling sign that you had Diabetes?

Thirst. Every time I walked past a swimming pool, I felt that I could drink the contents of the pool. With this came frequent visits to the toilet. Sometimes even 5 times during the night. I did lose some weight and wasn’t very hungry but I could drink anything and everything for the A-team. 

What type of Diabetes do you have?

I have the type of diabetes where you have to monitor your blood sugar at least 4 times per day and inject with insulin also a minimum of four times per day. My pancreas does not produce any insulin – This is referred to as Type 1 Diabetes. 

Type I Diabetes: Insulin deficient – The body does not produce any of its own insulin. You therefore need to inject it.  This is a genetic condition.

Type II Diabetes: Insulin Resistant – Your body produces its own insulin but the cells are resistant to the insulin and the body will produce more insulin and eventually deplete the pancreas reserves over time. This is linked to unhealthy lifestyle.


How is your diabetes different from the other type of Diabetes?
The other type of diabetes is called Non-Insulin Dependant Diabetes Type 2 and you take tablets for this type of diabetes. As the disease progresses you may eventually need insulin injections. The difference is that with Type 2 Diabetes, the pancreas produces insulin but the cells cannot use the sugar properly. This is called insulin resistance. Eventually the pancreas has to work harder to make more insulin to get the blood sugar into the cells and eventually the pancreas burns out and loses function. This type of diabetes is linked to bad eating habits and being overweight. 


Were you overweight and eating badly as a child?
Quite the opposite. I was a National swimmer and swam at least four hours per day.  We ate very healthily. We have auto-immune disease in our family and these genes were passed over to me. It is thought that a virus triggers the genes and then you present with diabetes.  


Why did you study diet and become a dietitian?
I have always believed that diabetic diets were impractical and not lifetime sustaining. And of course chocolate would always have to form part of my eating plan. Acquiring the correct knowledge would help me to change viewpoints and impractical eating plans for my peer diabetics. The personal experience with food, insulin and exercise can give me more practical insight as to why people may struggle to get their glucose levels under control.

Thyroid boosting Juice recipe

Thyroid boosting smoothie  

This smoothie is filled with three basic ingredients that help regulate thyroid hormones: tyrosine to boost the thyroid hormone, greens to activate the thyroid hormone, and antioxidants to reduce inflammation in the body. Now you can create your own customized thyroid smoothie, all with the click of a blender!

  • 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds or flax seeds
  • 1 cup greens (Baby spimach, kale, watercress,)
  • 1 cup antioxidants (frozen raspberries/strawberries )
  • ½ cup probiotic yogurt
  • ½ cup water

Add all these ingredients into a blender and blitz away! Enjoy.

Underactive thyroid (Hypothyroidism) and the relation to your health & weight

Some estimates suggest up to 40 percent of the population suffers from at least some level of underactive thyroid. Women — especially older women — are the most susceptible group for developing hypothyroidism. People who are elderly or who have other existing auto-immune diseases — like Type I diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, for example — are also at a higher risk. The thyroid gland is located at the base of your neck and is shaped a bit like a butterfly that bends around the bottom of the throat. The thyroid is one of the largest glands in the body and is connected to the way every organ in the body functions.

The thyroid controls pretty much most metabolic systems in the body specifically how quickly the body burns energy.

Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) is a hormone that controls thyroid gland. TSH is produced by the brain’s pituitary gland, but stimulates production of the hormones triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) in the thyroid gland.

The underactive thyroid and its relation to weight gain and health

An underactive thyroid/hypothyroid is when the gland doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormone (T3 and T4). Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis (an autoimmune disease) is by far the most common form of hypothyroidism in the Western world.

The signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism vary depending on the severity of the hormone deficiency. The amount and balance of these hormones (T4 and T3) affects almost every physiological process in the body, particular your body’s metabolism. T3 is the thyroid hormone that is responsible for your body’s metabolism. When it is low or suboptimal, your metabolism is low. When it is high, your metabolism is high.

But in general, any problems you have tend to develop slowly, often over a number of years.

At first, you may barely notice the symptoms of hypothyroidism, such as fatigue and weight gain, or you may simply attribute them to getting older. But as your metabolism continues to slow, you may develop more-obvious signs and symptoms. Hypothyroidism signs and symptom may include:

  • weight gain
  • fatigue or feeling sluggish
  • poor memory
  • thinning of hair or hair loss
  • pain, stiffness or swelling of joints
  • muscle aches tenderness and stiffness
  • mood disorders (like depression),
  • constipation,
  • dry or cracked skin
  • raised cholesterol
  • slowed heart rate
  • increased sensitivity to cold

How can I establish if I have an underactive thyroid

If you suspect that you may have an underactive thyroid, your doctor or dietitian can send you for a blood sample that measures the thyroid hormones. It is as simple as that. Please contact the rooms if you would like for us to send you for a blood test or discuss this at your next appointment with your Dietitian.

Treatment of an underactive thyroid

Treatment of your thyroid problem would be based on the blood test results of your thyroid’s function. The treatment of hypothyroidism is mostly a prescription of the synthetic form of the thyroid hormone. Your physician or GP would determine the dosage depending on your thyroid function.

Sometimes however, the thyroid is sluggish and not yet out of range. In these situations, one would opt for natural treatments to increase thyroid functions. Alternatively you might be on thyroid medication however remaining struggling with your weight and natural aids may boost your excising thyroid function.

There are many ways to treat hypothyroidism naturally through dietary changes and other natural remedies. Find out how to start your journey below.

Key components to Thyroid health is

  • Healthy diet
  • Exericse regularly
  • Ensure you have no vitamin or nutrient deficiencies
  • Manage stress levels by means of adequate sleep
  • Consider the use of a natural supplement to aid thyroid function

The importance of a healthy diet

Healthy Diet

A diet low in nutrient-rich foods, especially iodine and selenium (which are trace minerals crucial for thyroid function), increases the risk for thyroid disorders. The thyroid gland needs both selenium and iodine to produce adequate levels of thyroid hormones.

Low zinc levels cause lower levels of thyroid hormones. Both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism may cause a zinc deficiency, which in turn, leads to a lower concentration of thyroid hormones.

Certain types of B vitamins are essential in the manufacturing of T4, a major thyroid hormone, so you need to include it if you want to improve thyroid function. Researchers have discovered a strong link between low levels of vitamin D and thyroid disorders.

A healthy balanced diet will aid in providing these nutrients however might not be enough. I would usually like to test the blood levels of these nutrients to ensure that they are in range and if not to treat deficiencies that may worsen the funtioning of the thyroid.


Inactivity and lack of exercise

Exercise and a healthy diet are important for controlling chronic stress and managing hormone-related neurological function. Research shows that people who regularly exercise usually get better sleep, deal with stress better and more often maintain a healthier weight, all of which reduce some of the biggest risk factors and symptoms associated with hypothyroidism.

High levels of emotional stress

Stress impacts hormones and is known to worsen inflammation. Stress can raise levels of cortisol and adrenaline, which disturbs neurotransmitter function and worsens symptoms of thyroid disease. These include low energy levels, poor mood, low concentration, disturbed appetite and weight gain and the inability to get restful sleep. Stress management will help with the symptoms related to thyroid disease.

Natural supplements to support thyroid functions

  1. Ashwagandha

Ashwaganda is a natural remedy also known as an adaptogenic herb. It is the Nr 1 herb you need to heal the thyroid and adrenal tissues.  Adaptogen herbs mean they help you adapt and deal with stress, and ashwagandha has been used for thousands of years in Chinese medicine.

Other adaptogenic herbs can include things like rhodiola, ginseng and licorice root. All of those are adaptogen herbs, but ashwagandha may be the most effective at naturally supporting overall thyroid health, especially as a natural treatment for hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s.

  1. Selenium

Natural thyroid regulation involves selenium-based proteins helping with the regulation of hormone synthesis. They convert T4 into T3 and help with your body’s metabolic regulation. Because metabolic regulation is the business of the thyroid gland and dependent on healthy, natural thyroid regulation, optimal selenium intake should be a priority. Selenium also helps with the regulation of your body’s iodine stores. Ask your dietitian to check your selenium level at your next consultation.

  1. Zinc

Low zinc levels cause lower levels of thyroid hormones. Both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism may cause a zinc deficiency, which in turn, leads to a lower concentration of thyroid hormones.  Zinc level should be tested and checked when thyroid function is assessed.

  1. The B Vitamins

Certain types of B vitamins are essential in the manufacturing of T4, a major thyroid hormone, so you need you include it if you want to improve thyroid function. Specifically: thiamine (Vit B1) and vitamin B12. Thiamine and vitamin B12 are two B vitamins that can actually improve thyroid function. If somebody is on a vegan or vegetarian diet, they might be deficient in Vitamin B12 and also are likely to be deficient in thiamine.  As with the other nutrients needed for proper thyroid function, B vitamins can also easily be checked when blood is taken.  

  1. Iodine

Iodine is probably the most important trace element needed for natural thyroid regulation. It is the building block of the thyroid hormones which are essential for supporting all your body tissues.

  1. Probiotics

Probiotics are good bacteria that are critical for digestive function. In fact, thyroid conditions have also been linked to a health problem called leaky gut syndrome. Leaky gut is where a protein like gluten can leak through the gut, get in the bloodstream and cause inflammation throughout the body, but also it can cause inflammation of the thyroid gland. Thus healing the leaky gut is important and probiotics are the best supplement for that.

Natural probiotics that you can add to your daily intake include”

  • Kefir (Contact the practice if you would like to know where to obtain this)
  • Probiotic yogurts
  • Sauercraut
  • Kombucha
  1. Vitamin D:

Researchers have discovered a strong link between low levels of vitamin D and thyroid disorders.

It is very important to have your blood level of vitamin D tested and to establish the dosage you need for increasing or maintaining your level of vitamin D. Each person is different and there is no such a thing as a daily dosage for all.

  1. Proteolytic Enzymes

Enzymes reduce inflammation, especially if you have an autoimmune-related thyroid condition like Hashimoto’s disease; taking proteolytic enzymes like bromelain can benefit thyroid health by reducing inflammation of the thyroid.


Featured Product

MedCaps T3™ features targeted nutrients and herbs that support healthy thyroid hormone biosynthesis. This combination may facilitate the expression of thyroid hormone genes. The addition of ashwagandha and guggul extract may aid in the conversion of thyroxine to triiodothyronine (T4 to T3) and may assist in maintaining healthy blood lipid levels already within the normal range.

MedCaps T3 – Buy Online Now

Martinette’s Recommendation

I use this supplement for clients who has lower levels of thyroid hormones and struggling with thyroid symptoms such as weight management, fatigue, brain fog and depression. Please note that treatment should be a minimum of three months to see improvement in symptoms.

Get to know Martinette Basson

We asked Martinette Basson a few personal and interesting questions. Take a look at what she had to say…

What is your philosophy in life?
The best way to get something done is to begin!

Life is really simple, but we often insist on making it complicated – Confucius.

We need to realise that the same rules applies to our lifestyle…don’t make a big deal about healthy eating, everything in moderation is a good start.

What are your hobbies?
I love music! I also like to read a book when time allows, if I find a good book you won’t see me for a whole day. We all need to exercise and I see it as a hobby: since I like to be in the nature I enjoy a good mountain-bike cycle or a walk with my dog as it helps to get rid of any stress.

What is your favourite food on “cheat days”?
Pancakes…always! And fudge

What do you like most about being a Dietitian?
For me the satisfaction of being a Dietitian is mainly because it is a good mix of solving a problem in the body and constantly learning new ways to get the wanted results… and in the end a happy client/patient. It is great to see how a person can make small changes and experience the brilliant effect within 3 weeks and then wanting to continue with their new lifestyle.

What is your biggest pet hate?
Unfriendly people.

Pain Control Juice

The ginger in this oh-so-good-for-you vegetable drink will pep you up when you’re feeling a bit tired and your system is sluggish.


  • 2 carrots
  • 4 tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 30g fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • Small handful of crushed ice
  • 125 ml chilled water


  1. Feed the carrots through a juicer or blend with a good blender. Add the tomatoes and lemon juice and blend.
  2. Add the parsley, ginger and crushed ice and blend again until smooth. Add the water and whizz again.
  3. Pour into a glass, garnish with the parsley and serve immediately.