Introducing Muriel Bouquier Ouziel
Muriel is a London-based certified nutritionist and micro-nutrionist with a PhD in Pharmacy and a passion for food to heal and nourish the body. 👩⚕️
With over 15 years of scientific and practical experience, she brings a wealth of knowledge to her role as a nutritional coach, empowering individuals to lead healthier lives through personalised and targeted nutrition programmes.
Her expertise covers a wide range of health challenges, including weight management, stress, chronic fatigue, sports performance, and medical treatment support. She also specialises in digestive issues, detoxification, women's health, and brain health.
Muriel is a member of London's practitioner network Baby & Me and an affiliate member of the Association of UK Dietitians (BDA). She's also a regular contributor to l'ECHO Magazine and other publications.
Dedicated to helping clients achieve optimal health, Muriel is committed to guiding individuals to reach their full health potential.
Which micronutrients are best for a good night’s sleep?
While you may want to focus on specific foods, it's also helpful to consider what micronutrients can help you get a good night's sleep. 😴
These are three of the main ones to consider.
Polyunsaturated fatty acids, commonly referred to as good lipids, play a crucial role in maintaining the fluidity of neuron membranes and enhancing inter-neuronal communication.
Omega-3 fatty acids, a type of polyunsaturated fat, are particularly beneficial and can be found in various food sources.
Good sources of omega-3 include:
- Oily fish: Small fish such as mackerel, sardines, and herring are rich in omega-3.
- Cold-pressed vegetable oils: Look for first-press oils from rapeseed, walnut, camelina, and flax. Flax oil, in particular, should be handled with care due to its susceptibility to oxidation. When choosing these oils, opting for organic varieties is advisable. These oils are best used in salads or as dressings for vegetables.
- Oleaginous fruits: Nuts, hazelnuts, and almonds are excellent plant-based sources of omega-3.
- Omega-3 enriched eggs: These are produced by hens that have been fed flax seeds.
- Meat and poultry: Animals fed diets rich in flax or alfalfa are omega-3-rich.
- Some leafy greens: Including lamb's lettuce and regular lettuce is a good idea, though these have lower omega-3 content than other sources.
Incorporating these foods into your diet can significantly contribute to the intake of omega-3 fatty acids, supporting brain health and overall well-being.
Vitamin D, a vital fat-soluble vitamin, plays multiple roles in our body.
It strengthens our bones, supports our immune system, contributes to our nervous system's balance, and positively influences the quality of our deep sleep.
The body can synthesise Vitamin D through exposure to UV rays, ideally from about 15 minutes of daily sun exposure on the face and forearms.
However, sufficient sunlight exposure is often not achievable in many regions, particularly in the northern hemisphere, leading to widespread deficiency. ☀️
In terms of dietary sources, Vitamin D can be found in:
- Cod liver oil: Available in liquid form or as capsules, this is a potent source of vitamin D.
- Small oily fish: Good examples include mackerel, sardines, and herring.
- Milk: Fortified milk is a common source of Vitamin D.
Despite these sources, Vitamin D supplementation is frequently necessary to achieve optimal levels, especially in regions with limited sunlight. 🇬🇧
It is advisable to undergo a blood test to assess Vitamin D levels accurately and determine the appropriate supplementation dosage.
Magnesium plays a pivotal role as an anti-stress mineral, promoting sleep through the synthesis of neurotransmitters.
This essential nutrient can be found in various foods, making it accessible through a balanced diet.
Sources of magnesium include:
- Bananas: A convenient and nutritious source.
- Nuts: Almonds, cashews, and walnuts are rich in magnesium and other beneficial nutrients.
- Dark chocolate: Choose varieties with more than 70% cocoa for a healthy, magnesium-rich treat.
- Whole grains: A staple in many diets, whole grains are a good source of magnesium.
- Legumes: These plant-based proteins are also packed with magnesium.
- Green vegetables: Leafy greens, in particular, are excellent sources of magnesium.
Incorporating these foods into your diet can help ensure adequate magnesium levels, improving stress management and sleep quality.
What should we be drinking for better sleep?
Our bodies consist of approximately 60% water, underscoring the importance of proper hydration for optimal physiological function. 💦
Research has demonstrated a link between hydration levels and sleep quality. Adequate hydration contributes to improved sleep duration, combats fatigue, and enhances concentration.
Consuming between 1.5 to 2 litres of water daily, ideally outside meal times, is recommended to maintain proper hydration.
Additionally, some types of water are fortified with magnesium, known for its anti-stress properties and benefits for sleep, making it a beneficial choice for daily hydration.
Green tea is also an excellent source of antioxidants and beneficial for liver function, but it does contain caffeine. Therefore, it's advisable to avoid consuming green tea late in the day to prevent any potential disruption to sleep patterns.