Have you noticed that it takes longer to get your face ready to leave the house these days?
I recently had a discussion with Emma about the various myths around food… a lot of us really don’t know who and what to listen to when it comes to nutrition advise. There’s so much conflicting information out there – Women’s health magazines will tell you to go for low fat options if you want to lose weight or try out soy milk as an alternative and your doctor may say to stay away from soy milk… then your friend will tell you her nutritionist recommended only eating for your blood type?! It’s hard to navigate your way through it all so I thought thought I’d have a little fun and ask Emma to demystify some of the common food myths. Here’s what we came up with:
Indulgent is a word I have used far too often lately when describing meals out and social appointments alike. So last week I chose to practice the virtues of another word… repentance.
Living in Hong Kong I am surrounded by an abundance of fresh vegetables, live fish and meats on the streets. The melange makes for a very colourful neighbourhood – the aroma however, is another story.
After a month (or two) of decadence it’s time to say goodbye to the booze, bon voyage to the late nights and good riddance to sugar. Oh yes, it’s detox time and today I start mine.
Efficient digestion is essential to good health, yet many people live with digestive problems for years, thinking that there’s nothing else they can do. Infact digestion problems often go undiagnosed because these complaints are not “serious”. Symptoms such as gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, belching, flatulence, indigestion, weight gain, irritable bowel syndrome, the feeling of always being hungry are so common that they are seen as normal. Poor digestion equals a sluggish bowel that can retain kilos of old toxic fecal matter that can take its toll on our immune system and eventually leads to more serious disease. Here are 10 things you can do to improve your digestive system:
- Over-Acidification of the blood and tissue is the major underlying cause of Arthritis and most chronic degenerative disorders. It’s the accumulation and excretion of dietary and metabolic acids into the joints that leads to the inflammation and breakdown. Foods and drinks that are more Alkaline in nature need to be emphasised
- Deadly Nightshades – If you suffer from sore or enlarged joints, you are best to avoid this food group as Arthritis sufferers commonly share an allergy to these: white potatoes, tomatoes (particularly cooked), eggplant, capsicum.
- Yeast Overgrowth - Candida gut infections are linked to joint problems also. Maintaining an anti-fungal approach to your diet (mainly avoiding all sugars and grains) can greatly improve overall joint health also. Fungus can either cause arthritis by infecting a joint directly or indirectly through their production of mycotoxins (fungal poisons)
- Gluten Intolerance - yet another good reason to nix the grains; and gluten is more intolerable and destructive than most people realise.
- Heavy Metal Toxicity - a thorough detoxification and dietary Clean Up (supported by me!) will help to alleviate the toxic load in your system.
Try changing up your diet and following this quick check list to help alleviate Menopause symptoms.
- Support liver function for hormone detoxification: eat coconut oil and butter are highly protective or the liver.
- Avoid foods that strain and harm the liver: this includes alcohol and concentrated sugars, even fruit juices should be avoided.
- Emphasise bitter, enzyme-rich foods that benefit the liver: try lemons, bitter greens and raw sauerkraut. Traditional Swedish bitters can also help.
- Support thyroid function for balance of healthy hormone production: another reason to consume coconut oil and definitely avoid ALL soy products.
Life is all about change. We’re constantly changing from the moment we’re born, and as women we pass through several phases of life where our bodies’ needs fluctuate. From puberty, to pregnancy, to menopause and beyond, we all need certain nutrients that our bodies can’t, or cease to manufacture, but which are essential for our complicated internal mechanisms to function properly.
It makes sense in a perfect world to get these nutrients from the food we eat, but unless you happen to be a nutritionist or a dietician, it’s difficult to know whether you’re getting enough to ward off deficiencies which could lead to more serious problems in the future.
The sale of health supplements is a multi-billion dollar industry, and it can be hard to figure out whether you need a supplement, and if so, which one? The best way to determine if you’re deficient in a certain vitamin or mineral is to see your health care professional. But not everyone wants to be subjected to a barrage of tests. However, if you do suspect that your diet might be a little light on ‘healthy’, (cue the cheeseburger, and small fries on Monday, and the pizza on Saturday) then consider the top 5 nutrients the female body needs to function like a well oiled machine.
- Iron is essential for transporting oxygen throughout the body. It’s a vital factor in the production of red blood cells. It also helps with brain function and cognitive development, as well as regulating your temperature and encouraging healthy cell growth.
- Insufficient iron can lead to anaemia, which in turn can cause you to feel tired and short of breath all the time. Lack of iron can cause problems maintaining body temperature, and for women experiencing menopause, this is a major concern. A healthy immune system relies on iron, and if you experience moderate to heavy blood loss during your period, then it could explain why you feel tired and cranky all the time.
- Most healthy women who eat regular servings of lean red meat, chicken, turkey, whole grains, fish, beans and green leafy veggies will probably be fine, but if that doesn’t sound like you, then you could need a supplement.
- Calcium makes, and maintains strong healthy bones and teeth. Another important function is helping muscles and blood vessels to expand and contract, and keeping the nervous system healthy.
- Throughout life, the amount of calcium we need varies.
- Girls aged 9 – 18 need 1300 milligrams of calcium per day
- Women aged 19 – 50 need 1000 milligrams of calcium per day
- Women over 50 need at least 1200 milligrams of calcium per day
- The most important periods in life to ensure adequate supplies of calcium are during puberty and teens, when bones are still growing, and after 50, when the body’s bone breakdown exceeds formation. Osteoporosis is a major women’s health concern, but adequate calcium can curtail this disease. Calcium is available in milk, yoghurt, cheese and some dark green leafy veggies like broccoli. If you’re not a fan of dairy products or any coloured leafy veggies, then perhaps you need to tick that supplement box.
- Magnesium is often undervalued, though its importance can’t be stressed highly enough, though deficiencies are hard to detect through the normal blood tests. Magnesium helps to maintain normal nerve and muscle function, heart rhythm, blood pressure and supports the immune system. Magnesium works in conjunction with calcium to keep bones strong. It can help regulate blood sugar and is involved in energy metabolism.
- Magnesium deficiencies can contribute to migraines, vomiting, diarrhea, and those who are unfortunate enough to suffer from Crohn’s disease or other gastrointestinal complaints, could very well find themselves deficient in magnesium.
- You’ll find magnesium in green veggies like okra, some beans, nuts, seeds and unrefined whole grains.
- Folate is essential to help produce and maintain new cells and works on the body’s nervous system’s message relaying molecules for proper brain function. This of course is vital for mental and emotional health.
- Folate is absolutely vital for pregnant women, or those planning to become pregnant. Deficiencies during pregnancy can lead to complications like premature birth and babies born with neural tube defects. Studies show that women who take folic acid supplements before conception and during the first trimester may reduce their risk of having children with neural tube defects by 72 to 100 percent!
- Folate is found in (surprise surprise) leafy green veggies, fruits and beans, and is often added to cereals, breads and pastas.
5. OMEGA 3:
- Omega 3 is most widely known for its ability to help with proper brain (memory and performance) and behavioural function. It also helps reduce high blood pressure and can calm inflammation. Omega is also closely associated with helping reduce the risk of heart disease, arthritis and other joint problems.
- You’ll find Omega 3 in fatty fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel, tuna, as well as some plants and nut oils.
You can scour the supermarket and health food store shelves trying to figure out which supplements you need, or you can go with a 100% natural superfood which contains all of the elements listed above. Bee Pollen has it all, and not just the important nutrients listed above.