Yesterday I woke up with the tell-tale signs of a cold: scratchy throat, mild headache and the sneezes. I do practice what I preach (most of the time) so I did what I advised in last month’s newsletter and immediately started on the high dose Vitamin C and added zinc. Actually I took an Orthadren C every two hours for the entire day because this magic tablet contains 1000mg vitamin C as calcium ascorbate as well as zinc and bioflavonoids. Well today I can honestly say I knocked that cold for a six. Although the jury is still out on whether high-dose vitamin C can stop a cold in its tracks, I, for one, have no doubts. I have seen it happen time and again in myself and my family members. Ha Ha..I can see Patrick Holford nodding his head enthusiastically. I also believe that if you aren’t fortunate enough to catch it early enough, your cold symptoms will still be less severe and of shorter duration if you keep up the high Vitamin C dose. The other thing you must remember is that a cold is a natural form of cleansing. Your body is trying to rid itself of toxins through mucous. So never use medications that dry up the mucous, just let that nose run.
Well now Spring has truly sprung. In fact if you go according to the Spring equinox for 2011, it officially starts today the 23rd September. And even if the temperatures are only in the early teens today I’m still calling it Spring!! However as much as some people welcome Spring with open arms, especially after the Winter we endured this year, there are others that dread it. I’m talking about those who suffer seasonal allergies, especially hay fever. I firmly believe the best way to cope with allergy symptoms such as hay fever is to boost your immune system. Try the following protocol till the hay fever season has passed:
1000mg buffered vitamin C three times a day
200-400mg quercetin 20 minutes before each meal – so 3 times a day
2 x 1000mg omega-3 fish oil capsules daily
1-2 Enzadophilus or other probiotic capsules daily
Otherwise Spring is a time of fresh starts and renewed motivation, so use it as a springboard for positive changes in your diet and lifestyle. If you’re smoking….eeeoooow…come ON now! It’s time to quit! Imagine no more bad breath or smelly hair and clothing and actually being able to SMELL the Spring flowers. Just do it!
Spring cleaning not only for houses
Many of us will likely be spring cleaning inside our homes, but maybe we should take a look inside somewhere else - like our bodies. Most of us tend to take our intestinal tracts for granted, forgetting that a not-so-perfect diet, together with stress and not enough restful sleep can take their toll on our digestive systems.
Probiotic supplements are certainly my first choice when it comes to improving intestinal health but it if seems like they aren't working like they should, then it may be time to try a colon cleanse. A good but gentle colon cleanse with a fibre supplement such as Herbal Fibre Blend can prepare your colon to receive and gain the maximum benefit from probiotics. It will gently remove all that impacted crud that plugs your intestinal tract and inhibits colonization by beneficial probiotic strains. Use it every morning half an hour before breakfast and then take your probiotic supplement at bedtime. You will experience improved digestion, improved regularity, comfortable bowel movements and more energy.
Excellent gardening book
Spring is also the most rewarding time for gardening. I am so enjoying my new vegetable garden at our new home. The virgin soil has produced the most amazing broccoli and cauliflowers! Although I have been growing our veggies for nearly 30 years now, a book that I bought recently has inspired me to new levels of enthusiasm and energy. If you’re already growing or keen to grow your own veggies do get a copy of “Jane’s Delicious Garden” written by Jane Griffiths. It is South African and all her wonderful ideas are do-able.
The many benefits of lemon water
When life throws you a lemon, squeeze it, add it to warm water and drink! This is the first thing every one of us should do when we open our eyes in the morning. For best results wait an hour before you eat breakfast. It’s an old Ayurvedic ritual, primarily for stimulating digestion and eliminating toxic slime that builds up in the GI tract. But there are many other benefits to this ritual:
The warm lemon water helps purify and stimulate the liver. It liquefies bile while inhibiting excess bile flow.
The composition of lemon water is similar to saliva and the hydrochloric acid of digestive juices. This is why it aids digestion. Symptoms of indigestion such as heartburn, bloating and belching are relieved.
Prevents constipation by helping bowels eliminate naturally and easily
Lemon water flushes out toxins and facilitates weight loss
Lemons are high in potassium, essential for optimum heart, brain and nervous system health. It can help lower blood pressure too.
Calcium and magnesium are plentiful and in the right ratio to each other in lemon water. Both play an important role in the formation of albumen in the blood
Its calcium builds bone structure and makes healthy teeth.
Believe it or not the lemon water has an alkalinizing effect in the body. It will maintain a higher and healthier pH in your body, essential for resisting disease.
Helps prevent gout and arthritis as it dilutes uric acid
Helps reduce phlegm in the body
Conclusion: There are basic lifestyle habits that are important to incorporate into your daily life, and this is certainly one of them.
Chew your food!
Mother was right. But sometimes we just don’t understand why we should chew our food until it is liquid, or close to it. Doing it properly can be very time consuming I know. But if you haven’t got time to chew your food now then I hope you have lots of time to be ill later on in life.
So why is chewing so important? By chewing your foods well, you ensure optimal extraction of nutrients from the foods that you eat. Chewing well also relieves your digestive organs of unnecessary work. It's a lot easier for your teeth to break down large pieces of food than for the digestive juices and enzymes released by your stomach, liver, gall bladder, and pancreas to carry out this work. A key principle to healthy eating is to eat nutrient-rich foods such as vegetables, fruits, beans, peas, lentils, nuts, and eggs. However, simply wolfing down these foods doesn't guarantee optimal nourishment of your cells. This is why chewing thoroughly is vital to your health.
Ways to heal from high blood pressure
Sometimes referred to as the ”silent killer”, high blood pressure or hypertension is certainly something that needs to be taken seriously. However the practice of poly-pharmacy so common these days whereby a patient may be prescribed up to 3 different blood pressure lowering drugs, all with nasty side-effects, is even more concerning.
So what nutritional interventions can you make to maintain healthy blood pressure levels?
Three things: exercise regularly, stay at a healthy weight and manage your diet.
Three common imbalances cause an elevation of blood pressure: magnesium, potassium and sodium. Natural food has high potassium and low sodium whereas processed foods are high in sodium and devoid of potassium. Check labels on processed foods. Adequate potassium and magnesium within red blood cells is necessary to maintain healthy blood pressure readings, but this is impossible to achieve in a person on a highly processed instead of real food diet.
We need to avoid all processed foods as they are high in sodium and eat natural foods high in potassium and magnesium. Here are a few examples:
Spinach and other green, leafy veggies are low in calories, high in fibre and filled with potassium, folate and magnesium. Unsalted sunflower and other seeds are packed with magnesium, while beans and other legumes contain magnesium, potassium and fibre.
Dark chocolate—organic and at least 70 percent cocoa—was shown to lower blood pressure after 18 weeks, without weight gain or other adverse effects, according to a study published in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA). One square a day is all it takes, so don’t think you can now pig out on dark chocolate!.
As for avocados, their oleic acid content helps keep blood pressure levels healthy. Broccoli contains Sulforaaphane Glucosinolate (SGS), a naturally occurring compound that helps support blood pressure health. Cabbage boasts a blood pressure-friendly chemical compound called glutamic acid, while oats and oat bran contain a fibre known as beta-glucan, which has been shown to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
So there you have it: By addressing the nutritional cause of elevated blood pressure, prescription medications and their side-effects may be avoided.
Supplements that may also help:
Bear Paw Garlic – one capsule three times a day
See Yourself Well Omega-3 – 3 capsules per day
Vitamin C – 1000mg daily to improve the integrity of the blood vessel wall.
Stop a heart attack fast!
I do hope none of you ever need this life-saving tip but it’s worth knowing anyway. Should you ever feel the excruciating pain across your chest and know instinctively that this could be the beginning of a heart attack, mix a teaspoon of cayenne pepper into a glass of water and swallow it as fast as you can. Cayenne pepper is well known as a remedy for heart attacks and has been called God’s nitroglycerin (a drug used to open the coronary blood vessels). There are many other health benefits of cayenne pepper so use it liberally.
Omega-3 lowers homocysteine and HbA1c
While we’re on matters of the heart, let me remind you how important it is to know your homocysteine reading. Homocysteine is an amino acid that inflicts damage to the inner arterial lining (endothelium) and other cells of the body.
Clinical testing laboratories consider a homocysteine value between 5 to 15 µmol/l as healthy. But in actual fact 15 µmol/l is way too high for optimal health. Studies indicate that adults with homocysteine values of 6.3 µmol/L are at increased risk of atherosclerosis, heart attack and stroke. However if you are over 50 a reading below 8 µmol/l is acceptable.
If your reading is high never fear. It’s easily reduced within a few weeks by taking a supplement containing Vitamins B6, B12 and folic acid. Try Willow Homocysteine Factor 1.
Apart from B vitamins the outcome of a meta-analysis of 11 trials published in the September 2011 issue of Nutrition uncovered a significant reduction in plasma homocysteine in association with greater intake of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids.
Furthermore, a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial conducted on 81 patients with type 2 diabetes assigned each patient either three capsules of omega-3 fatty acids (3g) or a placebo every day for a period of 2 months. Homocysteine levels in the treatment group declined as much as 3.10 µmol/L and glycosylated haemoglobin (HbA1C, a measure of long-term sugar levels in the blood) decreased in the treatment group and increased in the control group.
Acid-suppressing medication can sometimes do more harm than good.
Upper digestive symptoms such as indigestion and heartburn are common. The mainstay of medical treatment for these symptoms is a class of drugs known as the ‘proton pump inhibitors’. These drugs inhibit acid secretion in the stomach. They do help control symptoms in some people however they can also cause the very symptoms they are designed to treat.
One of the applications of proton pump inhibitors is to prevent inflammation, ulceration and bleeding that can be caused by certain painkilling medications known as ‘non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs’ or ‘NSAIDs’. However, a recent piece of animal research suggests that proton pump inhibitors may do more harm than good. In this study, rats were treated with a proton pump inhibitor for 9 days. During the last four days of this treatment, the rats were also treated with a NSAID drug. The researchers monitored inflammation and ulceration in the small bowel of the animals and found that treatment with proton pump inhibitors actually worsened the ulceration and bleeding.
Treatment with proton pump inhibitors was also found to be associated with an alteration in the balance of bacteria in the digestive tract. Sometimes referred to as ‘dysbiosis’, this sort of imbalance can lead to a range of digestion symptoms and issues. However, giving the rats probiotics prevented the problems associated with proton pump inhibitor treatment leading the authors of this study to speculate that the same results could be achieved in humans. So if you know of anyone taking these drugs please pass on this advice.
Do our gallbladders serve a purpose?
Gallbladders are often removed unnecessarily (in my humble opinion) and I’m amazed to hear that some surgeons tell their patients that their gallbladders serve no purpose and they can live perfectly well without them. I can’t help but disagree. High-quality fats, especially omega-3 fats, are essential for good health and if you don't have a gallbladder you will have an impaired ability to absorb them. Trying to digest fat without bile is like trying to wash greasy dishes without soap: it doesn’t work very well. If your gallbladder is removed then you need to compensate by providing an increased level of fat digestive enzymes (lipase) to compensate for this. You’ll need to continue taking the enzymes for the rest of your life to ensure that fats can be absorbed and used by the body for their many important functions. So hang onto that gallbladder if you can.
I have to run now. It's Spring equinox and a perfect day for planting so I am off to the veggie garden. In fact today nearly 30000 South Africans are planting and I promised to join them! Hope you did too. We'll catch up again next month.
Nutritional Therapist (BSc (Hons) HDE, Dip Clin Nutr) The Orchards Nutrition Centre - Somerset East Tel: 042 243 0339 Cell: 084 531 0786 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org