Winter is fast approaching and I’m hoping that by now you have sown some broccoli seed or, even better, have already transplanted the seedlings. If not, then get cracking, you still have time. If I had to say what I think is the most nutritious and health-giving vegetable out, it would have to be broccoli. I have written before about its cancer prevention properties and will write more about this and its other properties next month. In the meantime grow it and eat it - Lots of it! Raw (shredded in coleslaw is a good way), lightly steamed or stir-fried.
In February I mentioned that falling hair problems could be due to thyroid problems. This resulted in a question from a reader asking “How will I know if I have thyroid problems?”.
Hair loss can be as a result of an over-active or an under-active thyroid. You can test yourself at home for an under-active thyroid. Keep a thermometer next to your bed and as soon as you wake in the morning, while lying in bed, take your temperature under your arm. Do this by lying perfectly still with the thermometer under your arm for 15 minutes. A temperature of 36,4 deg Celsius or lower for 5 consecutive mornings may indicate an under-active thyroid (hypothyroidism). There are effective natural solutions for this and you are welcome to consult me for advice before you rush off for prescription drugs.
Iodine in salt
Hypothyroidism is often due to iodine deficiency which is becoming more and more common lately. But why are so many people iodine deficient these days? Well table salt was first artificially iodized in the 1920s in collaboration with a government effort to counteract a growing problem with iodine deficient disorders. This occurred during the Great Depression when a lack of proper nutrition led to an increase in the number of individuals suffering from goiter. However nowadays a lot of people are avoiding refined iodised table salt and I myself steer people away from using this salt: Not because of the iodine but because it is so refined it contains only sodium chloride with all the other very important trace minerals, that actually confer health benefits, removed. When doctors tell you to cut down on salt intake as it increases blood pressure, this is the kind of salt they are talking about.
Free-running table salt also contains anti-caking agents comprising aluminium compounds that need to be avoided like the plague. So natural sea salt or Himalayan salt are definitely better choices. However both of these contain insufficient iodine for our daily needs unless you use lots of it. This may be the reason why more and more people are becoming iodine deficient in spite of trying to do all the right things. So if you are using these kinds of salts you need to make sure you are getting sufficient iodine from other food sources such as saltwater fish, kelp, garlic, mushrooms, sesame seeds, milk and cooked spinach. Green food supplements such as Barley Life and Green Vibrance also contain sufficient iodine.
Remember sea salt and unprocessed salt from the earth is full of minerals and good for you. It is the processed salt, in which everything is removed except the sodium chloride, which is not healthy.
Another very happy Vibrant Cleanse client
It is always gratifying to get feedback from satisfied clients such as this email from Fran Gradwell:
“I am so excited about the results I have had with Vibrant Cleanse........I am pleased that I read your news letter where you wrote of your experiences. I have noticed the following: • No water retention – my ankles and lower legs were very puffy at the end of each day before I started • Weight loss of 4.5 kgs......so pleased to know there is something that can help this easily. I was very apprehensive when I started as I thought that I would have more of a craving for food and put off starting until the school had broken up and I could start at home. I am in my 7th day now. • I never really ever felt hungry if I took the Vibrant Cleanse exactly two hours apart – in spite of cooking for 10 over the Easter weekend. (group of bachelor hunters and 5 PH guides). • I FEEL SO GOOD and like what I see in the mirror......no more puffiness under my chin and I could go on and on.
Fran asks: How often can one do this detox?"
Angé Loock, owner of Natural Vibrance replies: It depends on you. I personally think that a 10 day detox 3 times a year is the best, but many prefer a shorter detox of 4 – 5 days every 6 weeks.
Fran also wanted to know what she could take to maintain the water loss that she had experienced. Green Vibrance or Field of Greens would be excellent for this especially since they are both loaded with certified organic parsley, a scientifically proven diuretic. Alternatively AIM’s Barley Life is also good for keeping water retention at bay and of course a fibre supplement such as Herbal Fibre Blend also draws water from the body.
Honey is the best cough medicine for children
Now this is the kind of study that really percolates my coffee. Published in the Journal of Alternative complementary Medicine 2010, the study involved one hundred and thirty-nine children between 2 and 5 years with a cough due to an upper respiratory tract infection. Each received either a single dose of half a teaspoon of honey or dextromethorphan or diphenhydramine (both are common drugs used in various cough mixtures) or no treatment. All the groups responded and improved, but honey was significantly more effective that the other treatments.
Honey is a well-known natural antibiotic but now we also know it is not only safer than drugs but also more effective. Always look for raw, unheated honey.
Supplementing with vitamin C is associated with lower blood pressure
My favourite vitamin does it again. In a review published online on April 4, 2012 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers from Johns Hopkins in Baltimore report that Vitamin C supplementation was associated with a significant reduction in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure, with greater reductions observed in people with hypertension.
For their analysis, the researchers pooled data from 29 randomized clinical trials conducted between 1996 and 2011 that involved the oral administration of a median dose of 500mg of vitamin C for a median trial duration of 8 weeks. This is not even a high dose. Most of us should be taking at least 1000mg a day just to support our immune systems and will tolerate up to 10000mg per day before we reach bowel tolerance.
Anyway, average pretreatment systolic blood pressure ranged from 117 to 175 mmHg, and diastolic from 73 to 97 mmHg. The outcome was that vitamin C supplementation was associated with a 3.84 mmHg reduction in systolic blood pressure and a 1.48 mmHg reduction in diastolic pressure. In patients with hypertension, reductions averaged 4.85 mmHg and 1.67 mmHg.
This is encouraging news indeed but hardly surprising as vitamin C is known to improve the integrity of arteries, and this should surely have an effect on blood pressure.
Beware of South African omega-3 supplements
A survey published in the November-December edition of the Cardiovascular Journal of Africa reported that in a survey of 46 omega-3 fish oil products on the South African market, half of them contain less than 89% of the DHA and EPA levels that they claim on the label! Furthermore there exists a huge variation in the quality and purity of the marine oils used.
I believe manufacturers are getting away with this because of the lack of proper food supplement labeling laws in this country. That is why I say play it safe and only buy the fish oil supplements with the logo of an internationally recognized fish oil standard whether it be IFOS, European, Norwegian or whatever. Make sure the batch number is on the bottle and that it can be verified on the relevant website for that certification standard.
The See Yourself Well and Life Support brands that I import from Canada all display the International Fish Oil Standards 5 Star rating and every batch has been tested by IFOS and can be tracked on the IFOS website. The requirements for 5 Star rating from IFOS is ultra-refined oil with a greater than 60% concentration of EPA and DHA per gram of fish oil. On their website you will find a consumer report for every batch of See Yourself Well and Life Support produced by Nutratec Life Sciences. Here is the consumer report for one particular batch that I have in stock at the moment: Batch 1104172. Scroll down to the second page and you will see that although the label claims 600mg of EPA plus DHA, the actual test result for this batch showed the content is 634mg per one gram – 5% more than claimed on the label. This is in stark contrast to the fish oils mentioned above that may contain less than 89% of EFA’s that they claim on the label. A sure case of buyer beware and cheap can be nasty.
It is Nutratec’s policy to understate what is actually in the product rather than be party to fraudulent labeling. This and the purity of the fish oil used is what gives me the confidence to recommend to my arthritic patients up to 5 capsules a day and know it can do no harm, only good.
MALE LOGIC..... A wife asks her husband: "Could you please go shopping for me and buy one carton of milk, and if they have eggs, get 6." A short time later the husband comes back with 6 cartons of milk. The wife asks him, "Why did you buy 6 cartons of milk?" He replied: "They had eggs."
I bet you saw that coming….hehe.
How safe is Panado for children?
When Reye’s Syndrome, a serious life-threatening disease which you can read more about here, was linked to aspirin use, doctors were told not to prescribe it for children but rather to recommend Panado instead. You will have seen the TV ads declaring Panado as “the doctor’s choice”. But not so fast people!
New research published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine links the use of Panado (acetaminophen, paracetamol) in children to increased risk of developing asthma and eczema. What is really scary is that it doesn’t even have to be frequent use. Even monthly use is linked to doubling of the risk. Just taking Panado for a fever during the first year of life led to a 50% greater risk of developing asthma symptoms. Clearly any child with asthma should not be given this drug but the fact that non-asthmatic kiddies should avoid it as well, is not well known. Not only that, but the use of Panado by a pregnant mother could lead to higher risk of asthma in their children by the time the child is 5 years of age. The researchers also reported that 13 to 14 year old children taking Panado just once in the past year had a 43% higher risk of asthma than children who had not taken any.
Regarding eczema, the risk for medium users was 31% higher than non- users and 99% higher in high-end users.
Next time we reach for the quick-fix Panado we need to remember that the lives of these little Munchkins are in our hands. They depend on us to make the right choices because they don't know how. When your child has a fever remember this is part of the healing process. Don’t be in a hurry to lower his temperature. Rather keep his little body comfortable by sponging him down with lukewarm water frequently. High fever is the way the body deals with viruses and micro-organisms. There are also homeopathic remedies that don’t suppress fever but rather encourage and manage it to completion in order to promote healing. Homeopathic medications are very safe for kiddies and definitely the preferred treatment.
Did you know?
Babies fed soy formulas take in 22000 times more estrogen than breastfed babies. This is the equivalent of 5 birth control pills per day!
A natural toothbrush sterilizer
Toothbrushes can harbour bacteria, viruses and fungus and every time you clean your teeth you leave all manner of nasties which can re-enter your body next time you brush. One uncovered toothbrush can be home for more than 100 million bacteria, including E. coli bacteria. Remember that plaque - the stuff you're removing from your teeth - is bacteria.
It would be good practice to keep a container of a mixture of xylitol in a diluted solution of colloidal silver in your bathroom and to dip your toothbrush into this after brushing. Replace with a fresh solution from time to time. You can also use a fresh solution of this mixture as a mouth rinse at bedtime, swishing it around in your mouth for a few minutes before spitting out.
A natural sinus rinse
A bacterial sinus infection can be a miserable experience and obviously we all want to avoid antibiotics. A natural solution can be made by adding 1/8 teaspoon xylitol and a pinch of sea salt to a diluted colloidal silver solution. Lie with your head tipped back and drop this solution in your nostrils until your nasal passages are full. Lie like this for 3 minutes. Do this twice a day and feel results after 2 days. You can also use this mixture as a nasal spray a few times a day or use in a Neti Pot.
The Dalai Lama, when asked what surprised him most about humanity, answered, "Man himself...... because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices his money to recuperate his health. Then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present. The result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die........ and then dies having never really lived...."
Once you’ve unraveled all that I think you’ll agree he has a point. How about we spend our remaining years proving him wrong?
Until next time, take extra special care of yourself while enjoying the changing colours of Autumn.
PS: I have attached my latest product list. What is not mentioned though is that I am offering free speed post for all orders of Vice-Breaker until 30 April. Please tell all smokers!
Nutritional Therapist (BSc (Hons) HDE, Dip Clin Nutr) The Orchards Nutrition Centre - Somerset East Tel: 042 243 0339 Cell: 084 531 0786 Email: email@example.com