Well thus far September has been rather an eventful month here, with our brave farmers having spent much of it fighting a runaway fire on our beautiful Boschberg mountain. Fortunately there were no livestock losses but my heart goes out to the farmers who have suffered serious financial losses and, of course, to the little veld and tree creatures that may have perished on the way. Thank goodness it is all over now so let’s move onto happier news.
Jumping for Health
I have a confession to make..... I have an addiction.... It is bouncing!
Yes, I am now the proud owner of a rebounder! And I'm thrilled to say it seems it isn’t going to become a white elephant like so many other exercise gadgets we buy (know someone like that?) because already, after just 2 weeks, I can feel and see the benefits and that should be incentive enough for me not to allow any dust to settle on this new toy.
Now what really puzzles me is why rebounding hasn’t become the exercise of choice for everyone. Especially since Paul Bragg, founder of the Natural Health industry in the USA said “I wholeheartedly recommend rebounding to people of all ages as the finest exercise in the entire world”! It truly is an effective way to get fit, toned, energised and healthy and it couldn’t be easier.
In his book “Jumping to Health” Dr Morton Walker, a physician and medical journalist states that 2 minutes of vigorous rebounding can offer similar physiological benefits as 6 minutes of running, 10 minutes of swimming and 22 minutes of walking. This is what sold me. I thought if I can’t spare 2 minutes a day to flush my lymphatic system then I don’t deserve good health. As it turns out I am so addicted I’m reluctant to get off the jolly thing!
Rebounding not only exercises your muscles, it also strengthens your whole body on a deep cellular level and is recognized as the BEST way to flush out and boost your lymphatic system. Like the blood circulatory system the lymph system extends throughout your body and is a very important part of your immune system. It removes waste and toxins from around your cells which results in increased oxygen and nutrients reaching your cells giving you more physical and mental energy and a healthier and more youthful body. Linda Brooks, author and trainer who uses rebounding to assist in cancer prevention and recovery programs, wrote in her book “In just 2 minutes of rebounding the entire lymphatic system is flushed and the white blood cell count nearly triples, providing a great defence system to destroy cancer”.
NASA uses rebounders to help their astronauts regain the bone density they lost in space due to lack of gravity and their research on this found rebounding to be 68% more efficient than running on a treadmill. Rebounding is also recommended by therapists to improve vision, weight problems, circulation, libido, digestion, cellulite, balance (by stimulating the vestibule in the middle ear) and coordination, quality of sleep, memory, fatigue and more. All this in addition to toning and sculpting all muscle groups and strengthening core (stomach and lower back) muscles.
How does rebounding achieve all this? By safely allowing your body to constantly experience a change in gravity. For about 100 times a minute, at the top of each bounce your body is weightless and at the bottom it weighs double. When you rebound every single cell in your body gets a tug from gravity. This applies to your lymph flow system as well, as every one of your millions of lymph valves opens at the top of each bounce and closes at the bottom of each bounce. This can boost lymph flow by up to 30 times faster, which no other exercise can do.
But now comes the important part. There are good quality rebounders and there are not such good quality rebounders which I prefer to think of as mini trampolines for kids to enjoy. Its all about the quality of the springs. Mass produced rebounders available from large chain stores usually have a hard and jarring bounce which is uncomfortable to use and unsafe on your joints, skeletal system and bones. Perhaps you have one of these gathering dust in your garage, sending you on a guilt trip every time you see it. Well don’t let it. Just spend a little extra and get a high quality rebounder with springs that will keep your bounce smooth and flowing with no jarring. I am so impressed with rebounders that I have added them to my product range and you will find them on the latest product list.
Easy thyroid test - yes, you may try this at home
If you’re over 40 and inexplicably gaining weight which you simply cannot shake off, or if you’re experiencing some of the symptoms of fatigue, intolerance to cold, mood swings, hair loss, depression, water retention, bloating, swelling ankles, brain fog, constipation, aching muscles, it is possible your thyroid function is impaired and as such your metabolism has become sluggish.
To confirm hypothryroidism, there are blood tests which are useful to a certain extent, as long as the right ones are done. Often doctors only order TSH and free T4 but these actually tell one very little if not accompanied by a corresponding free T3 reading. Even then a normal result does not completely rule out an under-active thyroid.
There is a quick and easy home test that may actually achieve a more accurate diagnosis, and it is so simple:
Keep a regular thermometer next to your bed and on waking, before you’ve moved at all, tuck the thermometer in your armpit and leave it there for 15 minutes while you lie dead still. Repeat for 5 consecutive mornings and if your reading is consistently below 36.6 deg then you are possibly looking at low thyroid function (hypothyroidism).
So what to do about a thyroid that is not functioning optimally? Well firstly, don’t panic. There are a number of simple interventions you can try:
Start by taking a good quality multivitamin that also includes potassium and iodine. (Xymogen’s ActivNutrients or else a green superfood such as Barley Life, Green Vibrance or Panaxea’s Green Superfood are a few that come to mind)
To avoid a sodium/potassium imbalance stop all processed foods as they are high in sodium. Eat only whole foods, lots of veggies, avos etc.
Check that your hormones are balanced. Most women after age 40 become estrogen dominant and the best way to balance this against progesterone is to use a natural progesterone cream. Please do not use a synthetic progesterone (progestin) as this could make matters worse.
Include a moderate exercise program such as pilates, yoga or....yes you geussed it, rebounding!
All these steps will go a long way to normalising your thyroid function. If you’re still experiencing symptoms after 3 months there are supplements that can stimulate thyroid function and I’d be happy to advise.
Spring Promotion of Vice-Breaker
Let’s help our puffing friends to smell the roses this Spring, shall we? A good start would be to tell them about the promotion on Vice-Breaker running until 30 September:
And please if you are on Facebook I’d really appreciate it if you would click on this button and LIKE our page.
Focussing on Boron
Strange that boron is so seldom found in a multivitamin formulation or is it just that the benefits of this miracle nutrient are only recently being discovered? Fortunately, in the past decade, there has been a growing recognition of the value of boron in bone and joint health and you will often find it in a formulation for improving skeletal health but it is so much more than that.
Boron is a nutrient that everybody needs, especially those who are not taking in enough vitamin D. as it increases levels of vitamin D3 especially in those who are deficient. It is critical for calcium retention with 3-6mg daily being necessary to resist calcium and bone loss as well as joint deterioration. Taking a calcium supplement alone for your bones is not going to cut it. Boron is needed to help metabolise the minerals that are involved in bone development and strength such as calcium and magnesium. It plays a very important role in minimizing the risks of osteoporosis and arthritis by bringing about effective calcium integration into the cartilage and bone. Boron also affects the hormones of estrogen and testosterone that are also related to the overall health of the bones.
Boron may raise testosterone levels in men - as much as 50% in just 60 days if needed – thereby improving sex drive too. By improving the production of estrogen in menopausal women, it can increase libido within a few days of treatment thus reducing the need for hormone replacement therapy.
Only plant-based boron should be supplemented. Look for calcium-fructo-borate. It is the safest and most bioavailable. See Super Natural Boron under Green Vibrance on the product list.
Do you have knobby or painful knuckles?
A very common early sign of osteoarthritis is a knobby bony deformity at the smallest joint of the end of the fingers. This is referred to as a Heberden’s node, named after an English physician William Heberden (1710-1801) who made a number of celebrated medical discoveries (including angina). Presenting as a small fixed bump on the finger, usually at the last joint of the finger, Heberden's node is actually a calcified spur of the joint cartilage and is a sign of osteoarthritis.
Another common bony knob occurs at the middle joint of the fingers in many patients with osteoarthritis and is called a Bouchard's node, named after a famous French doctor. The Heberden's and Bouchard's nodes may not be painful, but they are often associated with limitation of motion of the joint. These nodes are due to calcium deposits, in other words free calcium that has not been metabolised and integrated into the cartilage and bone.
Now if you were paying attention when you read about Boron above you will be able to tell me what a possible remedy would be for this condition. Yip, we are most probably looking at a boron deficiency, especially since our soils in many areas of South Africa and the world are boron deficient.
If you have knobby knuckles (or for that matter osteoarthritis anywhere in your body) take 3mg calcium fructoborate twice a day to improve uptake of calcium into bones and teeth rather than be deposited in your joints where it will form spurs. From all accounts you should be amazed after just 1 month but continue at this dose and when you have experienced sufficient improvement reduce to 3mg once a day – that is one Super Natural Boron capsule per day.
Low-carb diet trial:
As you know the Banting Diet is on just about everybody's lips these days (literally and figuratively) which has resulted in a long and contentious debate as to whether this is a good thing or not. As I’ve said before, people are losing weight, but if they’re not following this diet properly there could be serious consequences to their health.
Many health authorities have actively advised against low carb diets and called for clinical trials. There have been some studies however the most recent one financed by the National Institutes of Health and published in the Annals of Internal Medicine is possibly the most credible one thus far, in that it was the most long-term and included a racially diverse group of 150 men and women — a rarity in clinical nutrition studies. Participants were assigned to follow diets for one year that limited either the amount of carbs or the amount of fat that they could eat, but not overall calories.
The high-fat group followed something of a modified Atkins diet. They were told to eat mostly protein and fat, and to choose foods with primarily unsaturated fats, like fish, olive oil and nuts. But they were allowed to eat foods higher in saturated fat as well, including cheese and red meat. A typical day’s diet might consist of eggs for breakfast, tuna salad for lunch, and some kind of protein for dinner — like red meat, chicken, fish, pork or tofu — along with vegetables. They were encouraged to cook with olive and canola oils, but butter was allowed, too.
The low-fat group included more grains, cereals and starches in their diet and reduced their total fat intake. Both groups were encouraged to eat vegetables, and the low-carbohydrate group was told that eating some beans and fresh fruit was fine as well.
Now, among the long-standing criticisms is that low-carb diets cause people to lose weight in the form of water instead of body fat, and that cholesterol and other heart disease risk factors climb because dieters invariably raise their intake of saturated fat by eating more meat and dairy. The new study showed that was not the case:
By the end of the year-long trial, people in the low-carbohydrate group had lost about eight pounds more on average than those in the low-fat group. They had significantly greater reductions in body fat than the low-fat group, and improvements in lean muscle mass — even though neither group changed their levels of physical activity. They also saw markers of inflammation and triglycerides, a type of fat that circulates in the blood, plunge. Their HDL, the so-called good cholesterol, rose more sharply than it did for people in the low-fat group.
While the low-fat group did lose weight, they appeared to lose more muscle than fat.
Blood pressure, total cholesterol and LDL, the so-called bad cholesterol, stayed about the same for people in each group. Nonetheless, those on the low-carbohydrate diet ultimately did so well that they managed to lower their Framingham Risk scores, which calculate the likelihood of a heart attack within the next 10 years. The low-fat group on average had no improvement in their scores.
I’m just the messenger here and not promoting any particular “diet”, a four-letter word I have come to distrust because very few people embarking on a diet actually do it properly - the Banting Diet being a case in point. If we would all focus more on healthy eating rather than weight-loss, the unwanted kilos will slowly fall off and with that our heart disease risk factors will decline.
Fish Oil and Epilepsy
A recent study published online here turned up an interesting finding that low-dose fish oil (1000 mg EPA + DHA per day) was associated with a 33.6% reduction in seizure frequency compared with placebo. Low-dose fish oil was also associated with a mild but significant reduction in blood pressure. Even more interesting was that high-dose fish oil was no different than placebo in reducing seizures or improving cardiac risk factors, showing that more is not necessarily always better and also explains why previous studies on epilepsy which used high-dose fish oil have been negative. As Dr Giorgio, who headed the team said: “We seem to have hit the sweet spot…”.
Until we chat again: Eat well, avoid drugs where possible, learn all you can and don't be fooled by industry. I wish you the best of health and leave you with this thought:
Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant. ~Robert Louis Stevenson
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
The information in this newsletter is for educational purposes only and not to be construed as medical advice. It is not meant to diagnose, prescribe, or in any way replace qualified medical supervision. For any medical conditions, consult with your healthcare provider before using any products. Abundant health to you all.