Fibre Helps Prevent Heart Attacks

FibreAccording to Harvard researchers, the more fibre you eat, the more likely you are to survive a heart attack.

For each 10g of daily fibre you eat, you decrease your chances of dying from a heart attack by 15 per cent! We should, as a nation, be eating a recommended 38g of fibre every day, but most of us fall short of that by at least 50 per cent.

Perhaps this news will encourage more people to include more vegetables, nuts, apples, whole grains and legumes in their diets! In my opinion, fibre should be naturally contained within the food not added in your diet as bran.


A Natural Approach to Hay Fever

a natural approach to hay fever

There are lots of natural approaches to hay fever

MANY of us look forward to the spring and summer sunshine after a long cold winter. But just as many others dread these lovely balmy evenings as they bring a nasty range of pollen-related allergies.

If you are one of the estimated 15 million Britons whose lives are made a misery by hay fever – that’s 25% of the population – then you are likely to be one of the people who may benefit from a natural approach to hay fever.

There are a lot of effective over-the-counter remedies, but unfortunately these often come with side effects such as drowsiness or headaches. So, this year, why not try something natural?


A natural anti-inflammatory, quercetin has been shown to offer significant antioxidant protection for the cells lining the sinuses. Its ability to stabilise mast cells, the cells that release histamine, has made it a popular and widely-used remedy for sinus congestion, hay fever and other allergic reactions. Quercetin is a great natural approach to hay fever and is found in onions, garlic, apples, green tea and black tea. Smaller amounts are found in leafy green vegetables and beans.


This herb is a natural expectorant that can relieve phlegm production. Thyme has a long history of use in Europe for the treatment of dry, spasmodic coughs as well as bronchitis and a natural approach to hay fever. It also has antimicrobial properties that help fight infections caused by phlegm. Other herbs that may have antimicrobial properties include eucalyptus – inhale oils over a bowl of steamy water to clear sinus congestion – lemon balm, myrrh, olive leaf, sage and sandalwood. Steep fresh thyme leaves in hot water to make tea and drink twice a day.


Probably best known as a relaxant and bed-time drink, chamomile has been traditionally used to treat eye itchiness and inflammation. Try placing a cold tea bag on your eyelids for 5-10 minutes.


Elderberries have traditionally been used in many countries to treat respiratory illnesses such as colds or flu. Some evidence suggests that substances in elder flowers and berries may help reduce swelling in the sinuses and help relieve nasal congestion. Elder may also have anti-inflammatory, antiviral and anticancer properties. Elderberry may help with cold and flu symptoms by reducing congestion and possibly making you sweat more.

Refs: Reiter M et al, 2009, Quercetin and Q10 Protect Human Sinus Cells  Anticancer Res, 29, 1, 33-9. Shaik YB et al, 2006, Quercetin Stabilizes Mast Cells,  J Biol Regul Homeost Agents, 20, 3-4, 47-52. Leung AY, Foster S. Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients Used in Food, Drugs, and Cosmetics. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1996, 492–5.


A Natural Approach to Treating IBS

Treating IBSIrritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder. Estimates suggest between nine and 23% of the global population is affected by it, with over 30 million people in the United States suffering from this gastro intestinal disorder.

According to the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD), it’s estimated that IBS is also more common in females, which account for two out of every three cases. The problem is compounded because so many people are uncomfortable about discussing any issues to do with their bowels.

IBS is also often dismissed by the medical profession as a condition they can do little to help with. Personally, I think this is unacceptable, because if you can find the cause of any problem, then you can begin to treat it, and there is much we can do both to find the cause of IBS and then treat the symptoms.

Something is making your bowel ‘irritable’, and it is simply a question of finding out what that is while at the same time finding ways to help calm things down. IBS is described as a disorder in the way the bowel functions and so, in my view, it is important to try to work out just why your bowel is not functioning normally and use your diet and natural remedies to get your digestive system working properly again.

What you Eat Effects Your Health

Most medical students only receive a few hours of nutrition lectures in over six years of training, and yet it makes sense that a condition such as IBS will benefit the most from treatment through the diet. What you eat can have a profound effect on your health, and if you can give your body the right nutrients, then you will give it the ‘tools’ to heal itself.

I wanted to write a series of articles and promote this book because IBS is the most common problem connected to the gastrointestinal tract, and yet after a diagnosis, so many people are left wondering what they can do about it, and if they just have to put up with it. There are various ways to tackle IBS: it may be a case of finding out what is the right diet for you but, equally, there may be an underlying cause that has not been tracked down. There are various tests available, which I will outline in detail over the next few weeks, to help you identify the cause.

Learn to Think of Your Body as a Whole

We will look at your whole body in relation to IBS, from how your digestive system is working, to the role that emotions and stress play with this condition. All the available medical and nutrition tests are explained, some of which can be extremely helpful. I will give you vital advice on how to support the digestive system, gently healing and strengthening it back to normal function with my Diet Plan, guidance on how to benefit from supplements, and I will also outline therapies for any anxiety or stress associated with your IBS.

Using nutrition as a form of treatment works quite differently from conventional medicine. The first aim is to work on the symptoms by addressing the underlying cause of the problem. The next stage — and here’s the big difference — is to work on prevention, because once you have addressed the root cause of the problem and know how to manage the condition, you often need only a simple maintenance programme to keep things on an even keel.

Step by step, we will nourish your digestive system back to good health…

Perimenopause: Have It, Live It, Love It! Book Review

PMA_ebook01-smallI’ve had so many of you ask me about menopause and perimenopause recently. So, I started writing a book on it few months ago, but I’ve been so busy that I’ve had to put it on the back burner.

Then it dawned on me — there are lots of great books on the subject out there, so I really don’t need to write one!

One the best I have read so far is Pam Andrew’s Perimenopause: Have It, Live It, Love It! If I were to use only one word to describe this book to you, it would be comprehensive. From her discussion on the symptoms to the various medical tests and treatments right down to the natural home remedies you can use to relieve your perimenopause symptoms, this book has it all.

Although not a doctor by profession she explains clearly, and in plain English, what perimenopause is. Her work is very thorough and her background in magazine writing is clearly evident in the easy language she uses to simplify the medical implications of this stage in our lives.

For women who are looking for a complete survival guide to perimenopause, this is a fantastic resource. It’s the kind of book that won’t just sit in your computer once you’ve downloaded it. I’m sure you’ll be printing several copies of it — one for your kitchen cabinet or fridge door, another to put on your bedside table, and another inside your desk drawer in the office!

So, for all of who are experiencing hot flashes, irregular periods, irritability, dizziness, insomnia, abdominal and hip weight gain — get your copy! It will change your life!

P.S. Watch out for my new range of menopause natural supplements…

Gluten: The Hidden Killer in your Food Cupboard?

finally-food-i-can-eat-coverSomething you’re eating may be killing you, and you may not even know it… Now I know that sounds terribly dramatic and sensationalist, and when I say this, I don’t mean that eating a slice of bread is going to poison you and make you drop down dead. However, the long-term effects may be far more damaging than you would ever think.

If you live on cheeseburgers or French fries or drink numerous sodas every day, you’re likely to know you are shortening your life. But how could eating a nice dark, crunchy slice of whole wheat bread be bad for you?

Well, bread contains gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, spelt, kamut, and oats. It is hidden in pizza, pasta, bread, wraps, rolls, and most processed foods. Clearly, gluten is a staple of most Western diets.

What most people don’t know is that gluten can cause serious health complications. You may still be at risk even if you don’t have celiac disease.

So, let’s look at the truth about gluten, explain the dangers, and provide you with a simple system that will help you determine whether or not gluten is a problem for you.

The Dangers of Gluten

A recent study reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that people with diagnosed, undiagnosed, and latent celiac disease or gluten sensitivity had a higher risk of death, mostly from heart disease and cancer.

This study looked at almost 30,00 patients from 1969 to 2008 and examined deaths in three groups. Those with full-blown celiac disease, those with inflammation of their intestine but not full-blown celiac disease, and those with latent celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.

The findings were dramatic. There was a 39 percent increased risk of death in those with celiac disease, 72 percent increased risk in those with gut inflammation related to gluten, and 35 percent increased risk in those with gluten sensitivity but no celiac disease.

This is ground-breaking research that proves you don’t have to have full-blown celiac disease with a positive intestinal biopsy — which is what conventional thinking tells us — to have serious health problems and complications, including death, from eating gluten.

Yet an estimated 99 percent of people who have a problem with eating gluten don’t even know it. They ascribe their ill health or symptoms to something else — not gluten sensitivity, which is 100 percent curable.

So, how easy is it to give up gluten. Well, it may not be as hard as you might think. To help you along the way, Shirley Plant, nutritionist and author of Finally… Food I Can Eat, has come up with a 21-day challenge for you. Shirley’s step-by-step approach has helped thousands of people wean themselves off not only gluten, but sugar too.

It is an easy to follow, no-nonsense programme that supports you every step of the way to giving up gluten in 21 days. Just think, in no time at all you could feel like a different person…

Even if you’re not gluten intolerant, I can almost guarantee you will feel better and lighter in less than a month.

If you want to try Shirley’s programme, here’s the link to your: 21-Day Gluten Free Challenge

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Why Vitamin D is Important

why we need vitamin DVitamin D is important for the absorption of calcium into the bloodstream and also for helping to regulate your immune system. It is actually a hormone, rather than a vitamin, and is made naturally by the body from fat under the skin in response to sunlight.

As our fear of skin cancer caused by sun damage grows, we are tending to stay in the shade or cover up with 50 Factor creams in the summer. In the winter, the sun doesn’t produce the right wavelength ultraviolet light, resulting in more than half the British population not getting enough vitamin D.

Optimum blood levels of Vitamin D should be 80 nmol/litre. If you are worried that you are deficient, you can take a finger prick blood test to measure your blood levels. You can increase your intake of foods that contain Vitamin D — but there aren’t many of them — oily fish and egg yolks.

You might also consider supplementing with vitamin D as D3, not D2. Vitamin D3 is 87% more effective in raising and maintaining vitamin D levels than D2.

Signs and symptoms of vitamin and mineral deficiencies include fatigue, aches and pains, dry and brittle nails, ‘foggy’ brain and dry skin among others.

Vitamin D3If you are worried that you may be suffering from a vitamin and mineral deficiency you can take my easy online vitamin and mineral analysis here…

Stress can effect the way your body uses nutrients or drinking alcohol can mean you have a higher need for certain vitamins. Also, much of the food we eat today is also lacking in nutrients.

This online form is designed to give me all the information I need to work out what vitamins and minerals you may be lacking.

Once I have received notification of your completed form, it will take me a few days to go through it and come up with an individual plan just for you. This may include recommended supplements, vitamins and minerals, food choices, exercise ideas and, sometimes, herbal remedies.

The Health Benefits of Avocado

benefits of avocadoAVOCADOS are rich in folate, vitamin B6 and betacarotene. They also contain monounsaturated fat, which is a good type of fat, so you don’t need to worry about eating them. The health benefits of avocado are endless…

Calorie-wise they average around 300 calories, or 150 for half, so with a salad and slice of whole bread. you have a nice healthy lunch that should keep you going throughout the afternoon.

Rich in potassium, vitamins B and E as well as high in fibre, avocados may help protect against lung cancer and rheumatoid arthritis. They also contain good amounts of fibre, around 11g to 17g per fruit.

Although officially classed as a fruit, avocados are generally treated as a salad vegetable. They are high in fat, however most of this is the heart-friendly monounsaturated variety, or more specifically, oleic acid, an omega-9 fat also found in olive oil. Monounsaturated fat has also been linked to a reduced risk of cancer and diabetes. Those who have difficulty in digesting fats are usually fine with avocados.

An excellent source of vitamin E, avocados are also high in beta-sitosterol, a natural substance which helps lower blood cholesterol levels and protect the prostrate. Vitamin E also helps prevent the oxidation of LDL, or bad cholesterol, and is important for healthy skin. This vitamin has also been shown to help boost fertility in men by protecting the sperm cell membranes from damage by free radicals and increasing sperm motility. For this reason avocados have been traditionally used for erectile dysfunction. Other uses include: constipation, nervousness and insomnia.

The Health Benefits of Avocado include Vitamin B6

the health benefits of avocadoAvocados also contain lutein, a carotenoid with natural antioxidant properties that help keep eyes healthy and also contribute to a healthy skin. One small avocado contains half the recommended daily allowance of vitamin B6 which is essential to the central nervous system function. Low levels of B6 have been linked to depression and chronic fatigue. Anyone taking the contraceptive pill, or antibiotics, would be wise to add avocado to their diet as both these drugs increase the body’s need for vitamin B6.

Avocados are High in Fibre

They are also a good source of fibre – around 11 to 17g per fruit. Rich in potassium with two to three times that of bananas, avocados also contain good amounts of folate, vitamin A as well as beta carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin.

Eating Avocados Reduces Lung Cancer Risk

Foods high in beta-cryptoxanthin protect cells from the damaging effects of free radicals and provide a good source of vitamin A. This carotenoid may also reduce the risk of lung cancer according to a study published in Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention. The 2004 study found beta-cryptoxanthin reduced lung cancer risk by more than 30 percent in those with diets providing the highest amounts. Studies have also shown beta-cryptoxanthin providing a 41 percent reduction in the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis.

How to Reap the Health Benefits of Avocado

Avocado is excellent in salads, as a garnish, sandwich-filler or, of course, as guacamole. The small knobbly Haas varieties seem to have a nicer flavour than their smooth Fuerte cousins.

Portrait2If you would like to know more about how you can eat more healthily and feel so much better, book an online consultation with me today… 

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