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Eating Apples May Help Prevent Heart Disease

Eating Apples May Help Prevent Heart Disease

An Apple a Day Keeps the Cardiologist Away!

Munching on a Granny Smith or a Golden Delicious or two every day could cut your risk of heart disease and stroke by up to 40%!  And you only need to eat 150g — an apple and a half — to get the maximum benefits.

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) and stroke are the leading causes of death worldwide, but eating antioxidant-rich fruit and vegetables help combat harmful but naturally occurring free radicals which may contribute to heart disease.

The study included 451,681 participants without CVD and who were not taking medication for high blood pressure. Some 18% of participants consumed fruit daily and 6.3% never ate any.

The average amount of fruit eaten by the daily consumers was 1.5 portions, around 150g in weight. The researchers found that compared to people who never ate fruit, those who ate fruit daily cut their CVD risks by 25-40%.  As the frequency of fruit consumption went up, the risk of CVD went down. The researchers also found that people who consumed fruit more often had significantly lower blood pressure (BP).

The findings were presented at the European Society of Cardiology meeting in Barcelona, Spain, in September.

 

Reduce Your Risk of Developing Alzheimer's

Reduce Your Risk of Developing Alzheimer’s

Did you know that research has looked at whether different dietary patterns can protect you and reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s?

A study of over 2,000 people over the age of 65 (without dementia) followed for four years, has shown that those who have higher intakes of salad, nuts, fish, tomatoes, cruciferous vegetables, fruits and dark and green leafy vegetables and lower intakes of dairy products, red meat, organ meat and butter have a strongly associated lower risk of Alzheimer’s.

Having good levels of antioxidants is also important in reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Research has shown a 30% drop in dementia risk among regular fruit and vegetable eaters so the recommendation is to ‘eat a rainbow’ and include as many different coloured fruit and vegetables in your diet as each colour will give you different antioxidants.

Research has also looked at the use of antioxidant supplements in reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s. One study showed that a combination of vitamin E (400ius) and vitamin C (500mg) helped to reduce the risk and it is also known that taking antioxidant supplements can reduce the deterioration rate of Alzheimer’s in people who have already been diagnosed.

 

 

Diet and Nutrition Essential for Mental Health

Rapidly growing evidence shows vital relationships between both diet quality and potential nutritional deficiencies and mental health.

Published in The Lancet Psychiatry, leading academics state that as with a range of medical conditions, psychiatry and public health should now recognise and embrace diet and nutrition as key determinants of mental health.

Lead author, Dr Jerome Sarris from the University of Melbourne and a member of the International Society for Nutritional Psychiatry Research (ISNPR), said psychiatry is at a critical stage, with the current medically-focused model having achieved only modest benefits in addressing the global burden of poor mental health.

Diet and Nutrition Essential for Mental Health

“While the determinants of mental health are complex, the emerging and compelling evidence for nutrition as a key factor in the high prevalence and incidence of mental disorders suggests that nutrition is as important to psychiatry as it is to cardiology, endocrinology and gastroenterology,” Dr Sarris said.

“In the last few years, significant links have been established between nutritional quality and mental health. Scientifically rigorous studies have made important contributions to our understanding of the role of nutrition in mental health,” he said.

Findings of the review revealed that in addition to dietary improvement, evidence now supports the contention that nutrient-based prescription has the potential to assist in the management of mental disorders at the individual and population level.

Studies show that many of these nutrients have a clear link to brain health, including omega-3s, B vitamins (particularly folate and B12), choline, iron, zinc, magnesium, S-adenosyl methionine (SAMe), vitamin D, and amino acids.

What is Collagen and Why Do We Need it?

AntioxidantsIf you are interested in anti-ageing products, you will probably know that the promise of many of them is to “increase collagen production”. 

But what is collagen, and why do we need it? Put simply, collagen is a form of connective tissue, the glue, if you like, that holds our bodies together.  As we age, we lose collagen, and you can see the results externally as skin starts to sag and create wrinkles.  Internally, you may feel it as aches and pains as collagen’s “cushioning” of muscles and bones deteriorates.

A multi-billion pound industry has grown up around discovering ways to restore this “elixir of youth”, from creams, to drinks, to collagen pills.

But there are more natural and easy ways to prevent the loss of collagen, including avoiding sun damage to the skin, staying hydrated by drinking lots of  water, and ensuring your diet is packed full of vitamin C rich foods.

The antioxidants in fresh fruit and vegetables help to combat the free radicals in the body that actively attack collagen cells, resulting in diminished collagen production.

Fatty Acids in Fish May Shield Brain from Mercury Damage

Fatty Acids in Fish May Shield Brain from Mercury DamageNew findings from research in the Seychelles provide further evidence that the benefits of fish consumption on prenatal development may offset the risks associated with mercury exposure.

In fact, the new study, which appears in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, suggests that the nutrients found in fish have properties that protect the brain from the potential toxic effects of the chemical.

Three decades of research in the Seychelles have consistently shown that high levels of fish consumption by pregnant mothers — an average of 12 meals per week — do not produce developmental problems in their children. Researchers have previously equated this phenomenon to a kind of biological horse race, with the developmental benefits of nutrients in fish outpacing the possible harmful effects of mercury also found in fish.

However, the new research indicates that this relation is far more complex and that compounds present in fish — specifically polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) — may also actively counteract the damage that mercury causes in the brain.

“These findings show no overall association between prenatal exposure to mercury through fish consumption and neurodevelopmental outcomes,” said Edwin van Wijngaarden, PhD., and associate professor in the University of Rochester Department of Public Health Sciences and a co-author of the study. “It is also becoming increasingly clear that the benefits of fish consumption may outweigh, or even mask, any potentially adverse effects of mercury.”

The new study comes as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and international agencies are in the process of revisiting fish consumption advisories to better reflect the health benefits of nutrients found in fish. The FDA’s current guidance — which recommends that pregnant women limit their consumption of certain fish to twice a week — was established because of the known risk of high level mercury exposure on childhood development.

Mercury is found in the environment as a result of both natural and human (e.g. coal plant emissions) activity. Much of it ends up being deposited in the world’s oceans and, as a result, fish harbor the chemical in very small amounts.

 

 

Allergies and Food Intolerances

Food allergies and intolerances

Food allergies and intolerances

The word allergy is derived from Greek with ‘allos’ meaning different and ‘ergos’ meaning action, so when something foreign enters your body it has to take action by responding to that alien substance. 

The earliest definition of ‘allergy’ was an ‘inappropriate response by the body to a perfectly harmless substance’. But nowadays it is defined as a specific response by the immune system to a substance (inhaled, touched or eaten) that it mistakenly identifies as harmful.

Well known examples would be very severe reactions to peanuts or shellfish where the response is immediate, doesn’t depend on how much of the food has been eaten and symptoms can include difficulty breathing, rashes, swelling, runny nose and possible anaphylactic shock, which can be fatal.

These partially digested foods produce opioid chemicals that increase your appetite and decrease your metabolism. The more you eat the worse it gets and these foods can make you feel ‘high’ and can produce cravings.

How can you check if you have a food allergy or an intolerance?

There is another type of reaction to food, called food intolerances. With these reactions there can be a delay in the onset of the symptoms (from four to 72 hours), and the foods are often eaten in larger amounts and more frequently.

Symptoms can be varied, from bloating, diarrhoea, constipation and flatulence to lethargy, arthritis, fatigue, skin rashes, eczema, joint and muscle pains, recurrent infections, anxiety, depression, insomnia, irritability, water retention, headaches, migraines and just generally feeling unwell.

Do you have a health challenge that you’d like to discuss with me? I offer online Naturopathic and Nutrition Consultations. Fill out my forms here to book your personal consultation with me.

Or if you don’t have any particular health issues, perhaps you’d prefer one of my off-the-shelf  Health Programmes? Choose from Colon Cleanse, Detox Programme, Ultimate Cleanse or my comprehensive Supplement Programme. All packages include a full consultation.

Can Bacopa Improve Your Memory?

Can Bacopa Improve Your Memory?

Can Bacopa Improve Your Memory?

Bacopa (Bacopa monnieri)is an aquatic herb that is commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine (the traditional medical system of India) to address neurological and cognitive deficiencies.

Studies show that subjects who took bacopa had improved memory function, and the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database concludes that bacopa is “possibly effective” for aiding in learning and memory improvement.

While bacopa is showing promise, other herbal and nutrient-based therapies such as Ginkgo biloba, acetyl-L-carnitine (ALCAR), and phosphatidyl serine (PS) have been studied more thoroughly than bacopa.

I still recommend that keeping the mind and body active is the best way to maintain cognitive function and memory. Aim for 30 minutes of some form of gentle aerobic exercise at least five times per week, and remain mentally engaged with challenges you find appealing, such as reading, doing crossword puzzles, or learning a new language.

If you do decide to take bacopa, choose organic, standardized liquid extracts or encapsulated powder packaged in light-resistant containers. Take 300 mg of bacopa extract per day for 12 weeks. Side effects may include nausea, dry mouth, and fatigue.

Do you have a health challenge that you’d like to discuss with me? I offer online Naturopathic and Nutrition Consultations. Fill out my forms here to book your personal consultation with me.

Or if you don’t have any particular health issues, perhaps you’d prefer one of my off-the-shelf  Health Programmes? Choose from Colon Cleanse, Detox Programme, Ultimate Cleanse or my comprehensive Supplement Programme. All packages include a full consultation.

Fiona

Antibiotic Over-Prescription Crisis

Antibiotic Over-Prescription Crisis

Antibiotic Over-Prescription Crisis

Antibiotic over-prescribing means that as many as one in seven patients can now no longer be helped with them. 

In fact, for some infections, the failure rate of antibiotics as a treatment was as high as one in three. For infections such as pneumonia, which commonly affects the elderly, the consequences are fatal.

Routine operations for joint replacements, C-sections and so on could also become deadly, as the World Health Organisation declares a public health crisis. It’s not just humans either. Vets routinely over-prescribe antibiotics for pets too.

Researchers from the University of Cardiff looked at the records of almost 11 million patients prescribed antibiotics between 1991 and 2012 for sinusitis, sore throats, skin infections, bronchitis and pneumonia.

For 15.4 per cent of patients given an antibiotic in 2012, it was ineffective, compared to the failure rate of only 13.9 per cent in 1991.

Drug firms have also not produced more effective antibiotics because they are not deemed profitable.

Do you have a health challenge that you’d like to discuss with me? I offer online Naturopathic and Nutrition Consultations. Fill out my forms here to book your personal consultation with me.

Or if you don’t have any particular health issues, perhaps you’d prefer one of my off-the-shelf  Health Programmes? Choose from Colon Cleanse, Detox Programme, Ultimate Cleanse or my comprehensive Supplement Programme. All packages include a full consultation.

Fiona

Anxiety Linked to Low Omega-3 Levels

Anxiety linked to low omega-3

Anxiety linked to low omega-3

Hyperactive?  Anxious?  You May be Low in Omega-3…

Teenagers may be particularly susceptible to anxiety and hyperactivity if their diets are low in Omega-3 essential fatty acids.

A study published in Biological Psychiatry found that this condition can actually worsen over generations, too. Researchers found that a low Omega-3 diet can affect adolescent behaviour, not only because their diet is deficient, but because their parents’ diet was too.

Study author Bita Moghaddam commented, “It’s remarkable that a relatively common renewed freedom center can have generational effects. It indicates that our diet does not merely affect us in the short-term but also can affect our offspring.”

Source: www.biologicalpsychiatryjournal.com/article/S0006-3223(13)00578-7/abstract

Your Brain Needs the Right Type of Fat

Your brain needs the right type of fat

Your brain needs the right type of fat

Did you know that your brain is 70% fat, but it needs to have the right type of fat?

Brain cells need to be flexible to function properly and your brain incorporates the fats you eat into the cell membranes — this is why Omega 3 fats are so important.

It is also important to eliminate the trans fats found in hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated vegetable oils because these are hard fats, like a plastic; they make cells rigid so they lose their elasticity and flexibility, not good cells to have in the brain.

Make sure you are eating oily fish or taking linseed oil (flaxseed oil) if you are vegetarian as these will give you some valuable Omega 3 fatty acids.

Research has shown that by increasing your intake of fish you may be able to reduce the risk of dementia by 60%.

Do you have a health challenge that you’d like to discuss with me? I offer online Naturopathic and Nutrition Consultations. Fill out my forms here to book your personal consultation with me.

Or if you don’t have any particular health issues, perhaps you’d prefer one of my off-the-shelf  Health Programmes? Choose from Colon Cleanse, Detox Programme, Ultimate Cleanse or my comprehensive Supplement Programme. All packages include a full consultation.

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