Migraines affect 15%-20% of men and 25%-30% of women due to excessive dilation of the blood vessels in the head, and when they do strike they can be quite debilitating. In addition to this, this vasodilation causes the nerves that are wrapped around the blood vessels to stretch. This stretching causes the nerves to release chemicals which manifest in pain, inflammation as well as additional enlargement of the blood vessels. Migraine attacks are often preceded by visual disturbances, nausea, suppressed appetite and drowsiness, and once you have had a migraine the chance of getting another one are increased.
If you are like most people, you don’t drink enough water on a daily basis. Researchers today believe it is essential to drink at least 2 – 2.5 litres of water per day if you are going to perform at your best. As summer is approaching it is important in this hot and humid climate that we drink at least 2 litres a day and more if we are exercising or working outdoors.
Unfortunately most people don’t follow this simple guideline for good health. The result is that over 90 % of people do not digest their foods efficiently; they retain too much fat (studies have shown that drinking more water can lead to fat loss) and expose themselves to a build up of toxins.
Many experts now agree that a major contributor to illness is inadequate hydration of the body along with poor waste elimination. By increasing your hydration level water has been shown to increase your body’s ability to transport vital nutrients to cells and flush unwanted wastes out of the system. This combined effect maybe the single most important thing you can do to improve the efficiency of your body, feel better and get you on a long term path to optimal health.
Learning how to drink again
Whether you are seeking to improve your general health, increase energy, lose weight or eliminate a specific disorder, you will need to hydrate your body properly in order to get the best results in the shortest time. For optimum results drink a minimum of 1 to 1.5 glasses of filtered water 30 minutes before each meal; at least 2 glasses between each meal; but at least 30 minutes after the last meal. It is best not to drink with meals as this dilutes important digestive enzymes, if you need to have a drink whilst you are eating only have a small amount of room temperature water, no refrigerated drinks.
If you are not accustomed to drinking this much water, it will take several weeks for your body to adjust to the extra water consumption and you may have to urinate more frequently but this will normalise in a few weeks; if increased urination persists you may need to supplement with magnesium and potassium for a little while. If you drink a lot of tea, coffee or other caffeinated drinks these will also dehydrate the body and decrease your magnesium, potassium and other vitamin levels, so drink caffeine containing drinks in moderation, 1-2 per day. Different people have different requirements for example if you are an outdoor worker you will require a special hydration formula like Endura to help maintain your energy levels
You may also have more bowel movements in a day; this is a positive sign that your body is getting rid of unwanted wastes and toxins. This improved waste elimination will continue as long as you continue to drink 2 -2.5 litres of filtered water per day
Believe it or not when you start to drink filtered water in the prescribed quantities, you may actually find yourself feeling thirsty. If you do, drink additional water until the thirst dissipates, your body is adjusting to what it naturally prefers
As you continue to drink more water you may also experience a subtle increase in energy as well as mental alertness, a bit like when you water a droopy plant…it starts to come alive again
If you want to have a clean start to the New Year try my “mini detox” program. The “mini detox” will help get your liver and digestive system back into gear for the New Year, leaving you feeling fresh and alive.
Detox is not a dirty word!
Do you cringe at the thought of having to do a detox? Detoxification is a great way to begin the New Year and it does not have to be hard. Detoxification encourages the body to remove toxins and may improve energy, fitness, moods and weight loss as well as having to prevent chronic disease and ageing. The best form of detox for the New Year is one that gives the entire digestive system an overhaul. This will help to stimulate vitality and health in the whole body. The kind of symptoms often associated with a toxic body include: extreme tiredness, premature aging, digestive complaints, obesity, hormonal imbalances, feelings of being bloated, unexplainable digestive pain, headaches and general lack of motivation and vitality. People are surprised by how sudden these symptoms can clear up after a good digestive overall. Just like our cars, we need a service every now and then to boost us back into full vibrant health
The gut is the seat of health.
One of the most important considerations to your health is your digestive system; in natural medicine, the gut is considered to be at the centre of good health. If your digestive system gets out of balance it can increase the amount of toxins you absorb, leaving you feeling tired and run down. The type and amount of bacteria in your digestive system plays an important role in keeping you and your gut healthy. If there is an overgrowth of bad bacteria or yeast in your gut, this can make you more toxic and may reduce your ability to get rid of toxins. Signs that you may need a detox include headaches, allergies, digestion problems, fatigue, autoimmune disorders, fertility and menstrual cycle problems.
Weeding out the bad bugs and putting the good bugs back in.
The simple “mini detox” plan lasts from 2 to 4 weeks and is designed to help restore balance to your digestive system. Antimicrobial herbs taken in a convenient tablet form kill off any detrimental bacteria and yeasts that may be upsetting your gut. Part of the detox involves not just killing of the bad bacteria and yeasts, but replenishing your digestive system with beneficial bacteria known as probiotics. There are different types of probiotics; and whilst they are all good for digestion, there functions can vary.
Stress, toxins, alcohol, junk food and processed food can cause damage to the delicate cells of the digestive tract. This may lead to a “leaky gut” a condition where undigested food and toxins pass from the digestive tract and into the bloodstream. If this occurs it can cause digestive upset, inflammation and increase our risk of food allergies and other diseases. Leaky gut can be healed during the detox process using the amino acid Glutamine, the mineral zinc and a combination of Aloe Vera and Licorice.
Something to liven up the liver!
Once we have healed the gastrointestinal system, it is time to liven up your liver. Your liver is your body’s main cleansing unit and to give yourself a good cleanout on the inside, you need a healthy liver that is functioning at optimal capacity. There are a number of herbs and minerals that can be combined into a convenient tablet to help improve your livers ability to detox. It is also best to avoid excess sugar, alcohol and processed foods during the detox process and nourishes your body with plenty of fresh foods. I will be able to give you lots of diet and cooking ideas so that you won’t go hungry during the detox process. So don’t let the word detox scare you off! Start the New Year in a healthy way and see how good you can feel and look.
We all know we should eating our vegetables, but what is also important is eating a variety and I don’t just mean different types but different colours like reds, oranges, yellows, blues, purples and of course our greens! For optimum nutrition, rather than relying on taking a multi-vitamin, up the colour ante on your plate.
All vegetables are good for us in some way, but to get a wide variety of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, we need to eat a wide variety of vegetables. Many people tend to eat the same veggies week in and week out, and you could be missing out on vital nutrients. Scientists and nutritionists have long made the connection between the natural pigments in vegetables and fruit and good nutrition.
All the Colours of the Rainbow
Green is the colour most closely associated with healthy and nutritious fruits and vegetables and for good reason. Green veggies get their colour from chlorophyll, and the darker green the better. Leafy greens such as spinach and kale contain folate, broccoli, cabbage and other cruciferous vegetables are high in Vitamin C and fibre and contain phytochemicals that may prevent cancer. Lutein in leafy greens helps protect our eyes from macular degeneration.
Red is another colour that we associate with healthy eating – capsicum and tomatoes contain lycopene which could reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease. The best way to obtain this nutrient is by cooking the tomatoes. Other reds include radishes, red apples, rhubarb and watermelon. And just so you know it’s not just about the fruit and veg, resveratrol, an organic compound found in grapes and particularly in red wine, could help you live longer and delay the onset of age-related memory loss and other problems.
You might not associate blue and purple generally with things you can eat but blueberries and acai berries are considered to be extremely high in antioxidants. Anthocyanins give blue and purple foods their colour and you can also find them in eggplant, purple broccoli and purple cabbage. Figs and plums are also purple. Anthocyanins are antioxidants that are believed to decrease inflammation associated with arthritis and heart disease. There is so much research out there now showing how good blueberries are for you in so many ways.
Sunny yellow and orange, found in carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin and apricots, get their colour from caretenoids which our body turns into beta-carotene and uses to give us healthy eyesight and mucous membranes. They also build a strong immune system.
While it’s probably healthier to steer clear of white bread, the same is not true of white vegetables and fruits. Potatoes baked in their skins contain potassium, and onions and garlic, known for their blood cleansing properties are also white and can help lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Don’t forget potassium-rich bananas – they are white inside the skin! – and cauliflower, also a crucifer, contains vitamin C and may help protect against cancer.
Remember that everything in nature works in synergistic – and sometimes mysterious – ways, which is why it’s much better to eat a wide range of natural foods. It’s not just the particular vitamin, mineral or phytochemical that has specific effects but the way they work in synergy with the rest of our diet. So next time you’re at the supermarket or fruit and veg store look for some different coloured vegetables to and they will also look pretty on the plate!
What are the benefits of Soft Drinks?
As these drinks are digested and absorbed into our bloodstream, they do damage little by little. Phosphoric acid, citric, malic and tartaric acids are all added to soft drinks. These highly acidic substances start the damage as soon as you drink them as they corrode the surface of the tooth enamel and when consumed in high amounts, cause many unwanted dental caries.. Following the teeth, the soft drink finds its way to our digestive system. The body has an amazing ability to find uses for the ingredients that we digest, some useful, some not. In the case of the soft drink, the excess amount of sugars and calories contribute to heart disease and diabetes.
Soft Drinks and Osteoporosis
Research also suggests that soft drinks contribute to osteoporosis. This is due to the high phosphorus content in soft drinks. A high amount of phosphorus in the diet hinders the absorption of calcium, should calcium levels be low. In general, adolescents are more likely to drink high amounts of soft drinks and consume lower than the RDI (Recommended Daily Intake) requirements of calcium. They are therefore in a higher risk of having bones that show signs of being less dense, of losing strength and breaking more easily.
During adolescents, more than half of peak bone mass is developed. It is therefore imperative that this age group meets the RDI requirements of calcium and that they avoid massive consumptions of soft drinks.
The Risks of Artificial Sweeteners
When it comes to diet soft drinks, many people are unaware of the dangers of the added artificial sweetener, aspartame. Aspartame is added to many soft drinks to avoid the calories that come from sugar, but the dangers of aspartame are worse than sugar. The dangers of aspartame are as follows:
- It can decrease the availability of tryptophan and therefore serotonin. Tryptophan is a precursor for serotonin. Serotonin regulates mood, sleep and appetite and low serotonin is associated with depression and anxiety;
- Phenylketonuria (PKU) is a disease in which the person is unable to process the amino acid, phenylalanine. As a result, the levels of phenylalanine in the blood increase to very toxic levels. This can cause a variety of complications, including brain damage and even mimic many of the symptoms of multiple sclerosis. Aspartame contains the amino acid phenylalanine in the blood and therefore should be avoided.
Metabolic Syndrome is a collection of conditions that may increase the risk of Diabetes Type 2, stroke or heart disease. Research suggests that in middle age people, the consumption of soft drinks, including diet soft drinks may boost the risk of metabolic syndrome. This is due to the false presumption that because the diet soft drinks contain no calories, they can eat more calories, therefore increasing their caloric content of foods. This may in turn lead to increased body weight.
The Effects of Caffeine
Last but not least, soft drinks contain amounts of caffeine. Caffeine is mildly addictive at low doses. We might know that caffeine manifests as behavioural changes. These include:
- Increased alertness;
- Increased energy;
- Increased ability to concentrate.
Some of the benefits of caffeine may sound appealing and is ok in moderation but it is what leads to the addictive nature of soft drinks and is not ideal for our kids. So while many people love the taste of soft drinks they really are only for an occasional treat.
If you have any questions or would like any help with your health contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Alkaline diet – The five signs you need it
There are many benefits to eating an alkaline diet. Research now shows that inflammation is one of the main drivers behind chronic disease and over-acidity in the body can result in inflammation and chronic health issues, while an alkaline diet can help to prevent these same problems. Some of the symptoms of an over-acid diet include fatigue, weight gain, digestion issues, gum and teeth problems, a tendency towards getting sick frequently, pain and inflammation, and premature aging. If you are experiencing any of these problems, read on to see how an alkaline diet can help without the need for gimmicky supplements.
Improved Energy Levels
Proper cell functioning is very important to a person’s overall energy level. If the cells are not healthy, they are not as effective at holding and transferring oxygen within the body which can lead to fatigue, digestion issues and weight gain. This can result in overall fatigue and a lack of energy. The body’s pH level can also affect a cell’s ability to produce adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is important to the body’s energy level. This process normally takes place within a cell’s mitochondria, which is like the cell’s battery. If the body’s pH level is too acidic, this process does not take place as effectively.
Healthier Teeth and Gums
When the pH level of the body is too acidic, it stands to reason that the mouth will also be quite acidic. Unfortunately, when the level of acid in the mouth is too high, it can cause bacteria to grow at a much faster rate. Bacteria can cause a number of different problems in the mouth, such as gum disease and bad breath. A high level of acid and bacteria in the mouth will also increase a person’s chances for tooth decay. Many people note an improvement in their overall level of oral health after switching to a diet program that promotes an alkaline pH level in the body.
Improved Immune Function
When cells are healthy, they are effectively able to absorb the nutrients they require. Healthy cells are also efficient at eliminating waste products. If cells become weakened in any way, they are not nearly as effective at these kinds of functions. As a result, infectious organisms have a better chance of affecting these cells. When the body’s pH is too acidic, cells cannot function at their optimal level. This is why a person is more likely to become ill, develop infections, or even develop cancer when their diet is acidic as compared to alkaline.
Reduced Pain and Inflammation
Magnesium is one of the minerals the body uses to help control excessive acidity. If you eat a diet that has an acidic effect, the body is forced to use more magnesium to help neutralize it. However, magnesium is also a useful nutrient in the body that helps to support joint and tissue functions. By eating a diet that has an alkaline effect on the body instead of an acidic effect, your body will have more magnesium available to help reduce tissue and joint pain and inflammation.
When cells are subjected to an acidic environment, they function much less efficiently. This reduction in functionality can impair a cell’s ability to repair itself, thus resulting in premature aging. Premature aging can also occur when cells are not able to get enough oxygen, and when they are not able to rid themselves of toxins. An alkaline diet can help prevent all of these scenarios. Better functioning cells means a younger appearance for you. Plus, as an added benefit, an alkaline diet program will also help you maintain a healthy weight.
If you would like some more information on a specific alkaline diet for you, or if you have any other health questions send me an email email@example.com or to make an appointment at my Gladstone clinic you can visit www.michaelsmithnaturopath.com.au
Resveratrol is a natural product found in grapes and many plants and is the reason why many people say that red wine is good for you as it contains Resveratrol. Medicinally the Chinese herb Polygonum cuspidatum also known as Japanese Knotweed contains high levels of Resveratrol and is the source of most Resveratrol used in nutritional supplements.
A Pubmed search reveals more thatn 4,000 articles on Resveratrol and it demonstrates an amazing array of pharmacological activities including antioxidant, cardioprotective, antidiabetic, anticancer, antiviral, neuroprotective, antiplatelet, anti-inflammatory and modulation of fat metabolism. So with all these amazing health benefits should we be drinking a glass or two of red wine every night as some people have suggested? Unfortunately to get a therapeutic dose of Resveratrol from red wine you would need to drink about 2 bottles a night so that the health risks would far outweigh the benefits so it's best to get your Resveratrol from a once a day supplement.
Who would benefit the most from Resveratrol?
Resveratrol inhibits cancer development at all of the three known stages of chemical carcinogenesis, namely the initiation, promotion and progression stage. The development of chronic diseases might also be reduced by Resveratrol, based on the many lab studies. These diseases include cardiovascular, dementia, type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis and anti-aging. Anti-aging and cancer research. Most of the positive trials so far have been done in the lab on mice and while there are many promising human trials in progress the results of these will be known over several years as the anti-aging affect and the affect on chronic illness become apparent.
How much Resveratrol do you need?
The research indicates about 300mg's a day as a therapeutic dose to get results and I generally recommend people take a supplement mixed with Grape Seed extract and Green tea to achieve optimal benefits. The Grape Seed extract is a potent natural source of proanthocyanidins and of pycnogenols a naturally powerful antioxidant and can help with antiaging so combined with Resveratrol it makes a poweful supplement. One of the best supplements containing these ingredients is Bio-Oxidate Defense
If you have any questions about Resveratrol contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org