DIETARY FIBRE

Plant foods – cereal, grains, vegetables, nuts, fruit and legumes are sources of DIETARY FIBRE.   Animal foods ie meat, eggs, fish and milk and sugar contain no fibre.   Health authorities advocate today, a moderate increase in DIETARY FIBRE intake as it has been proven to maintain the regular functioning of the human bowel, reduce cholesterol levels by binding to cholesterol in the bowel, provide a mucilage-type healing coating to the bowel wall, absorb poisonous toxins and metabolic wastes and reduce the incidence of formation of pre-cancerous polyps and growths in the colon.

DIETARY FIBRE consists of two categories – soluble or insoluble.   Examples of soluble fibre are the pectin in apples and carrots (used by Grandma to set her jams and effective in binding up diarrhoea) and the gummy fibre in oat bran.  Insoluble fibre consists of those plant components that are not digested by enzymes of the gastro-intestinal tract and pass through the bowel unabsorbed ie wheatbran, barley bran, rice bran, guar gum and psyllium.

Foods containing fibre take longer to chew and provide bulk and satisfaction hence their use in weight control programs.   Fibre absorbs water into itself, guar gum may be ingested half an hour before meals along with a glass of water.   As it absorbs the water it swells, so inducing a feeling of fullness prior to eating.

Fibre in the bowel absorbs water into itself too, swelling and providing a bulking, softening effect, causing pressure receptor cells in the bowel wall to register fullness of the bowel which then initiates more regular, easier defecation.   For this reason fibre such as Psyllium may be successfully used in conjunction with a daily intake of one and a half to two litres of water in correcting tendencies toward constipation and diverticulitis.

Excesive consumption of bran or wholegrain cereals is not recommended because of the capacity of phytic acid (in seeds) and DIETARY FIBRE to bind up essential minerals.   Rickets, zinc deficiency dwarfism and iron deficiency anemia have been related to a high consumption of bran and wholemeal breads.   The recommended daily intake of fibre is 25 -35 grams.   Excessive intake will cause stomach bloating and discomfort and flatulence.

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OEDEMA

OEDEMA is caused when the kidneys &/or heart are beginning to fail in their workload, or if the lymphatic system is congested.   Evidence of this is fluid retention, particularly noticeable at the ankle line and in the feet, lower legs and hands.

When due to kidney failure principally, it is best to avoid eating too much protein, especially animal protein, favor the kidneys by eating vegetable proteins ie almonds, sunflower, sesame, flax and pumpkin seeds, sprouted alfalfa and mung beans, millet, buckwheat, amaranth, quinoa, spelt, rice and steel cut oats, along with a little sour milk products and cottage cheese.

Silica- rich foods help the kidneys to heal ie young green plants, alfalfa, nettles, horsetail, garlic, onion, asparagus, apples, strawberries, grapes, beetroot, coconut, and especially beneficial are cucumber and watermelon.

A hot bath or sauna, twice weekly, will help remove excess fluids and exercising moderately on a daily basis will aid excretion of collected fluids via perspiration, and muscular contraction and deep breathing which pumps along the lymph fluid in the lymphatic tubules to their exit point, the liver.

Avoid salt or sodium totally, a potassium supplement is helpful, herbal teas of Horsetail, Cornsilk, Buchu, Dandelion, Calendula or Celery and Juniper are recommended.

Magnesium strengthens the heart muscle, Hawthorn Berries are healing to the heart.

Fluid retention during pregnancy can be treated with Vitamin B6 and the B Complex, understandably, professional advice regarding dosages of all herbs and vitamins etc is important.    Women who experience breast and abdominal swelling with fluids prior to menstruation can successfully use Vitamin B6 too.

Silica tablets and Vitamin C, which is a good diuretic, are helpful as well.

Please call me on 0427239676 for further professional advice.

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SMOKING AND PREGNANCY

SMOKING is associated with decreased fertility, an increased abortion rate, lowered birth weight, an increased still-birth rate and possibly an increased death rate of new born babies.

There is also an increased incidence of high blood pressure in mothers (although the babies are at even greater risk), an increased incidence of haemorrhage before the birth &  impaired brain development in the baby.  These effects can be reversed if the mother gives up smoking during pregnancy.

The smoke you draw into your lungs is full of poisons.  These poisons are absorbed through the lungs in a pregnant woman’s blood and passed straight through the placenta into the baby.

The carbon monoxide from the cigarette replaces oxygen carried to its developing cells and so partially starves them of this life-giving oxygen.

Nicotine has an immediate effect on the brain cells, and there is a rapid concentration in the unborn baby’s brain within minutes of inhalation of tobacco smoke.   It remains in its body for some time, increasing heart rate and the clotting rate of its blood and narrowing the diameter of the blood vessels right throughout the body.

Th nicotine inhaled in one cigarette has been found to constrict the mother’s arteries for about 20 minutes, this lessens the amount of blood passing through the placenta to the baby.  Babies of smoking mothers are usually smaller than those of non-smokers.

Research has shown that these children are more susceptible to infections, especially chest infections in their first year and in early childhood.

A British follow-up survey at the age of seven years showed children of mothers who smoked during pregnancy are not only smaller, but behind in reading ability compared with those whose mothers did not smoke.

It is important to remember that smoking around babies and children may increase their chances of developing a chest infection, and at worst, premature death due to SIDS ie Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

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DYSLEXIA

DYSLEXIA is a specific disorder of reading, writing and spelling that affects 3-9% of school- aged children.

Contrary to the view that DYSLEXIA is a language-processing problem, current research suggests that there is a basic problem in the motor, auditory and visual systems.

People with DYSLEXIA find it unusually difficult to detect flickering or moving stimuli, the auditory and motor processing system is similarly impaired and they find it hard to co-ordinate complex movements and are frequently more clumsy.

It would appear that DYSLEXIA occurs due to a critical nutrient deficiency or toxic insult at specific times during the maturation of the brain.

Nutrient deficiencies associated with a mother’s low intake of fat during pregnancy and compounded with the bottle feeding of the infant, can result in a low intake of docosohexaenoic acid (DHA), the polyunsaturated fatty acid that is required for eye and brain development.

Many studies indicate that babies with adequate intake of DHA have higher IQs and better problem-solving abilities than babies with poor intakes of DHA.

Simple means of treatment might include:

  1. Check for middle ear infections, and treat appropriately.
  2. Arrange examination of the eyes and correction of defects.
  3. Avoid cigarette smoke, chemicals and heavy metals that may impair brain function.
  4. Eat fish regularly as sardines, salmon, cod, or supplement of DHA.
  5. Covering one eye for up to six months during close work may result in improvements.
  6. Underline words when reading, using different colours to improve the distinction between the words and sentences.
  7. Introduce exercises that improve co-ordination, including hand-eye and cross-cranial exercises, repetition is the key here.
  8. Repetitive motor tasks lead to improvements in underlying control.
  9. Teach the child with a multi-sensory approach (include all the senses, visual, auditory and touch).
  10. Tinted eye glasses may be of some benefit regards possible light sensitivity.

 

 

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LISTEN UP COFFEE LOVERS – THE PROS AND CONS

Caffeine is an adrenal gland stimulant which means it will increase the secretions of adrenal hormones that are associated with a stress response, “fight or flight”, enabled by adrenalin and noradrenalin.

Too much COFFEE can therefore trigger anxiety, tender, inflamed stomach and a poor quality sleep, and like chocolate and Coke it is highly addictive.

Calcium absorption is hindered and calcium loss from the body is increased by drinking only two cups of coffee daily, it increases the production of stomach acids which in excess is a fore-runner of possible stomach ulcer and it increases the heart rate and blood pressure, so people experiencing any of the fore-mentioned health problems should abstain.

COFFEE doesn’t have to be bad for you if taken in moderation, ie one to two cups daily, and if one chooses to purchase organically grown beans suitable for fresh brewing, rather than instant coffee which contains petro-chemical residues and traces of pesticides that have to be used to control crop yields in tropical climates.

COFFEE improves the digestion of fatty foods by stimulating cells that release a special chemical which causes the gall bladder to release ample bile which is the main agent used to digest fats.   This might explain the laxative effect of coffee, bile is our own inbuilt laxative, and it has been concluded that those who evacuate the bowel at least daily, have a much lower incidence of bowel cancer.

As a central nervous system stimulant, COFFEE can assist concentration and alertness and provide a sense of new found energy, increasing stamina in athletes to the point that the International Olympic Committee permit only traces in the urine of those athletes being tested for drugs.

Observations have proven that the ability of aspirin to relieve pain is significantly enhanced if it is combined with a cup of COFFEE, decaf – no help.

COFFEE can assist in asthma prevention as it helps to relax and dilate the muscles of the bronchioles, it is a close chemical relative of a common broncho-dilater, theo-phylline.

It is my understanding that Zentvelds, a local Australian COFFEE grower, provide pesticide-free beans.

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BEHAVIOURAL AND LEARNING DISORDERS

DYSLEXIA – an inability to read, write, spell, add and subtract at an expected level, confusion between left and right.   Such difficulties often result in the child being teased and bullied which leads to low self-esteem and BEHAVIOURAL DISORDERS.

ATTENTION DEFICIT HYPERACTIVE DISORDER –  affects boys three to four times more often than girls.    The child is always moving around, unable to concentrate, achieves poor grades when compared with actual IQ, behaviour is often disruptive and unruly and they display poor sleeping patterns.   Low self-esteem is again a natural spin-off.

DYSPRAXIA –  abilities of co-ordination are underdeveloped, the child can’t catch a ball well, is generally clumsy and has poor balance and often has problems with language and thought processes.

Separate studies on these three groups of people have revealed one thing in common, abnormal metabolism of essential fatty acids and consequent deficiency of these E.F.A’s.    Blood tests reveal that the cause is not a dietary deficiency of E.F.A’s, but an inability of the body to convert short chain E.F.A’s to long chain E.F.A’s, which are required for normal eye and brain functions.

Improving the digestion of fats by treating the liver to cleansing and healing herbs will result in improved conversion of E.F.A’s.   Supplementation with especially Docosahexaenoic acid (tuna oil is a rich source), has proved to be effective to varying degrees in resolving the difficulties experienced by the three above-mentioned groups of people and their families.

Consult with myself for further information regards the implications of food allergies in such cases.   Often specific prescription of Chinese Herbs can bring about significant behavioural change, as can specially prepared capsules of the Docosahexaenoic acid.  Please phone 0427239676.

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HARDENING OF THE ARTERIES

ARTERIOSCLEROSIS   or HARDENING OF THE ARTERIES occurs particularly in the elderly and involves a hardening and thickening of the artery walls, it is interesting to note it does not occur in the veins.   The artery walls, which have a middle muscular layer that regulates blood pressure, become inelastic.

ATHEROSCLEROSIS   contributes to the above disease, fatty substances are deposited on the interior of the artery walls.   All of the above factors cause considerable restriction of blood flow and at worst, blockage of the arteries that supply the heart muscle and the brain.   Arterial disease can be caused by poor nutrition, lack of exercise, smoking, drinking alcohol, stress and exposure to harmful chemicals.   These aggravating factors can interfere with the ability of the damaged cells to replicate themselves perfectly.   Different types of cells may be produced and these may duplicate themselves over and over again, like scarring.   Proliferation of cellular overgrowth will cause the development of a lump in the muscular portion of the artery wall, which inhibits blood flow.

This lump represents a real obstacle and deposits of cholesterol, connective tissue and blood products develop into a soft plaque-cap which when infiltrated with calcium deposits too, forms a hard plaque-cap.

Dangerous electrically charged molecules or atoms called “free radicals” which are invariably components of dangerous toxic substances ( ie cigarette smoke, pollutants, rancid oils, chemical food additives, X Ray exposure), are thought to cause the initial damage to the cells of the artery wall, which sets off the above sequence of detrimental effects.

Naturopathic treatment seeks to neutralize or destroy “free radicals”, the instigating culprits, and to provide optimum requirements for the build and repair of damaged cells, maintenance of strong yet elastic blood vessels and reduction of bad cholesterol and blood stickiness.  Dietary guidelines can be of assistance as well, in prevention or partial cure of this rampant disease, ARTERIOSCLEROSIS.

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XENO-ESTROGENS – ESTROGENIC HORMONES FROM OUTSIDE THE BODY

I believe “the Pill” has much to answer for, the number of women experiencing hormonal dysfunction is astounding and many have been long-term users of “the Pill”.

Other hormone disruptors have not been so easily recognised because they don’t sound like they would be associated with hormones ie herbicides, phenolics, chlorinated hydrocarbons and industrial by-products.   The latter translates as plastics, building materials, food packaging, pharmaceuticals, perfumes, make-up, paints, solvents, adhesives, detergents, toiletries, and lubricants found in everything from CD’s to the talc powder we use on our babies.

Theo Colburn, Senior Scientist for “The World Wildlife Fund” and author of “Our Stolen Future”, appeared on the ABC, (The Cutting Edge – Fooling with Nature).

Having noticed drastic changes in animal populations and population decreases, and birth defects especially of reproductive organs, she has examined the link between certain chemicals and the effects on embryonic development.

There are of late many abnormal manifestations in fish populations, birds, mammals and amphibians.

We can help by not using such chemicals as mentioned above, we need to rediscover old-time methods whereby we can avoid using XENO-ESTROGENS.

Meat chickens are fed supplements to make them mature more quickly for slaughter and earlier point of sale.   Their huge breasts make them so top-heavy they can’t stand up and walk properly.

We can buy certified organic chicken locally, and in the supermarkets there are available free-range chicken cuts.

Have these dietary added supplements contributed to the obvious trend of young girls entering into puberty at the much earlier age of nine, ten or eleven?

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WHAT IS WHEY?

“Little Miss Muffet sat on a tuffet eating her curds and WHEY“.

Remember that line from your nursery rhymes?

The poet responsible for the nursery rhyme was also something of a prophet because in that by-gone era the WHEY was usually thrown away, however, today it is recognised as a valuable food source of calcium, iron, Vitamins A, C, D, B2, B3, and B12.

WHEY is the milk serum which remains when the fats and some proteins, (the curds) are removed from milk in the cheese-making process.

WHEY comprises 80 to 90% of the total volume of milk entering the cheese-making process and contains 50% of the nutrients of the original milk which include soluble protein plus vitamins and minerals.

The proteins remaining in WHEY are more easily digested than the casein in whole cow’s milk and are less allergenic.

Considering the removal of the protein casein (which is a rich source of phosphorous), the levels of phosphorous in WHEY make for ideal absorption and utilisation of calcium as too much phosphorous inhibits calcium absorption in the bowel.

Unlike other dairy products it contains no animal fat so is cholesterol- free and less likely to produce allergy symptoms which might include:-   stuffy nose, running nose, post-nasal drip, soreness of the throat, catarrh of the vocal chords with hoarseness, stomach cramps or constipation.

For greater convenience WHEY is usually presented in powder form which is produced by gently spray-drying in a two stage drying process, giving it a clean flavor and water solubility, used ideally for making cakes, ice-cream, soup, desserts and for drinking in place of whole milk.

If you suspect you have an allergy to whole milk, try WHEY which is packed with many valuable nutrients, has no fat and is readily digested and tolerated by allergy sufferers.

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VITAMIN E

Adequate intake of VITAMIN E is so important for anyone and everyone alike, however, pregnant women need to be more fastidious than the general population.

Deficiency of VITAMIN E in the embryo can result in death of the foetus and subsequent resorption, blindness, small body size, decrease in elastic fibres of the heart, muscular degeneration and irreparable injury to the testes and seminiferous tubules of male babies.

General benefits of VITAMIN E are:-

  • improves sperm motility and female and male fertility and potency
  • decreases the needs of oxygen at the cellular level
  • acts as an anti-oxidant thereby slowing the aging process and counteracting a tendency to developing cancer
  • protects cell membranes against many environmental poisons
  • in hardening of the arteries it gently dilates blood vessels and acts as an anti-clotting agent thereby reducing heart attack and stroke risk
  • prevents scar tissue formation from burns, operations and sores
  • is a reproductive tonic, hormone balancer, prevents miscarriage and increases male sperm count

The recommended daily allowance is 45 to 100 iu, however, if your diet lacks VITAMIN E a therapeutic dose ranging from 250 iu daily to a much higher dose in specific health disorders, may be prescribed by your Naturopath.

Rich sources of VITAMIN E in foods are:-   wheatgerm (fresh without bitter taste), all cold pressed vegetable oils (in dark glass bottles), especially wheatgerm and soybean oil and all whole raw or sprouted seeds, nuts and grains, green leafy vegetables and eggs.

Always seek professional advice from a Naturopath, such as myself, regards dosages to suit specific ailments.

 

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