Our Holistic views on Eating and its influence on your spine, joints and general health.
The aim of this page is to provide you with simple truths about diet to enable you to achieve optimal spinal health more quickly.
First of all good nutrition will aid good function and repair in the spine and help to prevent inflammation.
Good diet will also help you to lose weight thereby lessening pressure on your spine and other joints, minimising wear and tear and preventing injury and pain.
Although these "simple truths" are very obvious to some, for many of you these can be life changing facts, helping you to get healthier more quickly!
Truth number one:
You don't need to be on a diet to lose weight and get healthy! All you need to do is replace wrong foods with better ones slowly, read all the truths below and follow the advice and you will achieve optimum weight naturally with all the health benefits attached.
Advice: Make a list of foods you have eaten during the week or follow your shopping list, Decide which foods have to go and which are going to take their place. Do not shock your system by giving up all carbs, proteins or fats, your body needs them all, just go for QUALITY, gradually and naturally losing quantity.
Truth number two:
Diets don't work without exercise. Losing weight using one of the FAD and "crash" diets, like the Atkins, Southern Beach, Thompson etc will work if you stick to it, but do you want to be on a diet forever? Most likely when you feel "fed up" and when you have lost some weight, you feel like eating normally and will start gaining weight again. That's what happened in the past isn't it?
Advise: Combine diet with exercise to speed up and sustain the results of your weight loss. This will also improve your fitness and expand your cardio-vascular and metabolic capacity.
There are several opinions on drinking during and after meals. Some traditional and alternative health experts say, that drinking water during meals or immediately after is very unhealthy, apparently you have to wait for at least 2 hours and only then have a drink.
They say that water dilutes the digestive juices in the stomach, and when the concentration of stomach acid and enzymes is low, food doesn't digest as well.
They also say that water dilutes food and washes it down and out of stomach too quickly.
There is some truth in this statement, but the mechanisms described by these "experts" are completely different.
First of all, let me reassure you, that drinking during and after a meal is TOTALLY FINE.
Your stomach is not just a sack of skin where all the food is mixed and sent down the gut, it is well designed and very "clever". It has special creases or folds from the top where food comes in from the gullet (oesophagus) to the bottom of the stomach where it opens further down (into the duodenum).
When you drink water it runs down these creases down and out of the stomach, often without touching food and without mixing with stomach juices at all.
That's why it doesn't matter when you drink - before, after or during the meal, unless, of course you drink a pint or two at a time.
If drinks could disturb the digestion process, then soups would be harmful to your system too.
But a lot of people eat soups regulary and have perfect digestion.
So you can safely drink when you like - after, during and before the meal. BUT!
The art of food combining is a revolutionary approach to healthy eating and it is well known since 1911 as the Dr.Hay diet.
Dr. Hay was a medical doctor specialising in surgery, but after developing a fatal kidney disease he developed a principle of food combining, which is based on the physiology of the human digestive system.
This new food combiining method not only cured his disease, but became the one and only food combining system which has very strong and famous followers and absolutely no opponents (see books in my amazon store).
The main principle of food combining is based on the fact, that some foods, need acid to get digested, some require alkaline and others are neutral. Your digestive system produces acid or alkaline juices and enzymes according to the foods you eat.
If you remember your chemistry lessons well, acid and alkaline react with each other, losing their chemical properties alltogether. Mixing foods which need acid with foods needing alkaline means, that these foods will be digested poorly because the digestive juices reacted with each other and became neutral losing its power to digest. The food will enter the gut undigested, it will ferment, rot and putrefy until it’s literallyforced into the small intestine (by your next meal). And what’s the result? You guessed it - gas, heartburn, cramps, bloating, diarrhea, flatulence, you-name-it. Neutral foods, which require a small amount of enzymes and no strong acid or alkaline environment are good to go with one or the other of first two groups, but never with both at the same time.
Basic food groups according to the digestion physiology:
By Dr. Jessica Middleton BSc(Hons), MBChB, MLCHom
This is a brief guide to the most important vitamins your body needs for a full healthy function.
With a varied and healthy diet we may get almost every vitamin we need, but in a hectic everyday life it is virtually impossible to have a daily diet full of absolutely every necessary vitamin needed, therefore, we highly recommend a supplementation with good quality vitamins and minerals.
Consult a doctor/ pharmacist before taking any supplements if taking any other prescription medication to avoid interactions
Role: Has a key role in vision (particularly at night), the immune system, gene transcription, bone metabolism, haematopoesis (blood production), skin health, reducing the risk of heart disease and cancer, antioxidant activity.
In Deficiency: Impaired vision, destruction of the cornea and blindness. There are also changes in the skin and lining of the gut and respiratory system. It leads to impaired immunity and poor recovery from infections.
Useful for: Any eye symptoms (e.g. blurred vision, photophobia, degeneration in eyesight, poor night vision), skin problems and immune system problems (e.g. recurrent coughs and colds, flu, autoimmune diseases). For macular degeneration with other key enzymes (Eyewise from Lamberts, Retinex from healthspan) can often reverse and prevent further degeneration.
Found Naturally in: Green and yellow vegetables, fruit, carrots, eggs, margarine, milk, dairy products, liver.
Supplement: Beta carotene 15mg daily - because Vitamin A can build up to toxic levels, beta-carotene prevents this as the body only breaks down what it needs into vitamin A, eliminating the rest.Potentially Toxic dose: 10mg (of Vitamin A, not beta carotene)
Avoid if: You smoke or are a heavy drinker. In young children.
The Acid-Alkaline Diet Simplified
What is The Alkaline Diet
The alkaline diet is a very, very simply and straightforward approach to health, but is backed by extensive science, pioneered by the blood microscopist and biologist Dr Robert Young.
Before I demonstrate just how simple it is, here is the explanation in scientific terms:
Our body is designed to be alkaline. The pH of most of our important cellular and other fluids such as our blood is designed to be at a pH of 7.365, which is slightly alkaline. In just the same way that our body will do whatever it takes to regulate our temperature to stay within a very tight range, it does the same for the pH of our fluids. And while our body does create acids naturally through our bodily functions, we have a small alkaline buffering system that naturally keeps us alkaline.
Your body HAS to keep the pH of your blood, cells and other fluids at just slightly alkaline (pH 7.365) and it will do ANYTHING it has to in order to maintain this pH balance. To do this, your body calls upon its store of alkaline buffers, which it draws upon to neutralize the acids we ingest or create through bodily processes. This store of buffers is very easily depleted because most of us eat and drink such strong acids.
To put this in context, the pH scale is logarithmic – so pH 6 is 10x more acidic than pH 7, meaning pH 5 is 100x times more acidic than pH 7 and pH 4 is 1000x more acidic. Cola has a pH of between 2 and 3. So you can see how a diet filled with meats, dairy, fizzy drinks, alcohol etc would quickly deplete these buffers.
And when we deplete these buffers and still ingest more acids…what happens?
The body is forced into drawing upon the alkaline minerals it has to buffer which causes havoc in the body – for instance, if the body is constantly drawing calcium to neutralise the acids we consume then the symptoms of osteoporosis emerge (hence the recent research articles linking cola consumption with osteoporosis).
However, as we have evolved and our diets and lifestyles have changed over the last century or so we have dramatically increased the amount of acidity in our lives. Diet, stress, emotions and no exercise contribute, in their own ways to the increased acidity in our body.
Focusing on diet for the time being, it will be no surprise to you to learn that the most acidic foods are sugar, trans-fats, yeasts, dairy, simple carbs, alcohol, refined foods etc. These acids manifest in our diets as colas & fizzy drinks, pizza, chips, cakes, biscuits, microwave meals, crisps, breads, caffeine, cheese, fatty meats, ice cream, smoking, beers, wines, condiments, milky drinks, cream etc. all the foods you already know are not good for you.
I’m sure you can guess that the foods that are alkaline to the body are therefore…wait for it…fresh vegetables, salads, leafy greens, omega oils, nuts, seeds, pulses, whole grains. These are fresh foods, raw foods, whole foods, foods with a high-water content and nutritional value.
This article is dedicated to Kefir - an amazing probiotic drink which helps to restore natural friendly bacteria in your gut and has loads of other health benefits.
First there is a short introduction and then a summary of research supporting Kefir benefits claims.
If you are not very scientific, just read the parts underlined in bold when you get to the Research part, otherwise read all.
What is Kefir?
Kefir is a unique fermented milk drink, more correctly healthy food, used for generations in Asia and revered for its health promoting properties. Real kefir can be produced only by traditional methods at home and only from original grains. These original grains, slightly yellowish "cauliflower" like things, are cca 5000 years old bacterial culture originating either from the Caucasian Mountains or monasteries in Tibet. With thanks to http://www.kefir.org/kefir_manual.htm
Kefir grains are a combination of bacteria and yeasts in a matrix of proteins, lipids, and sugars. This symbiotic matrix forms "grains" that resemble cauliflower. Many different bacteria and yeasts are found in the kefir grains, which are a complex and highly variable community of lactic acid bacteria and yeasts... Kefir grains appear white to yellow and are usually the size of a walnut, but may be as small as a grain of rice. They may vary markedly from kefir in both appearance and microbial composition. Water kefir (or kefir d'acqua) is grown in water with sugar (sometimes with added dry fruit such as figs, and lemon juice) for a day or more at room temperature. With thanks to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kefir
I have found that for some of my patients the idea of food combining is difficult to grasp.
I made it very simple below:
1. Eat carbs (carbohydrates) and proteins at separate meal times.
2. Salads and CRUNCHY AND COLOURFUL veg can be combined with either proteins or carbs but not at the same time.
3. Eat nothing sweet (including fruits) and drink nothing cold or sweet after meal. Drink hot drinks after meal only.
4. Leave 2-3 or more hours after carb meal and 3-4 or more hours after protein meal before eating anything else unless from the same food group (either protein or carb).
5. Deserts and fruits or sweet drinks both hot or cold can only be eaten before the meal or as a separate meal.