Category Archives: Healthy Living

Crazy-busy? Get Control In Your Life

Crazy Busy

August…

More than halfway through another year and it seems everyone feels harried and overworked. Life and time is absolutely racing. Nobody seems to have any time to stop and chill, nobody has any time to even recognize their needs let alone address and fulfill them.

As we become more and more switched on to the world outside ourselves it is no surprise that we feel overwhelmed, drowning in never ending obligation. The world and our lives seem to be an insurmountable task that we can’t ever see a way to scale.

Copy of alt control del

When goal-setting, if the task or goal seems just too big for you to succeed, even too big to know where to begin, it often becomes more easily achieveable when it is broken down and tackled in small chunks. As you succeed with each step you feel reassured that you can actually reach your goal, and you feel increased motivation to achieve results.

It seems to me that if we can apply this same principle to our life we could create some level of control and the satisfaction of achievement. By breaking the year up into smaller segments and setting ourself goals for just a part of the year rather than the year as a whole would achieve a similar result to breaking down big goals. It would give us a sense of success and stop the feeling that we were skeetering along in life, barely in control.

Recently, a client told me that last January she made a list of the 100 things she wanted to achieve this year. Her list included things like ‘see this friend 6 times for lunch’, ‘go to 4 movies’, ‘read a particular series of books’. She also had big things on her list like ‘change my job’.

She proudly showed me just how many things she had already crossed off. Her list reminded her that although she may feel on the edge of control she was actually doing quite a lot that she wanted to achieve in her life this year. And not only did the things on her list did not remain in that “gunna-do” (‘going-to-do’ for non Aussies) vault, she was doing them all and enjoying herself along the way.

How many of us spend January 1st making plans and setting intentions for the year ahead? How many of these are kind of vague – lose weight, stop smoking, or get a new job? How many fail because we have not a) been specific about what exactly we want, b) broken it down into manageable and achievable goals, c) followed through and d) actually remembered that we had set the plans and goals after April, until January 1st of the following year when we set the very same goals all over again?

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But my client did remember, she did follow through, she did feel like she had achieved, and most importantly, she felt as though her life was under her control, in spite of the fact that it was still just as crazy-busy as the lives of all the rest of us.

BREAK IT DOWN

My client set me to thinking that just as we break down own goals and projects into smaller chunks, it might also make us relax a little if we break our life down into smaller chunks of 6 months, or even 3 months. It might not seem to be going quite so fast and we may feel we have some sort of control..

So I propose that in the interests of us all sanely getting through the rest of this year, so that we present smiles instead of frowns to those around us, so we all begin to address a few of our real needs in life, needs that don’t start with the words “I have to…” or “I should…”, and so we all start to feel a little more in control, we follow my client’s example and set ourselves achievable goals that honour ourselves.

But to make it just that bit easier to achive rather than making a year long commitment I am going to break the exercise down into smaller chunks.

I have just made a list of the 25 things I want to achieve (and can reasonably manage) in this quarter of the year (being 1/4 what my client did for the whole year), that’s from right now, the start of August to the end of October.
It includes some socializing, some creative projects, some home decorating, lots of gardening (rarely a chore), some outings, some work projects and some self-development. It also includes launching a new arm of my biz. I think it’s a pretty well-rounded collection of goals.

My list is manageable and not only will I feel in life-control mode as I cross things off the list, I will enjoy doing most of these. (I included some things I really will not enjoy but will be very happy to finish off). And probably most importantly, I will be aware of what I have achieved rather than worrying about what I have not managed to do.

Why not join me? Make your list of 25, write it out, pin it to the fridge, and congratulate yourself as you cross another thing off your list.

Copy of Heart Jump

 

Disclaimer

All information and opinions presented here are for information purposes only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation. Please consult with your health care provider before following any of the treatment suggested on this site, particularly if you have an ongoing health issue.

 

Indigo Centre Health & Wellness Festival

New Facebook

 Would you like to make the switch to a more natural health approach but don’t know where to start? Come find out

Are you wondering which Alternative Therapy would be the best for you? Come find out

With so many different Alternative Therapies available are you a little confused about just what they all are? Come find out

 Have you heard about a Natural Therapy and want to know what it is? Come find out

Indigo Health and Wellness

Our Eastern Suburbs Natural Health Practitioners are here to answer your questions

They will show you how your health can benefit from a more natural approach.

 

Our members are Registered Practitioners of many Alternative Natural Therapies and they are here to explain what their methods are all about, and how they can help YOU.

Come along and watch demontrations, get a ‘taster’, chat to the therapist.

Come for the whole day or part of the day to experience what they have to offer you.

Great door prizes.

Check out the program below so you don’t miss anything.

 

 PROGRAM

Time Demonstrations Testing Meet Therapist Experiences
10.30 Yoga for Immunity & Detox Chakra Checks Wellness 101
11.00 The Importance of ‘Me Time’ Chakra Checks Meet with Immunity Yoga Teacher
11.30 Medicine Cabinet Makeover Chakra Checks Meet ‘Me Time’ Life Mentor
12.00 Toyahari – Japanese Non-Insertive Acupuncture Chakra Checks Meet ‘Me Time’ Life Mentor Guided Meditation
12.30 Crystals For Wellness & Everyday Life Meet ‘Medicine Cabinet Makeover’ therapist    – – – –
1.00 Tanbo Sound Healing Meet Gentle Yoga Instructor Toyahari Mini Treatments
1.30 Sensitive Resonance Therapy Magnagraph®  Health Checks Toyahari Mini Treatments
2.00 Gentle Yoga for Injury & Stress Recovery Magnagraph®  Health Checks Earthing Sheets & Electromagnetic Radiation The Wish Game® – Love & Relationships
2.30 The Virtues Project for Parents Slim & Sassy Fat Loss Earthing Sheets & Electromagnetic Radiation    – – – –
3.00 Cranial Sacral Therapy Virtues Mini Readings Personal Power Session The Wish Game® – Forgiveness
3.30 Prize Draw Virtue Mini  Readings Personal Power Session    – – – –

Watch a new demonstration every half hour.

  • Talk to therapists
  • Receive free testing
  • Receive free mini reading
  • Enjoy activities

 

PARKING

Parking is available on the street and behind the Centre, access via the laneway on Doncaster East Rd.

TRANSPORT

Road: 2 minutes from Eastlink, 5 minutes from the Eastern Freeway.

Rail: A short walk from Mitcham station

Bus: The 901 route stops at the door.

ACCESS

Disability access

LUNCH

Tea and coffee will be available at the event. There are many small cafes in Mitcham, a two minute walk away.

TICKETS

special price

 Purchase tickets online for the Special Online Price until 4th September.

Please print the earlybird ticket you purchased online and bring it with you for entry.

Tickets are available at the door for $14 or 2 for $20.

No refunds.

Passouts available.

 

CONTACT US

Catherine  0429 140 181

Kim  0430 392 244

Natural Alternatives To Paracetamol

Paracetamol

Do you regularly rely on paracetamol for quick-fix pain relief to get you through the day? When in pain most people quickly reach for a conventional painkiller so they can get back to their busy life. However, common painkillers can have nasty undesirable side effects.

While paracetamol is widely regarded as generally safe when used at its recommended doses, in larger doses it can be fatal.

Paracetamol was discovered and used as a pain reliever long before it was known how it works. According to Panadol Uk  it is believed to work in the brain where it inhibits the production of the pain and inflammation causing chemicals, prostaglandins. It has no effect on inflammation.

Pain is the body’s indication that something is wrong and it seems our primary concern needs to be to find a way to lessen the problem by treating its cause. Paracetamol alleviates the effects of the problem, the pain, but does not address the cause behind the pain.

In addition there is the big concern about the side effects of any prolonged use of medications that do nothing more than simply block pain symptoms.

Paracetamol can cause liver damage and even liver failure. There is a serious risk for liver injury with overdose.

But paracetamol can also cause other side effects. Skin rashes, blood disorders, nausea and vomiting, and inflammation of the pancreas can all occur when paracetamol is taken for a long time.

In 2012  in the UK it was suggested that people who regularly take medicines, such as aspirin and paracetamol could be causing themselves more pain than relief. The dosage recommendations for paracetamol were subsequently lowered in the UK and USA. But in Australia recommendations were maintained at the higher levels. Many people in the community have the impression that paracetamol is a harmless drug.

However, there are natural alternatives that do stop pain and help the body heal as well.

 

LIFESTYLE

In addition to the use of homeopathic remedies or herbs it is wise to address any factors in your lifestyle or diet that are contributing to your pain.

Toxins in any form in your body can cause pain.

Pain and inflammation can often be caused by a food. Sometimes a seemingly benign food or food group can be the culprit, acting as a toxin within your body. No matter what you take, if you continue to eat the problem food you will continue to have the pain. Testing can help you identify problem foods quickly. But be aware that you may have a food intolerance rather than an allergy causing the inflammation.

When you are able to identify the problem food, or foods, you can remove it from your diet at least for a while, to give your body time to recover.

Deficiencies of certain nutrients can also cause you pain, as can metabolic processes. Pain is often linked to excess acidity in the body. Acidity may be caused by a number of things, and one is a diet containing too much acidic food.

All foods can be classifies as either alkaline or acidic according to how they break down in the body (not how acidic they are before eaten). Weighting your diet towards more alkaline foods can help reduce pain. Essentially eating more fruit and vegetables and less meat, sugar, dairy, grains and additives makes your diet more alkaline.

Many headaches are the result of dehydration and simply increasing your water intake can reduce the problem.

 

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HOMEOPATHIC TREATMENT

As a professional homeopath my personal inclination is to make homeopathic remedies my go-to for pain relief. The advantage of homeopathic remedies which are carefully selected by a trained practitioner is that at the same time you get pain relief the homeopathic remedy will also immediately begin to address the underlying cause.

There are many homeopathic pain remedies and I have employed their use successfully for many years. In fact we have not even had any paracetamol or other pharmaceutical painkillers in my home for decades. Homeopathy can be particularly useful for treating pain associated with problems that cannot be diagnosed, as it is selected according to presenting symptoms rather than disease diagnosis.

Perhaps the most well-known homeopathic remedy for pain is Arnica montana. Used in both homeopathic and herbal formulations this mountain meadow flower offers great benefit for muscular pain as well as pain in general.

Homeopathic Hypericum (St John’s Wort) provides great relief for nerve pain, especially in the fingers, toes and nails. When professionally selected in its homeopathic form it can be used along with anti-depressants, unlike the herbal version.

Magnesium phos and Chamomilla are perhaps the most widely used homeopathic remedies for spasms and cramps.

Nux-vomica is just one of the many remedies that offer great relief for headaches.

Homeopathic Arnica is very widely used by many first-class sports persons. They employ its marvellous healing benefits for traumatic injuries such as bruising, muscle strain, ligament sprain, fractures and so forth.

 

HERBAL REMEDIES

There are a number of herbs that have been used for thousands of years to relieve pain. When prescribed by a qualified herbalist they assist the body to heal itself. However, like paracetamol, some herbs simply suppress the symptoms without actually healing the problem. But, these generally do not have the side-effects of the drug and so may be a better choice than paracetamol or NSAIDS for pain-relief.

Capsaicin is the active ingredient found in chili peppers, and gives topical relief from nerve, joint and muscle pain by interfering with substance P, a chemical that transmits pain signals to the brain.

There has been a great deal of research into curcumin, the active substance found in turmeric, which is proven excellent for reducing the inflammation that causes pain. Like capsaicin it blocks substance P. It offers great relief for the pain of arthritis and rheumatism.

Bromelain is another herb that works as an effective anti-inflammatory.

Chamomile is well known for its calming properties and provides relief for muscle pain and spasm.

Scutellaria (skullcap) can be effective in relieving headache and muscle pain and has been used for the pain of fibromyalgia, joint pain and tension headaches.

 

peppermint oilESSENTIAL OILS

A German study showed that a drop of peppermint essential oil applied to the forehead and temples could reduce headache pain as effectively as paracetamol.

 

 

Paracetamol certainly has a place in certain situations such as post-surgery. But while paracetamol is useful if used occasionally with care, it poses concerns especially for chronic conditions when used frequently. If you find yourself in that position it’s time to start investigating alternatives. Discuss what natural alternatives may help your problem with a professional alternative health practitioner.

In the end it is far more effective to treat the cause of the pain rather than simply suppressing the symptoms. Carefully selected natural or traditional remedies can provide fast pain relief and start the body’s own healing processes at the same time.

You may need to try a few options to find the one that suits you best as we are all different and so we all respond to different treatments differently.

Anxious

Disclaimer

All information and opinions presented here are for information purposes only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation. Please consult with your health care provider before following any of the treatment suggested on this site, particularly if you have an ongoing health issue.

 

Source articles

http://www.tga.gov.au/consumers/information-paracetamol-doses.htm#.U8TFBUBqMyk

Alternative Options For Paracetamol – Home Remedies For Pain

Alternative Remedy Reduces Headaches in 15 Minutes

Chemical Free Natural Perfume Alternatives

Very few women head out to a special occasion without a dab of their favourite perfume. One of the great pleasures in life is surrounding yourself with gentle wafts of an exotic aroma that immediately transports you to somewhere special. Most likely you chose your perfume for its gorgeous smell, not for what it is made from. But, there is pretty well nothing natural, apart from water, in commercial perfumes.

chemical free perfume

 

The big problem with conventional perfumes is that they are so toxic! A serious hazard for anyone wanting to reduce their toxic overload is that a loophole in the legislation means that perfume manufacturers only need to list a tiny handful of the vast array of chemicals that their product contains. This is on the basis that their recipe is ‘a secret’ and disclosing all the ingredients would allow anyone to copy their product.

Make no mistake, this is at your expense. A vast number of the chemicals used in perfume manufacture have big question marks over their safety.

Convential perfumes may smell wonderful and exotic to some (although even the smell may be toxic to many others) but in reality they are just a blend of chemicals, fixatives and solvents straight out of the laboratory. These synthetic ingredients can cause hay fever, headaches, mood swings, reproductive and neurological damage, or skin irritations.

When you wear perfume you inhale a chemical cocktail as well as absorbing the same ‘chemical test tube’ straight into your blood stream through your skin.

Seriously…Not so sexy!

 

What Other Options Are There?

roseThere are a whole lot of Natural Perfumes out there for you to choose from. Some you dab, some are roll-on, some are balms, but they are all made very simply from very few ingredients and contain none of the toxins found in normal perfumes.

Basically ‘natural perfumes’ are evry simple. They contain just two components – organic or natural essential oils or absolutes, and a vegetable carrier oil or a mixture of distilled water and natural grain alcohol. Some also contain botanical or herbal extracts. Balms are made from beeswax or shea butter.

The best thing is that the Essential oils used in these products are therapeutic and have healing elements that work on your body, mind and spirit to offer much more than just a beautiful smell.

Pure essential oils create wellbeing and can help you to feel relaxed, energized, or improve your concentration. Basing your selection on what health benefits, whether they are emotional or physical, as well as on your personal enjoyment of the aroma can be a simple but effective way to heal yourself.

Some Perfume Oils On The Market

The availability of natural essential oil based perfumes is growing. There are now many on the market to fit every preference and price bracket.

The Little Alchemist is an Australian artisan company that hand blends perfumes in small batches.  The perfumes contain a host of  plant extracts rich in antioxidants and vitamins. One of these is wheatgrass, and if you have Coeliac disease or sensitivity it would be wise not to apply these perfumes to open skin wounds. It is generally held that it is gluten that is ingested that is the problem but better to take care.  The Turkish Rose and Cardamom and the Passionfruit and Lime perfume oils are yum!

The Goddess Line has a selection of roll-on perfumes that contain only carrier oil and essential oil.  Saraswati is my favourite, a blend of jasmine, neroli and patchouli in grapeseed and coconut oil. They are a US company but are available online.

If you like a solid prefume balm the Dewi Perfume Balm by Indah is beautiful. It is 95% organic and combines coconut oil, beeswax and cocoa butter with essential oils.

If you want to take things to another level altogether an alternative option are the Aura-Soma Pegasus Parfum range – which combine the healing energy of colour, or chromotherapy, with the purest essential oils and herbal extracts. They are completely natural and free from chemicals. You select your one based on the colour you are drawn to, rather than the smell…as you do for Aura-Soma therapy. The carrier alcohol is certified organic.

There are many natural perfumes available online as well as in health food stores now. Just be careful to check the ingredients before you buy. Not all that claim to be ‘natural’ are non-toxic, remember petroleum and mercury are both natural ingredients!

The use of the word ‘organic’ on a product is no guarantee of non-toxicity either. When a product displays the word ‘organic’ it can mean that just one ingredient in it is organic and the others may be far from organic or even natural.  Check the other ingredients are safe too.

For your knowledge I am not affiliated with any of these products or companies, and offer this information for your interest only.

 

For Do-It-Yourselfers

You can make your own Natural Perfume…it’s easy.

Simply add a couple of drops of one or more of your favourite high quality essential oil to a carrier oil such as sweet almond, jojoba or even coconut oil. (about 5 drops to 10 mls of oil is a good ratio) Put it into a small preferably dark, glass bottle and then dab onto your skin as needed. The aroma is released as the oils warm on your skin. You may need to apply it more often than with chemical perfumes.

Make it up in small quantities and make more as you need it. I do one with an amazing therapeutic grade essential oil blend I love – it combines about ten different oils. But sometimes I want something simpler so I also love jasmine and vanilla, or ylang ylang, patchouli and sweet orange, or simply sandalwood alone. You can make up a signature blend which you always wear, but it is actually worth making a few different ones as then you can make specific use of the therapeutic healing qualities to suit whatever your mood at the time.

 

Safety With Essential Oils

Pure essentail oils have therapeutic qualities. Care needs to be taken as they may be contraindicated for certain people or conditions, such as pregnancy, high blood pressure or for children. Here are some guidelines to using essential oils including their safety.

 

 What You Need To Do Right Now

  • Take a critical look at any perfumes and perfumed products that you use. If there actually is a list of ingredients ask yourself how many of them are natural…are any at all? If there are no ingredients be suspicious. Healthy perfumes have nothing to hide and will list their simple basic ingredients – a carrier oil and essential oil.
  • Make the decision to ditch the chemicals that are added to your personal products. Remember they enter your body and are carried through to every cell in your bloodstream.
  • Get out there and test some of the beautiful natural, healthy perfumes about, to find the essential oil that you love. If you feel inspired, make one up for yourself instead…I do, it’s a breeze!

What is your favourite Essential Oil?

Do you have a gorgeous natural chemical free perfume that you particularly love?
Make sure you let us know the name in the ‘Leave A Reply’ section below so we can go out and try it also.

 

 

DISCLAIMER: Essential Oils are not intended for use in the treatment for specific medical conditions. For treatment of health ailments, please consult with a licensed practitioner. Some Essential Oils are contraindicated during pregnancy. Please seek advice from your natural health care provider.

Copy of lavender essential oil

Fibre: Are You Really Getting Enough?

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Everyone knows they need to eat a diet rich in dietary fibre for good gastrointestinal health. Most people also know good sources of dietary fibre are fruit and vegetables and wholemeal grains, and that eating enough fibre ‘keeps you regular’.

A diet high in fibre offers many health benefits:

  • Lowers your cholesterol,
  • Keeps you full for longer
  • Reduces your risk of heart disease, constipation, haemorrhoids, diverticulitis, colon cancer, obesity.
  • Reduces your risk of high blood sugar and diabetes
  • Offers immune support
  • Regulates blood sugar
  • Helps with liver detoxification.

 

Most people have no idea of how much fibre they actually need.

Very few people eat anywhere near the amount of fibre they need each day. The recommended daily intake is 20-30g fibre per day. But research has shown that actually consuming 75-100g might be more helpful. However, you are highly unlikely to be eating anywhere near 75g as most people don’t even manage the 30g recommended.

 

Benefits Of Fibre-Rich Diet

 

  • Fibre has a laxative effect, so helps reduce the incidence or severity of constipation.
  • It binds with cholesterol so the cholesterol cannot be absorbed.
  • It feeds gut flora (the good ones) to nourish the colon cells.
  • Fibre stops blood sugar spikes because fibre rich foods are Low GI.
  • Fibre helps with weight control.

 

Fibre Rich Foods

Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are good sources of fibre and should make up the greater part of your diet. Avocados, vegetables from the cabbage family including broccoli, kale, cabbage, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts, root vegetables and green peas are all good vegetable choices, high in fibre . Fruits with edible seeds, apples, pears (not too ripe) and raspberries are good fruit choices.

Pulses/ Legumes

legumes

The simple way to increase the amount of fibre in your diet is to replace some meat and processed carbohydrates, such as white rice, with nutritious, high fibre alternatives. The foods that work the best are  pulses/ legumes and quinoa. These foods are high in protein and act as suitable meat substitutes.

Most people are familiar with using dried pulses in their cooking, but often they forget they’re a simple meat substitute. Pulses and legumes provide you with a nutritious, high-fibre vegetarian meal as they’re all nutrition packed, as well as high in fibre. Legumes have more fibre than any other food, and blackbeans are the highest. In addition, unlike meat, beans are low in fat and cholesterol-free.

Legumes Are Low GI

Although legumes are a starchy food the starch is not digested easily, therefore avoiding the sugar spike you get from many other carbs. Because they are high-fibre it means they stop you getting hungry – a great addition for weight control.

They are a wonderful alternative to processed carbohydrates and can be used very simply to replace meat in a dish

Legumes Are Great Meat Substitutes

A few years ago I replaced the beef in burgers made for my family with mashed chickpeas and added a few finely chopped vegetables. The result was delicious and my boys loved them. They made the perfect vegetarian burger with bread, lettuce, tomato etc.

But with the chickpea patties they got more vegetables as I added as much as the basic legume mix could hold without falling apart, and chick peas are low GI carbs, and full of protein, perfect for growing boys. Kidney beans would also work really well here.

Legumes make wonderful contributions to most stews and casseroles, pies and many salads. In a meat-based dish you can cut the meat by half and substitute with beans. You get dietary fibre, less cholesterol and less fat than with meat.

Here are some great pulses:

  • Peas- green or yellow, split, chickpeas, black-eyed,
  • Beans – brown, white, black, lima, kidney, mung, butterbeans, baked beans, pinto, navy, soy
  • Lentils – peeled, unpeeled, red, brown, yellow, green

 

Quinoa

Quinoa is a fairly new addition to western diets. Did you know that it contains nearly twice as much fibre as any other grain (although it is actually a seed not a grain)? It is incredibly nutritious.  100g of quinoq provides a whopping 7g of fibre – 2.5 times the accepted RDA, and enough to meet the new recommended levels!

Quinoa is so versatile that you can substitute it in a dish for rice, add it to soups, casseroles, or even use it to make a sweet breakfast porridge. You can even sprout it!

It is a gluten-free staple so makes a perfect substitute for gluten-grains such as burghul in dishes like tabbouli.

Quinoa provides all the required amino acids for the human body in excellent proportions, (including lysine). It is high in iron and calcium, a good source of magnesium, manganese and copper and phosphorous. It is a good source of B vitamins, vitamin E and omega3 and omega6.100g of quinoa contains 46% of the daily requirement of folate. And, it provides similar energy to other major cereals.

Quinoa Preparation

Quinoa must be prepared properly. Wash it in cold water repeatedly until all the foam disappears before you cook it. Cook quinoa the same way as you cook other staples like buckwheat, rice, etc. Roughly, one cup of dry grains cooks up to three cups and becomes fluffy and chewy with a pleasant taste.

Here are some suggestions to use quinoa in your cooking:

  • Quinoa flour can be mixed with other flours to enrich the overall quality of the meal.
  • Use quinoa to make porridge, soup, polenta
  • Use quinoa in a pilaf, pudding, or simply serve alongside a casserole or stir-fry
  • Use it as the base for a salad

 

fibre foods

How Much Is 30g Of Fibre?

 

The amount of fibre in 1 cup of:

  •  Apples, raw with skin – 3 gm                          (10 apples = 30 gm fibre)
  • Quinoa, uncooked – 12 gm                               (2.5 cups of quinoa = 30 gms fibre)
  • avocado, fresh, cubed – 10 gm                       (3 cups of avocado = 30 gm fibre)
  • Rolled oats, oatmeal – 8 gm                             (3.75 cups of oats = 30 gm fibre)
  • Wholemeal/wholewheat bread (in 1 slice) – 2 gm       (15 slices  = 30 gm fibre)
  • Kidney beans, canned – 14 gm                        (2 big cups kidney beans = 30 gm fibre)
  • Chickpeas (garbanzos), canned – 11 gm      (2.75 cups chickpeas = 30 gm fibre)
  • Coconut, raw, shredded – 7 gm                      (4.25 cups coconut  = 30 gm fibre)
  • Broccoli, raw, chopped – 2 gm                        (15 cups of broccoli = 30 gm fibre)

You are most likely to already be eating a number of foods in your day that contain fibre. So you don’t actually need to eat 10 apples, 15 cups of broccoli or 15 slices of wholemeal bread to get your recommended 30 gms of fibre. But these figures do give you some idea of just how easy it is to get insufficient amounts and why you need to be conscious of including fibre rich foods every day.

Make the change and try out more dishes based on legumes and quinoa to your diet.

Do something your body will thank you for.

 

fibre rich foods
Quinua (Quinoa) plants near Cachora, Apurímac, Peru. Altitude: 3800m (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Updated 2nd February 2018

Disclaimer

All information and opinions presented here are for information purposes only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation. Please consult with your health care provider before following any of the treatment suggested on this site, particularly if you have an ongoing health issue.
Source Articles
http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/cereal-grains-and-pasta/5705/2

 

 

7 Simple Sure-fire Ways To Get A Good Night’s Sleep

simple sure ways to sleep

 

Advice about how to improve sleep is an everyday part of any Wholistic Health practice, and I’m used to delivering. But, today I am suffering the effects of a wakeful night after not ‘Walking My Talk’. Last night I sat up on the computer until well after midnight when the cold finally drove me to bed, only to then wake repeatedly throughout the night.

Sleep is so important, especially now as the days have shortened and we approach winter. Sufficient sleep allows our body to recover from the day and leads to improved brain function and memory.

But sleep doesn’t always come easily.

 

Here are some simple ways to create a calm sleep-friendly environment to help you get a great night’s sleep.

yin yang frangipani watermark

De-Clutter and De- Junk

Is your bedroom a soothing sanctuary or is it also a place where you work? It is essential that you establieh and maintain the boundary between work and rest. Your bedroom needs to be a place where you unwind and take ‘you-time’. If the boundaries are unclear you never get a break from the pressure and stress of work.

When you keep your bed for sleeping or other fun bedtime activities, your brain comes to associate bed with only these activites rather than work, which makes it easier for you to nod off.

Clear away the clutter and mess, open the windows to refresh the energy, add fresh flowers, beautiful and meaningful ornaments, a candle or Himalayan Salt Lamp.

 

Create an EMF-Free Zone

If you are surrounded by electronic devices while you sleep your brain waves are affected throughout the night and quite simply, you will never get good sleep.  There is concern that the pulsed frequencies of electronic devices interfere with the body’s own signals, and their electromagnetic fields (EMF’s) affect the emotions, the organs, endocrine (hormone) production and the immune system, which can then lead to poor sleep, as well as many other problems.

There are many studies that show that exposure to electronic devices (even electric lights) before going to bed interferes with sleep patterns. Far from allowing you to wind-down in the evening using electronic devices actually increase your alertness and interferes with REM sleep.

Light, from any source including the low levels of light emitted by electronic devices, is known to disrupt circadian rhythms and cause poor sleep

There have also been a number of studies into whether the electromagnetic fields (EMF’s) around electronic devices affect the release of melatonin, the sleep inducing hormone. In 2007 this study showed melatonin production, and therefore sleep quality, may be affected in some people.

Switch off your smartphone, your ipad, your laptop, your TV, e-reader and other devices at the source. If you need an alarm to wake find an alternative to your phone. Sleeping close to an active smartphone (or other device) is absolutely NOT WORTH the wide-reaching adverse effects it has on you. In addition, like Pavlov’s dog, you will not be able to resist reaching for them when they beep or ring.

If you do need to leave any devices switched on, make sure they are well away from your body, at least a metre.

Check your bedroom for electro-magnetic fields and remove the devices responsible.

mobile phone

 

Create Peace

If you need entertainment before sleep, place some books or magazines in your room, or perhaps a journal. Not only can journaling help to empty your mind of those annoying thoughts that keep you awake, it has been found to have many health benefits, with research even showing it strengthens the immune system and reduces the symptoms of asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. Use your journal to establish Gratitude practices to build your Happiness Bank.

Check the temperature. A moderate temperature, about 20 or 21 degrees Celsius, neither too warm or cold, will support undisturbed sleep.

Darkness helps you sleep and even small amounts of light interrupt the production of the neurotransmitters needed for sound sleep. Use block-out curtains if there are lights outside your window. Don’t turn lights on suddenly during the night as they disrupt the production of the sleep-inducing hormones, melatonin and serotonin. Don’t use white light as a night light, the soft pink glow of a Himalayan Salt Lamp avoids the problem, if you simply must have light in the bedroom. If you can’t block out light wear an eye mask.

Music is a wonderful aid to help you relax. Gentle, music, white noise or relaxation recordings will all help you unwind. The rhythmic sound of the surf washing onto the beach is a very effective way to induce sleepiness.

No TV right before bed! Stop about thirty minutes before retiring and definitely don’t watch it in bed.

Turn your bedroom into a space you look forward to spending time and relaxing in.

 

Continue reading…

 

 

 

Disclaimer

All information and opinions presented here are for information purposes only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation. Please consult with your health care provider before following any of the treatment suggested on this site, particularly if you have an ongoing health issue.

 

 

Source articles
https://happyholistichealth.wordpress.com/2013/05/31/do-you-dream-of-dreaming-if-only-you-could-get-to-sleep/
http://www.movenourishbelieve.com/nourish/are-you-getting-enough-sleep-4-natural-ways-to-create-a-sleep-friendly-environment
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/08/15/nutrients-better-sleep.aspx
http://homeopathyplus.com.au/getting-a-good-nights-sleep

20 Awesome Superfoods You Need Everyday (Part 2)

Following on from 20 Awesome Superfoods You Need Everyday (Part 1) here are some more foods to complete your list. Some of these are not quite so ‘traditional everyday’ as those included in Part 1 although some are, but as all of them are readily available now there is no reason why they should not be foods that feature regularly (or at least sometimes) on your table.

 

superfood collage

 

11. GARLIC

The Aliium family contains a number of excellent foods to support your health. They all stimulate glutathione to protect the liver, but the one that really stands out is garlic. It supports the circulatory system by reducing blood triglycerides and total cholesterol, while raising good HDL levels, lowering blood pressure and reducing the risk of blood clots. It is well known for its ability to fight infection – virus and bacteria, and boost resistance to colds and infections especially when they are stress related. But garlic also fights tumours, and can help protect against certain cancers, particularly stomach cancer. It helps fight neurological disease like Alzheimer’s and can reduce toxins to improve detoxification. But, you must eat garlic raw to get the benefit as cooking destroys the beneficial constituent, allicin. Chew some parsley afterwards if garlic breath is a problem.

 

12. SWEET POTATOES

So much healthier than white potatoes, if you do eat carbs substitute sweet potatoes wherever you can. They are packed with vitamin C and rich in vitamin A and potassium for heart health. A great source of fibre to help regulate your digestive system, with three grams of fibre in every hundred gram serving, they also help stabilize blood sugars and are reasonably low in kilojoules.

 

13. COCONUT OIL

Coconut oil is now available everywhere and it is worth making the switch from other oils. Although it is a saturated fat, it is a medium-chain fatty acid type, which means you digest it differently than other animal saturated fats so it is not stored in the body’s cells. These types of fats are actually helpful for weight loss as they can help you feel full and boost your metabolism more than other fats. Coconut oil has antimicrobial properties and can help protect against viruses and bacteria. It aids digestion, reduces cholesterol and importantly boosts thyroid function and helps control blood sugar.
Coconut oil is one of the best cooking oils you can use because it has a relatively high smoke point, and and so is better suited to high temperature cooking than many other oils, including polyunsaturated and olive oils. Read The Good Oil for more about the benefits of different oils.

 

coconut oil Phu Thinh Co

14.TURMERIC

A lsit of Superfoods that did not contain this marvelous herb would be sadly lacking. Antioxidant, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory it has been an important medicinal herb for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine. Research suggests that the curcumin in turmeric protects against cancer and Alzheimer’s as well as improving circulation. Turmeric is a wonderful anti-inflammatory and has great use in reducing the pain of diseases such as arthritis. Read Glorious Health From Golden Turmeric to find out more about the power of this mighty herb.

 

15. CHILLI

Hot chillis get their heat from the the active component, capsaicin. They also contain antioxidant carotenes and flavonoids and about twice the amount of vitamin C found in citrus fruits. Red bell peppers while containing lower levels of capsaicin than chilli, are a wonderful rich source of vitamin C with twice as much as an orange, to help clear out free radicals as well as keep your skin and blood vessels healthy.

 

16. POMEGRANATES

As this is pomegranate season a Superfood list would not be complete without this glorious fruit. With up to three times the antioxidants of red wine and green tea the juice and seeds reduce the risk of heart disease. Their ORAC score lists pomegranates as the richest source of free-radical scavenging antioxidants and this makes them a powerful tool to prevent those diseases with a strong inflammatory basis like arthritis, heart disease and cancer. Find out how to use pomegranates on Hail The Pomegranate

pomegranate-open-196800_640

 

17. DARK CHOCOLATE

When you select carefully, chocolate is good for you! Dark chocolate, at least 70% cacao, is loaded with flavonoids antioxidants to reduce the risk of heart disease and help prevent signs of aging. But, only real cacao contains the antioxidants. As well as lowering blood pressure, improving blood flow and improving general heart health to prevent strokes and heart disease, cacao can also help fight diabetes. Containing many compounds to boost endorphins and serotonin, the feel-good hormones, chocolate really can lift your spirits.

Even better is to look for chocolate made from Raw Cacao which is truly the Superfood of the gods. Avoid high-sugar varieties of chocolate as sugar decreases the health benefit of even dark chocolate.

Go ahead and enjoy some raw organic chocolate
Go ahead and enjoy some raw organic chocolate

 

And here are some Superfoods that are NOT everyday but ones you really need to try.

18. KALE

Kale is probably one of the most nutritious vegetables you can eat, with an amazing level of nutrients in relation to its kilojoule value. Related to broccoli this dark green leafy vegetable is high in nutrients including vitamin B, A, folate, iron and beta-carotene. A great source of protein and packed with fibre, kale is low kilojoule and very high in vitamin C, containing twice the RDA. It contains ten times the RDA of vitamin K and three times the RDA of vitamin A. Try making it into kale chips if you are more likely to eat kale that way. Beneficial to stomach, liver and the immune system.

 

19. CHIA SEEDS

One Superfood that is appearing on menus more and more frequently is the chia seed. Rich in antioxidants, vitamins A, B, E and D, many minerals and fibre, they are also extremely high in calcium and omega-3. Chia seeds are a wonderful food for weight loss as they suppress appetite and level out blood sugars. It is a Superfood in every sense of the word.
However, chia has been a low-cost staple food of the Peruvians for centuries and the current high demand for chia by the west has taken a significant toll on the local food supply resulting in it now being unaffordable for the indigenous population. There is an urgent need to produce this food in a more sustainable way that protects the Peruvians from  nutritional deficiencies and allows everyone to receive its benefits.

 

20. SPROUTED SEEDS

The most live, pure, nutritious food imaginable. Most people are familiar with alfalfa but there are many more available and they are really easy to grow yourself for extra fresh sprouts. Sprouts are powerhouses of goodness containing the highest density of concentrated nutrients needed to give the plant an early growth spurt. As the seed sprouts the nutrients can increase up to 2000% and they are passed on to you. Read Snacking On Superb Sprouts to discover their benefits.

Sprouting in jars
Sprouting in jars

 

I’d like to finish by mentioning Green Superfoods.  Certainly not traditional or everyday in any way, but Green Superfoods contain the highest concentration of easily digested nutrients and they are starting to become better known if not yet mainstream. Foods such as spirulina or chlorella act as a power packed alternative to a multivitamin to redress many dietary indiscretions. They contain a wide range of concentrated nutrients, and are taken as a dietary supplement in powder or tablet form. I love them! You can read more at Spirulina, The Supergreen Solution

If you’d like to break out with a few different Superfoods try spirulina, kefir, quinoa, black rice, kelp and the other seaweeds, dandelion, flax seeds, goji berries or some of these treasures from South America.

What are your favourite Superfoods? Which ones do you choose to have some of every day?

autumn cornucopia bought

 

Disclaimer
All information and opinions presented here are for information purposes only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation. Please consult with your health care provider before following any of the treatment suggested on this site, particularly if you have an ongoing health issue.

 

Source articles

http://foodmatters.tv/superfoods
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/09/10/top-ten-best-superfoods.aspx
http://man.bodyandsoul.com.au/health+nutrition/nutrition+advice/7+superfoods+for+supermen,24531

Top 11 Superfoods That Can Save Your Life

 

20 Awesome Superfoods You Need Everyday (Part 1)

awesome superfoods

There are many new and exotic Superfoods arriving in our shops every day. Foods with excellent health track records in their country of origin are finding their way into all manner of products. New recipes calling for these exotics appear every single day. But this week a client who is very diet conscious, always seeking out the foods that give her the most benefits for each mouthful, brought up the subject of ‘Everyday Superfoods’ – good traditional foods that are easy to find wherever you happen to be eating.

This particular client wanted to know just what some of the best plain and simple Superfoods are. Although she regularly eats a wide array of exotic Superfoods, including acai berry, spirulina, maca, edamame, and others, she wanted to know about Superfoods that she can access every day, whether she is at home, work or eating out with friends.

Superfoods is a recently coined term used to describe a group of foods that are light in kilojoules and very dense in nutrients, particularly antioxidants and other essential nutrients that we are unable to make for ourselves. Another requirement of Superfoods is that they are foods found in nature. They are thought to have many extra health benefits and are considered highly beneficial because they provide a solid dose of nutrients for each mouthful.

Superfoods fall into different food categories. Many are vegetables, particularly the green leafy types, or fruits. Many nuts are considered Superfoods because they are rich in antioxidants to clean up free radicals that cause inflammation in your body.

Free radicals are a normal part of metabolism and your body has mechanisms in place to deal with those ones. But free radicals are also produced in your body in response to environmental factors like pollution, tobacco smoke, charred food, trans fats, electrical appliances, mobile phones and can quickly cause much damage that can lead to serious chronic disease.

 

10 BASIC EVERYDAY SUPERFOODS

These are such common foods, now nobody has any excuse not to include as many foods from this list as they can every single day.

 

1 BLUEBERRIESEnjoy some superfoods to honour your beautiful temple!

The deep blue colour of blueberries is the give away that they are rich with antioxidants, ranking highly on ORAC, which measures the antioxidant value of foods. An anti aging superstar, they are one of the best sources of flavonoids around to help preserve memory function  and slow down loss of motor coordination. High levels of the cancer fighting antioxidant, ellegic acid and studies have shown them to have greater cancer fighting capabilities than other fruits. Many recent studies have shown they slow the growth of certain tumours. Anti-inflammatory

 

2 SPINACH

Long before we became aware of the benefits of antioxidants Popeye was onto their awesomeness. Spinach is loaded up with antioxidants and truly a simple Superfood. It contains vitamin C, betacarotene, as well as lutein and zeaxanthin to protect your eyes, with lots of vitamin K for cardiovascular and bone health, as well as iron for strong hair and nails.

3. BROCCOLI

Well known as a nutrient packed vegetable with cancer fighting properties, broccoli is loaded with vitamin C, folic acid and carotenoids (vitamin A) to protect from free radical damage, improve immune function and reproductive health. Broccoli contains high levels of vitamin K to build strong bones and help blood clotting. It also contains significant amounts of fibre, vitamin B2 and potassium.

4. AVOCADO

Delicious avocados are an excellent source of healthy raw monosaturated fat.  They contain nearly twenty nutrients including fibre (10 to 17 grams in each fruit), high levels of potassium, vitamin E, B vitamins, folic acid and lutein for healthy eyes and skin. They protect from heart disease, cancer, diabetes, eye and brain disease. They help stabilize blood sugars, are great for heart disorders and assist with tissue regeneration.  In addition avocados help you properly absorb other fat-soluble nutrients.

5. ALMONDS

Raw almonds are loaded with good (monosaturated) fats and fibre to lower cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes. Rich in phytochemicals to promote heart and vascular health and a great source of minerals including magnesium, potassium, calcium and vitamins E and B6, they make a great afternoon snack. Munch on them in place of other less healthy options.

6. LENTILS & BEANS

All beans and legumes are beneficial. They are low in fat with lots of iron and B vitamins (including folate). A great complex carbohydrate, they are filling but low kilojoule. They contain magnesium and potassium for heart and circulatory health.  They are an excellent source of protein, and with a low GI they help control rises in blood sugar. Combined with complex grains like oats or barley they provide all the essential amino acids needed for a complete protein.  Perhaps the most nutritious legume is lentils. Also, they are inexpensive! Add them to your diet every week.

apple heart bought7. APPLES

The humble apple is often overlooked in the plethora of new Superfoods around. Apples are loaded with quercetin and catechin, both powerful antioxidants, to protect cells from free radical damage. Apple peel is where most of the nutrients lie so don’t peel them. They are also a great source of fibre. You may like to consider eating organic apples as they are one of the foods that regularly appear on the Environmental Working Committee’s DIRTY DOZEN list of the foods that are most highly sprayed with pesticides.

8. SARDINES & SALMON

Wild caught salmon is packed with omega-3 essential fatty acids to lower cholesterol and your risk of heart disease. It also contains vitamin D and selenium for healthy hair, skin, and nails. Farmed salmon on the other hand, (the only salmon available in Australia) is low in omega-3 and contains contaminants, so to get the benefit of eating salmon you need to make sure it is wild caught. Unfortunately as all salmon in Australia is farmed, the only wild caught one I have ever found is one brand of tinned salmon from Alaska. Wild caught salmon comes from Scotland, Alaska and Canada.
With just as much omega-3 as salmon, sardines are a much better choice in many ways. They are always wild caught so do not contain all the contaminants that you find in farmed salmon. Also being so small you can eat them up bones and all, and they are extra good as then you also get a hefty dose of calcium.

9. EGGS

Eggs are a powerhouse of valuable nutrients, especially if they are organic. They contain the highest quality nutritional protein of all foods containing about 6 grams, and loaded with nine amino acids, eleven vitamins and minerals. These include vitamin A and folate, naturally occurring vitamin B12 for healthy red blood cells, choline for memory and brain development and lutein and zeanthine for protection against eye disease.
Eating eggs for breakfast gives you a great start to the day and studies show that it may lead to you eating fewer kilojoules through the day because they rank highly on the satiety list.
But forget about eating the whites only, it’s the yolk that holds all the nutrients.
By the way, the link between eating eggs and blood cholesterol is an old myth and studies  have shown there is no connection.

10. OATS

Whole grain oats are one of the best sources of both soluble and insoluble fibre to metabolise fats  and promote healthy digestive system. They are low glycaemic to help control blood sugar levels. As well as helping improve your skin, they are brilliant for those suffering from stress and tiredness.  No wonder we’re always been told to eat porridge for breakfast, oats are rich in niacin (vitamin B3), vitamin E and antioxidants.  Packed with protein, they are a great way to kick-start your day.

 

Check back here for Part 2 next week when I’ll give you 10 more basic Superfoods, incuding some that are newer and not quite so common, to eat everyday.

 

What are your favourite Superfoods? Which do you choose to make certain you have some every day?

veg and nuts

 

Disclaimer

All information and opinions presented here are for information purposes only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation. Please consult with your health care provider before following any of the treatment suggested on this site, particularly if you have an ongoing health issue.
Source articles

http://foodmatters.tv/superfoods
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/09/10/top-ten-best-superfoods.aspx
http://man.bodyandsoul.com.au/health+nutrition/nutrition+advice/7+superfoods+for+supermen,24531

Top 11 Superfoods That Can Save Your Life

Hail The Pomegranate!

“Pomegranate is a fruit of paradise. There is one seed from Paradise in every pomegranate growing on the earth.”

hail the pomegranate

Autumn has firmly established itself in Melbourne. But along with the welcome rain and cool weather comes an abundance of Autumnal produce. Mushrooms, mandarins, apples and pears in all their autumnal glory and alongside them, the luscious pomegranate.  This week I was delighted to see the first beautiful, generous pomegranates in my greengrocers shop.

Originally hailing from Persia where it has been used medicinally for thousands of years, growth of the pomegranate spread through the Middle East, Asia, the Mediteranean and today is now widely grown across the globe including here in Australia.

Throughout history the pomegranate has been regarded as a symbol of most of the fundamental beliefs and desires of humanity, with almost every part of the fruit having significance. According to Greek mythology the pomagranate even played a role in the change of season, which was said to occur because Persephone ate a pomegranate seed, dooming her to return to the underworld (or winter) for one third of the year. In Ancient Egypt the pomegranate was regarded as a symbol of prosperity and ambition, in China and many other places, of fertility.

It is very easy to understand the magic of the pomegranate given the glossy, glowing skin and the rich generous colour of the distinctive ruby red seeds when the fruit is broken open.

Fruits and vegetables that are brightly coloured tend to be high in antioxidants. These help your body by clearing up excess oxidants, or free radicals, which if left to run wild in your body cause inflammation and lead to disease. The ORAC  score of pomegranates highlights them as one of the ‘richest sources of free-radical scavenging antioxidants’. This makes them a powerful tool to prevent those diseases with a strong inflammatory basis like arthritis, heart disease and cancer.

Pomegranates are rich sources of antioxidant phytonutrients, including flavonoids and polyphenols, which protect against free radicals. They also contain a wide range of other nutrients including most of the B Vitamins (including folate), zinc, magnesium, and iron, amongst others. But they are particularly high in Vitamin C, potassium, and pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5).

Pomegranate seeds are used effectively against heart disease, high blood pressure, inflammation and some cancers, including prostate cancer.

Studies have shown that pomegranate juice may protect against some cancers as well as modify heart disease risk factors. This study showed drinking pomegranate juice for two weeks lowers reduced systolic blood pressure.  And this 2006 study  found that drinking a 225ml glass of pomegranate juice every day significantly slowed the progress of prostate cancer in men with recurring prostate cancer.

Ayervedic medicine employs the healing power of the bark and rind of the pomegranate fruit to treat a wide range of disorders including diarrhoea, dysentery and intestinal parasites; the seeds are used as a heart or throat tonic; the astringent qualities of the fruit are considered useful for stopping nosebleeds or bleeding gums.

 

HOW TO USE POMEGRANATE

With pomegranates now in the shops it is time to reap their benefits. Using them fresh has some health benefits over using the stored juice.

pomegranate juiceJuice

The benefits of pomegranates are so high that you don’t need much to do you good. Even a 30-50ml shot of juice is sufficient to have significant benefits. Rather than using the juice as a beverage it might be wiser to consider it as a herbal treatment and take a smaller amount. Just 50ml a day will sustain healthy heart benefits.

 

Like to read more about pomegranate juice, seeds and oil?  Continue reading…

 

 

 

Disclaimer
All information and opinions presented here are for information purposes only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation. Please consult with your health care provider before following any of the treatment suggested on this site, particularly if you have an ongoing health issue.

 

Source articles
http://www.naturalnews.com/031068_pomegranate_superfood.html
http://www.nutritionguideexpert.com/pomegranate-seed-oil-benefits/#
http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/superfoods/Pages/is-pomegranate-a-superfood.aspx
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2008/08/02/pomegranate-ranked-healthiest-fruit-juice.aspx
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pomegranate

 

Iodine: Have You Overlooked This Essential Micronutrient?

oyster

One essential trace element that not many people ever think about is iodine. It is essential to many of the functions of your body. But many Australians are deficient in iodine. And not just Australians, as in fact it is thought that up to 40% of the world population is getting insufficient iodine.

Iodine can be found throughout the organs of your body. Highest concentrations occur in the thyroid gland and it is also found in the ovaries, skin, saliva, breasts and gastric glands although it can be detected in every organ and tissue.

In the thyroid gland, iodine along with the minerals zinc and selenium is essential for the production of thyroid hormones, particularly thyroxin. These thyroid hormones directly control the body’s metabolic processes, which in turn have significant influence on many of the body’s organs and processes including heart rate and blood pressure.

When iodine levels are too low the thyroid is unable to produce sufficient levels of hormones and you start to experience a range of symptoms such as lethargy, sleepiness, depression, intolerance to cold, dry skin, slow digestion, goiter, weight gain and slower mental faculties.

Goiter
Goiter

 

Health Benefits

Iodine has so many health benefits and iodine deficiency has been linked to goiter, hypothyroidism, obesity, cognitive impairment, heart disease, psychiatric disorders and cancer. It also causes impaired mental and physical development.

Iodine helps prevent the storage of excess calories as fat, assists in the removal of toxins and aids in the utilization of other minerals. It strengthens the immune system and maintains healthy tissues throughout the body.

Addressing iodine deficiencies has been found to very effective in the treatment of goiter, ovarian cysts, uterine fibroids, fibrocystic breasts, hypertension, obesity and diabetes.

sushi-275054_640

 

Food Sources Of Iodine

As it became apparent that more and more people were suffering from an iodine deficiency, an attempt to address the growing problem was made by fortifying a certain range of foods with iodine, including basics like bread and milk. Since 2009 iodine has been added to bread, and prepackaged bread required to list iodised salt as an ingredient.

Although iodine it is a fairly rare mineral it is present in a number of foods. The best sources are marine plants such as spirulina, seaweed like kelp, nori, dulse or kombu and shellfish. Make sure that any produce from the sea is harvested from uncominated waters.

While iodine is found in abundance in the sea it is not as prevalent in soil, and due to the toll that modern farming practices have taken means that most soils contain extremely low levels of iodine, along with many other minerals vital to good health. This transfers to low levels of iodine in crop foods. Unfortunately, the amount of iodine found in foods is completely dependent on the amount there is in the soil

Baked potatoes are a great source of iodine. Some other vegetarian sources are eggs, milk, garlic, lima beans, swiss chard, sesame seeds, soybeans, turnip greens and spinach.

Prior to the 1970’s milk was one of the foods that contributed most iodine to the diet but since the 1990’s the amount present in milk has dropped to about half due to changes in dairy processing practices.

Iodised salt was one food that provided many with daily iodine. But with firstly the awareness of the relationship between high salt intake and hypertension, and now a growing awareness of the problems with all highly processed foods including salt, consumption of this source of iodine has dropped off significantly.

If you are trying to avoid conventional salt you could replace it with Himalayan Salt in moderation, which is a viable alternative. Half a gram contains 250 micrograms, 150% of what the body requires each day.

To combat iodine deficiency dried seaweed is the food to head for. Just seven grams supplies 4,500 micrograms of iodine – 3000% of your daily requirement. Rather than having this much at one meal eat smaller quantities more frequently to maintain a regular supply.

Food                                               Iodine content (µg* per 100g)

Oysters                                                                        160
Cod                                                                                99
Sushi (containing seaweed)                                   92
Tinned salmon                                                            60
Bread (made with iodised salt)                            46
Steamed snapper                                                     40
Prawn                                                                             35
Baked turkey breast                                               34
Navy beans (1/2 cup)                                               32
Plain yoghurt                                                             31
Baked potato (1/2 medium)                                 30
Boiled eggs (2)                                                          24
Cheddar cheese                                                      23
Eggs                                                                              22
Ice cream                                                                    21
Chocolate milk                                                         20
Tuna, canned                                                              18
Canned corn                                                               17
Flavoured Yoghurt                                                   16
Regular milk                                                                13
Tinned tuna                                                                 10
Strawberries                                                               10
Bread (without iodised salt)                                  3
Beef, pork, lamb                                                         <1.5
Tap water (varies depending on site)                0.5-20.0
Apples, oranges, grapes, bananas                      <0.5
* micrograms
Source: http://www.nutritionaustralia.org/national/resource/iodine-facts

Don’t forget that you may eat substantially less than 100grams of some of these foods so you need to consider just how much iodine there actually is in the food you are eating.

Seaweed Salad
Seaweed Salad

 

How Inadequate Iodine Intake Affects You

Perhaps the most obvious, but least dangerous manifestation of iodine deficiency is goiter, a swelling of the thyroid gland which manifests as a swelling in the neck and around the larynx. Treating goiter with iodine during the first five years usually ensures that the thyroid does not suffer permanent damage.

It is well known that micronutrient deficiencies are known to affect the development of intelligence and iodine deficiency can certainly be included as one. Inadequate iodine has a significant effect on cognitive function, affecting memory.

Although iodine is recognized as a major requirement for thyroid health, it also plays other important functions including boosting the immune system, by increasing antioxidant activity.

Iodine is widely used to treat fibrocystic breast disease. It has been shown in studies to shrink caner cells when injected directly into the cells. It is essential in the prevention of thyroid cancer. It assists with flushing out chemical toxins including fluoride, lead and mercury.

Deficiency in children not only causes lower IQ but also creates issues with learning and concentration. It can be an ongoing issue when intake is too low.

 

Iodine is Required for Reproductive Health

Iodine offers lots of assistance to the reproductive organs. Sufficient levels are crucial to ensure fertility initially, as well as during pregnancy to prevent miscarriage or stillbirth, and to prevent neorologic and cognitive conditions in the baby. Severe deficiency during the pregnancy can lead to the following problems:

  • Miscarriage during the first trimester, or stillbirth
  • Gestational hytertension
  • Birth deformities
  • Neurological defects in the baby causing irreversible brain damage – cretinism, intellectual difficulties, hearing    loss and speech difficulties, short stature, deaf mutism, dwarfism

Iodine passes into the breast milk in large quantities and nursing mothers need to maintain their intake of iodine in order to prevent iodine deficiency themselves.

 

What Can Cause Iodine Deficiency?

There are a number of factors that can lead to iodine deficiency including:

Low amounts of iodine in the diet

  • Selenium deficiency
  • Pregnancy
  • Radiation exposure
  • Smoking tobacco
  • Alcohol
  • Oral contraceptives

 

Some Deficiency Clues

Here are some symptoms that could provide the clue that you are not getting enough iodine. If you suffer from these symptoms consult your health care practitioner:

  • Dry mouth
  • Dry skin, reduced sweating
  • Hair loss
  • Reduced alertness, poor perception, lowered IQ
  • Fibromyalgia, pain, fibrosis
  • Scar tissue, nodules
  • Frustration
  • Depression
  • Abnormal weight gain
  • Reduced fertility
  • Constipation
  • Fatigue

 

 

A word of caution if you live in an area where fluoride is added to the water supply. There have been studies which question the validity of fluoridation of drinking water because there is a link between excess fluoride ingestion and thyroid disease. The incidence increased where water was fluoridated as the fluoride inhibits the action of the iodine. It may be something worth thinking about if this applies to you.

Iodine supplementation is one place where you can get too much of a good thing. There are potential risks to taking too much iodine. Doses over 2,000mg a day are dangerous especially if you have kidney ailments. Too much can easily lead to subclinical hypothyroidism – ironic when you consider that hypothyroidism is often linked to iodine deficiency. Sourcing iodine from foods may be preferable to taking supplements.

Iodine is certainly one supplement where you need to make sure you achieve a healthy balance. 

 

Kelp is a rich source of iodine
Kelp is a rich source of iodine

Disclaimer

All information and opinions presented here are for information only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation. Please consult with your health care provider before following any of the treatments suggested on this site, particularly if you have an ongoing health issue.

Source articles

http://www.nrv.gov.au/nutrients/iodine.htm
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/06/29/iodine-deficiency-risk.aspx
http://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/minerals/health-benefits-of-iodine.html
https://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2011/oct2011_The-Silent-Epidemic-of-Iodine-Deficiency_01.htm
http://bembu.com/iodine-rich-foods