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Posts tagged “Diet”

In this modern world of ours, with the emphasis on “less being more”, it’s easy to forget that the human body was designed to be active. And, yes, we know it’s a cliché but that doesn’t stop it from being true! 
 
Added to this are the demons many of us still have with us from the dreaded games lessons at school. However, exercise doesn’t need to be a dirty word – or dreaded activity – and can easily become an enjoyable part of your life. Yes, really. And if you need some very good reasons – and simple ways to do this – they can be found in a post we did last year. Just click here
 
While regular exercise brings benefits to all ages, this week we’d like to focus on the ways it can help those of more mature years. In particular, how it can help to stop – and even reverse – age related muscle loss and strength, known as “Sarcopenia”. 
Eating a healthy diet – along with drinking plenty of water – are, to us, such obvious things to do. Not only are they simple, they’re one of the cornerstones of good health. After all, if we don’t put the correct “fuel” in our tanks, how on earth can we expect our bodies to function in the way we would like? 
 
Despite this, many people still seem to find the subject of what to eat completely overwhelming. As a result, they’re all too easily swayed by the latest “scientific discovery” or scare story in the media. Not forgetting the perennially persuasive advertising and confusing labels. “Healthy”, “natural”, “low fat”, “low sugar” and the like. 
 
Given all of this, it’s hardly surprising that many fall back on the offerings of their local shop, whether a supermarket, 24 hour garage or convenience store. But, sadly, there’s always a price to pay, although it may not become apparent for many years – or decades… 
With a real nip in the air for the last few mornings and everyone back at school or work – grown ups as well as children (!) – this week we’re looking ahead to the autumn. Not only to glorious September days – where it’s too nice to be indoors (!) – but also to the less welcome start of the Colds and Flu season. 
 
And, yes, we can hear a collective groan at the mere mention of another winter. Let alone the start of another school – or work (!) – year. But, please, bear with us there’s a very good reason for us mentioning it now. 
 
There are so many simple things you can do now that will pay dividends later. Not only in avoiding the lurgies doing the rounds but also to improve your overall health. As so often is the case, if you get these right then everything else falls into place. 
Goodness, how time flies by. Back in March 2015, as part of our occasional “Ticking Health Time Bomb” series, we took a closer look at Glyphosate. Why it may not be as safe as people would like to think. Let alone by the farmers or gardeners coming into direct contact with it. A copy of the post can be found here
 
Ironically, only a few days after our post, the World Health Organisation’s International Agency for Research on Cancer – known as IARC – finally bowed to a huge amount of independent research, re classifying Glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans.” This was based on limited evidence of Cancer in humans (from real world exposures that had actually occurred) and sufficient evidence of Cancer in experimental animals (from studies using pure Glyphosate). Despite the monumental nature of this re classification, it received very little coverage on mainstream media and so the message did not reach those it needed to. 
 
However, it did finally open the floodgates to litigation by those alleging that exposure to Glyphosate – Roundup – had contributed to their Cancer and the first three of these cases have now reached the American Courts. 
We often talk about the benefits – and delights (!) – of eating fresh fruits and vegetables when they’re at their very best. In other words, in season – eaten at the time of year nature intended – AND locally produced, so they reach our plates fresh from the field – or garden (!). 
 
It’s no accident that the starchy, more satisfying, root vegetables are at their best in the cooler months of the year. Nor that salads and berries come into their own right now. Each provides exactly the right nutrients needed by our bodies at the time of year they’re naturally ready to eat. 
 
For example, root vegetables are rich in carbohydrates to help maintain energy levels – and keep us warm – during the winter months. They also provide good levels of Vitamins A, C and E, to support the Immune Systems and so avoid the winter bugs. 
 
By contrast, salads and berries have a much higher water content, helping replace the water lost as sweat during the warmer summer months. Added to this they also contain high levels of magnesium and potassium to help replace that lost in sweat – and so prevent the dreaded night cramps… 
 
So, this week, let’s celebrate a vegetable – that’s strictly a fruit – which is coming into its best right now. Even better, it produces a prolific crop right through till the Autumn. If you don’t grow them yourself, you’re guaranteed to have local gardening friends giving them away. Or, at worst, people selling them at their garden gates for a fraction of that charged by your local supermarket. 
While chicken has been considered a healthy source of protein for years, eggs have received a much less favourable press. This is largely due to a simple misconception which we regularly hear from clients. That eggs are high in cholesterol and saturated fats, so promoting heart disease. If not avoided, they should only be eaten occasionally. 
 
Not surprisingly, this has led to a variety of different advice about limiting their consumption. These range from avoiding eggs altogether or, at the very most, eating no more than three eggs a week. As an aside, while doing a little research for this post, we were intrigued to come across the recommendation to only consume a quarter of an egg a week. Exactly how this would work in practice, we have no idea! 
There’s nothing like the first fresh spring greens of the year. Sprouting broccoli, spring cabbage, kale. After the traditional, heavier foods of the winter, it’s a real treat to have some fresh spring greens. 
 
But what about something much more local and you can easily pick yourself? One that you’ll never see in your local supermarket or probably have ever considered before. Nettles. Yes, nettles. 
 
Sadly, nettles have something of a PR problem. And that’s putting it mildly… Not only were many of us were stung – hopefully not too badly – during childhood, but their invasive nature gives them a bad reputation for gardeners. This is a real shame as it means that we miss out on their many benefits too. 
A couple of weeks ago we looked at “Low fat high carb” diets. How much confusion there still seems to be about them AND how this has unwittingly contributed to rising levels of Diabetes and Obesity. However, with the huge number of different diets out there being marketed as “the one” – particularly at this time of year (!) – it’s not surprising that many people are still completely confused about the different options; let alone which is the best one for them. 
 
So, this week, we’re going to have a look at the two most popular types of diets in the last couple of years. Low Carb and Intermittent Fasting. But, don’t be fooled. They both appear in many different guises, each with their own particular programme and celebrity endorsement (!). 
Last April – goodness it doesn’t seem that long ago (!) – we wrote about the worrying increase in those being diagnosed with Diabetes Type II Diabetes, also known as “Non Insulin Dependent Diabetes”. Even worse, it’s now being diagnosed in much younger people – those still in their teens and early 20’s – rather than people of middle age, who also tended to be overweight and sedentary. If you missed this post you can find it here
 
Sadly, yet again, it’s become clear that this trend is being fuelled by poor lifestyle choices. In other words, poor diet and increasingly sedentary lifestyles. Not surprisingly, both of these are also linked to Obesity, a well known risk factor for Diabetes, as well as many other conditions. 
 
This has led to the modern dietary advice of eating a “Low Fat, High Carb” diet being put under the spotlight. Suddenly it doesn’t seem to be such a healthy option, leaving many confused and unsure about exactly what they should be eating. And, just as importantly, what they should be avoiding. 
 
So, this week, we’re going to have a look at what most people understand as a “Low Fat, High Carb” diet and why it isn’t quite what they think it is. 
Over the years, we’ve heard this numerous times from clients and our reply is always the same. Thank goodness you have or you wouldn’t be talking to us! And, yes, we know this is probably not the answer they were expecting, but it always prompts a smile and helps puts things into perspective… 
 
Blood pressure – and by that we mean high blood pressure (!) – is becoming an increasing problem worldwide, not just in the West. It’s estimated that 1 in 4 adults in the UK have high blood pressure, Hypertension if you want to be more technical. So, this week, let’s find out about high blood pressure and why it’s such a concern. 
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