healthy-bonesBone strength starts to deteriorate once we hit our mid-30s. These expert tips will help boost bone mineral density to keep your skeleton strong.

1. Eat a diet that is nutrient-dense and made up of a range of wholefoods, ideally cooked from fresh. Aim for good quality meat, pulses (lentils and beans), fish, tinned sardines, dairy products, nuts, fruit and a wide variety of vegetables. Keep crisps, cake and confectionary to a minimum, as they don’t have any health benefits.

2. For the body to absorb and use calcium effectively, it needs sufficient levels of vitamin D. Make sure you get enough exposure to sunshine in the summer – up to two 10 minute sessions of exposure to sun without sunscreen per day is fine if you have very fair skin and the recommended 15-20 minutes per day puts you at risk of burning (always use sunscreen the rest of the time). Eat foods that contain vitamin D, such as eggs and fortified breakfast cereals. You may want to consider a supplement, particularly if you are a pregnant woman or over 65 – your doctor will be able to advise.

3. Stick to the alcohol guidelines – currently 14 units a week for women and 21 for men (a 750ml bottle of wine has 10 units; a single measure (25ml) of spirits has one). Too much booze is bad for bones – it interferes with the absorption of both calcium and vitamin D.

4. Do some varied resistance exercise. After the age of 30, we start to lose bone density as well as muscle mass. Key problems associated with poor bone density are spinal, hip and wrist fractures. We can stop this decline with exercise, which helps to maintain muscle mass and strength. Resistance exercise, such as weight lifting or using our own body weight, is ideal. Don’t get too hung up on lifting huge weights or putting yourself through a punishing regime. Some activity is better than none!

5. See your doctor if you’re worried about bone density – for instance, if family members have it you may be more susceptible as there is a familial link. Other warning signs are broken bones during routine activities on several occasions. Osteoporosis is most prevalent in the post-menopausal female population, particularly those with early menopause. If you or your doctor suspects you have low bone mineral density you will be sent for a DEXA (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry) scan. If you are found to have low bone density, you’ll be advised to undertake high impact sports like skiing with care as you’re at increased risk of breaking or fracturing a bone if you fall.

tomatosCarotenoids are what cause some fruits and vegetables to have bright colors, such as yellow, orange and red. Lycopene is the carotenoid that gives tomatoes their rich colors and is one of the most popular carotenoids found in the diets of many Americans and Europeans. Many carotenoids enable the body to make the vitamin A that it needs in order to be healthy, though lycopene is not one of them.

The cancer-preventing benefits of lycopene
Though the body does not use lycopene to make Vitamin A, it still adds a very valuable component to the diet. Studies have shown a positive correlation between those people with a diet high in tomatoes, and, therefore, lycopenes, and having a lower risk of some forms of cancer. This type of diet has been shown to be particularly helpful for reducing the risk of getting prostate, cervical, skin, bladder, stomach and lung cancers.

Other benefits of lycopene
As if the cancer-reducing benefits of lycopene were not enough, there are other health benefits of eating a diet rich in tomatoes. Researchers have found that the risk of heart disease can be lowered by such a diet. The risk of macular degeneration, which is a disease that often occurs as a person ages and can result in blindness, and lipid oxidation, the damage that occurs to normal fat cells that can then cause both inflammation and disease, have also been shown to be reduced by eating a diet that includes a variety of tomato-based dishes.

Lycopene is an impressive antioxidant which helps block the free radicals that can cause disease. Studies have also shown that lycopene helps protect DNA, cellular fats and enzymes while also lowering the levels of bad cholesterol, LDL, and boosting the immune system. While other foods, such as watermelon, apricots, papaya, pink grapefruit and guava, are also a significant source of lycopene, tomatoes contain the most concentrated amount of the carotenoid.

The form of tomatoes matters
While tomatoes eaten in any form deliver a powerful amount of lycopene, there are some methods of preparation that increase the amounts. Studies found that the levels of lycopene in the blood were greatest after study participants had eaten cooked tomatoes, compared to their levels after drinking tomato juice or eating raw tomatoes. In addition, by combining the consumption of tomatoes with oil or fat, such as the cheese in a pizza or a drizzle of salad oil, the amount of lycopene absorbed by the intestines is increased. For those people who want to supplement, lycopene is available either as a liquid or as soft gels.

Eating a diet rich with tomato-based foods gives the body a number of health benefits that are difficult to replicate in other ways. For best results, eat cooked tomatoes several times each week.

In this seminar I discuss a variety of techniques and practical steps that can be followed in order to maintain healthy breasts. As yet all those following the advice in the programme have experienced not just healthier breasts, but also an improvement in their general wellbeing.

All these steps are taken from my book “Every Woman’s Guide to Vital Breast Health”.

Order your copy today and take a step towards self empowerment by reclaiming control of your own health.
book

Paperback


Kindle
amazon

 

 

 

 

 

 

nettleteaSpring is on its way, and already the nettles are peeping through with their first leaves. We can start picking these now to help support our adrenal glands, which are directly responsible for the mobilisation of energy and the regulation of our body’s metabolism. Nettles’ broad list of vitamins, minerals, trace elements and other nutrients, which are at their height in Spring, supports almost every organ and system of our body, whilst vitally feeding our adrenal glands.

Benefits of the stinging nettle plant
The benefits of stinging nettle are so many that you too will lose count. It is a diuretic; it is used to treat anemia, and it is used for arthritis and rheumatism. Stinging nettles is used for respiratory and urinary problems. It aids in the recovery of eczema, asthma, sinusitis and rhinitis. It protects against skin disorders and aides in the treatment of benign prostate. It diminishes susceptibility to colds. It is also a good deterrent for pests in the gardens.

Stinging nettles protects against hair loss, kidney stones, allergies, hay fever, osteoarthritis, internal bleeding, uterine bleeding, nosebleeds and bowel bleeding. Stinging nettles protects against enlarged spleen, diabetes, endocrine disorders, stomach acid, diarrhea, dysentery, lung congestion, cancer and anti-aging, and it is used as a general tonic. It is a blood purifier and it is useful with wound healing. Stinging nettles is used for muscle aches and pains also.

A simple way to use them
Pick them fresh, wearing gloves to avoid their sting, and pick from a place where there are no contaminants, avoiding the roadside or anywhere that might have been sprayed. Nettles lose their sting when heated, and you can cook and eat them like spinach, or make nettle tea to drink daily.

One of the best waya to make a really powerful nettle tea, is to pour a mug’s worth of boiling water on to a large handful of washed and chopped nettle leaves, and let them steep for at least 20 minutes, or overnight. If left overnight and you wish to drink it warm, simply add more hot water in the morning. If you are unable to pick your own nettles, or can’t find the young leaves bursting with chlorophyll and Spring-rich biochemistry, then buy loose herbal tea or powdered nettle from a herbalist. With the powdered nettle, add a teaspoonful into a smoothie.

strawberriesGastritis, a condition in which the stomach lining becomes inflamed, can be caused by a number of factors. Too much alcohol consumption, viral and bacterial infections, taking aspirin or ibuprofen, having an autoimmune disorder and even stress are common culprits behind this digestive problem. That’s the bad news.

The good news? European researchers have uncovered the powerful ability that strawberries have to combat gastritis.

How strawberries help heal gastritis
“The positive effects of strawberries are not only linked to their antioxidant capacity and high content of phenolic compounds (anthocyans) but also to the fact that they activate the antioxidant defences and enzymes of the body,” explains one of the researchers, Sara Tulipani. Their studies showed that ingesting strawberries led to a reduction in the appearance of stomach ulcerations, post-ethanol consumption. Bottom line: The ripe fruit contains substances that can help prevent the start of inflammation at the cellular level.

This finding led them to conclude that strawberries are among the most important fruits to fight inflammation and also paved the way for others to look deeper into new stomach inflammatory diseases and related treatment options.

The Mayo Clinic advises people with gastritis to eat a diet that consists of low-acid fruits and to avoid spicy, fatty foods. Strawberries make the list of low-acid fruits, as do pears, raspberries and apples.

It’s also advised to try to minimize stress levels, reduce alcohol consumption and speak with a doctor about switching pain relievers, since they can aggravate the stomach lining. Activities such as yoga or meditation can help with relaxation, and enjoying healthier drinks such as water can help keep stomach problems at bay.

Other health benefits of eating strawberries
Strawberries are good for reducing inflammation of not only the stomach inflammation but other kinds as well, including in the joints. In fact, the Harvard School of Public Health conducted a study which showed that women who ate 16 or more strawberries weekly were less likely to have C-reactive protein (CRP) in the body, a telltale marker of inflammation.

Strawberries have also been shown to improve eye health, suppress cancer cell growth and regulate blood pressure. Of course, to help avoid health issues related to pesticide consumption, be sure to choose organic, and hopefully local, strawberries!

detox-foods-03Figuring out which foods are best for a “cleanse” can be tricky. So many foods feel refreshing and rejuvenating—hot tea, raw vegetables, and fresh fruit come to mind. And with good reason: foods with insoluble fiber (like raw veggies) or a diuretic effect (like green tea), promote speedy digestion and “flush” the GI tract. These foods can be considered the best “cleanse” choices. Here are some of my faves and why they just might work!

Artichokes contain antioxidant plant compounds called caffeoylquinic acids, which are used to treat hepatic (liver) disorders because they stimulate bile flow. Bile helps the body to digest fats, and efficient bile flow clears the system of potentially inflammatory substances contained in fatty foods.

Avocado provides heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids and glutathione, a compound that blocks the absorption of certain fats by the intestines that cause oxidative damage AND is essential for liver pathway cleansing.

Beets are among the few edible plants that contain betalains, plant pigments that give some beets their deep red color and have powerful anti-inflammatory and fungicidal properties. Betalains promote cell structure, repair and regeneration, especially in the liver—the body’s primary detox center.

Broccoli is one of the cruciferous vegetables, which are named for their cross-shaped flowers and known for powerful antioxidant properties. Science has shown that a diet rich in cruciferous veggies reduces the risk of certain cancers. Other cruciferous vegetables include cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and kale.

Collard greens increase bile acid binding, which makes it easier for bile to bind to large lipid molecules and pull them apart. Leftover bile acids are then excreted from the GI tract normally, taking leftover lipid molecules with them. Bile acid binding therefore helps to keep LDL “bad” cholesterol in check.

Dandelion root acts as a diuretic by increasing urine production.

Dill and fennel are plants rich in vitamins and anti-inflammatory chemicals. Dill contains chemicals that help with the activation of glutathione, a liver antioxidant that attaches to free radical molecules and disarms them. Fennel is rich in Vitamin C, which has antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. Fennel is also high in fiber but low in calories—an ideal cleanse food.

Green tea is richer in antioxidants than white, black, and oolong teas, even though they all come from the same plant. The caffeine in green tea also gives this energizing drink a diuretic effect, which helps to alleviate bloating by counteracting water retention.

Lemon like all citrus fruits, is rich in antioxidant Vitamin C.

Milk thistle is one of the frequently researched plants in association with promoting liver detoxification. While more scientific inquiry is needed for firm recommendations, Milk thistle contains a mixture of polyphenolic compounds (plant protectors) that assist liver cells in removing toxins from healthy blood cells.

Onion and garlic are both members of the allium family of vegetables, which provide pungent flavors to foods. These plants contain flavonoids that stimulate the production of glutathione, one of the liver’s strongest antioxidants. As a result, onion and garlic have powerful anti-bacterial and immune-boosting properties.

Other fresh veggies (greens) are a good source of glutathione-essential for detox of liver pathway. Fresh vegetables can also provide excellent sources of insoluble fiber, which gets the gut moving. Crisp, crunchy raw veggies are highest in this sort of fiber. Think kale, collards, and broccoli!

Wheat grass is a vitamin and mineral-rich grass commonly served in powder or juice form. While scientific evidence to support health claims about wheatgrass is lacking, products containing wheatgrass may add some yummy, low-calorie variety to your selection of cleanse foods and beverages.

Yogurt that contains probiotics – make sure to read the yogurt label—supplies healthy bacteria that fortify the GI tract’s natural flora, aiding digestion and boosting the body’s natural immune responses.

JuicingThose who find munching through heaped plates full of leafy greens, fruit, and veg to be quite the chore have embraced the recent craze for consuming their 5-a-day (and sometimes more) in just one juice.

Health conscious people everywhere are being spotted clutching thick, luminous green, frothy juices in their hands. As toxic as these juices may look on the outside they are actually jam packed full of healthy nutrients. Juicing may have once had a hippy stigma attached to it, but it’s now been made popular and accessible to anyone who fancies guzzling down the entire contents of their fridge’s veg draw in one go.

Celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Anniston, Miranda Kerr and Sarah Jessica Parker are rarely spotted without a green juice in their hands these days and all fully support the trend. But just how healthy is juicing? And is it actually healthier to cold-press your fruit and veg than it is to eat it whole?

The Pros

Juicing is a convenient way of ensuring that you get your 5-a-day. Wake up and throw a cucumber, 2 apples, 2 handfuls of spinach, a beetroot, a carrot and a stick of celery into your juicer and you’ve already had your 5-a-day before it’s even 9am! Juicing makes it easy to consume a couple of platefuls of fruit and veg through a straw in just one sitting and so is particularly useful for those who struggle to eat their 5-a-day because they would prefer to have a kitkat for elevensies than they would an apple. One juice first thing in the morning can provide you with a much needed hit of nutrients to get your day off to a great start.

Some juicing enthusiasts also claim that juice is better for you because your body can absorb the nutrients better when you consume them in a liquid form; however there is no solid proof that this is true.

The Cons

Reducing your fruit and veg to a pulp means that not quite all of it reaches your juice. The pulp that is left behind is mostly made up of the healthy fibre so you’re losing out on this when you juice.

Chopping up and juicing such a large amount of fruit and veg can be a bit of a palaver, especially if you’re doing it first thing in the morning. You can’t make a large batch to drink throughout the week either as freshly squeezed juice can develop harmful bacteria if left and loses its nutritious value the longer that you leave it so it’s important you drink it fresh out of the juicer.

Many people fail to eat their 5-a-day and so are lacking many of the vital nutrients that keep us healthy in their diet. Juicing provides people that may have otherwise missed out on their 5-a-day with an easy way of getting many important nutrients into their diets.

body-brushingDry body brushing is a natural way of improving both your inner health and your outer appearance at the same time. Dry body brushing your skin stimulates and improves the circulation in your skin and improves lymphatic drainage which has plenty of health benefits for the rest of your body.

And the best bit is that it’s not an expensive treatment that you have done at a spa or a clinic – it’s a simple process that you can add into your daily routine and do by yourself in your own home.

How to do it?

So what exactly is dry body brushing? It’s really quite simple because it’s exactly what it sounds like! The only thing you’ll need to buy to get started is the brush. You can find dry body brushes at most health and beauty stores. Make sure that the brush you buy has a long handle and real natural bristles not synthetic ones.

Brushing should be performed by starting at your feet and working your way upwards. Lymphatic fluid in your body flows upwards in the direction of your heart so when you brush your skin you should be aiming to brush in circular upwards motions in the direction of your heart.

Dry brushing should be performed at least once a day for 5 – 10 minutes at a time before you get into the shower.

What are the benefits?

    Boosts circulation – Bad circulation can lead to a number of problems like varicose veins, fatigue and water retention. Improving the circulation in our skin helps to keep our bodies healthy.
    Detoxifies – Dry brushing your body helps to stimulate your lymphatic system which is responsible for detoxifying your body. Your lymphatic system looks after your immune system by helping to destroy pathogens, filter out waste and keep all fluids in your body moving freely.
    Softer, smoother skin – Dry brushing does wonders for your skin. Not only does it help to remove all dead skin cells, it also unclogs pores and helps to tighten your skin. This encourages new skin growth to give you shiny, healthy skin that positively glows.
    Get rid of cellulite – Cellulite is made up from toxic material that has become stuck in your body’s fat cells. Brushing areas of cellulite will help to break down the toxic materials so that they can then be removed from the body.

Dry body brushing can also be an energising way to begin your day, add it into your daily morning routine and it won’t be long before your friends are asking you what you new beauty secret is!

how-to-detoxEvery year when the long warm summer days suddenly turn into short cold dark and damp days our bodies are taken by surprise and many people find themselves coming down with coughs, colds, aches and pains. If you’re feeling under the weather or sluggish then it could be the excesses of the summer finally catching up with you. Our busy lifestyles mean that it’s hard to always live and eat healthily. This is why it’s important to make sure that we’re aware of which foods are beneficial to the organs in our bodies that filter out toxic substances to keep us healthy. If you know which foods are good for detoxing then you can introduce them into your diet on a daily basis to keep yourself healthy all year around.

It’s important to remember that you should always detox in a healthy and natural way. There are many faddy detox plans out there that encourage extreme fasting which is not good for your body and can leave you feeling dehydrated, dizzy, nauseas and tired, very extreme detox diets can even cause damage to your colon. This our basic guide to steps you can take on a daily basis to detox gently and naturally.

Why detox?

Great foods for detoxing

There are plenty of wholesome foods and nutrients that are great for cleansing your body. These include foods with plenty of fibre such as brown rice, organic fruits and vegetables, artichokes, cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower, blueberries, spinach, beets and radishes, cilantro, lemon, lime, pepper, garlic, cayenne, turmeric, sea vegetables and milk thistle.

What to avoid

Foods that you should avoid when you’re detoxing include alcohol, caffeine, processed foods, non-organic fruit and vegetables, refined sugars, milk products and high-mercury fish.

What to drink daily

    Hot lemon water – Start off your day with a steaming mug of hot water and the juice of half a lemon before you eat your breakfast. Lemon is brilliant for your digestion and for cleansing your system so it a brilliant way of kick-starting your day.
    Vegetable smoothies – Throw lots of healthy organic fruit and vegetables into a juicer and blend. There are plenty of ‘green smoothie’ recipes available on the internet; they’re a brilliant and easy way of getting lots of healthy nutrients into your body quickly.
    Detox teas – Look out for detox teas like green tea, rhubarb root tea and dandelion root and burdock tea. You should be aiming to drink about three litres of fluid a day, drinking detox teas are a great way of getting more fluids.

allergic-reactionsHow familiar they have become, increasing at a remorseless rate year on year with still no medical treatment available to remove the allergy. Antihistamines and steroids can subdue symptoms associated with hay fever and some skin reactions, but they are not a cure and they also like many other drugs have side effects, adverse drug reactions (ADR).

Some ADR are surprising to say the least, one youngster who I treated for his asthma had been taking a steroidal inhaler in the morning and again in the evening as a preventer. The combination of the preventer and a further inhaler to dilate the airways should an attack still occur, allowed him to carry on life more or less as normal.After several treatments his asthma symptoms improved and he no longer needed to use either of his inhalers, it was only then that a major side effectfrom the steroidal inhaler became apparent, he had started to grow again!

Roger’s growth had been inhibited for some time despite an anticipated spurt due to his age, but until he stopped using his steroidalinhaler the connection between the medication and his lack of growth was not suspected by his parents or his GP.In fact it was not until confirmed by a specialist as a common side effect of steroidal inhalers that the reason for his lack of growth became obvious.

Anaphylaxis is a more devastating allergic reaction which can be triggered by a number of substances which are mostly but not exclusively food items such as nuts. Sufferers are prescribed a device which injects a dose of adrenaline (epinephrine), which helps to control the symptoms allowing time to reach the nearest A&E department for potentially life-saving procedures. Of course one problem is that to be prescribed an adrenaline injector usually an EpiPen you first have to suffer an anaphylactic attack. The saving grace here is the Paramedics, without their brilliant speedy attendance there would I am sure be many more fatalities than are currently experienced.

The next step is to get the patient into A&E in the shortest time possible, but what if due to cut backs in the NHS the local hospital has had to close its department. In my area it seems likely that there are two hospitals that will no longer have A&E departments, which will turn a 10 minute journey into a 30 or 40 minute one. There are many other medical emergencies where time is of the essence, but for people experiencing an anaphylaxis attack it is absolutely vital that not a minute is lost.