How to Detox

The Telegraph advises on How to Detox, below is a quick summary:

Look Before You Leap – Keep an honest food diary for two weeks beforehand. Noting what you eat and how you feel afterwards – tired, bloated, still hungry or craving sugar half an hour later.

Spread it Out – A hard-core, no-food weekend will do you no good – gradual, natural detox over four weeks is far more effective.

Cut Out the Culprits – Cut out processed foods, refined sugars and artificial sweeteners. Try eliminating wheat for the four weeks, too.

Balance Your Food Groups – Incorporate carbohydrate, protein and fat into every meal. Aim for equal proportions of complex carbohydrates and lean protein. A probiotic, such as Biocare, to nourish your system.

Don’t Fear Fat – Fat does not make you fat and is vital. Try swapping cooking fats for coconut oil – one of the purest fats.

Opt for Organic – Pesticides and chemicals have to be broken down by your liver, so choose organic.
Organic is more expensive but processed foods contain less nutrients anyway.

Skin Deep – Use natural skincare products; I love the Living Nature range, which is made with manuka honey. Dry body-brush to shift dead skin cells, clear pores and boost circulation.

Linzi Boyd

See also GoodnessDirect Detox range.

Blue-green and coiled like a spring!

Spirulina is a microscopic blue-green alga; it is a vegetable plankton whose cells form the shape of a coiled spring – thus the name`Spirulina’, which means `little spiral’.

It grows naturally in warm and highly alkaline lakes in tropical areas. Per acre, its protein yield is 20 times that of soybeans, 40 times that of corn, and 200 times greater than that of beef cattle.

Spirulina contains complete balanced protein (including all eight essential amino acids), is easily digested and is quickly absorbed. It is high in beta-carotene, chlorophyll, vitamins, and GLA (gamma linolenic acid), but low in fat, sodium, and cholesterol. Spirulina helps to satisfy hunger naturally, yet is low in calories. In short, Spirulina is effectively a multivitamin – but from nature, not a factory – and therefore a far superior alternative to any synthetic product.

Spirulina also contains a total of nine important vitamins and over 14 minerals which are chelated, or bonded, to the amino acids, making them easier for the body to assimilate.

Scientific research shows that Spirulina has benefits in five important health areas:

1. Strengthening the immune system and reducing cancer risks with better antioxidant protection.
2. Supporting cardiovascular health and lowering cholesterol.
3. Improving gastrointestinal and digestive health.
4. Enhancing natural cleansing and detoxification.
5. Combating anaemia, diabetes, eczema, asthma and arthritis.

On analysis, Hawaiian Spirulina comes out ahead of all other strains of Spirulina on most important nutrient indicators: mixed carotenoids, enzymes and antioxidants. Pure air, pure water from the depths of the Pacific Ocean, and the latest in aquaculture drying and tabletting technology make it possible to create this amazingly nutritious and energising, completely natural and highly absorbent superfood.

See also GoodnessDirect – Hawaiian Spirulina.

Further information

A word about allergies

2% of the population suffer from food allergy which is potentially fatal and sadly can strike at any age. As Tom told us in the survey Allergy UK conducted to find out how people with allergies and intolerances had coped with Christmas.

“I didn’t know I suffered from a food allergy until this Christmas when I had an allergic reaction to something in bread which landed me in the accident unit with my throat closing up and a stinging red rash all over my body. Looking at what I had eaten I realised that I had experienced a funny feeling in my throat before when I had eaten bread containing lupin flour but I didn’t realise what the symptoms of an allergic reaction were. I realise now that my throat had felt a little funny before and I think it had been increasing in severity each time I had eaten this particular type of bread and I didn”t know what was going on. I hope I can get an allergy test so that I can know for sure what is going on”

Hopefully Tom will be referred to see an allergy specialist and will get the help he needs.

For those suffering from food intolerance it is much more difficult to get help as they are often dismissed as “faddy” or even worse that their symptoms are “all in the mind”. Such lack of understanding adds to the distress of sufferers and with stress undoubtedly impacting on health, it can make their symptoms worse. As many as 45% of the population suffer from food intolerance which, whilst not life threatening can make all aspects of life very uncomfortable for sufferers.

There are so few services or understanding for people with food intolerance that people are often driven to seek help from unqualified practitioners which can lead to unbalanced diets with the result that the sufferer”s health is made worse.
Allergy UK has seen an increasing number of people turning to us for help in understanding and managing food problems particularly food intolerance.

Kim from Wakefield was typical of the sort of comments we hear when she told us:

“It is much easier to stay at home rather than keep explaining and being treated as if you are following a fad or are a freak. Thanks for this survey it may help others to understand and stop treating us as if we are just being difficult”.

Yet it is not all bad news. Recognising the need of sufferers Allergy UK has established a specific division to help people with food intolerance. The division to be known as FIA (Food Intolerance Awareness) will provide information, advice and support and with its panel of experts in the field of food intolerance will be able to give specialist time and attention to sufferers.

A new website specifically for food intolerance will be launched during Food Allergy and Intolerance Week which will be packed full of useful information including details of specialist food products, places to eat where the management is sympathetic to the needs of sufferers, recipes and other helpful information.

St John’s Wort and the blues

Christmas is over but winter is not. Like the weather, many people’s mood is dull. And like New Year debts, many people’s anxiety levels are high.

Depression and anxiety levels rise once the Christmas decorations come down. And the short days, dark mornings and afternoons and cold, damp weather compound these feelings. It’s even said that January 24th is the most depressing day of the year, thanks to the combined effects of poor weather, debts, time since Christmas and failed New Year resolutions.

Help is at hand however, with a natural supplement that addresses both anxiety and depression. St John’s Wort with Passion Flower combines the well-known and documented effective natural
anti-depressant with the calming properties of Passion Flower to relieve mild to moderate depression, anxiety and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) without the side-effects so often associated with prescription drugs.

A Winning Combination
It is thought that the synergistic behaviour of these two herbs in one supplement is more effective than if each was taken separately. The two key aspects that each treats mild depression and anxiety are interrelated: if you are mildly depressed you feel anxious and if you are anxious this can lead to mild depression. Conversely, if you manage your anxiety you will be less depressed and if you are less depressed your anxiety levels will fall. As mild depression and anxiety co-exist
in people, so do the herbs that can help in this St John’s Wort with Passion Flower supplement.

St John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum) has been recognised for some time to relieve the symptoms of depression and SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) by increasing the brain’s take up of serotonin and dopamine which are lacking in a depressed person. There are several studies that have shown that extract of St John’s Wort increases the uptake of serotonin, noradrenalin and dopamine in the cells of the brain. It is effective in treating mild to moderate depression and SAD symptoms.

Passion Flower is an herbal remedy from the Native American Passiflora incarnata L. plant. It works on physical and mental symptoms of stress, relaxes muscles and anxiety and is a safe natural
tranquilliser that is non-addictive.

“St John’s Wort has long been recognised to help counter depression but the emergence of this supplement with Passion Flower that simultaneously addresses anxiety is proving to be very effective,” says Jayney Goddard, President of The Complementary Medical Association who has a number of patients that have responded very well to this combined herbal supplement.

How Do I Take St Johns Wort with Passion Flower?
Take one tablet twice a day with a glass of water, cutting down to a maintenance dose of one a day when symptoms improve. People with a sensitive stomach are advised to take the tablet(s) with meals.

St John’s Wort with Passion Flower should not be used by pregnant or breastfeeding women. Anyone on prescription drugs should also check with their doctor before taking St John’s Wort with Passion Flower as it has some contraindications with certain drugs.

Clinical studies and further detailed information to support this release are available.

See also GoodnessDirect – St John’s Wort supplements

Negative calorie foods

Here’s a quick list of some negative calorie foods – foods that take more calories to digest than they contain:

  • asparagus
  • beet
  • broccoli
  • green cabbage
  • carrot
  • cauliflower
  • celery root
  • celery chicory
  • hot chili peppers
  • cucumber
  • dandelion
  • endive (leaf vegetable belonging to the daisy family)
  • garden cress
  • garlic
  • green beans
  • courgette
  • apple
  • cranberries
  • grapefruit
  • lemon
  • mango
  • orange
  • pineapple
  • raspberries
  • strawberries
  • tangerine
  • lettuce
  • onion
  • papaya
  • radishes
  • spinach
  • turnip

My chunky friend would call these foods “devil foods”, making the mistake of assuming that just because a food is low in calories, it has no value.

Of course, foods low in calories, apart from being able to help you lower your calorie intake, are also still full of vitamins and minerals.

How arnica works

“Researchers from the Bradford School of Pharmacy say it contains powerful anti-inflammatory agents which can be absorbed into the skin.”

Two components of arnica are absorbed into the skin which can only be detected after 12 hours of exposure. Both are anti-inflammatories called sesquiterpene lactones.

To prevent bruising, arnica must be working quickly to stop capillary bleeding but amounts are so small that they are only detectable after 12 hours have passed.

“For such low concentrations to be effective, the active agents must be very potent.”

Source: BBC

Dieting the techno way

For the techno-happy among you, you can use the web to help track you eating habits with Twitter.

“Twitter is a service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?”

Twitter is like a micro-blogging tool. Rather than maintaining a large diary/article based blog (like this one), Twitter is made for the quick, regular updates that you can post throughout the day.

You can add friends and keep track of what they are up to or thinking.

Now, Tweetwhatyoueat works hand in hand with Twitter to give you your own, PRIVATE food diary:

* Setup your own Twitter food diary in moments.
* Track what you eat through your phone, IM or the web.
* Enter calories for the food items you know, search the database for those you don’t
* Simple setup and easy to maintain

As with Twitter, you can add Tweetwhatyoueat (twye) as a instant messenger friend and message them you food items as you eat along with the calorie count if you wish.

At the end of the day, you can then look back over all your messages as a diary of the day’s intake.

Full details are on the Tweetwhatyoueat help page.