The Naturopath's Blog
In today's busy world we are constantly
being exposed to various forms of stress each day
and I am sure that a lot of you would agree
that Mother Nature has certainly been doing her best to add to those stress
While a little stress,
and the adrenalin burst that it brings, can help us to perform well, ongoing
everyday stress leads to the imbalance and dysregulation of our hormone
systems, undermines the immune system and, if not controlled, can lead to
chronic illness, including cardiovascular disease, autoimmune disease, diabetes
and poor mental health.
Stress can come in many different types
including emotional, physical, environmental and psychological, all of which contribute
to your overall stress load.
Signs and symptoms of
stress overload include:
Decreased ability to cope with everyday life
- Poor digestion
Ongoing fatigue and exhaustion
- Disturbed sleep and waking
Difficulty getting out of bed
- Poor stamina and exercise
- Feeling mentally foggy and having poor
- Craving sugar, carbohydrates
Low mood and depression
- Prone to illness with slow recovery time
Ten Tips to Help Reduce Your Stress Levels
to breathe – Taking 10 deep breaths gives you a moment to reflect, provides your
brain with more oxygen and helps to reduce your blood pressure
Healthily – While it is tempting to turn to chocolate in times of stress, it is
better to try and follow a well-balanced diet which is high in fresh vegetables
and fruit, with adequate amounts of protein, whole grains, nuts and seeds to
ensure that nutritional deficiencies do not exacerbate your stress
Stimulants – Alcohol, caffeine, nicotine and sugar may seem to be the only
things which get you through stressful times, they add to the burden on your
– being dehydrated adds to your stress load and you don’t think and function
well when your body is thirsty. A good
rule of thumb for the amount you should drink each day is 30ml per kilo of body
weight. Exercising and very hot
conditions will increase the amount you need
regularly – while this may be the last thing you feel like doing when you are
stressed; regular, gentle exercise will help to reduce those stress levels
say “No” – if you are feeling overloaded with commitments and demands from
others. Look after yourself and pay
attention to a maintaining a healthy work/life balance
“Me Time” – make sure you take time for yourself. Try yoga, meditation, reading, listening to music, having a bath or
booking in for a massage or facial
enough sleep – having enough, good quality sleep each night is imperative to
allow the body to rest and regenerate from each day. During times of stress this becomes even more
important as being sleep deprived adds to stress on a physical, mental and
your Stressors – address the things in your life that make you stressed. If you feel totally overwhelmed and are not
sure what specifically is stressing you then try keeping a stress journal and
note down what caused your stress and you may see a pattern forming. If you are suffering from emotional stress
then consider talking to a counsellor
10. Seek Help for
Health Problems – Chronic allergies, infections, insomnia, autoimmune
conditions and digestive issues are all sources of stress on your body. Visit your Naturopath for help with getting back to better health.
Thanks for reading!
can get a cold or 'flu at any time but you are more likely to in
winter as there are more viruses around to challenge your immune system
and give you sore throats, fever, coughs, runny noses and fatigue.
Stress, a poor diet, nutritional deficiencies and a disordered digestive
function can lead to immune system imbalances which reduces your body’s
defenses and may leave you more susceptible to harmful invaders, such
as viruses and bacteria.
What can I do to help to strengthen my immune system?
The best ways to help to improve your immune system and protect against colds and flu are:
• Eat a well balanced diet that includes fresh fruit and vegetables, nuts and seeds, legumes and complete proteins
• Drink at least 2 litres of filtered water every day as water is essential for all aspects of good health
• Ensure you are getting sufficient sleep
• Decrease your stress
levels as stress reduces your resistance to infection
• Continue to exercise regularly - even though it is tempting to snuggle back under the doona!
If your immune system is struggling this winter, then Naturopathy can
help you address any underlying imbalances and fight off potential
infections. If you are already sick, there are particular herbs and
nutrients to help manage your cold and flu symptoms and bring you back
to better health.
Thanks for reading!
has arrived - the days are getting warmer and sunnier,
lambs are gamboling, birds are singing and flowers are blooming.
Along with all these beautiful colours, sights and smells can come something not so
joyful... Hay Fever!
Hay Fever is an allergic reaction to
pollens, especially those that are windborne, and is a seasonal
reaction occurring mainly in the Spring to Summer months.
Symptoms of Hay Fever include sneezing, nasal congestion, runny nose,
itching nose and eyes, red and teary eyes. These symptoms are
cumulative and increase the more we have the allergic reaction. During
this reaction histamine is released, which stimulates more histamine to
be released, starting a cascade effect and causing the symptoms to get
What can I do to reduce these annoying Hay Fever symptoms?
making some simple adjustments to your diet, you will be able to start
to reduce the body's allergic response mechanism and begin to enjoy
~ Increase consumption of Bioflavonoids
Bioflavonoids are found in brightly coloured fruits and vegetables
and are full of natural anti-oxidants. They help to inhibit the release
of histamine by the body, in response to allergens, and boost the
immune system. Increase consumption of citrus fruits, berries, apples,
grapes, green tea, capsicum and tomatoes.
~ Use ginger, garlic and horseradish in cooking
makes a great addition to stir-fries, teas and fresh fruit and vegetables
juices. It has a powerful anti-inflammatory action which can help to
reduce Hay Fever.
Garlic and horseradish help to break down mucus or
catarrh in the body and are known in herbal medicine as having an
'anti-catarrhal' action. Garlic has anti-bacterial properties, which
will assist if there is a low-grade sinus infection present.
~ Increase consumption of Essential Fatty Acids
it is well known that fish oils help to improve inflammatory conditions
and reduce heart disease - did you know that the anti-inflammatory
effect helps to reduce allergic responses in the body by down regulating
Try to eat oily fish, such as sardines,
mackerel, tuna, herring, trout and salmon, a minimum of three times per
week; increase consumption of walnuts and Brazil nuts and add flax or
chia seeds to your cereal, as well as increasing your intake of dark
green, leafy vegetables.
~ Herbal Teas
Try drinking at least 2 cups per day of fenugreek, elderflower or ginger teas to help reduce the symptoms of mild Hay Fever.
How can Naturopathy help?
Naturopath can work with you and provide a tailored treatment
prescription, which may include nutritional supplements to improve your
immune system and reduce the allergic response of Hay Fever, as well as
providing anti-inflammatory support. There are a number of herbs
specific for the treatment of Hay Fever and your Naturopath can provide
you with a custom herbal liquid blend to help reduce those annoying
Food intolerances and allergies are very often associated
with Hay Fever, especially dairy sensitivity, so try keeping a food
diary to see if you notice any changes to your symptoms in relation to
what you have been eating. There are blood tests available to test for
food sensitivity and allergy markers and these can be arranged through
your Naturopath, who will ascertain if any dietary modifications are
needed and work with you to help implement any changes to your diet.
Thanks for reading!
It is a New Year and
some of us may have finished 2010 feeling tired, stressed, with difficulty
concentrating and then perhaps overindulged during the festive season…
So we start our New
Year with resolutions for Better Health, More Exercise and then someone
mentions a Detox – which brings to mind all sorts of extreme measures such as
fasting, colon cleansing and bizarre food combinations but is this really
Detoxification is a
fundamental and natural bodily function, where our bodies process harmful
substances and eliminate them via the kidneys, liver, gastrointestinal tract
and skin. Unfortunately, our exposure to
environmental pollutants, stress, poor diet and lack of exercise, means that
our natural detoxification systems cannot always keep up and we get tired, run
down and may get sick as toxicity builds in our body and it loses it’s innate
ability to maintain maximum health.
what is a Toxin and what are the Signs and Symptoms of Toxicity?
Basically put, a
Toxin is any substance that can harm your body and these can come from poor diet,
exposure to environmental pollutants and drug use, as well as normal body
Signs and Symptoms of
Toxicity may include:
Can Detoxification Help?
Detoxification is the
process of clearing toxins from the body by neutralizing them through the liver
and facilitating their removal via the urinary system, gastrointestinal tract
and the skin. By stimulating each of
these different detoxification systems inherent in our body, the accumulated
“rubbish”, free radicals and pollutants can be removed and the cells are able
to renew and start to perform at maximum capacity. By making dietary and lifestyle changes
including exercise and undertaking an individualized detoxification program
under the guidance of a qualified Naturopath, the body will be assisted and supported to clean out the
After the process,
you should notice that you have renewed energy and vitality, your skin is
softer, clearer and has regained softness and the minor health issues that you
have will start to disappear and you will feel and look great!
Thanks for reading.
Summer is upon us
and, for most, this means baring a lot more skin! As well as booking in to your local day spa
for a facial, body scrub or massage it is important to look after your skin
from the inside as well.
The skin is the
largest organ of the body and mirrors what is going on inside your body and any
nutritional deficiencies will be reflected on your skin. Stress, poor nutrition, dehydration and lack
of sleep will also affect how the skin looks and feels.
A healthy diet
forms the foundation for improving your skin condition and helps to provide the
body with nutrients essential to healthy skin formation and support.
choices for skin wellbeing include:
Fresh vegetables – eat a
variety of fresh vegetables including green leafy ones. Green, yellow and red vegetables are high in
antioxidants, which will help to protect against cellular aging and
Fresh fruit – fruit contains
anti-oxidants to protect your skin from free-radical damage and is rich in
vitamin C. Vitamin C is needed for
tissue growth and repair and is required for the formation of collagen, an
important protein for skin elasticity.
High fibre foods – such as
whole grains, legumes, apples and pears to assist with improving digestive
function to allow for effective toxin elimination.
Protein rich foods – good
quality protein such as oily fish, lean meat, chicken, dairy, eggs and complete
vegetable protein are important as the amino acids contribute to skin firmness
Essential fatty acids – eating
oily fish, avocado, nuts and seeds will help to keep your skin moisturized,
smooth and healthy.
Stay hydrated – your body
consists of around 75% water and the skin is about 70%, so dehydration will
have a definite impact on how your skin looks and feels. Working in air-conditioning is very
dehydrating so get in the habit of having a jug of water on your desk and
drinking regularly. For those who
complain that water is boring then add in some slices of lemon or lime, mint
leaves or even cucumber slices – not only will it taste great but you can close
your eyes and pretend you are at a health retreat. Aim to drink 30ml per kilo of body weight and
no, any coffee, tea and carbonated drinks do not count in this allowance!
We are coming up to the silly season but
remember that alcohol is a diuretic and, as such, promotes the removal of
fluids from your body, so drink in moderation and remember to add in some
glasses of water between your drink of choice.
Thanks for reading!
People decide to be a vegetarian for many different reasons - animal welfare, the environment, health, not liking the taste of meat and for some, because it is fashionable within their group at the time.
vegetarian-based diet has some great health benefits, such as usually being
lower in saturated fat and cholesterol and higher in fibre, potassium and
magnesium, as well as creating lower incidences of gallstones, constipation and
colon cancer, however there is an increased risk of nutrient deficiencies if you do not ensure you eat a range of different foods and correctly combine vegetarian protein (details on how to do this below). The nutrient deficiencies that I commonly see in vegetarian clients, who are not protein combining correctly, include:
- B12 – found in animal protein food sources and for which there is an increased
need during pregnancy, breast feeding and growth periods
B2, Vitamin A, omega-3 fatty acids, calcium and several minerals
D – which may cause rickets in children and is important for the maintenance of
healthy skeletal, cardiovascular and immune functions
– one of the most common deficiencies found in vegetarians
– vegetarians are susceptible to iron deficiency anemia due to a lack of
readily absorbed heme iron, which is found in meat
deficiency – which can impair growth in children and cause hair loss, reduced
energy and immune function and decreased muscle mass in adults
What is a complete protein I hear you ask and aren't mushrooms touted as the vegetarian meat?
including eggs and dairy, contain all eight essential amino acids and
constitute a "complete" protein. An essential amino acid is one that can't be made by your body and is needed for your body to function correctly - hence the title of essential.
Plant foods are “incomplete”
proteins and contain fewer amino acids than animal foods. Plant-based diets can
provide adequate amounts of amino acids but only when a varied diet is eaten on
a daily basis. The mixture of proteins from grains, legumes, seeds, nuts and
vegetables provide a complement of amino acids where the deficits in one food are
made up by another. Not all types of plant foods need to be eaten at the same
meal, since amino acids are combined in the body's protein pool. To gain the
greatest use of all the amino acids, it's best to consume complementary
proteins each day.
The following food combinations will help to ensure you are consuming all your needed amino acids for optimum health:
Grains with legumes – Basmati rice with Lentil Dahl
Grains with eggs or dairy – Wholegrain toast with poached egg
Legumes with nuts and seeds – Stir fry tofu with sesame seeds and
Legumes with eggs or dairy – Chickpea curry with yoghurt
Nuts and seeds with grains – Almond spread on spelt bread
Nuts and seeds with eggs or dairy – Roasted seed/nut mix sprinkled
onto fruit & yoghurt
But what are Legumes, Grains, Nuts and Seeds?
Chick peas, lentils, broad beans,
black-eyes peas, peas, kidney beans, lima beans, navy beans, sprouts, soy beans
rye, oats, buckwheat, wheat, corn, millet, spelt, quinoa, kamut, barley,
cashews, pecans, brazil nuts, almonds, macadamias, hazelnuts, pistachios
seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, linseed/flaxseed, chia
Helpful tips for good health
a wide variety of food to ensure consuming all nutrients required for good
drinking tea with meals as this reduces absorption of nutrients
your meals carefully to ensure adequate nutrient intake
regular bloods tests, especially iron and B12, to ensure you have adequate
to your naturopath regarding appropriate supplementation, if necessary
Thanks for reading.
Hello and welcome to the inaugural post of The Naturopath's Blog!
I feel there should really be a fanfare, fireworks and maybe even a small glass of organic bubbly but..... the IT side of things is not really my strength so the best I can do is a static picture for you.
So, why I am blogging on my website and more importantly why would you be reading my posts? I guess that as a Naturopath, I see different things in the media, whether on the TV or in print, and sometimes feel that I would like to comment on the good, the bad and all else in between.
Also, I am lucky to have access to some of the latest research findings in regards to nutrients and herbs and would like to share this exciting information to help you and others who have the goal to improve and maintain their health.
Finally, it allows me the chance to find out what your health interests or concerns are and possibly help with general advice, tips and my views (and occasionally step on that soapbox).
Thanks for reading.