10 Tips for a Healthier Christmas

With the festive season fast approaching, we’re prone to indulge in more of the finer, and unfortunately more unhealthy things in life. Here’s our top 10 tips to try and be healthier over Christmas to avoid a sluggish January.

#1 – Make your own sauce

Christmas feasts are usually accompanied by sauces that are on the unhealthy side of the fence. They usually have additives and are high in sugar; in fact some mayonnaises have more sugar than coke! Make your own apple sauce by simmering peeled green apples in water, adding cinnamon and mashing up. Make your own gravy by adding some gluten free flour and the crusty bits off the bottom of the roasting tray with water in a pot. You can even make your own mayonnaise using healthier oils like rice bran oil or cold pressed grapeseed oil.

#2 – Lay off the soft drinks

Try to keep soft drinks off the shopping list, instead opting for mineral or soda water with some sliced fresh fruit in it. You could also make an iced tea by steeping green or black tea bags in cold water overnight, then adding some xylitol or honey to sweeten and some fresh fruit to flavor it.

#3 – Buy organic or free range meat

Buying organic meat is one way to avoid added hormones and antibiotics that can come as an added extra with your meat. Pork and chicken in particular are raised in factory farms with no access to move around and no natural light. Not only is this inhumane, it also means that the meat has a poor fatty acid profile and is not great for your health. If you can’t afford organic, then go free range and grass fed.

#4 – Use smaller plates and bowls

Most of us are bound to go back for a second helping at the Christmas table, but did you know that we eat with our eyes and not with our stomachs? Researchers have shown that we put way more food on a larger plate, but it doesn’t necessarily make us fuller. If you start with a smaller plate, even if you have seconds you’re likely to end up eating less, without feeling any less satisfied.

#5 – Have easy access to water

Seems simple, but often we forget to drink water as we’re celebrating. Have a dedicated water cooler sitting in prominent view with cups at the ready so you and your guests can easily stay hydrated.

#6 – Go gluten free

Keeping your meals gluten free will take the pressure off your digestive system, which is really under the pump at Christmas time. This is easily achieved by eating meats/fish/seafood and salads or veggies with your homemade sauces. Buy wholegrain rice crackers for dips and opt for a bread-free breakfast – buckwheat pancakes would be a great choice.

#7 – Make a sugar-free Christmas cake

If you’re handy in the kitchen you might want to consider making some desserts with sugar substitutes like xylitol. You can try this easy recipe for a delicious gluten-free Christmas cake. Learn how to use sugar substitutes here.

#8 – Move your body

Commit to exercising over the Christmas period to help your body deal with any excess calories that is thrown at it. Even committing to walk for 20 minutes each day will help to prevent sluggishness and keep your body moving.

#9 – Drink apple cider vinegar

Having a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in some water before meals will help to stimulate the release of stomach acid and digestive enzymes to help you break down your food. This is particularly useful on Christmas day when we can often be eating two very large meals.

#10 – Drink wisely

You may enjoy a tipple during the holidays, which can leave you feeling less than fresh come January. Opt for drinks like vodka, fresh lime and soda or red wine, rather than beer or mixed drinks. If you are having beer, make it preservative free and go for an organic or low preservative wine. Make the effort to drink one glass of water between each drink and your body will thank you!

 So, are you ready to celebrate? Here’s to a fabulous festive season and fabulous health at the same time!

January is the perfect time for a detox! Book an appointment with one of our naturopathic experts in January to help you feel great after Christmas. Call us on 07 3367 0337 now!

How to Activate Nuts

Nuts are a fantastic food for your health, being high in protein and health giving essential fats, and rich in minerals such as calcium, magnesium, zinc and iron. The problem is that nuts are notoriously difficult to digest, meaning you may not be getting all of these juicy nutrients into your body.

You can bypass this problem by activating your nuts, a process in which you soak them to make them more digestible and better for your health. This is especially useful for those with digestive problems or those with nutrient deficiencies, both of which often go hand in hand.

How to do it

Activating nuts is very easy. All you need to do is…

  1. Soak them overnight in pure, filtered water.
  2. Discard the water and give them a good rinse. This help to remove any naturally occurring ‘enzyme inhibitors’ – compounds that can impair the digestion of the nuts in question.
  3. Now you need to decide how you want to use them. You can eat them right here and now, in their juicy hydrated form. This is the best option if you’re making them to put into smoothies or power balls or the like.

If you want to eat them like you would normal dried nuts, you can actually dry them out again. You’ll need to do this at a low temperature (under 40 degrees Celsius) using a dehydrator for best results. You can also try putting them on a tray in your oven on the lowest setting, with the door slightly ajar. If you’re storing them for a while then make sure you dehydrate them until they are nice and crisp, to prevent spoiling.

Another thing you can do is put the rinsed nuts in a paper bag in the fridge. This will dry them out slightly and last a week or so until they go bad. You can also freeze your hydrated nuts to use in smoothies so you have them on hand.

A note on salted nuts

If you have a hankering for salted nuts, you can achieve this by adding some Himalayan or Celtic sea salt to the soaking water. The nuts will take up the salt and if you dehydrate them you’ll be left with crunchy, salty goodness. Enjoy!

 

10 Reasons to Eat Chia Seeds

Chia Seeds, the tiny black and white seeds originating rom Mexico and Guatemala, have been touted as a superfood with good reason. They are a great addition to any diet and can help with a wide range of issues. Here are our top 10 reasons to eat chia seeds.

1. High in omega 3

Chia seeds are an excellent source of vegetarian omega 3, with one 15g serve containing over 3g of this essential fatty acid. Omega 3 is essential for heart health, brain function, reducing inflammation in the body and more.

2. Helps keep you bowel healthy.

A daily dose of chia seeds will help to provide fibre that can prevent constipation and colon cancer. Each 15g serving of chia contains 5g of fibre in a blend of soluble and insoluble forms. This helps to improve digestive health, preventing constipation and potentially colon cancer down the line.

3. Helps to heal your digestion

The soluble fibre and mucilage (i.e. – slime) in chia seeds helps to heal your gut and provides fuel for the trillions of good bacteria living in your gut. By presoaking your chia seeds overnight you’ll release the mucilage and help it to sooth and heal your intestinal lining.

4. Improves gut immunity

By providing fibre to feed the microorganisms in your gut chia seeds can improve your immunity. 80% of your immune system is in your gut and it is all dependent on your ‘good guys’ (ie probiotics) to keep your immunity up and running.

5. Good source of protein

Chia seeds contains 8 essential and 9 non-essential (your body can make them) amino acids. It also has 20% protein and can add to your daily intake. Protein is essential for muscle building, mood balance, sleep, hormones and so much more!

6. Antioxidant boost

Chia seeds have an ORAC antioxidant value of 10,250 which is pretty darn high. This means that it has powerful antioxidant nutrients that can help to fight free radicals in the body. Less free radicals means less chance of disease.

7. Great for diabetics

The fibre in chia seeds helps to slow the absorption of sugars in the intestine, leading to a slower and more regulated release of sugar into the blood. This is great for balancing blood sugar and diabetics, who require a steady level of blood sugar to prevent becoming hyper- or hypo-glycemic.

8. Great for detoxification

The insoluble and soluble fibre in chia seeds make them an excellent adjuvant to any detoxification program. Eating 1 tbsp, presoaked in water each day helps to bind toxins in the gut and carry them though the bowel for excretion.

9. Improve heart health

Chia seeds have been found in a study to decrease blood pressure and C-Reactive protein, a sign of inflammation. They may also reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol and increase HDL (good) cholesterol. This may be due tot eh presence of omega 3 which has longstanding evidence for its benefit in cardiovascular disease.

10. Good source on minerals

Chia seeds are an excellent source of calcium and magnesium and also contain iron, potassium and manganese. Eating chia seeds in their raw, uncooked form will help to maximize absorption of these minerals.

Now you know how amazing chia seeds are for your health, you need to know how you eat them. Chia seeds can easily be sprinkled onto muesli, salads and yoghurt, or added to smoothies. The best way to eat chia is presoaked, just in some water overnight then used in smoothies, cereals with fruit or yoghurt. You can also make a chia pudding, which is delicious and allows you to get a good amount of chia in so you can take advantage of all the health benefits.

 

Kale Chips Recipe

Kale is a bounty of good nutrition – being high in calcium, magnesium, iron and many other trace minerals. Kale is also very alkaline (antiinflammatory) and has a decent amount of protein too. Happy snacking!

  • Soak 1 cup of nuts (cashews/walnuts) in water for minimum 1 hour
  • Wash 1 bunch of kale then remove the stalks and tear leaves up into small pieces (approx 1 inch size)
  • Dry the kale with a clean tea towel or paper towel
  • In a food processor blend the nuts (and soaking water), 1 cup of steamed diced pumpkin, 2 medium sized carrots (or 1 carrot and 1 zucchini), 1 tablespoon of garlic, 2 tablespoons of coconut oil and Himalayan salt and pepper to taste
  • Pour the puree over the kale and stir until well covered
  • Spread the kale over dehydrating machine trays, trying to flatten the leaves where possible
  • Dehydrate overnight or until crisp and dry

Note: This may also be done in an oven on very low setting – put your oven on the lowest temparature and leave the door ajar. Timing will vary depending on ovens but is usually between 4-6 hours.

Coconut And Goji Berry Bliss Balls

Ingredients:

1/2 cup goji berries

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup warm water

1 cup raw cashews

1/2 cup coconut

1tbsp unhulled tahini

1tbsp chlorella powder (optional)

 How to make it:

1. Place goji berries and rasins in a bowl with the warm water and mix through. Leave for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Meanwhile, process cashews on low in a food processor until chopped finely. Remove from precessor and place aside.

3. Place soaked goji berries and raisins in the food processor with soaking water. Process into a paste.

4. Add cashews, coconut, tahini and chlorella to processor. Process on medium until well combined.

5. Roll into balls and toss in shredded coconut.

6. Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Call us on 07 3367 0337 to book your appointment today!

Amazing Kangaroo Meatballs

Kangaroo’s bound free their whole lives giving them an amazingly healthy and muscular physique. Choosing kangaroo meat is an excellent way to increase your red meat protein and it is also a good source of omega 3.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

Meatballs

  • 400g kangaroo mince meat
  • 1 clove of garlic- shredded
  • Spice mix: 1/2 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp Italian herb mix, salt and pepper
  • 1 egg
  • Flour- enough to achieve a sticky consistency (approximately 1 tbsp)

Mix all ingredients well and roll into even sized meatballs.

Sauce

  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 onion- diced
  • 2 tbsp tomato concentrate
  • splash of red wine
  • Spice mix- as above
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp sliced black olives

In a fry pan gently brown onions with rice bran oil. Add meatballs to cook gently but just before ready add diced tomatoes, tomato concentrate, wine, spice mix, sun dried tomatoes and olives. Cover fry pan with lip and let simmer for 20 minutes or until sauce reduces.

Serve with a wheat alternative pasta such as kamut, quinoa or rice and garnish with delicious fresh basil and olive oil. Yum!

Call us on 07 3367 0337 to book your appointment today!

Health Seminars

OUR WORKSHOPS HELP YOU BE THE BEST VERSION OF YOU.

We are passionate about educating and inspiring you to be the healthiest version of yourself. Sometimes this means more than just having treatments or taking supplements – it means learning what you can do every day to make yourself healthier and happier.

Our workshops and seminars are designed to help you make real and lasting change in your life. Check out the google calendar below for upcoming dates. Some workshops are held every 2 months so be sure to scroll forward if you can’t see it this month. 

We also host meditation/relaxation classes. Click here for more information and check the calendar below for dates.

NUTRITION 102

What every person needs to know about food

Are you confused about what is really healthy? Do you ever wish you knew more about nutrition so you could make better choices? Well this is your chance! In this workshop you’ll get the lowdown on nutrition 101 – everything you need to know about eating for health.

We’ll cover things like – What is a carbohydrate? What type of fats are OK? How much protein do you need? What cooking oil should you use? Is the paleo diet beneficial? What flavorings are safe to use on your food? Plus you can ask our nutritionist and naturopaths your personal nutrition questions. Don’t miss out!

NUTRITION 101

What every person needs to know about food

Are you confused about what is really healthy? Do you ever wish you knew more about nutrition so you could make better choices? Well this is your chance! In this workshop you’ll get the lowdown on nutrition 101 – everything you need to know about eating for health.

We’ll cover things like – What is a carbohydrate? What type of fats are OK? How much protein do you need? What cooking oil should you use? Is the paleo diet beneficial? What flavorings are safe to use on your food? Plus you can ask our nutritionist and naturopaths your personal nutrition questions. Don’t miss out!

Hosted by principal naturopath Katherine Maslen. See the calendar below for upcoming dates and times.

Investment $20

Free for clinic members.

ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH

Avoiding toxic chemicals in everyday life

This must attend workshop will open your eyes to the swathe of chemicals that we come into contact with each and every day. We are constantly absorbing toxins through our skin, breathing them in and even eating them in our food supply.

You’ll discover how tap water can affect your thyroid, how your shampoo can cause infertility and how plastics can disrupt your hormones. 99% of toxins are avoidable and in this vital session you’ll learn how you can detox your life and which natural brands are the best to buy.

Hosted by naturopath Katherine Maslen. See the calendar below for upcoming dates and times.

Investment $20

Free for clinic members.

MAKING FERMENTED FOOD

Demo workshop

Did you know that you have more bacteria cells in your gut than you do cells in your body? Or that your gut bacteria can affect your immune system, moods, absorption and more? Enter fermented foods – your gut bacteria’s BFF when it comes to wellness.

In this session you’ll see how you can make fermented foods right at home for next to nothing. We’ll have some live demos and you’ll get to taste several fermented foods while you learn about the properties of each and how they are made.

Hosted by naturopath Gemma Martin. See the calendar below for upcoming dates and times.

Investment $20

Free for clinic members.

SUPER FOODS FOR A SUPER YOU!

Harnessing the power of super foods to take your health to the next level

Ever wonder what the craze is with all of these ‘super foods’? Are chia seeds really good for you? Should you be taking super-greens? All will be revealed in this workshop!

We’ll cover the benefits of super foods such as chia, maca, cacao, baobab, hemp, bee pollen, spirulina, chlorella, coconut products and more. Plus we’ll give you tips on how to use them and how much you should be taking. Super!

Hosted by naturopath Katherine Maslen. See the calendar below for upcoming dates and times.

Investment $20

Free for clinic members.

EMOTIONAL WELLNESS

Are your emotions making you sick?

In this interesting workshop emotional wellness expert Jan Sky will help you see the connection between your emotional wellness, your physical health and your happiness. Before we can change our emotional state we must first become aware of it.

In this session you’ll discover the connection between your subconscious mind and the actions that you take that either lead you towards your goals or away from them. This workshop will open you up to new possibilities that can change your thinking and your life.

Hosted by author, hypnotherapist and counsellor Jan Sky. See the calendar below for upcoming dates and times.

Investment $20

Free for clinic members.

BUSTING STRESS

Practical tips to help you deal with your day to day stress.

In this workshop emotional wellness expert Jan Sky will help you discover the underlying drivers of stress and how you can actively reduce it.

In this session you’ll discover how you can help your body to cope with stress better – leading to a more positive emotional state, better sleep and more productivity at work. Jan is a wealth of knowledge and you’ll come away with some life changing information from this session.

Hosted by author, hypnotherapist and counsellor Jan Sky. See the calendar below for upcoming dates and times.

Investment $20

Free for clinic members.

UPCOMING WORKSHOP DATES

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Or you can call us 07 3367 0337 to reserve your place.

Fermented Foods And Probiotics For Health

The fermenting of foods and beverages has been occurring for thousands of years. Our ancestors used to consume fermented foods on a daily basis and indeed there are some cultures where this is still the case. There are many benefits to eating fermented foods, but the best benefit of all is the thousands of beneficial bacteria that are available due to the fermentation process.

Most people would have heard of the health giving benefits of probiotics, but our knowledge tends to extend only as far as yoghurt and probiotic supplements like inner health plus. You’d be surprised to know that there are 2-3kg of bacteria, yeasts and other organisms in your digestive tract. This army of organisms functions a little like an organ of the body. Studies have shown that these ‘good’ bacteria help to modulate the immune system, assist digestion, create neurotransmitters and nutrients and even have a role in mood regulation! There are more bacterial and fungal cells in your digestive tract than there are cells in your body, so it is vital that we look after them.

There are more bacterial cells in your gut than there are cells in your body.

A disruption in our digestive flora is called dysbiosis, a very common condition that our naturopaths treat on a regular basis. Given that there are hundreds of different strains of bacteria in the gut and hundreds more that are yet to be discovered, it does not take much to tip the balance unfavorably. Once one of the bacteria or fungal organisms is out of balance it affects the way that the rest of the bacteria can work. For example if your diet has too much sugar or soft drink, it will help to feed fungal colonies such as candida. A candida overgrowth means that our good bacteria cannot survive as easily, leading to situation where you have both overgrowth of some organisms and a reduced number of others.

There are hundreds if not thousands of different fermented foods and beverages that contain a wide range of ‘good’ bacteria. One of the best things you can do for your health is to include fermented food on a daily basis, preferably a few different varieties to gain access to different strains.

It is very difficult to buy quality fermented foods. This is because many products are heat treated to prolong shelf life, which kills the bacteria. Even yoghurt, which is the most commonly consumed fermented food can be problematic. Nearly all of the yoghurt you buy at the supermarket is devoid of probiotics and packed with sugar. Look for organic natural varieties that have no added sugar.

Fortunately, there are many probiotic foods and beverages that you easily ferment at home for a very small cost. Below you’ll find a few of the most common fermented products and how you can make them.

Rejuvelac

Rejuvelac is a nutritious and energizing fermented tonic made from sprouted grains. Rejuvelac contains B vitamins and the vitamins E and K.

Ingredients

4 cups of any whole grain – wheat, rye, buckwheat, spelt

Purified water

1. Soak the grains in a large jar of water for 12-24 hours.

2. Drain the water and discard it. Place the jar in a bowl covered with a colander or mesh so that the sprouts drain into the bowl. The grains must not be sitting in water or they will not sprout.

3. Rinse the sprouts with fresh water at least twice a day. Rinse more often in hot or humid weather.

4. When you see little tails emerging from the grains they have germinated. You can store for up to 2 days in the fridge before use if needed, but be sure to keep rinsing them to prevent mould.

5. Rinse grains for the last time and fill the jar with water.

6. Loosely cover the jar to keep flies out and ferment for 2 days at room temperature.

7. After 2 days pour off the liquid, enjoy it fresh or store it in the refrigerator.

8. A second batch of rejuvelac can be made using the same sprouts. Refill the jar with water and ferment for only 24 hours this time.

Sauerkraut

The sauerkraut you buy in jars is heat treated, so the only way to gain the full benefit is by making your own. Luckily it is very easy to do and has a long shelf life. Sauerkraut also is a good source of vitamins A and C.

Ingredients

1 large cabbage with the outer leaves (you’ll need around 2kg of cabbage)

3tbsp Celtic sea or Himalayan salt

Special equipment:

A very large crock pot with plate to weigh down or special sauerkraut vessel. You could also use a large food grade bucket with a plate that fits snugly inside.

1. Grate or chop cabbage finely or coarsely, depending how you’d like it. Place the cabbage in a large bowl as you chop it.

2. Sprinkle salt on the cabbage as you put in in the bowl. The salt is what will create a brine that the cabbage will ferment in without rotting and keeps the cabbage crunchy. Use more salt in summer and less in winter.

3. Mix cabbage and salt together and place in a crock or bucket. Pack a little in at a time, using your fists or a potato masher to press down firmly. This helps to pack it down firmly and encourage water out of the cabbage.

4. Cover sauerkraut with a plate or some other lid that will fit snugly inside the vessel. Place a clean weight (like a glass jar filled with water) on the cover to force water out of the cabbage and keep the cabbage submerged under the brine. Cover the top with a cloth tied on to keep flies out.

5. Press down on the weight to help force the water out of the cabbage. Continue doing this every few hours until the brine rises above the plate/cover. The can take around 24 hours. Older cabbage will contain less water and may take longer.

6. If the brine does not rise above the plate by the following day add enough salted water to cover it. Use 1 tbsp salt to 1 cup water.

7. Leave the crock/bucket to ferment. Check it every day or two. The volume will reduce as it ferments. Occasionally mould will appear on the top. Simply skim off what you can. The sauerkraut is still fine under the brine.

8. Rinse off the weight and the plate and taste the sauerkraut. It should be tangy after a few days and the taste will intensify as time passes. In cool weather it can ferment for months but in summer the process is much more rapid. It should become soft and flavor will be pleasant.

9. The sauerkraut is now ready to eat! You can scoop some out and put it in a clean jar in the fridge and leave some still fermenting for a while if it is convenient, but make sure you repack it carefully.

10. Sauerkraut can keep in the fridge in brine for months, just be sure to use a clean spoon to get it out of the jar.

Fermented vegetables like sauerkraut and kim chi are a great addition to your diet and are easy to make.

Cashew Yoghurt

This is a vegan alternative to dairy yogurt that is super easy to make. A natural bacteria on the outside of the cashew nut causes this yoghurt to ferment.

Ingredients

Raw cashews (this means regular untoasted, not the truly raw variety. All cashews we buy are extracted with heat to get them out of the pods and to neutralize toxins)

Filtered water

Equipment needed

A blender

1. In a blender, place cashews and water. If you like a thicker yoghurt use less water, or use more for a thinner consistency. You can always add more water later if you wanted. Blend until a smooth consistency.

2. Cover the blender with a damp paper towel or clean cloth and leave overnight to ferment. You can also transfer to a clean jar to ferment if you need your blender!

3. In warmer climates it will be done in the morning. If it doesn’t taste sour then leave it for another 12 hours or so until it tastes slightly sour and bubbles have formed.

4. Store in the fridge and use within 2-3 days. Delicious with fresh fruit, muesli or on its own!

Kefir

Kefir is a fermented drink made from grains. It can be made with water but is most commonly made on milk, resulting in a healthful probiotic drink that is high in lactobacillus and other bacteria. Kefir grains can be bought online and is shared between culture enthusiasts. See the references below for sources.

Ingredients

1L organic milk

1tbsp kefir grains

1. Put milk in a large jar and ensure it is no more that 2/3 full. Add kefir grains and put the lid on.

2. Leave in room temperature for 24 to 48 hours, agitating the jar every now and then. The milk should become bubbly then coagulate and separate. Shake it to remix it.

3. Strain off the grains and put aside for later. The grains would have grown. You can use the excess to give to friends, use in recipes, put in compost or culturing other things.

4. Store kefir in the fridge and start your next batch with the same grains. If you tighten the lid on the jar of developing kefir it will become effervescent.

5. Store grains in the fridge for a couple of weeks in milk or frozen for a couple of months. You can also dry them out and they will store for a couple or years.

TIPS

You can use the kefir grains to ferment non dairy liquids, such as coconut milk, juice, water and honey, nut milk or rice milk. Simply rinse the grains and put them in water for a few hours to remove the dairy. The process is the same as described above so experiment with it! Kefir juice makes a great effervescent drink that is high in probiotics.

There are of course dozens of other things that you could ferment easily at home. For further reading we recommend Wild Fermentation by Sandor Ellix Katz.

Foods that will reduce your good bacteria

So now that you are all set to build your army of probiotic helpers, it makes sense to cut back on those things that might kill them off in your gut. Things that cause dysbiosis and are unfavourable to your good bacteria include soft drinks, cordial, sugar, alcohol, potato, white bread and a low intake of fresh fruit, vegetables and whole grains.

Some websites to help you get started:

http://www.freshmilkkefirgrains.com/ – order kefir online

http://www.scythesaustralia.com.au/proddetail.php?prod=C002 – affordable crock pot for fermenting sauerkraut, Kim chi and vegetables.

We also stock a range of probiotic foods in store, including coconut yoghurt, cashew yoghurt and cheese, sauerkraut, kim chi, kombucha and kefir. Pop into our Healthy Living Store in Milton and say hello!

Want to know what other foods you should be eating? Make an appointment with a naturopath by calling 07 3367 0337 or using the booking button.

Alkalise It!

EATING ALKALINE FOR GOOD HEALTH

You may have heard that following an alkaline diet is good for your health, but what does that mean? When you eat a food, as well as giving you essential nutrition it also exhibits an acidic or alkaline effect on your body. Foods which have an acidic effect decrease blood pH and cause inflammation in the body, foods which are alkaline forming increase blood pH and have an anti-inflammatory effect. Given that inflammation is associated with nearly every single disease, including cancer, heart disease, infertility, arthritis and pain conditions, it is important to keep inflammation levels in our system low. When you eat too many acid forming foods you create inflammation in your body.

So what kind of foods are acid forming? As a general rule, meats, dairy, grains, sugars, coffee and alcohol are acid forming, whereas most fruit and vegetables are alkaline forming.

Let’s take a closer look at some commonly eaten foods and what effect they have on the body

  • Acid Forming Foods 20% of the diet
  • Acid Proteins
  • All Meat
  • Beef
  • Lamb
  • Pork, bacon, ham
  • Chicken
  • Fish
  • Legumes
  • Sausages
  • Shellfish and crustaceans
  • TVP
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Cashews
  • Pecans
  • Walnuts
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Sweeteners
  • Sugar
  • Maple syrup
  • Agave
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Heated honey
  • Fruit juice concentrate
  • Grains and grain products
  • Wheat
  • Rye
  • Kamut
  • Spelt
  • Rice and rice flour
  • Noodles, pasta
  • Breads
  • Vegetables
  • Corn
  • Olives
  • Winter squash
  • Fruit
  • Cooked fruit
  • Canned fruit
  • Dried fruit
  • Plums
  • Prunes
  • Blueberries
  • Beverages
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Soft drinks (very high acid)
  • Mineral water
  • Fruit juices that have been heated (long life)
  • nutrient water
  • sports drinks
  • Spices and seasonings
  • Tomato, BBQ sauce
  • Cocoa
  • Mustard
  • Pepper
  • Vinegar
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  • Alkaline forming foods 80% of the diet
  • Alkaline protein
  • Almonds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Pepitas
  • Fermented tofu and tempeh
  • Mung beans
  • Millet
  • Quinoa
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Almonds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Pepitas
  • Flax seeds
  • sesame seeds
  • Sweeteners
  • Raw honey
  • Stevia
  • Blackstrap molasses
  • Grains and grain products
  • Buckwheat
  • Millet
  • Sorghum
  • Amaranth
  • Quinoa
  • Vegetables
  • All vegetables except those listed as acid
  • Very high alkaline vegetables include
  • Spinach
  • Silverbeet
  • Kale
  • Rocket
  • Broccoli
  • Beetroot
  • Sprouts
  • Fruit
  • All raw fruit except those listed as acid
  • Fruits which are high alkaline include
  • Lemons
  • Pineapple
  • Kiwifruit
  • Beverages
  • Fresh fruit or vegetable juice
  • Alkaline water
  • Coconut water
  • Soda water
  • Spices and seasonings
  • Chilli
  • Cinnamon
  • Curry spices
  • Ginger
  • Herbs
  • Miso
  • Sea salt
  • Tamari
  • Pepper
  • Vinegar
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FINDING THE BALANCE

After reading the list above it would come as no surprise to you that most people’s diet are extremely over acid, with far too much meat, grains and additives and not enough fruit and vegetables. To maintain good health you should aim for a diet that is made up or 80% alkaline forming foods and just 20% acidic foods.

A good example of this would be a small piece of fish with a large salad, or a breakfast made up of fresh fruits with just a little muesli. Following a diet that is high is raw fruits and vegetables is the only way to keep your body alkaline.

Take advantage of the ‘exceptions to the rule’ and consume the alkaline nuts and seeds almonds, peptitas and sunflower seeds, or include some alkaline grains such as quinoa, buckwheat or millet in the diet. Quinoa is a particularly good source of protein and makes a great porridge or rice substitute.

The most important things to keep to a minimum are soft drinks, coffee, tea, alcohol, red meat and refined grains like white rice and bread. Not only are these foods very acidic, they have also been associated with many health conditions and should be avoided where possible.

SEEING THE BENEFITS

Patients which follow an alkaline diet report more energy, weight loss, clearer skin, less pain and discomfort in their bodies, improved sleep and alleviation of headaches and even less hair loss! Try it and feel the benefits for yourself!

Call us on 07 3367 0337 to book your appointment today!

Easy Healthy Detox

After overindulging it’s time to get out of hibernation mode and clean out your home, workspace and your body! Detoxification is a process that happens in our bodies every single minute of every day. We accumulate toxins from our environment, the food we eat and through chemical reactions occurring within your body.

In this modern day and age we exposed to environmental toxins are more than ever. Studies are coming out every day indicating that items that we use every day such as plastics, cleaning aids, skin care and cosmetics, pesticides and herbicides in the foods we eat and air pollution are accumulating in our bodies and having a detrimental effect on our health.

Toxins such as BPA, phthalates, heavy metals, parabens and other chemicals are being absorbed into your body every day.

So if your body detoxifies every day then why do we need to do a detox program? The answer is that the body was never built to deal with this huge influx of toxins, leading to increased build up in the tissues and subsequent dis-ease. Add this to the fact that our diets are less than optimal and you have the recipe for a toxic concoction brewing right within your very tissues.

Sound scary? Not to fear as there are lots of things that you can do to naturally enhance your detoxification pathways and rid your body of these excess toxins. It is beneficial to undertake a specific detoxification program at least twice per year (depending on the amount of retoxing) to get your body squeaky clean again.

There are dozens of types of detox’s available, with some incorporating just a few dietary changes and other being more complex, involving supplements to help to enhance the process. It is important to look at what your body needs specifically, rather than doing a ‘detox kit’ or something along those lines.

Our naturopaths can develop a tailored detoxification routine for your specific needs, including herbal medicines which help to improve the function of the detoxification organs; the liver, kidneys, bowel and skin. Here’s how your detoxification organs work:

The liver

The liver is one of the most important detoxification organs, having the job of breaking down toxic substances and releasing for excretion via the bowels and kidneys. The function of the liver can be easily compromised by drinking alcohol, taking drugs and even eating lots of artificial food additives such as MSG, artificial sweeteners, food colouring and preservatives. An absolute must in any good detox must be to avoid drinking alcohol and soft drinks, which hinder the livers performance. Coffee should also be avoided for best results.

The kidneys

The kidneys filter around 1 litre of blood every minute, passing it through small tubes which act to filter out impurities and excrete urine. The kidneys job in detoxification is not possible with adequate water intake. It goes without saying that any good detoxification routine should include lots of pure, filtered water to help to flush wastes out of the system. During a detox program you should aim to be drinking at least 2 litres of water every day, more if exercising or sweating. Saunas are a good inclusion in a detoxification routine as the skin acts like a basic kidney, so sweating helps to detoxify the body.

The bowel

The bowel is the third major detoxification organ. Without adequate bowel function excreted toxins will get reabsorbed into your system. This means that it is absolutely essential that constipation is treated before undertaking any detoxification program. Constipation is passing a bowel movement any less frequently than once per day, every single day. Constipation can usually be easily treated by a Brisbane Natural Health naturopath or acupuncturist. To encourage bowel movement during detoxification eat lots of fibrous foods, such as fruit, vegetables, pulses and wholegrains. Like the kidneys adequate water is needed for good bowel health.

The lymphatic system

Also worth mentioning when looking at detoxification is the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is a network of vessels that carry a clear fluid throughout the body, helping to eliminate wastes from the tissues. Your lymphatic system is pumped along only by movement of your muscles. This means that exercise is very important. Massage can also help to stimulate lymphatic flow, as can drinking lots of water.

The skin

The skin is the largest organ in your body and has an essential role in detoxification. The skin acts like a rudimentary kidney – helping to cleanse your blood and excrete toxins through your sweat pores. It is important while you are detoxing to try and sweat regularly – exercise and saunas are both effective ways to do this. Avoiding antiperspirants is also important because they block the natural excretion of sweat and toxins.

SIMPLE BODY CLEANSING DETOX

This is a detoxification program that almost anyone can do. It will help to enhance liver, kidney and bowel function and aims to reduce the toxic load in the diet. For those with health conditions or digestive issues, seeing a naturopath and getting a tailored plan is recommended.

  • Start your day with the freshly squeezed juice of ½ lemon in a glass of warm water. This helps to stimulate your liver and digestion and lemons are very detoxifying. Rinse your mouth out with a little fresh water afterwards.
  • Avoid alcohol, coffee and all soft drinks to help out your liver. Soda water and lemon or lime is a good substitute.
  • Drink at least 2 litres of purified water every day. If you don’t
  • Avoid plastics, especially water bottles, food storage and heating in plastics. Plastic contains toxins which accumulate and imbalance your hormones. Use stainless steel water bottles, glass or ceramic for storage.
  • Eat organic wherever possible. This is especially important for eggs, dairy, chicken, soft fruit and vegetables. Try to find a farmers market or get delivery if you can.
  • Eat only wholegrain unprocessed products. This means no white rice, pasta, cereals, cakes, biscuits or commercial breads. Good whole grain options are brown rice, quinoa, oats, wholegrain sourdough bread (like sol breads). Wholegrain means made from the whole grain, and does not include multigrain and wholemeal products, which are usually white flour based with grains or fibre added in.
  • Eat lots of green leafies every day, This includes spinach, silver beet, kale, rocket and dark lettuces. Green leafy vegetables have amazing detoxifying properties being rich in vitamins, minerals and chlorophyll.
  • Exercise at least 3 times a week for 40 minutes. Try to work up a sweat to aid detoxification, and don’t wear deodorant (unless natural) or antiperspirants that are laden with chemicals!
  • Have a large fresh vegetable juice at least once a day. Good choices include celery, beetroot, carrot, ginger, cucumber, spinach and cabbage. Add a small amount of fruit to improve taste if needed.
  • Avoid sugar. This includes added sugars in foods so beware! Other names for sugar to look out for on an ingredient list are glucose, sucrose, maltose, maltodextrin, corn syrup, evaporated cane juice. Get your sweet kick out of natural fruits and vegetables, or perhaps some natural organic yoghurt and honey.
  • Eat lots of legumes – chickpeas, beans, lentils. They are a good source of protein and are high in soluble and insoluble fibre.
  • Snack on raw nuts and seeds every day, especially brazil nuts (maximum 4 a day), almonds, walnuts, pepitas and sunflower seeds.
  • Take a look at your cosmetics, hair and skin are that you use every day. Are they laden with chemicals? The average woman uses over 450 different chemicals on her skin every day. Many of these have been indetified as causing health probelms. Switch to 100% natural skin care ranges that are free from all toxins and based on herbs and antioxidants. Visit our Healthy Living Store for some great options.
  • Avoid sources of BPA like plastic water bottles, food containers and canned food. More about BPA here.

The Naturopathic Detox

Doing the above will help to cleanse your body, but pairing these actions with some good quality herbal medicine and nutritional support. To support your detox our naturopaths can prescribe herbs and nutrients that help to enhance liver function, up-regulate detoxification processes and support your bowel and kidney function. Often when detoxifying the first place to start is the gut, so often our naturopaths will start with a gut cleansing protocol and follow with liver support after this is completed.

Detoxifying for as little as 2 weeks can be helpful but most of our patients need a little longer than this to make more profound changes – perhaps 4-6 weeks. The benefit of seeing a naturopath is that they can assess your whole health and look at healing your whole body as well as detoxifying. This can mitigate any detox reactions such as headaches or fatigue that can happen if you release toxins without the proper preparation.

Call us on 07 3367 0337 to book your appointment with a naturopath at Brisbane Natural Health to boost detoxification.