A sneak peek between the covers of our current issue …
Natural Health Dietary Guidelines
by Roger French
The typical Australian way of eating is high in fat, sugar, white flour, stimulants and chemicals, and low in vegetables, fruit and fibre.
It’s all back to front. What we need is food that is unprocessed, low in fat, high in fibre, free of refined salt, caffeine and additives, and with the bulk of the diet being fresh vegetables and fruits.
These guidelines are literally ‘guidelines’ to take us much closer to the way we humans are designed to be nourished. They are not a universal prescription for every person, as there is no perfect diet for everyone. Some people will require variation to suit individual needs, for which professional guidance could be helpful or possibly essential.
THE FOUNDATION OF BALANCED EATING
The foundation of sound nutrition is believed to be maintaining the correct acid-alkali balance in the body. If we get this right, it is probably the biggest single step we can take for our health as far as nutrition is concerned.
The acid-alkali balance depends to a large extent on what we put in our mouths. Foods are either acid-forming or alkali-forming. Broadly speaking, those that leave an alkaline residue are the fresh, green, yellow and red vegetables and the fresh, ripe fruits, while those that increase acidity are almost all the rest – meat, cheese eggs, nuts, legumes, seeds, grain foods, refined sugar, coffee, tea and so on.
Because vegetables and fruits have high water contents, we need much more of them to balance the other foods that are relatively concentrated. Consequently, fresh, bulky vegetables and fruits need to comprise approximately three-quarters of total food intake by weight. The remaining foods, comprising one-quarter of total intake, supply the necessary protein, starchy carbohydrate and fat.
Most Australians consume nowhere near this proportion of vegetables and fruits, with the result that body fluids become acidic – toxic, or in a state of toxaemia – paving the way for health problems ranging from colds and ‘flu to sinusitis, asthma, rheumatism, arthritis and osteoporosis – and possibly even worse problems.
A common mistake is to assume that acid fruits are acid-forming. Because our bodies oxidise the acid for energy and we breathe out the acid component of the end product (carbon dioxide), ripe citrus fruits, pineapples, tomatoes, etc, are all alkali-forming.
Read on to find out more about Food Constituents, Enhancing Nutrition, A Typical Daily Meal Plan, Food Classifications and Quantities, A Suggested 7-Day Menu and Recipes.
Immunity and swine flu: the inside story
Why healthy people have nothing to fear
by Robyn Chuter
The panic-stricken media coverage of the swine flu ‘pandemic’ over the last few months has rammed home to me, yet again, that modern medicine has absolutely no concept of health – what it is, how to foster it, and how true health is the only immunity against disease.
In all the interviews with doctors and public health officials I’ve heard, newspaper articles I’ve read and television reports I’ve seen, not one single mention has been made of ways that people can protect themselves against viral infection through non-pharmaceutical means. Both nationally and internationally, the official response to swine flu has been to isolate suspected and confirmed cases, urge cases and their contacts to take Tamiflu, and pour public money into development of a vaccine against the new strain of influenza A virus, subtype H1N1, that is causing so-called swine flu.
Yet research clearly shows that our state of health, and specifically our nutritional status, is the primary determinant of whether we will contract viral infections like influenza (as well as bacterial infections) in the first place, and how severely they will affect us. To understand why, let’s take a look at how the human immune system defends us against pathogens such as viruses and bacteria.
Find out about Physical and Chemical Barriers, The Innate Immune System, The Acquired Immune System, Impact of Nutrition, What is Swine Flu, Vitamin D, Sleep, and What to do if you get the Flu.
by Lynn Craven
What is a fatty liver?
Fatty liver is the build-up of excess fat in the liver cells. It is normal for your liver to contain some fat, however, if there is more fat than 10% of your liver’s weight present in the liver, then you have fatty liver and this can develop into more serious complications.
Fatty liver disease is quite common in Western countries. Statistics indicate that it affects around one in every 10 people. It is caused by a build-up of fats in the liver, which replace the healthy tissue and trigger enlargement of the rest of the liver cells. The liver then becomes slightly enlarged and heavier due to the additional fat.
What Are The Symptoms?
Fatty liver (also known as ‘steatosis’) may cause no damage, but sometimes the excess fat leads to inflammation of the liver and results in a condition called steatohepatitis that involves liver damage. Sometimes inflammation from a fatty liver is linked to alcohol abuse, which is known as alcoholic steatohepatitis. Otherwise the condition is called non-alcoholic steatohepatitis or NASH.
If the disease gets worse, you may experience fatigue, weight loss, abdominal discomfort, weakness, confusion, jaundice (your skin or even eyes start to become yellow) and some people may experience fever. Immunity is often impaired and there may be elevated cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood. Weight loss appears to be a problem and excess weight commonly accumulates around the abdominal area. Headaches and migraines are other symptoms. In some cases, people may present with type-2 diabetes. Fatigue is common and a general feeling of being unwell is typical.
Liver discomfort is often noted during palpation (hand pressure) in a physical examination. Gallstones composed of cholesterol and bile salts may be present, along with elevation of the liver enzymes. An inflamed liver may become scarred and hardened over time, resulting in cirrhosis, which is a serious condition often culminating in liver failure.
Read on to find out the following:
Possible Explanations for How Fat Can Get Into The Liver, Functions of the Healthy Liver, Tests for Diagnosing Fatty Liver Disease, Treatments and How Natural Therapy Can Help.
Minerals and Vitamins for Quality of Life
By Roger French
Without minerals and vitamins, of no use to us are the protein, carbohydrate and fat we consume, nor do our bodies even have a structure. These nutrients that we consume in relatively small quantities are critical to our very existence, and adequate quantities of them are also critical to our quality of life. Knowing a little bit about the essential minerals and vitamins can help us ensure that we take in adequate amounts.
The first thing to know is that food processing removes or damages many of them. The purest food on Earth, white sugar, has lost 100% of the minerals and vitamins (and fibre) that were in the original sugar cane. White flour and white rice have lost approximately half to three-quarters of the minerals and vitamins that were in the original whole grains.
Then there are the effects of heating food. Vitamin C and folic acid are particularly susceptible to heat damage. Exposing finely ground food to air allows some of these nutrients to be oxidised, and if the food is also heated – as in cooking – the process is hurried along.
An enormous amount could be written about the various minerals and vitamins. To keep the subject brief (and readable!), only the most prominent points will be mentioned.
Part 1 – The Minerals
Minerals are part of every structure in the plant and animal body. They are more concentrated in the harder structures, including the bones, teeth, nails and hair. They are the main factors in maintaining the correct alkalinity of the blood and in maintaining proper fluid balance. Various minerals are key ingredients in many biochemicals in the body, including enzymes and hormones.
The body cannot make minerals, they must be consumed in he diet. They occur as mineral salts or attached to protein (‘chelated’).
This article continues with the functions of the following minerals: potassium, posphorous, magnesium, sulphur, calcium, chlorine, sodium, iron, selenium, zinc, copper, manganese, iodine and chromium.
Part 2 – The Vitamins will appear in the next issue.
Do Plastic Bottles Release Dioxins?
By Roger French
In the immediately preceding issue of this magazine, page 17, we published the item, ‘Bottled water in a hot car is dangerous’. Having read reports of contamination of the water in plastic bottles over recent years, we accepted the article in good faith. However, we have since discovered that the key point in the article – that when the bottle gets hot, contamination with dioxins occurs – is false. We regret any inconvenience caused to readers, and present the following account of when dioxins are or are not likely to be contaminants.
The Johns Hopkins School of Public Health , which is quoted as the source of the erroneous article, has refuted the claim that it issued warnings about plastics and dioxins. Its Public Health News Center issued a statement on 15 January 2008, saying that the original news item was falsely attributed to Johns Hopkins and the school does not endorse its content. In particular, freezing water does not cause the release of chemicals from plastic bottles, and for microwave cooking, users should follow the manufacturer’s recommendations when using plastic products.
Overall concern about dioxins is well justified. The Center for Environmental Research and Conservation at Columbia University, New York, has stated that dioxins, which are chlorine compounds, are extremely potent toxic substances, producing effects in humans and animals at extremely low doses. (Public Health Rep. 1996 Nov-Dec; 111(6): 473-5). Dioxins are among the most poisonous chemicals known to exist.
Because dioxins are persistent in the environment and accumulate in the food chain, they are now distributed globally, and every member of the human population is exposed to them, primarily through the food supply and mothers’ milk. An emerging body of information suggests that dioxin contamination has reached a level that may pose a large-scale, long-term public health risk. Of particular concern are the effects of dioxins on reproduction, development, immune function and cancer.
According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, dioxins are both natural and man-made. The man-made dioxins are released into the air from waste incineration, the burning of wood, coal or oil, and certain types of chemical processing. Almost every human being has been exposed to low levels of dioxins.
Continue reading to find out more.
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