Smorgasbord Health Column – The Alternative Way to Shop – by Nutrient


On Monday I finished a short series on the brain, its structure, dementia and the nutrients to support the organ. However, when you go shopping you can also select your foods in a different way, by nutrient. This following list contains the basic nutrients that you require for a healthy body, with the foods that contain them.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/04/16/smorgasbord-health-column-shopping-list-for-the-brain-and-its-support-systems/

We usually compile our shopping list based on our preferences, tastes and sometimes pocket. But I have a slightly different method that you might find useful. The chemical interactions within our body that are essential for life – including the healthy functioning of our immune system – are only made possible by the raw ingredients in our diet. Even if you are having the occasional food fest, if your basic diet contains the right raw ingredients it won’t matter to your body. It is the everyday ingestion of sugars, Trans fats and white starches that cripple the system – I follow the 80/20 rule. If 80% of the time your body is getting what it needs, 20% of the time you can have what your heart and taste buds would like too.

I suggest that you cut and paste the two shopping lists from Monday and today, as a reference. You can ring the changes within the categories, and whilst it is a good idea to eat seasonally,we now have access to a great many varieties of exotic fruits that give added benefit to our diets including the powerhouse that is the Avocado.

I am also sharing more information on each of the nutrients each week and you will find in the Health Column Directory: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/smorgasbord-health-column-news-nutrients-health-conditions-anti-aging/

vegetables

First the basic nutrients we need for energy and healthy functioning systems and organs.

Vitamins and anti-oxidants – A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9 (Folate) B12, C, D, E, K,

Minerals – Calcium, chloride, chromium, copper, iodine, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sodium, zinc.

Amino Acids – Essential Fatty Acids – Bioflavonoids – very strong anti-oxidants.

Quite a few foods fall into several categories so I will give you the top sources within the groups- these are the foods that should make up your basic shopping with seasonal fruits and vegetables when available.

For example, spinach has Vitamin A, B1, B2, B9, E, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese and potassium – (Popeye knew what he was doing)

Vitamin A – carrots, red peppers, apricots, broccoli, cantaloupe melon, nectarines, peaches and spinach. Cashew nuts.

Vitamin B1 – Pineapple, watermelon, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, oats, brown rice, lentils, beans, eggs, lean ham and pork.

B2 – All green leafy vegetables, fish, milk, wheat germ, liver and kidney

B3 – Asparagus, mushrooms, potatoes, tomatoes, sunflower seeds, wholegrain bread and cereals. Turkey, Salmon, tuna, and cheese.

B5 – Corn, Cauliflower, Brewer’s yeast, avocado, duck, soybeans, lobster and strawberries.

B6 – Walnuts, bananas, lamb

B9 (folate) – nuts, beans and dark green vegetables.

B12– offal, dairy, marmite,

Vitamin C – virtually all fruit and vegetables already mentioned but also blackcurrants, blueberries, kiwi, cherries, grapefruits, oranges and watercress.

Vitamin D – Eggs, tinned salmon – fresh and tinned herrings.

Vitamin E – almonds, maize, apples, onions, shell fish, sunflower oil.

Vitamin K– dark green leafy vegetables, avocado, eggs.

MINERALS

Calcium – dairy, sardines, canned salmon, green leafy vegetables.

Chromium – Whole grains, potatoes, onions and tomatoes – liver, seafood, cheese, chicken, turkey, beef, lamb and pork

Copper – olives, nuts, beans, wholegrain cereals, dried fruits, meat, fish and poultry.

Iodine – cod, mackerel, haddock, eggs, live yoghurt, milk and strawberries.

Iron– shellfish, prunes, spinach, meats, cocoa.

Magnesium –dairy, seafood, apples, apricots, avocado, brown rice, spinach.

Manganese – beans, brown rice, spinach, tomatoes, walnuts, fresh fruit.

Phosphorus – poultry, whole grains.

Potassium – most fresh fruit and vegetables but in particular bananas, apricots, Brussel sprouts, kiwi, nectarines, potatoes.

Selenium – halibut, cod, salmon and tuna, mushrooms and Brazil Nuts.

Sodium – usually enough in our food but no more than 1 level teaspoon a day.

Zinc– seafood, pumpkin seeds, wheat germ, egg yolks and tofu.

Essential fatty acids

Omega 3– flaxseed, walnuts, pumpkinseeds, avocados, dark green vegetables, poultry and seafood such as salmon.

Omega 6 –olive oil, eggs, dairy and some of the above.

Omega 9– avocado, olives, almonds.

Amino Acids – dairy products, fish, meat, poultry, soybeans, nuts and seeds.

Including varied foods from each of the nutrient groups will go a long way to providing you with your daily requirements. I do recommend at least 8 portions of vegetables and fruit a day rather than 5. Especially as we get older and do not process food in quite the same way. It does make a difference if you include foods such as Spinach that are nutrient dense… and also half an avocado, which is another nutritional power house.

I hope you have found useful and as always look forward to your feedback.

A little bit about me nutritionally.

A little about me from a nutritional perspective. Although I write a lot of fiction, I actually wrote my first two books on health, the first one, Size Matters, a weight loss programme 20 years ago. I qualified as a nutritional therapist and practiced in Ireland and the UK as well as being a consultant for radio. My first centre was in Ireland, the Cronin Diet Advisory Centre and my second book, Just Food for Health was written as my client’s workbook. Here are my health books including a men’s health manual and my anti-aging book.

All available in Ebook fromhttp://www.amazon.com/Sally-Cronin/e/B0096REZM2

And Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sally-Georgina-Cronin/e/B003B7O0T6

Comprehensive guide to the body, and the major organs and the nutrients needed to be healthy 360 pages, A4: http://www.moyhill.com/html/just_food_for_health.html

Thank you for dropping in and if you have any questions fire away.. If you would like to as a private question then my email is sally.cronin@moyhill.com. I am no longer in practice and only too pleased to help in any way I can. thanks Sally

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Smorgasbord Health Column – The #Heart – Structure and function.


I appreciate that many of you who have been kindly following the blog for a long time will have seen this post before. However, if you are new to Smorgasbord, I hope you will find interesting.

You can find the other Health Column posts in this directory: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/smorgasbord-health-column-news-nutrients-health-conditions-anti-aging/

The Heart.

We tend to think of the heart from an emotional perspective but in reality it is a pump that has a number of moving parts that is vital to our survival. Since the 1960s, the heart is one of the organs that can be replaced with a transplanted organ, but there are far more patients waiting for a new heart than there are donors.

This means that we need to take care of the one we have. However, like all our major organs it is hidden from view and we really only pay it the attention it deserves when something is wrong with it. Over the next few weeks I am going to look at the heart as an organ and the basics of how it functions. This will be followed by an overview of some of the more common diseases and then the foods that should be included in our diet to help maintain its health.

I will also be featuring the silent killer which is contributory factor in heart disease… Stress.

The structure of the heart and how it works

The heart is the pump that powers the circulatory or cardiovascular system formed by a network of arteries, veins and smaller blood vessels. Blood is continuously pumped out from the heart around the venal and arterial circuits carrying oxygen and vital nutrients to all parts of the body. The arteries take the blood away from the heart and the veins bring the blood back.

Chest x-ray showing heart positionThe heart itself is a muscle, approximately the size of a clenched fist, and is shaped like a large upside down pear, located just to the left of the centre of the chest.

The heart weighs around 11 ounces or 310 grams and rests in a moist chamber, called the pericardial cavity, between the lungs and surrounded by the rib cage.

The muscle is called the myocardium and forms a shell around four cavities or spaces inside the heart that fill with blood. The two upper cavities are called atria and the bottom two spaces are called ventricles. Each side of the heart is separated by a wall called the septum and a valve connects each atrium to the ventricle below it. The valve on the left side of the body is called the mitral valve and the right side connection is called the tricuspid valve. The Endocardium lines the inside of the heart, and the heart valves, and the pericardium is a fibrous sac surrounding the heart.

Heart labelledThe top of the heart is connected to some major blood vessels – the largest being the aorta, or main artery, which carries the nutrient rich blood away from the heart to the rest of the body. Another important blood vessel is the pulmonary artery, which connects the heart to the lungs.

The two largest veins that carry blood back to the heart are called the superior vena cava and the inferior vena cava. The superior vena cava takes de-oxygenated blood from the head and the arms to the right atrium, and the inferior vena cava brings de-oxygenated blood back up from the legs and lower body also into the right atrium.

The cardiac muscle contracts between 70 and 80 beats per minute and if it is to last the normal life-span it will beat over 3 billion times. This means that the muscle has to be incredibly strong and healthy.

De-oxygenated blood always returns to the body through the right side of the heart into the atrium and then onto the lungs to pick up the oxygen. It is then returned to the heart where it enters the left side into the atrium and ventricle to be pumped to all the other parts of the body in a continuous cycle.

How does the heart beat?

The heart beats automatically without our thought or intervention and the number of beats is maintained by an electrical impulse that originates from the body’s own natural pacemaker called the sinoatrial node. The electrical impulse is sent through the atria which stimulates a contraction then through to the atrioventricular node where it will pause for a fraction of a second before continuing down special conducting fibres to the ventricles, causing them to contract.

Specific nerves called autonomic nerves, the main one being the vagus nerve, regulate the amount of times our heart beats. The ideal rate is maintained at around 70 beats at rest but is then speeded up during exercise or stress. The cardiac nerves react to messages sent from the hypothalamus, in the medulla part of the brain, and the beat rate will also increase when the “fight or flight” hormone, adrenaline, is released. This increases the amount of blood and therefore oxygen that is made available to the heart and the rest of the body.

Risk Factors

Risk factors for heart disease and stroke are largely similar for men and women.

  • Factors such as age and family history play a role, but it is estimated that the majority of CVD deaths are due to modifiable risk factors such as smoking, high cholesterol, unhealthy diet, high blood pressure, obesity, stress or diabetes
  • Heart disease was associated with men until the last twenty years and now cardiovascular disease (CVD) – heart disease and stroke – is the biggest killer of women globally, killing more women than all cancers, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and malaria combined.

©sallycronin Just Food For Health 1999 – 2018

A little bit about me nutritionally.

A little about me from a nutritional perspective. Although I write a lot of fiction, I actually wrote my first two books on health, the first one, Size Matters, a weight loss programme 20 years ago. I qualified as a nutritional therapist and practiced in Ireland and the UK as well as being a consultant for radio. My first centre was in Ireland, the Cronin Diet Advisory Centre and my second book, Just Food for Health was written as my client’s workbook. Here are my health books including a men’s health manual and my anti-aging book.

All available in Ebook fromhttp://www.amazon.com/Sally-Cronin/e/B0096REZM2

And Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sally-Georgina-Cronin/e/B003B7O0T6

Comprehensive guide to the body, and the major organs and the nutrients needed to be healthy 360 pages, A4: http://www.moyhill.com/html/just_food_for_health.html

Thank you for dropping in and if you have any questions fire away.. If you would like to as a private question then my email is sally.cronin@moyhill.com. I am no longer in practice and only too pleased to help in any way I can. thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Health Column – Shopping list for the Brain and its support systems.


Over the last couple of weeks I have been featuring the brain and how we can support its function and protect the organ from degenerating as we age. Whilst lifestyle is very important in this respect it is the broad spectrum of nutrients.. not just vitamins and minerals but healthy fats, and the healthy kind of cholesterol which is necessary to produce hormones. The brain is a complex organ that requires a lot of fire power to function, and just missing out elements from the hundreds of nutrients required can result in a deterioration.

The first key element to eating for brain health is to omit industrially processed foods that contain harmful toxins and additives that have zero nutritional benefit and effectively ’empty’ calories. They might supply sugar and trans fats and look appetizing on a plate, but the brain will not recognize them as anything it can process. Processed foods Vs. Industrially manufactured foods

If you eat plenty of fresh vegetables, fruit, some moderate whole grains, nuts and seeds, good quality meats and cold water fish that have not been farmed, you are doing a great job.

For the brain to function efficiently it needs other systems in the body to be healthy. The immune system is the barrier between the external world and all its contaminates and the brain. So your first line of defence is to keep that fed with the nutrients needed to produce all the various types of blood cells needed to repel opportunistic pathogens.

The digestive system needs to be in tip top condition so that food that is eaten is processed effectively so that the nutrients can be passed into the bloodstream and up to the brain.

The respiratory system needs to be maintained and giving up smoking and taking in clean fresh oxygen is essential… without that oxygen, carried by the blood, your brain with slowly die.

Week by week I am going through the individual nutrients in detail so that you can appreciate the importance each one of them has to the body. That is going to take the next 20 weeks which is why I am going to give you the shopping list now so you can get started on introducing some foods that might currently not be in your daily meals.

There are some key nutritional elements for brain health that will be supplied by this list including B-Vitamins, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Essential Fatty Acids, Amino Acids, Magnesium, Iron, and Zinc.

You can find out more about the B Vitamins I have already covered in the directory as well as catch up on the previous brain posts: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/smorgasbord-health-column-news-nutrients-health-conditions-anti-aging/

Shopping List for the brain and your other major organs providing the basic nutritional requirement for the body.

Vegetables – carrots, red peppers, broccoli, spinach, cauliflower, corn on the cob- any dark cabbage or Brussel sprouts, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, watercress, dark lettuce leaves, cucumbers, celery, avocados and potatoes. (any other fresh seasonal produce you enjoy) At least five or six portions a day – use a cupped handful as an estimated portion size.

Lower Fructose Fruit – Bananas, kiwi, strawberries and any dark berries that are reasonably priced – try frozen. Enjoy all fruit in season at least three portions a day.

Hot lemon and water first thing in the morning will not only give you a Vitamin C hit, start your digestive process off but will also help with sugar cravings.

Wholegrains brown rice- wholegrain bread – whole wheat pasta – weetabix – shredded wheat – porridge oats.Please do not buy sugar or chocolate covered cereals – more sugar than goodness. Carbohydrates are an important food group. However, as we get older and less active you really only need a large spoonful of rice or potatoes on a daily basis. if you suffer from a Candida overgrowth be aware that it may not be the yeast in bread that causes a problem but the sugar or its substitute.

Fish – Salmon fresh and better quality tinned- cod – haddock (again frozen can be a good option) any white fish on offer – shellfish once a week such as mussels. Tinned sardines, Tuna and herrings – great for lighter meals. (any fish that is available fresh not from farmed sources)

Meat and poultry chicken or turkey – lamb, beef and pork. Do buy high quality, organic if it is reasonably priced but you will find that most supermarkets stock local meats and poultry and will state if they are from free range sources.

Home cooked lean ham for sandwiches is very tasty but cheap sliced ham can contain too much additives. By an unsmoked ham joint from the butcher or supermarket as it will work out cheaper than buying sliced ham already prepared.  To remove excess salt bring to the boil and simmer for half an hour, drain and add fresh water to the pan and bring to the boil for the rest of the cooking time.

Venison is a high quality protein if  you enjoy it. Liver provides a wonderful array of nutrients served with onions and vegetables is delicious.

Tofu for vegetarians has become more accessible and can be used by non vegetarians once a week to provide the other benefits of soya it offers. Bacon once a week is fine but do bear in mind that most processed meats contain a lot of salt.

Nuts and seeds – to put on your cereal in the mornings or as snacks – check prices out in your health food shop as well as supermarket. Almonds, Brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds, flaxseeds, walnuts.

Dairy and Eggs– Milk, butter and cheese (better to have the real stuff than whipped margarine) – organic yoghurt. Free Range Eggs – have at least three or four a week.

Oils – Extra virgin Olive Oil (least processed) – great drizzled on vegetables with some seasoning and also eaten the Spanish way with balsamic vinegar on salads and also drizzled over toasted fresh bread. If you do not like the taste of Olive Oil then use Sunflower oil – do not use the light version of any oil as it has been processed heavily – use the good stuff. You can also use coconut oil for cooking.

Honey and extras –You really do need to avoid sugars refined and in cakes, sweets and biscuits but honey is a sweetener that the body has been utilising since the first time we found a bee hive and a teaspoon in your porridge is okay. Try and find a local honey to you. Dark chocolate – over 70% a one or two squares per day particularly with a lovely cup of Americano coffee is a delicious way to get your antioxidants.

Sauces – If you buy your sauces in jars and packets they will have a great many more ingredients than you bargained for. One of the worst is sugar or its substitutes. The greatest cooking skill you can develop is to be able to make a wide variety of sauces from scratch. If you do this you will be not only using fresh produce with its nutritional punch but also taking hundreds of pounds of sugar out of your diet over a lifetime.

Fluids– Green Tea and Black Tea with antioxidants and drink two to three cups a day. and other herbal teas, tap and mineral water. If you enjoy coffee then one or two cups a day of good quality ground or the more expensive brands of freeze dried instant coffee. Try hot water with sliced lemon first thing in the morning and get some Vitamin C.

Good quality alcohol in moderation and it is better to have one glass a day than binge at the weekend. Your liver can handle that far better.

Depending on the climate and altitude at which you live, you will need to experiment to find out how much fluid you need. If you have very low humidity you will need considerably more. Average is around the 2 litres per day of combined fluids.

I hope that this has given you some ideas of new foods that perhaps you can introduce to support your operating systems and major organs. This includes those that protect the brain and those that process and transtport the nutrients it needs.

Later this week Vitamin B5 and the start of the series on the heart.

©Sally Cronin Just Food for Health – 1999 – 2018

A little bit about me nutritionally.

A little about me from a nutritional perspective. Although I write a lot of fiction, I actually wrote my first two books on health, the first one, Size Matters, a weight loss programme 20 years ago. I qualified as a nutritional therapist and practiced in Ireland and the UK as well as being a consultant for radio. My first centre was in Ireland, the Cronin Diet Advisory Centre and my second book, Just Food for Health was written as my client’s workbook. Here are my health books including a men’s health manual and my anti-aging book.

All available in Ebook fromhttp://www.amazon.com/Sally-Cronin/e/B0096REZM2

And Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sally-Georgina-Cronin/e/B003B7O0T6

Comprehensive guide to the body, and the major organs and the nutrients needed to be healthy 360 pages, A4: http://www.moyhill.com/html/just_food_for_health.html

Thank you for dropping in and if you have any questions fire away.. If you would like to as a private question then my email is sally.cronin@moyhill.com. I am no longer in practice and only too pleased to help in any way I can. thanks Sally

 

 

 

 

Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up- William Price King sings, Paul Andruss and Hellebores and Carol Taylor and Mustard.


Welcome to the weekly round up and I hope that your weekend is going well. We have had a very special visitor from America who arrived on Friday and it did David and I the power of good to be in the company of such a delightful, articulate and successful young woman. We have known her parents for over 30 years and have seen her grown from a beautiful baby into this accomplished adult.. What a pleasure.

Anyway… In honour of the visit, the sun came out on Thursday and I was able to get some of my pots refurbished…the job is not finished yet.. I have some more planting to do next week… provided we get a little dry weather.

Anyway.. time to get on with the week and as always my thanks to William Price King, (look out for a special post in thanks to William for all his amazing contributions… Drive Time this week features two of his own performances). Paul Andruss and Carol Taylor who have, as always provided outstanding columns for music, gardening and cookery.

The Music Column with William Price King – Johnny Mathis up to date.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/04/11/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-with-william-price-king-johnny-mathis-up-to-date/

The Gardening Column by Paul Andruss – Heavenly Hellebores.. or should that be Devilish?

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/04/13/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-gardening-column-with-paul-andruss-heavenly-hellebores/

The Food and Cookery Column with Carol Taylor – It is all about the mustard.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/04/11/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-carol-taylors-food-and-cookery-column-mustard/

The Open House Sunday Interview – Gregg Savage – Daily Tales

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/04/15/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-open-house-sunday-interview-the-daily-tales-by-gregg-savage/

Personal Stuff – Tales from the Garden – The Goose and the Lost Boy.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/04/14/smorgasbord-short-stories-tales-from-the-gardenthe-goose-and-the-lost-boy-by-sally-cronin/

Letters From America 1985 – 1987 – Trip to Las Vegas – Part One #Hilton, #Dunes

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/04/12/smorgasbord-letters-from-america-1985-1987-las-vegas-part-one-the-hilton-slot-machines-dunes-hotel/

Sally’s Book Reviews – UK2: Project Renova Book Three by Terry Tyler

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/04/14/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-sallys-book-reviews-uk2-project-renova-book-three-by-terry-tyler/

Sally’s Drive Time #Playlist – Music to get the Weekend Started – William Price King.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/04/13/sallys-drive-time-playlist-music-to-get-the-weekend-started-william-price-king-roxanne-and-the-show-must-go-on/

Esme’s Party Piece: Prediction for the two weeks April 12th – 26th.. and your Flower Power.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/04/12/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-esmes-party-piece-predictions-and-flower-power/

 

Smorgasbord Guest Post – Leslie Tate – Growing up as an author.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/04/12/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-guest-post-growing-up-as-an-author-by-leslie-tate/

Posts from Your Archives.

Posts from the Archives… new series… travel themed blogs posted before October 2017. And to kick the series off.. traveller and author Darlene Foster with a surprise visit to the home of Jane Austen..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/04/10/smorgasbord-new-series-of-posts-from-your-archives-visiting-jane-austen-on-a-motorbike-by-darlene-foster/

Smorgasbord Poetry – Dorothy Cronin – Tuffy

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/04/10/smorgasbord-poetry-dorothy-cronin-1949-2006-tuffy-a-much-loved-family-pet/

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Spring Showcase – Final post

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/04/09/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-spring-showcaseterri-webster-schrandt-jann-weeratunga-pamela-s-wight-charles-e-yallowitz-yecheilyah-ysrayl-and-victoria-zigler/

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/04/13/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-updatereviews-for-sandra-j-jackson-d-g-kaye-and-teagan-riordain-geneviene/

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New Book on the Shelves

 https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/04/14/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-war-of-nytefall-loyalty-by-charles-e-yallowitz/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/04/15/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-new-book-on-the-shelves-holding-the-lines-book-2-the-first-level-of-hell-by-joelle-legendre/

Smorgasbord Health Column

Nutrients A-Z  that we need to be healthy.

 

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/04/09/smorgasbord-health-column-nutrients-we-need-vitamin-b3-is-also-known-in-different-forms-as-niacin-nicotinic-acid-nicotinamide-and-nicinamide/

Part three of the Brain series… this week a brief overview of Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/04/09/smorgasbord-health-column-the-brain-part-three-dementia-and-alzheimers-disease/

Turning Back the Clock – Chapter Ten – Maintaining your Health Advantage.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/04/10/smorgasbord-health-column-turning-back-the-clock-chapter-ten-maintaining-your-health-advantage-by-sally-cronin/

Aromatherapy – Eucalyptus oil – usage and safety.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/04/11/the-medicine-womans-treasure-chest-aromatherapy-eucalyptus-essential-oil-origins-uses-and-safety/

Humour

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/04/09/smorgasbord-afternoon-video-bathtime-for-dogs-is-just-a-bundle-of-joy/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/04/10/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-a-multi-international-cast-two-cats-a-dog-and-wi-training/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/04/11/smorgasbord-afternoon-video-words-of-wisdom-from-the-head-of-the-household-dear-kitten/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/04/12/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-in-the-courtroom/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/04/13/smorgasbord-afternoon-video-dancing-dog-size-does-not-matter/

Thank you very much for all your support this week and look forward to seeing you again soon.

 

Smorgasbord Health Column – Turning Back the Clock – Chapter Ten – Maintaining your Health Advantage by Sally Cronin


This week I am looking at how we can hang onto any gains that we make in our middle years into our 70s and 80s. Our bodies with change but there is a formula that seems to be the driving force behind the 90 year old men and women that I have met and worked with.

Good Fresh Food + Moderate Exercise + Engagement with Others = Healthier Old Age..

Chapter Ten – Maintaining your Health Advantage by Sally Cronin

Just to recap and to remind ourselves what we have covered in the last nine chapters of this programme and to maintain the age advantage you have gained.

We looked at the various physical reasons why we age prematurely.

Free-radical damage that causes accumulative cell degeneration, leading to disease and premature aging. We covered how to introduce anti-oxidants to limit this damage and how by reducing stress and eating healthily we can in some cases rejuvenate and improve the effects of some of the degenerative diseases.

Toxicity damage to organs caused by the environmental pollution around us, and the toxins in the healthy food we think that we are eating. Allergies and intolerances that we may suffer from all our lives that leads to a build-up of toxins in the tissues causing pain and inflammation like in Asthma or arthritis. Toxins build up if we eat too much high fat, sugary diets high in stimulants. Our bodies are unable to cope and eliminate them fast enough.

Hormone imbalances, not only our sexual hormones, but also all the others within our bodies that contribute to a healthy and efficient system. From the Hypothalamus in the brain to the pancreas, eating healthily will keep these organs and glands youthful for longer.

We covered how important our Immune System was to anti-aging by protecting us against harmful viruses and bacteria that want to squat in our bodies and take our health from us.

Finally the Acid and Alkalinity balance, which can be a leading cause of degenerative disease and do easy to remedy with the right diet.

We also discovered there are other reasons behind premature aging that have nothing to do with food.

Our emotional and mental attitude to aging is just as vital as following a healthy eating programme and also the way that we present ourselves to others.

How can you keep the age advantage you have gained?

Who in their right mind would want to go back to feeling lousy if they now feel younger, fitter, slimmer and more energetic? It is tempting sometimes to slip backwards. You go on holiday, the family is over for a meal, you are eating out more and the wine is flowing a little more often. That is fine in the short term but within a few days you will notice that you are not feeling quite so well and you need to make a decision at that point. Are you willing to compromise your health and your vitality that you are now taking for granted by not resuming the programme as quickly as possible after a break for a holiday or family celebration?

One of the things I hope you will come to understand once you have been on the suggested eating plan for five or six weeks is that eating healthily is not boring.

Apart from keeping a healthy eating programme going, are there any other strategies for maintaining our health?

It is important that you measure where you are on a regular basis. Your health is like your house, contents and car insurance. You may not need it year-in-year-out but you buy it just in case and you adjust it according to your changing circumstances. The same applies to your body, health and lifestyle.

You cannot escape the aging process completely; although you can make it a great deal easier on yourself. Early detection of problems can prevent some very serious diseases taking hold of you later in life. For example blood sugar levels, higher than normal oxidised LDL cholesterol and blood pressure levels if identified early on can be reversed by making some simple lifestyle changes.

I have a list of key indicators that need to be measured on a regular basis so that you are as informed as possible about your own health and are in control of dealing with anything that may cause you harm at a later date.

Blood pressure cuffs are available and you can measure that yourself at regular intervals once a week, first thing in the morning before you get out of bed and perhaps again after one of your exercise sessions.

Other tests are a good idea to carry out every three to six months depending on your age. Blood sugar levels and Cholesterol for example and can be done in your local pharmacy.

Annually it is a good idea to have a thorough medical examination because even if nothing is found you will come out feeling a million dollars.

Weigh yourself once a week and review your eating plan from time to time depending on changes in the level of your exercise or if you feel that you might be lacking certain nutrients. A therapist will always help you with that if you need it.

Make a list of all the indicators in a diary at the beginning of the year – measure them and then make a list every month, three months or six months of those you are going to recheck then. This time spent having these key indicators checked might save your life and at the very least keep you on your healthy eating plan.

Is there an area that is not health related that contributes to maintaining a young outlook on life?

It is my belief that there are in fact several factors that contribute to being young at heart. Some of my favourites are remembering how unique you are, making a difference, always challenging yourself and a sense of humour.

Sometimes we forget that we are totally and utterly unique from the hair on our heads to the tips of our toes. Unless we have an identical twin there is no one in the entire world like us.

From the moment that we are born we are encouraged to conform, to follow the norm and not to stand out in the crowd. If you did you were regarded as the black sheep of the family and sent to the colonies or ostracised and labelled eccentric. In fact one of my clients commented that her daughter and son in law told her that she was eccentric and she felt flattered and so she should. As long as being different does not harm you or those around you, being unique is something to be proud of.

As an aside, when I first got married I worked on a sheep farm in the mountains in Wales. It was winter and every day the farmer and I would climb up to feed the sheep and eventually when the snow came down we had to find the whole flock and bring them down to the flat ground. There were 400 sheep on a whole mountain. With the snow down, how do you suppose we found white sheep? Because of the old, black ewe that was the matriarch of the flock and essential to their survival. They stayed with her and if we found her against the snow we found all the others. So never be bothered about being a black sheep, others will flock to follow you and will stay close.

What about contribution?

The other amazingly youth-giving quality is the ability to contribute to those around you. However, sometimes you look around you and you think that it would be impossible to make a difference. It is overwhelming when 24/7 you look at the poverty in Africa or India, the cruelty to children and animals and the mindless violence in most parts of the world and it is hard to think how you as an individual can make a difference.

I have a story, that has a number of versions, that I have told when I have given talks, which puts this into perspective.

One day a man is walking along a beach the morning after a terrific storm. The sand is littered for miles with thousands upon thousands of starfish who have been thrown up high on the beach overnight. It was devastating and he looked on in horror.

He noticed a little girl walking along the shore towards him and every so often he saw her pick up a starfish, carry it carefully to the sea and throw it as far as she could out into the water.

The man went up to her and shook his head and said,

‘Little girl, there are hundreds of thousands of starfish that are dying, you cannot make a difference’.

She looked at him with a starfish in her hand and said
But it will make a difference to this one.’

For me this illustrates the enormity of helping just one person. It can have a ripple effect that will make a difference to many others and it will certainly make a difference to you. You don’t have to take on the world. Start by being good to yourself and work outwards from there.

Once you have that in hand you might think about giving some of your time to a local voluntary organisation – perhaps a day a week – where you can start to make a difference. Many of these organisations have far reaching effects working to eradicate poverty or cruelty to children and animals around the World. What you perceive as a small and insignificant contribution without global impact is in fact a crucial part of a unified effort to make the change happen.

Why are challenges good for us?

Stress is not always bad for us. There is an element of anticipation and excitement that is connected to pushing the envelope of our existence, either mentally or physically. Setting goals for progress puts us under pressure but managed properly that pressure can improve our health, our stamina and our ability to cope with everyday life in a more efficient way.

By achieving a challenging task we can put many less stressful events into perspective. You will often hear people say, ‘If I can do that I can do anything.’

One of the weekend seminars, The Firewalk Weekend with Tony Robbins, that my husband and I went on in 1996 when I embarked on my weight loss, was about just that principle. At the end of the evening all the participants were put into a state enabling them to walk across a bed of burning coals 25 feet long. At the time, I weighed over 24 stone (330 lbs) and felt totally unprepared to do this challenge. My husband did walk over the burning coals without any damage to his feet and felt incredible afterwards.

We went on over the next two years to complete a the other courses as part of the Tony Robbins Life Mastery. One of my biggest challenges was losing my first 80lbs out of 150lbs, so that I was cleared to climb a 60-foot telegraph pole and jump off, relying only on a safety harness and a faith in the guy on the end of a thin rope. (Actually I insisted on two!) That motivated me to lose the rest of my weight.

I am not suggesting the everyone rush out and run over burning coals or climb a telegraph pole but you can undertake a challenge which means something to you and perhaps benefits someone else as well. A sponsored walk or run perhaps or competing in a competition like mastermind or even signing up for an open university course.

Challenging ourselves is a way to stimulate our bodies and our minds into remembering the function that they have and the skills that they can still learn.

Getting older is just another phase in our life and it is not up to others to make us happy nor should we expect to have unhealthy lifestyles and not pay the price.

Taking responsibility for our diet and to a larger extent our health is a major step towards having a fantastic 10, 20 or even 30 years to enjoy life to the full.

Next time a condensed nutritional guide and a suggested shopping list to give you the nutrients required to keep you looking young and fit for life.

©SallyCronin Just Food for Health 1999 – 2018

A little bit about me nutritionally.

A little about me from a nutritional perspective. Although I write a lot of fiction, I actually wrote my first two books on health, the first one, Size Matters, a weight loss programme 20 years ago. I qualified as a nutritional therapist and practiced in Ireland and the UK as well as being a consultant for radio. My first centre was in Ireland, the Cronin Diet Advisory Centre and my second book, Just Food for Health was written as my client’s workbook. Here are my health books including a men’s health manual and my anti-aging book.

All available in Ebook from:  http://www.amazon.com/Sally-Cronin/e/B0096REZM2

And Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sally-Georgina-Cronin/e/B003B7O0T6

Comprehensive guide to the body, and the major organs and the nutrients needed to be healthy 360 pages, A4: http://www.moyhill.com/html/just_food_for_health.html

Thank you for dropping in and if you have any questions fire away.. If you would like to as a private question then my email is sally.cronin@moyhill.com. I am no longer in practice and only too pleased to help in any way I can. thanks Sally

 

Smorgasbord Health Column – Nutrients we need – Vitamin B3 is also known in different forms as Niacin, Nicotinic Acid, Nicotinamide and Nicinamide.


Welcome to the next in the series on nutrients the body needs to be health and today another B Vitamin that works with other B Vitamins but also has its own role to play in the body.

Vitamin B3 is also known in different forms as Niacin, Nicotinic Acid, Nicotinamide and Nicinamide.

Vitamin B3 is also known in different forms as Niacin, Nicotinic Acid, Nicotinamide and Nicinamide. When the vitamin was first discovered it was called nicotinic acid but there was a concern that it would be associated with nicotine in cigarettes, leading to the false assumption that somehow smoking might provide you with nutrients. It was decided to call it Niacin instead.

Breaking down food for energy.

It works with other nutrients, particularly B1, B2, B5, B6 and biotin to break the carbohydrates, fats, and proteins in food down into energy. B3 itself is essential in this process and it goes further by aiding in the production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach to aid the digestion of food. It is actually involved in over 40 metabolic functions which shows how important it is in our levels of energy on a daily basis.

Detox and anti-oxidant assistance

We are at the mercy of toxins and harmful chemicals in the body that need to be eliminated efficiently to prevent build up and illness. B3 works with the body and other nutrients to achieve this. Additionally when we are under attack from bacteria and viruses that we have not managed to eliminate fast enough, B3 will also assist in the antioxidant processes within the body to help us heal faster.

Supporting enzymes in the body.

Enzymes in the body are unique substances that speed up chemical reactions in the body. They are responsible for producing the energy we need, the breakdown of dietary fats, the production of certain hormones and cholesterol. In addition they are needed for the processing of genetic material (DNA) and the growth and healthy maturing of cells. B3 is essential for the efficiency of many of these enzymes.

Maintaining a healthy cholesterol balance

One of the areas that B3 is used therapeutically is in the lowering of cholesterol. B3 actually lowers LDL (lousy cholesterol) and raises HDL (healthy cholesterol). In tests, supplemented B3 proved more effective than many of the normal cholesterol lowering drugs although there have been instances of side effects in the form of excessive flushing. To prevent this you can take time release tablets and also begin on a low dose, gradually building up to the therapeutic level.

High dosage of any vitamin therapy should only be undertaken with the supervision of a medical professional and there are a number of different forms of B3 supplementation that can be used to minimise side effects whilst still acting to reduce LDL and raise HDL.

Improving Circulation.

Niacin improves circulation by relaxing arteries and veins. This benefits sufferers of Raynaud’s disease and other circulatory problems such as varicose veins. In Raynaud’s the worst symptom is the numbness and pain in the hands and feet in cold weather. Niacin increases blood flow to them reducing the symptoms. People who suffer from muscle cramps may also be obtaining too little B3.

 

B3 has also been shown to relieve acne, reduce migraines, IBS symptoms, gout, menstrual problems, multiple sclerosis, Osteoarthritis, vertigo, memory loss and gastric problems.

Deficiency of B3

It is rare in the Western world for anyone to be deficient in Niacin. But, since B3 in its various forms has been shown to help improve symptoms of some of our most common ailments it does pose the question as to whether we are actually obtaining sufficient of the vitamin from our diet or not. If we do, are our digestive systems not working efficiently enough to process and utilise it?

Pellegra

One of the diseases associated with a deficiency of Vitamin B3 is Pellegra. It is a multi-symptomatic illness which includies inflamed skin, usually where it has been exposed to sunlight, which becomes stiff, much darker and peels off. There may also be sores in the mouth, diarrhea and in extreme cases the onset of dementia.

There are two kinds of Pellegra.. one which is the primary form of the disease is a result of a deficiency in both niacin and tryptophan in the diet. I will cover tryptophan later in the series. The second form of the disease is when the body is unable to absorb Vitamin B from the diet and this is often the result of alcoholism or long term gastric problems which results in the malabsorption of most nutrients.

If the disease is identified then treatment is with either B3- Niacin or in tis nicotinamide form in supplements. Diet also needs to be improved to include all the B vitamins but particular B3. The disease is more common in developing countries where diet is very restricted due to famine or lack of varied diet.

Normally the body manages to absorb enough niacin from our daily diet to accomplish its tasks. Apart from digestion it is needed to keep the skin and nerves healthy and to help stabilise blood sugar levels. They body can also convert niacin from tryptophan the amino acid found in eggs, milk, poultry and fish which means that there is a wide range of foods available to us that provide the vitamin. It reacts with tryptophan to form serotonin and melatonin in the brain, both of which affect our moods and general feeling of well- being.

With a healthy balanced diet it is unlikely that a deficiency will develop but as we get older our digestive system is not as efficient as it should be and here are some of the  symptoms to keep an eye on. General weakness or muscle weakness, depressed appetite, skin infections and digestive problems.

Where to find a good source of B3 in food.

salmonB3 is water soluble and therefore needs to be replenished daily from your diet it is found in liver, chicken, lamb, beef, Turkey, salmon, swordfish, tuna, venison, eggs, cheese and milk. Plant sources include green leafy vegetables such as Asparagus, broccoli, carrots, dates, mushrooms, peanuts, potatoes, tomatoes, spinach, sunflower seeds and wholegrains such as wholegrain rice, pasta, cereals and breads..

tomatoesSupplementation

Whilst I always recommend that you look to your diet first before supplements, there are times in our lives when we need a little more help. Always buy high quality supplements. In the case of B3 look for time release and start on a low dose and build up to the recommended dose over a week or ten days to help prevent flushing (getting red in the face after taking and feeling flushed). Many cheaper versions are mainly filler and may not provide you with the dosage of the specific nutrient you require.

If you are suffering from Raynaud’s disease, arthritis, elevated LDL cholesterol levels or depression you may find that taking a B-complex supplement of help. There is sufficient B3 in most quality supplements to augment the dietary B3. Brewer’s yeast is a good source of all the B vitamins you can take in tablet form.

I hope that you have found this useful.. more about B vitamins next week. In the meantime you can check out the others in the series so far and all the other health column posts:

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/smorgasbord-health-column-news-nutrients-health-conditions-anti-aging/

©Sally Cronin Just Food for Health 1999- 2018

A little bit about me nutritionally.

A little about me from a nutritional perspective. Although I write a lot of fiction, I actually wrote my first two books on health, the first one, Size Matters, a weight loss programme 20 years ago. I qualified as a nutritional therapist and practiced in Ireland and the UK as well as being a consultant for radio. My first centre was in Ireland, the Cronin Diet Advisory Centre and my second book, Just Food for Health was written as my client’s workbook. Here are my health books including a men’s health manual and my anti-aging book.

All available in Ebook fromhttp://www.amazon.com/Sally-Cronin/e/B0096REZM2

And Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sally-Georgina-Cronin/e/B003B7O0T6

Comprehensive guide to the body, and the major organs and the nutrients needed to be healthy 360 pages, A4: http://www.moyhill.com/html/just_food_for_health.html

Thank you for dropping in and if you have any questions fire away.. If you would like to as a private question then my email is sally.cronin@moyhill.com. I am no longer in practice and only too pleased to help in any way I can. thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Health Column – The Brain – Part Three – Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease


I appreciate that many of you who have been kindly following the blog for a long time will have seen this post before. However, if you are new to Smorgasbord, I hope you will find interesting.

The Brain – Part Three – Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease

Dementia is actually a collective name for progressive degenerative brain diseases, which affect our memory, thought, behaviour and emotions. It is not a normal result of ageing and it does not seem to have any specific social, economic, ethnic or geographical links. It can effect different people in different ways, which makes it difficult sometimes to diagnose and to treat.

Certain dementia, such as vascular dementia, where plaque is blocking the blood vessels in the brain are linked to lifestyle related causes such as heavy alcohol consumption. Most dementia is likely to have an element of environmental, diet or lifestyle involved in its development.

There is no known cure, but there are ways that we can modify our lifestyle to reduce our risks of brain degeneration and to slow down any process that has already begun.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia and accounts for around 60% of all cases. The disease is degenerative over a period of years and destroys brain cells and nerve cells causing a disruption to the transmitters, which carry messages in the brain, particularly those that are responsible for our memories.

As the disease progresses, the brain shrinks and gaps develop in the temporal lobe and hippocampus. These areas are responsible for storing and retrieving new information. The damage results in a reduction in a person’s ability to remember events that happened in the short term, to speak, think and to make decisions. All this is both frightening and confusing, as a person will be aware of these lapses in the early stages of the condition.

What are the symptoms of Alzheimer’s

In the beginning, there may be infrequent lapses in memory, forgetting where keys have been left or perhaps failing to switch off electric cookers or other equipment. A person will start to forget the names of everyday objects or people that they are usually very familiar with. They can also suffer from mood swings and panic attacks.

As the disease progresses these symptoms worsen and there is an element of confusion over completing every day tasks such as shopping, cooking and more dangerously driving.
The changes in personality are often attributable to fear and the awareness that something is very wrong. In the earlier stages people tend to try and hide the symptoms. This happens because, much of the time, they will be aware that there is a problem and will not want to accept that this could be as serious a condition as dementia.

In the advanced stages it is not only extremely stressful for the person concerned but also very distressing for their immediate family. We have experience of the problem with a close family friend who was in his 80’s and was looking after his wife who had Alzheimer’s for two years before she went into a home. At that point he was no longer able to cope. She was in danger of hurting herself as she was wandering off in the middle of the night, falling over and hurting herself as well as becoming terrified and disorientated. My own mother in the last two years of her life became increasingly confused but she was nearly 95 when she died. She had family and remained in her own home but for future millions who perhaps have not surviving family it will be a challenge for them and the care services.

What are the risk factors?

It is difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of dementia, but there are several probable links that have been the subject of research in recent years.

There is some evidence of a genetic link to the disease, but that is not proven. Lifestyle most definitely will have played a contributory role as exposure to toxins from smoking, excessive alcohol consumption or work environment will cause damage to the body as a whole and certainly to the brain. There is obviously natural age related degeneration of the entire body and its systems to take into account and any previous head trauma may be part of the problem. There are links to chemical contamination including poisoning from mercury – which can be found in some of the fish that we eat – and also from aluminium, which is most commonly linked to the metal in some of our cooking utensils.

Some recent statistics suggest that at least 10% of those over 65 and 50% of those over 85 years old will be suffering from varying degrees of dementia. We unfortunately have no control over natural ageing, or our genetic background, which means that we should be looking at ways to prevent or minimise the risk of us developing the disease from a much earlier age than our 60’s.

What preventative measures can we take – starting today?

  1. The key factors to reducing your risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in particular are very simple and effective.
  2. Your brain is a major organ of the body that requires nutrients to function efficiently and to repair and protect itself. There are specific foods that provide those nutrients and including them in your diet on a very regular basis will be effective.
  3. You need to keep your heart and arterial system clear of oxidised LDL cholesterol and working efficiently to enable vital nutrients and oxygen to reach the brain. However, cholesterol is essential for the body and is involved in many processes including the production of hormones and therefore brain function. Reducing total cholesterol can therefore impact your brain health. Healthy fats are essential in various forms.
  4. You must work the brain as you would any muscle in your body. Stimulating activities strengthen brain cells and the connections between them and may even create new nerve cells.
  5. We all need people around us and it is even better if we involve ourselves in activity that requires mental and physical co-ordination.
  6. Physical exercise maintains healthy blood flow to all our organs including the brain where it will prolong the health of existing brain cells by preventing any further damage.

The one way to deal with an overwhelming fear is to face it and take control of it. For me that has meant a radical change in lifestyle. At one time I smoked over 40 cigarettes a day and drank more than was good for me. My diet was atrocious and I was morbidly obese. I was certainly in a high-risk category for declining brain health, if I had lived long enough to develop the disease.

That is not to say that you have to totally abstain from everything that gives you pleasure. We only have one life and whilst I am totally anti smoking these days, I do believe that we should balance our lifestyle with our pleasures factored in. You will often find me quoting my 80/20 rule. If you follow a healthy lifestyle 80% of the time and the other 20% indulge yourself a little then you will be on the right track.

Reduce the Risk

  • Good Nutrition and hydration.
  • Low levels of plaque in our arteries so that oxygen can get to the brain
  • Exercise your brain as well as your body
  • Social interaction

Next time – Key nutrients for brain health.

©sallygeorginacronin 1999-2018

A little bit about me nutritionally.

A little about me from a nutritional perspective. Although I write a lot of fiction, I actually wrote my first two books on health, the first one, Size Matters, a weight loss programme 20 years ago. I qualified as a nutritional therapist and practiced in Ireland and the UK as well as being a consultant for radio. My first centre was in Ireland, the Cronin Diet Advisory Centre and my second book, Just Food for Health was written as my client’s workbook. Here are my health books including a men’s health manual and my anti-aging book.

All available in Ebook from:  http://www.amazon.com/Sally-Cronin/e/B0096REZM2

And Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sally-Georgina-Cronin/e/B003B7O0T6

Comprehensive guide to the body, and the major organs and the nutrients needed to be healthy 360 pages, A4: http://www.moyhill.com/html/just_food_for_health.html

Thank you for dropping in and if you have any questions fire away.. If you would like to as a private question then my email is sally.cronin@moyhill.com. I am no longer in practice and only too pleased to help in any way I can. thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Health Column – Just Food for Health – Nutrients we need – Vitamin B2 – Riboflavin


Welcome to the next in the series on nutrients the body needs to be health.

I am going to cover one of the essential B vitamins today; B2 – Riboflavin, but before I do that I would like to just make some comment about food trends, especially those that are dictated by governmental ‘experts’

In the 1980s, the government introduced new health guidelines that included a reduction of fats in the populations diet. They pushed for a higher percentage of carbohydrates which at the time were predominantly refined, white flour goods. Little distinction was made between healthy fats (they didn’t know enough about it themselves) and unhealthy fats. It was an across the board slashing of one of the most important nutrients, especially for our brain health. Instead we were encouraged to buy low-fat alternatives that the industrial food producers were only too happy to manufacture. Low-fat on a label meant chemically produced trans fats and much more refined white sugar to improve flavour. The calories were usually exactly the same, and as we consumed more white carbohydrates, the obesity and diabetic epidemics were launched.

Then cholesterol came under attack with guidelines to eat eggs sparingly and to not eat avocados or any other fat that they said induced cholesterol overload and too much of the LDL (low density lipoprotein) which leads to small particles that clump in the arteries. They then embarked on a programme to put as many middle-aged men and women on statins as possible and drive the total cholesterol down even further.

The trouble is cholesterol is a natural substance in our bodies and is involved in a number of crucial functions.. including brain health and the manufacturing of protective hormones. So not only in middle-age are your hormones reducing naturally, you are eliminating one of the elements to drive them down even further.

Now of course they have done a 180 and recommended that we consume healthy fats and drop carbohydrates.. Again without the added proviso that whole grains in moderation are also a necessary part of the diet for its fibre and B-vitamins.

My philosophy has remained the same. Everything in moderation.

I do not mind if you are a meat eater, only eat fish, are vegetarian or vegan. If you do give up a food group, then I do recommend that you also look at what nutrients you will be removing from your diet at the same time, and find an alternative source for them, which does not mean automatically reaching for a supplement.

This is the purpose behind these posts. To share with you how just one nutrient can have a long term impact of your general health and longevity.

I have more information on some of the alternatives that are available if you do decide to give up dairy and meats such as offal.

First a look at this week’s nutrient which together with the other B Vitamins is essential for our health. Vitamin B2 – Riboflavin

Like the other B vitamins, B2 plays an important role in energy production by ensuring the efficient metabolism of the food that we eat in the form of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. It plays a key role in our nutritional processes such as its help in processing amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, which is the substance that we are made of. Twenty amino acids are needed to build the various different proteins used in the growth, repair and maintenance of our body tissues and whilst eleven of these are made by the body itself, the others must be obtained from our diet and processed by other agents including B2.

The role of B2 in the uptake of iron 

Research into anaemia has highlighted the role of B2 in the body’s inability to manufacture red blood cells. There are two areas that would appear to be particularly critical. One is the vitamin’s role in mobilising iron from storage to the cells and secondly that a deficiency prevents the efficient absorption of iron.

Energy

Vitamin B2 is a vitamin that is essential for metabolising carbohydrates to produce ATP (adenosine triphosphate) without which we would be totally lacking in energy. It also works with enzymes in the liver to eliminate toxins, which helps keep us clear of infection.

Pre-Natal health

B2 is needed to change B6 and Folic Acid into an active and usable form so that our nervous system is protected. Folic acid is essential for healthy cell division and is needed before and during the first twelve weeks of pregnancy to help prevent birth defects. B2 is also part of the process that changes tryptophan, so important to our mental wellbeing, into niacin.

 

Antioxidant efficiency

Our bodies have an extremely complex chemical operating system and it is synergistic. It is rare for one of the chemical components to work in isolation and it usually requires a reaction to occur to achieve a function. For example B2 is needed to recycle the vital antioxidant Glutathione in its oxidised state (after it has done its job to detoxify the unstable free radicals) into reduced Glutathione so it can go back and do the job again.

Other areas where B2 is essential.

Without sufficient B2 we would not have healthy skin, nails and hair and our thyroid function can be compromised

B2 works in conjunction with B1, B3 and B6 and as a supplement is more usually taken as part of a B complex. Incidences of deficiency are low but are more prevalent in alcoholics and has been found in people suffering from cataracts or sickle cell anaemia. It is more likely to be a problem in developing countries where there has been some link to pre-eclampsia in pregnant women.

Sufferers of chronic fatigue syndrome, the main symptom being lack of energy, are often deficient in the B vitamins and again B2 would be included as part of a B-complex supplement.

Other areas where eating foods rich in B2 may be helpful are with migraines, headaches, cataracts, rheumatoid arthritis, anaemia and also skin conditions such as acne.

The vitamin is water-soluble and cannot be stored in the body except in very small amounts so needs to be replenished from diet every day.

Dairy products are one of the main sources of Vitamin B2.

You will see a number of articles on the toxic components in milk products in comparison to prepared soy, nut and other milks touted as the healthier option. Man has been drinking the milk of sheep, goats and cows for many thousands of years and you can be sure they got more than milk when they did, including the bacteria from their own unwashed hands as they milked the animal.

My stand on dairy products is you get what you pay for and if you insist on buying the cheapest possible milk and other dairy products you are encouraging the practice of mass farming. I like my milk to come from cows that live an outdoor life, eat grass and line-up of their own accord when it is time to hit the milking parlour.

Having said that in most of our countries there are vigorous testing and processing stages in place to minimise the toxic content of what we eat and drink. I am not naive and know that the various sectors of the food industry will spin whatever story is necessary to get us to buy their product in favour of a competitor; but being an informed consumer means doing your own research.

Here is an article on milk you might like to read and then one on the promoted health benefits of drinking the alternatives.

https://cawelfare.wordpress.com/2012/08/23/myth-buster-theres-pus-in-the-milk-no-not-really/

http://authoritynutrition.com/is-soy-bad-for-you-or-good/

If I was to use an alternative it would not be soy-milk but rice milk. The only proviso with rice milk is if you are diabetic or at risk of diabetes and you can find out more in the link.

http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/nutrition/healthy-eating/pros-and-cons-of-rice-milk.html

Offal meats.

Over the last twenty years there has been a move away from the offal meats that used to be so popular such as liver and kidney. Again I prefer to buy organic and we certainly eat from time to time. The main issue with liver is that it is both the waste organ of an animal and also the body’s storage facility which makes it a strong tasting meat as well as making it unpopular with many who feel it is gross to eat organ meat.

Here is an informative article from Dr. Mercola. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/12/30/eating-organ-meats.aspx

It is a rich source of B Vitamins and if you do eat meat then I recommend that you go to a butcher that sells organic organ meats or a farm shop and buy from that source. You will find good amounts of Vitamin B2 in lamb, beef and oily fish such as mackerel.

eggs

Eggs

This is another rich B vitamin food source that has suffered in recent years from bad press. At various times eggs have been blamed for increased cholesterol, salmonella and other diseases. The cholesterol theory has been debunked and with the screening now available within the high end of the egg industry; it is rare to find infected eggs.

It is also to remember that if you have a strong immune system, promoted by a healthy diet your body is designed to deal with a level of toxins in our food very effectively. It is only the very young and elderly, or those who have compromised immune systems that are at risk.

Again I am against factory farming particular of chickens to I am very happy to pay more for this highly nutritious food. It is a powerhouse and contains healthy amounts of not only B vitamins but also protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Selenium and phosphorus. I eat one a day and as an alternative to meat and fish regularly during the week.

Wholegrain Rice.

wholegrains

This is another of my daily foods and whilst it is again a trend to exclude all grains from the diet I strongly disagree. I cannot tolerate white, packaged bread that has been industrially produced. Not because it has the natural wheat included but because it does not. It has a heavily refined white flour that has been added to by various chemically enhanced additives and sugar. If I eat fresh home-baked soda bread made with wholegrain flour or even the supermarket bakery baguettes; I don’t have a problem.

The same with rice. I would not touch refined cheap white rice as it has lost all its nutrients in the processing and some have even been added back artificially to give it a ‘healthy’ appeal. We use Basmati wholegrain rice which is a slow burning fuel, low on the Glycemic Index and full of nutrition including the B vitamins. If you would like to know more about the Glycemic index of foods here is the link:

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/30/smorgasbord-health-column-pre-diabetes-the-epidemic-that-goes-unreported/

Other food sources for B2

Vegetarian options.

You can get B vitamins from vegetarian sources and in particular dark green vegetables such as spinach and broccoli. You can include Soybeans but again I would pay extra and buy guaranteed non-genetically modified products. Also there are good amounts in asparagus, mushrooms and almonds.

Chopping and cooking can destroy over 75% of the vitamin content of green vegetables. Step one is not to buy fresh greens that have been pre-cut and packaged. They might be more convenient but by the time it gets to your pot after several days it will have lost at least 50% of its nutritional content. Then if you overcook much of the rest will disappear into the water.

Buy the vegetables whole, eat raw or steam. Buying good quality frozen vegetables is another alternative but again most have been chopped before freezing.

A little bit about me nutritionally.

A little about me from a nutritional perspective. Although I write a lot of fiction, I actually wrote my first two books on health, the first one, Size Matters, a weight loss programme 20 years ago. I qualified as a nutritional therapist and practiced in Ireland and the UK as well as being a consultant for radio. My first centre was in Ireland, the Cronin Diet Advisory Centre and my second book, Just Food for Health was written as my client’s workbook. Here are my health books including a men’s health manual and my anti-aging book.

All available in Ebook fromhttp://www.amazon.com/Sally-Cronin/e/B0096REZM2

And Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sally-Georgina-Cronin/e/B003B7O0T6

Comprehensive guide to the body, and the major organs and the nutrients needed to be healthy 360 pages, A4: http://www.moyhill.com/html/just_food_for_health.html

Thank you for dropping in and if you have any questions fire away.. If you would like to as a private question then my email is sally.cronin@moyhill.com. I am no longer in practice and only too pleased to help in any way I can. thanks Sally

 

Medicine Woman’s Treasure Chest – Aromatherapy – Clary Sage, Background, Usage and Safety.


Twenty years ago I ran a health food shop and diet advisory centre here in Ireland and we sold essential oils for aromatherapy. I thought that I should learn more about it and took a course on the subject. It is not something that I have covered here on the blog, and I am looking forward to refreshing my memory from my course notes. and introducing you to this relaxing therapy at the same time.

What is Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy uses essential oils which have been extracted from specific sweet smelling plants for therapeutic massage. They are blended with specialised carrier oils to ensure that they are used in a diluted form and are easily absorbed by the skin. The oils can also be used to add these therapeutic aromas to our environment as well with the use of burners.

This week I am going to share more background to Clary Sage essential oil.. its history and usage.

Clary Sage from France and Russia uses the whole plant.

  • Scent: Herbaceous, earthy
  • Usage: Inhalation, Bath, Skin Care, Massage.
  • Note: Middle
  • Mood: Calming
  • Safety: Avoid with alcohol and in pregnancy (may result in early contractions, but is used for this purpose at time of delivery)

Sage as a herb.

The use of Sage goes back to the Romans and comes from the Latin ‘Salva’ for good health. You didn’t just wander into the countryside and pick the herb as it had to be carried out as part of a religious rite. The herb was used to encourage fertility, although I would imagine the juice was pretty bitter. It came into popular usage in the Middle Ages and was used as a primary preventative and cure for most known diseases of the time. Particular in relation to women and their cycle and it was also used during childbirth to encourage contractions. Sage contains a component sclareol which mimics the actions of eostrogen in the body. If you were deficient in eostrogen then this would encourage the hormone to increase.. however if you have sufficient of the hormone it would not increase it further.

Sage was also used to treat stomach upsets, sore throats and it is believed that it helps ease the discomfort of insect bites.

Generally the herb is antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and astringent and to take internally you would use a teaspoon of dried leaves and steep in boiling water for 30 minutes. You would drink a cup a day but sipping slowly over a half an hour or so.

Clary Sage as an essential oil.

The latin name of this variety of sage is (Salvia sclarea) and is also known as ‘eye bright’ as it has traditionally used for eye health.

It is often inhaled to reduce stress and may reduce high blood pressure and improve mild depression.

It has been used to reduce spasms and convulsions. This includes wind build up in the intestines by using diluted oil as a massage oil for the lower abdomen.

When diluted Clary Sage can be used topically on bacterial skin conditions and also may help wound healing.

Because of the sclareol content of clary sage, and the fact that it mimics eostrogen, it has been used to treat menopausal symptoms, particularly hot flushes by rubbing in diluted oil into the soles of the feet. It has also been used to reduce menstrual cramping when diluted and rubbed into the lower abdomen twice a day.

How to use Clary Sage.

You can inhale Clary Sage directly from the bottle but I suggest holding it a few inches from your nose when you do so until you are used to the scent. Useful in stressful situations and it is easy to keep a small bottle to hand.

You can also add the oil to potpourri or a few drops into a spray bottle of water to use as a room freshener.

Never apply the oil directly to your skin without diluting first into your preferred carrier oil, and if you missed part two of the series, I have put a reminder about some of the more popular carrier oils at the bottom of the post.

Add 3 to 4 drops to an ounce (30mls) of the carrier oil.  I do highly recommend that you do a patch test first on the inside of your wrist and leave for a few hours before applying.

You can add a few drops to your bath water for a relaxing soak and I have used in conjunction with sensitive bath products (baby range) as an all over wash.

A word of warning

If you are visiting a qualified massage therapist you can talk about your personal requirements at the time of your first consultation, and it is very important that you provide all the relevant information to them about where you are in your cycle, if you might be pregnant or if you are going through the menopause.

If you are planning on using Clary Sage for massage at home take those same issues into consideration.

Also because of its relaxing and light sedative effects you should not take with alcohol as it enhances the effects.

Hormone Disruption

Obviously, this is not quite the same issue for men… However, there is some concern that some essential oils, that do mimic the effects of oestrogen, can result in hormonal changes in males under certain circumstances.

Recently there was a study into two other herbs that are in common usage; Lavender and Tea Tree oil which contain natural oestrogen rather than Slareol which mimics the hormone. The implication was that the condition, now on the increase, which results in males developing more breast tissue, is related to their use of Tea Tree and Lavender regularly in toiletries.

However, I tend to question these studies that do not offer us the complete dietary, lifestyle and medication background to the participants. An increase in breast tissue in males can be down to a number of other causes, such as an imbalance at puberty as the hormones fluctuate, and is usually resolved within a couple of years.

Also it can result in older males due to cancer treatments, antibiotics, certain heart medications, anti-depressants and taking recreational drugs including marijuana or performance enhancing supplements such as steroids.

Diet and lifestyle can also result in males putting on fat tissue around the breast area, especially if their diet is very high in certain meat or poultry treated with hormones to increase growth . There are other foods that can also result in this abnormal breast tissue growth in men and also health issues in women such as Soy…You might be interested in reading this article. Estrogen Dominance: How Food Affects Men and Women By Ginger Shelby

I also wrote recently about the hormone mimic in plastic and inside food cans that will be impacting those born in the last thirty years.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/02/06/smorgasbord-health-column-health-in-the-news-the-hormone-mimic-in-plastic-and-inside-food-cans/

However, this brings me back to the use of any natural therapeutic product… you need to treat with respect and with essential oils, a little goes a long way. Two to four drops in the correct ratio to a carrier oil provides a safe balance.

Whilst Clary Sage is not indicated as resulting in hormonal changes in men, I would advice caution if you are male and are undergoing treatments for cancer or taking medications that might result in hormonal changes without consulting your doctor and a qualified aromatherapist.

Blending Clary Sage with other essential oils.

The oil blends particularly well with any of the citrus family.

Lemongrass is made from grass from Africa, Brazil and Sri Lanka.

  • Scent: lemony
  • Usage: Skin care, massage, bath,
  • Note:  Top
  • Mood: Stimulating and Refreshing
  • Safety: 24 hour test on sensitive skin.

And also other oils which share calming, harmonising or reassuring moods.

Frankincense from Somalia and Oman is extracted from the resin.

  • Scent: Incense, warm
  • Usage: Inhalation, Bath, Skin Care, Massage
  • Note: Middle, Base
  • Mood: Calming
  • Safety: None indicated.

Geranium from Egypt, Madagascar, China is made from the whole plant.

  • Scent: Floral
  • Usage: Skin Care, Massage, Baths
  • Note: Middle
  • Mood: Harmonising
  • Safety: None Indicated.

Jasmine from Egypt, India and France and uses the flowers.

  • Scent: Floral
  • Usage: Inhalation, Massage, Baths
  • Note: Middle
  • Mood: Reassuring
  • Safety: 24hour test on sensitive skin.

A reminder about the right carrier oils to use with individual essential oils.

Essential oils are known as volatile because they smell of the plant they were extracted from and evaporate quickly according to the ‘note’ of the oil. For example if an essential oil has a ‘top’ note such as a citrus oil, it will evaporate within a couple of hours of being applied to the skin. Whereas, an oil with a ‘base’ note is warmer and lasts longer, sometimes for several hours or days. Although called an oil, it does not feel oily and it is not easy to apply. The essential oil also requires diluting in varying degrees dependent on how you are going to use. As skincare, for massage or therapeutic. It therefore needs to be blended with an oil that can be applied smoothly.

A carrier oil is made from plants but is scentless which makes them a perfect partner for the pungent essential oils. Because these natural plant oils have not got the extended shelf life of the essential oils, you would blend and keep on the shelf for a much shorter period or less than six months.

Here are some of the more common oils used in aromatherapy and you should experiment to find the one that suits you best dependent on your own skin type.

For example I have a fairly dry skin so like to use either Jojoba oil or prepared Coconut oil which has been liquified. They are also lighter in aroma and I feel maintain the aroma of the essential oil better. I have also used Sweet Almond Oil but if you have a nut allergy you should avoid.  I am now experimenting with Avocado Oil and I am pleasantly surprised how well it is absorbed.

Other oils that you can use are also solid and room temperature and are more difficult to work with such as Cocoa Butter and Shea Butter although when melted they can add a smooth feel for massage purposes. It tend to not use Olive Oil as I find the smell stronger than I like.

There are several other carrier oils available and I suggest you do some research based on your skin type and price and availability. There are some health food shops who stock them but you can also find some of the plant based oils in the supermarket.

©sallycronin Just food for Health – 1999-2018

I hope that you have found of interest and always delighted to receive your feedback. Thanks Sally

 

 

 

Smorgasbord Health Column – The Organs of the Body – The Brain – Part Two – How the brain develops from conception through life.


I appreciate that many of you who have been kindly following the blog for a long time will have seen this post before. However, if you are new to Smorgasbord, I hope you will find interesting.

Here is part one of the series about the structure of the brain.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/03/26/the-smorgasbord-health-column-the-organs-of-the-body-the-brain-part-one-introduction-and-anatomy/

How the brain develops from conception through life.

We are hard wired and from the moment of conception there will be enforced changes to the structure and function of our brains. Whilst the process of development is beyond our control, there is still a powerful external influence on how well that programming is carried out. Before birth the health, nutrition, environment and lifestyle choices of the mother can impact both the rate of brain development and the health of the brain cells. After birth during the formative years up to age 15, environment, nutrition and stimulation of those brain cells is critical and if they do not receive sufficient amounts of all of these there is a chance that irreversible damage will occur.

The development of the brain does not follow a straight upward line it comes in waves with certain parts of the brain achieving full function at different times. There is however a sequence that every brain will follow.

Egg surrounded by SpermAt conception the sperm and the egg form a single cell combining to form the genetic blueprint. Over 60% of our genes are committed to forming our brain which is after all the control centre for all our other functions. Around three to four weeks into development a thin layer of cells form in the embryo, which then fold and fuse to form a liquid filled tube. This minute start is vital as it is the first stage in the development of the brain and spinal cord. This is followed by the production of nerve cells called neurons.

Embryo 54 daysA miracle occurs as cells in the neural tube accelerate at an amazing rate reaching around 15million neurons an hour. This rate of growth continues for the first six months of a foetus’s development.

At around 14 weeks with millions of cells in place a change occurs as they begin to migrate to specific parts of the neural network and the inbuilt GPS usually sends them to the correct address. Some do however get lost or damaged in transit and die off.

Rarely however, some do reach the wrong destination and form incorrect connections and this coding error can lead to certain disorders such as autism or epilepsy, slower physical and mental development and in some cases more severe mental health issues.

At 20 weeks about half the existing cells are shed and those that remain are organised into compartments within the brain that govern virtually every automatic function in our bodies and also our senses and skills.

At birth we have around 100 billion brain cells and we begin the next stage in our development. Most of the connections between the neurons are barely formed and will need to be strengthened by the time we reach the age of three. A baby has most of the senses working at birth such as sight, smell, hearing and the ability to respond to touch. Immediately with that first breath the brain kicks into overdrive and forms trillions of connections and pathways enabling learning.

As with the early development of the brain, it is vital that the environment, nutrition and stimulation are available to enable the brain to process and learn from experience.
These experiences trigger the electrical activity necessary to enable the brain to develop connections and grow. These connections are called synapses. The connections are formed by each neuron putting out a long tentacle like fibre called an axon. The neuron uses the axon to send messages to other neurons. The messages are sent as electrical signals and picked up by thousands of short, hair like fibres called dendrites (also produced by the neurons). Each neuron is able to connect up with thousands of other neurons.

It is then that ‘practice makes perfect’ comes into play as repeated experiences, sights, smells or movements form well-worn paths within the brain that we remember for a lifetime. By age two our brains have developed trillions of these pathways and although they continue to form throughout our lifetime they have reached their highest density.

Our higher functioning ability is usually operational by age three and we begin to think for ourselves, use language effectively and have developed personality traits.

After three years old we continue to absorb knowledge and experience like a sponge and the constant practice etches the functions into the brain. If that absorption ceases for some reason and we stop practicing certain functions, we can lose them completely as the brain discards little used pathways in favour of more travelled routes.

This pruning process and strengthening of the connections in the brain is most active in the teen years. The prefrontal cortex is the last to mature and it involves the control of impulses and decision-making. Anyone who has had children going through this phase will have a clear understanding of the ‘challenges’ that arise during this phase! This powerful surge in the brain is accompanied by the added influx of hormones which results in a chemical and electrical ‘perfect storm’.

There is a strong element of voluntary change at this stage of the development of the brain. It is around this age that we start making choices about what we eat, the amount of exercise we take, to take up smoking or drinking alcohol and to stop formal education. All these elements will affect the few years left of brain development we have left and therefore our mental capacity.

The brain continues to defrag the mainframe and the strongest connections survive. By our early 20s our brain development is matured into a powerful and functioning organ with approximately 500 trillion pathways.

At around 30 years old the physical changes will wind down in the brain and this is where even more of a voluntary contribution to growth, experience and maintenance is required to keep the pathways clear of debris such as plaque so that they continue to function efficiently.

This phase lasts for the next 35 or 40 years. The brain cells are active and we contribute to their health by diet, stimulation and avoiding lifestyle choices that kill them off. Such as smoking, drinking too much alcohol, not taking exercise, eating a diet rich in components that block our arteries and blood flow to the brain……you get the idea.

After 65 years old there is a natural dying off of cells in certain parts of the brain. This does not mean that you will lose all your mental capacity, but little things will begin to make an impact on your daily functioning. For example brain cells lost from the Hippocampus where we process memories will result in forgetfulness.

You are NOT destined to develop full blown dementia and you can make sure that you support your brain function by eating a healthy balanced diet, getting plenty of oxygen and regular exercise, reducing stress and interacting with others and events to stimulate the pathways to remain open. More so than at any other time in the lifespan of your brain, the voluntary choices and changes you make to your way of life will bring huge benefits.

©sallygeorginacronin 1999-2018

Next time a more detailed look at dementia and how we can take preventative action at any age to minimise the decline in brain function.

A little bit about me nutritionally.

A little about me from a nutritional perspective. Although I write a lot of fiction, I actually wrote my first two books on health, the first one, Size Matters, a weight loss programme 20 years ago. I qualified as a nutritional therapist and practiced in Ireland and the UK as well as being a consultant for radio. My first centre was in Ireland, the Cronin Diet Advisory Centre and my second book, Just Food for Health was written as my client’s workbook. Here are my health books including a men’s health manual and my anti-aging book.

All available in Ebook fromhttp://www.amazon.com/Sally-Cronin/e/B0096REZM2

And Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sally-Georgina-Cronin/e/B003B7O0T6

Comprehensive guide to the body, and the major organs and the nutrients needed to be healthy 360 pages, A4: http://www.moyhill.com/html/just_food_for_health.html

Thank you for dropping in and if you have any questions fire away.. If you would like to as a private question then my email is sally.cronin@moyhill.com. I am no longer in practice and only too pleased to help in any way I can. thanks Sally