Smorgasbord Health Column – Weekly Grocery Shopping List by #Nutrient – Part Three – Calcium to Manganese


Last week I posted  Part Two of this alternative shopping list by nutrient, as well as types of vitamins, water or fat soluble, and a basic list of essential nutrients the body needs to be healthy. At the end of the the posts, I will collate the foods into nutritional groups so that you can print off and refer to when doing your weekly shop.

I believe in eating, and eating all food groups, just moderating the amount that you eat based on your requirements. Your body knows how to process fresh food, raw and cooked from scratch. It is not designed to extract nutrients from manufactured foods which includes the majority that come in a packet, jar or can.

With that in mind here is part three of a shopping list that your body might write if it was capable. It does try to tell you that it is missing elements that it needs which is when you are sick.

Last year we ran a series on nutrients and the symptoms of deficiency.. and Carol Taylor provided very tasty recipes using ingredients to make sure you don’t lack certain vital vitamins and minerals. Cook from Scratch to avoid Nutritional Deficiency with Sally Cronin and Carol Taylor

Minerals the body needs and the foods you should add to your shopping list.

Calcium: The most abundant and essential mineral in the body. There are approximately two to three pounds mainly found in the teeth and bones. Apart from its role in the formation of teeth and bones it is also required for blood clotting, transmission of signals in nerve cells and muscle contractions. There is some indication that higher calcium intake protects against cardiovascular disease particularly in women. If you are at risk of kidney stones consult your doctor before taking in additional calcium supplements. This also applies if you are suffering from prostate cancer where there may be a link between increased levels of dietary calcium in dairy products and this form of cancer. It is thought it is thought that excess calcium causes lower levels of Vitamin D, which helps protect against prostate cancer.

The best dietary sources of calcium milk, cheese and butter, goats milk, sardines canned salmon with the bones, green leafy vegetables, spinach, watercress (more calcium than milk) tofu.

Chromium is an essential trace mineral that helps the body maintain normal blood sugar levels. A deficiency of the mineral can lead to diabetes and this is where the primary research into this mineral has been directed. It may help increase the healthy cholesterol in the blood (HDL) and is necessary for fatty acid and protein metabolism

Chromium first and foremost is a component of the ‘glucose tolerance factor’ which is required for maintaining a normal blood glucose balance. Chromium works with insulin to ease the absorption of blood glucose into the cells and it may also play a part in other activities that involve insulin such as the metabolism of fats and proteins. Find out more:

Best sources of chromium broccoli and other dark green leafy vegetables, romaine lettuce, onions, tomatoes, wholegrains, potatoes, oysters and other seafood, liver, cheese, chicken, turkey, beef and lamb also contain good amounts.

COPPER: Copper is an essential trace element needed to absorb and utilise Iron. It is needed to make ATP and is also to synthesise some hormones and blood cells. Collagen needs copper, as does the enzyme tyrosinase, which plays a role in the production of skin pigment. Too much copper in the diet can depress levels of zinc and effect wound healing.

Best sources are seafood like oysters, cashews and other nuts, cherries, cereals, potatoes, cherries, vegetables and most organ meats.

Iodine: Iodine is a trace mineral that is needed to make thyroid hormones that maintain metabolism in all the cells of the body. It is rare to be deficient in the western world but the key time to ensure that iodine levels are maintained is during pregnancy as deficiency of the mineral has been linked to miscarriages and premature births and congenital abnormalities. Children whose mothers were deficient in iodine can develop growth and mental issues and hearing loss. A moderate deficiency has also been linked to ADHD.

Best sources are in seafood, iodised salt and sea vegetables such as samphire. Also in fish such as cod, mackerel and haddock, eggs, live yoghurt and strawberries

Iron: The main function of iron is in haemoglobin, which is the oxygen-carrying component of blood. When someone is iron deficient they suffer extreme fatigue because they are being starved of oxygen. Iron is also part of myoglobin which helps muscle cells store oxygen and it is also essential for the formation of ATP.

Dietary iron is found in two forms, haem iron and non-haem iron. (Heme in US). Haem iron, which is the most absorbable, is found only in animal flesh as it is taken from the haemoglobin and myoglobin in animal tissue. Non-haem iron is found in plant foods.

Best food sources for haem iron are shellfish such as cockles and mussels, liver, meat, poultry and fish.  And for non-haem plant based sources whole grains and fortifed cereals, watercress, spinach and other dark green leafy vegetables, broccoli, legumes, Sweet Potatoes tofu, pumpkin seeds, and tofu. Strawberries, tomatoes,watermelon, prunes and dried apricots.

Magnesium is essential mineral needed for bone, protein and fatty acid formation, forming new cells, activating the B vitamins, relaxing muscles, clotting blood and forming ATP the fuel the body runs on. The secretion and action of insulin also needs magnesium. It is needed to balance calcium in the body and too much can result in very low levels of calcium.

The best food sources are whole grains, beans, seeds, wheat germ, dried apricots, dark green vegetables, soybeans and fish.

Manganese is needed for healthy skin, bone and cartilage formation as well as glucose tolerance. Also forms part of the antioxidant superoxide dismutase, which helps prevent free radical damage.Only needed in small amounts but is essential for brain health (it may help prevent strokes), may prevent health issues associated with free radical damage such as heart disease and arthritis.

Best food sources are nuts, seeds, wholegrains, leafy green vegetables, tea and pineapple.

Next time more minerals we need to be healthy and Amino Acids and Essential Fatty Acids you should include in your shopping list- and if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask. Thanks Sally.

©Sally Cronin Just Food for Health 1998 – 2020

I am a qualified nutritional therapist with twenty- two years experience working with clients in Ireland and the UK as well as being a health consultant on radio in Spain. 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, based on my own weight loss of 154lbs. My first clinic was in Ireland, the Cronin Diet Advisory Centre and my second book, Just Food for Health was written as my client’s workbook. Since then I have written a men’s health manual, and anti-aging programme, articles for magazines and posts here on Smorgasbord.

If you would like to browse my health books and fiction you can find them here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/my-books-and-reviews-2019-2020/

 

 

 

 

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up – 5th – 11th January 2020 – Count Basie, Phosphorus, Reviews, New Books, Bloggers and Funnies.


Welcome to the round up of posts that you might have missed during the week here on Smorgasbord.

It seems to take longer each year to get back to normal after the holidays. Almost the middle of January and at least spring always appears to be around the corner once we get into this part of the year. Nothing startling happening around the house as we are waiting for dry weather to get in stones for drainage and topsoil to finish the piece where the new fence has been erected. We have adopted a much more relaxed approach to these jobs now, as nothing we do or say is going to make the weather more amenable to our needs!

Never mind, there is plenty of warmth and friendship online to enjoy and we could have it a great deal worse. As the fires in Australia continue, we can only be grateful for days of rain and the ability to live safely. The devastation and loss of life and wildlife is something that will take decades to fully recover from and it must be a huge worry for relatives of families in the areas under attack.

As always my thanks to the regular contributors and to you for dropping in and supporting us with your comments and sharing of posts.

This week William shares the music of the legendary Count Basie – 1904 – 1984

William Price King with Count Basie

In the final post of this series Carol Taylor and I team up to share the symptoms of a deficiency of Phosphorus and the foods you need to include in your diet regularly.

This week cooking from scratch to prevent a deficiency of phosphorus

This month Silvia Todesco shows us how to make authentic pesto sauce, and essential ingredient in pasta sauces.

Pesto alla Genovese sauce, ten tricks for the best result

What I wish I knew then by Pete Springer

My review for Watching Glass Shatter by James J. Cudney

My review #Mystery Watching Glass Shatter by James M. Cudney

Two more stories from this collection…

Eric – Just Making Do

Fionnuala The Swan

For the first Tuesday in the month for Colleen’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge 159 it is poet’s choice.  I have selected a Butterfly Cinquain…

Butterfly Cinquain – Friendship

Unarranged Marriage by Ritu Bhathal on pre-order February 9th.

Beck ‘n’ Call Lands of Exile Book 2 by Stuart France and Sue Vincent

The Old Gilt Clock by Paulette Mahurin

Thriller Carol Balawyder, Mystery Diana J. Febry, Afghanistan Patricia Furstenberg

Poetry Lynda McKinney Lambert, Thriller Don Massenzio, Prehistory Jacqui Murray

Book Review Michelle Clements James, Book Launch Tips Mary Smith, Climate Change Carol Taylor

Movie Review D.G. Kaye, Funnies The Story Reading Ape, Measurements Beetley Pete

Recipes Amy Reade, Tarot Jan Sikes, Interview Jane Risdon

Carol Taylor – Whimsical Wednesdays – Robbie Cheadle Book review, Marcia Meara with a marketing opportunity

Aurora Jean Alexander – Books, Inspiration Charli Mills, Japanese Poetry Colleen Chesebro

Here is part one of an alternative shopping list that your body might write if it was capable. It does try to tell you that it is missing elements that it needs which is when you are sick. This list contains the top sources for the nutrients our bodies need to be healthy.

Shopping List by Nutrient – Vitamins A- B

More funnies from Debby and a joke from Sally’s Archives

More funnies and an invitation to join in the fun

Thank you for all your support and wishing you a great week ahead. Look forward to seeing you here again.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Health Column – Weekly Grocery Shopping List by Nutrient – Part One – Vitamins A – B


Last week I shared my year of living without sugar my year of living without sugar and the results, eating a diet of low to moderate glycemic foods with some high glycemic ones thrown in for good measure. I am certainly not on a crash diet and in fact I am eating more variety than ever before.

I am not posting my usual weight loss series this year, for the simple reason that most of you understand that I don’t believe in crash dieting and that your body deserves more respect than to starve it of the nutrients it needs to be healthy.

I believe in eating, and eating all food groups, just moderating the amount that you eat based on your requirements. Your body knows how to process fresh food, raw and cooked from scratch. It is not designed to extract nutrients from manufactured foods which includes the majority that come in a packet, jar or can.

Most of the lifestyle diseases we suffer from and overburden the health service with are related to the fuel we put into our bodies. Unfortunately, unlike the mechanic who services my car, and understands what the correct fuel mix for its engine is required, most doctors do not have a clue about the fuel the body needs and this is reflected in the number of pills that we as a population are consuming at an increasingly alarming rate.

With that in mind here is part one of a shopping list that your body might write if it was capable. It does try to tell you that it is missing elements that it needs which is when you are sick.

Last year we ran a new series on nutrients and the symptoms of deficiency.. and Carol Taylor provided very tasty recipes using ingredients to make sure you don’t lack certain vital vitamins and minerals. Cook from Scratch to avoid Nutritional Deficiency with Sally Cronin and Carol Taylor

The alternative shopping list by nutrient that the body needs to be healthy – Part One

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.

You can ring the changes within the nutritional ingredients, 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, for example, that is the Avocado.

I hope you will find plenty of foods that you enjoy on this list and will incorporate others you are less familiar with so that you get plenty of variety.

First a little more about vitamins and their sources

Water Soluble Vitamins

These include all the B vitamins, vitamin C as well as Folic Acid. They are not easily stored in the body and are often lost in cooking or by being eliminated from the body. This means that they must be consumed in constant daily amounts to prevent deficiencies. In the case of Vitamin C this could lead to poor immune system function and if you are deficient in the B vitamins you will not be able to metabolise the fat, protein and carbohydrates that you eat.

Fat Soluble Vitamins.

These vitamins include A, D, E and K. Because they are soluble in fat they tend to be stored in the body’s fat tissues, fat cells and liver. This means that they should be supplemented with care if you are already taking in plenty on a daily basis in your diet. In excess even supposedly beneficial nutrients can be toxic and this is why you always should adjust your diet first before taking in additional supplements.

First the basic nutrients we need for energy and healthy functioning systems and organs. If you would like to explore each of the nutrients in more detail you can find in the link next to the foods.

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 AcidsBioflavonoids – 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)

Here is the shopping list to select foods from for each of the nutrients.

Vitamin A or Retinol was actually the first of the fat-soluble vitamins to be identified, in the States in 1913.  It is only found in animal sources but some plants contain compounds called carotenoids, which give fruit and vegetables their red, orange and yellow colours.  The body can convert some of these carotenoids including beta-carotene into Vitamin A. Find out more about this nutrient: Vitamin A – Retinal or Beta Carotene

Vitamin A – from plants:carrots, red peppers, sweet potato, apricots, broccoli, cantaloupe melon, nectarines, peaches and spinach. Cashew nuts. Vitamin A – from animal sources: Liver, meat, fish, fish oils, free range eggs and dairy.

Vitamin B1- Thiamin

Vitamin B1 (Thiamin) is a water-soluble vitamin. This means that along with the other B vitamins and Vitamin C it travels through the blood stream and any excess is eliminated in our urine. The body cannot store thiamin but it is found in tissues within the body such as in the liver, heart, kidneys and the nervous system where it binds to enzymes. This does mean that these types of vitamins need to be replaced from our food continuously. Find out more about this nutrient: Vitamin B1 Thiamin

Vitamin B1 sources –whole grains such as brown rice, oats and whole wheat cereals and bread, beans, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, nuts, pineapple, watermelon, asparagus, spinach, squash, lentils, beans, peanuts as well as oily fish, eggs, lean ham and pork.

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. It is also vital for the uptake of iron to find out more about this nutrient: Vitamin B2 -Riboflavin

Vitamin B2 sources – All green leafy vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, asparagus, mushrooms, almonds, fish, milk, eggs, wholegrains, wheat germ, liver and kidney

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. 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. To find out more about this nutrient: Vitamin B3 Niacin

Vitamin B3 sources Asparagus, broccoli, spinach, mushrooms, potatoes, tomatoes, sunflower seeds, wholegrain bread and cereals. Chicken, Lamb, Turkey, Salmon, tuna, Venison, eggs and cheese.

Vitamin B5Pantothenic acid 

Like the other B vitamins, B5 plays an important role in the conversion of carbohydrates into glucose, which is burned to produce energy. These nutrients are also needed to breakdown fats and proteins as well as promoting the health of the nervous system, skin, hair, eyes and importantly this month, the liver. Vitamin B5 has a number of roles in the body some more critical than others. One job that is vitally important is assisting in the manufacture of red blood cells as well as sex and stress related hormones. To find out more about this nutrient: B5 – Pantothenic Acid

Vitamin B5 sources – Organic (non GMO) Corn, Cauliflower, Shitake Mushrooms, Brewer’s yeast, avocado, duck,  Organic (non- GMO) soybeans, lobster and strawberries.

B6 is a water-soluble vitamin that exists in three major chemical forms: Pyridoxine, pyridoxal and pyridoxamine B6 plays such a crucial role in so many functions of the body that a deficiency can have a huge impact on your health. It is required for over 100 enzymes that metabolise the protein that you eat. Along with the mineral Iron, it is essential for healthy blood. The nervous and immune systems also require vitamin B6 to function efficiently. It is also necessary for our overall feeling of well being as it converts the amino acid tryptophan, which is essential for the production of neurotransmitters such as serotonin in the brain. Without B6 you would not be able to manufacture haemoglobin to carry oxygen around the body. Find out more about this nutrient B6 Pyridoxine – Blood Health and Depression

Sources for vitamin B6 – wholegrain carbohydrates like brown rice, porridge oats, walnuts and sunflower seeds, bananas, avocados, salmon and tuna, dried fruit such as prunes and raisins, eggs, wheatgerm, poultry and meats such as lamb.

Vitamin B12 (Cyanocolbalamin) is an essential water-soluble vitamin but unlike other water soluble vitamins that are normally excreted in urine very quickly, B12 accumulates and gets stored in the liver (around 80%), kidney and body tissues.

  • B12 is vital for the efficient working of every cell in the body especially those with a rapid turnover as it prevents cell degeneration.
  • It functions as a methyl donor and works with folic acid in the manufacture of DNA and red blood cells.
  • B12 is necessary to maintain the health of the insulating sheath (myelin sheath) that surrounds all nerve cells.
  • It is involved in the production of melatonin, the hormone responsible for resetting our biological clock’s rhythm when we change to new time zones, and also helps us sleep
  • To find out more about this nutrient: B12 Cyanocolbalamin for cell health, DNA and sleep

Sources for Vitamin B12B12 is present in meats apart from offal, eggs and dairy products. It is better to drink a cold glass of full fat milk than to eat yoghurt as the fermentation process destroys most of the B12 as does boiling milk. One of the best sources is Marmite with 25% of your daily requirement in one 5gm serving…

There are very few sources, if any of B12 in plants, although some people do believe that eating fermented Soya products, sea weeds and algae will provide the vitamin. However analysis of these products shows that whilst some of them do contain B12 it is in the form of B12 analogues which are unable to be absorbed by the human body.

I hope that you have found this useful, and at the end of the three part series I will post a complete shopping list for you to copy and print off.

©Sally Cronin Just Food for Health 1998 – 2020

I am a qualified nutritional therapist with twenty- two years experience working with clients in Ireland and the UK as well as being a health consultant on radio in Spain. 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, based on my own weight loss of 154lbs. My first clinic was in Ireland, the Cronin Diet Advisory Centre and my second book, Just Food for Health was written as my client’s workbook. Since then I have written a men’s health manual, and anti-aging programme, articles for magazines and posts here on Smorgasbord.

If you would like to browse by health books and fiction you can find them here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/my-books-and-reviews-2019-2020/

 

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up 29th December to 4th January 2020 –


Welcome to the first round up of 2020 with a posts that you might have missed during the week.

It was a quiet Christmas and New Year for us and we enjoyed taking it easy and watching favourite movies and series again. Including the Millennium Trilogy featuring the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo in the first three books… in Swedish with sub-titles. Brilliant.

From January 13th we will be treated to the first of the new series by D.G. Kaye, Debby Gies on another of her areas of expertise… relationships. She is going to introduce the column and then she will begin the series in March on her return from her winter sunshine in Mexico. I am really looking forward to her insight and I am sure you will enjoy too.

 

Carol Taylor will also be changing her column from the 15th of January. There is one more cooking from scratch to prevent deficiency this coming week with Phosphorous as the nutrient in question… and then Carol will be featuring her A – Z of food every two weeks. She is going to be getting her cookbook and novel ready to be published this year (no pressure then Carol ♥) I think you will find you will be expanding your shopping list by the end of the year to include new and healthy foods to enjoy.

Silvia Todesco will also be continuing her column on Italian Cookery throughout the year and we will be starting the new series this coming Thursday with an essential ingredient to many pasta dishes and synonymous with Italian cookery… homemade pesto sauce.  Then a new dish every month for you to try and enjoy.

William Price King is of course going to be providing the music for the blog again this year with his extensive background in jazz, classical and contemporary music, we have been privileged to enjoy a masterclass every two weeks. I have always loved music and have discovered so many more artists to listen to and a better understanding of the different styles across the decades. William is back this coming Tuesday with the legendary Count Basie.

Time to catch up on the posts from the week.

My New Year’s Eve Post with special thanks to the contributors to the blog this year.

Happy New Year

A new series of Posts from Your Archives featuring two of your favourite posts from 2019.. full details in the post.

New series of Posts from Your Archives 2020

I continue with the stories from What’s in a Name during the week.

Celia – Crisis of Faith

Clive – The Debt

David – In Remembrance

Diana – Full of Grace

Elaine – A Shining Light

Time for the first Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge by Charli Mills of the year and this week we are offered the chance to write about a hutch… either as a piece of furniture or an animal hutch.

The Rabbit Hutch

The final posts in this year’s Christmas book fair with more of my recommended reads for 2019.  Here are just a handful that I recommend..you can find the rest in the post.

More Recommended books by Sally

Author update.

Marcia Meara, Karen Ingalls, Lorinda J. Taylor

Robbie Cheadle, C.S. Boyack, Eloise de Sousa

Mary Adler, Jane Sturgeon, Sally Cronin

Charli Mills, John W. Howell, James J. Cudney

Over the last year I gave up sugar in most forms including alcohol and am now three stone lighter and considerably fitter. This post is how I achieved that.

My year without sugar and the results

More funnies from Debby and a joke from Sally’s Archives

Even more funnies from Debby Gies and Sally

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope to see you again next week…Sally

Smorgasbord Health Column – My year of life without sugar – the results January 2020


You might be surprised to find that I am not going to be repeating my weight loss series this year as there is so much ‘diet’ advice out there already, and to be honest the ones that are publicised are usually from celebrities without the slightest nutritional training who are determined to get you to give up one food group or another.

Before I share any dietary advice here on the blog, I practice on myself and check the results carefully. This applies to eating programmes and also to supplements.

The bull was never the same again…..

Most of you are aware that 25 years ago I weighed over 24 stone (330 lbs) I lost 11 stone (154lbs) initially and felt great obviously. But like most people who have lost a great deal of weight, especially in a short space of time, it does tend to come back again.

One of the reasons for that is why so many gastric band surgeries are ultimately not successful. By severely restricting calories over an extended period of time you are signalling the body that there is a famine and it goes into survival mode. And as soon as you start eating normally, the body is going to store everything it can and you gain not only the weight you have lost but some extra too… just in case there is another famine around the corner. Something that the average woman experiences a number of times a year.

In the last twenty five years my weight has fluctuated.. stress, injury and stopping my two hour daily swim on our return to Ireland played their part. Despite the fact that we have a ‘cook from scratch’ approach to our meals, at the end of 2018, I found myself gaining weight rapidly and most of it was around my middle which is a pretty good indication that I was pre-diabetic.

It is estimated that there are 84 million Americans who are pre-diabetic and are at very high risk of developing full blown diabetes. CDC January 2018

According to the World Health Authority it is estimated that there are 400 million people worldwide with diabetes. In the US around 30 million and the UK approximately 3.8 million have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

Unfortunately it is the many millions who are undiagnosed that are at the greatest risk

You do not need to have full-blown diabetes to be suffering from some of the symptoms associated with the disease. There is a condition called pre-diabetes that can be managed with diet and exercise and does not have to lead to the development of type 2 diabetes in the future.

It is also called impaired glucose intolerance and in my experience very closely connected with lifestyle and diet and a possible overgrowth of Candida Albicans. Being overweight, not doing enough exercise and elevated LDL cholesterol levels are also part of the equation. LDL (low density lipoprotein) has smaller particles than the HDL (high density lipoprotein) and because of this it is easier for the LDL to clump and form plaque in the arteries which will narrow them causing a blockage.

Symptoms of Pre-Diabetes

There are a number of symptoms that you might experience either singularly or in combination with one or more of the others.

  • Feeling hungry all the time
  • Losing or gaining weight without much change to your diet
  • Feeling weak as if you might have the flu
  • Slow healing of cuts or bruises
  • Unexplained skin rashes
  • Bladder infections
  • Vision problems.

Unfortunately some people do not suffer any symptoms at all making this a silent disease and if this is the case it might not be detected until the person is suffering from full blown diabetes.

My year of giving up sugar.

I actually began the process of eliminating sugar in September 2018 when I gave up alcohol. We are not heavy drinkers by any means but we still would have a couple of glasses of wine at weekends or if we were entertaining and judging by the number of bottles in the recycling box, that was quite a lot over a month. I had a margarita on Christmas day and a hot toddy on Boxing Day..

I still have the odd glass of wine if we are celebrating something special and a couple of glasses of Cava every few months is not going to be a problem. I had a margarita on Christmas day and a hot toddy on Boxing Day and can honestly say that neither actually made me feel very good.

But we did laugh this week when we realised we had not recycled any glass for three months and those we did need to get rid off were Saurkraut and pickle jars.

Having made a start by giving up alcohol I also gave up chocolate in May except for a handful over Christmas, which tasted great but I was content with not eating the whole tin.

I know it sounds drastic but I did not want all the hard work I put in at 42 to have been a waste of time at 67 which is what I will be on my next birthday.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates come in many forms and get dropped from people’s diet in a flash.  To be clear that if it is refined, white carbohydrates in bread, biscuits, cakes, pies and anything else that has gone through industrialised processing.. then it is sugar.

Wholegrain carbohydrates with minimal processing are less sugary but they still do need to be eaten moderation. I experimented and found that I was less bloated if I skipped the wheat completely and stick to wholegrain rice. If I do have any bread it is wholegrain Irish soda bread with minimum sugar added.

THE GLYCEMIC INDEX.

Not all carbohydrate foods behave the same way when eaten. The Glycemic index or GI describes this difference by ranking carbohydrates according to their effect on our blood glucose levels.   Foods are ranked according to their effect in relation to pure sugar which would be 100.

So a food that is ranked at 50 has a much slower effect on blood glucose levels than sugar which causes a much faster reaction. The slower the reaction the less insulin is released into the bloodstream.

This results in less fat being stored, particularly around the hips and thighs.

A low Glycemic diet reduces the onset of dramatic fluctuations in blood sugar levels and therefore will regulate the feelings of hunger. In addition lower Glycemic foods are usually much higher in nutrients and fibre having an overall effect on health.

Low Glycemic Index foods are slowly digested, releasing sugar (glucose) into the bloodstream gradually, resulting in a slow and steady increase in blood sugar that helps keep your body functioning well for longer than high GI foods.

High Glycemic Index foods are quickly digested and metabolized, producing a rapid rise in blood sugar. It’s best to avoid these high GI foods that cause spikes in blood sugar that can result in your body “crashing” or feeling hungry again quite quickly after you eat.

LOW GLYCEMIC FOODS (under the value of 55) Can eat daily

  • Most Vegetables: asparagus, avocados, broccoli, spinach, cabbage, carrots (small portion) cauliflower, green beans, peas, celery, red cabbage, cucumber, lettuce particularly rocket, mushrooms, onions (very important as they contain chromium which naturally controls blood sugar levels), Garlic, peppers, spinach squash and yams.
  • Fruits: apples, apricots, grapes, blueberries, cherries, lemons raspberries, strawberries, grapefruit, oranges, peaches, pears, plums, prunes
  • Juices: apple, grapefruit, pineapple, tomato (unsweetened) small glass and add sparkling water to dilute.
  • Legumes: black, navy, pinto, and kidney beans; chickpeas; lentils; black-eyed peas
  • Starches: The key is to have a moderate portion and always have protein with it as this offsets the Glycemic affect. So for example:- porridge with milk (but not lots of sweeteners). Wholegrain bread sandwich with chicken etc. Piece of wholegrain toast with an egg. Wholegrain brown rice in moderate quantities with homemade beef curry. You must avoid white processed carbohydrates however and this includes biscuits, cakes and white bread as these are most likely to contain artificial sweeteners and trans-fats.
  • Milk products– cheese and butter again in moderation and from grass fed herds not corn fed (GMO and not their natural fodder) – Milk in tea and on cereals is not a problem but  A piece of mature cheddar a couple of times a week if you are exercising and eating lots of vegetables and lean protein is not an issue – much better than eating a bar of chocolate. Fermented yoghurts may have some benefit on intestinal flora and help the digestive process – watch for sugar content – plain is quite boring but you can add nuts or a small amount of the low glycemic fruit to improve.
  • Sweeteners: I have used Stevia – I don’t particular advocate because I think it just feeds your sugar craving. I am suspicious of other artificial alternatives and if you can do without entirely. If not then like salt, use pinches of sugar to sprinkle on your cereal rather than a teaspoon, it will teach your taste buds to expect less!
  • BeveragesStart the day with hot water and fresh squeezed lemon. Not only does it hydrate, give your body a Vitamin C hit but it also gets the digestive process started, helps the liver and retrains your taste buds. You should find within a week that you no longer have a sugar craving. Tea is fine – green tea is excellent as it lowers blood sugar levels. Scientists are on the fence about coffee consumption – some research indicates that it might reduce blood sugar levels and others the opposite. My advice is if you enjoy a cup of coffee then get ground decaffeinated and have a cup every day and enjoy!
  • Protein. You need protein every day but not as much as people think. If you are eating yoghurts and drinking milk you will be obtaining protein but you can also eat 1 oz. cottage cheese – 1 egg – prawns – chicken – lamb, pork or fish per day. Avoid red meat for the first three to four weeks as this can increase sugar cravings. Oily fish are good for you so try to eat three times a week this includes fresh sardines, salmon and tuna. I would suggest that you also use goat’s cheese and feta cheese as an alternative.
  • Salad dressings. Make your own with low fat yoghurt and lemon juice, or cider or balsamic vinegar and herbs.
  • Nuts and seeds. Walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and almonds. Made up into 2oz packets and used for snacks – the healthy fat will act as a brake on the insulin production and will help with hunger pangs. Buy from a good source and make the mix yourself – unsalted of course. Find the right size zip lock bags and they will keep for ages. Take one to work with you as one of your snacks.
  • Oils Very important to include extra virgin olive oil for dressings as this is a fat that is good for you. Would suggest that you also use this on bread rather than butter and mix with seasonings to use on vegetables and salads. For cooking use ordinary olive oil and I find that rather than frying, it is a good idea to brush some oil onto your meat, fish or poultry and bake in the oven. I am a fan of coconut oil and use in salad dressings and for cooking.

MEDIUM GYLCEMIC FOODS (56 -69) eat two or three times a week.

  • Vegetables: white and sweet potatoes
  • Fruits: bananas, tropical fruits (mango, cantaloupe, papaya, pineapple), kiwi fruit, raisins, figs, fruit cocktail
  • Juices: orange,
  • Starches: cous cous, wholegrain rice
  • Cereals: oats, homemade muesli (without dried sugar) Weetabix.
  • Sweeteners: honey (Manuka honey can be consumed more often)

HIGH GLYCEMIC FOODS (above 70) eat very occasionally.

  • Fruits: watermelon, dates
  • Processed foods– It is important over the initial period to avoid processed sauces, meats, meals or anything else that might have hidden sugars or too many carbohydrates. Prepare everything fresh – for example pasta sauce with fresh tomatoes, onions, mushrooms etc.
  • Snacks: popcorn, rice cakes, most crackers (soda, Stoned Wheat Thins, Water Crackers), cakes, doughnuts, croissants, muffins, waffles, white bread, baguette, bagels
  • Starches: millet
  • Most Cereals: Bran Flakes, Cheerio’s, Cornflakes, Rice Krispies, Shredded Wheat, Special K, Total or any cereal that is sugar coated.
  • Sweeteners/Sweets: table sugar, hard candy, soft drinks, sports drinks, fizzy diet drinks, chocolate except for 2 squares of dark (85%) chocolate once or twice a week.
  • Alcohol. It is a good idea to give up alcohol all together for six weeks if you want to stabilise your blood sugar levels.

Eating Patterns.

Personally I now eat within an ten hour window every day which is a form of Intermittent Fasting that suits me best. This gives my body 14 hours each day to get on with what it needs to do in the way of processing the food I have eaten, extracting the nutrients and also allowing for some downtime for major organs such as the liver.

If you usually finish eating at 7.00pm then you can easily eat three balanced meals a day with a couple of snacks between if you need additional energy but they should be nuts, seeds and certain low GI fruits rather than chocolate bars.

Anyway how did all this abstinence add up to with regard to my weight over the last year?

I am very pleased to say that my belly fat has reduced considerably and I am just over 3 stone lighter than I was at the start of 2019. I need to lose another stone (14lbs) over the next three months to be back to my fighting weight.

So if you want to cut your risk of diabetes and all the other obesity related diseases that are numerous. Think about your body as a temple..(an old and trusted saying) and only lay offerings of a sugary nature on its doorstep once in a blue moon.

I will only share one more post next week with my alternative shopping list by nutrient, and if you really want to make a difference to your body and to your health in 2020, this shopping list is pretty much all you need.

©Sally Cronin Just Food for Health 1998 – 2020

I am a qualified nutritional therapist with twenty- two years experience working with clients in Ireland and the UK as well as being a health consultant on radio in Spain. 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, based on my own weight loss of 154lbs. My first clinic was in Ireland, the Cronin Diet Advisory Centre and my second book, Just Food for Health was written as my client’s workbook. Since then I have written a men’s health manual, and anti-aging programme, articles for magazines and posts here on Smorgasbord.

 

If you would like to browse by health books and fiction you can find them here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/my-books-and-reviews-2019-2020/

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope that you have found the post informative…If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Health Column – Christmas Kissing Kith and Kin… Keep Peppermint to hand


It is the season for Christmas parties and family gatherings and at this time of year there is the additional pleasure of getting kissed under the mistletoe – of course it all depends on who is doing the kissing, but having fresh breath before embarking on this lovely activity is essential.  And also having something to ward of the unwanted attentions of any germs that might be lurking in the vicinity!  We will also be eating richer food than normal and that can cause digestive upsets and is one of the reasons we become so prone to infections during the holiday season.

You may have noticed that almost all non-prescription preparations that claim to help indigestion are mint flavoured. And this is not just because mint has a nice taste. Mint is one of the oldest known treatments for indigestion and its inclusion in medicines is due to the plant’s ability to settle the stomach. However, do be aware that there are other components in these over the counter products and overuse can undermine your own ability to maintain an acid and alkaline balance in the body. Using a natural digestive aid over a period of time should stimulate your own system to do its job efficiently rather than rely increasingly on synthetic assistance. Do remember that if you are on prescribed medication that you should not stop taking without the knowledge of your doctor.

Originally native to the Mediterranean region, peppermint, which is a cross between water mint and spearmint, is one of the oldest cultivated herbs and was used for culinary as well as healing purposes by the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans. It would seem that poor eating habits have been a problem throughout all of human history!

The ancient Romans carried it with them wherever they colonized; (presumably the relief it offered was much needed at the end of an orgy!) To this day, the Arabs brew it into tea and chop it into salads, the Asian Indians include it in chutney recipes, the British make its juice into jellies to be served with heavy meat dishes, and the Germans, concoct it into schnapps as an after-dinner drink. In all these cases, the motive for including mint in the diet is to improve digestion and avoid indigestion.

Nutrients in Peppermint tea

As with any dark green leafy plant the peppermint offers a wide range of nutrients that make it an excellent food source. Vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene, Vitamin B2, Vitamin C, manganese, folate, iron, magnesium and calcium. Unfortunately you do not normally consume a sufficient quantity to be able to classify this as a superfood, but if you add the nutrients in the leaves to an already balanced diet it will certainly add to the pot of essential and varied nutrients you need each day.

Peppermint improves digestion in general but is great for stomach and colon cramps as the menthol in the herb has a muscle relaxing action and IBS sufferers often find it reduces symptoms. A cup of peppermint tea after a meal is much better for your digestion than a cup of coffee.

The oil mixed with a lotion or light skin oil, rubbed on the forehead can relieve headaches and is cooling when massaged into sore muscles.

As a forerunner of our modern gum, the leaves were chewed to prevent bad breath which was essential before toothpaste and flossing. Even 100 years ago dental hygiene was not common practice for nearly everyone…Does not bear thinking about as we come into the mistletoe season…..

Peppermint oil usually comes in small capsules or in a liquid tincture. The tea also comes with some variations, one of my favourites being Green Tea and Peppermint.

Other health benefits

Animal studies have indicated that the oil produced from the leaves could provide protection from cancer and also inhibit the growth of certain tumours in the breasts, pancreas and liver.

Peppermint oil is highly antibacterial and it also inhibits the growth of other potentially dangerous bacteria such as H.Pylori (Helicobacter pylori), the bacteria that causes peptic ulcers; Salmonella, E.Coli 0157:H7 and MRSA.

If you have a cold or flu there is nothing better than a little peppermint oil sprinkled on a tissue, or rubbed on your chest, to help you breathe better.

For asthmatics the rosmarinic acid in the oil acts as an anti-inflammatory and also encourages cells to produce substances called prostacyclins, which keep the airways open.

Apart from its medicinal uses and nutritional properties, mint is wonderful with lamb. Make a home-made sauce or jelly and enjoy two or three times a week along with a cup of peppermint tea after your dinner.

I use diluted peppermint oil to soak my toothbrush in – will put a tiny drop on the toothbrush to clean my teeth and I also use in the kitchen and add a drop to my normal strength peppermint tea once a day.

A definite all year round herb to use but at this time of year one to keep close to hand.

Have fun under the mistletoe……

For all other posts in the Health Column please check out this directory: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/smorgasbord-health-column-news-nutrients-health-conditions-anti-aging/

©Sally Cronin Just Food for Health 1998 – 2019

A little bit about me nutritionally.

I am a qualified nutritional therapist with twenty years experience working with clients in Ireland and the UK as well as being a health consultant on radio in Spain. 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, based on my own weight loss of 154lbs. My first clinic was in Ireland, the Cronin Diet Advisory Centre and my second book, Just Food for Health was written as my client’s workbook. Since then I have written a men’s health manual, and anti-aging programme, articles for magazines and posts here on Smorgasbord.

If you would like to browse by health books and fiction you can find them here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/my-books-and-reviews-2019-2020/

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope that you have found the post informative…If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Christmas – What about us? – Christmas treats for pets and homecooked dinners


It is that time of year when we tend to throw caution out of the window along with any slimming books and fitness apps we might have (well some of us anyway).

Unfortunately, our pets are also treated to our sense of liberation and they end up eating many things they are not used to. Also their eating patterns might be thrown out the window, and in my experience their inner body clock is more accurate than a Rolex.  This does not make for happy pets.

They are also likely be stressed by all the coming and goings, being handled by other family members and friends and being unable to take power naps at their appointed time.

This adds up to stomach upsets and it is not conducive to a convivial family Christmas dinner for the dog to upchuck just as you reach for the bread sauce!

On a serious note, in the case of certain foods such as chocolate, there can be both unfortunate side effects and in some cases the risk of death.

The rule of thumb is that if it is industrially produced food (and this included the majority of dry dog and cat foods) it is not good for your pet.

There are however, some fresh foods that we eat that are safe for your dog or cat and after the ones definitely to avoid, I will give you a list of those you can give to your pet as a treat.

N.B. If you are planning to change your dog’s current food be it dry or canned, do it gradually over a few days to ensure there is no adverse reactions. Later I will give you some options for your dog or cat should you choose to prepare their meals yourself.

Here is a list of some food additives and ingredients that can cause your pet harm and applies to cats as well as dogs

Top of the list, particularly at this time of year is Chocolate.  It contains theobromine which is a stimulant which can affect several of the dog’s major organs and systems including the heart and kidneys… certainly the guts. Poisoning occurs fast and if your pet has a stomach upset, is vomiting and over active then you need to see a vet.

Grapes are often served on cheese boards and raisins are in a lot of baked goods at Christmas everywhere. They are not good for a pet’s kidneys and whilst I have known beer drinking dogs, anything alcoholic or containing caffeine is not good for animals.

Onions and garlic in small doses (I used garlic in moderation topically for our dogs in mosquito season) will probably not harm your pet but if they are exposed to them on a regular basis it can destroy their red blood cells resulting in anaemia.

Additives

Xylitol is a sweetener which found in many items around the home and in the store cupboard including sweets, chewing gum, many store bought cakes and biscuits and even in your toothpaste. Quite a few diet foods are laced with the stuff and it is not only toxic to our pets but is not really fit for human consumption either. In dogs it can result in vomiting and dizziness and even after only a few days of being given foods containing xylitol it can lead to liver failure.

Now for the good news…foods that both humans and pets (dogs and cats – your python might not be that interested) can enjoy.

  1. Plain boiled chicken cubes.
  2. Cooked pieces of offal such as chicken livers, pigs liver, heart (don’t overdo them just one or two at a time. Once cooked keep some in the fridge and freeze the others. Great for training as well as good for them.
  3. A hard boiled egg (they tend to like that warm)
  4. Homemade peanut butter (unsalted) and banana ice cubes.
  5. Dogs and cats are partial to sweet potato and if you cook in chunks until tender and pop in the fridge they will keep for three or four days. Sweet potato is also very good if they are suffering from a stomach upset.
  6. Other fruits include pieces of watermelon (I do tend to take the pips out) and small chunks of banana.
  7. Small amounts (postage stamp sized and only 3 pieces) cheese.
  8. Turkey sausages cut into chunks make a good training treat.
  9. Cottage Cheese placed in a small cup and held for the dog to eat…keeps them busy for ages whilst they it all out.
  10. Cats are partial to fish and plain canned sardines in water and give small bites sized pieces, and they also love raw prawns but make sure they are cleaned. I have used frozen shrimp and taken out a portion at a time and let them defrost for a few minutes.
  11. Homemade natural baked treats such as these oat, banana, coconut oil and peanut butter bones.Courtesy of Quaker

Moving your dog to home cooked food.

There are several reasons why I would not use dry pet food and here is an article that might clarify that opinion: 10 Reasons why dry food is bad for cats and dogs

Sam and his adopted babies.

As I mentioned earlier, this is not something to be undertaken lightly as it is important that your pet receives a balanced and nutritious diet. If you cannot face making your pets food at home then I do recommend that you buy a good quality canned food.. I recommend Butcher’s Canned dog food which I used to keep in the larder in case I ran out of fresh meals.

Also with younger animals it is a good idea to puree the food until they are able to chew and digest chunks of meat or fish easily.

I always cooked in bulk and although dogs are carnivores, if you are going to use a grain in their diet then I suggest rice.

On the subject of rice and dogs.

There are two main standards of rice – Human grade and feed grade which is what is usually put in commercial dog food. The feed grade is what is left over after human rice products are manufactured and usually has picked up chemicals and toxins during the process. Arsnic being one of the toxins that can be found it this grade.

If you use a high quality rice, and Basmati is actually more flavoursome than normal rice and has a distinctive aroma (attractive to dogs) due to 2-acetyl-1-pyrroline in amounts around 12 times more than normal white rice. Rice and chicken is used also for dogs who have suffered stomach upsets as it helps absorb the moisture in the intestine.

All things meat including offal.

Provided it has not been salted, any meat that you consume is find for your pet. And some fat is not going to cause them a problem. I usually used minced beef or chicken for Sam, with the addition of some bits of offal such as cooked chicken liver or pork liver, or chicken giblets. I also would cook off a whole beef heart and then slice and freeze in portions as this is excellent organ meat full of nutrients. All meats were cooked in plain water without any seasoning and I would use the stock from the meat to pour over his dinner to ensure he got all the goodness from the meat.

For cats the same applies although in smaller amounts (especially the rice), with the addition of fish (carefully deboned). I used to buy frozen cheap white fillets and cook in water, flake to check for bones and one fillet would last three meals for about 50p.

Vegetables.

Sweet potatoes are rich in nutrients and make a very welcome addition to a dog or cat’s meal. It is great for after a stomach upset but they seem to prefer to carrots and you can buy pre-cut frozen chunks and cook then mash, particularly for smaller breeds. If they will eat carrot then alternate with the sweet potato.

Hard boiled Eggs.

All the things that make eggs a healthy food for us applies to pets too. Eggs are an excellent source of choline and selenium, and a good source of high-quality protein, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin B12, phosphorus and riboflavin.

I started up chopping finely and adding to Sam’s meal, but as he got older we discovered her preferred, just hard boiled, peeled and still warm. He would hold between his two front paws and delicately remove the top and nibble around until he released the yolk which he ate before finishing the white of the egg. Kept him busy for ten minutes.. any other food on the floor and he had it hoovered up in seconds.

Cottage Cheese

Although dogs in particular should not overdo the dairy cottage cheese has been fermented and contains less lactose. It adds another low fat source of protein and flavour to a meal and small spoonful mixed through the meal is fine. With older dogs who might be prone to arthritis you can mix a teaspoon of flax oil to the cottage cheese.

Dairy and cats.

Most cats are lactose intolerant despite them heading rapidly towards a saucer of milk or cream. It results in stomach upsets so you need to test any new cat you might give a home to with a tablespoon of milk and watch for 24 hours to see if there is a reaction. If not then repeat with a little more in a saucer and again wait 24 hours. Even then I would suggest only using occasionally for a treat. Plain water should always be down next to a food bowl.

I used to mix the different foods through to make a blend but then discovered that the secret to a food dinner for dogs and cats was the same as humans… rice, then the ground meat with some pieces of offal with sweet potato on the side and topped off by cottage cheese and flax oil.

Counting the Cost

You might think that all this works out very expensively. And whilst not as convenient as buying canned food, it worked out cheaper in the end, and I knew exactly what Sam was eating each day. I would get off cuts from the butcher at half the price, buy mince and chicken reduced on their sell by date and freeze then cook, hearts are no longer a popular family dinner (mock goose) and butchers will usually let you have cheaply… Check you local frozen food outlet for their specials on meat and chicken.

Time wise I only cooked the protein and the eggs once a week and  the rice every three days. I also cooked portions and froze in portion sized containers enough to last a week if needed.

Health wise.. I had the satisfaction of knowing that he passed his medicals with flying colours, his coat was glossy and his eyes bright. He never needed to scavenge or beg for food because he was getting enough food of the right kind to satisfy his hunger and his body’s nutritional needs.

Don’t forget to do your own research before moving your dog to home cooked food (raw is a different subject for another day). Do phase any food changes in slowly, and experiment to find out what your pet’s favourites are. They have much keener smell receptors and taste buds than we do and deserve to enjoy their food.

They give far more back than they receive.

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope that you have found the post of interest…thanks Sally

My nutritional background

I am a qualified nutritional therapist with twenty years experience working with clients in Ireland and the UK as well as being a health consultant on radio in Spain. 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, based on my own weight loss of 154lbs. My first clinic was in Ireland, the Cronin Diet Advisory Centre and my second book, Just Food for Health was written as my client’s workbook. Since then I have written a men’s health manual, and anti-aging programme, articles for magazines and posts here on Smorgasbord.

If you would like to browse by health books and fiction you can find them here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/my-books-and-reviews-2019/

 

 

 

 

Smorgasbord Health Column -#Health in the News – #Pneumonia – Appalling statistics – Six children per hour hospitalised in the UK


Pneumonia – Appalling statistics – Six children per hour hospitalised in the UK

I was staggered and shocked when I read this headline . I cannot believe that in this day and age, in a country with access to one of the finest medical systems in the world, that people are so crass as to ignore the dangers to their children by avoiding vaccinations.

I am always adamant that the responsibility for our health is squarely in our corner with attention to diet, moderate exercise and moderation of vices. However, when it comes to the health of children, adults need to take responsibility for their health. And one of those responsibilities is to ensure that a child is protected from some of the most virulent diseases that take advantage of immature or compromised immune systems. Measles and Pneumonia being just two.

Six children are hospitalised with pneumonia EVERY HOUR amid soaring rates of the vaccine-preventable disease, NHS figures show

  • Emergency admissions have risen more than 50 per cent over the last decade
  • 56,000 children from the UK were hospitalised with the condition last year
  • Babies get three doses of pneumonia vaccine on the NHS before turning one
  • But rates of uptake for the vaccine have plummeted in recent years, data shows

Six children are hospitalised with pneumonia every hour amid soaring rates of the vaccine-preventable disease, NHS figures show.

Emergency admissions have risen more than 50 per cent over the last decade, with 56,000 children hospitalised with the condition last year.

Babies receive three doses of the pneumonia vaccine on the NHS at eight weeks, 16 weeks and one year.

But rates of uptake for the pneumococcal vaccine have plummeted in recent years, in line with a wider fall in childhood vaccinations.

Full story is available on the Daily Mail site but is also being carried by other media: Pneumonia shock statistics

According to the world health organisation Pneumonia is the leading course of death in children. That surprised me too when I first read this a few years ago. I know that it the most common cause of death written on a death certificate for the elderly, and it is because these are the two most vulnerable groups in our society wherever we live.

Pneumonia

Pneumonia is an inflammation or infection of the lungs most commonly caused by a bacteria or virus.

The origin of the word pneumonia is from the Greek pneuma – meaning air, and pneumon, – meaning lung, with pneumonia meaning inflammation of the lung.

There are approximately 30 causes of pneumonia and before the use of antibiotics over a third of the victims of this disease died. Today it tends to be young children, the elderly, or people with existing debilitating conditions, who are likely to contract pneumonia.

What are the most common types of pneumonia?

There are two categories of pneumonia that all types fall into. One is infective pneumonia and the other is aspiration pneumonia.

Infective pneumonia is when the bronchial tubes and lungs become infected and inflamed by either bacteria or a virus that has entered the lungs and reproduced.

Streptococcus pneumoniae

Bacterial pneumonia

Bacteria are not choosy and anyone can become infected. The most common culprit is Streptococcus pneumoniae or Pneumococcus (pictured above). In these cases one or other of the lobes of the lung are affected. The onset of this form of pneumonia is very rapid with high fever and breathing difficulties within the first few hours and with the very young and the elderly seeking medical help immediately is vital as their immune systems are unable to cope with the ferocity of the infection.

There are are further complications with this specific bacteria as it can affect other parts of the body such as the brain where it becomes meningitis. This diagnosis is a parent’s worst nightmare and this is why understanding the symptoms early can be so important. The bacteria is easily transportable in the bloodstream to all parts of the body, so if not treated can lead to a serious strain on the immune system. Bacterial pneumonia normally responds to a strong dose of antibiotics but as with many diseases today some of the bacteria responsible for pneumonia have become resistant to those currently in use.

Viral pneumonia

Viral pneumonia is the most common form of the disease, although it does not always have the worst symptoms. It quite commonly follows another upper respiratory disease – when viruses coughed out of the lungs get inhaled back into the air sacs to begin another infection. The onset is usually less rapid than the bacterial form of the disease, beginning with a persistent cough, high fever and possibly nausea. The usual treatment unless the problem is very severe is patience whilst the infection runs its course. This is where eating a diet rich in anti-oxidants and plenty of fluids will help to build up the immune system and support the body whilst it recovers.

Aspiration pneumonia

Aspiration pneumonia is any condition where a foreign substance such as vomit, mucous or other fluids such as saliva have been inhaled into the lungs. This obviously applies to external contaminants such as chemicals. This can effect young babies who tend to lie on their backs and have not mastered the swallow reflex. Also, toddlers, who play with miniature toys, or sweets, are also at risk and there have been cases where the epiglottis has failed to block their entry into the lungs leading to inflammation and infection. The elderly also are at risk through ill fitting dentures and poor dental health that minimises the amount of chewing of the food in the first place. Because all of the body is working less efficiently, particles of food can be inhaled into the lungs causing an infection.

A chemical inhalant can be extremely damaging in the long term. Apart from the normal inflammation of the alveoli, at the tips of the bronchial tubes, the acidity and reaction of the chemical can also do extensive damage to the lung tissue resulting in permanent damage.

How can you avoid contracting pneumonia?

It is important to boost your immune system to prevent infections, particularly if you are going to be admitted to hospital for an invasive operation. Despite their life-saving capabilities, hospitals are also a thriving incubator for infection and unfortunately most people who are rushed in for an emergency may not be in the best of health.

To me, this is one of the most compelling reasons to eat a healthy diet. It is a form of insurance that should be taken out along with car, house and possibly private health insurance. Many people only begin to eat healthily after the event, when they have been scared into it by a heart attack or a run in with a vicious infection.

The majority of people suffer first and foremost from a compromised immune system, which is why they keep getting repeated infections such as colds. After a relatively short period of time the body becomes more and more vulnerable to more aggressive infections such as pneumonia.

Ensure you are following at least a basic healthy eating plan which should include lots of brightly coloured fruits, such as oranges and apples, and vegetables – particularly dark green leafy kinds such as spinach and broccoli. Do not starve yourself and ensure plenty of variety so that you get the widest possible spread of nutrients.

Cook from Scratch is a habit that we should all get into for life. The effect of processed foods on our immune system is long lasting and particularly for the young who are likely to see the results of our modern diet earlier and earlier in their lives.

We have been running a series in the Food and Cookery Column with plenty of ideas for Cook from Scratch healthy foods: Cook from Scratch to avoid nutritional deficiency

DSC_1207aw

I also recently shared a simple recipe that provides most of your daily nutrients on one plate: Multi-vitamins on a plate

One of the major problems with the elderly is their lack of appetite, which needs to be stimulated with tasty snacks 5 or 6 times a day, and nutrient dense foods such as bananas, rich vegetable soups, pureed vegetables that are easy to absorb and eggs are perfect for this as you can eat slightly less whilst still getting the nutrients. Soft fruits and vegetable juices are perfect, as they are concentrated and easy to digest.

For children who are picky and will not eat their fruit and vegetables you can make smoothies with vegetables and fruit and pureed soups that hide the fact they are eating Brussel sprouts.

What else should you do to avoid contagion?

  • · One of the easiest precautions that you can take to avoid getting a cold or flu that might turn into pneumonia is to wash your hands thoroughly before eating and after contact with other people. Hot water and soap is usually sufficient although there are a number of antibacterial products on the market.
  • · If you have a cold, or flu, use tissues rather than hankies and always throw them away when you have used once. Not very cost effective but it prevents you re-infecting your nasal passages with the bacteria or flu when you blow your nose repeatedly.
  • · If you have a cold, or a person you know has one, then avoid kissing them or touching them with your hands unless you can wash them straight away. It is so easy to touch your mouth and nose and infect yourself within minutes.
  • This particular applies to babies at family gatherings as a simple kiss from a loving relative who has a cold, influenza, a cold sore etc could pass on a deadly infection. Do not be afraid to ban kissing.
  • · If you are a smoker or are in close proximity to one you will find that the alveoli in your lungs are already damaged and therefore susceptible to inflammation and infection. There is only one thing for this and that is to stop smoking and stub out the cigarette of anyone else in your vicinity.
  • · If you are using strong cleaning products always open a window and if possible use a mask. This obviously applies in a work situation where health and safety regulations should be observed stringently. Those of us who colour our own hair should always open the nearest window for example.
  • · If you are in the garden and spraying weeds or using fertiliser do not do so on a windy day and wear a mask over mouth and nose as well as protective clothing. Always hose off boots and clothing outside.

In summary, you need to build your immune system and adopt some simple everyday hygiene standards and it will greatly reduce your risk of contracting this second stage infection.

And if you have a baby or there are young babies in the family, please make sure that it they are protected by having the free vaccinations in this most vulnerable stage of their lives.

©Sally Cronin Just Food for Health 1998 – 2019

My nutritional background

I am a qualified nutritional therapist with twenty years experience working with clients in Ireland and the UK as well as being a health consultant on radio in Spain. 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, based on my own weight loss of 154lbs. My first clinic was in Ireland, the Cronin Diet Advisory Centre and my second book, Just Food for Health was written as my client’s workbook. Since then I have written a men’s health manual, and anti-aging programme, articles for magazines and posts here on Smorgasbord.

If you would like to browse by health books and fiction you can find them here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/my-books-and-reviews-2019/

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope that you have found the post informative…If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up – 11th – 17th November -Mexico, Music, Magnificent Recipes and Christmas Book Promotions.


I cannot believe that we have been home for over a week.. and a lot of catching up to do but I must thank D.G. Kaye, ..D.G. Kaye Writer Blog for her care-taking of the blog in my absence…. wonderful friend, to us all.

We have a big job starting tomorrow with a replacement fence being installed between us and our neighbour.. It will change the whole kerb appeal of the house and is the last major work of the renovations. A couple of rooms need a touch up and then come the spring it should be ready to be put on the market.

We have started looking, but as usual with us it is the house in the least expected location and not to the specifications that we planned!  But that is what makes it so exciting.

It was our 39th anniversary on Friday and we indulged in our favourite food…stir fried prawns on avocado, steak and chips with mushrooms and bacon, followed by caramel ice cream. Oh and a couple of margaritas.

Here we are 39 years ago with the registrar who married us – at what was locally known as Bridge End Cathedral in Dolgellau, Mid-Wales. Many of you already know of our impulsive dive into matrimony after only knowing each other for six weeks and getting engaged on our first date. Here we are tying the knot.. photo courtesy of my father-in-law Geoff.

I still have my outfit although it is a while since I have been able to get into it… but getting there in time for our 40th next year… David on the other hand would still be able to get into his suit.

Anyway… on with the next year and last week’s posts.

As always I am very grateful for the wonderful contributions from regular guests and also to you for dropping in and sharing…

This week William Price King shares the life and music of jazz saxophonist Ornette Coleman.

William Price King with Ornette Coleman Saxaphonist

Welcome to this month’s edition of the Travel Column at the Smorgasbord. D.G. Kaye (Debby Gies) has chosen a not-so-well known little gem of a place, Puerto Peñasco, for a tropical escape in Mexico that she discovered while watching a destination show on TV.

D.G. Kaye takes us to #Mexico – Puerto Penasco

Carol Taylor and I team up to share how you can become deficient in certain nutrients and how to prepare food to ensure you get sufficient.. this week a very important mineral that is often sidelined…Manganese.

Cook from Scratch to prevent deficiency – Manganese

With Thanksgiving at the end of the month, Silvia Todesco who is Italian, but now lives in America, shares a wonderful dessert that I am sure will be loved by all the family and guests..Ricotta, Almonds and Amaretti tart

Silvia Todesco and a wonderful dessert for Thanksgiving

Mike Biles shares the story of England’s first known poet Caedmon…with an example of his work.

Caedmon's Cross, Whitby, North Yorkshire

England’s first known poet Caedmon by Mile Biles

The first of the guest posts for the Christmas Book Fair and D.G. Kaye shares how to write in memoir.

Writing in Memoir by D.G. Kaye

For the final Sunday Interview of the series, Allan Hudson joins me and shares an excerpt for his latest release, Shattered Figurines.

Allan Hudson with an excerpt from his latest book Shattered Figurines

My review for Skating on Thin Ice (The Men of Warhawks #1) by USA Today Bestselling author Jacquie Biggar.

My review for Skating on Thin Ice

My review for Mistaken Identity by James J. Cudney

My tribute to my mother, The Duchess and her fashion flair in response to this week’s challenge from Colleen Chesebro..

Double Etheree – The Duchess

I am back to participating in the Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge and this week the prompt was ‘Storm Windows’

Flash Fiction – Storm Windows by Sally Cronin

New Book on the Shelves

Lorinda Taylor – New Book on the Shelves

The latest book from Jemima Pett

Coming of Age Adventure from C.S. Boyack

Author updates

Recent reviews for Mary Adler, Andrew Joyce and Mary Crowley

Books for Christmas from John. W. Howell, Hugh W. Roberts, Linda G. Hill and Ritu Bhathal

Sarah Brentyn, Jaye Marie, Mae Clair and Eloise de Sousa

Terrific posts from Robbie Cheadle, Pat Furstenberg and Richard Dee

More great posts from Pete Springer, Olga Nunez Miret and Anne Stormont

Tips and advice and inspiration from James J. Cudney, Anne Copeland and D.G. Kaye

Book review from N.A Granger, The Dawn from Sue Vincent and this week’s Tarot card from Jan Sikes

Carol Taylor, Jennie Fitzkee,Colleen Chesebro with Darlene Foster,

Laugh your socks off with more jokes from Debby and Sally

More funnies from Debby and Sally

Thank you for visiting and I hope you will join me again next week. 

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – 4th – 10th November 2019 – Books, Reviews, Videos, Health and Humour


Welcome to the weekly round up of posts you might have missed this week on Smorgasbord.

We arrived back from two weeks in the UK on Thursday in slightly rougher sees than we might have liked but you can expect this in November. My two sisters had been on the Ventura for a cruise down to Portugal and back and they certainly had much rougher seas than we did and in fact it made the papers when a passenger shared a video of the water exiting one of the swimming pools and flooding a lounge. Both my sisters are good sailors and very little seems to phase them… they thought it was a storm in a teacup!!!

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7650639/Cruise-ship-passengers-carry-drinking-eating-torrent-water-surges-feet.html

Anyway, it has taken a couple of days to catch up online as I was off more than I was on during our time away. It gave me time to get some reading done and expect some reviews over the next couple of weeks. I also began plotting out the direction that the blog will take next year and how I can increase author and blogger promotions. There will be more reviews on a more regular basis and there will be a return of the Posts from Your Archives series for both new bloggers and those of you more established.

This week sees the start of the last major outside projects with the removal of the old broken down fence between us and our neighbour’s garden and a brand new post and concrete wall, making the garden fully child and dog safe for the next owners of the house.

A couple more inside jobs and then in the spring the house goes on the market and we shall be off further down the coast between Wexford and Waterford, two historic cities with a great deal of cultural appeal and great amenities.

Highlights of the coming week.

There will be the usual Cafe and Bookstore updates with recent reviews and several new books on the shelves. The Blogger Daily will resume and plenty of fun with afternoon videos and funnies.

MondayThe Travel Column by D.G. Kaye and this month Debby is taking us to the lovely not-so-well known little gem of a place, Puerto Peñasco, for a tropical escape in Mexico.

Tuesday – William Price King shares the life and music of jazz saxophonist Ornette Coleman.

Wednesday – Carol Taylor and I join forces to share the mineral Manganese and some recipes to include regularly in your diet to ensure that you do not become deficient.

Thursday – our Italian food expert Silvia Todesco shares a wonderful almond dessert that would be perfect for Thanksgiving.

Friday The Smorgasbord Christmas Book Fair kicks off with a selection of children’s books in the Cafe and the first of the guest posts. D.G. Kaye will be sharing her expertise in writing memoirs.

The Weekend – Another post from Mike Biles about Britain’s history and Allan Hudson joins me for the Sunday Author Interview. There will also be two more stories from my Flights of Fancy Collection.

Time for the review of this past week’s posts.

This week Mike Biles lifts the lid and reveals the truth about one of my favourite books and television series as a child..Lorna Doone…

Lorna Doone a Romance of Exmoor, R D Blackmore, London & Glasgow, Collins clear type press

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/11/09/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-guest-writer-mike-biles-a-bit-about-britain-the-dastardly-shooting-of-lorna-doone-history/

My guest this week is multi-genre  bestselling author P.C. Zick who shares the inspiration behind her popular Crandall Family Series and what we can look forward to later this year.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/11/10/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-sunday-interview-and-new-book-on-the-shelves-love-on-course-by-p-c-zick/

My review for the latest book by Frank Prem – The New Asylum

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/11/04/smorgasbord-book-reviews-poetry-the-new-asylum-by-frank-prem/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/11/05/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-my-review-passport-to-death-by-yigal-zur/

I have put together a pdf of the recent book marketing series so that you have all in one place. It is free and the content page and email is in the post.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/11/09/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-the-book-marketing-series-by-sally-cronin-free-pdf/

It is remembrance Sunday and as it was Poet’s Choice this week on Colleen Chesebro’s Tanka challenge… I have written a double etheree ‘Young Soldiers’. I also wrote a Haiku for the header.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/11/10/smorgasbord-poetry-colleen-chesebros-tuesday-tanka-challenge-152-double-etheree-young-soldiers-by-sally-cronin/

Two more stories from the Flights of Fancy collection and Free book offer.

A combination of language issues and an unhappy marriage offer a parrot the chance to put things right!

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/11/09/flights-of-fancy-serialisation-fantasy-the-psychic-parrot-by-sally-cronin-and-a-free-book-offer/

An old woman reflects on her life using the changing colours of her bedroom curtains to tell her story.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/11/10/flights-of-fancy-serialisation-wartime-romance-curtains-by-sally-cronin-free-book-offer/

 

New Book on the Shelves

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/11/06/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-a-new-life-in-ventis-science-fiction-steampunk-adventure-by-richard-dee/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/11/07/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-googling-old-boyfriends-book-7-camilla-randall-mysteries-by-anne-r-allen/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/11/08/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-a-z-of-dumfries-places-people-history-by-mary-smith-and-photographs-by-keith-kirk/

Author Updates

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/11/04/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-stevie-turner-terry-tyler-and-teagan-riordain-geneviene/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/11/08/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviewsvictoria-zigler-fiona-tarr-and-barbara-silkstone/

My go to recipe to bring as many nutrients together on one plate – Brown rice pilaf

DSC_1207aw

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/11/06/smorgasbord-health-column-cook-from-scratch-multi-vitamin-on-a-plate-brown-rice-pilaf-sally-cronin/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/11/05/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-comedian-in-residence-d-g-kaye-and-a-joke-from-sallys-archives-2-3/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/11/07/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-comedian-in-residence-d-g-kaye-and-a-joke-or-two-from-sallys-archives-2/

Thank you very much for dropping in this week to like, comment and share.. I am so appreciative of the support. Thanks Sally