'The Flow' Blog - Movement is your Medicine
Meat
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Meat

Column #20, 23rd June 2007

Opinion is divided as to our ideal dietary intake of meat.  Researchers, practitioners, parents, children all have differing views.  What type, how much, how often and even if at all, are questions we must consider if we want the optimum health benefits of:

  • Maintaining an ideal weight
  • Healthy growth and repair
  • Optimised immune function
  • Feeling physically and mentally energized
  • Staying on an even keel emotionally

Types

The meats we may typically eat are chicken, beef, lamb, pork and turkey.  They contain various levels of protein, fats, vitamins and minerals.  Red meat has come under fire due to the saturated fat content.  It is important to understand that it is not the saturated fat that leads to high cholesterol levels and obesity.  Consuming poor quality, processed meat may, but the body actually requires moderate levels of saturated fat to stimulate the immune system, protect arteries, process calcium, among other functions.  We must be careful about what becomes demonised in society and for what reason.  Ask the question, what were we designed, as individuals, to function well on and here we find our own answer.  I think the answer too will be individual.

Try investigating the different types of meat.  In America, Bison and Ostrich meat are becoming popular due to their high nutritional value and low calorie content.

Proposed Benefits

Good sources of protein in the diet will prevent degenerative diseases such as:

  • cardiovascular problems
  • osteoporosis,
  • diabetes
  • immune deficiency
  • digestive dysfunction
  • arthritis

How Much Protein?

At Functional Health and Performance we work on an individual level.  As part of a comprehensive process, The Metabolic Type of a person is identified and the answers to the above questions will be different for everyone.  Yet there are some important facts about meat that will give us an enhanced understanding on which to base our nutritional decisions.

No-Meat Diets?

This article will not engage in the moral argument of vegetarianism. However, there may be nutritional implications with being a vegetarian. There is a lot of research on this issue suggesting that, nutritionally, we may need to consume protein from dairy, eggs and fish to obtain essential amino acids and micronutrients that enable optimum function.

Best Practice

Indigestion:  If you suffer from indigestion or irritable bowl syndrome, there are many food-combining suggestions that can help ease the problem.  Avoid drinking milk or eating starchy vegetables when eating meat.

Sourcing: It’s too easy to opt for convenience and buy cheap meat.  For reasons discussed in previous articles, buy high quality, grass-fed, organic where possible.  The popular phrase ‘you are what you eat’ is also worth considering here.  Cheap meat is not good quality and will not do your body any favours.  Source your food (meat especially) to find out where it is from and the conditions in which they are raised.  Cattle for example, naturally graze on grass.  Not grain, which is too often used commercially to raise potentially, unhealthy cows.  Grass-fed beef contains a much more beneficial ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 essential fatty acids.

Cooking tips:  Cook meat slowly to conserve juices, vitamins and minerals and never sprinkle with salt before cooking as this draws juices out.

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Fish Oils: Essential for Health
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Fish Oils:  Essential for Health

Column #21, 7th July 2007

Fish oils are an essential component of our diet.  Without them, we struggle to control energy levels and maintain ideal body fat percentage, among many other things.  Basically we cannot function efficiently without them.  But are getting enough and what are the best sources?

Benefits

Our ancestors developed and evolved on a diet that involved consuming great quantities of quality fish and seafood.  The body has developed to function optimally with these nutrients.  The problem is that the body cannot make all these nutrients and obtains them through eating such foods.  We need them for:

  • Energy production
  • Cell structure and health
  • Growth and repair
  • Brain function
  • Controlling blood pressure
  • Immune function
  • Controlling hydration levels
  • Controlling inflammation

So, it seems, they are exceptionally influential.  Consider whether you suffer from low/fluctuating energy levels, aches and pains, arthritis, obesity, asthma, high blood pressure, loss of memory, reduced concentration capacity, frequent colds/illness and infections.

Sources

The essential fatty acids in fish are essential for our successful survival. Our diet often lacks the quantity and ratio of these fats.  Typically, our diet may have too much Omega 6 relative to Omega 3 and the ideal has been suggested to be between four and one Omega 6 to one Omega 3.

To help achieve this ratio we should regularly consume trout, mackerel, salmon, sardines, krill, shrimp and cod.

How much do we need?

A lot.  You should consult your doctor to find out your recommended daily intake.  However, many functional medicine practitioners have suggested that the body requires much greater levels of essential fatty acids.

Why Supplement the Diet?

In an ideal situation diets would not require supplementation.  However, the reality seems to be that the quality of food on our plate is often a far cry from being picked straight from the tree/bush or fished straight from the river.  This is what our body demands if we desire all the advantages of optimal health.  Therefore, quality fish oil supplementation may be required.

Additional Considerations

As individuals, our requirements are often subtly different to others’.  It is not just as simple as taking more fish oils.  Additional vitamin E (anti-oxidant) is often important when consuming greater amounts of fish oils.

Pollution is a major concern.  Sewage, pesticides and industrial waste has polluted our seas and fresh waters.  Therefore the ecosystems and organisms have also been poisoned.  Deep-sea fish (swordfish, shark, tuna) have been highlighted as containing high levels of pollutants.

Investigate the source of your food (including supplements) carefully and vary sources to avoid over exposure to certain toxins. Search for articles on www.charlespoliquin.com for information on fats and supplements.  Food for thought.

Always seek advice when modifying your diet.  I advise anybody wanting to feel healthy, be happy and increase their productivity, to investigate the use of fish oils further.

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Choosing, Preparing and Consuming
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Choosing, Preparing and Consuming

Column #22, 21st July 2007

In reviewing ‘how nutrition is key to optimum health’ we have considered various topics from organic food to grains in the diet and many food sources including fruit, vegetables, salt, sugar, water, meat and fish.  Hopefully we have an enhanced idea about the need to provide our body with the correct nutrients.  Today I will provide some tips that enable us to put this into practice.

Choosing, Preparing and Consuming

Break your routine into choosing, preparing and consuming food.  If we improve these areas our health and vitality will benefit greatly.

Why we have developed bad habits.

Time.  Clients at 'Functional Health and Performance' often state that previous difficulties in choosing, preparing and consuming food are due to a lack of time.  Unfortunately food/nutrition seems to be lower down on the list of our priorities.

When choosing food do you:

  • buy for convenience
  • check food labels
  • do it in a rush
  • check the source and organic status.

When preparing food, time is again a major factor.  If you cook for others or your family, you know all about this.  How do you please everybody and fit it in around, work, football practice, computer games, favourite TV programmes, homework, bath time, bedtime and even a few minutes of relaxation in the evening?

The consumption of our food will affect how effectively the body will utilize those nutrients.  Lunchtime.  Does this consist of 60-90 minutes where you can consume good quality food in a relaxed atmosphere and allow it to digest?  Or is it a convenient choice crammed into 20 minutes, or even at the desk?

It is clear that there are many constraints that we often cannot do anything about, no matter how much we want to.  The important thing is that you take a few steps (as described below) to improve the quality and priority that nutrition has in your life.

Investing in your health

  1. Cost:  Easier said than done, but invest more money in fresh, local, organic and quality products.
  2. Frequency of shopping:  Try to do more than one weekly shop.  Share out the responsibilities to getter fresher food.
  3. Choices:  Research and take an interest in your food to be able to choose the right foods for you.
  4. Plan ahead:  So that you have the ingredients to prepare good quality breakfasts, snacks, lunches and dinners.
  5. Time and enjoyment:  When you cook and when you eat, enjoy it.  It should not be stressful as this can easily lead to poor utilization of the nutrients and fat gain.

More tips in the Kitchen

It is also good practice to consider a few things around the kitchen:

  • Use non toxic storage  and cooking equipment
  • Fruit and veg have been proven to be more healthful raw than when cooked.
  • Find the best fats for salads (olive oil) and the best for cooking (coconut oil)
  • Avoid the use of Microwaves

Implement just a few of these tips to help you improve your well-being, increase productivity, concentration and energy levels, improve sleep and enhance brain function.

 

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Contradictory Fad Diets
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Contradictory Fad Diets

Column #23, 5th August 2007

In relation to fat loss, a contradictory diet is one that claims to help you lose fat, but can actually increase your body fat percentage.  It seems odd that such diets exist, but we’ve witnessed them and possibly their effects.  Any diet that is based on an extreme way of eating must be fully investigated.  When advised to perform the steps of a diet for a just a short period of time to lose weight, it is questionable whether the effects are long term and even whether it is fat that is being reduced.

The Contradictory Diet

Apart from the worrying fact that such diets don’t actually give you long-term results, the scientific research-supported problems associated with them include:

  • Increased body fat
  • Reduced lean tissue
  • Digestive dysfunction
  • Reduced bone health
  • Reduced energy levels
  • Reduced immune efficiency
  • Insulin resistance
  • Poor brain function
  • Emotional instability

Why we resort to an extreme or quirky diet

Given the above, it appears that if we choose to follow a diet that is not supported with evidence for its efficacy, we will suffer ill health.  Why then do we do it?

  • Widespread intensive media coverage
  • The diets claim to give excellent results
  • The incentive to lose weight
  • The apparent quick nature of the results
  • Often the low cost of the diet
  • Unsure of the alternatives
  • Limited knowledge of nutritional requirements
  • Not knowing the pit falls

The Common Sense Way

What makes sense?  The body and its digestive system have evolved to work efficiently when provided with the correct fuel.  Our ancestors in some parts of the world survived on a range of diets consisting of fruit, berries, nuts, vegetables, seeds, meat and fish.  We should look to the past to find out what we have been successful on.  Whilst we all require an individual approach to nutrition, check out ‘The Paleo Diet’ by L Cordain for some interesting reading (www.thepaleodiet.com).

Do your body and mind a favour and get educated.  The second stage of change in 'understanding'.  As discussed in the previous article, we need to make our nutrition a priority again.  It’s what makes us fit and healthy.  Developing an interest in your personal nutrition will make sense of what is right for you.

The best techniques just try to find out the truth about your health status and what your body requires to function, maintaining ideal weight and avoiding illness and disease.

At Functional Health and Performance we develop exercise and nutritional programs that are specific to the individual.  The specific techniques are called 'Metabolic Typing' and ‘BioSignature Modulation’, developed by Bill Wolcott and Charles Poliquin respectively (more information in subsequent articles).

Please ask any further questions about why fad/extreme diets may not be giving you the results you want and how to develop your own approach to nutrition.

 

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Should we go against the Grains?
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Should we go against the Grains?

Column #18, 26th May 2007

Apologies for the pun, but if we know the answer to this question then we can modify our diet to improve our health and performance and go someway to preventing problems with blood sugar, digestive complaints, IBS, behavioural issues and obesity.

What are Grains?

Wheat, spelt, rye, barley, oats, rice, millet, buckwheat and corn are grains. They contain carbohydrates and we typically consume them as rice, bread, pasta and cereals among other foods. Nutritionally, whole grains are more desirable, whilst processed and refined grains should always be avoided.

Should we eat them?

It depends, we are all different. Some will do well with whole grains in the diet, but others may actually develop illness and disease. Are we in tune with our body? We must be aware of the effects that a food/nutrient is having on us. When working with clients I often find that we will just put up with some sort of illness, ache or pain. This is often difficult due to a stressful or hectic lifestyle and even a general acceptance that this is the way it is . At Functional Trainer we emphasise the ability and desire of the body to function successfully in the absence of injury and illness. It’s what it was designed to do and that is our aim.

Getting in tune can be a difficult process and you may benefit from finding out your Metabolic Type or your Biosignature. A step to finding out your individual foods and fuels. This will normalise our weight, increase concentration and energy levels and enable us to peak athletic performances.

Consider this Scenario:

You are cooking a meal for two friends. The meal is high in grains (crackers, bread, pasta, rice pudding, etc). The food has different effects on you and your guests.

  • You: As somebody who deals with grains and carbohydrates well, you have fairly steady energy levels and feel ok.
  • Friend 1: As a protein and fat type, their energy, blood sugar and insulin levels soar due to the high levels of carbohydrates and then shortly after the meal they feel lethargic. About an hour later they crave more food.
  • Friend 2: Is unaware of their mild intolerance to gluten and feels lethargic and has acute abdominal pain and digestive dysfunction.

Why are there associated problems?

  • Possibly the most significant reason for associated problems is that we, as human beings, have not evolved significantly biologically to be able to successfully digest grains. As hunter-gatherers we survived on meat and vegetation. In evolutionary terms the development of agriculture over the last 6000 years has been short (a drop in the ocean). Our bodies have not yet developed to deal with the high amounts of grains, bread and pasta that we now consume.
  • Gluten Intolerance and Celiac Disease: Wheat, spelt, barley, oats and rye contain gluten, which can cause digestive dysfunction, preventing the complete breakdown and assimilation of all the nutrients in the food, leading to levels of malnutrition.
  • It has been suggested that a lot of gluten-based problems may be caused by the highly processed state that the food itself is in.
  • Traditionally we are advised to reduce fat and protein intake when aiming to lose weight. Yet it is worth considering that when carbohydrates are consumed (especially simple forms), insulin is produced, which is a fat-storing hormone. Exactly the opposite desired effect.

Future articles will investigate this further and give tips and strategies to find out what foods you do well on and what to do about digestive dysfunction.

 
Vegetables and Fruits: 15-a-Day?
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Vegetables and Fruits. 15-a-day?

Column #17, 12th May 2007

Across the globe human populations are diverse. We are varied in the way that we function and in particular in our nutritional needs. There are some populations that live optimally consuming mainly fruits and berries picked straight from the tree or bush. Some survive mainly on meat and fat. Usually due to availability as opposed to choice, this is what the body expects and demands, in order to be healthy. It is set up for it. The question is, what to do when we do have the choice and an abundance of it?

Carbohydrates in our diet come in the form of vegetables, fruits, grains and as discussed previously, sugars. The amount of carbohydrates that we consume is an issue for us all. We are generally aware that vegetables and fruits are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals and we should eat 5-a-day. However, we are all individuals and will have specific amounts and types of carbohydrates that we do well on.

A further consideration is the quality of produce we are consuming. It has been suggested that due to conventional farming and transport methods employed, we should be consuming more like 15 portions of vegetables a day.

At Functional Trainer, all clients are encouraged to ensure they are eating food that is fresh and packed full of nutrients:

  • Eat locally
  • Eat organic
  • Eat in season
  • Eat raw veggies and fruit

In addition, be in tune with your body. If you consume something and it makes you lethargic, decreases concentration levels or irritates your digestive system, then it’s a safe bet that you shouldn’t be eating it.

Keep a look out for magazines and websites (‘whyorganic’) that continually introduce seasonal foods. Benefits of consuming these vegetables and fruits will help you:

 

  • balance your body
  • increase/maintain energy levels
  • Support conditions and ailments
  • provide antioxidants and flavanoids to keep us healthy
  • improve emotional health

 

A good start is to reflect on what you do now. Are there a few changes you could make? Find a good local grocers that sells local produce. If you can, buy organic, even just occasionally. A great shop on Heaton Road, Newcastle, UK with a wide range of organic, local and seasonal produce is ‘HoneyTree’. If you struggle for time and would find delivery helpful then check out your nearest veg-box delivery scheme.

Grains have been contentious issue and will be looked at in depth in two weeks. Should we eat them? Can we digest them efficiently? Will they cause weight gain or other ailments? How can we be successful with them?

 
The Body's Water Shortages
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The Body’s Water Shortages

Column #16, 28th April 2007

In this recent series of fortnightly columns on Nutrition, we have investigated the ways in which we can achieve good health through what we eat. In short, we must take time and care over our food choices, preparation and consumption. Easily said, but hectic lifestyles and marketing strategies often mean that we are far from achieving it. Today we will break down our water consumption.

We should drink Water

Water will keep you hydrated, enabling all the cells in your body to function efficiently, detoxify and keep you healthy. Your concentration level, physical performance and emotional state depend on it.

A Dehydrated State

When we feel thirsty and choose to drink tea, coffee or a fruit juice instead of water, it is most likely to make the body more dehydrated. The initial stage of dehydration is often a subtle feeling and over a prolonged period can lead to problems with;

  • energy levels
  • blood pressure
  • circulation
  • digestion
  • kidney function
  • immune function

Can you drink too much water?

If you are already conscious of your water intake and follow guidelines for your body mass, then begin to think on a cellular level. To function effectively, the cells in our bodies are attempting to maintain an ideal environment and this depends on many things including the concentration of the fluids inside and out the cell and the availability of nutrients, vitamins and minerals. When you are dehydrated there is not enough water for the cells to take up, but when you drink too much water there are problems too.

For most of us, 8 glasses a day or 2 litres is about right. Multiply your body weight (kg) by 0.033, to find out how many litres of water should hydrate you on a typical day. This will also depend on factors such as environmental temperature and activity levels. If you are concerned then you should consult your Doctor.

Sources

Analysis of tap water in our homes often identifies contamination due to exposure to toxins, fluoride, chlorine and heavy metals. Ideally you could look into getting a home water filtration system, based on the quality of your water. Bottled water is another option, but make sure it is from a ‘spring’ and the container is either glass or clear polyethylene. PVC bottles are likely to leach plastic chemicals into the water. There is an environmental debate here too.

Also, look for a Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) value of 300 or greater. Water in this form will be utilised most effectively by the body. Reading the label should ensure that you are drinking quality water daily.

In two weeks we will look at all Vegetables, Fruits and Grains and consider their best sources, forms, benefits and concerns.

 
Salt of the Earth
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Salt of the Earth

Column #15, 31st March 2007

The amount of Salt we should consume is a contentious issue. If we have too much we may suffer from ill health, but it certainly plays an important role in the body.

Salt’s Benefits

Good sources of salt (sodium chloride) can;

  • Aid digestion
  • Improve respiration
  • Control blood sugar
  • Influence muscular function
  • Maintain a healthy skeleton

So whether we need to be healthy for daily activities or we are Olympic athletes we need to think carefully about our salt intake.

On a cellular level

Potassium and sodium work together to create a good working environment inside and outside of our cells. When we are healthy, the cells in our body are in balance. However they are also nutritional antagonists, which means that when either one is in excess, there is imbalance and our health may be compromised. It seems that often due to our lifestyles and eating habits that the imbalance is usually in the form of too much sodium and not enough potassium.

As soon as the levels of potassium are disrupted, associated problems can include dysfunctional muscular contractions in movement and digestion, and inhibited regulation of blood sugar and blood pressure levels.

Excess salt can cause disruption of this balance and there are a number of reasons why consumption might be too high – processed foods are often flavoured with dangerously high levels of refined salt.

Problems with refined salt

It is thought that the problem is not just the fact that consumption of salt is too high, but that the salt consumed is refined. The process that the mineral goes through and the additives present have been linked to detrimental effects on the body.

Good Sources of Salt

At ‘Functional Trainer’ we recommend that the best source of salt is unprocessed sea salt. Good quality sea salt should contain no harmful elements and may even supply the body with trace minerals that aid healthy function.

How to maintain balance

It seems that salt is essential for us to be able to live a balanced and active life. How can we take a step in the right direction?

  • Avoid processed foods whenever possible. They are not fresh, are low in nutritional value and contain ingredients that your body has difficulty recognising as food.
  • Check food labels. Although not always easy to decipher, check for levels of salt in your food.
  • Be careful when adding salt to food and try not to use refined, table salt.
  • Raw organic fruit and vegetables have the advantage of being high in potassium and low in sodium.
  • Always use a good quality sea salt.

So, be vigilant about the food you eat and listen to your body to make effective changes to achieve optimal health.

 
Sugars
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Sugars

Column #14, 17th March 2007

We know a lot about sugar. The good and the bad. Most of us are aware that high levels of processed sugar can cause many problems like obesity, diabetes and poor performance levels. So why do people crave it so much?

It is important to clarify that Carbohydrates (sugars) are an essential part of our diet, along with the other main nutrients, fats and proteins. On an individual level, if we do not eat the right amounts of these macronutrients, we are unlikely to reach our ideal weight, enjoy high energy levels, prevent disease and avoid cravings.

Why the Cravings?

Our ancestors did not require books, TV programmes and websites of nutritional advice. They ate regular quantities of carbohydrates, fats and proteins that were available. In contrast to us, they were not plagued by nutritional related problems such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

Today’s lifestyle seems largely to blame for insufficient nutrition. Hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar levels) is a common problem and probably means we aren’t eating correctly for our body to be able to sustain adequate energy levels. Our cells cannot turn our food into fuel. This is precisely the moment when we crave something sweet or a stimulant like coffee. Blood sugar levels rise then fall again and this continued yo-yoing routine stresses the body’s systems. Every day, year after year, this can have a significant effect on your well-being. Eat the correct quantities and combinations of nutrients to provide your body with the fuel it can use and you can enjoy sustained energy and concentration levels and good physical and emotional health.

Avoid Processed Sugar

Processed sugar is considered a poison by some health practitioners because of the health problems it elicits. It is depleted of vitamins and minerals, rapidly increases blood sugar levels and is reported to lead to disease and weight gain.

Calorie Counters

We must end the thought that it is as simple as calories in versus calories out. Research shows that consumed refined sugar will not be completely digested. This disrupts the functioning of the body’s systems and may lead to degenerative diseases.

Good Carbs, in the Right Amount for You

Raw fruit and vegetables are a good source. In fact the book ‘Raw Energy’ states that, for some people, a diet high in raw fruit and vegetables could actually improve ailments such as diabetes. This may sound strange because advice for diabetics is usually to lower carbohydrate intake, not to eat more. It is thought that in this raw, natural, form accompanied with fibre, vitamins and minerals, the body will use the nutrients to restore its health. Instead of being at war with constant intake of simple, processed sugars, which it considers, poison.

Providing optimal nutrition enhances the body’s ability to defend and repair itself. This is emphasised by the fact that eating quality, raw fruit and vegetables has been purported to help improve cancer conditions. Be safe in the knowledge that if you provide the body with the correct nutrients, it will use them efficiently and not just manifest disease.

 
Fats and Oils
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Fats and Oils

Column #13, 3rd March 2007

Today, Fats and Oils. Over the next few weeks we will look at the other fundamental foods (including sugar, salt, water, vegetables, fruits, grains and meat) that can make up our diet. What do we need to know to get optimum nutrition for health?

First of all it is important that we all appreciate the importance of including fat in our diet. The body will use it for insulation, protection, energy and it also regulates cellular processes. When we consider that these cells make up our organs and structures, it is clear that fat has a vital role to play in keeping us healthy for daily function and furthermore, sporting performance. However, we need to be sure of which fats the body needs and which ones we should avoid.

Fats to Avoid

Processed foods that contain trans-fatty acids. Your body does not recognise these as food and therefore cannot be used effectively. They have also been linked to rising Low Density Cholesterol levels, which may indicate increased inflammation in the body.

Foods containing high levels of omega-6 fats may need to be avoided as well (depending on your own fatty acid levels). Margarines, corn, safflower, sunflower oil and other unsaturated fats have benefited from corporate marketing campaigns that have convinced people that these types of fats are ‘healthy’ for the heart. It has long since been suggested that this is misleading and that they can in fact contribute to the associated diseases.

Furthermore when cooking with these types of oils, they cannot withstand such temperatures and become damaged.

Fats to Consume

This is where a lot of confusion and controversy has occurred over recent years. Unfairly, saturated fats have been given a bad reputation. They are the apparent cause of our health problems. At this point it is crucial to highlight the fact that some of our ancestors and even some populations today have survived (without obesity and heart disease epidemics) on diets consisting of almost all protein and saturated fat.

Essential fatty acids are well known for their benefits and are especially important in our diet because the body cannot produce them. We need omega-3 and omega-6 in specific quantities for brain and nervous development, maintenance and repair.

Good quality fats include olive oil, coconut oil, palm oil, butter, ghee and fish oil (cod liver and krill). Most importantly ensure that you use an oil that can withstand the temperature that you are cooking at (example; coconut oil or ghee can be used at high heat, 375oF).

This is general information, but it is important to appreciate that everyone is different. In subsequent articles we will discuss Biochemical Individuality, which essentially states that we all require our own unique intake of fats, protein and carbohydrates. It is not a one-size-fits-all scenario.

 
Back to Organics
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Back to Organics

Column #12, 17th February 2007

The debate is well and truly on. For the sake of our health, should we be going back to Organics? Over time, things have changed in the way we produce and prepare our food. Often, this is a move away from food in its natural, freshest form. Lets look at the reasons for eating fresh, unprocessed, organic food.

Awareness of organic food is growing. The WhyOrganic website is a good place to start to find out that organic food contains fewer toxins (additives, pesticides and fertilizers) that can have detrimental effects on health. What other reasons are there:

  • When eating fresh, organic food, we can be sure of it’s high nutritional value and taste.
  • Greater amounts of secondary nutrients are available due to improved farming methods. The body can then utilise all nutrients to help us function and stay healthy.
  • As the ethos of organic farming encourages local, trusted producers, we can be confident of high standards of practice.
  • Improved farming methods consider animal welfare and the environment as a great importance.
  • There is also prohibited routine use of antibiotics on animals.
  • Although modern methods of farming are developed to produce food cheaply and in great quantities, there are knock-on costs when removing chemicals from drinking water.

For me, the above is what we should expect from the food we buy. If you can make the shift to supporting organic farming and consuming more organic food, you will soon see the benefits.

Together with regular exercise a healthy diet you can achieve and maintain your ideal weight. Exercise alone will not enable you to do this efficiently.

An unappreciated factor is that when you have toxins in your gut, they will cause dysfunction. This can lead to digestive disorders and can even effect your physical performance. It is thought that abdominal dysfunction can arise, which will lead to ailments such as joint pain.

Ultimately, this column’s goal is to encourage a holistic outlook on health. If you are in search of optimal health and vitality, or you have various ailments (however unrelated they may be), your nutrition is key. As you think nutrition, you should think organic.

Clearly, cost is a very realistic issue. At ‘Functional Trainer’ quality nutrition is seen as an essential investment into well-being. If we do not already, we must give it more consideration, time and care when we are choosing, buying, preparing and eating. Make gradual changes and sustain them to; increase energy levels, enhance awareness, boost concentration levels, have a health core, become stronger, stay free of injury and be happier and healthier.

 
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