Boost Your Health, Grow Your Food

Boost your health – start with sprouts

One of the easiest ways of boosting your health and ensuring that you get the best quality & freshest fruits & vegetables on tap, is to grow your own. Even if you start small with an indoor ‘sprouts’ garden for alfalfa, mung beans, pea sprouts etc. These are easy to set up and you can pick them fresh in just 3-5 days for use in salads.

Add a herb patch!

After you’ve set up your indoor garden try an outdoor one, beginning with a bunch of different herbs. When planted from seedlings you can pick them after a week or so, once they have achieved some lush growth and they will continue to thrive and thicken. 

Organic fruit and vegetables

Then perhaps a vegetable patch is next. Starting with seedlings always makes it quicker, but make sure the soil is prepared ahead of time with some good mushroom mulch or similar fertile base, mixed in with the soil. Water heavily on hot days for maximum yield. Plant a fruit tree or two and now you’re talking!

Not only do organic fruits and vegetables taste far better, they last in the fridge longer because they have ripened naturally, they are more nutrient-dense than non-organic (you get a better bang for your buck) and the activity will keep you fitter and in touch with nature. Pick a vase of herbs and spread their wonderful aroma through your house today! Enjoy!

Should I Be Taking Probiotics?

The answer lies in paying attention to your body. If you have any of the following 7 signs, I suggest you take a therapeutic probiotic (high strength) to improve the balance of your gut bacteria:

If …

  1. You have taken antibiotics in the last 6-12 months – you may have an imbalance of good to bad gut bacteria. 
  2. You can’t seem to lose weight, especially belly fat, no matter what – stubborn belly fat is a hallmark sign of Insulin Resistance.
  3. You have digestive issues – bloating, cramping, excess wind, or occasional constipation or diarrhoea, means there is a good chance you have an imbalance.
  4. Your skin is itchy or broken out – probiotics aid in the normal elimination of toxins via your gut. Since skin is an elimination organ, this may suggest you have a bacterial imbalance in the gut.
  5. You crave sugar, refined or processed foods – emerging evidence suggests that “bad” gut bacteria feed off sugar and unhealthy trans fats. By boosting more good gut bacteria,  the bad will be kept in check.
  6. You feel moody or blue – probiotics can alter brain function. Our greatest concentration of seratonin (our good mood hormone) is found in our intestines, not our brain.
  7. You are feeling tired during the day and are not sleeping soundly at night – Melatonin (our sleep hormone) is found in the gut in abundance, like seratonin. We need a balance of good to bad gut bacteria for ideal health.

Do You Have the Guts?

Our gastrointestinal tract (GIT) or gut is essentially a complex ‘tube’ that runs from our mouth right through the body to the colon. It is responsible for a multitude of functions: digestion, hydration, maintaining immunity, nutrient absorption and eliminating toxins. If it is not functioning properly, not only can you experience a host of uncomfortable symptoms, like bloat, wind & constipation, but also it can compromise your mood, hormonal balance, energy and immunity.

Here are 3 Hot Tips for Restoring Great Gut Health:

  1. Refocus on food – increase your intake of bitter foods (lemons, limes, apple cider vinegar) to stimulate the secretion of digestive juices and ensure proper breakdown & absorption of food. Include pre-biotic foods such as bananas, leeks, garlic, onions & wholegrains – these all support the growth of good gut bacteria. Fresh garlic is a powerful antibacterial and antiseptic that can ward off unwanted pathogens.
  2. Go GREEN! – Include a daily handful or two of your favourite greens eg. spinach, watercress, kale, rocket etc. These all contain chlorophyll which alkalise the blood (reduce acidity & inflammation). Slippery elm powder, a natural fibre with no additives, can be added to your daily smoothie, to boost fibre and soothe & heal the digestive tract. 
  3. Add fermented foods – by including fermented foods daily, such as yogurt, miso, kimchi, sauerkraut and kefir, you will be increasing your supply of probiotics to boost your good gut bacteria. 


Best & Worst Foods for your Skin

The 5 WORST foods for good skin health are:

  1. Sugar: eating excess sugar causes elevated insulin levels, stimulating sebum production, which can result in acne breakouts. On average, Australians consume over 20 teas per day of sugar. Excess sugar also binds with collagen & elastin in the skin, resulting in wrinkles.
  2. Dairy: these are pro-inflammatory foods, which contain natural growth hormones & natural steroids (to help calves grow). Milk also has a high sugar content (lactose) which is not ideal as said before.
  3. Processed: processing at high temperatures causes oils to oxidise. Good oils are great for our skin, bad oils are terrible as they increase inflammation & oxidative damage (contain toxins which harm membranes).
  4. BBQ or overcooked: cooking meat at high temperatures is associated with increased collagen breakdown and accelerated ageing.
  5. Fried: as for BBQ foods, high temperature heating causes oils to oxidise. This can lead to free radical damage which is associated with accelerated ageing (fine lines, dry skin, wrinkles).

The 5 BEST foods for great skin health are: (Eat these often!)

  1. Avocado
  2. Wild Salmon
  3. Fermented foods
  4. Broccoli
  5. Bone broth  …. Eat these 5 and watch your skin glow!

Are You on Toxic Overload?

Every day we are subjected to many thousands of chemicals and toxic compounds in our environment. Adding to this burden are our internal toxins, many of which originate from an unhealthy gut.

Further disruption may occur with poor dietary and lifestyle choices & emotional stress, that may cause even more deterioration of the gut lining, resulting in “leaky gut”.

Warning signs may include: bloat, headaches, constipation & diarrhoea, fatigue, allergies & intolerances, insomnia, menstrual irregularities, low mood, irritability, sinus, poor concentration, etc.

These are signs that our body is on toxic overload and needs a spring clean. A customised, well-planned detox includes fresh organic fruit & vegetables, lean quality meats, fruit & nuts, healthy shakes, GF grains. You will be feeling revitalised and energised in no time!