5 Tips to Reduce Your Food Allergies

What are food allergies?

When we think of food allergies we often recall peanut allergies, that may send a person to the emergency room with an anaphylactic reaction. This is called an immediate reaction or an IgE hypersensitivity reaction. It can result in swelling of the face & eyes, extreme itchiness, severe rashes, swollen tongue and worse still, inability to breathe. Fortunately, this is not common.

The less dramatic & deadly type of allergic reaction is a delayed allergy or IgG delayed hypersensitivity reaction. This is much more common and can create a lot of suffering for millions of people. It can cause symptoms from a few hours to a few days after ingestion. Problems like weight gain, fluid retention, fatigue, brain fog, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), headaches, joint pain, sinus, acne, eczema and much more. 

Putting the Puzzle Together

Collectively, these common adverse food reactions can be associated with:

  1. alteration of the gut bacteria (eg. antibiotics will reduce the good gut bacteria in the microbiome)
  2. intestinal enzyme deficiency (eg. low lactase in the gut means a person will be sensitive to dairy)
  3. a defective mucosal barrier lining the gut
  4. poor immune function
  5. heightened inflammatory response

 

Why do some people have allergic reactions to food?

In a nutshell, the diet you eat, your lifestyle choices (such as alcohol consumption, caffeine intake, overwhelming stress) and the medications you are taking are to blame for allergic reactivity. All of these things impact on your gut lining and break down the barrier that protects us from many of these assaults. This exposes our immune system to the toxins and results in leaky gut. 

When the partially digested food particles begin to ‘leak’ across the damaged barrier, your immune system begins to attack these particles. This is when the food intolerance or IgG allergic reaction occurs.

How can Naturopathy help reduce allergic reactions?

Here are 6 ways a Naturopath can help reduce the ‘flames’ and allergic raections:

  1. Eating an anti-inflammatory, low allergy diet will go a long way to improve the situation. Reduce refined, processed carbohydrates and starchy sugars (found in white potatoes, flour etc). Also avoid refined vegetable oils or ‘trans fats’. These are highly toxic. Many of these are found in refined processed foods.
  2. Eliminate food allergens & sensitivities in the short term and boost immunity, with a personalised detox. This will enable the gut to heal and toxins to be cleared out, to help reduce reactivity and strengthen the gut mucosa. 
  3. Some foods irritate the immune system more than others. These include gluten (wheat, rye, barley, oats, spelt, kamut), dairy (milk, cheese, butter, yoghurt), eggs, soy, corn, some nuts, nightshades (tomatoes, capsicums, eggplant, potatoes), citrus and yeast. Some of these can cause acute reactions and need to be taken seriously.
  4. Exercise regularly as this helps reduce inflammation. Begin with a low impact regime such as yoga & Pilates, and progress to higher impact exercise and weight training as inflammatory load reduces.

Want To Live Longer, Live Healthier? Who Doesn’t!

… Start by looking after your “telomeres”. These are the tiny end units of our DNA strands, which prevent the DNA from unraveling. (… Think of a shoelace which has it’s ends bound tightly.)  As our cells replicate our telomeres shorten. Longer telomeres lead to longevity. So how do we lengthen them?

Lengthen your telomeres, live longer & healthier with a few simple lifestyle adjustments:
  1. Improve your quality of sleep each night.
  2. Reduce stress with regular meditation and relaxation. 
  3. Exercise regularly and include HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) one to two times a week.
  4. Eat the right fats.  Include a small amount of good fats at each meal and snack, eg. nuts, seeds, avocado, olive oil, coconut oil, olives, deep-sea fish, fish oils.
  5. Keep vitamin D levels adequate.  Include deep-sea fish, eggs, mushrooms (grown in sunlight). Expose skin daily to sunlight to boost your own production of Vitamin D. In Summer you’ll need less time in the sun because of the higher UV Index. This varies a little depending on location and season of the year.
  6. Reduce levels of inflammation by avoiding or greatly reducing refined processed carbohydrates, deep-fried foods, alcohol, caffeine, added sugars including artificial sweeteners. Choose green leafy vegetables, quality protein, nuts, seeds, legumes, fruit & vegetables, free-range eggs, herbs.
  7. Reduce risk factors – quit smoking & recreational drugs, reduce alcohol intake, include daily movement and exercise.         … Does any of this sound familiar? 

Reduce High Blood Pressure Naturally

We have all experienced a rapid heart rate as a response to a stressor at some time. Whether it is being late for work or school, not meeting a deadline or almost getting hit by a car when crossing the road, the stress will generally result in shallow, fast breathing that activates a release of cortisol, adrenalin and other stress hormones. 

On the other hand, controlled, deep-breathing activates the relaxation response and calms the nervous system. This not only slows our heart rate, pulse and blood pressure, but also our digestive system, while at the same time promotes a state of calm.

Try my simple Yoga-breathing Exercise and feel the difference:

  • Lie flat on floor or bed, arms down by your sides, palms facing up, feet falling out (called Dead Man’s Pose)
  • Close your eyes
  • Focus on your breath – take 2-3 slow deep breaths, through the nose, breathe out through the nose (quietly)
  • This time, breathe in for 1 second and out for two seconds. Repeat.
  • Continue this breathing pattern. Place one hand on your stomach. As you breathe in, make the stomach rise. As you breathe out, make the stomach fall.
  • Now, as you are in a more relaxed state, change the breathing pattern. Breathe in for 2 counts and out for 4 counts. Keep your hand on your stomach, to check that your stomach is rising and falling as you breathe.
  • Return hand to your side and continue this pattern. Focus on the count as you breathe.
  • 10 to 20 minutes per day is highly recommended to reduce stress significantly.
  • When your session is complete, stretch and open your eyes slowly. Become aware of your surroundings, before you get up.

… There now, don’t you feel a little calmer? Have a lovely day.

Weight Loss in Adelaide

We are very fortunate to live in a city that is world renown for it’s fantastic restaurants and nearby wineries in Mc Laren Vale and the Barossa Valley. The downside is that with all this high quality, easy to access food and wine, many of us find ourselves a few kilos above our balanced weight. 

This is not just a South Australian problem, but a National problem with over 63% of the population now over-weight or obese (Australian Bureau of Statistics). If you are in this over-weight or obese category, you are part of the majority. If you have tried everything you can think of to lose weight to no avail, you may need some help.

Imagine your car won’t start. You know it has a new battery, a full tank of fuel and new spark plugs, but you can’t get it going. What do you do? Take it to a mechanic who diagnoses the problem and fixes it.

Many individuals are unable to budge body fat despite eating well and exercising regularly. A professional weight loss expert can help. I use a scientific test that provides an overview of your health, to help identify reasons for slow weight loss. This test allows me to target strategies for improvement and provides a means to track your progress.

As with any indulgence in life, in moderation, we can sample the goodness and enjoy the experience of great food and wine that our state has to offer. 

Why Sitting is Bad for You!

Just as exercise can’t counteract the effects of smoking, it can not counteract the effects of sitting for lengthy periods of the day.

Here’s why:

  1. After 1 hour of being seated – electrical activity in our muscles and our ability to burn calories both reduce significantly.
  2. After 3 hours – our arteries reduce in diameter by about half, which decreases blood flow everywhere in our body.
  3. After 6 hours – insulin becomes less effective at clearing blood sugar.
  4. After 2 weeks of sitting about 6 hours per day – LDL’s (bad fats) accumulate in our blood; enzymes that help breakdown fat, take a dive and muscles begin to breakdown.
  5. After 1 year of this continued sedentary lifestyle – there is a marked reduction in bone density and our brain function slows as significantly less blood is being pumped around the body.
  6. After 10 or more years of this – our quality of life becomes severely impacted which may lead to a reduction in lifespan of quite a number of years  … Worth contemplating, while standing of course!

7 Ways to Ease Migraine Pain & Reduce Your Risk

Migraine headaches can be debilitating. Follow these 7 steps to help prevent future attacks and reduce the pain when you have a migraine:

  1. Avoid processed foods containing nitrates – these are found in cured & processed meats, canned vegetables, packaged seafood, hotdogs, etc.
  2. Reduce or avoid common food triggers – gluten or yeast products, dark chocolate, kale, onions, honey, processed sugar, aged cheeses, red wine, MSG, pickled or cured fish.
  3. Develop a strong gut microflora – eat fermented foods regularly (yogurt, sauerkraut, kim chee), or take a high quality probiotic to boost your immunity.
  4. Get 7-8 hours of quality sleep each night.
  5. Use relaxation techniques to reduce pain – meditation, yoga, deep breathing, visualisations.
  6. Turn down the blue light –  many digital devices and LED light sources emit mostly blue light. Migraine sufferers can be photosensitive to this light.
  7. Use essential oils to soothe tension – effective oils include peppermint, lavender, eucalyptus, frankincense & rosemary. Apply in small drops to your temples or neck to reduce tension.

Do Artificial Sweeteners Help or Hinder Weight Loss?

Although artificial sweeteners contain zero calories, they do trigger the brain’s pleasure centre. However, the lack of calories that accompany the sweet taste, fail to satisfy and this promotes sugar cravings like no other!

Over a decade ago, studies already revealed that artificial sweeteners may:

  1. stimulate appetite
  2. increase carbohydrate (sugar) cravings
  3. stimulate fat storage and weight gain
  4. boost your inclination to overindulge 

It’s ironic that they were originally introduced to prevent the above. 

What You May Not Know About Sleep!

Sleep affects every aspect of our life, but for many of us a sound and refreshing sleep completely evades us!

Did you know:

  1. about 30% of us suffer from insomnia at some point in our life
  2. around 25% of children diagnosed with ADHD have a sleep disorder. When poor sleep is addressed, their symptoms disappear.
  3. one night of sleep deprivation can put your body into a diabetic state.
  4. a decrease in sleep of only 1.5 hours per night can reduce performance by up to 32%.
  5. reaction time after staying awake for 17-19 hours is worse than a 0.05% blood alcohol level.

Improving the quality of our sleep is a priority for better health. 

Lose Belly Fat with these Two Key Dietary Changes

No matter how well you exercise, if you are still eating processed foods, too many carbs and the wrong kinds of fat, all your efforts may be in vain.

Eating right is the key for weight loss success and it is crucial when you are trying to get rid of visceral fat around your internal organs.

Two vital dietary changes:

  1. Remove processed and refined carbohydrates and you will also remove other harmful chemicals and additives, that can slow down your metabolism. By choosing organic fruit and vegetables, you will also be avoiding herbicides and pesticides, and genetically engineered ingredients. 
  2. Replace the reduced carbohydrates with healthful fats like nuts and seeds, fish, avocado, olives, olive oil, coconut, coconut oil, organic eggs, unheated organic nut oils (eg. Macadamia nut oil). These fats are essential for many processes and reactions in the body. They satisfy our hunger for much longer than carbohydrates and provide a great source of fuel for energy.  … Add the right exercise and watch the fat melt off!

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.