The Surprising Seven Problems

The most common problems encountered in our practice when looking at clients’ food diaries are the following:

Dehydration

It is recommended that we drink an average of 8-10 glasses of water every day.  Water has around 10 functions in the human body and is an essential nutrient.

The Mayo Clinic explains how much total fluid intake the body needs, which sources count, and how to know that you are getting enough. 

Insufficient exercise 

If you are a busy professional, a carer or a parent, life can get overwhelming with responsibilities. You may hence find difficulty in making the time to exercise.  However, exercise is as key as any of the other health pillars.  Some tips to include exercise into your daily routine are:

  • Whilst cooking a meal, do a kitchen bench workout.  It’s more the consistency and quality than the quantity that matters.
  • Do a 5-10-minute  full-body stretch in the morning and one in the afternoon/evening before dinner.  This helps with circulation, relaxation, increased flexibility and range of motion, injury prevention, improved sports performance and better posture.
  • Doing ankle and calf exercises whilst sitting down at a desk or in front of the TV is a simple way to keep joints supple and muscles flexible.
A woman and girl stretch their arms above their heads while facing each other

Too much processed food

With the abundance of food available around us, it is easy to go for the convenient, pre-packaged meals and snacks.  These are usually higher in calories than home-prepared versions, so they can contribute to insidious weight gain in an unhealthy manner.  

These foods also contain ingredients that are harmful to our health.  The ones that are most toxic to humans are: flour, sugar, high glucose-fructose syrup (HGFS), processed oils, aspartame and glyphosate.  These are not always listed on the label, so if you are in doubt please ask during our consultations. Examples of food items that would contain some of the above are diet drinks, dried pasta, packaged snacks and baked goods.  It is advisable to prepare your own meals and snacks for work or when you are on the go, in order to avoid temptation.  During our consultations we can discuss options for healthy, tasty meals and snacks, as well as provide you with recipes.

Whole-food deficiency

At the same time as consuming a lot of processed foodstuffs, many of us are deficient in whole foods and the nutrients they contain.  Whole foods are anything that comes from nature and not from a manufacturing plant.  Important categories of foods to include in one’s diet for better health are nuts, seeds, legumes and pulses, as well as an abundance of vegetables, herbs, fruits and salads. There is plenty of good science that’s now advising us to be consuming 7-13 portions of fruit and veg each day- not the recommended 5. This is quite hard to achieve for the average person (a busy, high-functioning individual, a carer or a parent), hence why we recommend some evidence-based whole food concentrates. Soya is an excellent source of protein- as is hemp- if you are avoiding meat/dairy.  In our consultations we will discuss ways to include these in your diet without too much effort.

Magnesium deficiency

In 2006 The WHO reached consensus that the majority of the world’s population is magnesium deficient (a contributing factor is the point above).  Likewise, in 1995 The Gallop organisation conducted a survey and found that 95% of adult Americans are magnesium-deficient.  Magnesium regulates around 325-360 different functions in the body and is called ‘the lamp of life’.  It has a crucial role to play for the optimal function of the body.  If you would like more information on how to test your magnesium levels and/or which supplement to choose based on your health needs, let us know during our consultations. Swimming in the sea regularly is an excellent way for the body to absorb magnesium in its most natural and effective form.

The British Medical Journal has a thorough article that explains the significance of magnesium in heart health (just one example of its multiple roles). Another good source of information is https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/?term=magnesium+supplementation

Calcium excess

This may come as a surprise, as most of us know that calcium is an important mineral for healthy bones and teeth.  This is true; however, in the presence of magnesium deficiency, there occurs a calcium excess, which can cause multiple health problems.  Calcium and magnesium work in opposition to each other, so if your diet is rich in calcium and low in magnesium (this is common), imbalances will occur.  We can discuss this further on our consultations.  In the meantime, this is a helpful source: https://acu-cell.com/acn.html

Omega fatty acid deficiency/imbalance

We have all heard about the benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids, such as those found in algae, oily fish, nuts, seeds and avocado.  The trouble with the modern diet is that we tend to not consume enough of these foods and consume foods abundant in omega 6 instead (processed foods and oils, for example). 

Omega 6, without the presence of ample omega 3, can cause inflammation in the body, which can herald most disease processes.  Think of Omega 3 as the fire extinguisher of omega 6, which cools the inflammation down.  Consuming more of the above-mentioned foods, as well as taking the right supplement (beware of most heat-damaged and chemically-extracted fish oil supplements on the market) can help bring this ratio into balance. A lack of sufficient omega-3 fats has been directly linked to several disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis, depression, Alzheimer’s, eye disease and heart disease.

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