A high fibre, plant-based diet is ideal for weight-loss and ongoing weight maintenance.
Many diets will help you to lose weight fast, but they come unstuck when it comes to long-term success. Most of us are only satisfied once our tummy is full – literally – we have receptors in our stomach which tell us how much volume is in there and that is part of what gives us satiety or satisfaction with the food eaten.
Unfortunately, our energy dense foods, such as fats, soft drinks and alcohol don’t provide the ‘bulk’ to let us know we are full so we keep wanting more (that coupled with blood sugar fluctuations from processed sugary foods).
Eating whole foods such as vegetables and fibre-rich fruits like apples and pears will help us to feel satisfied so we don’t eat more calories than we need. We all know what the high calorie foods are – and if you don’t, there’s loads of places to get the information, apps on your phone, websites and charts. Basically if it is processed, it is going to be higher in calories than its whole food counterpart. We need to keep commercially processed foods to a minimum.
The real key is planning. Stock up on organic vegetables, salads and make crudités for easy snacking and meal preparation. If you feel like eating some ‘treats’ have a bowl of green salad and some crudités first so you can stop at a few pieces of chocolate rather than a eating the whole bar. If you are hungry, feed yourself. It’s impossible to keep up a diet that requires you to starve. If you’re eating whole foods and minimising processed foods the weight should start to drop off. For extra help and support, a naturopathic nutritional therapist can be useful in helping you overcome any obstacles to your health goals.
It is increasingly accepted that a low-carbohydrate (‘low carb’) diet is the way to lose weight healthily, by minimising excess sugars and starches in diet that the body turns to fat.
Increasing nutrient-dense protein and fat sources satisfies hunger to reduce overall food intake, too. Essentially a healthy low-carb diet for weight loss consists of hearty amounts of vegetables (less starchy vegetables are preferred), seeds, nuts, eggs, fish, moderate meat and butter. Foods are best in whole organic form. People with blood sugar or insulin issues respond particularly well to this weight loss approach.
There are a number of foods and herbs that help the body excrete excess fluid, stimulate peristalsis (the movement of food through the digestive tract) and regulate appetite; these can help support weight loss alongside a mainstream low carb diet. The categories that these foods and herbs fit into are known as diuretics, bitters, aromatics and mild astringents. Here are some examples of these from Traditional Chinese Medicine, where a number of herbs are understood to work synergistically to aid weight reduction:
Hawthorn fruit – regulates appetite and stimulates peristalsis, especially of the stomach
Fresh Ginger – aromatically warms and settles the stomachTangerine Peel – (just like the peel in old fashioned marmalade) moves the gut and helps regulate gut symbionts (friendly gut bacteria)Radish Seed – strongly aromatic to relieve food stagnation
Lotus Leaf – helps the body move unnecessary fluid. In China a tea of lotus leaf and Job’s tears (Coix) is drunk daily to help counter obesity
Plantain Leaf – a diuretic to help excrete extra fluid
Kelp – a diuretic and metabolism boost
In a weight loss diet aromatic and bitter herbs, spices and foods have amplified benefits; they stimulate gut peristalsis to counter the stagnating effect of a richer, high protein and fat diet; they also make dishes tastier and more satisfying to the senses!
3 August, 2021
Medicinal Uses of Turmeric
This yellow spice is a common delicacy in India. Its often ground into a deep orange powder and used in curries, has been used for centuries for medicinal purposes across Asia.
More recently, its active ingredient, curcumin, has been much in the news because scientists have confirmed its remarkable anti-cancer properties. There’s a wealth of exciting information coming through about curcumin’s role in warding off memory loss, depression, chronic disease, and more.
In particular, its potent anti-inflammatory properties can help to relieve the pain of arthritis, and to reduce allergies, psoriasis, eczema, gastric ulcers and inflammatory bowel disease, to name but some of the conditions for which curcumin can be helpful, and for which it has traditionally been used.
Using turmeric in your food a few times a week is a great way to get your dose of curcumin, in normal circumstances. But don’t forget to add black pepper to your recipe, as the active ingredient in black pepper helps to increase the bioavailability of the curcumin, meaning that it’s more effective for you. For a general anti-oxidant health boost, take ½ teaspoon of powdered, organic turmeric, with a pinch of ground black pepper, in a glass of hot water, once a day. Add some honey or cinnamon powder for taste.
A naturopathic herbalist can combine therapeutic doses of turmeric into a tincture or powder containing other herbs and spices which are appropriate to your individual needs. Turmeric is generally very safe to use. However if you are on medication or suffer from a specific medical problem and you are not sure about using it, please consult your herbalist.
Help avoid Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes affects 4 million people in the UK and that number is growing every day, despite the fact that we can help prevent it by diet and lifestyle.
We use carbohydrates as the principle fuel source for our bodies, and all foods, with the exception of pure oils and fats, contain carbohydrates. In their natural state, whole foods come as a complete package of carbohydrate, fibre, fat and protein, and our bodies have a number of processes to help break down those carbohydrates into sugars that our bodies can then absorb and use as fuel.
These processes take time and so the sugars from whole foods are released slowly into the bloodstream and are put to work in cells. The hormone insulin is released by the pancreas in response to sugar in our blood and ‘knocks on the door’ of cells to tell them that sugar/glucose is available. The whole system is extraordinarily elegant in design.
Producers of processed foods, such as ready meals, fast foods, confectionary, and junk food, maximise profit by maximising sales! The holy grail for the food industry is the ‘bliss point’, that perfect ratio of fat to sugar that makes your brain go ‘ping!’ and sends the message ‘give me more!’, creating food craving and brand loyalty into the bargain. These foods need only minimal work by the digestive system and as they flood your system with sugars, the pancreas has to produce ever increasing amounts of insulin to keep up. Over time this abuse results in pancreatic exhaustion and ultimately Type 2 diabetes.
Eat ‘real’ food, staying with fresh, organic, whole foods, this way you’re eating food that your body recognises and can work with to keep you fit and healthy. Opt for predominantly plant-based and include wholegrains for the fibre and good fats from avocadoes, nuts and seeds. All foods contain protein so as long as you’re meeting your calorie requirements from whole foods you’ll be getting enough protein. Nothing needs to be added or taken away from food that was made as nature intended, so rediscover the magnificent flavours of food without chemical additions or processing!
By: Kevin Nengia
Immunization: Health Board Targets Rural Communities
Towards ensuring that immunization campaign achieves its target of over 90 percent, the Rivers State Primary Health Care Management Board, says it has provided modalities for trained health care providers to reach the interiors of the state.
Making this known in an exclusive interview, the Health Education / Coordinator, Rivers State Social and Behavioural Change Communication Committee, Dr Daris Nria, said provisions have been made to take the free immunisation exercise to the rural areas of the state.
Because immunisation programe will be running concurrently in all the local government areas, and these areas will be empowered with boats or other means of transport, as well as logistics.
She used this opportunity to call on the public especially parents and women of child bearing age to avail themselves the opportunity of being immunized against tetanus and other diseases.
In another development, the Maternal and Neonatal Child Health (MNCH) Focal Person, Rivers State Primary Healthcare Management Board, Dr Emen-Jaja stated that the MNCH week slated to commence from 20th – 24th September will provide health care services for children under the age of five years, pregnant women as well as their spouses.
Such services, according to her, include administration of vitamin A, deworming exercise, nutritional screening, general health checks, child spacing and birth registration.
“Both women of reproductive age and their spouses who visit the health care centres would also have free services within the week.
CSO Wants Cancer Treatment Centres In Rivers
The Rivers State Chapter of the Civil Society organsation (CSO) has called on the state government to establish cancer treatment centres in the state to address the current growing cancer cases in the state.
Making the call recently, chairman of the organisation, Mr Dennis Otobo, said going by the status among the community of states in the country, Rivers State needs such centres in strategic areas of the state.
He stated that “going by the position of Rivers State among other states in the country, we are over due to have enough cancer treatment centres, especially considering the State Government’s focus on the health of her people”.
According to him, “taking some of our cancer patients to other neighbouring states does not tell well of our health services, no matter how we look at it.
“Government should establish cancer treatment centres in the state, at least a one hub treatment centre in each LGA”, he said.
Otobo explained that for now, about 99 per cent of treatments for cancer and related services are provided by donor agencies and patients are taken outside the state for treatment, which requires a lot of fund that is mostly not available.
“If government can provide cancer treatment centres in the state, it will not only lessen the impact of the ailment in the state but will also alleviate the suffering of patients who cannot afford going for treatment outside the state”, he said.
To Much Salt Consumption, Bad For Kidney – Expert
A Nephrologist, specialist in Kidney disease, Dr Manda David-West, says excessive salt consumption is one key cause of kidney disease.
Stating this in a recent interview, she said in-take of too much salt is capable of damaging one’s kidney, in addition to raising blood pressure.
“Too much salt can raise up the Blood Pressure (BP), and once the BP is raised, if you are not on medication, It can damage the kidney over time, she said.
In order to prevent this, Dr David West, who is a Consultant Nephrologist at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH) called for limitation in salt in-take.
She further stated that to prevent kidney disease, there was the need to cut down on carbohydrate and callory intake, alongside checking food in-take capable of increasing chances of developing diabetes mellitus.
Dr David West continued that enough intake of fruits and vegetables, alongside exercises with a view to keep fit also prevents kidney diseases.
Contrary to wide spread belief that food supplements are good for the body, Dr David West said too much intake of food supplements is not good for the body.
Accroding to her, besides taking fruits and vegetables, “they should engage in daily exercise, try and keep fit and be active as much.
“Even (food) supplement has not been proven to be good to the kidney, especially when it is taken for a long time.
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