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Nutrition is one of the Basics for Good Healthy Living

It’s interesting to see how styles have changed over the years from the meat and two vegetables of 30 years ago to today’s recommendations that we eat less protein (especially as red meat), a greater intake of fruit and vegetables, much less fat and refined sugars. This reflects not only our change in lifestyle but also changes in the levels of pollution and the stress of a different nature that we now have to contend with on a daily basis.

Although Edgar Cayce, the famous healer and psychic, talked of air as a nutrient many years ago, and the Indian healers have always done so, we seem to have forgotten that this most fundamental of substances is the basic nutrient of life. When you start to take note of the air that you breathe and the way that you breathe it, not only will you have immediate benefits in terms of stress and anxiety reduction, but you will become more eager to ensure that the air you breathe is clean rather than polluted by cigarette smoke, exhaust fumes, etc. The basis of yoga, one of the most ancient of the healing arts, is conscious breathing and we would recommend it to you as a practice that can start you on the road to better health, physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Water is the next most important nutrient and we would recommend that you check that your water is pure, invest in some sort of filtration unit and drink at least 8 glasses a day, simply as clear water, either hot or cold. All of the chemical reactions taking place in your body this very minute need water to help them proceed at the pace your body requires them to do. You might like to cultivate the habit of always having some water with you to sip throughout the day.

Food is what your body is made of so eat the best you can afford, organic if possible, and using fresh ingredients whenever you can, however you can have a food intolerance check at Bio Balance if you are having problems. Although a low-fat diet is recommended, you need enough fat to ensure adequate absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins, A, D, E and K. Olive oil confers great benefits in terms of protection from some illnesses such as cancer and therefore do use it whenever you need fat if possible. You need at least a tablespoonful daily.

If you eat 7 or more portions of fresh fruit and vegetables a day, some whole grains such as rice (brown or wild) and cereals, then you should get enough fibre to protect you from colonic and some other cancers, but if not, then do add some wheat bran, sesame seeds or flax seed (linseed) to your salads or cereals. Carotenoids (in brightly coloured vegetables) are essential and effective antioxidants to protect your DNA from free radical damage and to prevent cancer and signs of ageing. Vegetables highest in antioxidants include beetroot, red peppers, kale, broccoli, spinach, tomatoes and sweetcorn as well as potatoes. The cruciferous vegetables, such as cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cabbage, have natural anti-cancer agents and should be a regular addition to your diet. Watercress acts in much the same way.

Fruits highest in antioxidants include bilberries and strawberries as well as plums, oranges, red grapes, kiwi, pink grapefruit, apples, bananas, melons and pears. Soya milk or protein is great for reducing menopausal symptoms, especially hot flushes, and symptoms of premenstrual syndrome. However, it also appears to have a protective effect on the breast and prostate, reducing the risk of cancer and it can help reduce your cholesterol (LDL cholesterol) by about 10 per cent in about 9 weeks due to its isoflavone content. So if you can add soya to your basic diet, you’ll be doing yourself a favour.

Salmon, herrings, sardines and mackerel all contain omega-3 fatty acids which are powerful anti-cancer agents, and should be included in your menu about 3 times a week, but if you’re strictly vegetarian, you can get the same effect from flax seed (linseed) ground up on salads or cereals. In fact linseed contains both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids which are even more beneficial. Red meat is best avoided, especially if you have a family history of breast cancer, although wild game or organic meat is less harmful. Try to remove all fat including chicken skin and not to char it by cooking at very high temperatures. Those extra tasty burned bits from the barbecue are potentially lethal, we’re afraid, since they contain carcinogens (cancer-promoting substances).

We shall recommend additions in the form of extra or substitute foodstuffs, or supplements, as we go along. But if you’re well now, we want you to stay well, so please make whatever adjustments you need to over the next few weeks (not all at once) to ensure your continued good health. If you’re under par, adjusting to a healthier lifestyle will have almost immediate benefits in terms of improved energy and mood.