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Health Topics

Vita’s naturopaths are trained to assess most aspects of health, from basic complaints such as ‘not feeling 100%’ to more serious illnesses that involve autoimmune and degenerative conditions.

Below are some common health topics that can be easily treated and prevented using naturopathic strategies: fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome, premenstrual syndrome and fertility and family planning.

'Stress' - What is it and what does it do to your body?

As we have well and truly embarked on the new year I thought that I would take a moment to reflect on the common health trends that I am seeing in practice. An indication perhaps of where our health is at as a community?

The top 5 presentations include: stress, fatigue, lowered immunity, digestive and hormonal abnormalities. 

When I look at the list above - 'stress' is the common culprit that often instigates the onset of the other suboptimal health states. Biochemically, stress causes the body to release hormones that directly suppress your immune and digestive function. Over time, the sustained release of these hormones leads to fatigue and often hormonal irregularities.

So what is classified as stress? Stress on the body can range from work or relationship pressures, excessive exercise or physical labour, a poor diet etc - thus the causes vary and can be mental, emotional or physical. Your body's response to stress however is the same.

Unfortunately whilst there's not a lot that conventional medicine can offer in the management of stress, natural medicine works wonders! Come and chat to myself or Erika and let us provide you with the tools to restore you to optimal health!

yours in good health

Josie

 

Bone Broth


Bone Broth ... tis the season for it (yum)

 

This is definitely the "super food" flavour of the month...and I have expressed my views on the overuse of this term in previous newsletters:) 

Bone broths (or stocks) are however the real deal!

They are of course, not a recent discovery.  Traditionally used for thousands of years by almost every cultural background to heal and support during times of illness and convalescence. Bone broths are a simple combination of bones, vegetable scraps, water, herbs and seasoning - cooked over a long period of time.  (A little apple cider vinegar is used to help extract the nutritional content from the bones)  

No frills - this simple and inexpensive liquid food is packed full of essential minerals and nutrients that are easily digested and assimilated by the body.

The gelatin found in broths is a simple and well absorbed form of protein.  It aids digestion and heals the gut lining.  It also promotes strong hair and nails.  Chicken stock is immune strengthening and inhibits the progression of colds, flus and upper respiratory infections by blocking neutrophils, your body's main white blood cell - thus controlling this inflammatory response. Chicken also contains the amino acid cysteine, which thins respiratory mucus making it easier for you to expel via the nose or mouth. The combination of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur and other trace minerals found in all broths is incredibly well absorbed by your body and assists in the growth, strength and repair of bones and other connective tissue including your skin.  Glucosamine and chondrotin, nutrients found in cartilage and tendons are also components of your broth.  When consumed they provide the building blocks for cartilage repair, reduce joint inflammation and provide lubrication in the joint capsule.  Amino acids such as glycine, proline, and arginine all have anti-inflammatory effects and glycine promotes sleep by calming the mind

In clinic I recommend bone broths for digestive weakness, colds & flu, chronic fatigue, respiratory illness, liver and skin cleansing, stress and immune weakness.  Great for all ages, even in newborns as they are low allergy, easily absorbed and so incredibly nutrient dense. NB: please use organic produce when making broths as you are absorbing nutrient content and other substances from the bone matter of the animal - it is of course safest in organic, grass-fed, pasture raised animals.

Wishing you the best of health this Winter - call 9650 0734 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for an appointment:)
Josie 

 

bone brothChicken Bone Broth/ Stock

Ingredients

  •  1 Leftover Roast Chicken Carcass (organic)
  •  Vegetable Scraps (organic celery leaves, onion trimmings, carrot peels, garlic etc)
  •  2 Bay Leafs
  •  1 Tablespoon Cider Vinegar

Instructions

  1. Add the chicken carcass, vegetable scraps and bay leafs to a crockpot.
  2. Pour enough filtered water to cover the carcass.
  3. Add apple cider vinegar.
  4. Cook for 12-24 hrs or longer.
  5. Keep an eye on the broth and add water as required.
  6. Strain the broth through a fine mesh sieve
  7. Consume as a drink, add to soups, casseroles or freeze in portions for later use.

 

 

Brain Food

In order to keep your brain fuelled – it helps to know the 5 most important nutritional sources that the brain relies upon.

 

Carbohydrates

 

 

 

Sugar is your brain’s super fuel.  In our diet it is available in 2 forms, simple and complex carbohydrates.

Complex carbohydrates are converted into sugar by the body.  The benefit of this type of carbohydrate is that they release a more sustained stream of sugar to your brain. Adding protein to your complex carbohydrate ensures that you feel full for longer and supports concentration. 

Sources: whole grain products – rolled oats, brown rice, rice and corn cakes, whole grain sourdough breads, nuts and seeds, fruits and vegetables, legumes.

Simple carbohydrates are converted quickly into sugar by your body, increasing blood sugar levels.  They are found in processed foods like white bread, biscuits, white rice, pasta, crackers, cake, chocolate, lollies etc.  These should be avoided and eaten seldom. 

 

 

Fats – essential fats or “good fats”

 

 

60% of your brain is made of fat.  Your brain cells use this fat as insulation to promote proper delivery of messages within the brain and around the body. 

A deficiency in essential fats can lead to difficulty learning, a reduction in attention span and mood/ behavioural disorders.  We call these fats “essential” because your body requires a daily dose of them from the diet.

Sources: nuts and seeds, olive oil, avocado oily fish – sardines, salmon, mackerel, fresh tuna, herring,

 

 

Protein

 

 

Protein rich foods provide the building blocks to make the neurotransmitters that help to regulate your behaviour, mood, appetite and sleep patterns.

Sources: fish, chicken, lamb, beef, kangaroo, turkey, game meats, nuts and seeds, eggs, legumes, dairy foods, soy products.

 

 

Vitamins & Minerals

 

 

Required to maintain balance in the brain and ensure optimal performance.  

Sources: fruits and and all whole (unprocessed) foods – grains, meats, dairy, legumes, nuts and seeds.  The key here is variety.

 

 

Water

 

 

Each brain cell stores a reserve of water.  It uses this reserve to maintain the tone of the membranes within the brain, enhance circulation of nutrients and removal of wastes.  Water also prevents the brain from overheating which may result in reduced cognition.

 

brain-food

 

Cold & Flu Season

Cold symptoms affect each of us differently but if you are tired of the runny nose, the niggle in your throat, the annoying cough or a cold that never seems to develop, we are here to help.

 

Come and see us at Vita, where we can strengthen your immune system and provide a kit of essentials to get you through the winter!

 

Nature can provide us with everything we need to both treat and prevent colds and flu including:

 

Nature’s sudafed- PCIP which clears congestion, reduces phlegm, and often stops a cold from developing.

Nature’s antibiotic- Garlic is a potent antibacterial herb which treats infection, clears the sinuses and relaxes coughs. Don’t worry we have a strong odourless tablet so you don’t need to eat it raw for its beneficial effects!

Nature’s cold & flu tablets- Andrographis - a wonderful herb that both increases immunity and treats cold and flu’s.

Nothing from the pharmacy can achieve that!

 

Plus the absolute winter saviour …. Herbal Throat Spray. It brings instant relief to anything from a slight scratching in the throat to constant pain.

This spray is also helpful in soothing the pain of mouth ulcers and tonsillitis.

 

So come and visit us, and get in early before cold and flu season gets the better of you!  Call 9650 0734 to speak with one of our naturopaths or book online for an appointment!

 

Digestion - Which Diet is Right for You?

Raw food, vegan, gluten free, wheat free, dairy free, paleo, FODMAP, high protein/ low carb, to soy or not to soy???

- My, my, we have come a long way since I began practice 13 years ago!  
What was once regarded as dietary and lifestyle "choices" for the 'alternative folk' are now a regular presentation in my day-to-day consultations at Vita.


So the question needs to be raised - why are we seeing such a prevalence in food sensitivity and food intolerance?  What has changed within our diets and our food to bring about symptoms of bloating, wind, constipation and diarrhoea that are a regular feature in our community?

A food intolerance is not the same as a food allergy - let us talk you through the do's and don'ts when it comes to your food choices.  Make an appointment with Josie or Erika and find out once and for all what foods work for you!  

We look forward to seeing you soon, yours in good health
Josie

 
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