Reactions to foods are increasingly common it seems, with a large portion of the population experiencing some reactivity or sensitivity. There are several distinct types of food reactions, so I’m going to outline food allergy versus food intolerance to help distinguish. Often in Western medical circles, only a true food allergy is recognized, whereas many reactions may not fall into that category and ignoring other sensitivities can lead to ongoing symptoms that could be avoided.
Leaky gut is a condition that involves changes in the integrity of digestive tract, compromising its function and immune protection. It has a variety of different causes, but it is clear that eating gluten can contribute to leaky gut via increasing the production of a substance called zonulin.
I came across this recipe yesterday for a Chocolate Banana Matcha Smoothie and thought it was just too good not to share! I can’t take credit for it – it was posted by Sanus Biotech, a company that makes a neurotransmitter support formulation to help balance brain chemistry called Synaptamine. The ingredients in this smoothie are ones that support dopamine production, one of our brain chemicals that helps with memory, balanced mood, alertness and feelings of contentment and pleasure. These ingredients are also great antioxidants too. [Read more…]
The one thing that sugar and salt have most in common is that they taste good with a huge variety of different foods. Unfortunately, both of them are also difficult to consume in moderation.
Even if you avoid sugary sweets and salty snack foods, salt and sugar can both find their way into your diet as a part of the recipes that you prepare. What sort of harm can sugar and salt cause to your body? Here are just a few of the reasons that you should really try to cut down. [Read more…]
Today’s post is a guest post written by Serena Morris of Kittymoms. She writes on topics related to pregnancy, birth, babies and children, particular in topics relating to health. I’m happy to have her here on The Naturopathic Mama as a guest contributor, where she shares great information on allergy-friendly packaged foods for children:
Having a child with allergies can be difficult where mealtimes are concerned. As I found with my own children, though you can prepare foods that avoid their allergies when you make meals, snacks are much harder, especially if you want to make sure your children have something tasty in their lunch box every school day. That is where packaged foods come in very handy. However, not all packaged foods are allergy-friendly. With that in mind, today I am going to tell you how to choose good allergy-friendly packaged foods for children. After that, I will give you some suggestions for delicious snacks that they will love. [Read more…]
There are many different causes of hair loss – genetic patterns, chronic infections, autoimmune disease, toxicities such as heavy metals and mold, low thyroid function, adrenal dysregulation, and postpartum, to name just a few. Some hair loss is easier to correct than others, and of course, the underlying cause must always be identified and addressed for true correction to occur. I have found through my own experience with periods of hair loss, 3 simple ways to promote hair growth that are easy to do, and work really well.
Summer is here! And with it comes hot, thirsty days, kids at home needing entertainment and lots of snacks, barbecues and picnics. Keeping it simple, healthy and tasty is key! You could make these fruity popsicles for summer snacks and keep them in the freezer to pull out on a moment’s notice, and they’re fun for the kids to make too. Avoid sugary ice creams and opt for fruit popsicles instead – you can use lovely, fresh, organic fruit and throw in some essential oils for even more health-boosting properties.
There are many reasons to take steps towards balancing blood sugar – maximizing energy, balancing moods, and keeping your weight in a healthy range, to name just a few. To keep blood sugar in balance, the biggest factor is your diet. Understanding what contributes to blood sugar regulation helps us to make good choices and be conscious of those choices every day.
The ketogenic diet has risen in popularity recently, being widely used to boost energy and brain clarity, while balancing excess weight. The ketogenic diet was developed in the 1920s as a therapy for epilepsy, and while it is still used for that today, the rise of anticonvulsant drugs meant that it was sought out less as a therapy in that context. These days, fitness enthusiasts are choosing the ketogenic diet for enhanced performance, as well as those with chronic illnesses that involve fatigue, brain fog and neurological issues.
The ketogenic diet can be useful for someone who:
- Struggles with ups and downs of energy
- Experiences sugar crashes
- Experiences chronic fatigue
- Struggles with neurologic issues, such as poor memory and decline in cognition
- Has a difficult time losing weight
The diet focuses on high fat, low carb and moderate protein. The distinguishing factor from other low-carb diets such as paleo, is that the ketogenic diet involves much higher fat intake, and just moderate protein intake, where paleo might be more even in proteins and fats. In fact, the ketogenic diet suggests a ratio of 4:1 fats to proteins.
By focusing on low carbs, no sugar and high fats, the body enters a ketogenic state, or ketosis. In this state is the brain can use D-beta-hydroxybutryrate and acetoacetetate (primary ketones) to survive. Using ketones instead of glucose for energy prevents insulin spikes, and provides more sustained energy and more efficient energy utilization.
The greater efficiency in providing cellular energy has shown to be beneficial in ischemic states such as stroke, myocardial insufficiency, neonatal stress, genetic mitochondrial problems, and physical fatigue.
Due to the neuroprotective properties of a ketogenic diet, it has proven to be effective in patients with epilepsy, as well as patients with other neurological and neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Studies have shown an association with delayed progressive motor neuron loss and improved performance on motor tasks with induction of this diet.
Also, due to the reduction of body fat, increase in HDL (good cholesterol), and decrease in blood pressure and blood sugar, this diet has also been seen to be beneficial in those with heart disease. Additionally, there has been promising evidence of slowing tumor growth in those with cancer. Disorders, which are related to insulin, such as PCOS, diabetes, and acne, can also benefit from this diet.
When beginning to transition to a ketogenic diet, it is recommended to slowly begin removing carbohydrates and increasing intake of these better energy-sustaining foods. This slow transition will help to avoid the transient symptoms of the “keto-flu” which some people will experience if adopting this diet too quickly. Symptoms of the “keto-flu” include poor energy and mental function, increased hunger, sleep issues, gastro-intestinal distress, and decreased exercise performance.
The breakdown of foods is this:
- 75% quality fats (coconut oil, ghee, grass fed butter, salmon, chia seeds, avocados, nuts, seeds)
- 20% protein
- 5% carbs
Foods to be avoided include:
- Gluten, grains
- Refined sugars
- Processed foods
Adopting a ketogenic diet isn’t necessarily the easiest thing to do, however I have seen tremendous benefits in terms of energy, brain clarity and healthy weight management. If you struggle in those areas it may be worth considering.
I love fresh vegetable juice, I really do. But as a busy, working Mum, the truth of the matter is that if left to my own devices, getting a fresh juice in 5 days a week simply doesn’t happen. First there’s making sure I have enough of all the right produce, washing it, cutting it up, then juicing it; with the resulting huge mess to clean up. Call me super-duper-ultra lazy, but it’s enough work to have me not doing it. Juicero, on the other hand, gives me the easiest juice in the world. 2 minutes, no clean up, fresh organic juice. I’m hooked.