Friday, 22 September 2017

Boron- A vital trace mineral
Functions:

- Required for normal growth and good health
- Used for muscle building
- Helps in the absorption of other minerals like calcium and magnesium
- Works with calcium to strengthen the bones
- Prevents arthritis
- Reduces the severity of inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis
- Essential for reproduction and also for foetal development
- Reduces the symptoms of menopause like hot flushes etc
- Increases testosterone level in males
- Improves estrogen production in females
- Prevents osteoporosis
- Prevents blood clots
- Prevents strokes and heart attacks
- Helps to reduce cholesterol
- Helps to reduce fungal infections (boric powder for vaginal yeast infections)
- Ensures calcium integration into the bones and cartilage
- Improves short term memory, concentration and eye-hand coordination

Deficiency symptoms:

- Reduction in the metabolism of calcium and magnesium
- Improper functioning of the nervous system
- Arthritis
- Osteoporosis
- Imbalance in the production of sex hormones like testosterone and estrogen
- Hyperthyroidism

Symptoms of boron toxicity:

- Nausea
- Vomiting
- Skin itchiness and dermatitis
- Abnormalities in the skeleton
- Lethargy and weakness

People with kidney disease should be careful about their boron intake. Normally excess boron gets excreted through the urine. In kidney patients, this does not happen and there is a possibility of the excess boron accumulating in the heart, brain and kidneys.

Good food sources of Boron:

Apples, Avocado, Black currants, Broccoli, Carrots, Chickpeas, Dates, Hazelnuts, Honey, Kiwis, Nuts ( esp Almonds), Olives, Onions, Oranges, Peaches, Peanut butter, Pears, Plums, Potatoes, Prunes, Raisins, Red grapes, Red kidney beans, Soybeans, Sultanas, Tomatoes

Stay blessed with good health ….always!!!

Warm regards,

Charmaine D’Souza

Monday, 18 September 2017

The Lymphatic/Immune System

We are very aware nowadays that we share our existence with a plethora of microorganisms, not all of them friendly to the human body: bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites. These microorganisms, which we call pathogens, are the cause of many diseases.

The lymphatic system plays an important role in the ongoing struggle to keep us healthy. Lymphocytes, the primary cells of the lymphatic system, contribute to our ability to resist infection and disease by responding to the presence of pathogens in our systems. They attempt to eliminate these threats through a combination of physical and chemical means. For this reason, lymphocytes are said to provide a ‘specific defence’, known as the immune response.

The efficiency of our lymphatic system in keeping us free of disease, through its interaction with the cells and tissues of our other systems, determines our level of immunity.

Although we associate cancer and HIV with auto-immune deficiencies, many other diseases fall into this category: Crohn’s disease, fibromyalgia, hemolytic anemia, lupus erythmatosus, multiple sclerosis, myasthenia gravis, Raynaud’s syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, vasculitis, vitiligo, etc. Auto-immune deficiencies may be suspected in many other undiagnosed progressive deteriorations of health.
Causes of Imbalances:

Heredity, allergies, poor nutrition, environmental pollution and stress are all factors influencing the state of our immune system.

Effects of Imbalance: 

Enlarged lymph nodes, weakness and fatigue, skin lesions or red streaks on the skin, respiratory problems and allergies, recurrent or chronic infections, and candidiasis, are all signs of a weakened immune system.

Recommendations: 

A healthy diet from infancy is the best preventive measure one can take against immune system disorders. A poorly nourished, toxic body has no resources to fight back with, which is the reason we increasingly encounter autoimmune deficiency syndromes and other serious diseases such as cancer.

Low stomach acid, candidiasis, food allergies and hypothyroidism must be recognized and addressed to allow the body to heal itself.
Antioxidants, co-enzyme Q10, Essential Fatty Acids, vitamin E and zinc are necessary to support a strong immune system.

The lymphatic system does not have a pump to drain out toxins…you have to be that pump. So use a standing desk, walk as much as you can, jump on a trampoline, bounce while sitting on an exercise ball, use the sauna regularly, take a hydrotherapy shower by simply alternating between hot and cold water, get a lymphatic drainage massage, brush your body with a stiff, dry brush, breathe deeply……….to help pump and decongest lymphatic fluid from the entire body

On the psycho-spiritual level, we know that the immune system responds to our thoughts and emotions, either positive or negative. Sustained thoughts of anger, bitterness, hate or resentment tend to weaken the immune system. To support our immune systems, it is important to cultivate harmonious thoughts, open up to love and see the beauty around us.

Stay blessed with good health ….always!!!

Warm regards,

Charmaine D’Souza

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Cheers? Bottoms up? A toast to good health?

What do whiskey, rum, beer, brandy, gin, vodka, wine, sake, ouzo and koumiss have in common? These beverages all contain ethanol - a form of alcohol. Even though each gram of alcohol provides 7 calories of energy, alcohol is not a food nutrient but a mind-altering drug. Each standard drink (45 ml liquor or 150 ml wine) has 13 to 14 gms of alcohol.

Alcohol consumption is now a part of celebrating life’s milestones….whether it is barhopping with friends on their birthdays or toasting the bride and groom with champagne at their wedding or downing vodka shots on a Friday night with office colleagues to celebrate a promotion.

When consumed in moderation, alcoholic beverages can make social situations more enjoyable….and can even have some health benefits like offering cardiovascular protection. Consuming small amounts of alcohol can raise HDL (good) cholesterol levels, reduce blood levels of fibrinogen (an important blood-clotting factor) and decrease platelet stickiness. Red wines and beers have beneficial antioxidants (but you can get those from purple grape juice!) However, more and more people are now experiencing serious health problems as a result of their excessive alcohol-drinking habits.

Alcohol does not require digestion and readily passes through the tissues lining the inside of the mouth, esophagus, stomach and small intestine. When alcohol is consumed with a meal or after a meal, food delays its absorption from the stomach and lowers the rate at which it enters the bloodstream. If a person consumes excessive amounts of alcohol on an empty stomach, tremendous damage is done to the liver and the kidneys. In fact alcohol poisoning is a life-threatening condition and binge drinking can be fatal.

Drinkers can be classified as:

  • Abstainers - consuming none or fewer than 12 drinks/year
  • Light drinkers - consuming 1-12 drinks/month 
  • Moderate drinkers - consuming 4-14 drinks/week
  • Heavy drinkers - consuming 3 or more drinks/day
  • Binge drinkers – consuming 5 or more drinks/occasion (males) 
  • consuming 4 or more drinks/occasion (females)

Not everyone who drinks alcohol regularly abuses the drug, but you might be abusing alcohol if you:

  • Drink to relax, forget your worries, improve your mood
  •  Lose interest in food because of your drinking habits
  • Find more and more “reasons” to drink
  • Consume drinks in few quick gulps
  • Lie about or try to hide your drinking habits
  • Often drink alone
  • Hurt yourself or others while drinking
  • Were drunk more than 3 times in the past year
  • Need to drink more than previously to get “high”
  • Feel irritable and resentful when you are not drinking
  • Have medical, social or financial problems caused by your drinking habits
  • Have been fined by the traffic cops for drinking and driving

Harmful effects of alcohol:

  • Brain: impairs brain functioning and damages the brain
  • Esophagus: increases risk of esophageal cancer
  • Skin: causes skin flushing and heat loss
  • Heart: damages heart muscle, resulting in heart enlargement and heart failure
  • Liver: causes fatty infilteration of the liver, cirrhosis and liver failure
  • Pancreas: impairs pancreatic functioning, causes pancreatic inflammation and increased risk of pancreatic cancer 
  • Small intestine: interferes with nutrient absorption
  • Abdomen: increases fatty deposits in abdominal region
  • Colon and rectum: increases risk of colon and rectal cancer

When a pregnant woman drinks alcohol, her fetus also “drinks” alcohol because alcohol flows freely from the mother’s bloodstream to that of the fetus. An infant born with “fetal alcohol syndrome” has certain facial and heart defects as well as extensive often irreversible damage to the nervous system causing mental retardation. The infant may also have delayed and abnormal physical development.

So if you think you are abusing alcohol or are dependent on it, seek help asap

Stay blessed with good health ….always!!!

Warm regards,

Charmaine D’Souza

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Hormonal Bliss 

In the last 10 years of my 25 year + practice, I have seen a surge in hormonal imbalances, which along with thyroid imbalances and insulin imbalances make up more than fifty percent of my daily case studies. When working with clients with hormonal imbalances the common complaints include heavy/scanty menstrual bleeding, infertility, hot flushes, growth of facial hair, weight gain, hair loss and thinning of hair, loss of libido, vaginal dryness, decreased pelvic floor function, decreased bone density and sluggish thyroid function. Hormones in food contribute to premature menstruation and hormonal imbalances. Hormone injected, highly processed, pesticide-laden, salty or sugary foods are rampant in all our grocery stores. Little girls, as young as 7 and 8 years of age, are showing signs of early menstruation and young women, who have not yet crossed 35, are going into early menopause….and this is scary!

Naturopathy offers a number of ways to correct what ails our system and to restore good physical and mental health. Natural foods can help balance your hormones with fewer side effects as compared to chemical hormones and their association with cancer. Here are some things you can do to maintain a healthier femininity and libido along with hormonal balance:

  • Exercise daily..cardiac and pelvic exercises
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Include a tbsp coconut oil, a tsp of medicinal ghee, a tsp of shatavari or kadipatta powder or maca root powder, a few almonds, 2 walnuts and plenty of mixed seeds (flax, chia, sunflower, melon, cucumber, pumpkin etc) in your daily diet
  • Avoid processed white/table sugar
  • Eat healthy carbs like jowar, bajra, ragi, quinoa, rajgira, red rice and brown rice
  • Opt for organic eggs, meat and fish
  • Avoid canned/processed meats, cold cuts, sausages etc
  • Ensure that you are eating sufficient fiber and drinking enough water to prevent constipation
  • Check for vitamin and mineral deficiencies

Ultimately, it is a balanced lifestyle (food, exercise, stress management) and not a pill that will eventually bring balance to your hormones…and lead you to hormonal bliss!!! Once you are balanced, your husband, children, friends and work-mates will rally around you…and not run away from you …Enjoy your interactions with them😏

Stay blessed with good health ….always!!!

Warm regards,

Charmaine D’Souza

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Aluminum Toxicity

Aluminum, a non essential metal which we are regularly exposed to, is particularly poisonous to the nervous system. The symptoms of aluminum poisoning include disturbed sleep, nervousness, emotional instability, memory loss, headaches, and impaired intellect.
It can stop the body's ability to digest and make use of calcium, phosphorus and fluoride. This prevents bone growth and reduces bone density. Aluminum can force calcium out of the bones, causing weakness and deformation in the bone structure.
Toxicity can also result in aching muscles, speech problems, anemia, digestive problems, lowered liver function, colic and impaired kidney function.

Sources of Aluminum:
  • Over the counter medications like buffered aspirin, aluminum-containing antacids, meds for diarrhea and hemorrhoids.
  • Aluminum can be a component of antiperspirants and douches.
  • Food that has been cooked or stored in aluminum pots and aluminum foil. As much as 4 milligrams of aluminum can be transferred to each serving of an acidic food (tomatoes or citrus fruits) that has been heated or stored with aluminum.
  • Stainless steel cookware (it is made by bonding the stainless steel with layers of aluminum). 
  • Sodium aluminum phosphates are added to cake mixes, frozen chappati /pizza/paratha dough, pancake mixes, self-rising flours, processed cheese and cheese foods and beer (in aluminum cans). One slice of processed cheese can contain 50 mg of aluminum. A cheeseburger may contain one of the highest aluminum contents of any food.
  • Baked goods have approximately 5-15 mg per serving.
  • An average sized pickle contains 5 to 10 mg if it has been treated in an alum solution. Alum is a form of aluminum sulfate that is used in the pickling solution to firm up the cucumbers, gherkins etc.
Nutritional Support:
  • The first step in ridding your body of this poison is to avoid aluminum intake as much as possible. 
  • The next is to provide your body with nutritional support to give it the strength it needs to detoxify this metal. This support can come from juices made from mint, coriander, turmeric and ginger. Also increase your intake of sulphur-rich foods (onions, broccoli, kale and garlic), olive and flax seed oil, fibre-rich foods.
Detoxification Symptoms:
  • When aluminum comes out of its stored locations in your body it can act as a muscle irritant. Since the kidneys handle this detoxification, there may be pain in the back, over the kidneys.
  • Since aluminum tends to concentrate itself in the brain, the detoxification process can be accompanied by mental confusion.
  • It can also cause flu-like symptoms with fever, chills and mucous discharge from the nose. Since nasal discharge will be toxic, spit it out instead of swallowing it. 
Reducing Aluminum Exposure:
  • Replace aluminum or metal cookware with enamel coated steel cookware. 
  • Avoid non stick pans…for frying, old-fashioned cast iron works best, 
  • Do not cook with aluminum foil, and minimize its use for food storage. Never use it to wrap acidic foods (oranges, lemons, tomatoes, etc.) or cooked food that is still hot.
  • Use bamboo steamers instead of metal vegetable steamers.
  • Check the labels of all food, medicinal and hygienic products you buy, avoiding those that have aluminum content.
  • Minimize your intake of cheese, particularly processed cheeses.
  • Minimize your intake of any baked goods that are not homemade without aluminum additives.

While your body can tolerate low levels of aluminum, you must be sure that the level stays low and does not build up. This requires care and continued monitoring. There are tests such as hair/urine/blood analysis that can be done to help you monitor the aluminum levels in your system.

Stay blessed with good health ….always!!!

Warm regards,

Charmaine D’Souza

Friday, 18 August 2017

              Magnesium - The Master Mineral                    
Functions:

- Plays a role in more than 300 enzymatic reactions in the human body
- Required for healthy teeth and bones
- Helps to increase muscle strength
- Keeps blood pressure under control
- Helps to keep the heart healthy
- Helps in gastric digestion
- Helps in the assimilation of vitamin D from food sources
- Helps in the assimilation of calcium
- Aids in weight loss
- Required during pregnancy
- Required for maintaining the health of the nervous system
- Required for reducing stress

Deficiency symptoms:

- Frequent headaches and migraines
- Insomnia
- Dental cavities
- Muscle cramps
- Constipation
- Sugar and carbohydrate cravings
- Lack of appetite
- Loss of memory
- Mood swings
- Depression, anxiety and panic attacks
- Tachycardia and erratic heart beat
- Infertility
- Insulin resistance
- Thyroid disease
- Sensitivity to noise and cold
- Kidney stones

Causes of magnesium depletion:

- Caffeine intake
- Alcohol consumption
- Certain medications
- Stress
- Smoking
- High sugar intake
- High processed food intake
- Oral contraceptives

Good food sources of magnesium:

Almonds, Avocado, Banana, Brazil nuts, Buckwheat (Kuttu), Cashews, Dark chocolate, Dried figs, French beans, Kale, Kidney beans, Mackerel, Millets like jowar and bajra, Pumpkin seeds, Quinoa, Spinach, Yoghurt, White beans.

Stay blessed with good health ….always!!!

Warm regards,

Charmaine D’Souza

Monday, 14 August 2017

Adzuki beans

They are also known as red cow peas or red chori or laal chavli. They are small reddish brown beans edged with white ridges. They are a nutritional powerhouse because they are loaded with protein, fiber, iron, zinc, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin A and folate. Most importantly, they have very small amounts of fat…1 gram/cup of dried beans !!!

They are very easy to digest. It is essential to soak them in water for a minimum of 8 hours before cooking them. This enhances their digestibility and prevents flatulence. Discard the water used to soak the beans, wash well and then cook as you would any other bean/pulse (rajma/ chole/kabuli channa etc) The Japanese/Korean/Chinese red bean paste used in desserts is basically made by boiling adzuki beans in sugar syrup.

Benefits:

- Being high in fiber, these beans help in regularizing bowel movement as well as keeping blood glucose and blood cholesterol levels under control.

- These beans can be used to treat urinary tract and bladder infections.

- They help in preventing or lowering the risk of breast, colon and rectal cancers in both males and females. ( Breast cancer in males is an alarmingly frequent diagnosis in recent years.)

- Adzuki beans help to cleanse the liver and the kidneys.

Once cooked, they can be used in many different dishes. Use these beans in soups, salads, stews…mash them up and make a dip or sauce. Or just add salt and pepper and eat them as a high protein snack.

Stay blessed with good health ….always!!!

Warm regards,

Charmaine D’Souza