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October is Cholesterol Awareness Month

October is Cholesterol Awareness Month, a subject that quite a few clients have come to see me about, to find a more natural way of dealing with it.  

What is cholesterol? It is a waxy substance found in your blood. Its job is to help build healthy cells; the issue is that high levels can increase your risk of heart disease, causing fatty deposits in your blood vessels, and if not dealt with, will only grow making it difficult for the blood to flow through the blood vessels, causing blockages and eventually leading to a heart attack or stroke.

What does it do? Cholesterol maintains membrane structural integrity and fluidity, it also helps synthesise steroid hormones and bile acids, to help break down fats by emulsifying them.  

This type of disease can be inherited, although it is often a lifestyle choice of unhealthy food as well as leading an unhealthy lifestyle.

What else does cholesterol do to keep us healthy? Cholesterol works within the cell membrane as a transporter and cell signalling, to encourage the growth of friendly gut bacteria, which have beneficial effects on cholesterol levels. 

It also helps as a bulking agent to rid the body of excess cholesterol,  and if you’re having problems with constipation,  it is important to make sure that you are looking to correct this issue as soon as possible, otherwise toxins and excess cholesterol will be reabsorbed into circulation. 

It also helps blood sugar regulation, as this can increase triglyceride production by the liver. If you love sugar, and suffer from cravings, it may be time to start putting in some support to help regulate your blood sugar. 

Cholesterol plays an important part in our everyday functioning, we just need to make sure that we help the body remain healthy, which will help cholesterol levels to stay in check. 

Cholesterol helps your metabolism work efficiently, as an example, cholesterol is essential for the body to produce vitamin D.

We have two types of cholesterol ,the good cholesterol called High-density lipoproteins (HDL) and the bad one called Low-density lipoproteins (LDL). The good one will help remove excess cholesterol out of the cells and the bad one delivers it into our cells. 

Need help managing your cholesterol then connect with me with my free 15 min telephone consultation.

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Support and Cleanse your Liver

Over the last few years, mainstream media has extensively covered the process of cleanses as a way of clearing the body of toxins.

The liver is an organ that really gets taxed to the hills, always working hard to detoxify our bodies. There are times when the liver experiences episodes of toxicity overload, causing imbalances within our bodies and even illness.  It is usually during these episodes when the body communicates with you, virtually shouting out to you via a headache or migraines, or through some sort of painful body ache like joint pain, or even chronic fatigue.

To support the detoxification process, your body needs specific nutrients. If your body is deficient in these nutrients it will hinder the cleansing process. Imagine a dustbin that never gets fully emptied out, the body is similar; if you do not clear your rubbish out, it will end up causing all sorts of nasties. 

It is important to provide targeted support for:

  • Energy production
  • Acid-alkaline balance
  • Antioxidant systems
  • Gut lining and healthy elimination processes

Daily Toxic Exposure 

You would be surprised just how much toxic exposure we encounter daily, either through the environment, skin, or mouth. Each time I get petrol I make sure that I cover my mouth and nose, to try and minimise my exposure to (benzene) petrol fumes. 

The body also creates toxins from waste products produced from metabolic activities, like urea, carbon dioxide and lactic acid. 

What can you do to protect your body?

Like anything, we need to try and minimise toxic exposure, or do what we can to protect our bodies. Simple things you might want to consider doing to minimise toxic build-up:

  • Use water filters
  • Try and eat organic food as much as possible
  • Use natural cosmetics
  • Use natural cleaning products
  • If you can change your mercury fillings to white composite

Supporting the body’s own process of elimination 

It is important to support and give the body what it needs to help the body’s own process of detoxification. 

Dealing with constipation is the first thing you could be looking at correcting. Constipation can accumulate toxins in the colon and cause other issues such as diverticulitis, which are pockets that form in the colon due to backed up poo. You can also get anal fissures, which can cause pain and tears in the anus.  Squatty potty often helps adjust your posture to make the elimination process easier.  If you find that your doing everything possible and your constipation is not improving, it may be worth speaking to a wellness practitioner. 

Changing your diet to include more fibre is something you should also consider if constipation is an issue. If you like saunas, this is a great way to sweat out toxins and support the body’s elimination process. This is particularly good for eliminating things such as arsenic, lead and other heavy metals.

Fibre

Helps eliminate toxins by promoting their removal and decreasing the absorption of some toxins. Include more vegetables in your diet.

Just how much water do you really drink?

Water is one of the most important things the body needs to help it rid itself of toxins. If you do not drink enough water, this could lead to constipation. You may think that by drinking three glasses of water you’ve given the body sufficient hydration, this isn’t the case,  as each person’s constitution is different, some may carry more weight than others, which may mean, that some of us need to increase our water intake. 

Consider minimising meat

If you like eating meat, consider keeping this to white meat, fish (clean of mercury). For example, if you are having chicken, eat the breast while you are undergoing your cleanse, as it is the leaner part of the chicken. 

If you have limited time and want to do a cleanse, I am running a “get the liver cleaned up and functioning at its best in just 14 days” program.

Coronavirus, moving forward & living our lives

Moving Forward

Coronavirus has affected our lives in ways that we would not have expected. This pandemic has brought everything to a holt. More than 15.1 million coronavirus tests have been processed in the UK and we now have social distancing rules in the attempt to stop the spread. We were hit with this pandemic on May 22nd and according to the Department of Health and Social Care the number of confirmed cases in the UK was 330,368 while the total number of deaths were 41,477.

Now we will be coming into winter with colds and flu season, including coronavirus, this is a time when we need to make sure our health is good, and immunity strong. An international collaboration of researchers from Europe and China has shown that temperatures and humidity in the environment has a severe effect on Covid-19 symptoms.

There is an article on PubMed quoting “Knowledge of other viral respiratory diseases suggests that the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 could be modulated by seasonally varying environmental factors such as temperature and humidity”. 

I equate this to, having a weak immune system, and you catch something,  your immunity will have to work hard to make sure it deals with this illness, if you’ve not done anything to offer it support, it will not have any reserves to carry on fighting and it will be depleted, this may also affect how well you recover and how long you remain unwell, however, if your immune system is offered support, it is more likely that the body will be better equipped to fight; A bit like anything in life, give it the means and support it needs, to have a fighting chance of doing a better job.

Boosting the immune system

It is the winter months when our immune systems need some extra support against things like colds and flu.

Make sure you get plenty of vitamins A, C, D and E plus selenium to help give your body a fighting chance. At this time of year our vitamin D levels tend to be lower as we are less exposed to sunlight. It therefore makes sense to take a supplement.

I am a great advocate of keeping the gut healthy as this also helps to keep the bugs at bay. The best way to achieve this is to eat fresh – preferably organic – food as much as possible. Nuts and seeds particularly are rich in zinc and immune-boosting nutrients. Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. Those who did ‘Veganuary’ are probably well ahead with this.

When it is cold, it is tempting to choose ‘comfort foods’ but, unfortunately, these tend to be the ones that are bad for you. Usually they are highly processed. The problem with processed foods is that they contain large amounts of sugar, salt, additives and trans fats. They might satisfy in the short term but do your body no favours in the long term. This is partly because these foods leave you wanting more which creates a vicious circle. So, the more of them you eat, the less healthy you will be. And they are bad for your waistline.

Try and reduce your dairy intake if you can and drink more herbal teas. Ginger and honey, ginger, and chamomile and echinacea are especially good for boosting the immune system.

Sleep well

Also, there is nothing like a good night’s sleep for rejuvenating the body. Eight hours is recommended. To ensure a peaceful slumber, do not eat too late and avoid looking at your phone or computer for at least an hour before retiring.

Remember, your immune system is there to protect you and guard against ill health. Do not make it easy for the germs to attack, look after yourself and eat good nutritious food. Obviously, there is no guarantee that you will avoid getting a cold or other virus but, by taking care, you will give your body better ammunition for fighting off the germs.

There are plenty of immune-boosting supplements available and I always advise choosing ‘food state’ ones as these are based on real foods. If in doubt, speak to a wellness practitioner for help.

As naturopathic nutritionist, I am more than happy to support you in this area. If you would like more information, feel free to email me

Also feel free to share this article with your friends and family on social media and help them to stay healthy.

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If conventional methods haven’t worked for you, find out how a qualified naturopathic functional medicine practitioner can support you on your journey to improved health and well-being.