Health and Nutrition Articles
For nearly 2.5 decades (since the age of 18) I’ve experimented with all kinds of diets (vegetarian, vegan, macrobiotic, raw fruitarian, paleo, ketogenic) and none of them truly suited me. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the philosophy or ethos of many of them. I especially loved the raw fruitarian approach – eating sun-kissed fruits, reminiscent of our time in the Garden of Eden. But alas, eating damp and cold melons and bananas in our damp and cold winter very nearly killed me...
It's been a while since a wrote an article. Many things happened (I became a mother for the third time) and life is very busy in general. All this busy busy busy energy inspired me to talk about the thyroid gland.
Yes, there is certainly a nutritional connection when it comes to thyroid issues. However, from what I have seen around me and even experienced myself I can tell you that the psychosomatic connection is much more powerful.
You have probably heard the quote by Socrates: "All disease begins in the gut." However, I wish to start in a positive way, thus my title 'Healing Begins In the Gut'.
This will be the first article in a series about the different aspects/functions of our gut. Knowing a few essential things about the gut can help us stay healthy, especially during demanding times, for example in the winter months or during travelling. We cannot avoid looking at the gut...
In the previous article in the gut series we talked about the stomach. If we want to heal and resolve any kind of gut issues, this is a great place to start.
However, as we will discover in this article, the liver has so many more functions than just being part of the digestive tract. It is our main 'filter', 'engine' when it comes to energy production, storage of nutrients, harmonizer of hormones and many others. But first things first...
The pancreas is part of the digestive tract as well as of hormonal (or endocrine) system. It is located behind the stomach and functions as a gland.
It produces enzymes to digest protein and carbohydrates and to start breaking down fats. From our previous articles we know that the liver produces bile to further digest and absorb fats. The efficiency of the pancreatic enzymes depends directly on the acidity (potency) of the stomach acid...
The small intestine is anything but small – whether in its size or significance. It is coiled in the centre of the abdominal cavity and usually measures between 6 and 7 metres long.
It should correctly be called thin and long.
It is THE most extensive part of our digestion. The small intestine receives what the stomach has not completely decomposed and continues the process of separation and absorption. This is the place where we sort out what is important from what is not – on all levels.
The large intestine is the last part of our digestive tract, thus this will be the last article in the gut series. We have already explored the stomach, liver, pancreas and small intestine.
The large intestine is about five feet long and includes the colon, rectum and anus. It is not as long as the small intestine – its name is referring to the width – about 6-7cm.
Although, the large intestine is commonly referred to as the colon, the colon is only a part of the large intestine, not the entire organ. So technically, the term colon is not accurate.
The large intestine is where we store and eliminate waste – on every level.
It may or may not be a well-known fact that despite its size, the tiny flax (also known as linseed) contains large amounts of protein, fibre, vitamins, minerals, omega 3 fatty acids and lignans.
Omega 3's are crucial for keeping our heart and brain healthy, adding nourishment to the skin, nails and hair and lowering inflammation in the body. Every cell in the body needs omega 3's to function well.
And what about those lignans? Can they balance hormones or support overall immunity?
Candida is what we commonly call the naturally occurring yeast in our body, mostly Candida Albicans . Believe it or not, we all have this yeast (and others) present in our small intestine and colon as part of our microbiome. When kept in check by the beneficial gut bacteria, Candida is completely harmless. In fact, it plays its beneficial role in digesting sugars. Surely, that is good news.
Wouldn't it be perfectly easy to stay healthy all the time if only we had the magical pill for everything? Yes, it certainly would be.
If you expect vitamin C to be just that I have to disappoint you. It can NOT cure everything. And yet, the array of ailments we can heal with vitamin C is pretty astounding.
Have you noticed that quite often when we are sick all we want to drink is lemon juice? Or eat oranges and apples even if we cannot stomach anything else at the time? The body is asking for vitamin C.
I often get asked why women have to go through so much pain and struggle throughout their lives. This is usually meant to do with hormonal problems, terrible PMS, fertility challenges, a difficult birth or exhausting process towards the menopause (menopause means the end of bleeding, so it’s technically not the process leading to it).
The question is complex, and yet the answer can be quite simple.
There are many elephants (or perhaps ‘best kept secrets’) in our society. When it comes to wellbeing and health, to know our stuff is crucial. An article about magnesium has been brewing in me for a while (for several years) by now but I finally had to urge to write it.
(I wrote this article with the approaching festive season and us mothers in mind.)
What must it feel like to live in a world where women are treated differently and mothers are expected only to be mothers – motherhood being their greatest achievement?
Mothering in the western world can be an overwhelming journey. Whether we stay at home, go to work or work from home, we end up with many roles in our daily lives.
It always is a juggling act – and gets especially tricky when our children are unwell, there are more demands at work, we are planning celebrations and family gatherings or even when the seasons are changing.