YOUR EYES: How They Testify to Body and Soul

Are your eyes sensitive to the sun, sore, dry, itchy, watery, have creamy discharge, get encrusted with debris, or work poorly at night? Are they accompanied by dark circles beneath, puffiness above or below, or many fine dry lines?

Your eyes not only receive images, but they can also convey messages: a diagnostic status report on what is happening throughout the whole system.

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Why Pain Is Your Best Friend

…and when positivity can work against you.

Here is a challenging question for you. Which would you prefer in your life: more pleasure or more pain? While most people might reply, “Pleasure”, their life choices often ensure, “Pain”.

Pain can be searing and unmistakable, or be defined by discomfort – physical or psychological – such as disturbed or inflamed function. This includes skin, hormonal, weight, mood, digestive, muscle, joint problems and more (for a full list of inflammatory markers, see my TIPS article: Inflammation). Some people are born with a genetic defect so they feel no physical pain. This may sound advantageous but it makes life far more dangerous. Such people have been easily burned and scalded; have bitten their lips and tongues idly until plastic surgery was needed. Most suffered fractures or bone infections that were only noted when they started limping. So pain is a useful message that warns of danger.

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INFLAMMATION: Is This the Cause of Most Health Problems?

Inflammation can save your life or destroy it. If you have an injury or infection then pro-inflammatory hormones trigger the immune system’s white blood cells to mass at the location. They aim to annihilate pathogens (viral, bacterial, fungal or parasitic) and dispose of the toxic debris from injury or battle. Like road-workers in loud orange vests they will announce their activity with redness, swelling, heat and pain. When their goal is achieved then anti-inflammatory hormones muster to help return calm. The process is unpleasant in the short term; healing in the long term.

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SUGAR: Are You a Slave to Sweetness?

Every modern convenience that makes your life easier from electricity to cars; every treat from the global marketplace that you might buy as pantry basics from South American chocolate to South East Asian rice: all are courtesy of a cascade of events picking up speed some 250 years ago.

The Industrial Revolution forever transformed our lives and expectations. It particularly gathered force with the development of the steam engine which powered ships across oceans with unprecedented speed and efficiency. This opened up new markets as more perishable cargo could at last be traded to numerous and further destinations.

Unfortunately this fresh cargo included slaves. The British – master of the seas and many adjacent continents – and other Europeans brutally abducted black Africans and transported them across the world under merciless conditions. They were forced to work until death on the sugar cane plantations of the West Indies and later the United States. The product was so profitable it was called ‘white gold’ and became the world’s largest and most lucrative industry. It enabled nice, Christian ladies to offer hospitality in the form of a dainty sweetener to accompany another exotic import, tea from China (where the British introduced and profited from opium – but that, boys and girls, is another story).

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THINK ZINC for Clear Skin and Eyes; Strong Nails and Immunity; Prostate, Reproductive and Hormonal Health

Zinc is very busy in your brain. It is needed by the hippocampus, which is the central train station for relaying messages to and from the ceaselessly busy nervous system, endocrine system and the rest of your body. Without zinc, people do poorly in both memory and cognitive tests and are more likely to suffer mood disorders. Zinc activates brain centres that process data from taste and smell sensors and thus influences appetite. People with anorexia and bulimia usually suffer from low levels, which distort their appetites further. Athletes and those who perspire profusely lose this mineral through fluid loss; as do those with diarrhea, vomiting or after gastrointestinal surgery.

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CAFFEINE: What the Herd Does Is Not Necessarily the Enlightened Choice

Here’s a package deal for you. With one new habit you can look better and feel better while you save a pleasing sum for that home, holiday or car.

Consumer magazine estimates that by cutting out five lattes per week (or other questionable habit) and making the sum an additional mortgage payment instead, you could pay off your house more than seven years earlier. This could save you close to $40,000. Or your savings can make other debts disappear, or go into a nice Something Special for Me Fund.

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YOUR THYROID: Not too Cold or Hot, Thin or Fat; Energetic but Calm?

…then thank your thyroid.

No matter how you dress, there is a small bowtie at your throat that is critical to your appearance and joie de vivre. Your thyroid gland lies wrapped around the windpipe in a butterfly shape, just behind and below the Adam’s apple or larynx. It weighs less than a tablespoon of butter yet is responsible for enabling energy and activity throughout the brain and body.

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Which Food Culture Are You From?

“Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are”. Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1775-1826; French gastronomy writer)

What are your favourite foods and associated memories? Let’s say you enjoy eating and preparing Italian dishes. This is far different though to thinking and identifying as an Italian. If you are unsure as to the true nature of your food culture, then examine your behaviour when under pressure. Psychologists state that under stress we revert to the familiar. Out may go noble aspirations and in come the takeaways, packet biscuits, or microwaved frozen slab.

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SLEEP: Your Day Depends On Your Night

…while your night depends on your day.

“An uninterpreted dream is like an unopened letter from God”. The Talmud.

Sleep is a pleasure and a necessity. Enjoy seven to eight hours of regularly timed, sustained sleep. If you want dependable function from your body, you must in turn provide it with consistent, supportive rituals. Wake at a similar time, go to bed at a similar time and precede sleep with a period of quiet, calm and dimmed lights.

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