If you have ever had a fever, or red and itchy skin after an insect bite, a wound with pus, or swollen glands in your throat: congratulations. These are indicators of an immune system hard at work quelling invaders.Read more
How many different plant foods did you eat in the last 7 days?
The average American consumes just 5. Dr Jeff Leach, of the Human Food Project, says good health starts with 25 per week. He aims for 55 to 70 (my breakfast alone has 20). A robust, well populated gut microbiome of diverse friendly bacteria is now linked with less risk for obesity, gut and mood disorders, heart disease and cancer. Read more
What Psoriasis, Lupus, Rosacea, Hashimoto’s, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis, Type 1 Diabetes, Coeliac Disease, Graves and Sjogren’s all share
Do you feel tired, with aching muscles or joints and perhaps skin, mood or digestive problems – just never quite right? Lab tests might indicate attacking autoantibodies: protein markers of autoimmune disorders.
After a period of physical or psychological stress – perhaps a major infection or personal loss – the body’s heightened response might not return to normal. Your immune system is designed to defend against pathogens (viral, bacterial, parasitic or fungal), other invaders, and damaged cells such as cancerous ones and then return to a watchful calm. Instead it can become chronically hyper-vigilant and assault its own tissue, or protein fractions from common foods (perhaps gluten, dairy or potato). Read more
Unpleasant experiences can become fashionable. Being pale and tubercular in 19th century England was thought to signify an artistic and soulful nature. In Imperial China foot-binding presumably made women more delicate and desirable. Similarly, some people take on restricted diets out of narcissism and status hunger. “Look at me. I am different and therefore more worthy”. It can be no more evolved than insisting on a designer bag with a small dog inside.
Your gut tends to be discreet. It may occasionally gain your attention with gurgling or gas, but it usually remains invisible and ignored.
Meanwhile foods are ever temptingly on display. They can trigger programmed visual, salivary and emotional responses. You select, swallow and forget. Though some people have the benefit of chronic discomfort to inspire recall and analysis (see TIPS: Pain).
Among the industrialised nations, health statisticians predict that those who are children now will be the first generation that has poorer health, more obesity and a shorter lifespan than their parents. With the many benefits of affluence and education in such countries, how has this tragic state developed?
…or How to Engross Guests at Your Next Dinner Party
Forget popular diagnostic methods, from CAT scans to psychics with 0800 numbers. If you really want to know the state of your digestive system, adopt a CSI detective focus and study your fecal remains (and some people think nutrition is dull!). Read more
Nutrition can be as affected by fashion as skirt lengths are. Calcium for instance, has current cover girl status and its role in good bone structure seems to warrant this celebrity attention.
The workings of the human body though are not based in a star system, but in the interrelationships of equally significant contributors. While calcium can help build bones, without sufficient magnesium – its key partner in life – those bones will be brittle. Likewise calcium allows muscles to contract, but only with enough magnesium are muscles and their owners able to relax.