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Guest Post: How changes in your diet can help support healthy living

KirstenNutritionAdvisorKirstenNutritionAdvisor Member Posts: 53 Courageous
edited July 2017 in Guest blogs

You may have seen Kirsten Davies on This Morning talking diet and nutrition, we are pleased to welcome her to the Scope online community as our newest advisor.  As a nutritionist and body confidence coach at The Food Remedy she wants to help you fall in love with your body again.  Today she is talking about how changes in your diet can help support healthy living.


All too often when we want to improve our health and clean up our diet we think in big ways, yet health is best improved when you change your daily habits. It is, after all, the things we do daily that have the biggest impact to our health.  Here are a few small daily changes you can make to you day.

Breakfast

The first thing I would encourage you to do is always, always eat breakfast. Aim to eat with in an hour of walking up. What you eat matters and really can impact your day. Breakfast should include a source of protein, this doesn't have to be animal protein although eggs, cold cuts of meats, a match box slice cheese or yogurt are great, you could just add in some nuts and seeds. This can help to ensure you start the day off with balanced blood sugar levels and helps prevent mood and energy swings throughout the day.

What do you drink?

You should really look at what your drinking, I see so many clients who over consume tea and coffee without really wanting it, they just have developed bad habits. Tea and coffee can deprive the body of nutrients and water. Caffeine can impact on insulin action and this may be associated with a small, but detectable rise in blood sugar levels, which can affect or interrupt weight loss. Decaffeinated versions often contain more chemicals, so its better to have one or two cups of the real deal if you must have it.

Try replacing them with water with fresh sliced citrus fruit, herbal teas, dandelion coffee (caffeine free), or vegetable juices.  If you want to drink fruit juices, dilute to at least 50% with water. Just to recap Decaffeinated versions may seem like the logical step but they actually contain more chemicals

Lady in red dress standing behind kitchen counter full of fruit and vegetables

Water

The cheapest and fastest way we can improve our health right now is to ensure we are consuming enough water! Water is one of the most important things for the body; all the chemical reactions which take place within the body’s cells are largely dependent on adequate hydration.  Water is needed to eliminate wastes and toxins, and to maintain the flexibility of the cells themselves.  Drink at least 1 ½ litres of water daily.

5 a day?

My fourth tip is to increase your vegetable and fruit consumption. The government recommends at least 5 a day but for optimal health our diet should be plant based, that means that we should eat way more than we as a nation currently do! This may sound daunting but when we base our meals on these foods it become incredible easy. Fruit on porridge for breakfast or if you like a cooked breakfast add some cherry tomatoes and mushrooms boom you've hit two portions already! Snack on raw veggies with hummus, delicious and nutritious! Add a salad or cooked veggies at lunch and dinner and your away! Health and diet really doesn't have to be complicated or tricky. 

Plate of salad with horse radish and blueberries

Good fats

My last tip is makes sure your getting enough of the good fats! Essential fats are called essential because they are exactly that! They are so important and should be included in the diet daily.  Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are found in nuts and seeds, oily fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, and sardines as well as cold-pressed sunflower, sesame, linseed, pumpkin and grape seed oils, these oils make a tasty additions to salad dressings. 

EFA  are required for preventing against the development of degenerative diseases such as heart disease, cancer, maturity-onset diabetes, arthritis, asthma, skin problems, obesity, PMS and many other conditions.   


Do you have any questions about a healthy diet? Do you know your good fats from bad fats? Does your impairment have diet requirements that you aren't sure about? 

Replies

  • Sam_AlumniSam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,731 Disability Gamechanger
    Thanks for the great post @KirstenNutritionAdvisor - I don't have a large intestine and so get very easily dehydrated, I think dehydration really affects my fatigue.  I bought one of these water bottles that has a little strainer thing in the middle that you can put fruit etc in to get infused water, it is really helping me to drink a lot more!  I also found if I stick a herbal teabag in there, it makes a nice cold tea.

    I know it's not ideal but I also drink a lot of diet fizzy pop, just how bad is it for you?
    Scope
    Senior online community officer
  • KirstenNutritionAdvisorKirstenNutritionAdvisor Member Posts: 53 Courageous
    Hi Sam! Those bottles are great aren't they? I love water with lemon and lime really makes me far more enthusiastic about drinking it!!
    Im a big fan of herbal tea too but I can't get my head around cold tea, however much I try! 

    Diet carbonated drinks really aren't very nutritious at all and the debate continues about how dangerous they are.Warnings about the harmful effects of carbonated beverages on bone emerge from time to time. The theory is that the phosphoric acid (phosphate) used to enhance flavor in some carbonated beverages can interfere with calcium absorption and result in the loss of calcium from bone. 

    So Id save them as a now and again drink as opposed to an everyday drink. Whilst they might be low in calories they really don't offer the body much. A little of what you fancy in my opinion does you the world of good but I also think once or twice a week is the ideal. 


    Hope this helps xx 

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  • wildlifewildlife Member Posts: 1,314 Pioneering
    [email protected], I had Pelvic Inflammatory Disease for 9 years in my 20's and a big gall bladder op. (not keyhole) in the middle of all this. I had loads of antibiotics and a lot of hormone imbalance throughout my life due to early removal of my ovaries. I was on HRT for about 15 years but never really felt well. I started looking into Candida and tried the diet and treatment for about a year in my 50's. It made so much difference to my health that I convinced myself I had a candida problem and would have for life. I'm 66 now and only came off HRT about a year ago. Recently I was feeling so ill and have a lot of joint problems with pain and swelling particularly in my hands and feet, knees and ankles. I also have spinal degeneration and peripheral neuropathy and lots of digestive problems. 3 months ago I cut out all sugar and high sugar fruit but I eat lots of vegetables, take probiotics as well. I can't tolerate wheat either and eat gluten free. I've been through a rough time with flu like symptoms and my finger joints in particular are swelling up and painful but other symptoms like indigestion, constipation/diarea, mouth ulcers, mental confusion, anxiety and depression are so much better I don't want to give up. My question is how much do you know about Candida and could this be related to my joint problems? I don't want to be diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis or something else when it's Candida that's causing the problem. Can you give me any advice about where I go from here.  
  • bendigedigbendigedig Member Posts: 254 Pioneering
  • therasetherase Member Posts: 8 Connected
    I never had a weight problem until i started suffering from narcolepsy...now i dont recognise myself ive gained so much weight and i eat less than before...no matter what i do i cannot shift my weight ...ive literally doubled my weight and more ..... I cant eat fish or pasta as it makes me puke and ive never been big on veg but i eat alot of fruit...i hate to cook so i tend to eat alot of things on toast or sandwiches...How can i get my weight down .?
  • gingermusicgingermusic Member Posts: 8 Connected
    I never had a weight problem until the menopause and now I had added 3 stone over the years and a fat belly which I just cannot shift. Exercise I find very difficult as I suffer with COPD and get extremely breathless so I just don't know where to go or what to do but its making my life miserable. Also now have Diabetes type 2 can you help??
  • KirstenNutritionAdvisorKirstenNutritionAdvisor Member Posts: 53 Courageous
    @therase and @gingermusic without knowing what you both eat on a day to day basis its hard to give specific advice, however focus on whole foods and by that i mean single ingredient foods, go right back to basics what would you be able to eat if supermarkets weren't around. Think fish, meat, potatoes, rice, vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds etc. Think in terms of nutrients not restriction, its all to easy to focus on calories and forget the fact that the body requires nutrients. 

    I would advise anyone who chooses to eat bread to limit there portions to two slices a day.

    Here are some meal ideas  
    Breakfast Scrambled or boiled egg with one slice of
    rye toast or 2 rough oatcakes and grilled mushrooms/tomatoes/spinach

    Berries fresh or frozen with live natural yogurt and almonds 

    Porridge made with almond milk and poached apples 

    Snacks


    A small apple, pear or peach, plus 5 or so almonds or a tablespoon of pumpkin seeds


    One thin slice of rye bread thinly spread
    with sugar-free peanut butter or almond butter

     hummus
    with one or two oatcakes or raw veggies I love celery and cucumber


    Lunch

    quinoa with chopped spring onion, cucumber, tomatoes papers and feta cheese


    vegetable and chicken soup

    tuna and new potato salad


    Dinner

    Salmon and veggies stir fried with basmalti rice 

    Chicken with red pesto spring greens and mash

    Tukey burgers served in Iceburg lettuce leaves and home made oven chips 

    To make the 'chips' 

    Preheat the oven to 240°C/220°C Fan/Gas 9. 

    Peel the potatoes using a potato peeler and remove any blemishes or 'eyes'. Slice lengthwise into approx 1cm thick rectangular chips. 

    Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Add the potatoes and cook for 4-6 minutes. Drain and leave aside for 10 minutes to dry. 

    Return the chips to the dry saucepan, cover with a lid and shake to 'rough up' the edges of the potatoes - this roughness is important to the texture of the chips.

    Transfer the potatoes to the tray, spray lightly with rapeseed oil bake in the oven for 30 minutes, turning occasionally, until golden brown on all sides. Drain them on absorbent kitchen paper and serve with salt and vinegar.






  • KirstenNutritionAdvisorKirstenNutritionAdvisor Member Posts: 53 Courageous
    edited May 2017
    Candida is a term that refers to a large family of yeasts (one celled fungi) that under normal circumstances, harmlessly inhabit the tissues of humans.  This is because a balanced intestinal tract from mouth to colon contains a preponderance of beneficial bacteria that keep Candida in check.

    When not enough beneficial bacteria are present in a given body tissue to keep Candida under control, it is believed to transform from a harmless state into an invasive species. In this rapidly growing state, Candida puts out long stringy hyphae or “roots” which can penetrate through the tissues of the body.

    Candida overgrowth can occur in many tissues of the body such as oral candidiasis known as thrush,  the scalp as dandruff, or vaginal yeast infections.

    Candida is an opportunistic pathogen that can rapidly take over when a person is under a course of antibiotics.  Antibiotics decimate beneficial gut flora but have little effect on Candida, giving this normally harmless yeast the chance to take over dominance of the gut environment very quickly.

    A diet of processed foods high in sugars and simple carbohydrates also encourages Candida overgrowth as yeasts thrive on sugars.

    It sounds like you have taken all the right steps you've reduced your added sugar in your diet your taking probiotics and you've already noticed a positive impact! This is great! 

    Pain in your joins could indicate there is some inflamation going on within your body so I would focus on lots of antiInflammatory foods, such as oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines - Studies have shown that fish oil can relieve tender joints and ease morning stiffness, garlic, ginger, olive oil, green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, kale, and collards, nuts like almonds and walnuts along with fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and oranges.

    here are some anti inflammatory food 

    Cherries

    Compounds in cherries called anthocyanins—the same phytonutrients that give cherries their rich ruby hue—are powerful antioxidants that work in two ways to tamp down pain. They block inflammation and they inhibit pain enzymes, just like aspirin, naproxen, and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories. One study in the Journal of Nutrition showed that people who ate a bowl of cherries for breakfast reduced a major marker of inflammation by 25%. Other researchers found less muscle pain in runners who drank 12 ounces of tart cherry juice twice daily for 7 days before a distance run.

    Ginger

    It's believed to work by breaking up intestinal gas and possibly blocking a receptor in the gut that induces pain. But there are good reasons to eat ginger even when you're not doubled over. Another natural aspirin impersonator and anti-inflammatory, it can offer relief from migraines, arthritis pain, and muscle aches.

    There are plenty of ways to include ginger in your diet. Add it grated into Asian dishes, smoothies, and juice. Or make ginger tea by placing sliced, peeled gingerroot in boiling water and letting it steep for 15 minutes.

    Salmon, Herring, Sardines

    Omega-3s help by improving blood flow and tamping down inflammation in blood vessels and nerves. But for the full effect, you may need supplements. One study in the journal Surgical Neurology found that taking 1,200 mg or more of EPA and DHA per day could reduce both back and neck pain. And there are added bonuses any amount of fish oil is beneficial for cardiovascular protection and mood elevation. A study in the journal Pain found that people are more aware of their discomfort when they're glum.

    Turmeric

    1 tablespoon daily

    This essential curry spice has been used for years in Ayurvedic medicine to relieve pain and speed up digestion. But researchers like it for another reason: its anti-inflammatory properties, courtesy of a substance called curcumin. Turmeric can protect the body from inflammation and also preserve good nerve cell function.

    Sprinkle turmeric on salad dressings, soups, cooked grains, and vegetables. Or get an even heftier dose by taking a turmeric supplement. (Make sure the label says it contains 95% curcuminoids.) When you cook with turmeric, use black pepper too as the piperine in black pepper releases curcumin from the spice.

    Live Natural Yogurt

    Several bacterial strains that are often in yogurt especially B. infantis and L. acidophilus help to reduce pain, inflammation, and bloating, according to a 2010 review. Another study found similar results with B. lactis. Not every yogurt contains probiotics. Look for a brand with "live and active cultures." Vegans can get their daily dose from probiotic-enriched coconut yogurt.

    If someone came to me and wanted an Anti Candia diet I would encourage them to 

    Remove the substances that make it worse

    Repair the damage 

    Repopulate the gut with the good guys

    You are doing all of the above.

    If someone came to me wanting to understand how diet impacts rheumatoid arthritis I would encourage them to look at what they are eating, what makes it worse and foods that have been shown to reduce inflammation you sound like you are doing all of the above!

    So keep going and see how you get on,if your pain doesn't ease or gets worse always go back to your GP.



    wildlife said:


    [email protected], I had Pelvic Inflammatory Disease for 9 years in my 20's and a big gall bladder op. (not keyhole) in the middle of all this. I had loads of antibiotics and a lot of hormone imbalance throughout my life due to early removal of my ovaries. I was on HRT for about 15 years but never really felt well. I started looking into Candida and tried the diet and treatment for about a year in my 50's. It made so much difference to my health that I convinced myself I had a candida problem and would have for life. I'm 66 now and only came off HRT about a year ago. Recently I was feeling so ill and have a lot of joint problems with pain and swelling particularly in my hands and feet, knees and ankles. I also have spinal degeneration and peripheral neuropathy and lots of digestive problems. 3 months ago I cut out all sugar and high sugar fruit but I eat lots of vegetables, take probiotics as well. I can't tolerate wheat either and eat gluten free. I've been through a rough time with flu like symptoms and my finger joints in particular are swelling up and painful but other symptoms like indigestion, constipation/diarea, mouth ulcers, mental confusion, anxiety and depression are so much better I don't want to give up. My question is how much do you know about Candida and could this be related to my joint problems? I don't want to be diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis or something else when it's Candida that's causing the problem. Can you give me any advice about where I go from here.  
  • wildlifewildlife Member Posts: 1,314 Pioneering
    edited May 2017
    @KirstenNutritionAdvisor Thank-you so much, yes I am doing most of what you advise. A lot of my smaller symptoms are a lot better but I still have the joint pain, neuropathy, balance and clumsiness. I also feel unwell most days when I can't get warm or breaking out in hot sweats. I may still be menopausal but how much is to do with the Candida die off and would any particular suppliments help. I'm also confused about fruit as I know it feeds the candida. How will I know when I can reintroduce any fruit or should I always avoid some sweeter things like mangoes which I love? ATM I'm eating blueberries, apples and pears but not every day. Also have you got some ideas how I can use Almond milk as I don't like it on it's own. I also tried Xylotol but it made me feel ill but am OK with Stevia. . So many people don't know about this condition so hopefully this will help others as well.  x
  • upholderupholder Member Posts: 5 Listener
    Radio 4's 'More or Less' has a really good report on how much we should drink:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04nlkqj
    Before making big decisions, it's good to see a qualified dietitian. I've had to - through my local hospital - and they've been really good. It's surprising that lots of people legally call themselves a 'therapist' without qualifications!
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