GOODIES & BADDIES
|BASICS: BALANCE, GOODIES and BADDIES
Our bodies and brains are all about Balance with just enough and not too much of anything. (The Goldilocks Syndrome). One of the factors is our Calcium – Sodium balance which our body does automatically to keep our blood acidity/alkalinity in line.
Another factor, only fairly recently realised, is our Omega-3 – Omega-6 Essential Fatty Acid (EFA) balance. Before modern food processing (e.g. before World War II) this was not a problem with the intake of O-6 about twice that of O-3. These days they estimate that the ratio is: twenty O-6 to one O-3. This overabundance of Omega-6 is bad news indeed. The reason for this imbalance is that heat and processing “kill” the Omega-3 molecules found in natural flax seed oil, for example. Fatty fish are a good source of Omega-3 but have become difficult and expensive to obtain. On the other hand, Omega-6 seed oils for cooking, baking and salad are not affected by the heat processing and are now widely available.
The EFAs are converted in the human body (and a fish’s body) from simple molecules to the very complex ones that are actually needed. O-3 produces EPA and DHA and O-6 produces AA. (For a longer discussion of this whole Omega-3 saga (Go Here.) The O-3 DHA is needed by the brain and the EPA is needed by the body and the EPA helps reduce inflammation.
On the other side, the O-6 molecule, AA helps create inflammation. You need both the “switching on”’ (O-6) and “switching off” (O-3) aspects of the inflammation process. For example: The body switches on the inflammation process (with O-6’s AA) to destroy any intruding virus or bacteria. When the attack is over and the bacteria are destroyed the body switches off the inflammation process using the O-3’s EPA and the body system goes back to a balanced state.
But, consider the situation where the body is consistently, over the years, fed an excess of the O-6 molecule, AA. This is available to switch on the inflammation process but if it is not all actually used it seems that part of this excess AA, is “stored away”. This storage, little by little, begins to affect the functioning of various organs, later seriously adding to the normal aging process in arthritis, rheumatism, and probably Alzheimer’s. One is not usually aware of this “Silent Inflammation” simmering away and that’s the problem: if there is no pain we don’t do anything about it. (Go Here.) for more info and a test for Silent Inflammation. The subject is a bit more complicated than given here but the principle remains the same.)
So what can we do today if we have joint pains? Surprise, surprise! It’s a Balancing Act. “Getting the Goodies and Banishing the Baddies”; and doing one without the other will just frustrate you and cost you money.
• Increase Omega-3 intake. This is best achieved through Fish Oil capsules where the fish has done the major part of the processing for you. (Go Here.)
• Make sure you are getting a balance of vitamins and minerals. (Go Here.)
• For arthritis etc, supplement with natural products designed for this purpose. Omega-3 Fish Oil capsules, Joint Revolution and Anti-X tablets. (Go here.)
• Stop using the usual iodated shop salt. Rather use far less of the imported Himalayan Salt which includes all the minerals you will need. You can get this from most health food shops.
• Reduce you insulin curve by balancing your intake of protein, oil, and complex carbohydrates. The best and easiest way to do this is to follow the Zone Diet. (Go Here.) This specifically includes a better breakfast including some protein.
• Increase fibre intake such as a daily tablespoon of crushed Flaxseed (Linseed) sprinkled on food and salad. (Supermarkets stock it.)
• Increase consumption of fruits and veges lightly steamed.
• Drink more water.
• Reduce your intake of Omega-6. This is found in all seed oils e.g. sunflower, canola, which we use for baking, frying and as a salad oil. It is also included in all commercial baking and as margarine. Rather use small quantities of virgin olive oil for salads and other olive oil for cooking.
• Egg yolks are neat Omega-6 AA while the whites are a good source of protein. Reduce yolks as you are able.
• Reduce the amount of open sugars you eat e.g. sweets, pasta, potatoes, cake, breakfast cereals, bread. (.Especially shop bread as it contains various chemicals that do not agree with some of us.) Many people, young and old, are “Carbo Junkies” and only by first balancing their diet and through this their insulin curve will they be able to quit.
Those with growing brains particularly need the DHA molecule in O-3 and often the young person does not have the usual capacity to transform the simple molecule to the complex molecule. The only solution then is a daily intake of Fish Oil capsules which, fortunately, are now available at a reasonable price. (Go Here.) At the same time the Zone Diet will help balance the Insulin curve which is usually a big problem for young people going off to school having only had cereal (sugar) for breakfast.
You will note that the outline above, in addition to a few nutrient supplements, is about Lifestyle Changes. Fortunately, it does NOT cost more to make these dietary changes, it just requires application and the family working as a team to implement their plan. We have so many stories of everyone in a family doing their bit, including Dad, and they feel better and more energised than ever before. Once it becomes routine it’s easy to maintain.
I have updated our notes on Omega-3. (Go Here.) for the full story.
So Goodies IN and Baddies OUT, 2012 here we come; it’s our year for having a Ball.