The Power of Vitamin C

We’ve all heard of the benefits that it has on our immune system, but did you know Vitamin C deficiencies can cause depression and cravings for sugar too?

Stress and smoking can really use up our body’s supply of Vitamin C.  Smoking reduces up to 40% of the body’s supply of Vitamin C daily.  A non-smoker needs an average of about 1,000 mg of Vitamin C per day, whereas an average smoker may require about 3000 mg.

Processed foods are extremely low in Vitamin C since it’s a delicate vitamin that is easily destroyed by air and heat and so for many of us, a deficiency is common.

Fresh fruit & vegetables are the main supplier of this wonder vitamin. For optimum Vitamin C benefit it is best to remember the following:

· foods should be eaten raw, steamed or minimally cooked

· fruits and vegetables should be eaten as soon as possible after cutting or juicing. Orange juice, for instance, will lose more vitamin C the longer it is exposed to the air

· foods cooked quickly by steaming or sautéing will retain higher levels of Vitamin C than those cooked at high temperatures for longer periods of time

· when vegetables are boiled the Vitamin C will leach out into the cooking water and will diminish with high heat and long cooking times

What can you do to increase your Vitamin C levels?

· Reduce stress and practise relaxation techniques

· Sleep

· Quit smoking

· Reduce or cut out alcohol

· Eat lots of fresh seasonal and ideally local fruit and vegetables every day. Aim for 7 – 10 servings. Great sources of Vitamin C are citrus fruits, such as oranges, lemons, tangerines and grapefruit, but also plants from the cabbage family or brassica: kale, cauliflower, broccoli, brussels sprouts, red, white and pointed cabbage. Other excellent sources are bell peppers and potatoes, rosehips, chillies, parsley, kiwi and papaya.

To find out how to tell if you’re deficient in Vitamin C and the best ways to supplement read the full article here 

Article written by Nutritional Therapist Marianne Andrews of https://www.cotswoldnutrition.com/

Strengthening Your Immunity

Your immune system is the most powerful weapon you have against disease. Strong immunity means that your body is better able to fight off viruses and germs. These days we all want to keep ourselves as healthy as possible, and there are lifestyle steps that we can take to try and strengthen our immune system.

Stress, poor diet, lack of sleep and over-exercising can all be additional burdens on our immune systems. Additionally, gut health is incredibly important to our immune function, given that the cells which help us fight bacteria and viruses are located in our gut mucosa. Vitamin D levels also play an enormous role and catching colds and flu may be symptomatic of an underlying deficiency.

Some easy steps to good immunity:

* Eat at least 5 portions of seasonal fresh fruit and vegetables a day. Sprouts, broccoli and kale are all surprising sources of good levels of vitamin C. Vitamin C is a strong anti-oxidant, meaning that it protects our cells & supports the immune system.

Did you know that vitamin C is water soluble, meaning that you excrete it in your urine throughout the day. For that reason it needs to be eaten throughout the day –  every day – not just when you feel a cold coming on.

* Eat at least 3 portions of probiotic foods a week. Natural live yoghurt, kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut or kombucha, and if you are dairy free, coconut kefir or live coconut yoghurt are all good sources.

A good balance of beneficial gut flora can support your immune system.

* Add prebiotic fibre to your diet daily. Prebiotic foods are those which feed the good bacteria, encouraging a good healthy gut. Onions, garlic, bananas, leeks, asparagus, cabbage and lentils all have good levels of prebiotic fibre.

*Add spices – ginger, garlic and turmeric all have anti-inflammatory properties which can aid your body in its fight against infection.

* Check your Vitamin D levels. Chances are that as we leave summer behind your levels of vitamin D levels will plummet. Making sure that your vitamin D level is tip-top will significantly support your immune response. Low levels potentially make you far more susceptible to contracting colds, flu, and other respiratory infections.

Click here to read the article in full.

Article written by Nutritional Therapist Marianne Andrews of https://www.cotswoldnutrition.com/

 

Healthier Minced Pies

Healthier Minced Pies

Filling ingredients

  • 1 large apple, like Braeburn, Gala
  • 75g raisins
  • 75g golden sultanas
  • 75g currants
  • 65g dried, unsweetened cranberries
  • 60g other dried fruit (sour cherries, blueberries, mango, apricots – dried but unsweetened)
  • Zest and juice of an orange
  • 50g coconut palm sugar (or 2 tsp Stevia if you’d rather)
  • 4 tbsp organic butter, cubed
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 1tbsp brandy

Pastry ingredients

  • 150g ground almonds
  • 75g coconut flour
  • 1 tbsp coconut palm sugar
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • zest of an orange
  • 115g butter, frozen. Plus a little extra for greasing
  • 1 egg, lightly whisked

Method

Filling
Add all of the ingredients above (other than the brandy, if using) into a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir.  When the butter is fully melted, turn the heat to low, cover and cook for 15 minutes, stirring often. Take the saucepan off the heat and stir through a Tablespoon of brandy, and decant into sterilized glass jars. Leave to cool with the lid slightly ajar, then secure tightly and store until you’re ready to use.

Pastry
Put the ground almonds and coconut flour in a bowl with the sugar, baking soda and salt. Stir in the orange zest. Grate the frozen butter into the flour and mix together with your fingers till a crumb forms. Stir in the egg and bring together with your hands to form a dough. Divide the dough in half, wrap each in film and place in the fridge for 1 hour (or overnight).

Pre heat the oven to 175˚C. Grease the moulds of a muffin pan with a little butter.  Remove the dough from the fridge and place between 2 sheets of baking/ greaseproof paper. Roll with a rolling pin to flatten out the dough till it is pie-crust thin.  Using a cookie cutter (or an upturned jam jar – needs to be about 8cm diameter) cut out 25 circles and lightly press into the muffin pan moulds. The pastry can be tricky to work with as there is no gluten holding it together. Be patient. If the pastry splits just push it back together with your fingers and use any pastry scraps to fix it up.

Fill up each pie mould with a heaped teaspoon of the mincemeat. Using the remainder of the dough cut out 25 stars to top each pie. Bake in the oven for 12 minutes. Leave to cool in the tins, before gently easing them out.

Don’t be tempted to remove from the tin when they come out of the oven. They WILL fall apart!

Recipe by Nutritional Therapist Marianne Andrews
https://www.cotswoldnutrition.com/post/2019/12/13/healthier-mince-pies

The importance of Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a superstar vitamin. More correctly, it’s actually a hormone. If levels are too low, this is bad news for health. I’m talking cancer, osteoporosis, rickets in children, asthma, tuberculosis, multiple sclerosis (and other autoimmune diseases), heart disease, diabetes and dental problems.

WHY SO LOW?

  • Sun cream. Your body makes vitamin D after contact with the sun’s UV rays but, as we’re a nation of sun cream fanatics (and this covers the skin, blocking the rays of sunlight from getting through), you might not be getting enough straight-up sun.
  • Age. Among other things that go a bit wrong as you get older, your body is less good at turning the rays from the sun into vitamin D. Specifically, the kidneys are less good with age at turning it to the active form of calcitriol.
  • Kidney or liver disease of any kind also means vitamin D is not converted to the active form.
  • Tummy troubles. Problems with the digestive system (and I’m not talking about disease here – just an imbalance that may cause anything from a few manageable symptoms to more serious trouble ‘downstairs’) mean the digestive tract does not absorb the vitamin D as well.
  • Obesity (technically that’s a BMI or body mass index of 30+) has the fat cells in your body hoover up the vitamin D. So then it’s stored – unusable – in your fat cells and is not whizzing around your body in your blood.
  • Lack of sleep. Just as you need sunlight to make vitamin D, you need sleep to actually use it.
  • Stress. The presence of the stress hormone cortisol reduces the uptake of vitamin D by special vitamin D receptors. It literally sits there, in the body, without being able to be used. What a waste!
  • Your skin colour. The darker your skin, the less vitamin D you will make. This is due to the higher levels of melanin in your skin that protect against UV light. By blocking the sun’s rays, it also curbs the body’s ability to make the pre-cursor to the active vitamin D.
  • Nightshift workers and anyone else who doesn’t spend much time in the sunlight, including children wearing sun cream all the time and babies. Quite simply, you need the sun on your skin.

DID YOU KNOW?

Research shows you’re 11 times more likely to be depressed if you have low vitamin D than if you don’t.

Vitamin D can put the brakes on the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. 

10 SIGNS YOU MIGHT HAVE A VITAMIN D DEFICIENCY

  • Depression or anxiety (including mood changes or irritability)
  • Bone softening (low bone density), fractures
  • Feeling tired all the time/ decreased performance
  • Muscle cramps and weakness
  • Joint pain (especially back and knees)
  • Difficulty regulating your blood sugar levels/ post lunch energy crash
  • Low immunity
  • Slow wound healing
  • Low calcium levels in the blood
  • Unexplained weight gain

Symptoms like these are commonly overlooked because they don’t feel life threatening, and they’re often dismissed as normal, everyday aches and pains you have to deal with. But you don’t have to put up with these symptoms of ill health!

WHO SHOULD GET TESTED?
If any of the above resonates with you, then you should definitely get tested. You might find your GP will do this for you. My experience is that they are usually amenable to this particular test. If your doctor won’t test, consider getting it checked out privately. In the big scheme of things the test is not expensive but it could change your enjoyment of your life

The test is the 25-hydroxy vitamin D test (also known as the 25-OH vitamin D test or Calcidiol 25-hydroxycholecalciferol test). It’s the most accurate way to measure how much vitamin D is in your body. Your doctor will want to know that there is a valid reason for having you tested. Go back through the list of symptoms and go in strong with this being the reason why you want to be tested.

If you’re the kind of person who doesn’t want to ask, feels uncomfortable asking or is just curious to know their levels, you can get the test done privately for £44. It’s a finger prick test, so you can do it easily at home, then get guidance on how much to supplement safely. If this is you, and you want to know more, just hit reply to this email and we’ll talk.

If you do take a test and you’re very low, you’ll need an intense 4-6 weeks supplementation at a high dose and then re-testing to see the impact it’s had. There is such a thing as too much vitamin D (known as vitamin D toxicity). You’d have to be going some way to get there, but it is possible, which is why it is essential you know your levels before you start guzzling any supplements. I know what you’re thinking. Here’s a few of those ‘yes, buts’ you have going on…

 

  • I already take a vitamin D supplement.
  • I go out in the sun quite a bit
  • Wouldn’t my doctor ask to test me if they thought it were a problem?
  • I’m too busy to take time off to take a test.

If you seriously have nothing wrong with you, if you didn’t identify with any of the symptoms in the list, then don’t bother. But if you did…And here’s a cautionary tale… one of my clients enjoyed sunning herself in the garden this summer with no sun cream (except for her 2 week holiday in August). But in spite of it being mid summer, her levels were only ¼ of what they should have been. The moral of this story is, be tested.

HOW TO UP YOUR VITAMIN D

  • Get yourself some sun. Recommended sunlight exposure is between 10 and 30 minutes a day with no sun cream.
  • If getting out in the sun is not an option, sit in front of a light box that supplies 10,000 lux of full-spectrum light for 30 minutes every morning. This is an especially good option for winter months, for night shift.
  • Take a supplement. You can take a generic 1,000 IU dose as an adult (but not children without consulting your GP) BUT, if you’ve no idea what your blood levels are, how to you know how much you should be taking?
  • Eat naturally vitamin D-rich foods like oily fish (salmon, sardines, fresh tuna, trout, halibut, mackerel, et.), high quality cod liver oil, egg yolks and liver. Do not be fooled into thinking the fortified foods are the same or have similar benefits. Fortified foods (like cereals, margarine and some yoghurts) contain a synthetic version of the vitamin known as D2 (the natural form is D3). Research shows this is less effective at raising levels of vitamin D in the blood

Click here to read the full article written by Nutritional Therapist Marianne Andrews of https://www.cotswoldnutrition.com/

Staying healthy at Christmas

STAYING HEALTHY AT CHRISTMAS
Strike the balance

Try to stagger your celebrations so you’re giving your body a chance to recover in between and have a couple of days of healthier habits. Don’t let one night of drinking and eating open the floodgates for the entire period. Enjoy yourself by all means but don’t wait until New Year’s Day to get back on it. Make your next meal nutritionally sound and keep pulling yourself back to your ‘healthful’ ways when you can

Stay Hydrated
Key is to stay well hydrated. Try to start the day by drinking 500ml first thing every morning alongside 2000mg of vitamin C  (Viridian Extra C) and 500mg of combined acetyl l-carnitine and lipoic acid, which will help to support energy, detoxification and liver health. Aim to drink a further 1.5l of water throughout the rest of the day, especially when you feel hunger pangs. Adding apple cider vinegar to water will also aid digestion and control sugar cravings.

Eat protein
Have a protein smoothie or a boiled egg before you go out to avoid arriving hungry and reduce the desire to reach for the canapés. This will also help you to make better food choices.  Bananas are also another good pre-party snack as they are rich in potassium, which can help to balance out electrolyte depletion caused by alcohol.

Pre and Probiotic foods
Increase your intake of pre and probiotic foods in the run up to Christmas to help to support your gut microbiome.  Alcohol can really interfere with the gut microbiome.  Foods such as garlic, onions, oats, apples and fermented foods.  Beetroot is a superstar antioxidant and known to have a protective effect on liver cells.

Supplements
Taking a quality multivitamin can be a good insurance policy, a probiotic to support gut health and an omega-3 to help to reduce inflammation in the body and skin and brain health.

Be mindful of sugar
Keep your blood sugar levels stable by pairing high-GI foods with lower-GI foods.  For example – be sure to eat your roast potatoes with some turkey, salmon or nut loaf  and add a handful of nuts to balance the balance out the sugar spike from your Christmas pudding.

Try to avoid the crisps and pastry-based canapés and choose olives, nuts, hummus and crudités instead where possible.  Don’t be afraid of healthy fats found in olives, nuts and avocado.

Look After Your Liver
Don’t make the mistake of fasting all day to compensate for what you will eat later.  Instead, eat a light and nutritious lunch or brunch, ideally with protein and greens, which are great for liver detoxification. Eggs or smoked mackerel or smoked salmon with dark green vegetables are  great options.  Stock up on Brussels sprouts, kale, cavolo nero and cabbage, which provide incredible support for the liver,

Help your hangover
The liver’s ability to break down alcohol diminishes with age. Be sure to fill up on antioxidant-rich nutrients. A protein smoothie is a great breakfast option (add vitamin-C rich berries, spinach, avocado and ginger).  Drink a glass of water with a spoonful of apple cider vinegar to help to alkalise the body and flood it with minerals.

Boost Serotonin Levels
We naturally feel more tired on dark, winter days due to less exposure to sunlight, which affects our levels of Vitamin D in the body.  This has as direct effect on our mood and energy levels. Increase your intake of foods such as salmon, eggs, nuts and seeds, and fermented foods like kimchi, kombucha, yogurt and sauerkraut to trigger your body’s production of serotonin.

Get Outside
Staying motivated to exercise over Christmas can feel near impossible, especially when it gets dark by 4pm. If you can’t fit in or face a workout then make sure you get outside for a reviving 30-minute walk. It can work wonders for your both your mood and energy levels.

Mindful eating
Try to chew your food slowly and take breaks between mouthfuls.  The slower we eat, the more time the body has to tell us we are no longer hungry and the less likely we are to over eat.

 

Baked Apple with nuts

Baked Apples with Fruit and Nuts

Ingredients

  • 6 large baking apples (preferably organic) unpeeled and cored
  • 20g walnuts
  • 30g dried apricots or dates
  • 25g sultanas
  • 20g pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Finely grated zest and juice of 1 orange
  • 1 tbsp of water

Preparation

  • Preheat oven to 180°C (356°F) gas 4.
  • Mix together the walnuts/apricots/dates/sultanas and finely chop to make a paste.
  • Then mix in the pumpkin seeds, cinnamon and orange zest.
  • Stuff the centre of each apple with the mixture, pressing it firmly into the fruit.
  • Place the apples into an ovenproof dish with the water, then drizzle the orange juice over them.
  • Cover with foil and bake for 20 mins. Remove foil and continue to bake for 10-15 mins.
  • Serve with a dollop of low-fat yoghurt (preferably goats/sheep) or non-dairy alternative.

Recipe by Nutritional Therapist Caroline Shaw of https://www.carolineshawholistics.co.uk

Winter Chicken Tray Bake

Ingredients (serves three)

  • 6 chicken thighs
  • 3 sweet potatoes, chopped
  • 2 carrots chopped or sliced
  • 2 parsnip chopped or sliced
  • ½ celeriac chopped
  • 2 leeks chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary (or fresh)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper

Preparation

  • Assemble prepared/cleaned/chopped/sliced vegetables on large baking tray.
  • Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt/black pepper. Roll around and coat everything evenly.
  • Sprinkle salt/pepper on either side of chicken thighs.
  • Arrange chicken thighs, skin side up, on top of the vegetables
  • Roast at 425°F (220°C) for about 40-50 minutes or until the chicken skin is crispy and internal temperature reads 165°F (73°C)

Recipe by Nutritional Therapist Caroline Shaw of https://www.carolineshawholistics.co.uk

Menopause and its symptoms

Menopause and its symptoms  – isn’t it great that we actually talk about it now? It is no longer taboo, it is simply another phase of life;  in fact, probably another one third of a woman’s life is spent in menopause. Which means that there is another third of life to embrace and to make sure that you do everything possible to get through in the best shape that you can possibly be in – and sail through (hopefully) menopausal symptoms.

Did you know that in Japanese there is no word for hot flashes?  There are parts of the world, Asia, especially Japan, that don’t even recognise it as a condition. Women of a menopausal age in these countries tend to experience less severe hot flashes, less insomnia, less night sweats or vaginal dryness, or increased heart rate.   It is interesting to wonder why this is.  Could it potentially be the difference in the way that we eat and fuel our bodies?  

Phytoestrogens are known to be really beneficial to reducing menopausal symptoms. In most Asian cultures, the consumption of phytoestrogens is much much higher than here in the UK.  Typically these women consume 50-200 mg of phytoestrogens (specifically isoflavones) daily, where as our in our diets it can be as low as 3-5 mg.

So what are Phytoestrogens, and how can we increase them? Phytoestrogens are plant foods which as the name suggests, have their own oestrogen-like components.  They don’t add oestrogens to your body – so they won’t give you an excess or make you oestrogen dominant, but what they will do is balance up the ones that are already there.  

They literally act like a key and stimulate beneficial effects in the brain, bone, heart and bladder.  In the breast, womb and ovaries they can help to block the stimulation of somethings called alpha receptors, which can produce cancer.  All in all, they are a good thing and something that we need plenty of in our diet – every day.

There are three main types, and here are a few ideas of how to make sure that you are getting plenty.

  • Lignans – Flaxseeds are one of my favourite as they contain potent phytoestrogens.  There’s research to suggest that they can help to reduce hot flushes and vaginal dryness.  Ground flaxseeds are so simple to add into a bowl of porridge or overnight oats, or stir into a smoothie.  The great thing about them is that they have a variety of plus points.  
    • They are chock full of good oils.  These are the oils that help your skin and your heart.  
    • They are full of anti inflammatory fats and they help your body make to hormones too.
    • Flaxseeds are one of the ultimate soluble fibre foods. Great for bulking out those bowel movements and flushing out your system, so to speak. 
  • Chia seeds are similar.  Good for making up a chia pudding as an alternative to porridge.  They have more fibre than flaxseeds and more calcium too –  although less of an oestrogenic quality than flax. 
    • You can also use the ground flax or chia as an alternative for eggs in vegan cooking.  Because the oil content is so high, when it’s mixed with water it has a binding effect similar to using an egg.
  • Isoflavones – This second group of phytoestrogens are hopefully those that you may already use widely. Chickpeas, red kidney beans, cannellini beans, haricot, peas – all the legumes are wonderful sources of isoflavones.  And what we should be aiming to do is to add some of these foods to our diet every single day.  
    • There are over 300 foods which contain isoflavones.  But what you need here is variety, because those 300 foods all contain different types of isoflavone and each has a different benefit. 
    • It could be as hummus, or a lentil dhal, falafel or just padding out a casserole with some black beans.   They are such versatile foods.  Or a pea and ham soup for lunch?  Or even a nice warming lentil and bacon soup?  The possibilities are endless!  
    • When we think about including them in our diet then we should think about volume.  For most women, our intake of peas, lentils, chickpeas is probably just a tablespoonful here and there. In parts of South East Asia these foods are staples.  

If you’re still at the perimenopausal stage, then you could benefit by starting to add in a couple of portions a day since research has shown that A diet high in legumes delayed menopause on average by one-and-a-half years!

    • Soya is a beneficial isoflavone  but only if it is eaten in the traditional way.  Often in this country it is completely over processed with products being made from soya protein isolates.
    • Aim to buy organic whole soya bean products, or soya that is fermented, such as in tempeh, miso, Tofu, miso bean soy paste, and tamari.  
  • Coumestans are the final group of phytoestrogens.  You find these specifically in sprouted mung and alfalfa beans. 
    • Sprouted seeds are always a great thing to add to your diet.  If you think about what you are eating here, it’s the powerhouse of the plant.  
    • It’s full of nutrients – including  enzymes which in turn affects how the body breaks down carbohydrates. 

These are just a few of a myriad of things that can help you to feel more like yourself in the next phase of your life. We are all different, and finding what works for you is where I can help you. As a Nutritional Therapist I specialise in helping mid-lifers get themselves back on track. Why not book in for a Free Better Health Chat now and take steps to make sure that this phase is the best time of your life.

Type 2 Diabetes

As the nights draw in, daylight hours decrease and temperatures drop, it is understandable we reach for foods that help to keep us warm and comforted. Our food choices however, do not need to be laden with calories and sugar to give us what we need. In fact, for many of us, it’s essential they are not. We now know, through extensive research that the health of our gut microbiome is essential to the health of our body/mind. We now know that many diseases originate from a malfunctioning digestive system – for instance – Type 2 Diabetes. There is a revolution happening in our guts and it’s not that it has altered dramatically but our understanding of it certainly has.

The number of people diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes in the UK and worldwide is growing year on year. It is one of the most common long term health conditions and is estimated to cost the NHS around £12 billion a year. In the UK, more than 4.7 million people have Type 2 Diabetes and a further 13.6 million are believed to be at higher risk. 

Type 2 Diabetes was formerly known as non-insulin-dependent or adult-onset diabetes due to its occurrence mainly in people over 40. However, Type 2 Diabetes is now becoming more common in young adults, teens and children and accounts for roughly 90% of all diabetes cases worldwide. This increase has been connected to the climbing levels of obesity.

Type 2 Diabetes is a metabolic disorder that results in high blood glucose levels, hyperglycaemia, due to: 

  • Cells in muscle, fat and the liver becoming resistant to insulin, which means the cells don’t take in enough sugar.
  • The pancreas can’t make enough insulin to keep blood sugar levels within a healthy range. 

Insulin is a hormone that comes from the pancreas — a gland located behind and below the stomach. Insulin controls how the body uses sugar in the following ways:

  • Sugar in the bloodstream triggers the pancreas to release insulin.
  • Insulin circulates in the bloodstream, enabling sugar to enter the cells.
  • The amount of sugar in the bloodstream drops.
  • In response to this drop, the pancreas releases less insulin.

Glucose, (a sugar) is a main source of energy for the cells that make up muscles and other tissues. The use and regulation of glucose includes the following:

  • Glucose comes from two major sources: food and the liver.
  • Glucose is absorbed into the bloodstream, where it enters cells with the help of insulin.
  • The liver stores and makes glucose.
  • When glucose levels are low, the liver breaks down stored glycogen into glucose to keep the body’s glucose level within a healthy range.

In Type 2 Diabetes, this process doesn’t work well. Instead of moving into the cells, sugar builds up in the blood. As blood sugar levels rise, the pancreas releases more insulin. Eventually the cells in the pancreas that make insulin become damaged and can’t make enough insulin to meet the body’s needs.

Type 2 Diabetes is a serious medical condition, which over time, may damage other organs of the body. It can often require the use of anti-diabetic medication, or insulin to keep blood sugar levels under control. However, the development of Type 2 Diabetes and its side effects can be reduced or prevented if detected and treated at an early stage.

Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes often develop slowly. In fact, you can be living with Type 2 Diabetes for years and not know it. When symptoms are present, they may include:

  • Frequent urination.
  • Increased hunger.
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Increased thirst
  • Fatigue.
  • Blurred vision.
  • Slow-healing sores.
  • Frequent infections.
  • Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet. 
  • Areas of darkened skin, usually in the armpits and neck.

Health factors that may increase the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes include:

  • Being overweight or obese
  • Having a waist size of 31.5 inches or more (women) or more than 37 inches (men)
  • Eating an unhealthy diet
  • Long term use of anti-biotics
  • Physical inactivity
  • Genetic disposition and/or having a first degree relative with Type 2 Diabetes
  • Having high blood pressure or raised cholesterol levels
  • Smoking

Type 2 Diabetes can also develop in people who are not overweight or obese. This is more common in older adults and is called Skinny Diabetes 2.

The good news is, that in recent years, it has become apparent that many people with Type 2 Diabetes are able to reverse the condition through methods including low-carb diets, low-calorie diets and exercise.

According to a study on the microbiome detailed in Dr James Kinross’s book Dark Matter, new research is starting to provide some insight between the gut and Type 2 Diabetes; 

A recent analysis of more than 2,166 Dutch people, (which accounted for many of the environmental confounders of the microbiome), confirmed that those with Type 2 diabetes have less microbiome diversity and less butyrate (a major short-chain fatty acid produced during gut flora-mediated fermentation of dietary fibres) production in the gut, compared to age and sex-matched non-diabetic people.

He goes on to say,

The implications of low-level inflammatory process in the gut in obesity and Type 2 Diabetes are significant for all aspects of our health. … they are very likely to disrupt the gut-brain axis, exacerbating the addictive nature of food. 

This is why people with diabetes are advised to avoid dietary sugar. For many people with Type 2 Diabetes, this is all they have to do to stay well. If you can keep your blood sugar lower by avoiding dietary sugar, it is likely you will never need long term medication.

What can I do to prevent or reduce the effects of Type 2 Diabetes?

  • Eat healthy foods. Avoid processed foods and choose foods lower in fat and calories and higher in fibre. Focus on fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
  • Get active. Aim for 150 or more minutes a week of moderate to vigorous aerobic activity, such as a brisk walk, bicycling, running or swimming.
  • Lose weight. If you are overweight, losing a modest amount of weight and keeping it off may delay the progression from prediabetes to type 2 diabetes. If you have prediabetes, losing 7% to 10% of your body weight may reduce the risk of diabetes.
  • Avoid long stretches of inactivity. Sitting still for long periods of time can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes. Try to get up every 30 minutes and move around for at least a few minutes. 

FOODS TO AVOID  

  • Full fat dairy products including cow’s milk, cheese, cream, ice cream etc
  • Refined sugar
  • Packaged snacks, including biscuits, sweets, cakes, crisps, and any processed baked goods.
  • White carbohydrates, including white bread, pasta, sugar.
  • Sweetened breakfast cereals
  • Dried fruits, which can be high in sugar.
  • French Fries
  • Excessive alcohol

FOODS TO HAVE

  • Sweet potatoes
  • Berries
  • Salmon
  • Oatmeal
  • Nuts/seeds (avoid non-organic peanuts)
  • Yogurt. Yogurt has many benefits, but best to choose, goat/sheep/coconut, preferably with added Kefir.
  • Salads including, cucumber, celery, tomato, spinach, lettuce, rocket, grated carrot, beetroot, fennel, celeriac, avocado, beansprouts, herbs.
  • Quinoa. Quinoa is a nutrient-rich seed that is often referred to as an ancient grain.
  • Vegetables of all shapes and sizes including, broccoli, kale, beans, cauliflower, celeriac, fennel, peas, carrots, mushrooms, spinach.

Although Colon Hydrotherapy is not recommended for people with Type 1 Diabetes, where the body is unable to produce insulin, it can be a very beneficial support for anyone with Type 2 Diabetes. It can help detox the intestinal tract from the accumulative inflammatory effect of eating unhealthy foods, especially excess processed foods. Then, following a healthy diet which includes the addition of pre-biotics and probiotics, plus infusions of high potency good bacteria directly into the colon (following a colon hydrotherapy treatment) the positive health-giving benefits of a diverse microbiome can be rebuilt. This, in turn, can help support the liver to manage its production and regulation of glucose.