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Is your nutrition helping you to thrive?

by , 01 July 2021
Is your nutrition helping you to thrive?
If there's ever been a hot topic its nutrition!

We are bombarded with contradicting information on a daily basis. As a consumer trying to find out what's best, the answer remains elusive.

Why is this so confusing and why is there so much varying information out there about what is good for us?

I believe there is no straight answer to this but the following 3 points below should be considered...

Three points to think about as to why there is so much misinformation out there about nutrition...

1. The commercial/profit agenda
There is so much money to be made or lost when it comes to nutrition. People need to eat, and if a company can sway you into buying more from them, they will.
Don’t forget about the pharmaceutical industry. Our nutritional habits today will directly affect our medical requirements tomorrow. So there’s a lot of money at stake. The money in these two industries drives research, policies, trends, public opinion, marketing and fads. You get fed the propaganda to promote consumption of their product or support their industry.

Diets with specific food choices get pushed through the food industry via books, social media gurus and other marketing channels, as there is money to be made, and lots of it. If there’s a celebrity promoting a new product, I can almost guarantee there’s something fishy going on.
Research findings can be manipulated to serve a specific purpose. In the right hands data can be presented in such a way to support any case. And as soon as we see that this new product is science backed, we tend to jump on the bandwagon. Again, those companies who stand to benefit from more sales often fund the research. I am definitely not suggesting that all research should be discarded, but each and every claim should also not be followed blindly.  

Keep reading...

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How to tell if you could be affected by Adrenal Fatigue

•    You feel tired or weak
•    You need coffee to get going in the mornings…
•    Your daily tasks feel like hard work… 
•    You feel like you’re not coping (it’s all too much)…
•    You struggle to concentrate and don’t finish tasks…
•    You feel irritable, anxious or depressed
•    Get headaches
•    Reduced interest in sex…

Feeling run down and drained all the time doesn’t have to be your normal state-of-being. 

Unfortunately, it is for millions of people – all over the world – who just can’t seem to keep up anymore.

And there’s a very good explanation for this…

Researchers at numerous institutions, including Harvard University, Johns Hopkins and Stanford University identified that certain chemicals flick the ‘age switch’ on in people over 50, forcing them to slow down.

These chemicals gradually build up in your bloodstream over time as you age.

Until one day the switch finally flicks causing your metabolism to drag along at snail’s pace, dropping your oxygen levels and dipping your hormones until they’re practically undetectable.  

But it doesn't have to be that way!
The answer to restoring your youthful energy is as easy as 1-2-3… Full details here…

2. Individual differences and why generic solutions don’t work
A major reason why one diet or food type will not have the same impact on two people is answered by the fact that we are unique. No two people on this planet are exactly the same. Differences in genetics, lifestyle, life stage, metabolism, digestive and absorptive capacities, physiology, activity levels and goals are just some of the differences that can have a major influence on your individual nutrient and caloric requirements.

Different molecules in food can and will express different genes in different people. If certain genes are expressed or turned on, this could lead to various types of ailments or disease.
Your DNA influences your social habits, food choices, absorption and digestion, macro nutrient utilisation, appetite, cravings, hunger signals, addictive tendencies (emotionalstressbingereward eating), satiety, food intolerances, circadian rhythms and much more.
You are not what you eat! You are what you absorb! What and how you absorb different nutrients will affect your health. Changes in your diet will affect your genetic predispositions.
Can you see why a generic fad diet might work for some and not for you? 

3. Your motives for eating
Why are you eating? Have you ever considered this question?  
Are you eating for more than one of the following reasons?  
  • Hunger
  • Comfort
  • Stress
  • Reward
  • Moral cause
  • Social enjoyment  
  • Cultural practices 
Your answer to this question may not be black or white and be made up of a combination of the above factors. But think for a moment of how any of these may influence your food choices and what impact that could have on your health in the long run. I’m not suggesting that food should not be enjoyed or eating for social and cultural gatherings are wrong, but if food and eating is loaded with meaning, like reward, comfort, enjoyment etc. then it is really easy for eating disorders, food addiction, bad habits and eventually disease to set in.

This is where food psychology comes into play and much of your relationship with food and eating starts from a young age and is influenced by your home environment and culture.
At the same time; are you trying to save the world through your food choices? If your diet is more ideological and divisive than what is good for you, take note. If your diet polarises you from others, take note. If your diet puts you in a group that you can identify with, take note. Again I am in support of being socially responsible, but this should not be and doesn’t have to be at the cost of your health.

Keep reading...

So no wonder we are confused about what is good for us! 
All this combined really makes choosing the right diet or foods a pretty serious challenge with high stakes.
There is no “one size fits all” solution or diet for everyone. And following advise about what worked for your friend, may be very unlikely to work for you. 
Where does this leave you? 
If you are experiencing less than optimal health and you think that the food you eat may be a contributing factor, my advice will be to consider the following: 
  • Ask yourself why are you eating in the first place. If you are not eating for hunger and to provide your body with the best quality fuel and nutrients it needs, you are headed in the wrong direction.  
  • Consider your current state and your goals. Your caloric and nutrient requirements will vary based on your goals. What is your current state and what are you trying to achieve? Longevity, weight loss, muscle gain, performance like training for strength or endurance etc.
  • Eliminate deficiencies. If you are not aquiring sufficient nutrients from your diet due to poor eating habits or poor availability of nutrients in food, you will not be thriving. The most common deficiencies are: Water  (low levels of hydration), vitamins and minerals, protein and essential fatty acids. 
  • Track, test and evaluate your results and adjust. Test what works for you! Not what YouTube or Netflix says. Keep a food diary for a week and write of what and how much you eat and the results it gives you. You will be surprised if you see on paper, what is going into you stomach. 
  • Restrict eating times. Many people are not eating at times that are best suited to their circadian rhythm. The “normal” way of eating 3 square meals with snacking in between is definitely not optimal for most people. Exploring options of restricting your eating window can have a big impact on your health. 
  • Restrict food groups/types. Selecting a food type and minimizing the consumption of it for a limited time may expose possible intolerances. 
  • Choose minimally processed whole foods. Foods that are far removed from its original form with a lot of additives are usually a cause of problems. To know if food processed or not, ask yourself: Is this food made by man or nature? 
  • Get your DNA tested. How people respond to the food varies significantly. Without knowing your genetic predispositions, finding out what is optimal for you can be a long and very expensive guessing game. DNA tests can help you understand how lifestyle factors impact health, performance and longevity while assisting in the prevention of disease and premature ageing.  

The reality is that your body is a complex, unique system that requires many raw materials to thrive. If you do not supply this system with these materials, problems will result. These problems can range from many forms of disease, injury, lack of energy and focus to depression and other related issues.
If you are not consuming the micronutrients, vitamins, minerals, factors and co-factors needed for your unique genetic blueprint, problems will show up eventually. 
I can’t go into more detail in this article, but if you feel you need more personalised guidance or would like to get your DNA tested you are welcome to send me a mail with the subject “HB” at Reinhard@howtothrive.co.za

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