Are Ingredients Important?

Do you read ingredients labels? Do you even pay attention to them?

When it comes to the food that we eat – are the ingredients even important?

Many years ago when I worked for a multi-level marketing nutrition company (please don’t hold this against me – we live and learn!), one of my mentors said that he never reads ingredients labels. In fact, he used to put those who did into a basket of sorts, calling them “label readers”.

Now I don’t like it when people slander others using labels at the best of times, but as a newbie learning about nutrition, I figured I should just trust what he was saying and deem it to be true.

However, as time marched on, it didn’t sit right. It left me with a bit of a niggling feeling that ignoring the ingredients was not a good approach to take.

That being said, if you’ve ever taken the time to read a nutrition label, you will know it can be like a minefield.  Lots of numbers and hard to pronounce words you may never have even heard of.

Shouldn’t that be an alarm bell in itself?

If we don’t know what’s in something or we can’t even pronounce it – shouldn’t that trigger us to investigate further?

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Reducing High Blood Pressure to Support the Immune System.

Last week I chatted briefly about a condition called metabolic syndrome (MetS), and how it’s inflammatory effects can alter the normal functioning of lymphatic tissues involved in the immune response.

Now there are 5 risk factors that fall under the banner of metabolic syndrome, but in today’s post, I’m going to concentrate on High Blood Pressure, also known as hypertension.

First and foremost, something to keep in mind is that high blood pressure is an inflammatory disease that impairs immune function.  That being said, a compromised immune system also leads to inflammation, so it works both ways.

When the immune response becomes dysregulated, it causes the sympathetic nervous system (a fancy way to describe our ‘fight or flight’ stress response), to go into overdrive. This raises our heart rate and blood pressure (which is fine in the short term), but over the long-term, can lead to oxidative damage causing arterial stiffening and hardening of the arteries.

Picture a rusty pipe and this is pretty much what oxidative damage does to our inner piping, so definitely something we want to avoid!

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Obesity, Metabolic Syndrome and Immunity

Something which is not often spoken about when it comes to immune function, is how our body composition can play a role in its ability to function at its optimum.

Metabolic syndrome is defined as a cluster of conditions comprising of:

– excess abdominal weight
– high blood pressure
– elevated blood glucose levels
– high levels of triglycerides, and
– low levels of high-density lipoproteins or good cholesterol 

A person is diagnosed with metabolic syndrome (MetS) if they have at least three of these five conditions.

Sadly this is becoming more and more prevalent both here in Australia, and overseas – also raising the risks of developing heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes.

Quite simply, metabolic syndrome has become a global epidemic (Saklayen 2018) – be it a very silent one.

What’s important to understand is that metabolic syndrome (MetS) negatively affects immune function, and does so by altering normal functioning of lymphatic tissues due to high levels of inflammation.

These lymphatic tissues include white blood cells (leukocytes), bone marrow, the thymus gland, spleen and lymph nodes.

So stay tuned, as over the next few weeks I’m going to share some tips and tricks on how to address all 5 of these MetS risk factors, because many people who work outside normal working hours … AKA shift workers ⏰, often present with at least 3-4 of them.

Audra x

Trouble Sleeping? Have You Tried Grounding?

Did you know the simple act of earthing, otherwise known as grounding can help to improve sleep?

Sound a bit strange – or to good to be true?

Earthing works because when direct skin comes into contact with the ground, it helps to rectify an electron deficiency.  Essentially the body becomes charged with negative electrons that are abundant on the surface of the earth.

Think of it as topping up your vitamin G – as in G for ground.

This in turn helps to reduce inflammation, reduce pain and lower stress hormones such as cortisol, which in most cases helps to improve sleep.

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What This Corona Virus Is Really Teaching Us.

Things are certainly changing day by day (if not hour by hour) since the outbreak of this coronavirus, but I’d like to just pause for a moment, and ask ourselves what can we learn from this?

In other words, what is this corona virus really teaching us?

Because I think its been the biggest wake-up call in our history, to remind us of how critically important (and fragile) our health is.

For far too many of us, we continue to neglect our bodies with poor dietary and lifestyle choices – taking our health for granted which over the long-term, is going to lead to poor health outcomes.

Unlike a virus, however, poor dietary and lifestyle choices don’t have an immediate impact.  

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