Are You Unconsciously Poisoning Yourself?

Could you be unknowingly poisoning yourself?

It might sound like an odd question to ask as none of us would ever want to intentionally harm ourselves, however, I remember back in my early 20’s when I was new to shift work (and eating crap food) – I went from being quite lean to becoming quite puffy.

By some miracle, I didn’t really gain much weight, but my face and hands became swollen and I was always bloated.

What I didn’t realise at the time, was that I was slowly poisoning myself by eating toxic foods containing refined sugars and inflammatory fats that were leading to systemic inflammation.

Besides sapping our energy, chronic low-level inflammation can damage blood vessels, weaken our muscles and cause absolute havoc on our hormones!

Ouch! As if shift work isn’t hard enough?!

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Is Your Waist Circumference Sabotaging Your Immune System?

This week I’m talking about something called Central Adiposity, or the more fancy term being “Belly Fat”.

Why is this important?  

Well, just like high blood pressure, obesity has an inflammatory component which means it can interfere with the immune response and vice versa.

In a review published in the Proceedings of the Nutrition Society (2012), researchers stated:

Obesity, like other states of malnutrition, is known to impair the immune function, altering leukocyte counts as well as cell-mediated immune responses. In addition, evidence has arisen that an altered immune function contributes to the pathogenesis of obesity. 

When we’re carrying extra weight, especially around the middle, it shifts our biology out of balance because fat cells release pro-inflammatory proteins called cytokines.

In other words, fat cells are a living breathing thing. They’re not stagnant that just sit there and do nothing!

They’re actually endocrine cells because of their ability to secrete hormones and influence cells in other parts of the body, that in many cases, can lead to further weight gain.

Sorry, not exactly the rosiest of scenarios but it’s important that I tell it as it is!

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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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