Health foods, organics, power foods, superfoods, what’s in, what’s out, symptoms, fat loss, weight loss. . . how many terms a day are you bombarded with? It can be near impossible to know if you are doing the right or the wrong thing for your health. People have been eating for health for centuries, so why exactly is it such a dilemma now? Now, we have convenience foods, fast foods, packaged meal services that are prepared and delivered to the door. We have access to foods that are ‘out of season’, foods that are dried or frozen and foods that have crossed many continents and countries, leaving their original status as local foods an becoming our ‘superfoods’. So why is it so disappointing that we eat these top 10 health foods and were getting more overweight, more unwell and more confused?
What if I told you that there are three areas of your body, 3 body systems that govern the outcome of each food you consume, each medication you take or each supplement you swallow? The simple fact that a food is known as a health food does not mean that it is a health food for you. Let’s take a look closely at what the top 10 unhealthy ‘health foods’ are and why.
Tomatoes are a fruit, they also part of the nightshade family. That is, they often flower, fruit and seed at night. Nightshades include potatoes, eggplant and peppers. Many can be toxic but our favourite nightshades have become staple foods in our diets. The most common being the humble tomato. Tomatoes are amazing feats of nature. They contain a carotenoid called lycopene which gives them their abundant red colour. Lycopene is an antioxidant that helps protect against cell damage – in some people. Here’s the clincher with lycopene. Depending on the type of immune system you have, lycopene can be your best friend or your worst enemy. You got it, there are different types of the immune system. In fact, so far, science has identified 4 of them with many more being explored. Your immune system type depends on a number of factors and how you identify which type you have is a process that a Functional Health Solutions Practitioner can run through with you. But back to trusty old lycopene- yes it is an antioxidant but it can also be detrimental to your immune system, your lymphatic system and your neural system. This may display as weight gain, brain fog, coughs and colds or even fluid retention.
Have you ever felt energised by the cup of coffee in the morning then suddenly you hit the wall, your energy saps and you ‘need’ another cup? Just as with your tomato, your daily coffee can be a trigger for your type of immune system to go a little crazy. Coffee is a vaso-dilator. The caffeine in coffee expands the veins in your body, allowing them to send though more blood. This can be experienced by that ‘rush’ of energy or, on the flipside, it can be a drudge to cope with. Coffee is one of the most highly recognised commodities to harbour mould too. A major turning-point in your life, such as childbirth, can switch your response to coffee in an instant. It may be the compounds within it, it may be the immune type you are (also switchable during pregnancy) or it may be a mould sensitivity. Your FHS practitioner can help you work it out.
Ah, turmeric. That golden hero that has come into vogue as our golden latte. A spice that has been used for healing for centuries and yet, it can be what doubles you over in pain. Yes, turmeric is the most powerful anti-inflammatory we know of these days. Turmeric possesses curcumin, an anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant. The curcumin can be your strongest ally in everything from weight loss to cardiovascular health. It can also, depending on whether your immune system is anabolic or catabolic, increase your fat storage, slow your lymphatic system flow and cause neural or nerve confusion. Curcumin may be fine for you one day and send you to bed with heart palpitations the next. The changes will be subtle but you will notice them.
A staple food in many households. Onions are a tasty and economical vegetable that bring any meal to life. Have you ever eaten onion only to wake the next day with a splitting headache? Quercetin is the flavonoid that causes that. It is also found in berries, buckwheat and kale (to name just a few). Your immune type will react to the Quercetin and let you know if it is for you or not. The humble onion can cause anything from a headache to a migraine, from a few extra kilos to a whole spare tyre. In fact, onions are vegetable that can also interact with many others for or against you. Luckily, they are easy to identify as a source of health or a source of misery.
Pineapple is so good for you! Yes, good for you. It stimulates thyroid activity and captures the sun and the vitamin D stimulating processes from the sun. Known at Sunshine’s fruit, pineapple is a fruit that makes us all think of happiness. We think of summer, or a pinacolada or a yummy fruit salad when we look at a luscious rope pineapple. Did you know though, it contains high amounts of bromelain. Bromelain is a compound that is used for reducing swelling (inflammation), especially of the nose and sinuses, after surgery or injury. However, Bromelain can also carry calcium clusters through the body and deposit them at your joints. Ouch, anyone here got arthritis? Yes, the most natural anti-inflammatory can cause inflammation. Your immune system type will again govern this as will the health of your lymphatic system. Anyone seeing a pattern?
Grabbing that soy latte is just as dangerous for you as a regular latte. We hear so much about the impact dairy has on the body, from high estrogen intake to the ethical concerns of dairy. Soy is just as damaging. 94% of soybeans are actually GMO (Genetically modified organisms). Apart from the fact that soy is treated with a high amount of chemicals including pesticides that are advanced neurotoxins (they kill your brain and nerves off), soy is a phytoestrogen. That is, it is a plant-based estrogen that contains two isoflavones, genistein and daidzein, which act like estrogen. When they are mixed with the hazardous chemicals used in the soy production, they rampantly mimic the body’s natural estrogens and block and confuse estrogen receptors. This causes an extreme imbalance and leads to a higher rate of breast and cervical cancer. Guys, you don’t get away with this ‘health food’ either. Take a walk down the street and you will notice an increase of men with ‘moobs’ (men’s breasts). Yes, men are now being diagnosed with breast cancer more and more. Steer away from the soy.
Undoubtedly, one of the world’s most highly traded commodities is the humble cocoa bean. If you have a sweet tooth, you most likely are always ready for a piece of chocolate. Just as with coffee, the cocoa bean harbours more than the goodness we know it for. A carrier of mould, it can be attributed to respiratory infections and other food sensitivities. Again, your immune system type will react to it as with many other health foods in this article. An easy one to eliminate form your diet to see if you feel better without it. And yet a highly addictive food that will leap off the shelves at you during the grocery shopping. Cocoa is a comforting substance but not because it loves you. In fact, the compounds in cocoa (theobromine and caffeine) can directly impact your respiratory, circulatory and neural systems. Like a warm, comforting hug that ends up being a giant python constricting you. Cocoa also contains resveratrol (see grapes for more).
Energy giver, lifeblood of Chinese medicine. Remember, we looked at immune system types and health foods? Chances are if you fall asleep after a coffee, ginseng is your friend. Alternatively, if coffee wires you, ginseng will send you to the doctor with anything from headaches to restless legs syndrome. So how will you know if its for you? A Functional Health Solutions Practitioner can help you. Ginseng does not carry the dangers of many other superfoods but it can complicate your life as it in incompatible with many over the counter and prescription medications and supplements.
- Coconut oil
The oil of choice for many to cook with. With the highest smoke point of all oils, that is, the one that won’t burn as quickly, coconut oil contains many compounds that can heal you. Great for oil-pulling, it helps draw bacteria from your mouth. Certainly preferred over toxic mouthwashes. Coconut oil also contains monolaurin, the most powerful anti-viral we know of at this time. However, if your body is not ready for the positive side effects of such a powerful food, life can get very scary very quickly. Go slow with the coconut oil, respect it for all its goodness but be wary of what it unlocks for you to deal with.
A seasonal delight indeed. Or are they? Grapes contains resveratrol. A complex compound that is known as a stilbenoid. A type of natural phenol, and a phytoalexin produced by several plants in response to injury or when the plant is under attack by pathogens, such as bacteria or fungi. Resveratrol is found in the skin of grapes and is most abundant in red wine. The humble grape is a food that can release enough resveratrol to activate the fight against any fungus or bacteria in its host. You’re the host! Humans are exposed to hundreds of thousands of bacteria daily, not to mention funghi. The resveratrol in your humble bunch of grapes will seek these out waging war almost immediately but not all bacteria inside your body are bad. Resveratrol cannot discriminate, it may actually lower your body’s defences enough to create an imbalance resulting in illness.
So, you just pushed away your coffee, chocolate and fruit platter reading this article. Maybe you’re asking how you will know which of these unhealthy ‘health foods’ are right for you. How will you know what type of immune system you actually have and where to go from here?
Well, from here you need to take a deep cleansing breath through your nose and back out through your nose. Yes, your nose! Breathing through the mouth invites more bacteria from the environment into your body. No need to panic, rush off anywhere to see someone or start Dr-internetting it all. Your local Functional Health Solutions Practitioner can help you and will be happy to answer your burning questions. For now, start with eliminating some of these from your diet and take note of the differences you feel. Your body will happily tell you as much as it can. Try each one for 14 days and do not stress yourself about it. A healthy body is a happy body and after all, isn’t that what we all want from our ‘health foods’?
Wholistic Natural Health Australia is a small group of Practitioners who work through various Natural Health modalities from around the globe. All of our practitioners have battled or are now conquering major health issues that include cancer, lymphoedema, hypoxia, stenosis and diabetes. They not only ‘walk the walk’ and ‘talk the talk’ but they are passionately invested in helping others create a life of abundant energy, sustainable health and an environmental and community connection that will help many who find they are currently struggling. Our practitioners include best-selling authors, integrative pathology experts, practitioners of lymphoedema, Functional Health Solutions Practitioners and weight loss mentors. They have been featured in the Dailymail UK, News.com.au, Channel nine, NZ Fitness, Queensland Times and many more media publications and outlets. WNHA’s mission is to empower people to take the charge of their health and experience true health, happiness and community. WNHA helps anyone who is sick of being sick, tired of being tired and who wants to experience a new level of sustainable health. Being well does not mean missing out, restricting or depriving yourself. The team at WNHA can teach you how to take control back of your health while building a supportive community and a connection to the people, places and things that you are passionate about.
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