The demands on women’s bodies for growing, birthing and feeding a child are high and ever changing. Not only are we providing nutrition for two people at different points in the process; our bodies are also undergoing massive fluctuations in hormone levels as well.
So how do we replenish and maintain, not only vital nutrient levels but also keep our hormones balanced through our diets?
These days there is so much information out there – from health professionals to other mum’s experiences on Internet forums, each with their own opinion of what is happening and how to deal with it. It is understandable that it can be downright confusing to work out what is the right thing to choose in order to maintain balanced health and wellbeing during this period of change and growth in our lives. One of the easiest ways to balance hormones is through our diet; and by combining nutrition with the knowledge about how our hormones are processed, detoxified and eliminated by the body, we can build a strong foundation for supporting our health and our babies health as we move through motherhood and beyond. [read more....…]
What is preconception care?
Preconception care is an opportunity to improve both you and your partners health required for promoting healthy sperm, egg health and uterine environment. Think of pregnancy as like a marathon, we want to start training now and optimise our diet and lifestyle which can influence up to three generations to come!
Digestive health is so important for health!
Do you feel butterflies in the pit of their stomach when you are stressed or anxious?
This reaction shows there is a complex interaction between your gut and brain, with the gut being referred to as our “second brain”. The gut is full of nerves and neurotransmitter receptors from the enteric nervous system (part of the autonomic nervous system which performs unconscious function, like your heart beating) that is wired directly to the brain. The gut cells produce most of our serotonin, the “happy” neurotransmitter, so not only do we need to look at ingesting enough of the nutrients required for serotonin production, we need to ensure our gut health is in balance to be able to utilise it! [read more....…]
Fatigue is a challenging symptom affecting more and more people in today’s world. These days it is rare that the cause of fatigue is easily pinpointed and corrected; with our fast paced lives, it often goes unnoticed until it is too late. By the time a lot of people realise they have a significant problem, the original cause of their lack of energy can be masked by a myriad of vague or prominent symptoms, which all differ in presentation and severity from person to person. So how do you find the cause of your fatigue and get the right type of help to return to health? One simple tool you can use that is with you all the time, and doesn’t cost a thing is, AWARENESS!
The gut and brain talk and sometimes it’s not pretty
For years Naturopaths have talked of the gut-brain connection. How the health of the gut health will influence mood and mood will influence the gut. With the increase in research into the interplay between humans and bugs – the human microbiome – comes some really exciting findings that back this traditional concept. Though more research is required to get all health care professionals on board, it may not surprise you that many people have made this connection for themselves. They work to set their gut and mind up to talk nicely to each other for happiness and best of health.
The balance of the bugs
It is said that our body has 10 times the number of bugs than human cells and 150 times as many genes – wow that’s a lot of bugs. Now before you start scratching and head for the shower, know that when the bugs play nicely together they support our health in a wide range of ways. It is only when the bugs are out of balance that things go array, including negatively impacting your mood.
Research has shown the link between the overgrowth of specific bugs and an increased prevalence of anxiety, an increased sensitivity to pain, memory dysfunction, autism, IBS – irritable bowel syndrome – and IBD – more serious inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. This list melds both conditions of the mind and of the gut and supports the gut-brain link. [read more....…]
Mindful eating focuses on the increasingly important roles of mind and spirit and their contribution to our eating habits and choices. In regards to our digestion, it is becoming more essential to consider not just WHAT we are eating but HOW we are eating, and it’s impact on our digestive function. By looking at diet and digestion from this new perspective, we can begin to establish a brand new relationship with our mealtimes and the food we eat.
Digestion is the process of breaking down, absorbing and assimilating food and the nutrients it contains. What happens when your digestive function isn’t working as optimally as we need it to? You can experience a multitude of symptoms that can include cramping, bloating, abdominal fullness, reflux, indigestion, constipation or diarrhoea; or a combination of these. So how much of this has to do with what you are eating and how much has to do with how you are eating it? Digestion can be affected by many different factors including poor diet choices, medications and food intolerances to name a few; but two of the biggest and often overlooked contributors to digestive dysfunction are stress and speed. [read more....…]
As a Naturopath, I’m not scared to talk about poo, bloated bellies, or farting. Sounds gross and like something you don’t want to talk about, but the fact is, 1 in 5 Australians will have IBS throughout their lives and need help fixing it.
Good digestion is the key to good health – a fact we’ve always innately known and this has become part of our vocabulary with old sayings such as “you are what you eat.”
If your belly isn’t happy – your body is sending you a signal that you may not be digesting and absorbing your nutrients properly. Healthy clean eating and super foods have become mainstream,, which is brilliant for health. But if you’re not digesting your food well, then you could be eating the worlds cleanest, healthiest diet, but you won’t optimize the nutrients from it, which are needed to keep your energized and prevent disease. So if you think things may not be working so well in the belly department, it’s time to listen to your body and learn about what your tummy is telling you!
- Abdominal bloating and discomfort
- Changeable bowel habits – alternating between constipation or diarrhoea.
- Stool habits change – watery, loose, nuggety, thin ribbons.
- Feeling of discomfort after eating & food sensitivities
- Feeling of urgency – needing to go to the toilet often or feeling not fully evacuated when you empty your bowels.
Addressing preconception health will have lifelong benefits for you and your child.
Factors that may affect fertility include:
- Poor diet and nutrition
- Increasing age
- Immune system status
- Drugs (including caffeine, tobacco and alcohol)
- Previous contraceptive history
- Genitourinary infections (eg Chlamydia, Mycoplasma)
- Reproductive conditions (eg endometriosis, PCOS)
Fertility problems are due to male reproductive health about 40% and the female about 40% of the time, with both partners reproductive health implicated in the remaining cases. [read more....…]
Paleo has been creating a huge buzz in the health and fitness community for the last couple of years now. Paleo is short for Palaeolithic Diet; also commonly known as the Caveman diet. The philosophy is based around the principles of eating the way our early ancestors did in the Palaeolithic era, before farming and industrialization. The foods you eat are the only ones that would have been available through hunting and gathering; specifically meat, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds; excluding dairy, grains, legumes and any foods grown through modern day farming or processing practices. There is a myriad of resources available these days to set you on the path to this style of clean eating, but what happens when these resources become so overwhelming you just don’t know where to start? Questions start running around your head like – Why would I choose to eat like this? Do I have to give up foods I love? What are the benefits of eating this way? Fear not and read on, I’m about to give you 3 benefits of the Paleo diet that can help you decide if this eating style is right for you: [read more....…]
Stress is something that we all experience to varying degrees throughout our life. One type of stress, known as eustress, is actually a positive type of stress and is used to help us achieve our goals in a positive and productive way. But what happens when the pressure and worry of everyday life starts to get on top of you? For some it might be work, for others finances; assignments, family, health – you name it, it is probably on someone’s list as a source of worry and frustration. The stress response that our bodies go through was designed millions of years ago to prepare ourselves for what is known as “fight or flight” – as in, do we stay and fight the dinosaur that’s about to attack or do we run away from it and hide in our cave? Now these days there are no dinosaurs stalking us but there are plenty of situations that can trigger the nervous system to prepare for this “fight or flight” response. And it’s when this survival system is triggered on a daily, weekly and monthly basis that our minds, bodies and spirits start to suffer and break down. [read more....…]