Nutrition advice for common health woes

Nutrition advice for common health woes

Author: Canadian Living


Nutrition advice for common health woes

What's your ailment? Have you found a nutritional cure? Share you comments and ideas with fellow readers in our comments section on the next page.

Having the opportunity to work one on one with a so many different people, I have begun to notice a common thread in health complaints. When first consulting with a client in my clinic, my first question is always “What is your presenting complaint?" In other words – what symptoms you are experiencing, and how do you feel on a daily basis?

Often times, if the body is inflamed, dehydrated or stressed, myriad symptoms and health complaints can pop up. It’s the body’s way of saying, "Please take care of me – the current situation is not working!"

Diet, supplements, exercise and lifestyle changes are among the most important adjustments you can make to help your body cope with everyday health woes. Below, you will find some of the most common health complaints, along with natural dietary solutions that can have an enormous positive impact on your body and mind.

Low energy
Feeling tired and lethargic is one of the most common health complaints. Unfortunately, finding the root cause of this problem is like finding a needle in a haystack. Whether low energy is due to poor food choices, stress, inactivity or dehydration, these tips will help you get your energy back.

• Eliminate all refined and processed foods, such as white flours and sugars, from your diet. These foods can bounce around blood sugar levels and lower energy levels, often resulting in the common 3 p.m. slump.

• Get more protein at mealtime to ensure your blood sugar levels stay balanced.

• Drink plenty of water to ensure you are properly hydrated. Herbal and green teas are also good choices.

• Watch your coffee intake, as too much can make you feel more tired in the long run.

• Keep regular bedtimes and waking times, as your body thrives on routine. Also, try not to sleep in too much past sunrise.

• Exercise! In order to build strength and burn fat, find an exercise program that includes cardiovascular activity and weight-bearing exercises.

Page 1 of 2- find out how to cure PMS on page 2.

Acid reflux
If you have ever had acid reflux, you know just how uncomfortable it can be. A common symptom is a burning pain in the chest that travels upwards towards the throat. Hear are a few of the many dietary and lifestyle changes you can make to avoid acid reflux.

• Don't smoke. Smoking often worsens acid reflux symptoms.

• Don't eat a large meal prior to going to bed or before exercise.

• Take a licorice supplement pill – otherwise called DGL (found in most health food stores).

• Drink soothing mint tea.

• Eliminate acid-forming foods that can irritate symptoms, such as deep-fried foods, coffee, pop and refined flours and sugars. Be sure to eat plenty of alkaline forming fruits, vegetables and brown rice. You can find a thorough list of which of your favourite foods are acid, and which are alkaline here.

• Maintain a healthy body weight.

Period cramps
When you're on your period, the way you eat has an enormous impact on the symptoms you experience. In order to reduce symptoms associated with PMS, consider making these changes approximately a week prior to getting your period.

• Double-up on your fish oil supplement, which helps reduce inflammation, cramps and discomfort.

• Limit your intake of caffeine, chocolate and alcohol.

• Eat low-fat, high-fibre foods such as fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains.

• Supplement with vitamin B6. Research has shown that B6 can reduce symptoms of PMS.

• Include calcium-rich foods into your diet (including high quality dairy, leafy greens and sesame seeds) or take a calcium supplement. One large study demonstrated that women who took 1,200 mg of calcium per day saw a 48 per cent reduction in their PMS symptoms.

At our clinic, we commonly ask, "10 being extremely high stress, 0 being no stress – what are you on a daily basis?" Unfortunately, we hear a lot of 8 or higher responses. Of all the "health robbers" – chronic levels of high stress tops the charts. However, there are certain natural steps that can be taken to dramatically reduce cortisol secretion (the hormone secreted in response to stress) and stress levels such as;

• Exercise regularly. One of the most effective ways to reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol is to engage is physical activity.

• Incorporate a high quality multi B vitamin into your daily supplement regimen.

• Pick up the herb rhodiola from your local health food store. Research has shown that individuals under mental stress at work showed a decrease in their stress levels when supplementing with rhodiola.

• Add omega 3–rich foods into diet such as omega-3 eggs, cold-water fish, nuts and seeds. Research has shown that deficiencies of omega-3 essential fatty acids may be related to an unhealthy stress response.

• Minimize caffeine intake, as it can exacerbate feelings of stress and anxiety.

It's important to pay attention to your symptoms, as they are your body's voice. By utlilizing the proper supplements, and implementing lifestyle changes and a diet rich in antioxidants, you will notice a dramatic change in your health and vitality.

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Dr. Joey Shulman is the founder of the Shulman Weight Loss Clinic and author of several best selling books. Her latest release, Healthy Sin Foods – Decadence without the Guilt (Penguin, 2009) is available in all bookstores. For more information, please visit


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Nutrition advice for common health woes