Referring back to the blog last week, regarding the ability for food to have some of the answers to our health challenges, I’m going to use headaches as an example here.
While we all desire a happy and elevated quality of life, certain ailments, such as headaches, depression, anxiety, IBS, joint pain, and many other chronic issues, lessen our ability to enjoy our days as much as we’d like.
If we take an ailment such as headaches, let’s see what things we can do to try and address some underlying factors that may contribute to it. Many times we can each address certain issues by looking at foundational areas. Again, as with all health issues, please see your doctor or health care professional to ensure there isn’t a deeper issue.
First, is there enough plain clean water being consumed? Track how much hydrating versus dehydrating beverages and foods are being consumed. Fruits and vegetables can also add hydration to your body. Plain water is critical. Coffee, tea, alcohol, pop, etc, are all dehydrating, so make sure your plain water intake is at least double the dehydrating beverages, or better yet, cut out all but water for a few weeks to see how that impacts your health challenges. The best calculation for most people is to take your weight in pounds, and take half that in ounces. So a 150 pound person would look to have about 75 ounces of water 32 ounces in a litre, so about 2 litres of water, which is eight 250ml cups. Add in 5 or more cups of whole fruits and veggies each day and that will be a great start to add hydration to your body.
Reducing or removing toxins is a helpful as well. Processed foods often has many toxins, between colours, preservatives, pesticides, artificial sugars, and so on. Read labels to avoid MSG. Note all of the various names for MSG such as hydrolyzed protein, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, textured protein, yeast extract, carrageenan, flavouring, seasoning, etc.
Glutamate (glutamic acid) and aspartame (aspartic acid) are both amino acids that can build up in the body through foods, but they can be more difficult to flush out of the body. These amino acids cause nerves to fire and when they are in excess it causes a form of neurotoxicity. Since many processed foods and restaurants add in MSG, removing those food sources to see if it is a cause of nerve or headache challenges is a wise check to do.
** Note, food labels do not always include MSG as the FDA does not require it to be labeled unless it is 99% pure MSG. Best way to tell is to eat foods that do not have labels. This means cooking from scratch with whole foods.
WHAT TO DO
Knowing that we cannot 100% avoid toxins, having an exit plan for toxins is essential.
Regular bowel movements is key to not reabsorbing toxins that are leaving the body, As waste moves through the large intestine, fluids and other contents are pulled and reabsorbed. Water is a good thing to reabsorb, but toxins are not. We want to make sure bowel movements happen every day to ensure toxins leave as intended.
Fibre is a huge help in this regard. First fibre acts like a sponge to absorb toxins. It can also act like a brush to help move and clean debris off intestinal walls to make sure it all gets escorted out of the body.
Two amazing ways to add in more fibre, which also happen to be favourite fall foods - APPLES and SQUASH.
These foods are both hydrating and full of fibre to help do a clean up of toxins from our bodies.
Roast squash in the oven or add to soups and casseroles.
Apples in a baked oatmeal, or eat just on their own.
Easy to add in a few cups a day of these foods. The bonus is that this just may address headaches or other challenges you are having due to their natural benefits.
Check out the local options of apples and squash at Quality Greens. There are recipes galore out there for these beauties.
We add spaghetti squash to our chilli and soups these days and it is incredible. Or even just butter and salt is amazing as well.
Enjoy your week!