Add as bookmark

The Feel Good Factor

by Ann Crowther(more info)

listed in environmental, originally published in issue 134 - April 2007

Environmental toxins are everywhere – in the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico, the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, scientists have found disturbing levels of modern man-made chemicals in the wildlife, plants, seaweeds, fish and waters.

Industrial smoke-stacks flow into the air, releasing chemicals which are absorbed into the rain, which soaks into the soil, is taken in by plants, then animals and in turn humans. Stockpiling chemicals in our bodies through daily inhaling or absorption through our skin and food produces disease and accelerated ageing. For example, common everyday pesticides can trigger genetic abnormality and problems with the nervous system. If exposed over a number of years to the common toxin, toluene – found in nail polish, cosmetics, inks, cement, shoe polishes, dry cleaned clothes, new construction, carpeting, glues, paints, etc – you may find you have abnormal menstrual periods, liver damage, abnormal blood counts, depression or poor memory.

In recent years, the importance of nutrition in maintaining good health and preventing disease has become increasingly apparent. A nutrient is a substance that nourishes the body; an essential nutrient is one which the body cannot manufacture itself but without which it cannot survive. Carbohydrates, fats and proteins are classified as energy-giving and tissue-building macronutrients. Macronutrients are required by the body in large amounts, whilst vitamins and minerals are classified as micronutrients, which are required in smaller amounts. To date, some 50 individual essential nutrients have been identified:

• 2 Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs);
• 9 Amino Acids (AAs);
• 21 Minerals;
• 13 Vitamins;
• Carbohydrates
All of these nutrients interact together, and some won’t function without the presence of others – they work in synergy.

Water is important as the medium for the transport of nutrients and waste into and out of the body. It is also important as the medium in which all of the metabolic reactions essential for your body to function take place. Water is also required as a participant in many of the biochemical processes involved in tissue formation and energy production in the body. Water is therefore arguably the most important nutrient. Drinking 2 litres of water a day is advised for optimal health.

Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) levels for essential nutrients were set by the health departments of various countries, including the UK Department of Health, in an attempt to prevent deficiency diseases such as scurvy (vitamin C deficiency) or rickets (vitamin D deficiency) within the general population. However, RDAs are based on average requirements for large groups of people – they are not devised as guidelines for individuals. They do not take into account an individual’s level of physical activity, stress, exposure to pollution, smoking, drinking alcohol or any other factors, such as ageing or pregnancy, which may affect their individual requirements. RDAs, by definition, are insufficient for some individuals even to avoid deficiency symptoms.

Over 90% of the people who think they eat a balanced diet fail to achieve the recommended intake of essential nutrients. Our ancestors may have been able to get all of the nutrients they needed from food, but today’s farming and food production methods, food processing, the addition of pesticides and other chemicals, food kept in storage, the addition of additives, preservatives, and hormones and antibiotics added to meat, means that, more than ever, food is being depleted of vital nutrients, and the need for supplementation is growing.

The cells of the body provide a battleground in which harmful free radicals (toxins) attempt to kill the protective antioxidants. If the antioxidants lose this battle, the body’s cells get exposed to disease and premature ageing.

An antioxidant is basically any natural substance that is able to protect cells, cell membranes, lipids and proteins against free radical attacks. Antioxidants include vitamins and minerals, which are found in abundance in a healthy and varied diet.

The more researchers work with the fascinating world of cells, the more obvious the importance of antioxidants becomes. It is expected that antioxidant research will soon lead to a major breakthrough in medical treatment and the prevention of illnesses.

Uncontrolled free radicals form because people are constantly being exposed to thousands of substances, all of which are alien to the human body. Atmospheric pollution, radiation, electromagnetism, insecticides, carcinogenic substances, etc. all create free radicals. Free radicals have been linked to more than 200 illnesses, including arteriosclerosis, coronary thrombosis, cerebral haemorrhage, cancer, senility, cataracts and chronic arthritis. They also produce wrinkles in the skin, weaken the kidneys and reduce resistance to age-related diseases.

The most important antioxidants to include in your diet are:
Selenium – fish, shellfish, offal (liver, kidney, etc), Brazil nuts;
Coenzyme Q10 – beef, chicken, sardines, soy;
Zinc  – meat, liver, fish, shellfish, eggs;
Beta-Carotene  – green leafed vegetables, tomatoes, carrots;
Vitamin A  – liver, fatty fish, eggs, butter *should not be taken in excessive amounts;
Vitamin C – fresh fruit and vegetables;
Vitamin E – plant oil, fatty fish, leguminous fruits;
Vitamin B6 – meat and cereal products.
The best protection against environmental toxicity is in good nutrition: follow the ‘rainbow rule’ by including a vast spectrum of fresh fruits and vegetables in your daily diet for optimal health.

Comments:

  1. No Article Comments available

Post Your Comments:

About Ann Crowther

Ann Crowther trained in Pilates in California, and later in Exercise and Health Studies at the University of East London, followed by specialist training in Kinesiology, Nutrition and Stress Management, Ann draws on over 20 years of experience as a fitness trainer and has won extensive praise for the development of her own highly successful Pilates system. She is the author of Pilates for You, Duncan Baird Publishers, and several fitness DVD/book sets. She may be contacted via pilatesplusann@hotmail.com ; www.anncrowtherlifestyle.com.

  • Liposomal Nutrients

    Optimum system for nutrient delivery to cells - fully bioavailable vitamins absorbed and metabolised

    abundanceandhealth.co.uk

  • Ultimate Body Detox

    Immune system support & heavy metal detox - 3 powerful products: ACS 200, ACZ Nano & ACG Glutathione

    www.resultsrna.co.uk

top of the page