Four Simple Changes for Better Health
Eating a healthy diet can sometimes seem daunting and overwhelming when it really doesn’t need to be complicated. Here are four simple changes you can make THIS WEEK to improve your health:
Switch white table salt for pink Himalayan salt
The majority of white table salt is obtained from our oceans which are now unfortunately polluted with heavy metals such as lead. Added to this is the substantial processing it undertakes before reaching our plate. It is often treated with chlorine, caustic soda and sulphuric acid, undergoes extreme temperatures which destroy the beneficial minerals, is bleached and then anti-caking agents containing aluminium are added, all of which can be extremely toxic for our health. The result is a highly processed sodium chloride in a more concentrated amount. Sodium chloride can raise blood pressure and lead to heart disease and hence has given rise to salts bad reputation, when in reality salt has a critical function in maintaining the balance of fluid in our body.
By contrast pink Himalayan salt is said to be the cleanest salt available as it comes from ancient salt mines in Pakistan and is usually mined by hand. It has more trace minerals and a lower sodium content when compared to white salt. However, most pink Himalayan salt does not contain iodine like regular white table salt and iodine is needed for the formation of thyroid hormones and to combat many health problems such as hypothyroidism. To combat this you can ensure you are eating iodine rich foods such as seaweed, cranberries, seafood, eggs and dairy products. Alternatively, you could use this Himalayan salt which contains dulse flakes (seaweed flakes) which are naturally high in iodine.
Replace sugar with more natural sources (raw honey, pure maple syrup or organic rapadura)
Sugar is another food with a bad reputation, however our bodies need sugar as its main fuel source and there is increasing research to suggest that sugar is vital to the proper functioning of our body.
Refined sugar is highly processed, is often bleached and has had all of the valuable nutrients removed, so it makes sense that if you are going to use sugar you should use one that is actually going to benefit you.
I don’t recommend using artificial sweeteners as I feel it’s always best to eat food as close to nature intended and with as little processing as possible. There has also been much debate over the health hazards of sugar substitutes.
The best alternatives are raw honey that hasn’t been processed, pure maple syrup or my favourite organic rapadura. Rapadura is dehydrated sugar cane juice that has retained many valuable nutrients such as iron, magnesium and many vitamins. I use it in my cooking and baking the same way as you would processed sugar. Rapadura can be found in most supermarkets and health food shops but I use this one because it is organic.
Stop using vegetable oils and instead use healthy oils (olive oil, coconut oil)
Not all oils are created equal, and not all oils are bad for us, in fact the right oils are actually extremely beneficial. Our bodies need fat to be healthy. Amongst other things our body uses fat as stored energy, to form our cell membranes and for the formation of many hormones.
Oils which are bad for us are those that have been manufactured and contain mainly hydrogenated fat such as vegetable oil. Hydrogenated fat (or trans fats) can have a disastrous effect on our body such as decreasing hormone production, inhibiting the function of our cell membranes and destroying our bodies ability to eliminate toxins. There is also research to indicate that hydrogenated fat is more likely to cause weight gain than any other type of fat.
The best oils are oils from nature that haven’t been manipulated by technology such as cold pressed olive oil, macadamia oil, almond oil and coconut oil.
Replace margarine with unsalted butter
Margarine is totally artificial, being made out of hydrogenated vegetable oil and has an indefinite shelf life because of the processing it undertakes – it is deodorised, bleached and refined, subjected to intense heat and then mixed with many revolting ingredients including aluminium, polyglycerol esters, benzoate dyes, colours and flavours.
Butter on the other hand is a great source of essential fat and minerals. It contains saturated fat (no this is not a dirty word!) that is needed for cardiovascular health, for calcium incorporation into bone tissue and protects the liver and lungs. Saturated fat also supports white blood cells in their quest to destroy foreign invaders. Butter also helps support healthy gut flora, contains important fat soluble vitamins such as A, E and K2 as well as manganese, zinc and iodine. If possible aim to use unsalted butter to avoid the added refined salt.
Pick one to change TODAY and then implement the remaining three over the next week . Email me at email@example.com and let me know how you go!