Issue Description

Choosing CarbsDownload_on_the_App_Store_Badge_US-UK_135x40

These days it is common to hear people debating about carbohydrates and whether we need them or not. Carb-free diets are fashionable in some circles.  According to Sherry Brescia (USA) there is no question – “Your body needs carbohydrates. Without them you will die.”  Not just any carbs though. Sherry maintains that there are two carbohydrate groups – those from Nature (simple and complex) and those created by food manufacturers (refined and high in sugar). It is important to choose carbs from the first group and not the other. “A longstanding diet of refined carbs can result in harmful bacteria overgrowth (dysbiosis) in your intestinal tract.  Sugar is food for harmful bacteria and they love it, multiply like rabbits and crowd out your beneficial bacteria.” She explains what foods are sources of the right carbs.

Fingernail Health

Ever wondered about strange lines, bumps or discoloration in your finger nails? Dr. Sandra Cabot (Australia) reveals that  “your fingernails, if not covered up by acrylic nails or nail polish, can reveal several details about your health – including the functionality of your liver. Changes in texture, shape and nail colour can be a sign that there is a problem in your body’s cells, possibly even that there is a medical condition which needs looking into.” She describes several different nail conditions and possible causes.

Toothpaste and asthma

Is there a connection? Because asthma attacks can be triggered by allergic reactions to environmental irritants (including chemicals) Dr. Emily Kane (USA) feels that there could be. “Commercial toothpastes contain a wide variety of chemicals which can contribute to some health concerns. This is particularly true for sensitive individuals, as well as for children, because they tend to eat more toothpaste than adults.”  Her article certainly raises some questions for those who suffer from asthma and are looking for solutions.

Teas for Children

Tea is a universal drink that can be brewed from many different plant sources. Whilst most adults drink tea, which contains caffeine as a pick-me-up, Dr. Lisa Watson (Canada) offers several suggestions of teas that are suitable and appealing to children.  “There are a great variety of herbal teas available that children love.  Try fruit based herbal teas as a delicious and low calorie alternative to fruit juice”.  Her list includes teas for health as well as teas for taste. Of course, grown-ups might like to try them too!

Food Sensitivities

If you have a sensitivity to certain foods you will find the article by naturopath Cathi Stack (Canada) interesting. In it she raises some questions worth considering. Why are allergies on the rise? “One out of 17 children now have some form of food allergy – and allergy rates are rising.”  Why has ADHD become an acceptable western diagnosis (yet unknown in Asian cultures)? Cathi suggests that “either our eating habits or perhaps the food source itself is somehow responsible for the phenomenon.” She explains the difference between an allergy and a food sensitivity and provides some symptoms to help in a diagnosis.

E-cigarettes – Are they Healthy?

Dr. Daniel Seidman (USA) certainly does not think so – “many people I have seen use the e-cigarette and then switch back and forth with their regular brands. They are using e-cigs to control, not quit, smoking”. He also has concerns over their ready availability over the internet and the lack of regulation with their production. A supporter of nicotine replacement therapy Dr. Seidman points out that “using NRT for two weeks before stopping smoking has recently been shown to double the chances of success at quitting with NRT, with no additional safety issues.”

 Medical Marijuana

The use of cannabis as a medication is a controversial subject, but as Dr. Gregory Carter (USA) points out, “for thousands of years, humankind has used cannabis (aka as marijuana) for its medicinal powers.”  He explains the effects of the various cannabinoids contained in the plant and describes healthier methods of administration other than smoking it. Dr. Carter feels it surpasses more traditional pharmaceuticals as a pain reliever for a valid reason. “The huge advantage of cannabis-based medicine for pain is the well-documented fact that no one has ever died from an overdose of cannabis. Cannabis has no known lethal dose. If cannabis-based medicines were more widely used to treat pain, potentially thousands of deaths from opioid toxicity may be prevented.”

 Edible Insects

While many people in Western nations recoil at the idea of eating insects, the FAO’s Afton Halloran (Canada) points out that “insects are a normal part of the traditional diets of approximately 2 billion people worldwide, in countries like Japan, Mexico, Thailand and Kenya, as well as an integral part of food systems.” More efficient to produce than conventional sources of protein, insects are also high in amino acids, healthy fatty acids and minerals. With an ever-increasing population needing to be fed and less land available for food production, it seems inevitable that we are going to have to have a more open mind to sources of food. Insects are one such source.

Red Wine and Your Heart

Whilst it might be tempting to take to heart (pun intended!) the current acceptance of red wine being beneficial to one’s health, Dr. Joel Fuhrman (USA) cautions against drinking anything other than modest amounts – “ about one drink or less per day for women, and two drinks or less for men” and explains that the principal cardiovascular benefit to be gained from alcohol is as a blood thinner.   As the person who coined the expression “nutritarian diet”, one based on nutrient dense unprocessed foods, Dr. Fuhrman points out that it is safer to eat a diet that will not permit heart disease rather than to rely on alcohol to decrease the potential of blood to clot”. 

Desk Job Health

Anyone who spends much time sitting at a desk (probably using a computer) will benefit from reading this article by Dr. Ben Kim (Canada). In it he goes through all the areas of the body most affected by sitting at a desk. One area commonly affected is the back – “sitting for long periods of time can, over the long term, put enough pressure on your lumbar discs to cause chronic lower back pain. Actually, sitting for a living can put damaging pressure on a number of structures in your lower back; a slipped disc is the most common and easily visualized lower back problem that can occur.  Dr. Kim provides sound advice and exercises on how to minimize discomfort and the long-term damage that can ensue.

Resilient Ageing

Everyone ages differently and with varying degrees of physical and mental limitation. Psychologist Julie Bajic (Australia) argues that older people in residential care are particularly at risk of losing their self-esteem and sense of self-worth. “Living in this environment where the focus is on their barriers rather than strengths becomes a challenge and significantly impacts their self-esteem. Anxiety and depression rates in residential care setting are alarming.” Julie offers seven tips for seniors to improve resilience and gain back a sense of control over their lives.

Preventing Breast Cancer – Video and Transcript

Breast cancer is the condition that most woman fear more than any other disease …… largely because they think that there’s nothing they can do about it.  They feel powerless in their ability to prevent breast cancer.” In her video Naturopath Margaret Jasinska (Australia) provides some encouraging information on several measures women can take to prevent the onset of breast cancer. She has co-written a book on the subject with Dr. Sandra Cabot which is available through their website.


We present a delicious vegetarian recipe from Dr. Joel Fuhrman.