Home' Nova National : Nova February Contents 14 NUTRITION
of 200,000 participants studied over
a 24 year period, 12 ,600 developed
diabetes. Yet those who reported the
highest intake of blueberries reduced
their risk of developing the disease by a
Pick – Strawberries, raspberries
4. Prevent high blood pressure
High blood pressure can lead to kidney
failure, peripheral vascular disease,
strokes, visual disturbances and heart
attacks. A study on acnthacinons
over a 14 year period showed that
participants who ate at least one
serving of blueberries a day showed
a 10% decreased risk for high blood
pressure compared with those who
ate no blueberries. Additional to their
antioxidant affects, flavoins can also help
dilate (relax) blood vessels, by increasing
the activity of endothelial nitric oxide
synthase. These chemical compounds
have a dilating effect on blood vessels
thus reducing your blood pressure.
5. Reduce Heart disease
Do you have a family history of heart
disease? Well, a berry-rich diet may be
particularly helpful in not only lowering
blood pressure but in several other ways
to reduce the risk of coronary artery
disease by up to 45%. Flavinoids has
been seen to reduce platelet aggregation,
increase good cholesterol and reduce
inflammation. In a study of 27,000
subjects looking at diet and heart attack
incidence, researchers associated a
modification in the 9p21 gene related to
heart disease when loading up on fruit
and vegetables. Another study showed
women were 34% less likely to have a
heart attack by eating berries than
those who didn’t.
Pick – Blackberries and
Exercise your way to health
and strong bones!
Exercise can combat or prevent hot
flushes, build bones to keep you fit and
trim and improve your mental and
emotional levels. Exercise reduces stress,
lowers high blood pressure and ocular
pressure in glaucoma, gives clarity
of mind and instils a restful night’s
sleep. It also increases the number of
mitochondria powering up your cells,
which continually boosts further energy!
Walking is free!
Exercise will help you stay more
youthful since the entire body is
well oxygenated. The skin is the
largest organ in your body and it
will experience rejuvenation due to
So, get out and enjoy the
outdoors. Morning walks
help burn off fat prior to
breakfast and after dinner
walks aid digestion and
eliminate the day’s stress,
helping you achieve a
good night’s sleep. Set
yourself challenges for
distance when walking
– do more each time and
build up duration.
Include pilates and/or
weight lifting to generate
more strength in muscles,
ligaments, bones and your
core. Strengthening your
core is very important as we
age. The core muscles are like
a girdle supporting your lower
back. A strong core will prevent
you from falling or certainly steady
you more quickly if you trip. Mat
pilates is good to learn so you can
then master some stretches and practise
What’s most important during this
phase of life is a healthy lifestyle. Work
at balancing the hormonal system to
ensure you stay stronger, healthier and
more vibrant after a hysterectomy
and post menopause! N
Dr Amy Carmichael says “Get Berry”
this month for a delicious health kick.
6. Cancer prevention
Antioxidants in berries might be allies
in the fight against cancer. In particular,
a phytonutrient called ellagic acid
gets the credit. In testtube and animal
studies, these compounds have been
demonstrated to stop the growth of
breast, colon and esophageal cancer cells.
Various studies have shown that people
who consume foods high in ellagic acid
are three times less likely to develop
cancer when compared with those who
consume very little or no ellagic acid. The
American I nstitute for Cancer highlights
that berries also contain several other
anti-cancer nutrients such as Vitamin C,
Vitamin A, Folate and Flavonoids.
Pick – Cancer-fighting ellagic acid
appears in high amounts in strawberries,
raspberries and blackberries.
The natural pigment of ruby red
strawberries is called carotenoids. Several
studies have shown that carotenoids
can protect against bone loss. Eighty
percent of people in the U.S . with
osteoporosis are women, putting them at
risk of osteoporosis and broken bones.
Strawberries are rich in Vitamin C and
E. So let’s think smart about preventing
So can you know see why berries
are called super foods?
So how much should we eat?
We all know we should be eating 5
a day of fruit and vegetables so why
not make one of them berries! Studies
have shown benefits with three or more
servings a week.
Does it matter fresh or frozen?
Unfortunately today’s lifestyle does
not allow everybody to pick his or her
own fresh berries. However, nutrients
like Vitamin C are maintained even
How can I get enough berries into
Don’t be afraid to be creative. Enjoy
• Start the day with berries in your
yogurt, oats or smoothie.
• Snack on them just as they are washed
and fresh with some almonds
• Lunch - make a salad dressing
• Grilled fish on a bed of strawberry
• Dessert – Blackberry popsicles
So DO NOT leave the aisle without these
itty bitty fruits in your shopping trolley.
Versatile and sweet, and a powerful
weapon in prevention that your kids will
love to gobble up!
Dr Carmichael is a medical doctor who
sees the value of good nutrition. Find her at
Read how Natural Therapies can help in
the full story on our website this month -
Sydney-based Lyn Craven is a practitioner
of naturopathy, nutrition, medical herbalism,
Bowen therapy, Reiki energy healing,
meditation, and is a corporate health
presenter / consultant with 18 years
experience in natural therapies.
2. Reduce cognitive decline
As we get older and live longer we are
seeing increasing numbers of people with
degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.
Through ageing, the neural connections
and pathways become weaker and
we start to notice problems with our
memory. Encouraging news is that
the neuronal communication can be
enhanced via phytonutrients. Blueberries
in particular owe their jewel tone colour
to a phytonutirent called anthocyanin. A
study of 16,010 women over 70 showed a
postponement in cognitive decline by two
and a half years in those with the highest
berry intake. One serving of blueberries
a week may be enough to slow the
progression of age related degenerative
disease by improving memory, learning
and motor skills.
Pick – Blueberries
3. Prevent and manage diabetes
Do you have a sweet tooth? Or are
you diabetic? Well, these sensational
fruits are not only sweet but are also
low on the glycemic index scale. Fresh
blueberries, blackberries, strawberries
and raspberries all have scores below
40, so they gradually raise blood sugar
rather than spiking. Not diabetic?
Well, let’s keep it that way. In the
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
side effects – they interfere with your
own natural hormonal system. The
body’s metabolic system, particularly the
liver, must deal with assimilating and
metabolising unnatural hormones.
The FDA approved this type of
hormone therapy for hot flushes, night
sweats, vaginal dryness and preventing
osteoporosis. However, bone loss
resumes when you cease the therapy.
Some women may use what are
marketed as progesterone creams. Most
are not 100% natural, and targeting only
one hormonal activity is not the correct
way. Particular actives are removed from
certain plants that mimic the hormone
receptors. This is leaning a little towards
the pharmaceutical approach, which
uses only the most potent actives and not
the plant as a whole. This can create an
imbalance in the hormonal system. There
is no such thing as a hormonal plant!
When creating bio identical
hormones you are reliant on the expertise
of the pharmacist who creates the
remedy in line with your test results. Any
discrepancy here and you will experience
side effects. I would place bio identical
hormones close to pharmaceutical
synthetic hormones. In contrast, natural
formulas help improve and maintain
hormone levels which are best derived
from the whole plant remedies using
liquid herbs or homoeopathics.
It’s a personal choice, but there are
too many side effects with HRT, just as
there are with the contraceptive pill.
Good strong bones require a balanced
mineral level in your body. You may
have the best diet in the world but if
your digestive system fails you and does
not absorb nutrients efficiently you can’t
expect to have a good mineral profile.
The parathyroid glands are responsible
for maintaining a good mineral/calcium
level and if they are under or over
functioning this needs to be addressed.
The parathyroid glands are smaller glands
that sit very close to your thyroid gland. If
the thyroid gland is under or over active,
this can affect your entire metabolism.
Stress is often a main contributor
to hormonal issues. Taking calcium
supplements is not necessarily the
answer. Often, too many calcium
formulas interfere with correct
calcium levels so magnesium is the
mineral of choice in such instances.
It is far better to seek professional
advice on this.
f you were offered a pill that
helped you prevent disease, feel
full, improve memory and it tasted
delicious you would take it, right?
You will not need a spoonful of sugar
to help this medicine go down. Just
pop into your local grocery store and
pick up these vibrant, sweet berries. No
It’s no secret that berries are
healthy, but do you know why? Well
these summer favourites are actually a
superfruit. What makes berries so special
is their high levels of antioxidants.
Antioxidants prevent oxidative stress,
which leads to cell damage. Thus a diet
high in antioxidants has a role in disease
prevention and premature ageing.
So are they in your fridge? Here are
seven great reasons why they should be.
1. Weight control
With obesity numbers rising we need to
seriously look at what we eat. Research
has shown that people who consume
more antioxidants weigh less, even when
they don’t eat fewer calories. So berries
could be an integral part of a healthy
diet. Secondly these fruits are high in
fibre (pectin), which promotes a feeling
of fullness. Seconds anyone? No thanks.
Use berries to keep those pounds off and
Pick – Strawberries (a cup = 50 calories,
7 grams of sugar, 3 grams of fibre)
post hysterectomy since many of
the distressing symptoms women
experience after this surgery
(especially if the ovaries are removed)
equates to a natural post menopause
stage or worse.
Some women may experience very
early menopause in their twenties and
thirties but this does not occur often.
The usual time frame is mid forties to
late fifties with a few reaching their
early sixties before they are considered
to be post menopause. If you have gone
over 12 months with no period you are
“officially” in a post menopause state.
Women who undergo hysterectomy,
especially where the uterus, ovaries and
tubes are all removed, often experience
flushing and other physical and
emotional symptoms regardless of their
age. However, exceptions here might be
when a woman has continually supported
her body with the correct natural
remedies, a healthy fresh food diet, daily
exercise, 7-8 hours undisturbed sleep a
night and stress management through
meditation, yoga or tai chi.
Some doctors dispute that natural
remedies can make a difference here. I
know they do, by witnessing patients and
also from personal experience since I had
no symptoms whatsoever!
Waiting till the symptoms manifest is
really letting your body down. You need
to support the physiological changes your
body experiences over time. This is more
apparent in women than in men who go
through andropause or male menopause,
as a woman’s hormonal fluctuation is
more difficult to balance.
Recovery from hysterectomy
If you keep fit, eat healthily and support
your body with appropriate herbs,
homoeopathics, and balanced mineral
intake, you should bounce back straight
away. It’s women who do not have a
healthy lifestyle, are overweight, have
endocrine imbalance, smoke or drink
alcohol excessively or are depleted in key
minerals who are more likely to struggle
with recovery and gain more weight.
HRT was – and probably still is –
prescribed to many women on reaching
menopause to prevent bone loss and
osteoporosis. However, research has
indicated this is not a valid reason.
This came about around 2002 when
the Women’s Health Initiative revealed
research indicating that synthetic
oestrogen and progesterone actually
brought about higher risks of heart
attack, stroke and breast cancer. No
synthetic hormones are safe and without
‘One serving of blueberries a
week may be enough to slow
the progression of age related
degenerative disease by
improving memory, learning
and motor skills.’
‘If you have gone over 12 months
with no period you are “officially”
in a post menopause state.’
‘No synthetic hormones are safe
and without side effects – they
interfere with your own natural
‘Exercise will help you stay more
youthful since the entire body is
Good Health After Menopause
A balanced hormonal system is crucial to health and wellness
after menopause, says Naturopath Lyn Craven.
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