Understanding Foods That Heal and Prevent Disease



Following my last workshop I thought it may be of value to all to share my learning’s and research on this topic….

Alkaline Foods V’s Hybrid Foods

Alkaline - The simplest way to understand this is that alkaline foods are wholefoods, fruits and vegetables that have existed from the beginning of time. These food sources are ‘natural’ in the true meaning of the word and are not cross breeds, nor genetically modified, therefore having had no intervention from man in its survival.

Hybrid – A hybrid food seems obvious after understanding what an alkaline food is, in as that it is a cross-breed i.e. their seeds have been cross-bred at some point of its life and therefore produce a cross bred, what I call an alternative food source, as this has had man’s intervention for its existence to survive on this earth.

It is important to note, these hybrids contain less minerals than alkaline foods and cause the body to become acidic. The body has a natural pH balance of 7. To keep the body in balance we need to consume more alkaline foods as too much acidity can cause us to become prone to illnesses.

Another thing to understand about hybrid foods are, due to the acidic build up caused by hybrid foods there are is also starch contained in these foods; therefore a build-up of acid and starch can cause us to become vulnerable leaving us open to any disease under the sun.

Nourishing the Body With Minerals

There are 4 main sources of minerals:

  • Calcium

  • Magnesium

  • Sodium

  • Potassium

Mineral water, an underrated source of minerals, generally consumed to rehydrate the body, it contains more calcium four times more calcium and magnesium (good for bone health) than regular tap water!

One study found that people whose drinking was low in magnesium were able to lower their blood pressure drinking 1 litre of mineral water daily. Mineral water is good for maintaining electrolyte balance; electrolytes are salts (bicarbonate, chloride, potassium and sodium).

You may have an electrolyte imbalance when experiencing vomiting, we become dehydrated, therefore we need we need to replenish electrolyte loss. Mineral water breaks down waste materials in the body as well as cleanses the body of toxins.

It can relieve pains and aches associated with rheumatism and arthritis reducing inflammation and swelling of the muscles and joints. Apparently, when you don’t drink enough water, this can cause your muscles to shrink, which causes joints to rub together more. It’s important to point out that pregnant women and people prone to high blood pressure should consume low sodium mineral water.

“The human body also has its emergency calls for water. These are localised emergency calls. We call these heartburn, rheumatoid joint pain, back pain, migraine headaches, colitis pain, fibromyalgiac pain, even angina pain — signs of dehydration in the body. — from Joint pain, back pain, arthritis cause by chronic dehydration, says doctor Pain may be a warning of localised thirst; that is, the pain signal may be a warning of dehydration in that specific area (a regional thirst), for example low back pain, migraine headache, joint pain, and angina. Chronic dehydration may contribute to a reduction in lymph flow, which in turn may contribute to or cause varied problems”. — from Diagnose Me: Condition: Dehydration.

Sea Moss, otherwise known as Irish moss has become available on the international market. This may be due to the fact that people are now aware of its health-related benefits. It contains minerals, iodine, calcium and other nutrients that are good for the body…

A little history, Every year from 1845 to 1851 a deadly blight attacked Ireland’s potato crop, causing severe famine. Little did they realise out of desperation consuming the sea moss saved lives due to the minerals in the sea moss!

Sea moss is a source of potassium chloride, a nutrient which helps to dissolve catarrhs (inflammation and phlegm in the mucous membranes), which cause congestion. It also contains compounds which act as natural antimicrobial and antiviral agents, helping to get rid of any infections.

Bladderwrack, is a form of kelp that has been used medicinally for centuries. The main use of the herb has been for the stimulation of the thyroid gland as a treatment for obesity and cellulite. The high iodine content of the herb stimulates thyroid function which boost metabolism.

A deficiency of iodine can have serious effects on the body. Deficiency symptoms include frustration, depression mental retardation, poor perception levels, goitre (a swelling of the neck resulting from enlargement of the thyroid gland, abnormal weight gain, decreased fertility, coarse skin, chances of still birth, constipation, fatigue, in severe cases mental retardation associated with cretinism characterised by serious physical malformations. According to WHO reports – The World Health Organisation, iodine deficiency is one of the leading causes of mental retardations all over the world.

Sea Salt and Himalayan Pink Salt

Both salts contain some trace minerals, however to produce sea salt you have to evaporate off the water, in the process the iodine is lost, but sea salt contains traces of minerals like magnesium, calcium, potassium, iron, and zinc. Himalayan salt contains amounts of iron oxide (crust), which gives it a pink colour. It contains small amounts of calcium, iron, potassium and magnesium. Both salts contain slightly lower amounts of sodium than regular salt.

Iodine Sources, important sources of iodine are present in marine plants, including (seaweed) kelp which can absorb iodine from the sea water. Dulse and seaweed also contains dietary iodine. Swiss chard, summer squash, sesame seeds, turnip greens and spinach are rich in iodine.

Increase Energy and Speed up Metabolism

As we know foods can boost energy. We will look at those foods that burn calories more effectively further on. Carbs are an energy in diets, however the type of carbs needed for real energy are complex carbs found in fruits and vegetables.

Highly processed foods and starches such as white rice, white flour, refined sugars like white granulated sugar, glucose syrup, fructose and corn syrup are fake energy, what we need are the body’s preferred source of fuel, plus these foods raise the level of the feel good chemical sensation.

The key is to avoid sweets and non complex carbs which causes the blood to spike and plummet, making you feel tired and moody. Pick whole grains like kumut, spelt, quinoa, buckwheat, wild rice, amaranth, teff and rye. Your body absorbs whole grains more slowly keeping your blood sugar and energy levels more stable.

Hemp seeds, sesame seeds, walnuts, Brazil nuts and pine nuts are rich in protein and magnesium a mineral that plays a key role in converting sugar into energy. Being low on magnesium can drain your energy.

When we eat the right foods for physical energy, we should seek to increase our mental energy and focus. Folate is a nutrient that may lower the risk of depression, folate is found in leafy green vegetables, alfalfa sprouts, peas, lentils, ancient grains, brazil nuts, pine nuts, walnuts and citrus fruits.

Fibre keeps your energy throughout the day - many people do not get enough fibre, you can fix that by eating more whole fruits, vegetables, beans (not canned), and whole grains. Drinking mineral water (pH 7) to keep hydrated can help you avoid getting tired. Some studies suggest even mild dehydration can slow you metabolism and sap your energy. Another way to stay hydrated is to eat fresh fruits and vegetables which are naturally full of water, plus pasta (such as spelt/buckwheat/kumut pasta) and ancient grain porridge which soak up the cooking water.

Another energy booster is cacao which is high in antioxidants and steps up the body’s metabolism, it boost your energy giving more focus mentally and increased energy – it does not give you a crash like caffeine, not is it the same as coco which is a processed form of cacao having been roasted at high temperate changing the molecular structure of the coco bean reducing the enzyme content and lowering the overall nutritional value.

Let’s now look at foods that speed up the metabolism such as coconut, demonised in the past as a bad fat is now praised for its vast benefits including its fatty acids for the body’s needs and in addition aids weight loss.

Coconut contains medium chain fatty acids that boosts metabolism – 1 to 2 tablespoons of coconut a day increases energy expenditure by 5% totalling 120 calories per day! Other foods that boos your metabolism are apple cider vinegar, berries, whole grains, plant based diet, fibre found in fruits and vegetables, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, seaweed, spinach, watermelon and water.

Another important factor is exercise being at least a half hour walk daily, introduce something else you enjoy like dancing, swimming, running or gardening – perhaps volunteer or join a class, there are always ways to be more active, but do what you enjoy to maintain motivation.

Detoxify Effectively and Repair Damaged Cells

Firstly let me just mention the worst offenders of cell damage are glucose and free radicals. Free radicals can cause damage to the cells, substances such as fried foods, alcohol, tobacco, smoke, pesticides, air pollution, and many more. Both glucose and free radicals can damage the proteins, fats, and DNA that make up your cells. When you are young your body is able to repair most of this damage. But, as soon as you get older, the repair process is less efficient.

So, how do we begin to repair the damaged cells you may ask? The answer is ‘DETOX’. I am not talking about the fad detox diets or teas we are bombarded with, I am going to tell you how to detox effectively with natures herbs and minerals, this you can understand for yourself and put into practice, however if you are taking any prescribed medications seek medical advice first! In order to detox effectively you start with the blood.

Herbs that purify the blood are Blue Vervain, Red Clover and Yellow Dock Root. Burdock Root is also a blood purifier and traditionally known to clear the bloodstream of toxins and found to detoxify heavy metals from the blood, improving organ health and the health of the whole body, including the promotion of blood circulation to the skin surface which improves skin health.

Toxicity causes stress to our liver including alcohol, remember I mentioned free radicals? Tobacco, alcohol, pesticides, air pollution, etc. well, dandelion roots aids in the purification of the liver, supporting better function. Another detox herb is Sarsaparilla, a plant, however the root is used to make medicine and is used for treating psoriasis and other skin diseases, rheumatoid arthritis and kidney diseases, for increasing urination to release fluid retention increasing sweating, again to reduce fluid retention whilst expelling toxins.

Milk Thistle, another common name is Scottish Thistle also known to protect the liver from toxins including the effects of alcohol; it contains a powerful antioxidant that is crucial liver detoxification. Milk Thistle also may help to regenerate liver cells.

So how does all this work when doing your own detox? Well, it is essential to have a clean diet, no point in consuming toxins from bad foods and abusing your body with chemically treated foods, alcohol, etc., I recommend organic fresh produce, organic nuts, seeds, fruit and veg to avoid as much pesticides as possible, and enrich your body with nutrient dense foods grown in mineral dense soil.

Once you understand what your body needs to benefit from a clean diet begin cleansing the blood with Blue Vervain, Red Clover, Yellow Dock Root and Burdock Root, then depending on what you need to treat; for e.g. arthritis, skin problems and kidney disease. For water retention that would be Sarsaparilla, Milk Thistle for liver protection and detoxification. Once you are clear with a plan to detox, include Irish Sea Moss and Bladderwrack for your iodine and establish essential minerals. The body is composed of 102 minerals, sea moss has 92, bladderwrack exceeds the mineral composition of sea moss and contains that all important vitamin B1, which I would like to add is found in avocado, sesame seeds, squash and hemp seeds.

Increase your ability to lose weight

Everyone knows that maintaining a healthy weight is an important key in living a long, healthy life. There are so many diseases and illnesses that are tied to being overweight, it just makes sense to do what you can to reduce your risk of falling victim to them.

However, losing weight "at any cost" should never be your main focus because it can actually make you more susceptible to disease. The end does not always justify the means.

For example, embarking on unhealthy fad diets, taking dangerous supplements or starving yourself can backfire and have serious consequences.

It's important to maintain a healthy weight, but NOT if it means you'll be malnourished and sickly! Rather than making weight loss your only goal, you may want to look beyond the numbers on the scale and adopt lifestyle habits that not only help you lose weight but also boost your mood, improve your energy, and contribute to vibrant health. Why?

Because while being thin has its benefits, the benefits are much greater if you also feel good, have plenty of energy, and enjoy a positive, upbeat mood.

Down below is a list of some of the most effective tips for boosting your mood, improving your energy AND helping you lose weight at the same time.

You’ll find that most of them are so simple and easy that they can be incorporated into your daily routine without a hitch. Others may take a little more effort, but are well worth it!

Baby-Stepping to Better Health

Even though these tips are easy to incorporate into your daily life, don’t feel like you have to take on all of them at once. In fact, some of them may not apply to you at all, so you’ll skip those.

Others will definitely speak to you, and those can be adopted in stages. Try incorporating one new tip each week, or even two tips a week. Most of them are quick and easy so you won’t feel overwhelmed.

Listen to your body

Most importantly, pay attention to how each action makes you FEEL. Your own body’s feedback will be your greatest guide as you lose weight and improve your health. If something makes you feel more energetic, happier, stronger, and slimmer, it’s a good bet that it’s beneficial for you. Your body will let you know if each technique works for you or not.

Drink water with lime all day

Being fully hydrated provides energy and clarity, and the limes provide vitamin C, electrolytes, and antioxidants (Key limes are best for alkalinity!).

Go nuts

Nuts and seeds make excellent snacks because they contain good-for-you fats and nutrients, and are very satisfying. You only need a small portion (1 ounce) to satisfy.

Eliminate sugar and simple carbs.

Simple carbohydrates create chaos with your blood glucose levels, which affects your mood, your energy level, and your ability to lose weight. Rather than eating sugar, opt for healthier sweets like fresh fruit, and agave which is lower on the glycaemic index than refined sugars. After a few days without sugar, you’ll notice that you feel stronger, clearer, and more energetic, not to mention losing weight easily.

Eat your vegetables

Vegetables contain many important nutrients for energy and well-being, and if you eat plenty of vegetables each day you will be fuelling your body with potassium, protein, iron, vitamin C, vitamin A, and fibre to keep your digestive system in top shape (Eat raw organic when possible – try spiralised butternut squash with non-dairy alfresco sauce or taste how good courgettes are as a spaghetti or used in dips).

All of these nutrients promote a sense of well-being, happiness, and energy, and they help you lose weight because vegetables are so low in calories that you can eat a LOT of them without exceeding your caloric limits for the day.

Enjoy some green tea

Green tea is loaded with antioxidants and has thermogenic properties that are believed to help boost your metabolism. If caffeine is a problem for you, don’t worry – green tea comes in decaf!

Stay active

Something as simple as taking short, brisk walks throughout the day is a great way to keep your energy levels high, boost your mood, and shed pounds. One of the common arguments people give for not exercising is that they don’t have time – well, anyone can squeeze in a few short 10-minute walks each day! If you can’t go for an actual walk outside, march in one spot while pumping your arms back and forth, and you’ll burn nearly as many calories.

Eat whole grains

Whole grains are a great source of magnesium, and being deficient in magnesium is a common cause of fatigue. When you feel tired and sluggish, you’re less motivated to exercise and take good care of yourself.

Avoid caffeine

It’s so easy to reach for another cup of coffee, tea, fizzy drink, or an energy drink when you’re feeling sluggish, but doing so can severely interfere with your weight loss goals. Caffeine increases your body’s production of insulin, which promotes the storage of more fat. If you think you can’t survive without caffeine, try substituting with maca which gives a "smooth" energy boost as opposed to the “shaky” caffeine jolt. You may discover that you actually feel better without all that coffee!

Fight fat with fat

Did you know that some fats actually help you burn more fat? Coconut oil is one, if not THE best! It speeds up the metabolism therefore aids weight loss despite being demonised in the past you will find this in every wholefoods store across the country.

Olive oil is another good fat, just drizzle a few teaspoons over salads, cooked vegetables, and grains like wild rice. Olive oil also helps to reduce “bad” cholesterol (LDL) and elevates “good” cholesterol (HDL), contains beneficial antioxidants, and has many other health benefits. Best of all like coconut oil, they help to reduce your appetite by making you feel satisfied for longer so you eat less overall.

Make nightly sleep a priority

Beyond short naps, make it a priority to get a full night’s sleep each night. It’s easy to skimp on sleep when other things seem more important, but your energy level, mood, health, and weight all depend on you being well-rested.

Get some sun

Sunlight helps promote vitamin D production, and vitamin D helps promote weight loss. Being deficient in vitamin D contributes to all kinds of health problems, including depression, heart disease, and diabetes. Don’t worry, you don’t have to spend too much time in the sun – as little as 30 minutes twice a week is enough for adequate vitamin D production.

Avoid alcohol

Alcohol is a depressant that slows down your nervous system and makes you feel sluggish and tired. You may think that’s a good thing when you feel keyed up from a long, stressful day, but it doesn't help you actually relieve stress – just distracts you from it for a short time. Worse, alcohol consumption can interfere with normal sleep cycles so you feel tired the next day. Alcohol also dehydrates you which further contribute to feelings of sluggishness.

Eat real food

One major contributor to poor health and excess fat is the popularity of “fake foods” today. More than ever before, we are eating vast quantities of fast food, processed food, pre-packaged food, and convenience food, and all of the chemicals and additives this food contains have a detrimental effect on our bodies.

Take responsibility for your results

Be willing to take full responsibility for your weight loss results. While you may face obstacles and challenges that are out of your control, you still always have choices. Excuses are for people who plan to fail! Being willing to be responsible for your own results no matter the challenges you face empowers and strengthens you and makes it much more likely that you’ll achieve your goals with ease.

Educate Yourself

The tips provided are just the tip of the iceberg – there is much more to learn about how food affects your mood, your energy levels, and your weight.

Educate yourself about which foods are truly beneficial, and which will work against your goals to have more energy, a better mood, and a fit and healthy body.


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