Balanced nutritional habits - the result of many decisions
by Claudia Schubert, Germany
Many people feel a desire to change their nutritional habits on a long-term
basis, either to reduce weight, to alleviate certain symptoms of disease or
simply for better well being throughout. One aspect of the Well Being Science’s
work in Germany is testing for tolerance to different foods. Whilst this testing
is a very individual thing with no general rules for eating well, we want to
present some general insights that have arisen out of our researches and studies.
Reviewing eating habits
What and how we eat is ingrained in us by habit. The how is very important for
we can eat quickly whilst standing or settled at a nicely laid table. We appreciate
that eating in a settled way allows for better digestion. Eating in haste without
slowing down or within a hectic environment can result in all kinds of side
effects, and it is advisable to review some of the less fortunate habits we
may have taken on in how we eat and work to change them. If you discover things
you want to change, make a decision about them, plan when, where and with whom
you want to eat, and begin to establish new habits over time.
Do you drink enough water?
Water is an essential item in the care of our bodies. When it is short it is
visible in the appearance of dry skin and in the mucous membranes and lips.
Our inner organs, especially those that deal with detoxification and waste products,
the liver, intestines and kidneys, need a lot of water to function properly.
It is often said that two litres a day is a good guideline to follow. So a person
may drink three cups of tea, two cups of coffee, two glasses of lemonade, and
a bottle of beer in the evening, and will think that is suitable. There is now
evidence, however, that to metabolise beverages that contain caffeine, sugar
or alcohol requires more water than are consumed within these drinks. Therefore
drinks containing a lot of caffeine, as an example, can end up dehydrating the
Scientific researches are now suggesting that for one cup of tea you need about
double the amount of water for your liver to detoxify it and send it safely
to your kidneys. Semi-luxury foods like tea, coffee, beer, wine and brandy can
dehydrate us, and sweet drinks and foods, such as lemonade, sweetened juices,
dried fruits or ice-cream can make the body cry out for more water, because
they are too concentrated.
To get used to a healthy water drinking routine, place a number of glasses
filled with water on your table in front of you and drink them all within a
certain amount of time. The water can be warm, possibly with a refreshing dash
of lemon juice, and preferably without bubbles. Your body will be very happy
about this new habit, because water is a natural cleansing solution that flushes
through all our parts, acts like a buffer and even strengthens our nerves. How
about trying it out?
Grains, yeast …
It is generally recognised these days that white flour does not have a high
nutrition value. Less well known is the fact that most grains, like wheat, rye,
oats and barley, contain the protein gluten, and people’s tolerance to
this varies. Where there is a high intolerance, this can lead to coeliac or
abdominal disease, causing diarrhoea and symptoms of vitamin deficiency, until
the gluten intolerance gets discovered. This extreme reaction is rare and more
often there is a mild form of allergy, which does not show up in obvious symptoms
such as rashes, but in a general sense of lethargy and heaviness of body and
dullness of mind.
Another aspect of eating bread, pastry and drinking beer or fermented drinks
is the growth of yeast. The consumption of many products containing yeast and
sugar can alter the balance of the intestinal flora to the advantage of yeast,
of which candida albicans is the most well known. Added to this, if antibiotics
have been taken, then the balance is thrown off completely, which often shows
up in bloating and itching, and in alternation between diarrhoea and constipation,
and related infections of the skin and nails.
Cow milk, fats and meat
There are a growing number of people whose systems react intolerantly to cow’s
milk and its products. They may, as an example, feel that cheese lies heavily
in the stomach, in which case it is a good idea to use sheep or goats’
Butter is not easily digested, and most margarine brands container chemically
treated fats, which are a strain for the body.
Eating meat is a personal decision. Certainly our digestive system can handle
it, but the type of meat and the amount we can eat varies from individual to
individual. Our test results show that most people tolerate pork better than
beef, that lamb and wild game are even better, but best of all is poultry and
fish. On average we eat far too little fish, with its precious fatty acids.
People whose nerves are under strain and who suffer from fatigue or whose skin
is bad, would do well to eat fish at least twice a week. Alternatively a good
fish oil capsules can be taken.
Fruits and vegetables
Fresh or deep frozen fruits and vegetables are an important source of vitamins
and are generally well tolerated - apart from citrus fruits, strawberries and
melons. People who have inflammatory diseases should be careful with eating
anything from the nightshade family, which includes peppers, chilli, eggplants
and regrettably potatoes and tomatoes.
Discovering one’s tolerances
It takes time to discover which foods one cannot tolerate, which often turn
out to be that favourite food you are almost addicted to or something that you
eat a great deal. If you are suspicious of a particular food, simply try to
cut it out for a period of four weeks. Give your body a holiday from it and
observe how you are doing. If possible, perhaps finds a replacement for that
particular food, and see if you feel any real improvement without it. If not
sure and you decide to eat it again, try it once, then observe for two days
what effect it has. If there are no problems, try it again, and take time to
listen to your body as to how much and how often you can eat this food without
it decreasing your well being.
To change habits requires awareness, good reasoning and clear goals. Maybe
you have found here some encouragement to try.
• F. Batmanghelidij, Your
body's many cries for water, 1992, 1995, Global Health Solutions, Inc.,
Falls Church, ISBN 0-9629942-3-5
• James Braly, Dr.
Braly's Food Allergy & Nutrition Revolution, 1992, Keats Publishing,
Inc., Connecticut, USA, Chapter: The Allergy Epidemic
• Healing - it’s inside the value and purposes of life and living
that the healing lives. Article in Topaz nummer