Sufferers of acid reflux often experience heartburn after eating. This may be due to a weakness in the ring of sphincter muscle that separates the oesophagus from the stomach. This sphincter muscle should relax to let food through but contract again to keep food in the stomach. It can also be due to a hiatal hernia between the stomach and oesophagus.
Cholecystokinin – Excessive consumption of egg yolks, alcohol and coffee, all increase production of the hormone cholecystokinin. This hormone over relaxes the sphincter muscle between the oesophagus and the stomach, allowing gastric juices to enter the oesophagus where they can cause irritation and damage.
Plant-based diets – Cholecystokinin is also increased by meat consumption. This explains why plant-based diets are good for preventing reflux, and those eating meat have been found to have twice as much reflux. Persistent reflux can increase the risk for cancer of the oesophagus.
Foods such as eggs, meat, spicy foods, tomatoes, vinegar, citrus, saturated fats, mint and bananas can increase the chance of reflux in some people.
Antioxidant-rich foods – People eating the most antioxidant-rich foods have half the odds of oesophageal cancer. Interestingly there is practically no reduction in risk among those people who used antioxidant vitamin supplements, such as vitamin C or E pills.
Protect the Oesophagus – The most protective foods for the oesophagus are red-orange vegetables, dark green leafy vegetables, berries, and apples.
As we get older it gets harder to remember things. Even the sharpest of minds can start to experience cognitive decline. However, there are many dietary modifications that you can adopt that have been shown to improve the brain function.
- Consumption of blueberries and strawberries has been shown to reduce brain ageing by up to 2.5 years.
- The herb rosemary, when used in cooking, has been shown to improve memory and enhance the processing speed of the brain.
- Just one week on a plant-based diet can significantly drop blood levels of homocysteine. Homocysteine is a toxin associated with cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease.
- Dehydration causes brain shrinkage and may not only play a role in cognitive impairment, but also in levels of energy, alertness, and happiness. So try and drink up to 2.5 litres of water per day!
- Nitrate rich vegetables such as rocket, beetroot and rhubarb increase blood flow to the brain and can increase cognitive function by optimising oxygen delivery.
- Reducing glycotoxin intake can prevent brain shrinkage and cognitive decline. Glycotixins are present in foods such as chicken, pork, beef and fish, but can also accumulate if you are a smoker. They act on the brain to suppress an enzyme involved with the removal of plaques and tangles in your DNA. Over time these can accumulate in the brain and contribute to Alzheimer’s disease.
Actually no. Coffee is fantastic! 2-5 cups per day can help you in many ways:
- Coffee is high in antioxidants. Antioxidants help boost the immune system, improve the arterial function and help the stress response.
- Coffee boosts exercise performance. In endurance events, you can go for longer at a higher intensity before getting tired if you drink coffee prior to competing ion an event.
- Drinking coffee before lifting weights, will enable you to lift more and experience less muscle soreness after.
- Coffee is also great for the liver. You can cut your risk for liver disease in half by drinking two to five cups of unsweetened coffee per day.
Please note that is important to stop drinking coffee by 2pm to ensure that it does not disrupt the body’s natural rhythm and sleep patterns.
Performing strenuous exercise (tennis, squash, lifting weights, spinning etc) causes small tears and micro damage to your muscles. Over the subsequent hours and days your body works to repair this damage. The repair process results in your muscles becoming stronger.
This repair process can be accompanied by muscle soreness. Here are three dietary suggestions for you to try that will assist in your recovery and reduce any soreness in the muscles:
- Protein and amino acids are required to give the body the building blocks it needs to start the repair process. Within 15 minutes of finishing any strenuous exercise, try and enjoy a protein shake or a protein bar.
- Muscle soreness (inflammation) can be reduced by adding good quality anti-inflammatory foods to your diet. These include:
- omega 3 oils
- Reducing the risk of tissue damage during strenuous exercise can be achieved by increasing your intake of the following:
- dark chocolate