Spring is definitely here in Brisbane. The weather is warming up and there is a renewed sense of optimism in the air. Nature is flowing and growing in its season of new life and renewed vitality after the hibernation and nurturing foundation of winter.
We can flow and grow in alignment with the Natural World too.
Clearing out the clutter of our cupboards, wardrobes and bodies is naturally felt at this time. Gentle cleansing of the body is as simple as
1. Drinking plenty of water – 6-8 glasses per day rehydrates skin and tissues, improves digestion and renews the 80% water content of our bodies
2. Spending time walking or gardening is a gentle and enjoyable form of exercise. The weather is inspirational for all forms of exercise and moving the body is an excellent detoxifier.
As we move the lymphatic fluids of the body are mechanically dispersed through their system and nutrients are delivered to cells and tissues whilst any wastes are simultaneously removed.
3. Taking time to ‘smell the Roses’.
Appreciating the beautiful displays of nature, whether in flower blooms, foliage, butterflies birds or the changing colours of the sky is actually a form of meditation included in the Indian Vedas within the practise of Yoga which is essentially Union of the Self with the whole universe. The universe is vast yet nature and the earth we stand on is a vital and part of the whole. As are we.
Speaking of vitality and nature….
4. Is swapping commercially, over processed, convenience and comfort foods for nutritious whole foods and is a simple choice with the availability of fruits and vegetables at this time of year.
Adding some summer vegetables, herbs and fruits to the hearty winter menu helps by keeping up the sustaining warm meal staples during the still chilly mornings and evenings whilst bringing in the new fresh salads and seasonings of spring.
Fresh summer greens are plentiful and full of valuable vitamins and minerals.
Cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce, capsicum, parsley, spring onion and coriander are a gorgeous lunchtime salad waiting to happen. With the addition of nuts and seeds, quinoa, burghal, olive, avocado or walnut oil, apple cider vinegar, seasoning and perhaps olives and fetta, it becomes a balanced meal with carbohydrates, protein, fibre and the small amount of healthy fats that your body needs.
The nutritional value of these humble vegetables is quite impressive.
Cucumber is one of the best vegetable sources of Vitamin E which is needed as an antioxidant and for the cardiovascular system and muscle efficiency. It also contains Vitamin A, silicon, Vitamin A and natural Iodine for bright hair, skin and nails as well as sulphur and chloride which are utilized in liver detoxification pathways. (1)
Tomatoes contain Vitamin A and C which are both essential for immunity and healthy skin, sulphur and chloride for liver detoxification, potassium and sodium for heart health, phosphorus for nervous system repair, silicon (1) and lycopene. Lycopene is a carotenoid type of phytochemical (plant ingredient) and is a brilliant antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. As an interesting salad bonus, the vitamin E in cucumber enhances the effect of lycopene in the tomatoes. (2)
Lettuce is high in silicon, a mineral which ensures calcium does its job in the body as well as aiding the removal of wastes from joints and tissues. Surprisingly, lettuce is also high in Iron another very important mineral. Vitamins E and C as well as copper, chlorophyl and biotin are also present. Chlorophyl is a blood tonic and detoxifier whilst biotin is essential for metabolism of fats and promotes relaxation. (1)
Capsicum is a Vitamin C powerhouse and contains complementary bioflavonoids that assist Vitamin C absorption and promote healthy structure and functioning of the blood vessels in arteries, veins and capillaries. (1)
Parsley is easy to grow and full of potassium. Parsley promotes removal of wastes from the kidneys and maintain the proper pH balance of the body. It also contains calcium, magnesium, iron, copper, manganese, Vitamin A, C and B group Vitamins B1, B2 and B3. (1)
Onions have natural antiseptic oils that are beneficial to cardiovascular health and contain iron, calcium, magnesium, silicon the antioxidant Vitamin E and liver cleansing sulphur and phosphorous with small (trace) amounts of nickel. (1)
These fruits, vegetables and herbs are considered cooling in nature and are therefore appropriate to eat during the warm middle of the day in spring and into the hot days of summer. (3)
Using these simple spring cleaning tips helps your body eliminate accumulated wastes and harmonise with the weather and cycles of nature. Drinking plenty of water and moving your body get the circulation going and finding an appreciation for the beauty of nature and the amazing benefits of everyday whole foods is good for your mind, body and spirit.
As a Naturopath I assist people in assessing and adjusting their diet, supporting healthy lifestyle habits and treating dis-ease with natural herbs, nutrients and medicinal foods.
Spring Clean your daily food intake (diet) with a thorough analysis of your nutritional status, your bodies needs and find the best foods as medicine that you love and are easily added included in your meals and snacks.
Shairin at Namaste Naturopathy is honoured, qualified and very happy to help.
(1) Koch, M. (1984). Laugh with Health. The complete illustrated guide to health, diet, nutrition, natural foods and recipe preparation. Bairnsdale: Renaissance & New Age Creations
(2) Osiecki, H. (2010). The Nutrient Bible [9th Ed.]. Eagle Farm: Bio Concepts Publishing
(3)Pitchford, P. (2002). Healing with wholefoods. California: North Atlantic Books
Today many of us are interested in our health and implement positive food choices, additional supplements and lifestyle adjustments to take care of ourselves. This is a fantastic thing and shows how often simple changes, that are right for you, can greatly improve health, vitality and happiness.
There is a plethora of health information available to us via friends, print media and online. Discerning fact from fiction and fad from cutting edge scientific breakthrough is a daunting task.
Consultation with a qualified Naturopath is an opportunity to review your health goals, discuss your medical conditions and symptoms and to analyse and evaluate your whole health picture.
It is an opportunity to draw on a wealth of modern health science and traditional natural medicine knowledge.
A Naturopath has the time to listen and explain and support you that Doctors and specialists often don’t.
As part of the overall health care system in Australia a Naturopath offers:
Support – by listening, hearing and encouraging you on your healthy living or journey to health for those with present symptoms or medical conditions.
Information – a thorough understanding of the human body, how it works and what it needs.
Naturopath training in Australia
Today Naturopaths study modern Health Science; human anatomy, physiology, biochemistry and pathophysiology, alongside herbalism, nutrition and Traditional Western Medicine philosophy.
Evidence based medicine (EBM), verified with clinical trials and scientific studies provide a sound foundation to safely and effectively employ natural medicines as a complement to conventional health care. Natuorpaths are required to keep up to date with medical knowledge and EBM findings.
Naturopaths provide nutritional analysis, diet plans, promote and support healthy eating and lifestyle practices that your GP would approve of.
Each Naturopath has other therapies and modalities that they train in and can offer to assist you. In my case I also provide Usui Reiki and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) for stress relief, emotional balance and relaxation. I personally avoid homeopathy and am in favour of most Immunisations. I am a fan of science and the knowledge base that it provides. Marketing misinformation and profit driven purposes are a disturbing factor in the health and wellness industry, which are mitigated by seeing qualified professionals that have your best interests and health at heart.
With a Bachelor of Health Sceince Complementary Medicine - Naturopathy and as a member of a Professional Association - the Australian Traditional Medicine Society (ATMS), I am a fully qualified Naturopath.
You can read the full outline of minimum education standards for Australian Naturopaths here: www.atms.com.au/modalities/naturopathy/
Australian Naturopaths are considered Health Professionals and are covered by the The National Code of Conduct for Health Care Workers (Queensland) which you can access here: www.health.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0014/444101/national-code-conduct-health-workers.pdf
The scientific evidence of the safety, mechanism of action and effectiveness of natural medicines available today gives a vast array of proven means to provide real health care benefits.
What does a Naturopath do?
A naturopath has the time to look at all of your body systems, past health issues, current signs symptoms and medical diagnoses to create a clear and holistic picture of your overall health.
With the inclusion of dietary analysis, iridology, blood pressure, blood glucose monitoring and urinalysis, a thorough and personalised health assessment is possible.
A unique treatment plan can then be defined for your individual needs. This treatment plan is based on a broad foundation of anatomy, biochemistry, physiology, pathology, traditional nature cure knowledge, holistic thinking and current scientific research.
Any modifications to diet, lifestyle or prescribed therapeutic products are then gradually introduced into your daily routine in a simple yet effective way.
Benefits of Naturopathy
Real fixes for everyday problems such as:
Herbs that: prevent menstrual pain, wind, indigestion, bloating, calm the nerves, assist sleep, heal and manage skin conditions.
Nutrients for increased energy, skin, mood and whole-body health.
Pain relieving herbs and nutrients.
Prevention: diagnostics pinpoint areas of weakness in the body where systems are under pressure, strain or inflammation. These areas can be addressed to provide relief and potentially prevent further issues.
Medical information about current health conditions. Learn about the disease and then you have the power to take control of your health through diet, lifestyle and natural medicines that complement your conventional medical care.
More Benefits of Consulting a Naturopath
This is perhaps the defining role of a Naturopath as GPs and Specialists often have very limited time to discuss in detail our health concerns or to explain in detail how our body is functioning and what is happening. This understanding gives a purpose for lifestyle and dietary changes or regularly taking therapeutic supplements , herbs or pharmaceutical medication and empowers us in managing our health conditions and maintaining our vitality. Thereby giving a reason for taking care of ourselves in our daily lives.
Possible discovery of underlying health conditions, allergies, sensitivities and avenues of further exploration to find undiagnosed conditions.
Naturopaths are unable to provide diagnosis yet may be able to identify areas that need to be further explored by your General Practitioner Doctor.
Referral to GPS when needed and other therapists such as counsellors, psychologists, chiropractic, massage, cranio-sacral therapy, EFT, and many other health modalities.
Access to naturopathic diagnostics such as nail and tongue analysis and Iridology as well as hair analysis and allergy testing.
Treatment for signs and symptoms of conditions that remain undiagnosed and illusive.
Simple and safe remedies for common ailments and symptoms.
Complementing medical treatment and pharmaceuticals with herbs, nutrients and therapeutics
Providing alternatives to harsh pharmaceuticals in instances when such will not put the patient in a life threatening situation or prove detrimental to long term health.
Often drugs are used first and to treat symptoms that are easily and often cheaply alleviated with natural medicines. An example of this is Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) for indigestion and heartburn or in some cases meadowsweet herb. This symptom can be due to low stomach acid which ferments and froths causing symptoms. This is alleviated by ACV and the stomach is then able to carry out its function of breaking down proteins and food particles for absorption in the small intestine. These economical and safe remedies can replace the often prescribed proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) such as Somac that affect the activity of numerous cells in the body outside of the stomach and acid production, interfering with vital processes that need not be disturbed. Proton pumps are sodium-potassium pumps embedded in the walls of cells that actively transport these ions into and out of the cell allowing correct cellular function and in some cells an energy gradient that provides the electrical impulses of nerve conduction. These pumps maintain body fluid levels, pH balance and form part of the bodies physical information communication highways. Inhibition of these for extended periods will upset the delicate homeostasis or balance of the body causing malfunction in multiple areas.
I am not anti modern medicine I simply believe that natural remedies should be used whenever possible and that herbs, nutrition, exercise, diet and lifestyle changes, and other natural therapies are very viable options.
A Naturopath views you as an individual and a whole being and aims to support you in gaining and maintaining health. Utilizing the combination of assisting the vitalism of your body, providing knowledge, treating the cause, viewing the body as a whole and doing no harm are the foundational principles of Naturopathy and allows Empowerment of individuals to retain Autonomy and enjoy health, vitality and happiness wherever possible.
In my clinic I Focus on providing professional personal Naturopathic consults with herbal medicine, food as medicine, dietary, nutritional and lifestyle support, flower essences and Usui and Tibetan Reiki energy healing treatments. Herbal formulas and nutritional supplements are ordered as and if required. I have access to practitioner only products which may be beneficial in acute situations and for managing specific conditions.
Diet and lifestyle are the health factors that we have ultimate individual control over.
It is us whom decides. We can choose consciously and profoundly transform our health.
A healthy body allows a healthy mind and in turn a healthy spirit.
vitamin and mineral Supplements, Prescriptions and practitioner only medicines - a balanced perspective
Vitamins and Minerals are found in foods and many of them we get enough of when we eat a balanced and varied diet.
They are not optional they are ESSENTIAL for Human biological function because the body cannot make them within itself. They act as structural elements, cofactors and coenzymes in many molecules and biochemical reactions.
The reason we eat is because we need these molecules to live.
A balanced and varied diet is the right amounts of Protein, Carbohydrates and Fats (the Macronutrients), Water and the Micronutrients – Vitamins and Minerals gained from eating all different kinds of foods daily.
These days we have a huge range of vitamin and mineral products that we can choose to supplement our diet with. They aren’t the same as getting nutrients from your food, they are processed products. Not meant to replace foods but as a supplement to your diet (daily food intake) when your body is not getting enough or when it needs more. That is why they often have that on the label and why some people scoff at the very notion of taking supplements.
The balanced perspective is that Vitamins and Minerals are essential to human life and deficiencies or low levels (status) reduce the body’s ability to perform biochemical functions that require those molecules. Yet consuming amounts over the scientifically determined Upper Limit (UL) causes another set of problems related to how the body uses, stores, transports and excretes the vitamin or mineral. At best your body will release the excess in urine as is the case with most water-soluble vitamins (the Bs and C) thus causing the much-emphasised expensive neon wee.
At worst overconsumption of Vitamins and Minerals can cause a severe adverse reaction and the ultimate demise of the life that one was trying to maintain the health of. [Aside: the authors avid HHGttG reader status shining through here.]
When buying yourself supplements stick to the dose on the label.
The risk of adverse reactions from vitamin and mineral supplements is deemed as low by the Therapeutic Goods Authority of Australia (TGA) [and equivalent regulatory bodies across the globe] if taken within the recommended guidelines and Authorised label instructions. This is why these products are listed as Aust L medicines or Food Products whereas pharmaceutical drugs and some over the counter medicines are Aust R (regulated because the risk of harm is greater).
Prescription and Practitioner Only Medicines
You’ll notice that prescription medicines don’t have a dose on the packet as the Doctor makes a clinical decision on the dose right for you. Similarly 'Practitioner Only Products’ prescribed by Natural Health Practitioners also don’t have a dose or instructions on the label because similarly these are required to be tailored to the individual and must have an affixed label with patient name, credentials and dosage instructions, as required by law via the Therapeutic Goods Act and overseen by the Therapeutic Goods Authority.
When they say Always read the Label and Follow Directions they are not kidding. Products are tested to work and be safe within the use outlined on the product or in the dose and period of use prescribed by your Health Professional. Going outside of these directions puts you at risk
Your Health Professional will prescribe your dose based on many different factors including your health status, age, weight, requirement, the clinically proven therapeutic dose, the upper limit including food sources and taking into account the other medical conditions you have and any pharmaceutical, herbal or nutritional medicines that you are taking.
If you are taking any prescription or over the counter medicine it is essential that you read the Consumer Medicines Information (CMI). It used to come as a leaflet with the medicine and now is available online: https://www.tga.gov.au/consumer-medicines-information-cmi
Supplement Safety Resources
Some other Websites to check for suitabiltiy of your medication with Nutritional Medicines:
NPS MedicineWise has searchable CMI's which list things to avoid while taking your medication
Better is the Medscape drug interaction checker which will cross reference supplemental herbs and nutrients with medications:
During your Naturopathic Consultation I will note all your medications and am able to prescribe Herbs, vitamins and Minerals that are safe to take with them. Often Foods can be a great and delicious way to increase nutrient intake and avoid any risk of interaction. Contact me, Book your session or Purchase and complete a totally online Supplement Safety Review form which will provide you with a report of current supplements to avoid or explore for optimal health.
Herb is a description given to any flora that possesses aromatic, culinary or medicinal properties. This includes a wide range of well-known trees, shrubs, plants and flowers, often used in everyday life.
The true beauty of herbs is shown in their simplicity of use. The addition of herbal materials such as leaves and flowers to our daily meals and environment can have profound long-term effects, without straining our bodily system already working hard to filter the constituents of air, water and soil pollution.
Common botanicals such as lavender can be beneficial in therapeutic ways, such as aromatherapy, to treat light ailments in the home for little economic cost.
An herbal tea is a gentle way to ease a headache or mild indigestion, with side effects tempered by the full benefits of the plant's chemical makeup. Plants contain a number of individual substances (constituents), that work together, synergistically when used in their whole form.
For example dandelion leaves, when taken as a tea produce a diuretic affect, cleansing the urinary system. The body loses a lot of potassium with frequent urination and the leaf, taken as a whole, contains high amounts of potassium, compensating the nutrient loss from the body. This creates a natural state of balance that is in line with an individual’s own molecular harmony. Using herbs to relieve minor suffering, can improve quality of life and perhaps help to stave off the more drastic states, of dis-ease.
To continue with the above example, dandelions grow commonly in lawns and pasture lands throughout Australia. The edible European Dandelion has a single flower on each stem and finer, light green leaves making it easily distinguishable. Collecting herbs from the garden or in the wild can be a most pleasure some task. Out for a walk in the countryside or spotting a new bloom in your garden can change your mood in an instant, creating a natural quality of peace.
Perhaps it is easy to forget that we are eating the plants and foods of the earth for health, yet, I believe that it is easier to remember daily, the integral part that nature has played and is playing in our lives.
As a qualified Naturopath I have access to the best Herbal extracts in Australia. These liquid extracts are standardised which means that the levels of active compounds are both continuous and within therapeutic ranges. The raw material is tested and again tested during processing and at final product level. A multitude of herbs are available and each one is processed to retain the true active parts in a standard dose preparation. These liquid herbs are a therapeutic tool that can have definite effects on improving and maintaining health. An herbal formula is created for each unique individual based on their specific and current health needs. A medicinal dose of 5-10mL twice or three times per day is a magnificently natural approach to any health problem.
Naturopathic Consultations are Available Mondays to Saturdays at Namaste Naturopathy or Online.
Radish is a great addition to your seasonal menu. It is high in some key nutrients and is clinically shown to improve some health conditions related specifically to it's chemical constituents and their biological actions on the cells and tissues of the human body.
Flower essences are the vibrational imprint of a flower’s energetic properties in water, preserved with a touch of brandy, apple cider vinegar or refrigeration.
To achieve this imprint, a flower is picked and placed directly into pure water and bathed in sunlight for several hours to infuse the water with its essence. It is then strained and bottled as the ‘Mother Essence’. Smaller treatment bottles are created by adding drops of the Mother Essence to more pure water and ‘fixed’ (preserved) as above.
Flower essences are diluted substances because we are dealing here with the ‘subtle body’ [we shall explore terminology and energetic fields in future articles], which requires just a subtle dose of vibrational nudging.
The first Flower Essence system, the Bach Remedies, was developed by Dr Edward Bach in England. Although based on Homeopathic principles the Bach remedies are made from Flowers and do not use toxic substances in their creation. You can read about his life’s work here at The Bach Centre.
There are also the Australian Bush Flower Essences developed by Ian White and a comprehensive system of New Zealand native flora healers in the First Light Essences.
“Disease of the body itself is nothing but the result of the disharmony between soul and mind. Remove the disharmony, and we regain harmony between soul and mind, and the body is once more perfect in all its parts.” - Dr Edward Bach
“They [the Bach Remedies] cure not by attacking disease but by flooding our bodies with beautiful vibrations of our higher nature in the presence of which disease melts as snow in the sunshine” - Dr Edward Bach
The well-known Bach Rescue Remedy can be used in any situation. It is the only combination essence that Dr Bach chose to create as he believed that everyone needs their own remedy mix to suit their situation.
Rescue Remedy contains the following Flowers that alleviate the associated feelings which are experienced in body and mind.
Star of Bethlehem shock
Rock Rose panic
Cherry plum fear of losing control
In a personal flower essence consult these or others of the 38 remedies can be used to specifically address your currently individual needs.
An example of the healing properties of Flower Essences from the Bach set is:
Aspen which is a remedy for;
fear of the unknown; vague anxiety and apprehension; hidden fears and nightmares.
The positive outcomes listed for treatment with Aspen Remedy are that it:
Quiets and subdues the astral body in order for the spiritual ego to gain the trust, confidence and strength it needs to meet the unknown.
Helps one to draw inner strength from the spiritual world.
Allows the conscious mind to receive and process more information resulting in a balanced use of soul forces.
Helps one develop personal boundaries.
For someone that experiences anxiety attacks, this essence may be of great benefit.
I have trained in both Bach Remedies and Australian Bush Flower Essences and have had the pleasure of creating individual treatments for my clients from the 38 Bach remedies that I keep in the clinic and recommend Australian Bush Flower Essences often.
As a naturopath Flower Essences are a common therapeutic tool and are prepared within your Naturopathic Health Care consultation. The conversation allows discussion of your experiences and unique needs that allow selection of one to four remedies that specifically suit your current emotional and physical needs. Holistically treating the causes and contributing factors as well as alleviating symptoms and trully listening to you are the benefits of Naturopathy.
The flower essence is taken upon the moment of waking and just before sleeping to access the subconscious state and brain wave pattern between activity and rest. The remedy mix is taken in this way for a period of two weeks to gently clear old energy patterns and activate, balance and repair vibrational/energetic balance within the whole body. The drops may be taken in water or directly under the tongue and for some situations such as the use of the Bach Rescue Remedy are taken whenever required.
It is said that the flowers of our homeland have the deepest effect and I had the opportunity to visit New Zealand with my Mum in 2014. As that is where she grew up I organized a Flower Essence consultation with a practitioner over there. It was a lovely session and Mum reported great results from her personalised First Light Blend.
I have many happy clients that have found relief of symptoms and an increased sense of wellbeing after completing their treatment. Continuing with Flower Essence therapy can address deeper issues and your unique constitutional Flower Essence helper can be discovered that will assist you in times of need and in maintaining daily balance and harmony.
Whether or not Flower Essences work just due to the ‘Placebo Effect’ is really irrelevant when such a safe and potentially profound healing tool can improve our emotional and physical wellbeing. The simplicity and harmlessness of Flower Essences gives them a place in the realm of Natural Health Care. Remembering that they are an Energetic Medicine like Usui Reiki and thus a different kind of therapeutic.
I have the full range of Bach remedies in my clinic and would love to hear your story with compassion and to prepare your gentle and empowering personalized Flower essence.
Namaste - Shairin.
There is a deeper exploration of sublte body, energetic medicine, 'placebo effect' and the holistic understanding in modern medicine here please share your thoughts on Flower Essences or any of these interesting avenues by leaving a comment.
Zinc is an essential mineral that is needed by many of the immune system cells to function.
Zinc is used throughout the body as a structural, regulation and catabolic enzyme cofactor. Many Vitamins and Minerals are Cofactors which means that they need to be present for the biochemical reaction to occur.
Zinc is also important for skin and mental health.
Of significant interest currently is Zinc's clinically studied benefits in reducing the occurence and severity of pneumonia. Benefit is shown for people whom eat enough food to reach their daily Zinc requirement with deficient intake linked to poorer health outcomes. I have outlined how you check to see if you are getting enough zinc, after the pneumonia related refereces below.
Many studies have shown that Zinc deficiency is common in the elderly and that patients with adequate Zinc levels had significantly lower rates of infections including pneumonia and faster recovery from pneumonia.
Zinc: a new risk factor for pneumonia in the elderly?https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2854541/
This observational study draws on other studies and recommends supplementing 30mg of Zinc per day to deficient patients. Science Daily also reported on this study here: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100810122045.htm
This World Health Organisation Article is about Zinc reducing lower respiratory infections in children yet the data on Zinc mechanisms and outcomes is still relevant https://www.who.int/elena/titles/bbc/zinc_pneumonia_children/en/
Another study linking Zinc deficiency with worse pneumonia outcomes: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0422763815301217
I am in no way saying that Zinc will prevent a Virus.
The clinical data does show reduced incidence and severity of pneumonia when a person’s zinc status is adequate. Don’t overdo Zinc though.
Whilst adverse effects from Zinc deficiency are much more likely to affect people than acute zinc intoxication it is important to note that exceeding the upper limit of Zinc is harmful. Clinical copper deficiency has been confirmed in patients taking 121.25 and 150 mg of zinc per day to treat medical conditions. These patients had anaemia, neutropenia, leukopenia (iron deficiency and reduced white blood cells). This is because during absorption in the intestine, within enterocytes (intestinal wall cells) Zinc competes with copper for intestinal uptake (absorption). High zinc causes more copper to be excreted without being absorbed. 225 to 400mg of Zinc is an emetic dose ie will make you vomit and excrete. The essential toxin: impact of zinc on human health
Supplementation of 80mg of Zinc oxide in the first study mentioned was related to an increase in genitourinary disorders among the nursing home patients.
Whilst we do consume zinc in our food the elderly often eat less and their digestion processes are less robust.
Zinc supplementation seems to reduce instances and severity of pneumonia in the elderly that have a Zinc deficiency. Whilst a bigger clinical trial is needed the evidence so far indicates that there is an effect and if the combined supplement and food intake of Zinc is within Recomended Daily Indake levels than it will do no harm and potentially help.
Zinc rich Foods:
Oysters, Beef, Whole Grain Cereals, Wheat germ, Baked beans, Turkey, Lamb, Sesame Seeds, Crab, Cowpeas, pumpkin seeds, adzuki beans, wild rice, peanuts, soybeans, chicken, veal, pine nuts, white beans, rice bran, sunflower seeds, black beans, peas, lentils, cashews.
List of Zinc content in a range of specific foods here: https://ods.od.nih.gov/pubs/usdandb/Zinc-Content.pdf
Beef mince pan fried contains 6mg of Zinc per 85 grams
Pumpkin seeds contain 10.07mg of Zinc per 1Cup/129g
The total daily recommended amount of minerals and vitamins includes the amount that you eat as well as any and all supplements that you take.
Total combined Daily food and supplement intake of Zinc:
EAR and RDI determined as the average percentage of Zinc that is absorbed by the intestine in humans PLUS the amount of zinc needed to replace the amount of Zinc excreted or lost by the body daily via urine, sweat, bowels and for men semen.
How do I know if I am Zinc deficient?
Have a look at the list of Zinc rich foods. Do you eat these daily? If you eat a lot of these enough to take you up to around the RDI for Zinc per day then you are probably fine. Unless you have an absorption problem due to intestinal disease or inflammation such as Coeliac, IBS, Crohns, Bowel cancer or skin conditions which affect absorption and increase Zinc requirements.
If you are not eating enough of these foods especially vegetarian diets which exclude meat then it is in your best interest to supplement. But use a good quality one and stick to a safe limit. Taking a higher dose when you’re sick or sometimes to quickly address a severe deficiency should only be done short term ie when you have illness symptoms or for one to two weeks.
Don’t go over the upper limit and don’t continue to take an excessive amount for a long time as you will be damaging your body. Excess zinc reduces copper absorption and iron causing deficiency in those minerals.
Simply adding a few Zinc rich foods to your diet will ensure that your body has all the zinc that it requires for a robust Immune System and your skin and mood will thank you too.
PINEAPPLE is a great addition to your daily menu. It is high in some key nutrients and is clinically shown to improve some health conditions related specifically to it's chemical constituents and their biological actions on the cells and tissues of the human body.
Shairin is a Naturopath and Usui Reiki Master/Teacher with a Bachelor of Health Science in (Complementary and Alternative Medicine and Medical Systems).