Good health is sim­ple really

New Zealand’s favourite well­be­ing ex­pert an­swers read­ers’ ques­tions about their health.

Matamata Chronicle - - Out&about -

Ques­tion: There seems to be a lot of con­fus­ing mes­sages out there when it comes to nu­tri­tion – how­can we­make sense of this con­fus­ing in­for­ma­tion?

Thanks, Melissa.

Hi Melissa. This is cer­tainly be­com­ing more con­fus­ing as we have more and more, of­ten con­flict­ing voices in the health and nu­tri­tion world. A great way to strip nu­tri­tion or health in­for­ma­tion back and make sense of it all is to bring it back to the fun­da­men­tals of good health – which most health pro­fes­sion­als, re­gard­less of their back­ground, agree on.

Th­ese in­clude eat more veg­eta­bles, de­crease or omit re­fined sugar, avoid or min­imise pro­cessed meats, use good-qual­ity oils such as olive oil and co­conut oil, drink plenty of wa­ter, in­cor­po­rate as many real, whole foods in your diet as pos­si­ble and move your body reg­u­larly!

I think it’s also in­cred­i­bly im­por­tant to re­mem­ber that while there are some core nu­tri­tion fun­da­men­tals that ben­e­fit most peo­ple, there is no one size fits all when it comes to how we nour­ish our bod­ies.

Your body is your best barom­e­ter – no­tice how cer­tain foods make you feel and pay at­ten­tion to any pat­terns. Food is sup­posed to en­er­gise you – if what you are eat­ing is con­sis­tently making you tired, it may not be serv­ing your health. What if the parts of your body that sad­den or frus­trate you are sim­ply mes­sen­gers ask­ing you to eat, drink move, think, breathe, be­lieve or per­ceive in a new way? See them as the gifts that they are. Your own body knows what is best for it. Ques­tion: For some rea­son, lately I am­feel­ing more and more stressed. What are some quick things I can do to help my stress lev­els?

Kind re­gards, Maryann

I’m not nec­es­sar­ily suggest­ing you stop it,

Drink less cof­fee:

but I’m sim­ply ask­ing you to pay at­ten­tion to how it af­fects you. Caf­feine can be a key driver of our stress re­sponse, as it leads the hu­man body to make adren­a­line, one of our stress hor­mones. Some peo­ple need to de­crease it. Some peo­ple feel bet­ter with­out it.

Be fo­cused on how you breathe:

When you breathe di­aphrag­mat­i­cally, it com­mu­ni­cates to your body that Email your ques­tions for Dr Libby to ask.dr­libby@fair­fax me­dia.co.nz. Please note, only a se­lec­tion of ques­tions can be an­swered.

you are safe. This has a calm­ing ef­fect on your ner­vous sys­tem. Breathe in and out through your nos­trils and when you in­hale, your tummy starts to stick out, and when you ex­hale your tummy shrinks back in. When you breathe in this way you move your di­aphragm.

Ex­plore your per­cep­tion of stress and pres­sure:

We are so priv­i­leged in this coun­try be­cause all out ba­sic needs are met, but still for too many peo­ple, that’s not the case. Be in touch with what a gift life is. The hu­man ner­vous sys­tem can­not fo­cus on two things at once, so when we feel grate­ful, we can­not make stress hor­mones in that mo­ment.

PHOTO: 123RF

Your body is your best barom­e­ter – no­tice how cer­tain foods make you feel and pay at­ten­tion to any pat­terns.

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