Good health is simple really
New Zealand’s favourite wellbeing expert answers readers’ questions about their health.
Question: There seems to be a lot of confusing messages out there when it comes to nutrition – howcan wemake sense of this confusing information?
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.
Your body is your best barometer – notice how certain foods make you feel and pay attention to any patterns.