Category Archives: Body Talk

Body Talk 3/12/17

Your personality can effect your health! So are you the life and soul of the party or the more cautious conscientious type? Are you a hopeless romantic or argumentative? Whichever category you fall into, gives an insight into the state of your health.

Research has revealed that your personality traits can reveal details about life expectancy and how likely you are to develop various diseases.

Overall those who are conscientious and agreeable are more likely to have better health than those who are more neurotic and angry.

If you are organised and hard working, you are less likely to suffer from a stroke.

People who are more conscientious at age 26 are more likely to be in much better health at age 38. Among the least conscientious who were studied, 45% went on to suffer from multiple health problems, compared to just 18% from the most conscientious group.

People low in conscientiousness were more likely to be overweight and have higher cholesterol levels, sand suffer from hypertension. If you are conscientious you are more likely to have an active lifestyle and display more self control,so less likely to smoke or abuse alcohol and drugs.

However, being neurotic at age 26 was not linked to poorer physical health at age 38, contrary to popular thinking which points to neuroticism being linked to stress.

Ultimately, if a doctor knows a patient’s personality, it may help them to assess and diagnose illness more easily. Worth getting to know your doctor, but hardly time to sit and have a friendly chat while you’re in  your 10 minute appointment slot!

TwitCount Button

Body Talk 19/11/17

Four out of five adults get stressed every week,and one in ten are stressed all the time. What category do you fall into? or maybe you’re one of the lucky ones who doesn’t suffer at all, but for the millions of us who do, there are some things we can try to combat the effects.

We are constantly under pressure from external sources, and work stress isn’t just restricted to the workplace with our technological culture making it easy to receive emails and calls out side of work hours, along with financial worries and health worries, it seems that there is no escape.

The findings from this particular survey seem to indicate that men suffer more than women.

Many of those questioned said to ease the pressure they watch tv, read a book, exercise or drink alcohol. It’s encouraging to see that almost a third of people interviewed turned to exercise. It’s much healthier than smoking or drinking.

Physical activity has positive effects on our health, but we also need to make sure we are getting the correct nutrients from our diet. Stress uses up a lot of energy, so we need to be taking in extra calories, which could lead to bingeing on sugary or junk snack foods, so make sure you are getting a healthy supply of snacks and stay away from takeaways if you can.

We can start to feel more tired but actually get less sleep and suffer from brain fog or irritability.Increase your intake of b vitamins and folate, and try to get some valuable vitamin by getting out in the sun,which can prove very challenging at this time of year, but is vital to our sense of well being.

TwitCount Button

Body Talk 12/11/17

Have you been a victim of fad dieting? There are so many diets, and all of them claim to have the ability to make you lose weight.

This isn’t a new problem, since the beginning of time it seems, we have been trying our best to shed those extra pounds. Thousands of years and we still don’t seem to have the answer.

The lengths that some people will go to to get their desired figure is amazing. In 1028 when William the Conqueror was born people were still waging their own inner battle with food. He was healthy for most of his life but as he got older the pounds started to pile on, so he tried a a liquid diet, which consisted of mostly alcohol. He lost enough weight to start riding his horse again but a riding accident lead to an untimely death, maybe that was connected with his liquid diet.

In 1558, another liquid alcohol diet emerged that claimed it could make you live longer. This diet consisted of 12 ounces of food and 14 ounces of wine. Rumor has it that its inventor lived to 102, but that’s not one I would recommend.

In the 1960’s the drinking man’s diet was introduced. This consisted of manly foods like steak and fish and as much alcohol as desired. There are no testimonials that this worked, surprisingly.

Lord Byron, accredited his healthy weight to vinegar and water. This is still around today as the cider vinegar diet, apparently 3 teaspoons of cider vinegar before each meal will curb your food cravings.

These are just some of the more unusual diets that I’ve come across, there are many more I’m sure. The key to dieting, I believe, is finding what works for you, and making it about not just diet but lifestyle.

TwitCount Button

Body Talk 5/11/17

Do you suffer with brain fog? The sense of confusion, like walking into a room and forgetting why you’re there. It’s more common than you think and there could be some very simple reasons why it is happening. Other symptoms are forgetfulness or an inability to focus. Doctors say it can happen to anyone at any age.

Your diet or a vitamin deficiency could be to blame. Stress or lack of sleep could also be contributing factors. Your brain works hard 24 hours a day and it needs fuel to keep it going, so you should be eating a healthy diet. Food allergies can contribute to the symptoms. Eating an anti inflammatory diet could help. Foods rich in antioxidants like blueberries are good too.

Because chronic inflammation is linked to brain fog and also a lack of b vitamins and vitamin c; vitamin b12 and folates are important for normal brain functioning.

Alcohol and caffeine can also mess with our brains. Binge drinking as a teenager before the brain is developed can have long lasting effects on the adult brain.

Caffeine is a stimulant known to improve mental alertness but too much can lead to insomnia which in turn will impair mental function. You may find that giving up caffeine gives you a headache, that’s due to the toxins leaving your body, so you may want to gradually wean off it.

Not sleeping enough has been linked to a host of health conditions. Most experts say that seven to eight hours a night is best, and that means not sleeping in at the weekends too, regular sleep patterns are vital to the optimum functioning of the brain.  If you suffer from disrupted sleep it may help to use ear plugs or an eye mask to block out noise or light.

TwitCount Button

Body Talk 29/10/17

What are the ingredients in the food that you are eating? The saying goes that you are what you eat, but do you know what it is that you are actually eating?

By looking at the list of ingredients on the packaging, it isn’t always easy to work out what the manufacturer means. Would you still be eating the same foods if you knew how much sugar, salt and fat they contained!

Tomato ketchup may seem healthy, but nearly a quarter of it is sugar, whilst it may be low in salt and approximately three quarters tomatoes, that is a lot of sugar to be consuming, especially if you are a ketchup lover.

Crisps we know are bad for us, but maybe you’re not aware just how bad. Kettle chips market themselves as being more wholesome, if that is possible with a crisp, but they are nearly a third fat from sunflower oil. At least sunflower oil is better for your cholesterol levels, however do try to use them as a treat rather than every day.

Dark soy sauce may seem innocuous, but at 15% salt and 25% sugar, it could seriously be taking a toll on your health. 25% sugar is the same amount as in a bottle of squash, and whilst you are obviously not drinking it like squash it is nevertheless something to be used in moderation.

Heinz beans are not as innocent either at 0.6% salt , 4.7% sugar and just 51% beans, that’s only half, the rest is tomatoes and flavorings.

The light version of Flora spread is an amazing 65% water! That’s why it’s light. I’m not a chef but surely getting the ordinary version and watering it down would be more cost effective.

Do check the ingredients for what you are actually getting for your money, and it is true, some of the unbranded supermarket versions do offer less expensive and sometimes healthier options.


TwitCount Button

Body Talk 22/10/17

The Victorians really did have some strange ideas about health and what was good for you. So strange that it’s a wonder any body survived.

It wasn’t unusual for cocaine to be used as pain relief or for women to place weasel testicles in their bosom as a contraceptive! I think it may have worked better for the weasel population than humans.

Cocaine was widely used during routine surgery, and was used for piles and toothache, and marketed for children too. Coca cola also contained an estimated 9 milligrams of cocaine per glass, because it’s inventor wanted to make the world a happier place.

Then there was the tapeworm diet, which worked on the basis that you could eat all you want because the tapeworms inside you would eat all the food. The tapeworms usually arrived dead in the post which was probably just as well as all sorts of other problems could be created by eating them alive. Tapeworms can grow to 30 feet long!

Human fat was believed to have healing properties. Mans grease was used for wound healing, pain relief, gout  and an aphrodisiac. It could even be used in cosmetics,particularly good for smallpox scars.

Radioactive water was considered good for you too. A special piece of equipment called a revigator was designed to keep  by your bed so you could have a constant supply of radioactive water.

Mercury was used to cure depression, flu and constipation, and for childrens’ teething powders.

Heroin was named as it  made users feel mighty or heroic, and could help clear the complexion and regulate the bowels, and could help people who had become addicted to morphine.

Thank goodness for modern medicine!



TwitCount Button

Body Talk 15/10/17

Fitness gurus and nutritionists have now been talking about the 8 hour diet or 16:2. It basically means that you eat for eight hours a day and fast for the other 16. No, it isn’t an excuse to eat as much as you can in eight hours, for those times set aside for eating, you do so with thought and with your health in mind,but not counting calories.So there are no forbidden foods as such, but you are encouraged to eat more healthily.

Those who follow it, eat breakfast at 10am, lunch at 2pm and dinner at 6pm, then nothing until  10am the next day. This is achievable, as you have specific mealtimes, allowing plenty of time for your body to digest each one, then giving your body a complete break overnight, hopefully kick starting it into fat burning mode.

By practising intermittent fasting you give your body and gut a chance to digest, rest and heal. It can also increase the speed of cell recycling and regeneration, which means we get sick less and experience less pain. It can also lower cancer risk.

If you eat whole foods you won’t feel hungry, eat good wholesome foods that will make you feel full.

We live in a world obsessed with snacks,so it can be difficult at first, but we are reliably told that after two weeks,you will be experiencing the benefits.

TwitCount Button

Body Talk 7/10/17

The latest diet to make the headlines is advocating just one meal a day. This approach may not suit everyone though, as any kind of fasting does place a gentle stress on the body.

The British Dietetic Association warns people that they may feel hungry on this diet and also may mean that they would be lacking in vital nutrients. On the other hand, the diet offers an easier time without the need for too much food preparation or juicing etc.

Followers of this one meal a day plan should listen to their instincts and eat when they are hungry and make sure they are getting all of the nutrients their body needs.

This shouldn’t be used as an excuse to binge on that one meal, although research suggests that if you fast but don’t necessarily reduce your calorie intake, you can still lose weight. They also aren’t sure as yet how or why this should be.

The inventor of this diet, Dr Van Tulleken, lost 6 stone! He starts his day with a couple of cups of black coffee, then fasts all day and waits till evening before having a large and satisfying meal, without worrying about calorie counting.  That way he goes to bed feeling full and contented.

This doesn’t mean that you can binge on pizza and ice cream, but if you stick to healthy eating principles with the occasional treat, you’ll be fine.




TwitCount Button

Body Talk 16/9/17

Are you struggling to lose weight from your stomach. Leading fitness specialists have been trying to get to the root of this common problem and have come up with a few answers.

It may be the result of over indulging in sugar, or white carbohydrates such as bread and pasta.

It could equally be the result of stress or sleep deprivation or even doing sit ups badly. Even seemingly innocent diet and exercise regimes such as excluding fat and intense bouts of exercise, could be keeping the fat in place rather than shifting it.

Weight loss experts have been trying to explain the reasons behind this. Stubborn fat around the tummy is probably the most common bodily bugbear for both men and women. Shifting it becomes even more important when you realise that fat sitting around your middle poses more health risks than fat that sits elsewhere. It has been linked to type 2 diabetes or heart problems.

Stress hormones play a major part in laying down fat across your middle. So if you have a large amount of stress in your life, try taking some time out and maybe taking up meditation, or some similar calming practise. Stress comes from many sources; work, finance and relationships to name a few. If you need help with emotional issues such as these it may be wise to seek counselling or to share your problems with a trusted friend to help ease the pressure.

So if you’re finding that dieting isn’t working for you, look towards other possible causes first, then you may find that the weight becomes easier to shift.

TwitCount Button

Body Talk 26/8/17

The vegetarian diet really could be a life saver.Plant based diets can actually lower cholesterol. Vegetarians have a higher intake of greens fruits and nuts, which means they have a lower intake of saturated fat. These foods are naturally rich in proteins and plant sterols all of which lower cholesterol.

High cholesterol is associated with coronary heart disease, strokes and vascular disease.

Eating more greens could be a good preventative measure for those who are concerned about their cardiovascular health, to address the problem before its too late.

Cholesterol is a fatty wax like substance that sticks to the cells in your body. Research has found that vegetarians have significantly lower cholesterol than meat eaters.

If cholesterol builds up in the arteries it restricts blood flow which could cause angina or even a heart attack. If blood flow to the brain is restricted it could cause a stroke, and it has also been linked to diabetes and high blood pressure.

Good cholesterol helps to clear the bad cholesterol from the body, working like a hoover to clear the arteries.

People are now becoming more aware of the importance of good nutrition, and the advice is to build your meals around plant based foods which do fit into every cultural template.

It’s never too late to change your diet, but the earlier you start the better it will be to maintain optimal health, in other words, avoiding the problems before they start.

TwitCount Button