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Why do we need protein?

protein rich foods

Many people are struggling to get enough protein in their daily life. They may not have time or regular eating habits, or simply they don’t know how important is the protein for their body at any stage of their life’s.

Functions of the proteins

Proteins are the building blocks for the body tissues. They take part in repairing and maintaining healthy tissues. They are most needed for the growth of our organs, including bones and muscles.

They are also messengers between cells, signals between hormones, cell replication.

Every cell in the human body contains proteins. They are required for the cell structure, function and regulation of body organs and tissues in our organisms.

Types of proteins

There are plant and animal sources of proteins.

plant protein sources

The plant proteins are suitable for those, who wants to avoid animal product, including vegans and vegetarians. It is very important for them to rich their daily protein needs. Legumes, tofu products, edamame beans, peas, quinoa, nuts, seeds are all great source of plant proteins.

animal protein sources

Animal protein sources are meats, fish, organ meat, cheese, milk, eggs. They are complete proteins. They contain complete amino acids. They have higher content of protein than plant proteins.

Take away from me

What ever protein sources you go for, make sure you get enough amount daily. Every person should try and consume 0.75g per kg/body weight for women and 0.85g per kg/body weight for men.

The snacks between meals are good option for protein uptake.

For example handful of walnuts, almonds, brazil nuts, seedy porridge or pudding, boiled egg, hummus and vegetables and anything like this.

I hope this post was helpful and informative enough for you to understand the importance of the protein in your diet to achieve optimal health.

Stay healthy,

Ani

Apple Cider Vinegar

HOME MADE 🍎 APPLE CIDER VINEGAR🍎from my own tree in London😍

Do you feel grateful for what you have in your life? We should always appreciate what we have in our life, health, environment, friends and family. Last summer was my first try of making this powerful liquid. My mum was making it for me until last year. I am using it for many years as a home remedy, salad dressing, great to add to bone broths to speed up the process of releasing the minerals from the bone. It is a great natural way to improve digestion and promote gastric juices. You can have a teaspoon in a small glass of water before meal or use as a dressing for your salads.

Just be careful and check with your nutritionist if you have a fungal infection or other digestive problems as it might worsen your condition 😉

Growing plants, herbs, fruit, vegetables are my natural stimulants. It gives me so much pleasure and positivity. Soon, I will share what else I make at home and it’s so easy, healthy and beneficial. I really hope to motivate my friends and followers in this way❤️

Should you fry your vegetables?

Is frying actually harmful for your body?

Do I fry my vegetables in vegetable oil? The answer is no! Frying is one of the unhealthy methods of cooking and unfortunately many people are still using it. Even though, they are aware of the harmful chemicals, released from this process. There are some compounds that are carcinogenic and contribute to the oxidative stress within the body. Hence, we increase toxicity in our organisms. This immediately leads to higher toxicity, increased oxidative stress, elevate the risk of cardio vascular disease such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and others. What are the alternatives? Cooking in the oven, roasting, steaming, boiling on low temperature is much beneficial, because the vegetables don’t lose their nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Also, using butter, ghee or extra virgin olive oil is perfect alternative to use in cooking.

Benefits of essential oils

 

Essential Oils

Did you know that essential oils have an incredible power of very successful remedies in the alternative medicine?

They all have different benefits and are used for different health conditions. Some of them are anti-inflammatory and antioxidants. Others are anti microbial, anti parasitic and anti fungal.

Some of them are used to support focus, mood, depression or concentration. Some – digestion, respiratory tract and immune health.

Doterra essential oils

The special thing about doterra essential oils is that you can ingest them. This fact gives us the opportunity to support different health conditions internally. They are easy absorbable and have quicker effect, because they are liquid. Liquid forms are always dissolving much easily within the body.

Some people prefer to use them just for prevention and optimal health. however, others see great result in reducing symptoms with specific health conditions.

Benefits

Essential oils are an amazing tool for people, loving alternative approach and holistic medicine.

Even if you don’t go for ingest-able oils, it is still great to have few of them for gargles, air purifying, anti-microbial, anti-parasitic for different purposes-to reduce the risk of pathogens, reduce stress, purity air, improve respiratory system.

One of my favourite is the tea tree oil. It’s antiseptic, anti-fungal and anti-microbial. It’s great to be used for nail infections on the skin, nails and toes. You can even do a gargles with it and some water, then spit it after (this is when you suspect any dysbiosis in your oral microflora).

The other one is a lavender. I put few drops in my diffuser and it purifies the air. It also helps with the stress, nervousness, anxiety and sleep issues.

Natural antibiotic

Oregano is natural antibiotic as you know.

Oregano oil is great for fungal nail infections for example. You can try to add it on your problematic toe/nail for let’s say 2 months in a row and you will see the difference. But remember as with all natural treatments, you need to be patient, as natural treatments work slowly but effectively 😊

They are an amazing addition to my natural remedy essential tools and many times they helped me in my practice.

 

Nutrients to boost your immune system?

 

Winter is coming and we are more likely to get sick than the spring and summer. And of course, who likes to be sick? I guess nobody. There is one important question we need to ask ourselves: What do we need to do to reduce the risk of getting colds and flu? The answer is simple! Optimise your health and immune system and get ready for the winter. As you may already know, your immune system plays a key role in all body parts. I call it Police! It is your protector, your defender! Imagine a country without a police. It would be a chaos!

Immune system is the one, dealing with pathogens like bacteria, viruses, parasites, which somehow invade and enter in your body. You have different immune cells with different functions. Some of them are a memory cells, some of them have the ability to kill naturally the pathogens, and others dealing with inflammation and other functions. 80% of your immune cells are in your gut. You also have immune cells in different part of your body. They all need to be in balance.

Autoimmunity is a condition, where immune cells are not balanced and for some reasons, immune system starts to attack its own body tissues. I am not going to talk about this topic as it is quite complex and it will require separate section and focus.

So, what are the key nutrients to maintain optimal immune system?

There are nutrients, stimulating the immune system, but we are going to focus on the ones, modulating the immune cells.

Vitamin D food sources: eggs, cheese, salmon, sardines, olive oil, milk, liver, mushrooms

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is an immune modulator. It gets absorbed naturally from the sun through our skin. That is why we need to try and go out every day especially in the summer. Of course when the sun is not dangerous for us – early mornings until 11am and after 4pm in the very hot days during the summer.If we live in a country like the UK, I would highly recommend that you get tested every year around September/October time.

This will help you track your vitamin D levels, so you could consider supplementing in case your levels are not at the optimal ranges. The daily recommended dose is between 1600-2000IU.

Zinc

The mineral Zinc takes place in number of reactions within the body. It plays role in hormonal production, antioxidant synthesis, detoxification processes, skin health, immune system function. Zinc deficiency is very common condition and it appears through many health symptoms.

It is great to be tested with blood test before supplementing, however 20-25mg daily dose is safe and beneficial for most people in short period of time. Although, I would always advice that you seek professional advice first from Nutritional therapist.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an essential agent for every person’s immune system. It cannot be produced from our bodies and this is why we rely on our diet. In fact, we cannot consume the amount we need on a daily basis. That is why supplementing with this nutrient is highly recommended, especially during winter time. I would say 500mg to 1g per day is a perfect dose for health maintenance.

There are other nutrients that help supporting immune system like elderberry, echinacea, quercetin and so on. They may be helpful in cases of colds and flu, however it is highly recommended you seek advice from a health professional first. We support the rule as always that one size does not fit all, which means if the particular nutrient is beneficial, you might have some underlying conditions and might not agree with you. Self prescription is not always a great idea. So, having Nutritionist on your site could be very useful.

Diet

Next, I would like to focus on the Diet. A healthy diet, full of fibre, vegetables, fruit, healthy fats, protein is essential for maintaining optimal health. Vegetables and fruit are a great source of vitamin C, antioxidants, phytochemicals and phytonutrients. Having a balanced diet on a daily basis, is an essential part of maintaining a healthy immune system.

Lastly, Hydration and Herbal teas

Hydration

Keeping your water intake up is extremely important for the entire body. Your body needs water for electrolyte balance, chemical reactions, elimination and detoxification processes.

Herbal teas like elderberry, chamomile, echinacea, lemon balm, cinnamon, nettle, etc are great for keeping your immune system in healthy optimal range. They are also, antiseptic, antiinflammatory and some of them even have blood sugar balancing effect.

Lifestyle

Lifestyle modification wise:

Stress

Stress reduction has a huge impact on your immune cells. High levels of stress suppresses your immune system. It puts your body into Fight of Flight mode, which has negative impact on your body and its functions. Having a healthy and positive stress response could only help you maintain a positive immune response.

Exercise

Exercise is essential on a daily basis. Forest walks, fresh air, meditation, exercises are all great habits for keeping your health status at optimum ranges.

Look after yourself and stay safe!

Best of health,

Ani

What might be causing your abdominal bloating?

Abdominal Bloating

The hidden truth about abdominal bloating.

Is it a mystery what is causing your bloating?

Do you question yourself if it is a particular food, drink, stress or environmental factor?

I would like to talk about this topic as this is very sensitive area, where we need to pay attention from the beginning of your journey. Some of my clients experience variety of abdominal issues such as pain, flatulence, constipation, diarrhoea, bloating, burping, heaviness, burning sensation and many more. Of course, all of them are different and have different medical history and family medical history. Also, environmental factors, hence they experience different symptoms, because they could not have the same causes and triggers.

What might be causing abdominal bloating?

It is very broad question and I will try to explain the major factors. In the first place – your gastro-intestinal track health might be compromised. What does this mean? If you experience any symptoms from the list above, it means you need to dig deeper into your gut health. It could be dysbiosis, food intolerance, food allergy, insufficiency of stomach juices and enzymes. Also, lack of pancreatic enzymes, compromised liver functions or gallbladder.

Another risk factor is pathogen exposure. This could be virus, bacteria or parasite infection.

Is my GUT compromised?

What happens if your gut is compromised? It means that it is easier for external pathogens to enter your body. It is because your body natural defences.

If you ask me what do you need to do to reduce any of your symptoms? My answer would be – try to find the root cause of the symptoms you are experiencing. It could be through testings (there are many testing options out there), which is very important in this scenario. Another option is elimination diet, however if your symptoms are triggered by pathogen, this option would not help you.

Is Diet important?

I would say yes. It is. Everything you eat passes through your digestive system. It is very likely to be diet related issue. Some people cannot digest specific foods. Gluten and dairy are the common ones, for example. However, we need to test first. Food intolerance or allergy test would give us better picture of your health status. Some people react to specific substances, found in certain foods and we would not know this if we do not test.

Complications

If left untreated, most of the symptoms in the human body could lead to a more serious condition. Autoimmunity is very common situation, where people end up finding. Going through their medical history, my clients realise how long they have had their symptom from. The bad news is that it is much more harder to fix something that have led to something else. Fortunately, the Functional Medicine is very advanced, which gives us many more options to approach a disease.

What is the solution?

Once, the root cause is identified, you will work on it. You will heal your gut, reinoculate and rebalance your gut’s environment. This will happen with the specific nutrients, needed for that purpose, prebiotic and probiotic foods.

My personal advice for people with digestive issues.

I would like to add that whatever symptoms you have, please investigate it. It is the start of your journey. Do not ignore you symptoms. Your health is important.

Find a good health practitioner and start you journey now. Health practitioners, like myself are here to help you. My mission is to guide you, help you and support you. Do not wait. You are not alone. Reach out even if you just want to talk regarding your symptom.

Keep positive and take care of your health and never forget – take actions today, not tomorrow!

Remember there is always solution for your health concerns. Do not live under an umbrella of mysterious symptoms. Find out what is causing your symptoms and live the life you deserve.

Everything is going to be good!

What are Food Allergies and Food Intolerances?

I wanted to write a post with this topic a long time ago. The reason why is as with the days go on, I can see how this topic is getting hotter and hotter. Many of my clients experience mysterious symptoms and very ofter the cause is food intolerance or food allergy. Once we find the root cause and the trigger of your health condition or a disease, our journey is getting easier and this can be a game changer in your life. So let’s talk about food allergies and intolerances.

We can put food allergies and food intolerances in two categories – true food allergies and food sensitivities (intolerances).

Let’s have a look at the True Food Allergies first.

What are the symptoms, associated with the food allergies?

This is a condition, which causes IgE mediated hypersensitivity reactions, including oedema in the throat or tongue, difficult breathing, urticaria or the worst case scenario anaphylaxis. Allergy is very common condition in the UK and affects almost one in four of the UK population. The number of these cases increases every year and unfortunately, we see the number increases with children as well.

What might be causing the rise in food allergy cases?

Possible causes of the increasing number could be different factors and triggers.

  • Now a days, more and more women refuse to breastfeed their new born babies. This is a concerning factor for the new population and baby’s bodily functions and their immune system development.
  • Another factor could be early introduction of solid food at early stage of baby’s life.
  • Exposure to different chemicals as such as artificial colourings, preservatives in food, stabilisers and other nasties.
  • Poor diet and consumption of highly processed food
  • Chemical pollution in foods, we eat daily, in water, we drink daily and air, we constantly breath.

It is now time to look at the food intolerance and see what is the difference between food allergy and food intolerance?

What is a food intolerance?

Food sensitivity or food intolerance is a condition, which could cause different types of symptoms in a predisposed person. Unfortunately, the person could be misdiagnosed, as using conventional medicine testing methods symptoms are not easily diagnosable.

What are the symptoms of food intolerance?

Food sensitivities are not IgE mediated. They are mediated by different factors. It could be toxic reactions, enzyme deficiencies to break down the particular food, specific substances in food (saponins, salicylates). Leaky gut could be another factor in this condition. It could be bloating, brain fog, fatigue, acne and etc.

What might food intolerance and food allergy lead to?

These conditions could lead to many complications, from mild to severe health problems. The most common symptoms are linked with your digestive track such as bloating, gastritis, burping, heaviness after eating, Coeliac disease. They could even affect your Central Nervous System, causing Anxiety, Brain fog, Chronic fatigue or Depression.

If your body needs to deal with the above conditions, it releases hormone like substances to alarm to your immune system that your body is out of balance. Although, if you do not know how to listen to your body, this could lead to cellular alteration and even endocrine system imbalance. Hence, the inflammation in your body is elevated and your immune system will be constantly trying to bring back the homeostasis in your body. For that reason, it is always good to have a health practitioner, who you work with. This will allow you to discuss and talk about the symptoms that you might be experiencing, to be able to identify the triggers and mediators, causing your symptoms. Once the triggers and causes are identified, it is very likely that you will have to follow a specific diet, which your nutritionist will provide you with. Then, you might need to work on your gut health, although depends on the root cause of you symptoms.

We are unique and we are all different. That is why always talk about your symptoms with health practitioner first. They will be able to recommend an appropriate testing method to identify whether it is a food intolerance or an allergy.

And remember – it is never late to start and take control over your health.

The time is now! Not Tomorrow!

Best Wishes,

Ani

Why do we need to include Olive oil in our diet? Is it actually the key to longevity and optimal health?

Olive oil is a key health promoting product in Mediterranean Diet. People use it for optimal health, wellness and longevity.

What does olive oil contain?

Extra virgin olive oil contains oleic, palmitic, linoleic, linolenic acids, vitamin E, vitamin K, Phytosterols, Polyphenols, Squalene. It is rich in healthy Monounsaturated fats, which are resistant to high heat and make it perfect choice for cooking!

What are the proven benefits of the olive oil?

Number of studies have been done to prove this powerful nutrient’s benefits. Olive oil is used for the following purposes:

  • Cancer – supportive programs
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Cardiovascular protection
  • Anti-inflammatory diets
  • Cognitive health
  • Brain and memory support
  • Longevity
  • Healthy ageing

Olive oil could be protective against heart disease and Stroke. In terms of cardio-vascular health, olive oil’s main properties are:

  1. Increase HDL cholesterol levels
  2. Healthy blood pressure levels
  3. Reduction in inflammatory status
  4. Improved insulin sensitivity
  5. Decreased DNA oxidative damage

Is it really an antioxidant?

Olive oil is also packed with loads of antioxidants, which makes it perfect antioxidant rich agent.

It is also protective against Alzheimer’s disease, which is the most common neurodegenerative condition in the world. Olive oil can also reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and manage healthy weight.

Is there any correlation between Rheumatoid arthritis and Olive oil?

RA is an autoimmune disease where your own immune cells attack your own tissue – joints. That is why your joints are deformed and painful. Olive oil seems to have a positive impact on those individuals with Rheumatoid Arthritis as it might reduce inflammatory markers, oxidative stress and improve antioxidant levels in the body.

Is there also a link between Helicobacter Pylori infection and olive oil?

Olive oil may help in H.Pylori infection as it has anti-bacterial properties. Having 30gr olive oil daily in your diet, in addition to your H.Pylori protocol, can prevent you and even help to clear H.pylori infection in the stomach.

In conclusion, olive oil is one of the mandatory elements in a healthy diet and lifestyle. It is so powerful and not only – it is super delicious to be added in salads, dressings, toppings, sauces, soups, meals, etc.

If you are really looking to start a healthy and balanced dietary regime, what could be a better choice than starting from olive oil. It is so simple to substitute your current version of oil in your cupboard. Why don’t you try this on your next shopping?

Best of health!

Ani

What is a Helicobacter Pylori infection and is it dangerous for our bodies?

Helicobacter Pylori is a type of pathogenic bacteria that infects your stomach. An overgrowth of this bacteria (H. Pylori) is associated with Gastritis, Peptic Ulcers and low stomach acidity. It can cause different symptoms in different individuals and could lead to many complications. That is why taking control over your gut health is very important in this situation. 

Helicobacter Pylori, also known as H. Pylori is a highly contagious bacterium that lives in the stomach.
The bacteria are spread from person to person, and in a family situation, may be hard to get rid of. The bacteria bury itself into the stomach wall and wraps itself in ammonium to protect itself by neutralising the stomach acid, disabling it from killing the bacteria. This means that it is very hard to treat with antibiotics, and leaves many people undergoing months, sometimes years, of treatment, often with little success. If left untreated however, the disease can progress, developing very painful gastric ulcers, and can be life threatening. The stomach has a protective lining against stomach acid, however in the case of gastric ulcers, the nerves and tissues underneath the surface are exposed to acid.

H. Pylori is a very clever bacterium. The acidity in your stomach, which normally kills bacteria, is balanced by ammonium. Your body keeps the stomach acid between a pH of 1-3, and excretes the correct amount of ammonium to keep it at this level. H. Pylori excretes an enzyme called urease, which stimulates ammonium production. Using this ammonium, it hides itself from the acid, immune complexes and antibiotics making it very difficult to treat. The excess ammonium also decreases the acidity of the stomach acid further, causing many problems with digestion and health.



The conventional treatment for H. Pylori is a long course of antibiotics. Unfortunately, this is not always successful due to the bacteria being able to hide itself in ammonium and often playing dead by lying dormant to trick the body into thinking it has gone. Often, many courses of antibiotics are required which is damaging to our gut flora.

What are the symptoms of Helicobacter Pylori infection?

The symptoms, associated with H. Pylori infection may vary from one person to another, but here are the most common ones:

pain

bloating

heartburn

burping

nausea

loss of appetite

How could Helicobacter Pylori be diagnosed?

There are few options:

  • Biopsy of gastric tissue by endoscopy
  • Stool testing
  • Blood test or finger prick test
  • Urea breath test

What are the causes for Helicobacter Pylori infection?

The causes of H. Pylori infection in some people might be low stomach acidity, compromised gut health or low hygiene.

The risk of getting this infection increases if you are in a contact with someone infected by this bacteria, although it is still unknown exactly how it spreads.

How could we eradicate Helicobacter Pylori?

Eradication process of the holistic approach to this infection may be different with different individuals. That is why working with a health professional is highly recommended.

There are some clinical studies that have shown improvement in eliminating H. Pylori, such as Astaxanthin, broccoli sprouts, cranberry juice, few probiotic strains and more.

Overall, good antioxidant status in the body and balanced gastric acid levels are needed for prevention of any pathogenic organism that can penetrate, overgrowth in your stomach and lead to many health complications.

Are Diet and Nutrition important for prevention of infectious diseases?

Healthy balanced diet is a key for many health conditions.

Also, avoiding caffeine containing drinks, increasing fibre and eliminating all “white foods” like sugar and processed foods may help in this process.

In some cases elimination diet could be a key to identify possible food sensitivities or intolerances that may have contributed to this condition.

Conditions like H. Pylori infection shows how important is the prevention, because you have the control over your health, not the pathogens!

Is actually Vitamin C good for us and why do we need it for?

Vitamin C is an essential vitamin. It plays very important role in our bodies. The human body cannot produce it as we are lacking the enzymes, needed for its production.

This vitamin is water soluble and it is found in most of the vegetables and fruit, however many people take extra vitamin C in form of supplement to boost the immune system and increase general wellbeing.

There are many scientifically proven benefits and I am going to list few of them here:

  1. Powerful antioxidant, supporting the immune system. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant. It can help reduce the oxidative stress, caused by harmful molecules, called free radicals. It supports the natural defences of the body and increases antioxidant levels in the body. It enhances the immune system and its functions.
  2. May reduce high blood pressure and lower the risk of heart disease. Consuming 500mg Vitamin C daily may reduce inflammation in the body and reduce CVD risk. If you are already eating a healthy diet, full of vegetables and fruit, you might not need to supplement, as you will be adding those levels up naturally through food.
  3. Better iron absorption. We know that Iron is very important nutrient and adequate levels are needed for the normal blood cells function and oxygen transport. However, in some cases, iron absorption might be more difficult and not at optimal levels. Vitamin C is the key nutrient in those cases, especially in non-meat eaters, as most of iron is available in meat products. Adding an orange or vitamin C to your salads and meals could be a good idea to increase iron absorption and maintain optimal levels.
  4. May prevent Gout Attacks. Gout is a type of arthritis, causing pain and inflammation in the small joints. It mostly affects men over 40 years old. In gout cases, uric acid levels are high. Vitamin C may help reduce those levels and decrease gout attacks.
  5. Reduces Cancer risk. Many studies have shown that vitamin C may reduce the risk of several types of cancer. It might be linked to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
  6. Healthy brain and healthy ageing. Regular Vitamin C intake is very important for longevity and healthy ageing. Inflammation and oxidative stress play negative role in the ageing stage. It might lead to Dementia or any other disease risk. Keeping up vitamin C levels might reduce the risk and promote healthy ageing at cellular levels.
  7. Promote endocrine and adrenal support. Our adrenal glands play a huge role in the human body. One of the hormones they produce is called cortisol- the stress hormone. It can regulate our stress levels, positive stress response, healthy mood, balanced nervous system, etc. Our adrenal glands need vitamin C to be able to function and regulate those hormones.
  8. May prevent from Common Colds. And again, adequate vitamin C levels are needed to reduce the risk or severity of the common colds and flu.
  9. May reduce toxicity. Vitamin C has ability to bind the toxins in the body and neutralise them. In that case it may reduce the free radicals in the body, causing inflammation and oxidative stress. Toxicity might be from infectious diseases such as virus or bacteria, environmental or heavy metal toxicity.

Overall, vitamin C is an excellent nutrient to reduce inflammation, improve antioxidant levels, boost immune functions, reduce CVD, help and prevent Gout attacks in gout patients, reduce toxicity, increase longevity and many more benefits on the human body.

A healthy diet, full of seasonal fruit and vegetables, like broccoli, green leafy vegetables, spinach, peppers, citrus fruit, kiwi, apples, etc, is a great way to maintain a healthy vitamin C levels in daily life. Supplementing with this nutrient might be beneficial in chronic diseases or other conditions in which the body needs extra support to maintain optimal levels.

It is always a great idea to discuss your diet with your health practitioner to find out if you need extra support through food, supplements or lifestyle modifications.