Diet & Nutrition

Australians are becoming increasingly more knowledgeable about what constitutes a healthy diet. There is no particular diet which suits everyone, and individuals must take into consideration their body type, inherited predisposition and environmental stress. It is important to find out what suits your constitution and lifestyle taking into account certain broad principles of healthy eating.

Some basic principles of good nutrition include eating several pieces of fresh fruit daily, the use of raw and cooked vegetables and adequate protein. The latter can be of animal or vegetable origin. Ideally fish can be included in the diet as an excellent source of protein and to help provide essential fats (oily fish such as tuna, salmon, sardines and mackerel providing the most essential fats). Other sources of beneficial fats, those of the Omega 3 and 6 variety, can be obtained from oils such as sesame, pumpkin, linseed or safflower oils. Eating a variety of whole grain cereals, such as rice, oats, wheat, millet and rye, is also recommended.

Many health conditions can be controlled or assisted by a good diet. Hayfever, asthma, si-nusitis and skin problems such as eczema are examples. These conditions can often be helped by avoiding dairy products (milk, cheese, butter yoghurt), and swapping to alternatives such as soy or rice milk and soy yoghurt. Another common example is the avoidance of certain vegetables and fruits in association with arthritis and other inflammatory problems. If tomatoes, peppers, egg plant, potatoes and citrus fruits, such as oranges, are removed from the diet symptoms may improve.

In all situations (except kidney disease) it is beneficial to reduce intake or tea, coffee, fizzy drinks and alcohol and increase intake of pure water. The average person should drink 2 litres daily minimum. We all know that both tea and coffee contain various undesirable elements such as caffeine. Occasional indulgence will not harm the average person, and there are a wide range of alternatives now available in the form of herbal teas and cereal coffees. With regard to alcohol a glass of wine with the evening meal can be beneficial in certain instances (due to antioxidants found in wine). We need to remember that alcohol has to be detoxified by the liver and our poor livers are already under siege from numerous quarters, including environmental pollution. So everything in moderation for maximum good health!

Always remember that nutritional advice such as this is a basic guideline and that for individual health and diet problems a professional nutritionist should be consulted. Many well-trained natural therapists have had extensive training in nutrition and diet, as these are necessary for an overall healthy lifestyle.