Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Water, How Much and Why?

  We are all told water is essential for good health but why? Your bodies principle chemical component is water and makes up at least 60% of your bodies weight. In essence our actual structure floats in water. Water is held in all our bodily systems and is required for every chemical reaction that occurs. Water flushes toxins out of vital organs, carries nutrients to your cells, is required in the making of new cells, transmits messages to and from the brain and provides a moist environment for the nose, throat and ears.

Lack of water can lead to dehydration. A sure sign you are dehydrated is a dry mouth and this means your body will not be performing optimally.

So how much water do you need?

Water is constantly lost from the body via breathing, perspiration, urine and bowel movements. So to keep our 60% we must replenish our supplies by eating and drinking. On average we need 1 litre of water for every 25kg of body weight, (in a temperate climate such as the U.K.). This however does not mean you need to drink litres of water daily! The water in your food counts too. Fruit and vegetables are very high in water as well as being full of vital vitamins and minerals.

The other hidden benefit of water is, that if you need to, water helps you lose weight! It is a natural appetite suppressant and helps metabolise stored fat.

Why and how does this work?

Without enough water your kidneys cannot function correctly. In essence the kidneys job is to filter out 'the junk' in our bloodstream, ridding us of toxic waste!

If the kidneys cannot work to capacity some of their load is dumped on the liver, which is also a detoxifier. However the livers primary function is actually to metabolise stored fat into usable energy. If it is doing the kidneys work it cannot do its own. The result-more fat gets/remains stored.

Moral of the story......Drink Water!

Rachel Hodson MChiro DC BSc (Hons)  Rachel Hodson is a Chiropractor at the Octagon Chiropractic Clinic

Friday, 1 February 2013

Valentine's Day Treats!

 Apart from the obvious chocolate and champagne on Valentine's Day try a delicious asparagus, rocket and pine nut salad for a romantic boost. The Vegetarian Society recommends eating asparagus for three days in a row for maximum benefit. Less romantically, asparagus is also a fantastic liver and kidney cleanser. Rocket (or argula), as well as being full of vitamins, particularly antioxidants C and A, and minerals iron and potassium,  has been touted as a powerful aphrodisiac since the first century A.D..  Delicious pine nuts are packed with zinc, vital for male reproductive health, as well boosting both male and female immunity.

A main meal containing coriander would be excellent on the 14th due to the reported stimulatory effects of this herb. Coriander is also great for reducing inflammation, clearing the body of heavy metals such as mercury and other pollutants and is a nutritious source of minerals such as calcium, magnesium and potassium.

For dessert try something with warming nutmeg and vanilla. Nutmeg in Chinese Herbal Medicine is particularly prized as a powerful female aphrodisiac.

For an additional serotonin boost burn or use for massage the essential oils of ylang ylang, jasmine and rose. Essential oils should be mixed with a base oil, such as almond or jojoba, if used directly on the skin or in the bath.

Supplement wise Rhodiola Rosea, Maca and Damiana are wonderful Valentine Day enhancers. Rhodiola grows mainly in Siberia and is often gifted to Russian newly-weds. As an adaptogenic herb Rhodiola is an ideal mood-lifter that can improve ones energy levels, without any of the jittery side effects that some stamina improving supplements can have.

Maca has been used since Incan times and can be sprinkled on food or in drinks in its powdered form, or taken as a capsule. A spoonful in hot chocolate works particularly well.

There are some good Damiana blends available containing other boosting herbs, such as ashwaganda and ginseng, these herbs reportedly benefit both men and women. As always check with a qualified practitioner or your doctor that a herbal supplement is right for you and that it doesn't contraindicate with other medications you may be on.


Emma Silverthorn is a receptionist at the Octagon Chiropractic Clinic