Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Healthy Chillies

Tonight I am helping judge a Chilli eating contest in the Perth suburb of Malaga. This is timed to coincide with this weekend’s chilli festival. Chillies trace their origins back 7500 years
Previously regarded as the domain of eccentrics Mexicans and Thais it is only recently that many westerners have developed a taste for them. In the UK in particular Chillies are really big.
There are many health benefits to having chillies in your cooking and diet They are rich in potassium calcium iron Vitamin A Vitamin C and B Vitamins particularly B6
As vitamin C helps the body absorb iron ,having some chilli with your meat will boost the iron absorption
Chillies will initially cause a release of adrenalin in the body This why you tend to sweat and your pulse quickens After this the body releases endorphins which are the bodies happy hormones giving you a “natural” high . This high is similar to the feeling athletes get after crossing the finish line- a real buzz.
Whilst some people find them disagreeable there is no evidence at all that chillies increase the rate of stomach complaints A study which looked at the stomach lining after certain things were ingested showed that an aspirin affected the stomach lining far more than chilli
The other great thing is that chillies are brightly coloured. This type food is good for you as it has antioxidants Furthermore cooking with chilli means you are preparing fresh food which is always better than something from a packet with a use by date of sometime in 2011

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Hardly a day goes by without someone in officialdom knocking the use of vitamins Below is a quote from an article in The New York Times last week.
“I’m puzzled why the public in general ignores the results of well-done trials,” said Dr. Eric Klein, national study coordinator for the prostate cancer trial and chairman of the Cleveland Clinic’s Glickman Urological and Kidney Institute. “The public’s belief in the benefits of vitamins and nutrients is not supported by the available scientific data.”
Despite the efforts of doctors and health officials to discourage the use of supplements they remain popular. The main reason for this in my view is that people feel better taking them Scientific studies look at end points like death rates or “cure” of diseases Taking supplements will not stop you dying and will not likely by itself cure specific illness
However our bodies cells need an assortment of essential vitamins and minerals to function optimally If you can obtain this from diet that’s great Unfortunately, in today’s western world, much of the food that we consume is full of calories but fairly low in nutritional value
The role of supplementation is to ensure the body gets the optimum amount of the vitamins and minerals that it needs. This amount is generally more than the recommended daily allowance which is the amount needed to prevent deficiency. Furthermore, the amount required may differ from time to time for a number of reasons including your level of activity or degree of stress.

The use of supplements is a good example of where individuals need to be guided by their own bodies and own judgement and not be influenced by officialdom or “scientific data” that probably does not apply to them

It would be great to hear of some of your experiences with supplements but please no sales pitches

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Introducing DIY Health

Health is in the Australian news again recently with the release of the National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission Report. The report focuses on the costs of providing treatment for diseases. It is accepted as a given that there will be more demand for services due to higher rates of diseases.Thers is no suggestion that there might be ways of reducing demand for services by people being healthier.It is known that 70% of the disease burden in Western societies is lifestyle related yet 95% of the solution offered is pharmaceuticals agents hospital beds and expensive technologies. What we have in Western countries are not in fact health systems but are disease systems. The cost of running these systems gets more expensive each year putting strain of budgets.Where does the solution lie?It lies with you, the individual. What happens to your health is directly related to how you live your life. The things you do today will affect you wellbeing today and into the future. Putting the right fuels in the right amounts, being active on a regular basis, getting the right amount of sleep and consuming enough water will have a huge impact on your wellbeing and significant reduce the chances of you getting sick. All these measures are simple. None are expensive and none require governments to act for you. This is the time to take control of your own health, to make it your DIY project.