12-Hour Fasting – A Key Strategy For A Longer, Healthier Life

12-Hour Fasting – A Key Strategy For A Longer, Healthier Life

You’d be hard pressed to find someone who didn’t know that if you want to be healthy, you should eat primarily healthy food. But what you might not know is, the timing of what you eat matters just as much as what you eat; and there is growing evidence that 12-hour fasting is so protective of health that it can even attenuate the effects of a high-fat diet. What Is 12-Hour Fasting? Also called time-restricted feeding (TRF), 12-hour fasting confines food consumption to a 12-hour window or – put another way – is the practice of, during a 24-hour period, maintaining a 12-hour window where no food is consumed. In practice this may mean that any and all meals/snacks are consumed between 7am and 7pm, with no food being consumed between 7pm and 7am (or 8am-8pm as another example). Some studies actually define time-restricted feeding as an 8-9 hour period, which also shows benefit although not as realistic or easy to achieve as 12 hours. But Why? There has been a lot of research done on many different types and variations of fasting, but I like this particular type of fasting for both what the evidence says, and the logic behind it. There was a time when, in all likelihood, humankind rose with the sun – and days effectively ended with sundown. With no electricity, and only flame for light, food preparation and consumption would have been mostly confined to daylight hours. Nowadays, with access to electricity, we can make meals in the dark well before dawn, and – especially given the long hours some of us keep – make dinner well...
Is Your Nut Milk Giving You Leaky Gut..?!

Is Your Nut Milk Giving You Leaky Gut..?!

Firstly let me say – if you are making your own nut milk and not adding carrageenan, then you don’t need to freak out. But if you’re like me and buy commercially made nut milk, it’s time to look at the label more closely. You see in order to keep the water and the nut bits together, along with any other additional ingredients – manufacturers must use an emulsifier (or two) so that it doesn’t all seperate out and become unpleasant to use. The trouble is one of the most commonly used emulsifiers – carrageenan – is bad news for our gut, and our health. Carrageenan – A Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing At first glance carrageenan looks innocent enough. Derived from seaweed it appears to be a natural and innocuous choice, as far as emulsifiers go. But this ingredient, also referred to as e407, is nowhere near as harmless as it first appears. According to R. A. S. Hemat, in Principles of Orthomolecularism, even in the 1940s carrageenan was recognised as a ‘dangerous allergen’ with granulomas, immunodeficiency, arthritis and other inflammation being attributed to its ingestion. A search of the literature revealed its effects on reducing stomach acid was first reported in the early ’60s, as was ‘carrageenan-granuloma’ – defined as a mass of granulation tissue, typically produced in response to infection, inflammation, or the presence of a foreign substance. Carrageenan was also used to induce oedema and abscesses to test anti-inflammatory drugs (including steroids) [1,2] although this was through sub-cutaneous injection, not oral ingestion. Interestingly, however, even sub-cutaneous injection of carrageenan caused gut inflammation[3]. A little later, animals fed carrageenan developed ulcerative colitis...
Fermented Foods – Skin Friend or Skin Foe?

Fermented Foods – Skin Friend or Skin Foe?

In recent times there has been a huge increase in awareness of how important gut health is, and when it comes to skin – gut health is everything. And with this increase in awareness there has been a subsequent rise in consumption of fermented foods like sauerkraut, kim chi, kefir, kombucha and yoghurt. Fermented foods are a great, whole food source of probiotic bacteria and, in turn, their benefits to our insides. But did you know they might be doing your skin more harm than good…? Let me explain… If your gut is already in pretty good nick, fermented foods will only add to the health and wellbeing of your microbiome – and this will be good for your skin. However. If your gut is compromised in any way, consuming fermented foods may make your skin worse. This is because fermented foods are one of the biggest dietary sources of histamines. An intolerance to, an excess of, or issues with metabolism of histamine frequently can express itself on the surface of the skin through a number of symptoms, including but not limited to hives, eczema, rosacea and acne[1]. This is called histamine intolerance[2]. In one study[3] researchers found that a histamine-free diet improved a number of allergic conditions and, upon reintroducing histamine-containing foods there was a clearcut recurrence of eczema in half of the patients affected! No surprises then that a study found higher histamine levels aggravated eczema[4], and another[5] found that some atopic eczema patients had lower levels of a key enzyme that metabolises histamine – diamine oxidase. In the case of acne I see patients who present...