I learned something kind of terrifying this morning; did you know that Climate Change can cause a drop in the nutrient status of our crops (by 3-17%)?
- Pale complexion
- Dark circles under the eyes
- Shortness of breath
- Heart palpitations
- Dry skin, hair and nails
- Restless legs
- Cold hands and feet
- Poor immune function, resulting in frequent infections
- Pica: cravings for strange items like ice, clay, dirt, chalk or paper
- An increased risk for preterm delivery during pregnancy
Zinc deficiency is something I see in 99% of my clients, both women and men. Again, it’s caused by poor dietary intake (more than one in three males (37%) and one in ten females (9%) have inadequate zinc intake), but high levels of stress (hello, Western lifestyle) are usually the main causative factor for the clients I see in clinic.
Zinc is important for:
- Stomach acid formation – so we can break down and absorb our nutrients (in particular, protein, minerals and B12)
- Adrenal function – so that we can adequately deal with the stresses of our daily lives
- Wound healing – if you ever have purple scarring (such as stretch marks) it’s highly likely your zinc levels are insufficient)
- Immune function – immune cells require zinc to repel infections and help you recover quickly
- Our sense of taste and smell
- Fertility (especially in men) – zinc is crucial for sperm production and motility, so if you have a low sperm count, you’re likely to be zinc deficient
- Regulation of testosterone – zinc has a role in improving levels of free testosterone (as opposed to testosterone bound to Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG)) to prevent prostate cancer
- Thyroid function – zinc is required for the production of thyroid hormones, the hormones in charge of our metabolism. Those effected by thyroid conditions are likely to be zinc deficient
Protein deficiency is something I see in most of my clients again, mostly from poor intake because we are commonly skipping meals, calorie counting or too busy to eat high quality protein sources. Despite what you may think, vegans and vegetarians aren’t the only people who commonly are not getting enough protein in their diets.
Protein deficient clients are often:
- Have poor body image and self-esteem
- Have low stomach acid and poor digestive function in general
- Have major sugar and coffee cravings every day
- Don’t sleep well, if at all
- Catch every illness going around
- Are overweight or have trouble losing body fat
- Lack motivation and drive
- Are at a higher risk of type II diabetes, anxiety disorder, major depression, osteoporosis
Protein is one of our macronutrients, meaning it is one of the 3 major nutrients that supply our body with energy. Amino acids (the building blocks of protein) are what our body uses to create neurotransmitters that make us happy, calm, motivated and sleep well. Protein gives our muscles strength so that we can stand up and go and adventure in the world we live in, sends messages within our body to keep it functioning well, helps us to detoxify waste products and foreign toxins, helps us grow and repair tissues and regulates functions in our body that keep us alive, like pH and the ability to clot our blood.
So, what can possibly do to improve our health when our country’s government really couldn’t give a crap about Climate Change?
Start at home;
- Make changes to your habits with food and food waste
- Start a compost bin and put your food scraps in there
- Grow your own vegetables, or at the very least, grow your own herbs
- Eat more vegetables (at least 5 serves per day) and get as much organic/Biodynamic/spray free produce as you can, and as locally as you can (supermarkets import from all over the world, meaning a humble tomato could have huge carbon milage points compared to one grown in the same state as you)
- Reduce your reliance on plastics
- Buy yourself a reusable coffee cup/straw/cutlery/lunch box and make the effort to actually use them
- Refuse take away containers and opt to eat in or bring your own container to take leftovers home
- Buy foods in bulk from bins where you can serve yourself
- Buy a bamboo toothbrush instead of a plastic one
- Eat a wide range of foods to improve your nutrient intake
- Nuts, seeds, legumes, meats, vegetables, fruit, wholegrains, eggs, dairy
- Find recipes for healthier versions of your favourite store-bought items to make at home
- Meal prep so that you have snacks and lunch on hand, instead of skipping meals
- Try something new – like quinoa, dandelion greens, buckwheat, tiger nuts, banana flour, chia seeds, almond milk
- Make an appointment with me
- If you feel like you need more guidance with your diet, you’re concerned about your symptoms and the way you feel, that is what I am here for. My whole job is to guide you toward a diet and lifestyle that is in tune with who you are and what you need. And I’m bloody good at it!
- Talk to your politicians
- If you aren’t happy with the job that they are doing, let them know. Find an email address and tell them how you feel. We can’t expect our politicians to change if we keep putting up with them, then going on social media to have a whinge. Being proactive is the only way to get results with that, unfortunately.