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How To Eliminate Excess Toxins From Your Body?

How to detox your body from toxins

Every day, we encounter various toxins in the environment, air, water, and food. Therefore, our bodies need to process and eliminate these toxins to prevent them from building up. This buildup can cause damage to the brain, lungs, liver, heart, fertility and so on, and lead to chronic diseases.

Thankfully our body naturally detoxifies to remove harmful substances every day, whether they come from outside or inside our body. Notably, the liver (60%) and intestines (20%) play the main roles in this process, although every cell in the body contributes.

What Are Toxins?

Toxins, also known as xenobiotics, come from various sources:

  • Food Sources: Food additives, agrochemicals, and heavy metals (like aluminium, mercury, and lead).
  • Environmental Origin: Plastics, utensils, pollution, cosmetics, and medicines.
  • Endogenous Origin: Metabolites from cells that need removal.

 

Supporting Your Body’s Detoxification

To support detoxification and speed the natural process, it is important to consume foods and nutrients that contain particular compounds that aid detox. These include B vitamins, minerals like selenium and zinc, antioxidants, polyphenols, and amino acids. Leafy greens that contain chlorophyll like spinach and kale, cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, asparagus,, antioxidants like berries. So a green juice or a big plate of greens will be a must!

Tips to Minimise Toxin Exposure:

It’s important to learn the main sources of toxins that can impact our health so we can make better choices in every aspect of our life:

  1. Choose Organic Produce: Prefer organic foods, especially staples like rice, vegetables, and fruits. Additionally, organic options are less likely to contain harmful chemicals.
  2. Avoid Certain Foods: Avoid cow’s milk, gluten products (wheat, rye, barley, and oats), colourants, food additives, trans and hydrogenated fats, fried foods, soft drinks, artificial juices, and sugar. Furthermore, limiting these foods can improve overall health.
  3. Stay Hydrated: Proper hydration helps eliminate toxins through faeces, urine, sweat, and breathing. Therefore, make sure to drink plenty of water daily.
  4. Maintain a Healthy Diet: Incorporate detox foods into your regular diet. As a result, you can support your body’s ongoing detox efforts.
  5. Avoid plastic: plastic contain a harmful compound called Bisphenol A (BPA), which is very detrimental for our hormones
  6. Use less chemicals: cleaning products and beauty products contain an awful list of chemicals. You can try baking powder and vinegar to clean your house and swap your beauty products for natural products sold in natural and organic shops.

Making mindful choices about what you eat and staying hydrated can support your body’s detox processes and help you maintain a healthier lifestyle.

Professional help

If you think you need help in finding out more about body toxicity or need help to have a tailored diet and recommendations, our team of nutritionists in London can help you. We can test for heavy metals and minerals. and design a plan based on your results.

What is the Difference Between Food Intolerance and Food Allergy?

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN FOOD INTOLERANCE AND FOOD ALLERGY

What is food allergy and food intolerance?

Food allergy

The immune system’s reaction (defence of the body) against something (allergen) that seems strange, usually proteins that, can be derived from food, dust mites, pollens and animal hair.

Food intolerance

The difficulty of the body to digest a specific food is usually due to a lack of any relevant substance, such as digestive enzymes. It can be due to metabolic diseases, intoxications and other disorders. 

Body response:

Food allergy

Immediate, exaggerated, abnormal

Food intolerance

Reactions are delayed and occur several hours or days after ingestion

Quantity of substance to cause adverse reaction

Food allergy

Minimum quantity is needed and the body will react every time you eat the food.

Food intolerance

It may depend on the amount of food you eat and level of intolerance to cause any symptoms.

Symptoms

Food allergy

In general: cramps, vomiting, diarrhoea, stool bleeding, skin rash (urticaria), respiratory system (wheezing), and even more severe such as glottic oedema and anaphylactic shock (pressure drop with loss of consciousness), as well as general symptoms such as difficulty in gaining weight and growth.

Food intolerance

In general: gas, diarrhoea, bloating, heartburn, constipation, migraine, eczema, joint pain

Tests to detect

Food allergy

Blood test or skin test

Food intolerance

Blood test

Antibodies involved

Food allergy

IgE (Immunoglobulin E)

Food intolerance

IgG (Immunoglobulin G)

Treatment

Food allergy

Exclusion of the food or substance in combination with mediterranean diet.

Recommendations: a diet with minimally processed foods and rich in foods that support natural detox (prefer organic and nutrient-rich diet – avocado and pomegranate are sources of glutathione, a natural detoxifier). Peppermint to reduce histamine, ginger to improve GI symptoms, and turmeric to improve digestion and intestinal permeability. Label reading. Completion of a food diary correlated with symptoms.

If symptoms disappear, progress to a gradual reintroduction diet with medical supervision.

Food intolerance

The elimination diet is recommended for 4 to 12 weeks. If the patient has not undergone food sensitivity testing – the standard exclusion diet for sensitivity-causing foods (more restrictive) can be used. The nutritionist will guide you on how to eliminate and re-introduce the foods you are intolerant. In some cases, depending on the degree of the intolerance, it’s enough just to reduce the frequency and quantity consumed. If gastrointestinal symptoms are present the nutritionist may suggest a Low FODMAP Diet.

Recommendations: a diet with minimally processed foods and rich in foods that support natural detox (prefer organic and nutrient-rich diet – avocado and pomegranate are sources of glutathione, a natural detoxifier). Peppermint to reduce histamine, ginger to improve GI symptoms, and turmeric to improve digestion and intestinal permeability. Label reading. Completion of a food diary correlated with symptoms.

Frequently asked question: if I am intolerant to cow’s milk, should avoid all dairy?

Some individuals might be intolerant to cow’s milk but they can tolerate milk products like yoghurt and cheese as they contain less concentration of the proteins that cause intolerance. 

The most common types of food that cause allergy or intolerances

Food allergy

Food components that cause allergy the most are cow’s milk, eggs, soy, wheat, crustaceans, citrus fruits, peanuts and nuts.

Food intolerance

Food components that cause intolerance the most are cow’s milk, gluten, yeast, eggs, and nuts.

At the Raquel Britzke Clinic in London, there are Food allergy and Food intolerance tests to detect allergy or food intolerances with a small sample of blood. Knowing the differences and making an early diagnosis is of utmost importance to the health and quality of life of the patient.

In the food intolerance test, we analyse 200 types of food. Our allergy test panel includes the most common foods and environmental substances like dust, mites, pollen, etc.

Click here to order your food intolerance test or contact us on WhatsApp to find out more information.

Vitamin Deficiencies: What are the Main Signs and Symptoms?

Vitamins Explained by a Nutritionist in London

Vitamins are called essential micronutrients because they are necessary to the body in small amounts, but they are essential for the maintenance of good health.

The body does not store most of the vitamins. The deficiency of these vitamins usually develops in weeks to months. Therefore, people should consume them regularly. Vitamins A, B12, and D are stored in significant amounts, especially in the liver. Vitamins A and D are also stored in adipose cells (fat cells).

Some vitamins (A, D, E and K) are lipo-soluble which means they are absorbed in fat and we store them. Others, like vitamins B and C, are water-soluble. B vitamins include biotin, folate, niacin, pantothenic acid, riboflavin (vitamin B2), thiamine (vitamin B1) and vitamins B6 (pyridoxine) and B12 (cobalamines). The water soluble vitamins excess usually are efficiently eliminated by our urine.

The state of nutritional deficiency occurs when the intake of nutrients does not correspond to the needs for optimal health of an individual. With this, there are some signs and symptoms that we should be aware of.

Some examples of nutritional deficiencies of the major vitamins:

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is related to immune functions, skin health, vision, reproduction and cellular communication.

Signs and symptoms of deficiency: increased risk of infections; night blindness; dry skin and hair; recurrent conjunctivitis; colour blindness; infected and ulcerated eyes; macular degeneration and acne.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and prevents various diseases.

Signs and symptoms of deficiency: Dry skin, dry or brittle hair, bleeding gums, delayed wound healing, immune problems – colds and recurring flu, tooth loss, anemia, nose bleeding, bruising, muscle weakness and fatigue.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is an antioxidant that protects cells and prevents muscle weakness and neurological problems.

Signs and symptoms of deficiency: Eye problems such as retinopathy and cataract, skin problems such as acne, wounds, scars and stretch marks; mild anemia; fertility problems and abnormalities in brain function.

Vitamin B12

This vitamin plays a key role in the functioning of the brain and nervous system, as well as in the formation of red cells.

Signs and symptoms of deficiency: Numbness and twinges in the hands, legs or feet; lack of balance; anemia; swelling or inflammation of the tongue; jaundice (yellowish skin); weakness; paranoia and hallucinations; lack of air; cognitive difficulties and loss of memory and loss of vision.

Complex B Vitamins

Other B vitamins include B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6, B7 (biotin) and folate. One of their very important functions is to aid in the metabolism of nutrients in our body.

Signs and symptoms of deficiencies: vision problems; fatigue; adrenal insufficiency; oedema (fluid retention); pallor and dandruff.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D plays an important role in the immune system and promotes bone growth.

Signs and symptoms of deficiency: overweight or obesity; depression; bone pain; low mineral density in bones; osteoporosis (porous and brittle bones); osteomalacia (softening of bones); rickets (a disease that causes severe bone deformities) and muscle weakness.

Other nutritional deficiencies and risks

There are other symptoms related to nutritional deficiencies not only of these vitamins but of minerals as well, so it is ideal that everyone undergoes periodic nutritional screening throughout life by a nutritionist to perform nutritional assessments regularly.

The consumption of large amounts (megadoses) of certain vitamins (usually supplements), without the supervision of a professional, can have harmful effects.

In order for these deficiencies to be identified, it is important to do a blood tests for vitamins.

At Raquel Britzke Clinic in London, we perform blood tests for the main vitamins (A, C, E, B1, B2, B6, B12, and folate). If you are concerned and have one or more of the symptoms above seek professional advice.

For more information about the vitamin blood test contact us on WhatsApp so we can arrange it for you.. If you rather book a consultation with a nutritionist in London near you click here.

Thyroid hormones: how to increase it naturally

What is the thyroid?

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in our neck that is responsible for producing hormones. The hormones produced by the thyroid gland are called thyroid hormones.

Thyroid hormones play an integral role in regulating the body’s temperature and production of energy in our body, more known as our metabolism. In addition, thyroid hormones regulate protein synthesis and enzyme production at the cellular level.

Prevalence and Impact of Thyroid Disorders in the UK

Thyroid disorders are prevalent in the UK, affecting approximately 1 in 20 people and being more common in women than men. Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) is more common than hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid), with estimates indicating around 15 in every 1,000 women and 1 in every 1,000 men diagnosed with hypothyroidism. Women are particularly susceptible, especially during pregnancy and menopause, where about 1 in 20 women over the age of 60 may have hypothyroidism.

What are the signs of thyroid hormone imbalance?

Underproduction or overproduction of thyroid hormones will with time show signs and symptoms in our body. The main symptoms, but not limited too are:

Underactive thyroid symptoms

Fatigue, weight gain, hair thinning, low energy, depression, mental asthenia, coldness or cold extremities or fluid retention,.

Overactive thyroid symptoms

Excess energy, palpitations, anxiety, nervousness (“like I’m going to jump out of my skin”), short sleep, or feeling like everything is moving too fast”, unexplained weight loss, fine tremor.

How to increase thyroid hormones naturally

A poor diet and unhealthy lifestyle can affect the production of thyroid hormones on your body. Before you are diagnosed with hypothyroidism and you need medication you might be able to boost the hormone production by improving your diet and lifestyle.

A dietitian can help you to have the right guidance designing a personalised meal plan to boost thyroid hormone production so you will feel the benefits much quicker.

Types of foods to include:

-iodine rich foods or salt (seafood, seaweed, dairy, iodised salt)

-selenium (brazil nuts, grains)

-zinc (shellfish, legumes, meat)

-omega 3 rich foods (salmon, sardines, seeds)

-vitamin A foods (carrots, sweet potatoes, butternut squash)

-vitamin D (sunlight, supplements)

Lifestyle changes:

– manage stress

-sleep regularly

-engage in physical activity

What to do if you have symptoms?

If you suffer from any of the symptoms above, seek professional advise. It is recommended to do a blood test and check your hormones regularly.

The right medical treatment combined with the best diet helps to normalise the thyroid hormones and to improve health and quality of life.

You can book a free assessment with one of our dietitian and discuss your symptoms and best treatment for you.

Are Carbs Really That Bad?

We hear every day that sugars and carbohydrates are not good for us, and they can cause weight gain if consumed excessively. As a registered dietitian I hear that constantly in my practice. There is some truth and some misinformation in these claims, so let me explain further.

There are three types of carbohydrates: sugar, starch, and fibre, and they are all composed of sugar molecules. However, when we talk about sugar, we are referring to a type of carbohydrate called simple carbohydrates, which contain one or two sugar molecules. On the other hand, complex carbohydrates, such as starch and fibre, consist of many more sugar molecules.

Simple carbohydrates are quickly absorbed by the body due to their simple molecular structure. They lead to rapid spikes in blood sugar levels, and the body needs to work hard to regulate and remove the excess sugar. If the calorie intake exceeds our body’s needs, it can result in initial fat/weight gain. It’s essential to control blood sugar levels for effective weight management. Regularly consuming sugars in our meals puts us at risk of developing chronic and inflammatory diseases, including obesity, diabetes, arthritis, atherosclerosis, cancer, autoimmune conditions, and more. As you can see, sugar is not solely related to weight gain and dental problems. Additionally, sugar can create addictive tendencies similar to drugs, as it activates similar brain pathways and can lead to withdrawal symptoms when consumption is reduced. The more sugar you have, the more you’ll crave.

Complex carbohydrates, like starch, take longer to be digested and absorbed by the body. However, it’s still a relatively fast process. So, what can we do to reduce simple sugar content in our diet and still enjoy our food? After all, eating is one of life’s great pleasures, wouldn’t you agree?

The following Low Carb Tips are crucial to reducing sugar content in your diet, balancing sugar levels, and reducing inflammation in your cells while still enjoying your meals:

Eat a diet high in fibre. This will slow down the absorption of sugar from the small intestine into the bloodstream. Include plenty of leafy greens and non-starchy vegetables in your meals. Fibre also provides satiety without excessive calorie intake.

Include lean and clean protein in every meal. Protein will increase satiety and help reduce carbohydrate consumption. Dietary protein supports muscle growth, and maintaining good muscle mass enhances metabolism efficiency, aiding weight loss.

Avoid empty calories found in processed and packaged foods. Instead, choose nutrient-rich, fresh foods. Did you know that when your body receives all the necessary nutrients, sugar cravings minimise?

Opt for whole fruits instead of juices, dried fruits, or artificially sugary foods. Whole fruits contain fibre, which helps stabilise blood sugar levels and prevent weight gain (fat gain).

Increase your intake of plant-based fats slightly. Healthy fats nourish your cells and contribute to their proper functioning. Our cells are partially composed of fats, and ensuring their health impacts weight management and overall well-being.

Drink a glass of water before each meal. Water has no calories but provides a feeling of fullness, aiding in better food choices. Hydration is crucial for weight loss, as all bodily reactions are water-based.

Consider having a protein shake as a snack. Consuming an extra serving of protein per day increases satiety, boosts metabolism, and reduces the temptation to have sugary snacks.

Now you have a better understanding of what carbohydrates are and how they can impact our health, both negatively and positively. Always remember, we are what we eat and what we don’t eat. Let food be your medicine, and you will live a fuller and happier life.

If you want to have a personalised diet plan with all food groups and eat well for weight management or optimal health, book a consultation with one of the nutritionists and dietitians of my team in London. Click here to book now.

5 Steps to Lose Weight

There is so much information about weight loss out there that is difficult to know where to start. Well, as a registered dietitian in London, with 15 years of experience in transforming lives and delivering incredible results in healthy weight loss, I present here the top 5 tips for those of you who are eager to embark on your weight loss journey right now! 

1. Peel and Unwrap Wisely:

Choose to eat more real food instead of processed and industrialised products, even those claiming to be “healthy.” These items often contain high amounts of sugar, salt, and hydrogenated fats, which add more calories to your diet and hinder your progress towards your ideal weight.

2. Hydrate Intelligently:

Steer clear of sugary sodas, calorie-laden juices, and alcoholic beverages! Opting to hydrate with water is the best decision for weight loss. Studies indicate that caloric drinks not only add extra pounds but also quickly turn into body fat. Regularly drinking water keeps your body hydrated, preventing the confusion of thirst with hunger, which helps control your appetite.

3. Consume More Vegetables and Choose Whole Foods:

These foods are rich in fibre and will help you feel fuller, avoiding overeating. Moreover, fibre plays a crucial role in maintaining proper bowel function, which is essential for healthy weight loss.

4. Embrace Healthy Proteins and Fats:

Incorporate proteins into every meal, such as lean meats, chicken, fish, eggs, cheeses, and legumes like beans and peas. These foods provide a greater feeling of satiety and contribute to maintaining lean muscle mass, which is vital during the weight loss process. Additionally, don’t underestimate the power of healthy fats found in foods like avocado, extra virgin olive oil, nuts, and almonds. They also enhance satiety and offer essential vitamins and minerals for overall well-being.

5. Abandon Radical Diets and Embrace a Personalised Meal Plan:

Forget about fad diets and internet trends! Each individual has a unique metabolism, making it crucial to follow a personalised meal plan calculated specifically for you. By determining the appropriate daily caloric deficit for your needs, you will achieve true and sustainable results. This way, you won’t have to sacrifice essential nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that your body requires to function at its best.

Remember that every small change makes a significant difference over time. Your success depends on making intelligent choices, committing to yourself, and seeking balance in your journey towards a healthier life.

If you want expert advice and personalised nutrition to help you lose weight, speak to our team and book your consultation with one of our experienced weight loss nutritionists nearby.

Diuretic Green Juice to Reduce Bloating

Makes 1 glass / 84kcal / 3g fibre

Ingredients:

  • 1 cabbage leaf (or other dark green)
  • 1/2 whole lemon without skin, seeds removed and without the white part
  • 1 stalk of celery, cut into pieces
  • 1 apple with skin, seeds removed, cut into pieces
  • 1 handful of mint leaves
  • 1 glass (200 ml) of cold water

Method of preparation:

Blend everything together in a blender, do not strain. Drink immediately.

When to drink:

A simple and easy juice to start the day after a party, holidays, or on those days when you feel more bloated!

Tip:

You can freeze the cleaned ingredients and blend them whenever you want to drink.

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