Well, I have decided that it's about time I moved into the current century and started a blog to allow me to share my thoughts and findings on all things nutrition and health-related!
As a nutritional therapist, it's my job to do my best to stay up-to-date with new science and research, so that I can pass this information on to my clients and anyone else who is interested in being the healthiest, happiest version of themselves possible.
This sudden lurch into the modern era has been sparked by two things really;
1. I have just come back from a meeting where we have been planning work for the online blog at Revital (in my day job I am Assistant Manager at Revital Health Shop in Worcester). This has got me very excited about the potential for sharing all of the interesting bits and bobs that I come across relating to nutrition and health.
2. Coffee. Of the bulletproof variety, to be more accurate. Having never been a coffee drinker in my 31 long years, I have just taken up drinking coffee, for medicinal reasons. Over the years, I have seen a lot of research on both sides of the fence for whether coffee consumption is beneficial or detrimental to health. I have seen and known many people with what I would regard as an 'unhealthy relationship' with coffee. They can't get past the front door until they've had their morning caffeine fix, and rely on a constant flow of the bitter stuff to keep them perked up throughout the day. Rest assured, I do not intend to become one of those people. Truth be told, until recently, I would never have entertained the idea of drinking coffee. No, coffee was for other people. People with a stronger constitution than mine. Changes that I have made to my diet over the last few years, and, more drastically, over the last few months, have led to me feeling more confident that my body could 'cope' with the odd coffee here and there (in a non-habit-forming kind of way). "What dietary changes?" I hear you say. Well that is for another post on another day. So, back to this coffee... long story short, bulletproof coffee involves using a very high quality coffee for starters. One that is organically grown, and free of any potential nasties like molds and mycotoxins, which can do more harm than good. So, you take your awesomely pure coffee, and then you add some awesomely good quality fats to it. But again, (you've guessed it) not just any fats. Pure, grass fed butter, which is rich in CLA, omega 3 fatty acids, butyric acid, and so much more. Then add some MCT oil, (MCT is short for medium-chain triglycerides - you can see why we abbreviate that one!) which provide an easily-useable source of energy for the brain and body. Interesting fact that I have just learned, it takes 3 steps for your body to convert MCTs into ATP to use for fuel, as opposed to 25 steps to convert sugar, so for those of you who are still on the old "you need sugar as energy for your brain' bandwagon, get with the times! All of this is still very new to me, and much, much more information on all of this can be found on the BulletProof coffee blog by clicking here. So, enough about fats, back to the coffee. I mentioned that my reasons for starting to drinking coffee are medicinal. "So are mine!" I hear you say! "If I don't have a coffee, then I can't get out of bed, so that means it's medicinal, right?" No. Just no. My reasons for starting to incorporate coffee into my diet are all about the potential health implications. For example, it has now been found that coffee consumption is associated with a decreased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Which is great. My Dad has type 2 diabetes and, while other dietary changes which I have made mean that my blood glucose is already very well-regulated (more on this another time), it certainly can't hurt to add in something extra which will give me a head-start against a disease which has reached epidemic proportions in the Western world. More interesting than that for me though, is the link to cognitive function and protection against Alzheimer's. Again, thanks to my family history, I am at high risk of developing Alzheimer's disease in later life. Through nutrigenomics testing(something which I am now practising alongside conventional nutritional therapy), I know that I have been gifted with several genetic SNPs (Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms) which, if not managed carefully, will increase the likelihood of me developing Alzheimer's. Back to the coffee. So, since coffee has been found to reduce risk for type 2 diabetes, and Alzheimer's is now being nicknamed 'diabetes type 3', I was excited to give this a try as part of my life-long quest to not develop Alzheimer's. You see, like so many other health issues, it all comes back to sugar (and carbohydrate) intake. According to David Perlmutter (a hero of mine), those with type 2 diabetes have double the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. In addition to the benefits of reduced type 2 diabetes risk, researchers have also found that the brains of coffee drinkers exhibited less development of the amyloid plaques which are characteristic of Alzheimer's. It's very early days yet - I am on day 2 of drinking coffee (so far, so good), so watch this space for updates on my progress.
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All the best,