Ever wonder what people visit a nutritionist for? Curious to know if anyone else is experiencing the same issues are you are? Just keen to build your health, wellness and nutritional health knowledge?
We spoke to our friend and Nutritionist Jessica Sepel to find out the 5 most common questions people ask her regarding nutrition, health and how they can heal through food.
Question 1: How can I get rid of bloating?
Bloating is one of the most common health concerns I hear these days. In my clinical experience, I’ve found that bloating is strongly correlated to the state of our gut health. Take care of your gut microbiome by eating a wholefood diet, minimising your intake of sugar, wheat, grains and gluten, and taking a probiotic under the guidance of a medical practitioner.
Some common causes of bloating including refined white carbohydrates, chewing gum and soft drink. If your digestive system is compromised and your stomach juices aren’t optimal, eating protein can also cause bloating. I recommend adding apple cider vinegar to a large water bottle and sipping it throughout the day. This helps to stimulate the gastric juices which aids digestion.
Question 2: My skin is breaking out. What can I do to improve my complexion?
When it comes to skin health, it really is a reflection of what’s happening inside. The two best pieces of advice I can give are to take care of your gut and liver. For gut health, follow the principles I outlined above.
Often, skin blockages can be caused by a clogged liver. A liver that’s not functioning optimally can lead to hormonal imbalances. To detoxify your liver, minimise your intake of alcohol and caffeine. Increase your intake of brassica vegetables, which contain detoxifying enzymes. Eliminate excess sugar and fructose, all processed and packaged foods that contain additives, sweeteners and avoid diet foods.
Question 3: How do I find weight balance?
When it comes to weight balance, it’s not just about calories in, calories out and intensive exercise. When it comes to weight balance, there are so many factors that influence how we effectively burn fat for energy.
First and foremost, you want to ensure that you have a mix of both good and bad bacteria in your gut flora. The diverse combination of bacteria is what keeps us strong and healthy. Look at your diet and ensure you’re nourishing your body with wholefoods.
My other tips are to ensure that your thyroid is functioning well and to take care of stress levels, as high cortisol is linked with weight gain. Also, eliminate foods that don’t support blood-sugar balance. (My 8-week Program tackles all of the principles listed above.)
Question 4: I have interrupted sleep. Do you have any tips to help me get a good night’s rest?
What you do during the day and in the lead up to your bedtime is going to affect your sleep. Here are some of my simple tips:
- Limit caffeine intake: Follow my JSHealth philosophy, which outlines drinking one coffee a day before 10am.
- Take care of stress levels: Enter a stress-free zone after work. This means walking in nature, practising deep belly breathing or a few yogic postures for 10 to 30 minutes.
- Set social media boundaries: I like to switch off from social media by 7pm. The blue LED light emitted from screens can halt the production of melatonin, the hormone that signs to our brain that we’re ready for sleep.
- Take magnesium: This mineral helps to aid sleep so it’s great to take it before bed. I recommend taking it under the guidance of a medical practitioner.
- Eat protein at dinner: The amino acids found in protein help your body make the sleep hormone, melatonin.
- Avoid refined sugar: This is particularly problematic when consumed in the afternoon or after dinner as it disrupts blood sugar balance, which affects sleep.
- Avoid drinking alcohol during the week: Consuming alcohol at night time can also affect blood sugar balance, which makes it harder for your body to switch off and get to sleep. I recommend enjoying alcohol moderately on weekends.
Question 5: How do I get stronger, thicker hair?
Hair health really comes down to your diet, so make sure you’re eating healthy carbs, proteins, fats. In my clinical experience, I’ve found that there are four essential minerals for hair growth: iodine, selenium, zinc and iron. My range of vitamins for hair and energy are rich in both iodine and zinc, which are believed to aid hair growth.
Also, ensure you take care of stress levels and check your thyroid functioning.
Jessica Sepel is a clinical nutritionist, author and health blogger who is passionate about helping people live a balanced lifestyle through a healthy relationship with food.
Struggling with her own body image through her teens and early 20’s, Jessica viewed food as the enemy and battled through various fads and diets. Jessica has turned this around and is now a clinical nutritionist and advocate for living a well-balanced life through her blog, recipes and programs at JS Health.