Meal Plans for Health
In the long term, for most people, it’s advisable to eat a healthy, balanced diet that does not avoid major food groups or staple foods. However, there are times when our bodies need something a bit more specialised. This may be to deal with a particular set of symptoms or to aid a short or long term health goal. I’m not talking about weight loss diets, but diets that avoid or include specific foods or macronutrients that affect certain aspects of body function and symptoms. These may be diets that are followed for a few weeks or months, until symptoms are under control.
Under the Expert Advice tab of the Food for Thought website, you will find meal plans for specific dietary regimes for short term use, as well as some that can be used long term. All have 3 weeks of meals, including recipes. The meal plans available include:
- SIRT diet plan
- Anti-candida diet plan
- Energy boosting diet plan
- Low FODMAPs diet plan
- Alkalising diet plan
- Re-set diet plan
Here’s a bit of info about each of these diets:
SIRT Diet Plan
Sirtuins are members of the Silent Information Regulator family. Evidence suggests that sirtuins play a fundamental role in regulating circadian rhythms, oxidative stress, DNA repair, inflammation, cellular metabolism, tumour suppression and the stress response. They also inhibit fat storage and increase fat metabolism, thus potentially reducing the risk of diseases associated with excess fat including cardiovascular disease, some types of cancer, type 2 diabetes and arthritis. It is thought that these beneficial actions make sirtuins pivotal in regulating longevity and ageing. Sirtuins can be activated in various ways including through calorie restriction, physical activity and certain food components. Some research findings suggest that many of the foods and food components that we know to be beneficial to health activate sirtuins in a similar way to calorie restriction. The SIRT Foods Diet is designed to activate sirtuins in the body, with many potential benefits.
Anti-candida Diet Plan
Candida Albicans is a yeast that lives naturally in the digestive tract. Sometimes, such as when antibiotics are taken and beneficial organisms are knocked out, candida can overgrow. Gas and bloating are the most common symptoms of candida overgrowth, but there are many other physical and mental symptoms associated with candida. Answering the questions in the candida questionnaire on the website may help to ascertain whether candida is a problem for you. The key to treating candida overgrowth is to build up the immune system and to increase the beneficial organisms in the gut. The Anti-candida diet plan is a good place to start. Anti-microbial supplements and pre and probiotics may also be needed.
Energy Diet Plan
Many people have less energy than they would like to have. If you are suffering from a chronic lack of energy it is advisable to get checked out by your doctor as you may have an underlying imbalance such as anaemia or hypothyroidism. Whilst lack of energy can have many causes commonly blood sugar imbalances, adrenal fatigue and nutrient deficiencies are often at the heart of it.
Causes may include poor dietary choices, compromised absorption, chronic stress or lack of, or too much. physical activity. The Energy Diet Plan is designed to stabilise blood sugar levels, support the adrenal glands, increase nutrient levels and provide sustained energy.
Low FODMAPs Diet
FODMAPs stands for fermentable oligo-, di- and mono-saccharides and polyols. FODMAPs are short chain carbohydrates that are osmotic, meaning they pull water into the intestines. They are also incompletely digested in the small intestine meaning they continue into the large intestine where they are fermented by the colonic bacteria. The combination of osmosis and fermentation results in bloating and flatulence. Avoiding foods high in FODMAPs and replacing them with foods low in FODMAPs is thought to reduce the distension caused by bacterial fermentation.
There is growing interest in the low FODMAP diet for those with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and symptoms such as bloating, flatulence, diarrhoea and constipation.
Foods high in fibre tend to be high in FODMAPs meaning a low FODMAP diet is often a low fibre diet. As fibre is believed to be beneficial to the gut bacteria and bowel health the Low FODMAP diet should be used as a temporary diet rather than a diet for life.
The Alkalising Diet
Many common symptoms of ill health may be indications of acidity building up in the tissues. Symptoms of acidity may include insomnia, cold sores, arthritis, skin problems, headaches, aches and pains, fatigue and a tendency to get infections.
The body needs minerals from food to alkalise the tissues. Once food has been digested it leaves either an acid or alkaline ash. This does not necessarily relate to the pH of the food before it was digested. For example, lemons are acidic before being eaten but leave an alkaline residue in the body after digestion.
The aim of the Alkalising Diet is to redress the imbalance in pH caused by modern diets. Meat, dairy products, eggs, sugar, refined grains, alcohol, coffee, soft drinks, drugs and tobacco are acid forming foods so should be eaten in moderation. Fruits and vegetables tend to be alkalising.
Re-Set Meal Plan
The Re-Set meal plan is designed to help people who’ve either fallen off the healthy eating path, or who would like to get on it for the first time. All meals in the Re-Set Meal Plan are gluten free and dairy free. Many are also vegan. Recipes are included, all of them are easy enough for beginners to have a go at. This is a good meal plan to try if you’d like to improve your health without going on a specialised diet.
It may be appropriate for some people to consult with a medical practitioner or Nutritional Therapist before embarking on any diet.