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June 2024 - Newsletter

"You cannot control the wind, but you can adjust the sails" - Anonymous

The quote I picked for this June newsletter is about the willingness to choose personal empowerment to navigate through life's unpredictable challenges.


I was chatting to a client the other day, who was describing the sense of helplessness and anxiety she felt hearing news headlines these days. How not to empathise…. Everywhere you look there are new wars and emergencies popping up, human suffering on a large scale taking place, dark scenarios of new (apparently unavoidable) health catastrophes just waiting to descend upon us once again (or at least so certain health authorities keep saying)...


I had no specific answers to give (other than suggesting regular breaks from the news!), but I felt it was important to mention the power of bringing the focus back from what we cannot control and concentrate on our potential as individuals. It may not seem obvious, but this can have a big impact on a larger scale, too. Thinking about health and wellbeing, that translates in actions we can take every day to honour personal agency, to trust and support our body’s intrinsic ability to heal, to enjoy the things we really care about, focus on the ‘good’, and learn to listen to our heart more.


This month I am sharing a few tips for health enhancement, I hope you enjoy reading.


Are You Sprinkling Enough ‘Medicine’ On Your Plate?


Hippocrates’ ‘Food is Medicine’ cannot be more directly relevant than in the case of herbs and spices commonly used in the kitchen.


This might feel like a small detail in the picture of often multifaceted health-promoting nutritional plans I prepare for my clients. However, the simple addition of common culinary herbs and spices in meals on a regular basis is one powerful way for looking after your ‘body terrain’, your body’s inner environment that is ultimately responsible for keeping you healthy and able to fight off disease.


How so? 

Many common culinary herbs and spices contain a variety of bioactive components that interact positively with our physiology. For thousands of years our ancestors have included them in their meals not only because they make food taste good but also for their healing properties.


Healing properties of herbs and spices

Nutrient Spotlight: The Quiet Strength of Vitamin K2


When I discuss bone health in clinical practice, calcium is what comes to mind first for most people, followed by the crucial question: should I supplement it?


Apart from the complex interplay between calcium and cancer (my field of specialisation) warranting caution with calcium supplementation, the reality is that, in our society, calcium intake is generally good enough in most people’s diets.


On the other hand, what can be missing in sufficient amounts are important cofactors for the regulation of calcium absorption and utilisation. In particular vitamin D3, which supports the absorption of dietary calcium from the gut into the bloodstream, and vitamin K2, which ensures that calcium is efficiently incorporated into the bone mineral matrix, thus strengthening the skeleton.


Numerous studies have reported that people with hip fractures have a lower level of vitamin K2 than the general population. Interestingly, in Japan the rate of fractures is particularly low, even among the increasingly elderly population, and researchers have speculated this may be linked to the regular consumption of fermented soy dishes, such as natto, rich in vitamin K2. A three-year clinical study of vitamin K2’s impact on bone health in postmenopausal women (n=244) showed a statistically significant protection of the vertebrae and hip against bone loss.


Vitamin K2 is important for bone and cardiovascular health


Acrylamide: a hidden food toxin worth knowing about


It is never particularly pleasant to talk about toxins and carcinogens commonly found in our living environment. It can be scary and generate anxiety, so it is not my preferred topic by far.


However, increasingly I feel that, with no intention of generating paranoia or fear of eating and living a normal life, it is worth talking more about of the most common sources of toxins and how to avoid them, as an important form of disease prevention.


According to the WHO, about 20% of cancer are attributable to food toxins, which would be called carcinogens (substances that promote the formation of cancer).


I chose to start with acrylamide, because of a recent prospective cohort study that caught my eye, which looked into an association between dietary exposure to acrylamide and breast cancer risk in 80,597 women. It found that women with high dietary intake of foods high in acrylamide over the course of several years had a whopping 40% higher risk of premenopausal breast cancer.


Acrylamide is found in a variety of every day foods, not as an additive, but as the by-product of cooking processes that ‘brown’ foods rich in sugar and starches.


Acrylamide is a food toxin linked to increased risk of cancer


I'd like to close going full circle to where I started, and leave you with a powerful video message (a short 2 minutes) from the HearthMath Institute.


In their own words:


"What would it be like to live in a world where people are kinder, looking out for each other’s well-being, and embracing one another with more empathy and less judgment? Caring for others, caring for self, caring for the world – they are all intertwined and enrich us with the collective power to make this world a better place. Together in the heart, we can create it."


Wishing you joy and good health.


Until next month, very best wishes,



Silvia Grisendi - Nutritional Therapist and Functional Medicine Practitioner

Thank you for reading. 

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Please note that any suggestions or information included in this blog do not represent or replace medical advice, and may not be appropriate for you as an individual. For personalised advice look for support from a qualified professional.

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