Can fasting help reverse the symptoms of diabetes?

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Research on mice has suggested that a specialised fasting diet may help regenerate the pancreas to enable it to control blood sugar levels. The study — conducted by the University of Southern California — has major implications for diabetics, both Type 1 and Type 2, as it will potentially help reverse the symptoms of diabetes by allowing the pancreas to regulate high blood sugar levels by releasing insulin into the bloodstream.

Experts interviewed by the BBC said the findings were “potentially very exciting”.

For more information on this developing story see the report published in Cell Magazine and this BBC article.

Sourcing organic food in the country

picklesOne of the benefits of living in my small country town is the local food tradition. Sheep, beef, canola and wheat farms dominate the skyline as you approach and the town has a rich tradition of homegrown and homemade food that comes with a close connection with the land.

While it’s true that the local supermarket does excellent business, it’s not hard to find exceptional organic food from townsfolk if you search carefully. For example, getting a packet of fresh, delicious and very affordable eggs from free range chickens is just a matter of following the signs at the farm or local street, asking a neighbour or (more usually) checking the local social media pages. Backyards are bigger here than those postage stamp-sized versions in the city and the extra space well suited for chickens, ducks and a veggie patch. Continue reading “Sourcing organic food in the country”

Is the Mediterranean diet good for mental health?

dieta_mediterranea_italiaCan the Mediterranean diet boost mental as well as physical health? A new study would suggest so.

It’s a familiar story. You are confronted with a range of diets when you seek information on how to improve your health by changing your eating habits.  Some have scientific backing, others don’t. Some are based on the sensible consumption of wholefoods, others just concentrate on a fad “new” ingredient. Many of these are touted as the “next big thing” in wellness and weight loss, though most are eventually discredited as scientific studies reveal how lacking they really are. It’s more than annoying, as the hype that surrounds the false, money-spinning diets obscures the effectiveness of those that do work. Continue reading “Is the Mediterranean diet good for mental health?”

Container Gardening To Start Feeding Your Family!

Hand picked basil.

A great first step into the world of self sufficiency is container gardening. The cost is relatively low, the returns amazing.

So where to begin?

Let’s start with the container. Small circular pots about 8cm (3 inch) in diameter are good.  Plastic, ceramic, manufactured for purpose, fruit tins or found objects all work. Begin where you are and use what you have at hand. Potting soil can be picked up cheaply. Soil dug from garden will work but it will give you drainage problems most times but you might be lucky and have suitable soil. It’s all an experiment so have fun.

Continue reading “Container Gardening To Start Feeding Your Family!”

Tackling the cost of organic food

food-healthy-vegetables-potatoesOne of the themes we will explore at The Real Food Chain is the relatively high cost of organic foods. We want to know how to get around this problem, how we can boost our health without having to spend too much money. In doing so we ask the very real questions: Why are organic foods more expensive? Why can’t people do their food shopping each week for no or little extra cost than a basket of sprayed veggies? What are the options to save money?

As anyone who has shopped will say, it is often the case that true organic food comes with a premium that pushes it out of the range of ordinary folk, no matter how much they want to improve their family’s diet. Shopping for the week’s meat, fruit and veggies would seem only be the preserve of the well-to-do unless you live on an organic farm. This may be overstating the point a bit but it contains a germ of truth! Continue reading “Tackling the cost of organic food”