Alternatively Speaking: A healthy start to the day

Alternative medicine expert Natalie Marx answers your questions: Any natural alternatives to preventing colon polyps? Any healthy breakfast ideas?

mango521 (photo credit: MCT)
(photo credit: MCT)
Q. Colon polyps run on my side of the family. I would like to know if there are any natural alternatives to preventing them or at least shrinking them? Thank you.
A. Colon polyps are caused due to fiber deficiency. One of the most beneficial dietary approaches for colon polyps, notes certified nutritional consultant Phyllis A. Balch, author of Prescription for Nutritional Healing, involves consuming a high-fiber diet with no animal fats. My favorite supplemental fiber is taken in the form of psyllium husks, barley or oat bran.
Pay particular attention to calcium. Calcium can significantly protect against colon polyps. Good food sources of calcium include skim or low-fat milk and other dairy products, broccoli, kale and canned salmon with the bones. Vitamin D, which aids in the absorption of calcium, also appears to help reduce the risk of colon polyps. You get vitamin D from foods such as vitamin D-fortified milk products, liver, egg yolks and fish. Sunlight also converts a chemical in your skin into a usable form of the vitamin. If you don't drink milk or you avoid the sun, you may want to consider taking both a vitamin D and a calcium supplement.
Include plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains in your diet. These are high in fiber, which may also cut your risk of developing colon polyps.Certain types of fat can increase your risk of colon cancer. It's important to limit saturated fats from red meat as well as processed meat such as sausages. Limit saturated fat to no more than 10 percent of your daily calorie intake.Drink plenty of water because it helps in keeping the functioning of one’s digestive system and will help to clean out poisonous toxins from the digestive tract.
Intake of vitamin C helps in reducing the formation of polyps and vitamin E due to its antioxidant properties help in flushing out toxins from the body. Foods rich in vitamin A protect the lining membranes in the stomach.
I have had great success when recommending green tea. Studies suggest that the epigallocatechin-3-gallate, an active constituent of green tea, neutralizes enzymes aiding in the growth of colon polyps. To reap this benefit, you must drink at least 5 cups of green tea every day.
Q. I am looking for some tasty and healthy breakfast ideas to help me with my constipation. Do you have any ideas?
A. I suggest you can try the following as breakfast which can be prepared the night before:
- Put two tea spoons of Linseeds in a large glass of water. Overnight the seeds will absorb some of the water (which will help keep you and your stool hydrated) and also release the fatty acids that help the brain function properly.When you drink your morning linseeds, prepare another glass to have 12 or so hours later (in the evening or before bedtime). The linseeds also produce a muculent and this lubricates the walls of the intestines and therefore eases bowel movements. Linseeds also add bulk and roughage and hold water helping to create well formed stools.
- Cover dried figs, apricots, cranberries, prunes, a heaped tablespoon of sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds and almonds with boiling water. By the morning the water would have been absorbed and the seeds would have doubled in size and be getting ready to germinate into plants. This adds fatty acids and roughage and bulk to the diet. This roughage will help scrape and clean the intestine walls, as well as giving the intestines something to work against. To spice up this nutritious healthy breakfast, add fresh fruit in season or mango juice. 
Q. I have been a migraine sufferer most of my adult life (I am now 49) and have tried acupuncture, conventional medication with my GP who has also checked that there are no underlying conditions, and I’ve personally identified trigger foods including alcohol, chocolate, citrus fruit and caffeine. Are there any other alternatives that you could suggest?
A. I am delighted that you have worked closely with your GP and been your own detective, finding out what foods precipitate an attack. Nutritional deficiencies too can play a significant role in the development of migraines, especially essential fatty acids (oily fish, flax seed, hemp oil) and the mineral magnesium (green leafy vegetables), so do ensure your diet is rich in these nutrients.
There are many natural approaches to healing migraines. One of which is addressing the issue from a structural option. I would suggest a gentle, holistic and non-invasive approach to assess your condition such as Bowen or cranial osteopathy. Bowen views the individual as an integrated biodynamic system and treats the body with a series of gentle moves to restore balance. In the case of migraine, particular attention is paid to the cervical spine and cranial release points resulting in sufferers experiencing reduced muscular and nervous tension and hence a reduction in the physical migraine-causing symptoms. Cranial osteopathy is a subtle type of osteopathic treatment that aids the release of tension held in the head and throughout the entire body. A cranial osteopath will be able to assess your general condition and the tone of the tissues, especially those of the pelvis, diaphragm and base of the skull using a very gentle, refined touch.
Herbal medicine has been effectively treating migraines for centuries and doesn’t have the side effects of conventional painkillers. One of the most popular botanicals traditionally used for migraine headaches is Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium). It grows in the garden during summer and a fresh leaf a day taken as a tea. I have found this to be effective in helping chronic cases of migraine, but it can take a few months to take full effect. Contraindicated for pregnant or breastfeeding women, and for those people allergic to Feverfew or related plants such as Chrysanthemums, marigolds or daises.
This column is brought to you as general information only and unless stated otherwise is not medical advice nor is it based on medical experiments. This column is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. For more information about specific problems, please contact a doctor.
Natalie runs a clinic both in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem offering a wide range of natural treatment, including a women’s clinic every Wednesday. Healing is achieved using homeopathy, reflexology, massage, flower remedies and nutritional wisdom.To make an appointment please email [email protected]Ask Natalie: If you have a health query and would like an alternative answer then email Natalie with your question at [email protected]
Someone Once Said: 'We must turn to nature itself, to the observations of the body in health and in disease to learn the truth'. Hippocrates