“We are basically made up of what we eat and absorb, plus light, air and water,” says Courteney “and when you look in the mirror you are basically looking at what you have eaten in the past year!’
“And, while many of us talk about healthy eating, we continue to eat far too much pre-packaged, refined junk foods often packed with salt, sugar, additives and saturated fats – but very few nutrients.”
“My unhealthy eating habits started way back when I was a child, born and raised in Coventry, my family’s diet was totally unbalanced,” says Hazel.
“Between the ages of 5 and 20, I was constantly prescribed antibiotics because I suffered from chronic ear infections. I had no idea that what my mother gave me to eat was the root cause of most of my health problems. So many antibiotics triggered Candida (a yeast fungal infection) plus a leaky gut. I collected illnesses in my 20s like other people collected souvenirs. Unbeknown to my parents or me these health problems could have been alleviated simply by eating a healthier diet.”
“As a family, we were plagued with ill health. My father died at 49 from a heart attack and mother died of breast cancer and osteoporosis, which I now know could have been prevented or delayed if only their diet and lifestyle had been more balanced.”
“In my early years at school, I enjoyed science and history and had a great passion for English. I took my O levels and dreamt of becoming a doctor. However, two weeks after my 16th birthday, the untimely death of my father meant that I needed to go out to work.
“I worked as a children’s nanny, a civil servant and also started training as a midwife. In my 20s I took to the skies and worked as an air stewardess.
“Working 16 – 18-hour shifts I used to snack on all manner of poor foods such as biscuits and sugary drinks for an instant pick me up. This lifestyle was incredibly unhealthy – and the continuous intake of high carbohydrate ‘white ‘foods plus red meat made my body far too acidic. Everything we eat, after digestion either makes an ‘acid’ or ‘alkaline’ ash and for good health, our blood needs to be more alkaline. If the body becomes too acidic, then it starts withdrawing alkalising minerals such as calcium and magnesium from wherever it can find them – starting with our nails and hair– and eventually moving onto our bones.
“In my 30s I had a life-changing realisation when my husband asked, “What’s your disease today?” His joking statement made me realise that for my whole life I had hardly ever had a healthy day. From that moment on I started to read health magazines and discovered there was a huge amount of health research and information that the majority of the general public did not know about. Friends eventually sought my health advice and I found that I could often point them in the right direction. It was then that I decided to become a journalist!
“Within six months I became the UK’s first Alternative Health Agony Aunt in the national press and in 1997 I was voted Health Journalist of the Year.
“I have now written seven publications in total, the latest being ‘500 OF THE MOST IMPORTANT HEALTH TIPS YOU’LL EVER NEED’.
“The book is an A-Z of health tips covering over 250 conditions to help people take more responsibility for their health.
“Our bodies were never designed to eat so much rubbish and ingest so many chemicals. We have caused many of the health problems we face today – but we can change or reverse lots of them.
“Because the modern-day diet is less than perfect, we need to compromise, which is why many of us take nutritional supplements. For example, the longer fresh food is stored and cooked, the more nutrients are lost. If you leave an orange in the fridge for more than three days, up to 50% of the vitamin C content disappears.”
This book recommends specific nutrients and foods known to help alleviate specific conditions to help you become and stay healthier. For instance, tomatoes are a great food for a healthy prostate but should be avoided by people suffering Rheumatoid Arthritis. Pomegranates are great for heart health, whilst papaya and mango are highly anti-cancerous. Green foods like watercress, broccoli and cabbage are especially good for us as they help to alkalise the body.
It is full of facts, information, tips and advice and should take pride of place on anyone’s bookshelf.
500 of the Most Important Health Tips You’ll Ever Need by Hazel Courteney is published by CICO Books at £12.99, and available from all good bookshops or visit http://www.cicobooks.co.uk/
All supplements featured in the book are available from all good health stores and The Nutri Centre www.nutricentre.com