Russian scientist and medical doctor Konstantin Buteyko, in 1952, discovered that the real cause of asthma and other related diseases is a radical depletion of CO2 – carbon dioxide – in the lungs. This isn’t so strange when we learn that oxygen cannot be assimilated by cells without adequate amounts of CO2. There is only 0.03% carbon dioxide in the atmosphere today. Yet to absorb oxygen a healthy body requires about 6.5% carbon dioxide in the alveoli of the lungs. Therefore your lungs act to trap in some of the carbon dioxide produced by your body. Should the level of carbon dioxide in human lungs fall to 3%, it is fatal.
“Carbon dioxide is the basic nutrition of every life form of earth.
It acts as the main regulator of all functions in the organism;
it is the main internal environment of the organism; it is the vitamin of all vitamins.”
- – KP Buteyko
According to Buteyko’s research, asthmatics and sufferers of other related conditions have adopted a breathing pattern which causes them to release more carbon dioxide than they produce. To prevent the level from dropping to far, the body has developed certain defence mechanisms. These include constriction of the bronchial muscles and increased production of mucus in the membranes of the breathing passages.
Signs of overbreathing are lightheadedness, dizziness, poor concentration, shortness of breath, over sensitivity of the airways, excessive production of mucus, blocked or runny nose, mouth breathing, palpitations, skipped heart beats, muscular spasms, different degrees of anxiety, tension, apprehension, fatigue, insomnia, abdominal bloating, loss of consciousness, and the list goes on!
Here are some tips for improving your nutrition. Start with a few points, and work your way up to adding more and more healthy habits into your life.
- Please ensure that you build a routine eating the same times daily (within one hour earlier or later than the time that you ate the day before).
- The ideal hours to eat your meals are between 7-9:00 am breakfast, 11:00-13:00 Lunch and 17:00-19:00 Dinner, according to circadian (body) rhythms.
- First thing the morning after brushing your teeth and scrapping your tongue (use a tongue scrapper) have 1-2 glasses of warm water with some lemon or lime (very alkalising and flushes your inner body). Allow minimum 15 minutes before having breakfast.
First thing in the morning, drink 1-2 glasses of warm water with lemon.
- Have a Mid Morning and Mid Afternoon snack only if you are hungry or doing intensive sports. Please ensure that you have a glass or two of water first, as you can be thirsty and mistake it for hunger.
- If you stay up late and you feel hungry, have a piece of fruit – apple or pear preferably as they are easy to digest and they won’t interfere with your sleep. Also, it will stop any sugar craving as it is natural sugar, without the side effects of the desserts!
- Drink 6-8 glasses of water per day & an extra glass of water for any coffee or soft drink that you drink – or more if you train/being very active. Drink the water throughout the day starting from first thing the morning.
- Avoid having any drinks with your meal so your digestion will not be slowed down due to the dilution of your gastric juices. Ideally drink 15 minutes before your meal or ideally two hours after the meal.
- The food on your plate should be combination of ¼ of carbohydrates (wholegrain rice/pasta, millet, buckwheat, rye bread, couscous, lentils, beans, chickpeas, quinoa) /1/4 of protein and the rest vegetables (as less cooked-Steamed) or fresh salad to help you digest it (rich in enzymes). Please note that if you have access to sprouts, they are 30 times more nutritious then any greens, so add them to your salads. Avoid white rice and potatoes (sweet potatoes ok) and not as much pasta as it will help you with loosing weight. Use wholegrain millet, quinoa, pulses, buckwheat as well pastas made from corn, wholegrain rice.
- Please ensure that your food, especially the meat, dairy and eggs are organic as to avoid absorbing the hormones from the animals into your body, which can gradually cause you hormonal imbalances.
- You should aim to eat roughly about 1.0 gram of protein per 1kg of your weight. As not all of the animal/fish protein is absorbable from your body. That translates to about 100 grams of protein (fish/chicken/red meat) per meal. Please note that many vegetable protein/meal replacements (no milk based) are available which can help you when stressed, on a hurry or limited options availiable.
- The vegetables can be whenever possible organic but at least to be local produce (British) as they are fresher as it takes less time to get to the supermarket comparing to the ones from other continents.
- Avoid fried/grilled food and aim for steamed Vegetables/Fish (add lemon), raw salads and oven-cooked meat. Eggs eat them boiled or poached.
- Use olive oil, avocado oil or seeds oil everywhere, except frying. If frying, use either coconut oil or animal fat.
- Before you eat please take five deep breaths while seating to relax. Then make sure that you chew you food thoroughly, without talking to anyone else or reading something else. There is a very wise saying , “drink your food and eat your drink”.
- Eat slowly as it takes 20 minutes for the signal that you are full to reach the brain. So if you eat very quickly you can overeat and then feel sick.
- Reduce your intake of salt (it helps with weight loss as well – body get rids of excess water).
- Reduce stress in your life as if you are stressed the body withholds extra kilos (even if you eat healthy). It perceives the stress as a warning that difficult/hunger times are coming so it stores as much fat as it can for future energy/preservation.
Eat Organic Food!
N.B. The above notes are just guidelines as there are many schools of thought out there for Vegan, Vegetarians etc, which have some great principles. The above principles are more than enough to put you back on the right track.
P.S. As most of you are busy, an excellent tip for training is just to buy a trampoline so you can practice daily for 5-20 minutes at least 20min before a meal. This was proven by NASA as the most effective form of training for their astronauts as it stimulates the whole lymphatic system (drainage of the body) and body cells.