A Recipe for Myopia

Eyes_Wide_Open

Being in business we are always glued to some screen or another.

Yet the addiction to the screen use goes beyond its attention-grabbing nature and the business of business. Screen-time creates a very near and static focal length for our eyes. The ciliary muscle in the eye relaxes when looking into the distance, and it contracts at shorter focal lengths.

Gazing at a screen for hours on end is effectively practicing constant contraction of the ciliary muscle.  Too much ‘near’ work, in the absence of ‘mid-range’ and ‘distance’ work, influences the progression of myopia (short sightedness)

Being office bound reduces time spent outside, which is also suggested to lead to myopia.

Based on epidemiological studies, Ian Morgan, a myopia researcher at the Australian National University in Canberra, estimates that children needed to spend around three hours per day under light levels of at least 10,000 lux to be protected against myopia.

When outdoors, the eye becomes accustomed to long viewing distances, and this has a protective effect. This ability was essential for primeval man to perceive hidden danger, changes in terrain and weather patterns in order to survive.

When the eye is exposed to bright light, the retina releases dopamine. Dopamine signals the eye to change from night vision, which relies on rod-shaped photoreceptors, to day vision mode.  Day vision utilises cone-shaped photoreceptors, which also provide colour sensitivity.  When there isn’t enough of the right light, this cycle gets disrupted.

Overcast days may provide less than 10,000 lux – even outdoors – but sunny days can provide much more than that, even if you’re wearing sunglasses. Indoor settings typically max out at about 500 lux, so make sure you get out of the office, and into the bright light of day as often as you can.

Nature 519,276–278 (19 March 2015) International weekly journal of science http://www.nature.com/news/the-myopia-boom-1.17120

Advertisements

Where Have All The Oranges Gone…?

all-blacks-haka_jckfso9cpz2f17920x2c6psx1

Orange segments are a healthy and easy-to-eat snack for children during rugby half time break (or any sport for that matter).  Oranges are loaded with vitamin C, which helps counter the effects of oxidation and stress. This marvellous fruit has fibre and carbohydrates in the right mix, and provides children with fuel and stamina.

Eating orange halves at half time will also help keep your child hydrated, as oranges have high water content – unlike lollies.

Sadly we now see coaches of junior sports teams handing out sweets and candy bars like confetti.  Concentrated sugar in the body, such as in sweets, always come with adverse biological reactions in a child’s body, whether it is obvious or not.  Visible reactions can go from a hyper-active sugar “high” – through to irrational and violent behaviour, often ending in extreme lethargy and fatigue.  Not what a coach wants to see in his or her team!

Chemical ingredients in sweets and sweet drinks (as many so-called ‘sports’ drinks are) will also cause certain children to have adverse and uncharacteristic reactions to the preservatives, colourings, flavourings and stabilisers they are laced with.

If a child’s overall diet is well balanced, there should be no adverse dental issues with eating oranges at half time – which seems to be the main argument for this shameful change.  This is one area where dentists seem united, indicating that children are far better off eating oranges or other healthy snacks rather than sweets, soft drinks, sports drinks, etc, during and after the game.

Prof. Grant Schofield explains, “I’d say most professional sports teams are now at least [consuming] low sugar or low carb. That’s not always high fat, but it’s healthy fats. Nutrition for sport is really changing fast.”

If the All Blacks have shunted sugar aside, deleting it from their training foods, why can’t this filter down to our children, the most damaged by these pseudo-foods..?

Alternative Snack Ideas for the Sportsground…

Ryvita & Peanut Butter

Almonds, Walnuts, Brazils – or trail mix (careful of children with nut allergies).

Fig Bars

Oatmeal biscuits

Organic Yogurt and berries

Bananas

Orange slices

Clementines/Mandarins

Melon skewers and slices (watermelon, cantaloupe, etc)

Apple slices

Strawberries

Apricots

Peaches

Kiwi fruit

Carrot sticks

– even Hard Boiled Eggs..!

Racing Through History…!

Racing through history

Evolutionists estimate we’ve been on this planet nearly 2.5 million years. We have been healing ourselves and living on a ‘hunter-gatherer’ seasonal diet of ‘primal’ foods, such as meat, fish, eggs, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, since the dawn of our species.

Only relatively recently – about 10,000 years ago – did we start to settle in communities to grow crops of grains such as wheat and corn.  Now if you condense the whole of human evolution into just one year, it turns out we started eating grains only about a day and a half ago. The pharmaceutical and drug industry started from its roots in botanicals (yes, really) in the mid-1800’s, then left this behind for the more lucrative synthetic compounding in the early 1900’s.

These are just a blink of an eye in our history, yet now we’re taught to scorn the old, natural, bio-identical methods of keeping the body healthy, which has sustained us over these millions of years.  Genetically we are virtually identical to our ancestors and are best adapted to these primal foods. Unfortunately, much of what passes for ‘food’ that we now end up ingesting (courtesy of the agri-chemical, pharmaceutical and factory-food industries) is largely unrecognised by our ancient, but highly efficient, biological systems – or our genes.

It is ironic that our bodies are surviving longer now through a combination of better hygiene, advanced trauma treatments and a notable absence of sabre-toothed tigers, yet here we are getting older, slower, sicker, fatter and weaker as we age than ever before in our long history.

So let’s go back and nourish ourselves on whole, unprocessed foods, free of chemicals, additives and mankind’s meddling. Let’s go back to growing and buying food that looks like it’s supposed to, and support ethical and sustainable farming. And let’s go back to eating food that’s made in a kitchen, rather than in a lab.