Most days, I get a coffee at the local service station near our home at about 6 am each morning after my meditation and Qigong session. While waiting, I always observe the Tradespersons coming in for their morning coffee and pie or pastie, which I presume is their breakfast!
Upon conversation with the coffee maker, I was therefore not surprised to hear that at another service station a few kilometres away from their favourite breakfast, there was a hot dog with sauce and coffee !. The breakfast of champions! No, not really, that is beer!
Jokes aside, the current Aussie tradie lifestyle is perhaps not the best for health, and Tradespersons are not renowned for having eggs with a smashed avo for breakfast. Those that I know are reluctant to take any supplements for some strange reason – maybe they feel invincible! When Cold or flu Strikes them, then taking the good old cold and flu pharmaceuticals is the go, and they soldier on !! This is the lot of the trade person – no work then no pay!
With this start to the day, and missing meals or just grabbing a quick bite when hungry, many tradespersons are prone to developing high cholesterol, blood pressure issues, heart disease, bowel and weight gain problems, joint pains and fatigue.
The Human body thrives on a diet of fruit and veg. For a good reason, getting daily amounts of vitamins and minerals and plant nutrients is instrumental in keeping blood vessels in good order and the immune system at the ready, not to mention preventing musculoskeletal injuries. The regular tradie diet does not supply anywhere near what is required for good health. To make matters worse, most Australians are on a Standard Australian Diet, which does not meet the criteria for daily intake of fruit and veg, so it is -called the SAD diet – sad.
So what sort of diet should tradies have?
Before we can go to supplements, we need to know that supplements are just that – supplements. They do not take the place of a good diet as a good diet is a balanced way of obtaining most of what the body requires in the right amounts. Nothing beats a well-balanced diet with the correct ratios of protein, fat and carbohydrates.
I always recommend the Mediterranean diet as an excellent example of where to start. There is plenty on the internet about this way of eating and more on my blogs at www.adelaidenaturopath.net.au. So as a sample menu for a Tradie, maybe something like this-
- Breakfast: coffee or Bircher muesli or porridge prepared the night before or a bowl of fresh fruit. If coffee is the first thing then Bircher Muesli or Porridge can be taken in a glass container and eaten mid-morning. See my blog on www.adelaidenaturopath.net,au for recipes.
- Lunch: Salad sandwich or Subway salad wrap
- Dinner: Protein and vegetables any way you want – e.g. fish and salad or chicken and veg or beef and greens etc
So, where do we start in formulating a supplement program for tradespersons?
For those who do not like taking supplements, I recommend a one-a-day multivitamin and mineral supplement. Not the cheap ones but ones made with a broad spectrum of nutrients in a large tablet. The only issue with this approach is that it is hard to get all the essential vitamins and minerals in adequate amounts in one tablet, but something is better than nothing!
For a more advanced approach, the following may be recommended as a daily regime –
An Activated B Group vitamin – one per day for promoting energy and good nervous health
Fish oil capsules – 1000mgx four day – for anti-inflammatory actions and cognitive health
As directed on the bottle, magnesium capsules or powder – for energy and as a nerve and muscle relaxer.
Curcumin tablets if there are aches and pains -as directed on the bottle.- Good for the tradie that has sore shoulders, crook knees, bad back etc
The body requires a daily intake broad spectrum of the water-soluble B group vitamins. Water-soluble means not being retained by the body and is eliminated by daily urine, so it must be replenished. B group vitamins are helpful for the body’s nervous system, Heart Health, and many other functions. A suggested supplement here is an Activated B Supplement. The B group vitamins are already processed, so they do not need to go through the liver to be activated into a more absorbable form.
Fish oil caps are suggested as we need a daily intake of essential Fatty acids for maintaining tissue health, containing inflammation and for cognitive health. Unless one has a serving of oily fish x three times a week, then one is likely to have a deficit of essential fatty acids in the body. A few capsules a day is all that is required for health Maintainance. Active Tradespersons are particularly vulnerable to inflammatory disorders, so this supplement would undoubtedly be at the top of the list in many cases.
Magnesium is used in the body for cellular energy, heart and muscular health. Most Australians lack this mineral as most are not taking enough daily fruit and veg. There are many magnesium supplements on the Health food shelves, and I recommend a powder as in this form can be absorbed quicker and is cheaper to take this way.
For many active tradespersons, the daily wear and tear on their joints take their toll – plumbers, carpenters, and carpet layers are most vulnerable, for example. Wear and tear over the years produces inflammation in the joints and contributes to thinning of joint cartilage and joint capsule linings, thus eventually leading to crippling Arthritis. When symptoms finally appear, the situation has often progressed to the point of no return in the joint. Permanent damage has been done. Nevertheless, if there are first signs of aches and pains, an anti-inflammatory diet with Curcumin may be the answer to preventing more severe deterioration. I always recommend Curcumin with Boswellia for best results. Boswellia is also a potent natural anti-inflammatory in its own right and works synergistically with Curcumin.
High doses need to be taken if there are aches and pains, but when there is alleviation, then a smaller Maintainance dose can be taken. They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, which certainly applies to those actively involved in trades.
For further information, and a free health analysis don’t hesitate to get in touch with me on www.adelaidenaturopath.net.au
or phone for free advice on 0438584123