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Black Health Matters-4 Action Steps For Restoring Your Health

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2020
This is a guest blog by the lovely and enlightened Emma Louise Follows, who volunteered to write a blog for my site to educate us all on racial inequality, particularly in the healthcare community. Do blacks get the same opportunities for health? Education and awareness are the first steps to changing the broken system.
Black Health Matters – 4 Action Steps For Restoring Your Health
It’s a difficult time for the black community. We are disproportionately affected by Covid-19 with black people being twice as likely to die. At a time when many of us are trying to shield ourselves from catching the virus we now feel called to take to the streets alongside one another to protest the shocking police brutality and recent violence against our people. As a health advocate I am angry that we feel the need to hide away from a virus that our bodies should be able to deal with. Our bodies can’t do their jobs because we are sick and run down and it is not our fault. The world isn’t set up to support us being in optimal health. Our food and air is toxic and our culture is set up to value productivity over rest. The good news is that we can heal this. I think this pandemic is a wake call and I’d like to support your wellness by offering 4 tips for restoring your health;
Vitamin D
We know that sufficient Vitamin D levels are essential for the immune system. We know that those who die of Covid-19 are likely to be deficient in Vitamin D. We also know that black people living in colder countries are almost always Vitamin D deficient unless they are supplementing. Now is the time to address Vitamin D deficiency. Have a blood test to determine your level and begin to replenish. You can take Vitamin D3 in spray form under the tongue for best assimilation. It doesn’t end there though. Did you know that in order to properly absorb Vitamin D, which is technically a hormone, your body requires Vitamin K2 . What’s more if you are taking high doses of Vitamin D and your body cannot properly use it it can cause hypercalcemia, excessively high levels of calcium in the blood. This can severely damage your kidneys and people of colour are already far more likely to develop kidney damage. Ensure you are getting enough Vitamin K2 regulates calcium accumulation and is essential to be taken alongside Vitamin D. Vitamin K2 can be found in fermented foods and organ meats but it can be difficult to get enough from your diet, so look at taking a fermented cod liver oil supplement to boost your K2 intake.
Cleanse and recolonise your gut
More than 60% of your immune system lives in your gut. What this actually means is that the friendly bacteria in your gut is what is responsible for fighting off bad bacteria that causes illness. Thanks to years of antibiotics, toxin exposure and insufficient breast feeding as children, many of us have an extremely compromised immune system. In the Caribbean it is customary to have a day of fasting or a couple of days eating very simply between seasons as a detox and reset. This is also an Ayurvedic practice and one that I do myself and offer to my customers on a seasonal basis. If you are run down consider starting your health journey with a short cleanse where you eat very simply, remove inflammatory foods like sugar and gluten, and take in herbs that will bind to and draw out toxins. From there, look at introducing raw, unpasteurised fermented foods like cultured vegetables as a way of recolonising your gut with pre and probiotics.
Once you have cleansed and begun recolonising with probiotics you will need to look at your diet onwards. Diabetes and high blood pressure are rife in the black community and so many people are on synthetic medication which is causing a whole host of other problems in their bodies.  All the while the research has shown time and time again that both these issues can be reversed with diet. Eliminating refined carbs and adopting a diet of healthy protein, fats and lots of vegetables. This works not only to treat diabetes and high blood pressure but it will clear up other health problems you didn’t even know were connected to food. It is time to put down the junk our culture has been feeding us and let food be our medicine.
Rest has become a political issue for the black community
‘There is deep power in taking a break, honouring your body and actively participating in your deprogramming from grind culture. We have been brainwashed to be violent towards our own bodies by pushing it to exhaustion.
@thenapministry – Instagram
Sleep is when our bodies regenerate and heal. It’s when we dream and our creativity ignites. Start going to bed half an hour earlier each night until you are asleep by 10pm at the latest. Your body gets the best quality sleep in the early part of the night so you want to attune your circadian rhthyms to sleep and rise early. Put aside time for daily meditation and stillness where you go inwards and feel your feelings. Let yourself feel our collective grief, your individual pain. Feel it all and let it move through you. I love to meditate on this line from T.S. Elliot:
Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought. So the darkness shall be the light and the stillness the dancing.
T.S. Eliot taken from Wait Without Hope
As you rest and heal your creativity will flow, ideas and visions for our future as a community. We need us rested and creative.
As well as being a health advocate I’m also an employment lawyer. As a final thought, I’m concerned that whilst black people are disproportionately affected by Covid-19 we are also more likely to be working on the front line during this pandemic and accordingly exposed to the biggest viral load. If this is you and especially if you have an existing health condition please know that your employer has a duty of care to protect your health in the workplace. Demand to be risk assessed and redeployed away from the front line where appropriate. The time to take our health into our own hands is now.
If you’d like to take the first step on your health journey let me help you. At Eat Live we offer a 3 Day Ayurvedic Cleanse with all your meals, herbs and oil put together for you so that you can rest and support your body in it’s healing. Prioritise your health from now. Let us support you change the relationship with your health and value system – we can do this, we can use this moment of change on all fronts.
Emma-Louise Follows is London based Herbalist, Health Advocate and Lawyer. She runs Eat Live, a mission driver business focused on transforming people’s health through food and lifestyle. Contact Emma-Louise at

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