Magaret Guthrie Nally

By Magaret Guthrie Nally

Expert Advice, FAQs, Health Advice, Nutrition Lab, View All Health Advice, View All Nutrition Lab

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are a few frequently asked questions answered by Evergreen Experts!

What is Organic Food?

Organic food should be referred not to the food itself but to the process of its producing. It refers to food items that are prepared according to the norms set by an organic certifying body.

Organic food production is founded on faming system sustaining and enriches the productive capacity of soil. It does not undergo any special moments such as artificial ingredients, preservatives or irradiation. That is, organic food production does not involve the use of chemical fertilizers, chemical pesticides, or chemical preservatives.

Are organic products non-GMO? Yes, organic standards prohibit GMOs. Genetically Modified Organism, also referred to as a product of genetic engineering. These organisms whose genetic makeup (DNA) has been altered in a way that does not occur naturally.

I suffer from constipation. Can you suggest some simple tips?

Constipation is a common disorder whereby the contents of the bowel move too slowly through the colon. This condition is characterised by incomplete or infrequent and/or painful bowel elimination. Normal bowel movements occur 1-3 times within an 18-24 hour period. A healthy stool should be soft, bulky, light brown in colour, with no mucus or blood and should be passed with ease and no straining.

Foods to aid the bowel:

  • Prunes, are rich in fibre, vitamin A and potassium.
  • Pears are considered to be natural laxatives and can ease the movement of stool through the intestines.
  • Broccoli, a source of fibre.
  • Flaxseeds are full of fibre and is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, as well as of other important vitamins, minerals and phytoestrogens. They can ease constipation, bloating and abdominal pain.
  • Carrots are full of fibre, raw carrots that are part of a healthy fibre-filled diet can improve your stool movement. Remember, eat them raw. Cooked carrots can lead to constipation.
  • Beans, can help you avoid constipation and maintain a healthy digestive system.
  • Peaches, eaten both dried and fresh, are also packed with fibre.
  • Pineapple juice is a great way to regulate your digestive system and avoid constipation in the first place.
  • Figs, another great source of fibre, figs can make your stool softer for easier digestion.
  • Opting for whole grain breads, oatmeal and bran cereal are easy ways to fill your body up with fibre.

What exactly are probiotics?

Probiotics can sometimes be understood as the opposite of antibiotics, but really the term covers much more territory. In general, probiotics are a host of healthful bacteria that help break down and assimilate food; they live in the mucous membrane–covered tube that runs from your mouth to your rectum.

What can I use for a vaginal yeast infection?

The vagina naturally contains a balanced mix of yeast and bacteria. Lactobacillus bacteria produce acid, which discourages overgrowth of yeast in the vagina. But disruption of the healthy balance can result in an overgrowth of yeast. Too much yeast in your vagina can lead to vaginal itching, burning, and other classic signs and symptoms of a yeast infection.

Overgrowth of yeast can result from:

  • Antibiotic use, which leads to a decrease in the amount of lactobacillus bacteria in your vagina and a change in your vaginal pH that allows yeast to overgrow
  • Pregnancy
  • Uncontrolled diabetes
  • Impaired immune system
  • Anything that changes the type and amount of bacteria normally present in the vagina, such as douching or irritation from inadequate vaginal lubrication.

Lactobacillus acidophilus and L. bifidus both help maintain a healthy balance of “friendly” bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract and vagina. They also produce substances that combat hostile microorganisms. Research shows that L. acidophilus may help prevent or slow the growth of vaginal yeast infections, replacing the natural acidophilus that antibiotics destroy.

Multi-Gyn Floraplus optimises vaginal pH with the probiotic, lactobacilli.  This product treats and prevents vaginal yeast problems such as candida, and relieves irritation, itch, odour and discharge.

Wear unbleached cotton underwear. This is particularly important if you are susceptible to recurrent vaginal yeast infections. Nylon or other polyester fabrics can trap moisture, creating an environment friendly to fungal growth.

Avoid commercial feminine products. Some douches, feminine sprays, and perfumed tampons can make Candida overgrowth worse by irritating the delicate vaginal membranes.

What are haemorrhoids?

Haemorrhoids are swollen blood vessels that line the anal opening caused by chronic excess pressure from straining during a bowel movement, persistent diarrhoea, or pregnancy.

Common symptoms: Itching, burning, pain, inflammation, swelling, irritation, seepage and bleeding from the rectum, difficult bowel movement, feeling of lumps or swelling in or around the anal area. There are two types of haemorrhoids: internal and external.

External piles lie within the anus and are often uncomfortable and painful because the lower part of the anal canal has lots of pain nerve fibres. If an external haemorrhoid prolapses to the outside (usually in the course of passing a stool), you can see and feel it.

Internal haemorrhoids lie far enough inside the rectum that you can't see or feel them. They don't usually hurt because there are few pain-sensing nerves in the rectum. Bleeding may be the only sign that they are there.


  • Constipation; passing large stools (faeces), and straining at the toilet. These increase the pressure in and around the veins in the anus and seem to be a common reason for piles to develop.
  • Pregnancy; Piles are common during pregnancy. This is probably due to pressure effects of the baby lying above the rectum and anus, and the affect that the change in hormones during pregnancy can have on the veins.
  • Ageing; the tissues in the lining of the anus may become less supportive as we get older.

Bioflavonoids are a type of plant compound found naturally in citrus fruits such as oranges and lemons. Helping to stabilize and strengthen veins and capillaries and reduce inflammation, clinical trials suggest that bioflavonoids may reduce bleeding, discomfort and pain during acute haemorrhoid flare-ups and also help symptoms between flare-ups. Pine bark extract is a source of flavonoids, catechins, proanthocyanidins, and phenolic acids, compounds thought to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Horse chestnut acts as a vasoconstrictor and venotonic. It also helps to stop the enzymes that destroy damaged veins. Increasing the tone and reducing the rate of breakdown of these veins decreases the inflammation and the loss of strength in these vessels.

Horsetail has anti-inflammatory and haemostatic activity which may alleviate the pain and help decrease or stop the bleeding caused by haemorrhoids. Simply drink one cup of tea before every fibre rich meal. Fibre rich meal minimizes the risk of constipation which is considered one of the causes of pain associated with haemorrhoids and haemorrhoids itself.

Are there foods I should avoid for underactive thyroid?

Certain foods will slow down the function of your thyroid because they block your medication from producing thyroid hormone properly, especially when eaten raw. Cooking these foods inactivates their anti-thyroid properties. These foods are called goitrogens, which are chemicals that lower thyroid function.

Eat these foods sparingly or only once every four days:

  • Almonds
  • Cauliflower (Any vegetable that falls into the broccoli family is from the goitrogenic family and shouldn’t be eaten more than twice a week if you have hypothyroidism.)
  • Millet – when uncooked is gluten free however it does contain goitrogens. While the goitrogens in foods that contain them are usually reduced by cooking (such as cruciferous vegetables), cooking actually increases the goitrogenic effect of millet.
  • Pears
  • Turnips
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Corn
  • Mustard
  • Pine nuts
  • Cabbage
  • Kale
  • Peaches
  • Soy (Isoflavones block iodine)
  • Rapeseed oil
  • Peanuts
  • Spinach

What is H. Pylori and how can I help myself?

Helicobacter pylori more commonly called H. pylori is a spiral-shaped bacterium commonly found in the stomach. The bacteria's shape and the way they move allow them to penetrate the stomach's protective mucous lining, where they produce substances that weaken the lining and make the stomach more susceptible to damage from gastric acids. The bacteria can also attach to cells of the stomach, causing stomach inflammation (gastritis), and can stimulate the production of excess stomach acid.

Foods to be avoided in any H. pylori diet are the sugars which can be used by the bacteria, such as chocolate, coffee, dairy products, red and processed meat, pickled products, refined grains, salt, and spirits.

What to do?

well if symptoms get worse always contact your doctor. And to prevent them getting any worse consider the following;

  • Increase vitamin A rich foods - carrots, apricots, parsley, watercress, spinach, cantaloupes, mangoes, legumes, sweet potatoes and broccoli
  • Increase soluble and insoluble fibre whole grains, legumes, vegetables, dried and fresh fruit and seeds
  • Avoid bacon and smoked foods
  • Avoid sugar
  • Adding raw ginger to your food or drinks
  • Using Organic Turmeric in your dishes
  • Eat one or two cloves of raw garlic daily

Mastic gum which is a natural substance extracted from the trunk of the mastic tree (Pistaccia lentiscus var. chia), an evergreen shrub found in the Mediterranean and in North Africa. Research has shown that mastic gum kills H. pylori, as well as a variety of other harmful bacteria and fungi and may therefore be effective in helping to combat stomach distress, including gastritis and peptic ulcers. Taking this along with a good probiotic to replace the micro flora in the gut for a healthy digestive and immune system.