Change maker Ben Warren

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Ben Warren is a living example of one man making massive changes to the lives of many. Highly focused, he has a lofty goal. Ben is striving to transform the lives and health of one million people. While that is quite some goal, as one of New Zealand’s leading nutrition and holistic health experts, he is well placed to achieve it.

His passion, drive and determination see him well on his way to reaching his target. And along the way he is educating and assisting hundreds of thousands of people to enjoy healthier lifestyles.

An international speaker with nearly 40,000 having attended his seminars, Ben has
made it his mission to build a new future of health, by empowering and educating New Zealanders on the importance of nutrition. He and his family live on a 15 acre organic, permaculturally-designed, nutrient-dense farm in Hawke’s Bay and he shares his vision  through seminars and online programmes.

Working with a team of nutritionists at the BePure Clinic, he has recently made some exciting developments in his work towards preventing and reversing chronic diseases.

A former elite golfer before a back injury ended his playing career, Ben has an impressive collection of qualifications which enable him to offer a diverse and holistic knowledge on a range of health and wellbeing topics.

(Qualifications: MSc (hons) Holistic Nutrition, BA (hons) Experimental Psychology, Level 3 CHEK Nutrition and Lifestyle Coach, Level 2 CHEK Muscular-Skeletal Therapist, level 2 TFH, Level 2 EFT, continued education in soil agronomy).

Originally from Bath, England, Ben graduated with double honours in Experimental Psychology and worked as a golf coach following the end of his own competitive career. It was in the pursuit of excellence in golf that he discovered optimal joint mechanics and began studying to become a certified golf biomechanic.

The more Ben discovered about the body and the shared nerve innovation between muscles and organs, the more his interest swung to organ function and nutrition. He studied nutrition extensively through the Chek Institute in California, a health and exercise institute.

Understanding it’s what we don’t know about nutrition that makes us sick, Ben completed a Master’s Degree in holistic nutrition to help find the missing links to people’s health issues.

Ben has been running a private health and performance practice in Havelock North for the past 10 years, while simultaneously running nutrition courses across New Zealand and internationally.

He has continued his education by studying soil agronomy and acknowledging the role the mind has to play in health. He is also an Emotional Freedom Technique practitioner and has skills in applied kinesiology.

Through his years of clinical experience Ben developed an ancestral eating programme. This programme flies in the face of current conventional nutritional recommendations – encouraging consumption of organ meats, butter, leafy greens and avoiding foods like highly processed grains and sugar.

This different approach produced amazing results reversing the parameters of Type 2 Diabetes in a pilot study of 27 Maori. It was featured on 60 Minutes involving ex All Black captain, Taine Randell.

sixmentipsFitness Journal caught up with Ben for some snippets of advice around men’s health and wellbeing:

With your 10 years’ experience working with patients in your clinic, what would say are the most common issues that men seek help for? 

The biggest issue I have seen with men is that they don’t actually come in when they need to.  I liken men to a Toyota Hilux, you can run them into the ground with minimal servicing and they still work pretty well.  The trouble is eventually the engine will blow.

Men just keep going until they have a major problem (such as a heart attack or stroke) and then they start looking at what to do about it. Then it’s much harder.  Therefore a lot of the men are coming to me after getting a major health scare such as being told they have Type 2 Diabetes or a heart issue.   Men are also improving their energy levels and the way they are feeling (tired and mildly depressed with life).

Are there any vitamins/minerals that New Zealand men tend to be deficient in?
Absolutely. There is evidence of deficiency in a number of key nutrients.  Selenium would have to be the one that impacts men the most, particularly as they age.

The average blood levels of selenium in New Zealanders is 1.1. It is believed the cancer protective effect of selenium occurs at blood levels 1.6 to 1.7, so we are really low in New Zealand.  In one study of men at high risk of cancer, selenium supplementation reduced lung cancer by 50 percent and prostate cancer by more than 60 percent.  Because prostate cancer is the number one registered cancer for men in New Zealand extra selenium would be great, either as a supplement or eating 3-4 Brazil nuts every day.

What are the top three things men can do to increase energy levels?
Firstly, a really simple thing… drink more water. It is believed that there are three billion cellular functions a second that require water and so one of the easiest ways of bringing in more energy is by drinking water.  Men should drink 0.033 litres per kg of body weight (e. .g 90kg should drink three litres a day).

Secondly, eat green leafy vegetables three times a day.  On a cellular level your body burns B Vitamins and magnesium to create energy, like your car burns petrol.  Green leafy vegetables are one of the best sources of magnesium.  And my final tip to increase energy levels is to eat liver.  Liver is one of the best sources of B vitamins, again directly attributing to the energy production pathways in the body.

What clues can men look out for that something’s going wrong in their body?
Other than the obvious, which include regular blood tests such cholesterol and a PSA test there is one major, not so obvious, sign to look out for and that’s erectile dysfunction. It’s becoming increasingly easy to deal with this problem by popping a little blue pill, however underlying this issue is a far more sinister health concern – heart disease.

So if men are finding themselves needing to pop the blue pill more often than they would like, they really need to start looking at the risk of heart disease and improve their diet.

Are there any specific foods men should eat more of?
I’m a huge fan of ensuring that men are eating enough protein.  We know that maintaining muscle mass is one of the most important indicators of health as we age, (Plus is also helps us keep our youthful look).  Eating adequate protein together with the right exercise is an absolute key to maintaining muscle mass and minimising body fat as we age.  I like my male clients to ensure they are eating protein at every meal, including breakfast.  So I often encourage men, depending on their body type, to eat eggs or even meat for breakfast to help set them up for the day.

If you could give one piece of advice to New Zealand men to help them improve their overall health and wellbeing what would it be?
It would be to reduce belly fat. Belly fat is a key indicator of “metabolic syndrome,” a cluster of abnormalities that include high levels of blood sugar, blood pressure, and triglycerides, as well as low levels of “good” HDL cholesterol. This combination of risks has an impact on mortality from heart disease and is also associated with an increased risk of Type 2 Diabetes.  To target belly fat, eliminate sugar, processed grains and alcohol for three weeks and you’ll be amazed with the results.

For more information on Ben Warren, check out www.bepure.co.nz

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