September: Understanding Inflammation
Chronic inflammation is the catalyst for many diseases
so this month we talk about what it is
and ways to prevent inflammation.
Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired?
What is Inflammation?
Inflammation is a natural process that you need to survive. When your immune system confronts what it perceives to be an intruder, it turns on the inflammatory pathway in order to get rid of the intruder. The main goal is to keep harmful molecules out of your body.
An injury, surgery, virus, bacteria, toxin, stress, and food can create silent and acute inflammation. Chronic inflammation becomes destructive to your tissues.
Since chronic inflammation does underlie many illnesses, it makes sense to treat it as a preventative therapy.
Some signs you might have inflammation in your body include:
Gut health issues
Chronic infections (bacteria, viruses, yeast, parasites)
A sedentary lifestyle, stress, and exhaustion increase inflammation in the body. There are many ways to deal with chronic inflammation.
The I in illness is isolation and the crucial letters in wellness are WE. We want to help you with your inflammation. If you have any of the above symptoms,
call our office at 972-233-8339 to schedule your session with Lona today!
To reduce levels of inflammation, aim for an overall healthy diet that is more plant-based, whole and nutrient dense.
Green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, and collards.
Nutrition-dense vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower.
Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines.
Beans and lentils are high in fiber, plus they're loaded with antioxidants and other anti-inflammatory substances.
Herbs and spices add antioxidants (along with flavor) to your food.
Turmeric, found in curry powder, has a strong substance called curcumin that has the unique ability to block an enzyme that causes inflammation.
Garlic curbs the body's ability to make things that boost inflammation.
Cinnamon is a popular spice often used to flavor baked treats. Studies have shown that the spice has anti-inflammatory properties, which can ease swelling. Keep a good supply of cinnamon on hand and sprinkle it in your coffee or tea, and on top of your breakfast cereal.
Green tea. Besides reducing your risk of heart disease and cancer green tea also stages an anti-inflammatory fight inside your body. Drink it hot or cold and add some lemon juice to perk up the tea's flavor — and kick up the antioxidants.
Black and Green Olives are high in monounsaturated fat and Vitamin E. They also contain polyphenols and flavonoids which have anti-inflammatory properties. Eat as snacks, use in recipes, or as a food garnish.
Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) contains more than 36 phenolic compounds. Although all of the phenolic compounds in EVOO have known beneficial effects, one specific compound in particular, known as oleocanthal, has been discovered to have powerful natural anti-inflammatory benefits.
Increase Good Fats. MCTs are medium-chain fatty acids. MCTs are believed to be largely missing from the diets of people eating “standard Western” diets. MCTs can be found in oils like coconut oil, butter (especially butter from grass-fed cows), cheeses, grass-fed beef, and full-fat yogurt. These good fats should be consumed every day. Some benefits are they help you maintain healthy weight, balance hormone levels, help with digestion and energy levels. Here is the research.
Nuts like walnuts, pistachios, pine nuts, and almonds. Here is info on an all time favorite, Hazelnuts.
Dark chocolate. New data shows that eating dark chocolate that has at least 70% cacao and 30% organic cane sugar has positive effects on stress levels, inflammation, mood, memory and immunity. Dark chocolate has large amounts of magnesium and zinc. Magnesium is an anti-inflammatory mineral we all need.
The above foods will flood your body with the vitamins, minerals, cancer-fighting phytochemicals, antioxidants, and the fiber it needs to recover from chronic inflammation.
Anti-inflammatory fruits are in the recipe section of this blog.
Your brain controls digestion, detoxification, metabolism, inflammation, reproduction, etc. If your mind is occupied with worry and flooded in stress hormones, it goes into survival mode. This is not a sustainable state.
Here are more tips to reduce inflammation by reducing your stress:
Get Enough Sleep. Most doctors recommend 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night. Stop cutting corners in the snooze department because you are kicking your immune system into high gear which creates inflammation. Get an eye mask and take a natural remedy if you have trouble sleeping. Melatonin B6 Spray is easily absorbed and goes directly into your blood stream. So does Bach Rescue Sleep. These sleep aids can be found in our office, on line, or at a whole-food type grocery store near you.
Stress goes hand in hand with a lack of sleep. When you’re stressed out all the time, you’re also producing more of the hormone cortisol which happens to be inflammation’s best friend. And remember, stress stops the immune system from working.
Walk. Harvard researchers found that a 20 minute walk could clear the mind and reduce stress hormones.
Yoga helps to soothe your nervous system and has been shown to reduce inflammation.
Tai Chi and QiGong are easy on the joints and incorporate breathing which is a known stress reduction technique.
Read a Book or Magazine A good read takes your thoughts to another place. It’s one of the best ways to block out internal monologues (negative self-talk) and can be used to distract you from reality. A little bit of distraction is not a bad thing.
Journal This helps you release what is on your mind. Let go, relax, and let it all out.
Love Your Gut
Assist your body in making hydrochloric acid to digest food. Take probiotics before bed at night. Have at least two and rotate every other month. We carry five different kinds in our office, including some for children.
Support your thyroid which helps your gut function and prevent leaky gut.
Chew your food properly. Soft foods 5 to 10 times and harder foods should be chewed at least 30 times.
Use digestive enzymes only as needed. If you are using them more than three times a week, you need to make an appointment because you are not breaking down your food.
Do Artistic Activities. You put yourself in an inventive space where worries and anxious thoughts take a hiatus.
Meditate. Read this to see how Meditation reduces inflammation and prevents disease.
Practice Mindfulness. Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and without judgment. It’s a practical way to notice thoughts, physical sensations, sights, sounds, and smells that we could miss because we are so busy living out the past or the future in our heads. The Science Guy shares how to be present. This YouTube video talks about the benefits of mindfulness. This article talks about the Seven Ways To be Mindful at Work.
Get a LET Session. Lymphatic Enhancement Therapy improves lymphatic fluid flow and accelerates tissue detoxification. Some other benefits include improvement from post surgery edema/swelling, lymphoedema, swollen lymph nodes, fibrotic conditions, fibrocystic breast disease, breast pain and helps reduce breast lumps. This therapy supports the immune system and eases fatigue syndrome, assists in healing pre and post surgery, reduces inflammation, chronic pain and joint pain (including bursitis), improves fibromyalgia, digestive complaints, and poor circulation. It also relieves allergies and sinus issues. This can be done in our office and some cancer centers offer this as treatment to individuals undergoing chemotherapy.
Get To The Root Of Your Stress. You were not born nervous, stressed out or filled with anger. Hypnosis, Behavioral Therapy, Bio Feedback, and nutritional support are ways to let go of the past and move forward in a calm manner.
Turn off Technology. It gives you a chance to pause and day dream. Allow your mind to drift, notice the whiff of the cologne on the wait staff, look a stranger in the eye, replay that conversation until you know where it went wrong. Be sure to turn off at least one hour before sleep to give your pineal gland time to secrete melatonin. Here is a great article on the pineal gland.
Relax in a bath. Put 1 cup Epsom salts, 1/2 cup baking soda and a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Roman Chamomile is great for joints. Eucalyptus is beneficial for chest, nerve and muscle pain, Rosemary is great for back, nerve, muscle and joints, Clary Sage is calming and soothing for the mind and body. P.S. Peppermint has cooling properties but it is better with a moist washcloth on an inflamed place instead of in the bath.
We want to help you turn off your inflammation. Call our office at 972-233-8339 to schedule your LET session with Tricia today!
This Office Reads. Ready for our September recommendations?
No Sweat? Know Sweat! The Definitive Guide to Reclaim Your Health by Bill Akpinar. Why It's Important That You Put More Heat Into Your Life. This book covers why sweat therapy is excellent for health maintenance of the body, mind, and spirit, and how it can help restore balance in all three aspects.
The Fast Metabolism Diet: Eat More Food and Lose More Weight by Jaylie Ponroy. Hailed as "the metabolism guru", Haylie reminds us that food is not the enemy, it's medicine needed to rev up your sluggish, broken-down metabolism and turn your body into a fat-burning furnace. Some people lose up to 20 pounds in 4 weeks.
Driven by Eternity: Make Your Life Count Today & Forever by John Bevere. One day you will stand before God and give an account of your life. The most important question you can ask yourself now is, will you be ready?
Dough Boy Dies
Veteran Pillsbury spokesman Pop N. Fresh died Wednesday of a severe yeast infection. He was 71.
He was buried Friday in one of the biggest funerals in years. Dozens of celebrities turned out including Mrs. Butterworth, Hungry Jack, Betty Crocker, and the Hostess Twinkies.
The graveside was piled high with flours, as longtime friend Aunt Jemima delivered the eulogy, describing Fresh as a man who 'never knew he was kneaded.'
Fresh rose quickly in show business, but his later life was filled with turnovers. He was not considered a smart cookie, and wasted much of his dough on half-baked schemes.
Still, even as a crusty old man, he was a roll model to millions. Fresh is survived by his second wife. They had two children, and one in the oven.
September is the month we consider returning to normalcy after a summer of excess (vacations, snacks, cocktails on the beach, and ice cream). Most people are back at work, back to a daily routine, the children are in school, and diets begin. Yes, September is known for dieting before the holiday season descends.
What if we didn't diet? What if we decided to make better choices? Ate foods that reduced inflammation? Here are fruits that stop inflammation along with healthy recipes.
Tart cherries have powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits. Studies, have found tart cherries may relieve joint pain in people with osteoarthritis and lower the risk of flares in those with gout. They also improve the quality and duration of sleep.
Strawberries are naturally low in sugar and have more vitamin C per serving than an orange. Vitamin C can lower risk for gout, high blood pressure and cholesterol problems. Research has also shown that women who ate 16 or more strawberries a week had lower C-reactive protein (CRP), a measure of body-wide inflammation linked to arthritis flares and heart disease.
Here are 24 healthy strawberry recipes.
Red Raspberries. Like strawberries, these berries are among the highest in vitamin C and anthocyanin. Research shows the fruit’s bioactive compounds lower system-wide inflammation and, when a regular part of the diet, help prevent a number of chronic conditions, such as heart disease, stroke and type-2 diabetes.
From appetizers to desserts, these recipes will inspire you to eat healthy.
Avocados are a good source of vitamin E. Studies show eating avocados daily increases ‘good’ HDL cholesterol and lowers its ‘bad’ LDL counterpart. Even though they are high in calorie content, research has found that regular avocado eaters tend to weigh less and have smaller waists.
Watermelon is another fruit with anti-inflammatory properties.
Watermelon is also ninety-two percent water, which makes it great for hydration and weight management. One cup of watermelon has about 40 calories – plus about a third of your recommended daily allowance of vitamins A and C.
Here are watermelon drinks along with other delicious recipes.
Grapes are a great source of beneficial antioxidants and other polyphenols and contribute to cardiovascular health.
12 Recipes including Roasted Grape and Brussel Sprouts which are kid friendly.
Tumeric contains anti-bacterial properties to help clear acne. Try mixing turmeric with some coconut or olive oil and some sea salt for a natural body scrub.