The heart attack has long been known as the widow-maker thanks to its tendency to cause male deaths without any warning. However, the true widow and widower-maker is actually chronic inflammation, a condition that isn’t fully understood by most Americans. Chronic inflammation is a powerful and destructive force in the body that is linked to everything from acne, wrinkles, and heart disease to cancer and neurological conditions. Since this silent killer has no clear-cut cure, the very best time to stop chronic inflammation is before it ever begins.
What is Chronic Inflammation?
First, let’s discuss acute inflammation. Controlled inflammation is actually essential to your overall health. It is the body’s way of protecting against toxins, infections, and injuries. You can think of inflammatory cells as the “first responders” on the scene of an injury or disease. They either trap the foreign substance responsible for the damage, or work to heal the damaged tissue. This complex process leads blood vessels to leak fluid into the site of injury, which is why inflammation is always identified by swelling, redness, and pain.
Eating out is one of the most common luxuries shared by Americans, especially on the weekends. Whether you’re a foodie checking out unique local cuisine or a busy family trying to save money at a nearby buffet, it’s very important to stop and consider what exactly you are putting into your body as you eat. Taste shouldn’t be the only determining factor in your order; you should also stop to consider inflammatory fats, gluten, GMOs, and so much more.
Your body actually relies upon inflammation to defend itself against injury and infection; when the body identifies a problem, it sends extra blood to deliver immune cells for healing. This type of acute inflammation is essential to healing. However, inflammation caused from other sources- like food- can be dangerous. Trans fat, added sugar, refined grains, omega 6 fatty acids, processed meats, and gluten are just a few of the many foods that trigger inflammation in the body. Since chronic inflammation is linked to an increased risk of diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and obesity, it is essential to steer clear of inflammatory foods when you place your order.
It has been demonstrated that sugar is 8-10 times more addictive than cocaine in laboratory rats, even rats that have already become addicted to cocaine. Sugar will cause those pleasure receptors in your brain to release an endorphin rush.
The problem isn’t just that we may enjoy an occasional dessert once, it is that sugar has been added to so many processed foods that we may not realize we are consuming sugar. Sugar has been added to breads, tomato sauces, peanut butter and even salad dressings!
The brain weighs roughly 3 pounds and uses about 20 percent of the energy consumed by the body each day. Maintaining a constant flow of glucose and nutrients can make an enormous difference in how well your brain is able to function on a day-to-day basis.
We live in unusual times, when people are living longer than ever. In fact, for the first time in human history we have more people living over the age of 60 than below 15. This makes maintaining arguably your most vital organ an even greater priority. Unfortunately, living longer can increase the risk of suffering from a chronic disease that will often appears later in life. However, there is good news! The study of epigenetics is proving that most of what happens to us can be attributed to environmental triggers, and we can control the largest “trigger”: our diet.
People mistakenly believe that certain changes—including losing brain function—are inevitable as they age. This does not have to be your fate; implementing a few strategic diet interventions can help preserve brain function, and, in some cases, even improve it.
So how do you stack the odds in your favor?
The following are list of some foods to include, limit, or try to avoid:
All carbohydrates are not created equal. In fact, different carbohydrates have unique abilities to control or raise your blood sugar, supply or strip your body of essential nutrients. Think about the effect of a soda versus consuming the same amount of calories from broccoli on your body and more importantly your brain!
After years of abstaining from fat—the most calorie dense macronutrient—new research suggests that fat should actually have a prominent place in your diet. This abrupt about-face has been difficult for many people to accept, especially after the U.S. government’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans and other health authorities have hammered home the message that fat is public enemy #1 if you’re concerned about heart disease or are just trying to live a healthy lifestyle.
Your diet does not need to go on vacation when you do. Too often, people use vacation as an excuse to mindlessly indulge in types or quantities of food they wouldn’t normally eat.,
Eating out at restaurants for most meals on vacation is a major contributor to the vacationer’s dilemma. There are several reasons restaurant dining can be so dangerous for your diet, in spite of your best intentions.
Ready, Set, GO! It’s 2017 and you have decided (again) that this is the year you will shrink your waistline and grow your bank account. No more excuses! This is it! Now that we’re about half way through the year – tell us – how are you doing with those resolutions?
Okay, time for a reality check: 92% of people with a New Year’s resolution drop it—just in time for Super Bowl Sunday or Valentine’s Day. Albert Einstein said it best: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) was unheard of only a few short years ago. Today, it is used as a general diagnosis for symptoms that affect the large intestine and cause digestive discomfort. Abdominal pain, bloating, gas, cramping, diarrhea, and constipation are all common symptoms of IBS, but it is important to remember that gut health can be controlled, changed, and improved with the right guidance and effort.
It All Begins in the Gut
The food that you put into your body has an enormous impact on your overall health and wellness. The old adage “You are what you eat” offers vast wisdom in its simplicity. It may be easy to add fruits and vegetables into your diet, but other nutritional principles require a bit more explanation. Eating the right ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, for example, is essential to minimize inflammation, support vital body functions, and prevent chronic disease.
While both types of omega fatty acids are necessary for the body’s survival, they should exist in a ratio to one another. It is better to have more omega-3 fatty acids and fewer omega-6 fatty acids, since the latter has an inflammatory effect on the body. Ideally, you should eat just enough omega-6s to ensure all body functions are supported, then balance them out with plenty of omega-3s to reduce inflammation.