Story by Lizzie Thomson @ MSN
Spring may be showing the first signs of springing, but the betting is that your gut is feeling far from its best – whether you realize it or not.
Stodgy winter food, a tendency towards carbs, lack of fresh fruit and a tendency to live less active lifestyles for what will have been months now could taking its toll.
But if you want to banish the winter blues, then prioritizing a healthy gut is a great place to start. ‘Most people forget that the gut does much more than simply digest your food. Gut health impacts your energy, skin and immune system, your ability to concentrate, sleep, and much more,’ says nutritionist Shona Wilkinson, from nutrition and supplement brand DR.VEGAN.
Continue reading “Five signs of poor gut health – and how to start improving yours”
This may be one of the most complex areas to understand, and we are gaining new knowledge all the time. For far too long we have remained focused on certain food triggers rather than the source and the reasoning behind our reaction. Food selection is very important. The larger, and often overlooked, picture would be the lack of pH balance to each meal, general unhealthy food choices for far too long, high-heat cooking methods, and an overabundance of processed and now genetically modified selections in the typical diet.
Questions to consider:
- Is red meat the enemy OR is it the grain fed caged source vs. grass fed and free to roam source?
- Is the inflammatory inducing acid of the protein the problem OR are we not providing enough alkaline food sources in the same meal to buffer the acids and still benefit from the good it has to offer?
- What is the true source behind the body’s inflammatory reaction?
You will continue to find conflicting information on what is considered to be a ‘healthy diet,’ rendering you helpless in making concrete decisions on your approach for change.
Here is what we do know:
Continue reading “Gout, Arthritis, Inflammation: The relation to the diet”
Inflammation is a natural, thriving mechanism of the immune system. Acute inflammatory response is a way to fire at and ward off disease and infection, as well as to fuel cellular regeneration. We all require a healthy measure of inflammation in order to survive. What happens when the body feels as though it is constantly under an attack of some sort? What if the inflammatory response persists and you are plagued with an incessant slow burning fire inside of you? This is precisely when a good thing, goes bad.
The body is amazingly resilient, but relies solely upon communication between the major systems within the body (the endocrine, digestive, respiratory/cardiovascular, and the central nervous system) in order to function and heal properly. When chronic inflammation is present, these systems can no longer communicate, and disease is
Continue reading “INFLAMMATION: WHEN A GOOD THING GOES BAD”
What is CRP?
CRP stands for C-reactive protein. This protein is produced by the liver in response to elements released from certain white blood cells known as macrophages; as well as elements released from fat cells (adipocytes.) CRP levels rise in the presence of inflammation and take on a role to bind with chemical compounds that are released on the surface of a dying or dead cell. This process is part of an immune system response to enhance the ability of antibodies and bacteria/pathogen eating cells (phagocytic cells) to eliminate damaged cells from the body. Certain chronic inflammatory conditions cause the release of IL-6 (interleukin-6) that trigger the release of CRP. IL-6 is a type of immune protein in the family of cytokines that can act as both an anti-inflammatory and a pro-inflammatory.
As discussed in previous blog posts, inflammation is a normal body process necessary for our body’s response to fight infection and injury. It is a natural part of our immune system’s ability to send white blood cells and other chemical compounds to a trouble area of the body in an effort to help it heal. However, in the presence of chronic conditions such as Arthritis, Colitis, Bursitis, Tendonitis, Gout, Heart Disease, Asthma, Diabetes, and more – the constant “fire” of inflammation can be disastrous, even deadly.
Continue reading “What is CRP and what does it have to do with your health?”
Sugar intake has risen dramatically over the last century which seems to correlate closely with the rise in obesity, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. Simple sugars include both glucose and fructose. While glucose is generally utilized by the body for energy production, fructose is known to produce high amounts of harmful substances. Added sugars to our food sources mostly stem from fructose, and fructose metabolism can cause some pretty significant damage. Fructose can actually deplete our energy sources, cause death to our cells, stimulate fat making enzymes, and produce excess uric acid.
Studies on rats have shown fructose intake to instigate all markers of metabolic syndrome – increased waistline, obesity, diabetes, hypertension, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, lipid abnormalities, dementia, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. These studies have also shown high fructose intake to stimulate free radicals, weaken the arteries, create a fatty liver, and cause kidney damage. Continue reading “Fructose and Uric Acid Metabolism”
Is it just a coincidence that ever since we adopted low-fat and fat-free diet plans our health deteriorated? The craze began back in the 70’s and 80’s, and by the early 90’s foods with little to no fat were flying off the shelves. The American Heart Association, food manufacturers, physicians, and even drug manufacturers had convinced us that all saturated fats led to obesity and heart disease. People began trading nuts for pretzels, whole milk for skim, potatoes -hold the sour cream, and even still buying cookies so long as they were labeled “fat free.” Dietary fats and all cholesterol were deemed to be bad for our health. Yet, over this same 30+ year time span of ‘healthier’ eating the incidences of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease have soared to alarming rates. In addition to all of the fat-free products flying off of the shelves, so have the cholesterol-lowering and blood pressure lowering drugs.
So wait…… Continue reading “Low-fat Diet Myths and Our Deteriorating Health”