Acute Inflammation in the body is a normal and healthy response to injury or attack by germs. We can see it, feel it and measure it as local heat, redness, swelling, and pain. This is the body’s way of getting more nourishment and more immune activity into an area that needs to fend off infection or heal. However, once inflammation becomes chronic, it becomes out of control and can lower the level of pro-resolution molecules in the body, which we see when the immune system mistakenly targets the body’s own tissues in (autoimmune) diseases like type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.
Whole-body inflammation refers to chronic, imperceptible, low-level inflammation. Mounting evidence suggests that over time this kind of inflammation sets the foundation for many serious, age-related diseases including arthritis, obesity, hypertension and type 2 diabetes. Inflammation is the source of these diseases and countless others. In fact, Recent evidence indicates that whole-body inflammation may also contribute to psychological disorders, especially depression
So what is the solution?
The extent of this chronic inflammation is influenced by genetics, a sedentary lifestyle, too much stress, and exposure to environmental toxins such as secondhand tobacco smoke. However, your diet has a huge impact, so much so that I believe that most people in our part of the world go through life in a pro-inflammatory state as a result of what they eat. Studies have shown that as many as 95% of us are mineral and micronutrient deficient.
I’m convinced that the single most important thing you can do to counter chronic inflammation and obesity is to stop eating refined, processed and manufactured foods and correctly supplement missing minerals and vitamins in your body,
Supplements such as fish oil have been found to fight chronic inflammation. This stems from its high content of omega-3 fatty acids. Scientists at the University of San Diego publish a study revealing that not only do high levels of omega-3’s combat acute inflammation, but also resolve it as soon as it is triggered.
Try adding healthy omega-3 packed fish into your diet. Sardines, tuna mackerel and wild caught salmon all have great levels. Taking high quality fish oil pills, or eating other foods high in omega-3’s can also help fight the symptoms of inflammation as you age.
You can also try our anti-inflammatory diet that is backed by scientific testing and proper nutrients. This isn’t a weight-loss diet (though you can lose weight if you follow it). Instead, it is designed to help you reduce chronic inflammation by eating fresh, healthy and delicious foods. One of the most important things the diet does is provide balanced amounts of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids backed by the correct high quality supplements and sub-dermal minerals and micronutrients.
Most people consume an excess of omega-6 fatty acids, which the body uses to synthesize compounds that promote inflammation. You get a lot of omega 6 fatty acids from snack foods and fast foods. Omega-3 fatty acids – from oily fish, walnuts, flax, hemp and to a lesser degree canola oil and sea vegetables – have an anti-inflammatory effect. From this type of diet you get a wide variety of fresh foods daily, and healthy sweet treats such as dark chocolate (make sure it has a minimum content of 70 percent cocoa). Along with influencing inflammation, this diet will provide steady energy and ample vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, dietary fiber, and protective phytonutrients. Call today and schedule your no obligation consultation. You and your body will be happy you did.
Dr. Will Miller Ph.D. (references: Dr. Weil, Dr. Mercola)
For every two fitness truths, there’s a lie, and sometimes it’s hard to determine which is which. (Especially when it’s something many of us have just assumed for as long as we can remember.) So, now presenting: Mythbusters, Fitness Edition. Letting go of these 12 fitness misconceptions will help you get better, faster, stronger, and more powerful. Flex on friend, flex on.
Myth #1: Strength training will make you bulk up.
Truth: It’s pretty hard for women to bulk up from a normal strength-training routine because they don’t have as much testosterone as men (the difference in this hormone level makes men more prone to bulking up). In fact, if weight loss is your goal, strength training can actually help you lean out, but you have to keep your nutrition in check, too. “Muscle is metabolically active,” explains Adam Rosante, C.S.C.S., author of The 30-Second Body. Simply maintaining lean muscle mass requires higher energy, he explains. “So, the more lean muscle you have, the more calories your body will burn at rest.” #Science.
Myth #2: You can focus on losing fat from certain body parts.
Truth: Spot-training is not a thing. “Fat cells are distributed across your entire body,” says Rosante. “If you want to lose fat from a specific spot, you need to lose overall body fat.” High-intensity interval training can work wonders—after an intense workout, your body needs to take in oxygen at a higher rate to help it return to its natural resting state This process requires the body to work harder, burning more calories in the process. Incorporating strength training can help you hit your goals too, since having more lean muscle will help your body burn more calories at rest. (Psst—here are 10 workouts that are insanely effective for weight loss.)
Myth #3: Doing lots of cardio is the best way to lose weight.
Truth: If your goal is weight loss, logging endless miles on the treadmill isn’t always the best approach. Yes, traditional cardio workouts will help create a day-to-day calorie deficit (in addition to a healthy diet), which is essential for losing weight. But in the long-term, since having more lean muscle mass helps your body burn more calories at rest, you’ll be adding to this deficit without doing a thing. A combination of both high-intensity cardio and strength training is a good idea. And don’t forget, when it comes to weight loss, having a smart nutrition plan is key.
Myth #4: Not feeling sore means you didn’t get a good workout.
Truth: While soreness and workout intensity are sometimes connected, how tired your muscles feel isn’t always a good indicator of a solid sweat session. “Being sore doesn’t necessarily mean it was a great workout—it just means that a significant amount of stress was applied to the tissue,” says exercise physiologist and trainer Pete McCall, M.S., C.S.C.S., host of the All About Fitness podcast. “You can have a great workout and not be sore the next day,” he says. Proper recovery will help prevent achy muscles. “Refuel within the first 30 to 45 minutes post-exercise, stay hydrated, and get enough sleep—all of these things can help boost recovery and minimize soreness.”
Myth #5: You should give 100 percent effort during every workout.
Truth: Sort of. You should try your best to stay focused, be present, and give 100 percent during every workout. But not every gym session should require a balls-to-the-wall level of intensity. And if you are sore everyday, that may be a sign that you’re going too hard. “It’s not a good idea to exercise at too high of an intensity too frequently—it limits recovery and can lead to overtraining,” says McCall. Ideally, to avoid putting too much stress on your body, you should only be going extra hard two to three times per week.
Myth #5: Crunches are a great exercise for your abs.
Truth: Meh. Crunches probably aren’t going to hurt your core strength, but they’re not the most efficient exercise you can do to strengthen your midsection. “Your ab muscles are designed to work most effectively when you’re standing upright,” says McCall. Of course, there are plenty of great abs exercises that aren’t completely upright (for example, this perfect plank), but these four standing abs moves will set your whole core on fire.
Myth #6: You have to do at least 20 minutes of cardio to make it worth your while.
Truth: You can get an amazing cardio workout in less time by utilizing high-intensity interval training. “High-intensity cardio challenges the respiratory system to work efficiently to deliver oxygen to working muscles,” says McCall. “If the system is stressed hard enough, it doesn’t require a lengthy workout for results.” Plus, high-intensity training creates an afterburn effect, meaning you continue burning calories after you’re done. One approach is Tabata, or 20 seconds of hard work, 10 seconds of rest for eight rounds total, which adds up to a four-minute routine. Here’s what you need to know about Tabata.
Myth #7: You need to stretch before a workout.
Truth: While it’s true that you shouldn’t just jump right into a workout, dynamic warm-ups are where it’s at—you can save those static stretches for afterwards. “Your pre-workout goal should be to improve mobility and elasticity in the muscles,” says Rosante. This is best done with foam rolling and a dynamic warm-up, where you keep your body moving (instead of holding stretches still). This preps your body for work and helps increase your range of motion, which means you can get deeper into exercises (and strengthen more of those ~muscles~).
There's emerging scientific evidence that a high-fat, low-net carb, moderate protein diet is an ideal diet for most people. However, compliance tends to be low for a number of reasons.
Discussing this is Randy Evans, who has a master's degree in nutrition and works with Dr. Jeanne Drisko at the University of Kansas Integrative Medical Center. I recently interviewed Drisko on her clinical use of nutritional ketosis.
Evans grew up on a dairy farm in Southern Iowa at a time when agriculture was largely still organic. "I actually grew up eating mostly real whole foods," he says, noting his interest in nutrition was an outgrowth of his upbringing. His interest in the ketogenic diet emerged when he began working with Drisko five years ago.
"Our goal with most patients is to push back on those low-fat guidelines we got in the '80s … and to encourage people to incorporate healthy fats in every meal … We're really just getting carbs from Mother Nature here," he says.
Getting Started on a Ketogenic DietThe nutrient ratio Drisko and Evans typically recommend for their new patients is a 1-to-1 ratio of healthy fats to net carbs plus protein. This means your grams of healthy fats will be about equal to your combined grams of non-fiber carbs and protein put together. This ratio, they found, is fairly easy for most people to achieve, and will get most people very close to nutritional ketosis.
"We shoot for that ratio first and then … we'll advance them to the ratio of maybe 2-to-1 or 3-to-1 or even 4-to-1. That's just more and more fat. That's when you actually start to restrict some of the starchy carbs and fruit more. But for most people, the moderate version gets them pretty close to trace ketones," he explains.
Consider MCT Oil - Adding medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil or coconut oil to meals is one way of increasing the amount of healthy fat in your diet. MCTs get their name from their chemical structure. Fats consist of chains of carbon molecules connected to hydrogen atoms. There are two basic types of MCT oil being sold:
The pure C8 oil converts to ketones more effectively than C10, making it a preferred choice, even though it's a bit more expensive. You'll want to start with 1 teaspoon of MCT oil and work your way up, adding 1 teaspoon at a time over the course of a few weeks. A typical dosage is 2 to 3 tablespoons of MCT per day, although you could go up to 5 or 6 tablespoons if needed. If you experience gastrointestinal (GI) distress or diarrhea, it would be necessary to cut back.
While it's not harmful to overdose on MCT, your body will rid itself of the excess by causing diarrhea, so starting out with 2 or 3 tablespoons would be asking for trouble. If you have trouble tolerating the MCT oil you could try the powder form, which tends to be easier on the stomach.
Advice on Implementing a Ketogenic Diet
To implement a ketogenic diet, the first step is to eliminate packaged, processed food items. If you have food allergies or sensitivities, you'll need to be careful to avoid those items as well. Aside from that, the No. 1 emphasis is to eat real whole food, plenty of healthy fats and as few grains as possible.
Evans recommends avoiding dairy, as it can be difficult to stay in ketosis if you eat or drink a lot of dairy products. The galactose in dairy is a carbohydrate and you can easily use up your entire net carb allotment by drinking a single glass of milk. The protein casein in dairy can also trigger or contribute to inflammation.
"We have essential proteins and we have essential fats. We don't have any essential carbs," Evans says. "They certainly can help us. [But] our goal is to always make sure we're emphasizing the food essentials.
When we go ketogenic, we're just making a slight shift in what the image of their plate looks like. It's easy enough to ask people to eat half portions. They kind of ease into this, to eat half portions of maybe beans, sweet potatoes, or the starchy veggies. Not many grains.
Grains are just too energy dense and we see so much sensitivity to that. I'd say more along the lines of the starchy veggies. Maybe cut back to half portion of fruit. At the same time, we always add a little of that oil in there."
The key to success on a high-fat diet is to eat high-quality healthy fats, not the fats most commonly found in the American diet (the processed fats and vegetable oils used in processed foods and fried restaurant meals).
Evans recommends getting two servings of healthy fat with every meal. For example, you could add one-half avocado and a tablespoon of olive oil to your salad.
Besides MCT oil, high-quality healthy fats include:
✓ Olives and olive oil (make sure it's third party-certified, as 80 percent of olive oils are adulterated with vegetable oils. Also avoid cooking with olive oil. Use it cold.)
✓ Coconuts and coconut oil (excellent for cooking as it can withstand higher temperatures without oxidizing)
✓ Animal-based omega-3 fat such as krill oil and small fatty fish like sardines and anchovies
✓ Butter made from raw grass-fed organic milk
✓ Raw nuts, such as macadamia and pecans
✓ Seeds like black sesame, cumin, pumpkin and hemp seeds
✓ Grass-fed meats
✓ Lard and tallow (excellent for cooking)
✓ Ghee (clarified butter)
✓ Raw cacao butter
✓ Organic-pastured egg yolks
Applying chemical sunscreens every time you step outdoors may do little to prevent your risk of skin cancer while raising other risks. In addition, you're blocking your body's production of vitamin D and possibly some of sunlight's other health benefits, like its pain-relieving properties. That being said, you don't want to overexpose your skin to the sun and end up with a sunburn, either. To continuously enjoy the positive effects of sun exposure without getting burned, I recommend following these simple safety tips:
1. Protect your face and eyes by wearing a wide-brimmed hat or a cap. The skin around these areas is much thinner than other areas of your body and is more at risk for cosmetic photo damage and premature wrinkling. If it's too hot to protect your skin by covering with light clothing, and you'll be outside for extended periods, be sure to use a natural mineral-based broad-spectrum sunscreen on your skin — these products often contain zinc.
2. Limit your initial sun exposure and slowly work your way up. If you are a fairly light-skinned individual who tends to burn easily, limit your initial exposure to just a few minutes, especially if it is in the middle of summer. The more tanned your skin gets, the longer you can stay in the sun without burning. If it is early or late in the season and/or you are a dark-skinned individual, you could likely safely have 30 minutes on your initial exposure.
3. Build an internal sunscreen with beneficial antioxidants. Astaxanthin, a potent antioxidant, can be used both internally and topically to protect your skin from the sun. You can make your own lotion by adding astaxanthin to organic coconut oil, but be careful of staining your clothing, as astaxanthin is dark red.
Other helpful antioxidants include proanthocyanidins, resveratrol and lycopene. Eating healthy is also important. Fresh, raw, unprocessed foods deliver the nutrients your body needs to maintain a healthy balance of omega-6 and omega-3 oils in your skin, which is your first line of defense against sunburn.
Fresh, raw vegetables also provide your body with an abundance of powerful antioxidants that will help you fight the free radicals caused by sun damage that can lead to burns and cancer.
4. Moisturize your skin naturally. Before sunbathing, apply organic coconut oil on the exposed areas of your skin (as noted above, you could add some astaxanthin to the oil for an added measure of protection). This will not only moisturize your skin to prevent dryness but will also give you additional metabolic benefits.
By Dr. Mercola - Mercola.com