5 of the Heart-Healthiest Exercises

If you’re trying to keep your heart healthy, you probably want to know which exercises are best for your ticker and which you might want to lay off of. Well, here are 5 of the heart-healthiest exercises you can do (and the ones you might want to avoid).

  1. Walking Briskly

When you want to make sure you’re keeping your heart healthy, especially if it’s after a surgery or a scare, it’s best to start out slow. Walking is one of the best exercises you can do to keep your heart rate up and to stay fit. In many cases, it’s even safer and healthier to walk quickly than to run or jog, so take a 30-minute power walk around your neighborhood to keep your heart feeling good.

  1. Stretching

Stretching is a great, heart-healthy exercise you can do every day. You can do your own stretches or participate in a group exercise like yoga. Stretching should never hurt and is something you can do gently to increase your flexibility and keep your heart rate up. You can stretch before or after walking or participating in another exercise in order to get the full benefits of this type of workout.

  1. Non-impact Sports

Sports that get your whole body moving but don’t require you to bang into other people are great for your heart. Swimming and skiing are two wonderful, weather-dependent sports, but there are plenty of different options you can get involved in. If you want to join a league, do that, but if you’d rather work out on your own, that’s fine too. You will also gain another benefit from participating in one of these sports: the rush of pride you will feel when you beat your best time or create a new personal record.

  1. Weight Training

Lifting weights can really help you keep your heart healthy and your body moving. Start with weights you can easily handle and work your way up as you continue to work out. When you do your reps, your heart rate will increase, and then when you take a break between sets, you will allow it to settle back to a normal pace.

  1. Core Strengthening

When you focus on exercising your core, it’s great for your heart as well. Whether you choose to do pilates or just crank out some sit-ups, strengthening your core will make you more likely to be active and less likely to experience issues like shortness of breath when you have to deal with your daily activities like cleaning or walking up the stairs.

Don’t Do What’s Bad for Your Heart…

If you start trying to push yourself to do an exercise you haven’t trained for, you could experience severe problems and put your heart in a dangerous condition. Remember, always build yourself up when exercising and never push yourself too hard. It takes time and patience to get to a point where you can go harder, and you never want to put yourself in a position where you have to do more than your body is capable of.

Study Finds Link Between Common Societal Behavior and Extreme Plastic Surgery

A recent study was able to find a definitive link between bullying and the extreme desire for plastic surgery in both those who are bullied and those who bully.

According to a study published in April of 2017 by the University of Warwick, bullies and victims of bullying are more likely to desire plastic surgery in an extreme way than individuals who are not affected at all by this common societal behavior. These findings resulted from researchers surveying nearly 2,800 adolescents aged 11 to 16 and studying their involvement in bullying as well as their desire for plastic surgery.

About the Study

In the study, 11.5 percent of those who were victims of this behavior reported an “extreme” desire for cosmetic surgery while 3.4 percent of those who bullied others were found to have this same intense desire. In addition, of those who had both bullied and been victims themselves, 8.8 percent had this aspiration. And only 1 percent of those who had never been affected by bullying displayed an intense wish for this type of surgery.

The study also found the reason a certain individual might want surgery could vary. Those who had been bullied hoped that it would help them with their low self-esteem and even with issues like depression and anxiety while those who had bullied others hoped to increase their status and enhance their appearance.

As a result of the study, more issues have come to light that remind doctors how important it is to screen patients for their reasoning behind their desire to get plastic surgery. Someone doing so for the wrong reasons (for example, to self-treat their depression or self-esteem issues or to become superior to others) may need to receive other suggestions, such as therapy.

How the Study Helps You

It’s good to be aware. When you know what to look for, you can avoid the pitfalls that usually come along with societal behavior, such as low self-esteem that can lead to extreme plastic surgery. Many people do not realize the impact that society has on them, and that is the biggest problem with people going overboard with changes to their appearance.

If you’re finding yourself feeling down on yourself and you’ve felt this way for a while, it’s time to examine the real reasons you feel this way. Is it because you really have something that needs to be corrected because you don’t feel comfortable with it, or is it more about what others around you are thinking and saying that is swaying your own thoughts about yourself? This question is an important one to consider, especially if you’re seeking plastic surgery.

Many plastic surgeons will refer you to a counselor if they suspect your reasons for wanting surgery are because of what you’ve been hearing around you. Counseling can help you feel good about yourself, so you don’t feel as though you need to drastically change your appearance. It doesn’t mean you won’t want to change your appearance, but you’ll want less of a change than what you would have wanted.

Extreme plastic surgery is dangerous, and that’s why it’s important that you consider why you want it. Taking a time out to discover the reasons behind your motivation for changing what you look like can make a big difference in how you see yourself.

Actually, research has found that people are less satisfied with plastic surgery when their reasons for it lie outside in society. That’s why most plastic surgeons don’t have a problem referring people to counselors. They want their patients to be happy with the results, and if they aren’t, they fear that their reputation may be at risk.

Think about it before you make a decision.

6 Habits of Highly Healthy People

We all know how important it is to be healthy, but many of us don’t really know how to do it or what habits can actually make us healthier people. Below are 6 habits of the healthiest individuals and why you should be practicing them too.

 

  1. Getting 7 to 8 Hours of Sleep Every Night

 

Sleep is perhaps one of the most important activities we engage in. If you’re not getting enough sleep, it can affect you in more ways than you would ever believe, including in your mind and body. So if you’re going to start somewhere, start here. Tonight, make sure you get at least 7 hours of sleep and then keep this up every night after.

 

  1. Physical Activity

 

Yes, yes, you’ve heard this before, but try to remember that the reason you hear about it so much is because it’s true! Regular physical activity helps you stay healthy, motivated, and focused, not to mention that it keeps your weight down. In addition, you will actually feel more energetic if you are getting regular exercise (and when you’re sleeping enough in addition, you’ll see how much more energy you can have day to day).

 

  1. Eat Healthy Foods Rather than Supplements

 

Supplements are great. They can allow us to get the nutrients we need while on the go. However, actually eating healthy foods that give you these same nutrients is better for you. Eat fruits and veggies rather than taking a vitamin C tablet. And make sure get plenty of iron in your diet rather than taking iron supplements.

 

  1. Eat at Home as Much as Possible

 

Everyone loves going out to eat, but the more you can eat at home, the healthier you will be. People who cook at home more often than not are actually proven to live longer than those who don’t. When you cook for yourself, you know exactly what’s going into your food. You can control the ingredients, the portions, everything. Plus, you’ll know how fresh the food you’re eating is because you just made it!

 

  1. Go to Regular Wellness Checkups

 

Many people avoid the doctor like the plague (which might actually cause you to catch it! Just kidding). But it is important to see your doctor at least once a year for a wellness exam. This way, any serious issues can be addressed, and if you aren’t experiencing any problems, you’ll feel reassured, making you feel better on the inside as well as on the out.

 

  1. Be Mindful

 

Mindful meditation is an extremely helpful practice that many healthy people enjoy. But mindfulness isn’t just important when you’re meditating. Eating mindfully can help ensure that you only eat when you’re hungry, and being mindful in your relationships will help you recognize when someone’s worth your time (and when someone’s not). Being mindful of your daily needs, feelings, and experiences will help you live happily and healthily, and both these qualities will improve the other.

The Healthiest Teas You Could Be Drinking Right Now

Sorry, coffee drinkers. Tea might actually be the perfect beverage. It is absolutely delicious when hot and when cold, and many teas have a number of incredible health benefits that can be extremely helpful to your entire body. Here are some of the healthiest teas you should be drinking on the regular.

Green Tea

Everyone pretty much already knows about the health benefits of green tea, but it is still worth mentioning. Green tea is loaded with antioxidants (something you probably already knew), but the type of antioxidants you’ll find in the beverage is called catechins. One of the subgroups in cetechins, EGCG, may potentially be able to help prevent cancer and heart disease, according to a recent study.

White Tea

Now, here’s something you may not know. White tea has the same antioxidants that green tea contains, except there are more of them in the former. White tea can also help lower your risk of cardiovascular problems and high cholesterol, which makes it a great secondary option if you’re getting tired of the taste of green tea. In addition, white tea has been said to help promote weight loss in those who drink it often.

Oolong Tea

Oolong tea is another, lesser-known variety of tea that can be extremely beneficial for your health. Women who drink oolong tea have a much lower risk of developing certain cancers, specifically ovarian cancer; studies have shown that drinking 2 cups of tea daily, including oolong tea, seems to cut the risk of ovarian cancer by about half. Diabetics can also drink oolong tea to help reduce their blood sugar.

Herbal Teas

Herbal teas, like ginger, ginseng, Echinacea, hibiscus, and rooibos, are made from herbs, seeds, or fruits and steeped in water. These are actually extremely healthy for those who drink them regularly, as they can help facilitate weight loss, decrease issues with insomnia, and boost your immune system.

Hibiscus tea has actually been found to lower blood pressure in those who have chronically high levels of such, and chamomile tea can be helpful to those who are already suffering from cancer and diabetes to mildly slow the process of these diseases. Echinacea was once thought to be the cure for the common cold, but while it is decidedly less effective than this, it can actually be helpful when brewed as a tea for those suffering from constipation. Those with rheumatoid arthritis can also benefit from drinking Echinacea tea regularly.

Black Tea

We know; black tea is full of caffeine, so you may be wondering why it’s even on this list. However, studies have shown that black tea can actually decrease your risk of stroke by 21 percent, and drinking black tea regularly can also lower your risk of diabetes, high cholesterol, Parkinson’s disease, and kidney stones. In addition, research has shown that black tea may be helpful for preventing atherosclerosis, or the hardening of the arteries, especially in women. So go ahead, have another cup.

 

 

Understanding and Recognizing Depression­­––And Finding Help

If you are a woman––or, let’s face it, a person who cares about women at all––it’s important to be able to understand and recognize the signs of a depressive disorder and to be able to find help for yourself or someone you care about when these signs become serious.

Women Are More Affected by Depression in General

According to a study published in the Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience in 2015, “The prevalence of major depression is higher in women than in men.” In 2010, the disorder was found in 5.5 percent of women and 3.2 percent of men respectively. But that’s not all. The National Institute on Mental Health states there are certain types of depression that are considered unique to women. These can include

  • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), a condition that causes serious, debilitating symptoms before and around the time of a woman’s period
  • Perinatal or postpartum depression, a condition that causes pregnant women or women who have just given birth to experience severe mood swings, feelings of unworthiness, and fatigue
  • Perimenopausal depression, a condition that causes women who are going through menopause to experience depression, anxiety, irritability, and other severe emotional symptoms that are, in fact, not normal and potentially dangerous

Because depression is so prevalent in the female population and because 12 percent of women in the United States will experience depression at some point in their lives, according to Health Line, it is necessary for us to understand this disorder as well as to be able to recognize it.

Recognizing the Symptoms of Depression

Though there are many reasons why a depressive syndrome may occur, it is possible for you to be able to recognize depression in yourself or someone you love, even if you don’t know the cause of it.

If you or someone you love has been…

  • Experiencing sad, empty, and anxious feelings that persist and will not go away
  • Acting or feeling irritable often
  • Feeling or expressing more hopelessness or pessimistic thoughts than usual
  • Experiencing thoughts of suicide, death, or a desire to die
  • Exhibiting a decrease in energy or an increase in fatigue
  • Exhibiting altered sleeping patterns like sleeping too much or not enough
  • Restless and unable to sit or lie still for a period of time
  • Losing interest in things that used to matter to them like hobbies, school, work, etc.
  • Exhibiting appetite changes and/or weight loss
  • Complaining of cramps, aches and pains, or headaches constantly that medicine does not seem to fix for which no cause can be found

 

then there is a strong likelihood that some type of depressive disorder could be the culprit. Once you begin to understand and look for the signs and symptoms of depression, you can easily see when yourself or someone you love is experiencing issues with this very common disorder.

How Can I Find Help?

It isn’t easy to admit that you are struggling with depression and that help from a professional will be necessary, but if you have accepted this fact, you are already much closer to getting better. You can find help by using Healthfinder.gov to locate professionals who will be able to guide you through your recovery and create a treatment plan that will allow you to gradually start to feel like your old self again.

Remember: depression isn’t just something you can shake off. It isn’t like a bad mood that can be fixed with a pep talk or tough love. It is a real disease that requires real treatment, and once you seek it, you will be able to see a genuine difference in your life.

Stopping the Epidemic of Teenage Suicide

Death at any age is always hard to take, but the unexpected death of a teenager is always labeled tragic.  So, what then is a label that is suitable for a young person feeling so hopeless and alone they feel there is no other choice but the one to end their life? Anyone close to a victim of hopelessness is left behind with the sickening wonder of what they could have done to change the horrible outcome. Suicide is preventable and there are steps we can take to be informed and to take action to help the teens in our life who are troubled and feeling hopeless with the thought they have nowhere to turn—before the unspeakable happens.

Cyberbullying Victim Speaks from the Grave

From the time when the word of the death of Port Coquitlam bullying victim, Amanda Todd, got out to the public—people were outraged, saddened and sickened by the fact that bullying and her repeated attempts to get away from the abuse failed miserably; resulting in the young girl taking her own life.  Amanda repeatedly tried to get help and tragically she did not get the peace she so deserved. The number of deaths related to bullying and cyberbullying have shockingly skyrocketed with the advancement of technology.

The Cold Truth about Teen Suicide

It is rare for children to commit suicide; the numbers go up a great deal during adolescence years. According to the latest from the CDC, the second leading cause of death for ages ten to 24 is suicide.  Another all-too common method of teen overdose is from pharmaceuticals and medications. Whether they are non-prescription, prescription, or over-the-counter; meds should always be closely monitored in your home. Be aware of any medications that your teen may receive from friends as well. Educate your children about the dangers of taking meds. Boys and girls have different methods of suicide and while girls attempt suicide and think about it more often, boys are more prone to go through with their suicide plan.

Teenage Worry and Depression is Real

Sometimes as people age they tend to forget what it was like being a teenager. Fighting to be accepted as part of the group by their peers, trying to live up to standards people have set for them and all the while showing how they can be responsible young adults are just a few of the obstacles teenagers are trying to overcome. Mental health problems also contributes to thoughts of suicide while depression, bipolar disorder and anxiety disorders also cause teens to be at higher risk of suicidal thoughts than their peers. These are just some of the reasons to stay alert and keep an eye out for the warning signs of depression or suicide that any teenager around you exhibits.

Learn the Warning Signs of Suicide

Warning signs are definitely something to be get familiar with recognizing, and don’t put it off. Learn all the signs today. Signs include talking about suicide, talk of hopelessness and worthlessness or making statements like they won’t be around much longer. If they start to isolate themselves and drop out of normal activities, talk and seem fascinated by death or start participating in a lot of risk taking activities; take the immediate hint to step in and open the lines of communication with your teen. Help is needed right away for any person that gives beloved personal belongings away to friends and family. If they seem to not want to talk to you or don’t feel comfortable then bring in a counselor or neutral person to help. It is very important to get help immediately in dealing with someone who is thinking of suicide.

Don’t Think—Call Right Now for Help

If you have a friend that you think needs help or someone to talk to or you have questions about your own child then please call your healthcare provider right away or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 now. If you are a teen, you can text for help with the word “Teen” to the number 839863 (6-9pm PST), email, chat or start a discussion with other teenagers at the Teen Line.  Don’t think about it if you suspect something is wrong, just make the call or send the text now. If you are considering suicide yourself, please take a deep breath and call the hotline number to speak with a person who is compassionate, non-judgmental and here for you right now because ending your life is never the answer; no matter how big, bad or hopeless a problem is in life.

 

 

 

 

10 Signs of Leaky Gut and How to Heal Yours

The gut is the controlling power behind your body’s overall health. If the gut is healthy, then most likely the person is healthy. If the gut is not healthy, then the person typically has health issues. There is also a condition affecting nearly 80% of the population according to Josh Axe, certified nutrition specialist—DNM, DC, CNS and it is called leaky gut. This condition is uncomfortable and sometimes painful. For many, the pregnant, bloated result of the wrong foods and the leaky gut reaction is embarrassing in addition to painful.

What is Leaky Gut?

In layman’s terms, leaky gut is when there are holes in the intestinal wall that allows for toxins, food particles, microbes and more to leak out from the intestines and travel by way of the bloodstream throughout the entire body. Since these substances are unknown to the body, the immune system automatically detects them as foreign invaders and begins to attack them.

How Does Leaky Gut Happen?

There are many causes of leaky gut, but one of the biggest culprits is the gluten protein called zonulin, which breaks down the intestinal lining’s tightened junctions. Antibiotics, infections, age, stress, foods and toxins are also known causes for breaking apart the tight junctions of the intestinal wall lining.

Sugar, dairy and alcohol (all in excess) foods are suspected culprits of causing leaky gut. Infections causing intestinal wall damage includes intestinal parasites, candida overgrowth and (SIBO) small intestine bacterial overgrowth.

Toxins come from a whole slew of sources. Everything from everyday pain relievers like Advil and Motrin to antibiotics treating infections are toxic to the intestines. An array of environmental toxins like pesticides, air pollutants, BPA from plastics and mercury may contribute to a gut filled with holes. Steroids and acid-reducing drugs also play their own part in breaking down the tight junctions of the intestinal wall.

After the tight junctions are broken down or apart, the result is a leaky gut.

The immune system responds in a number of ways to the foreign invaders escaping from the confines of the intestines. If you are experiencing some or all of these 10 signs of a leaky gut, then you probably have some form of the condition and should see your medical physician.

10 Signs You Have a Leaky Gut

  1. Digestive issues; such as bloating, gas, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or diarrhea
  2. Asthma
  3. Outdoor/Indoor – Seasonal Allergies
  4. Mood/Mind disorders; such as anxiety, ADD/ADHD or depression
  5. Hormonal imbalances, such as PMS
  6. Autoimmune disease diagnosis; such as celiac disease, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, lupus or thyroid disease
  7. Food intolerances/allergies
  8. Skin problems/issues such as eczema, rosacea or acne
  9. Candida overgrowth
  10. Diagnosis of fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue

Healing the Intestinal Wall

First and foremost, it is critical to remove all toxins and inflammatory causing foods from your diet to stop the endless cycle of chronic inflammation. Don’t eat these foods for at least a period of three weeks. The goal is to remove the bad things from the GI track that is negatively affecting the environment there. This includes infections, toxins and bad foods/drinks.

Replenish your body with all the good stuff your gut has been missing out on. Start adding in all the critical ingredients your body needs for proper digestion and absorption. This includes bile acids, hydrochloric acid and other digestive enzymes. Beneficial bacteria must be added back to your gut in order for the balance of good bacteria to be restored. All items are found in your local health food store or supplement provider.

Foods & Supplements for Healing Leaky Gut

Supplements and Herbs

  • Probiotics – minimum 50 billion IU daily
  • Digestive Enzymes – two with every starchy meal or meat meal
  • Herbs such as ashwagandha, licorice root and ginseng
  • L-glutamine

Foods

  • Blueberries
  • Coconut oil
  • Sauerkraut
  • Kimchi
  • Goat’s milk kefir
  • Bone broth
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Avocado
  • Pure olive oil
  • Seafood/salmon (rich in Omega-3s)

Don’t Ignore Leaky Gut Signs

Although you may think that since nearly 80% of the population may be suffering from leaky gut that it isn’t that big of a deal and can be ignored. Not so! Leaky gut and chronic inflammation goes hand in hand. What happens? Disease. Chronic inflammation leads to a plethora of unpleasant and even untreatable conditions and diseases, so leaky gut is definitely not something you need to ignore or you put your overall health and life at risk.

 

 

6 Powerful Fruits You Need to be Eating for Better Health

Does an apple a day really keep the doctor away? Well, it sure is possible when you add blueberries, pineapples, pomegranates, acai berries, grapefruit and raspberries with the apple every day! If you are looking to improve your health naturally while enjoying pure deliciousness and sweetness picked right out of nature, then be sure to start packing in these six powerful superfruits to your daily food regimen.

Pineapples

When it comes to pineapples, the health benefits are monumental! Besides the fact that this delicious fruit is rich in Vitamin C that also helps your bones, it works in keeping your skin clear and beautiful. When you drink pineapple juice and eat the fruit, you can shed the pounds faster. If you are constipated or have irregular bowel issues, then get some pineapple into your snacks to get things moving again. Your teeth are healthier when you consume pineapple because of the bromelain which helps to prevent plaque and promote healthier gums. The health advantages of pineapple also includes the lessened risk of hypertension and maintaining good eye health. Pineapple tastes best fresh when bought in season—March through June, but the fruit and its juices are available year round.

Blueberries

These wildly popular sweet little berries are packed with nutrition that sets them apart from the rest of the fruit world. Referred to as a superfood, these low-calorie tiny fruits are nutrient dense. They contain an abundance of fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Manganese, water and other nutrients. Blueberries are full of antioxidants, which aids in the protection of our body from free radical damage and helps in the fight against cancer and ageing. Blueberries are shown to be beneficial in lessening the risk of heart disease by protecting the bad cholesterol LDL from damage. Several studies have released results indicating blueberries are effective in the reduction of high blood pressure. Improvement in memory function, brain function, glucose function and urinary tract health can all be attributed to the consistent consumption of blueberries.

Raspberries

These juicy, sweet little berries are consumed around the world and grow in a variety of colors. That’s right! Raspberries are not just the popular red and black colors we all know. There are varieties of raspberries that are yellow, purple and even golden. Each berry color is comprised of its own unique blend of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. The color most consumed around the world is the red raspberry. Boosting brain power, lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease, preventing cancer, stabilizing blood sugar levels (glucose), detoxing the body, regulation of the immune system, lowering inflammation, improving eye health and decreasing the risk of macular degeneration are the long list of great benefits seen when you incorporate raspberries into your diet.

Grapefruit

This round juicy, large fruit is known for its unique taste combining sweet, tart and tangy all in one. Packed with Vitamin C and A, fiber pectin and lycopene; the nutritional benefits of grapefruits are potent and powerful. They are known for lowering cholesterol in people, while also being a major source of antioxidants to fight off a number of toxins and free radicals in the body. The low glycemic index of the fruit translates into helping people’s metabolism speed up and burn fat faster. Eating grapefruit regularly also supports healthy, clear skin. You can typically find delicious Texas and Florida grapefruits in season November through June, although they are available year-round.

Acai Berries

Called a superfruit; the Amazon rain forest berry Acai has become a favorite across the US. The demand has spread like wildfire as people yearn for the powerful benefits and delicious taste of Acai in their everyday lifestyles. This hot commodity fruit is found to be full of fiber, antioxidants and good fats. They boast high amounts of anthocyanins, a cholesterol balancing antioxidant promoting heart health. They are said to help during the weight loss process, aid in digestion and helps give skin a healthy glow. Lung irritation such as swelling and respiratory distress may be prevented with acai berries. Other benefits include anti-ageing effects, boosts the energy in a person and is good for a healthy libido. Try buying organically certified acai juice, berries and pulp if possible.

Pomegranates

This nutrient packed amazing fruit has more antioxidants than red wine! Free-radicals are dramatically wiped from the body when a person drinks pomegranate juice on a consistent basis. Cancer, heart disease and cognitive impairment may be prevented with pomegranates powerful antioxidants. They contain aromatase inhibitors which are used in the human body to inhibit estrogen production and this reduces the risk of breast cancer. They are great for building up the immune system and aiding in general overall better health. Incorporate them and juice into your regular routine for optimal benefits. When shopping for pomegranates, look for them in the frozen section unless of course they are in season and buy them fresh. This is usually from October to February when the freshest, deep-colored, ripe pomegranates can be found.

There are a surprisingly large number of people suffering from chronic inflammation and they don’t even know it. For some reason inflammation seems to be stereo-typically associated with swelling from injuries like ankle sprains and diseases like arthritis, but unfortunately inflammation is not like this at all. We are going to dive a bit more into chronic inflammation and why you may need to get onboard with a healthier diet of foods permanently to save your own life. Please consult your physician if you are concerned with chronic inflammation.

Acute Inflammation

At the onset of injury, it is part of the body’s natural defense system to trigger inflammation. It is necessary to get rid of viruses, bacteria, and fungi invading the system. They can enter the body is an injury as small as a cut. This type of acute inflammation takes over until the invading threat is gone, then it will subside, and the process of natural healing continues.

Chronic Inflammation

Chronic inflammation is plaguing millions of Americans and people around the world. It is the underlying cause to a great number of cancers and diseases. At this time, it is believed it may also cause allergies, fibromyalgia, and migraine headaches but research continues. If you let yourself go for too many years suffering from the hidden effects of chronic inflammation, then you are at increased risk for developing an auto-immune disease, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, a stroke, colon cancer, inflammatory bowel diseases and even neurological diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Chronic Inflammation Can Hide

When someone endures low-grade chronic inflammation over an extended period of time, they are slowly being killed and don’t even know it. The body’s process of releasing pro-inflammatory substances turns into a very bad thing when it repeatedly happens over a long range of time. The end result is that the substances begin to attack the tissues, blood vessels, and healthy cells in the body that are in perfectly good health.

The silent attacks may go unnoticed for years, as they don’t always cause infection or pain. The inflammation and attacks may not produce physical signs either. So, inside a person could be slowly dying from raging hormones and inflammatory cells destroying their body. This gradual poisoning and break down of the immune system happens behind closed doors as people blindly believe they are in good health and continue on with their lives as if nothing is going on more important than work, family and play.

Don’t Eat These 9 Inflammation Causing Foods

  1. Sugar
  2. Artificial food additives
  3. Trans fat foods
  4. Refined grains
  5. Processed meat & red meat
  6. Alcohol
  7. Commercial meat, feedlot-raised
  8. Common cooking oils
  9. Dairy products

Healthy foods causing inflammation

Some healthy foods affect certain people and can even lead to inflammation causing pain in their body. Tomatoes affect people sensitive to solanine. Consuming them for this group of people can increase the risk of developing heart disease, encourage tumor growth, and makes arthritic joints sore. Red and green peppers and white potatoes are also part of the ‘nightshade’ family people with solanine sensitives shouldn’t eat.

One great resource for good fats is nuts and they are by far one of the most nutritious and healthiest foods in the world. But for people suffering with osteoarthritis, eating nuts can wreak havoc on their joints! The histamine found in nuts is found to cause painful joint inflammation in osteoarthritis patients because it actually attacks the joints themselves.

Pain Relief Tip

When painful inflammation has you searching high and low for a remedy, whip up the great tasting juice below to get relief from the painful symptoms of inflammation.

–If you are looking for a powerful dose of anti-inflammatories to get pain relief, juice a pineapple along with ginger, aloe and turmeric and then drink it.

Inflammation Fighting Foods To Stock In Your Kitchen:

Bone Broth Chia Seeds Flaxseeds
Turmeric Mackerel Salmon
Ginger Asparagus Almonds
Beets Broccoli Brussel Sprouts
Pineapple Blueberries Celery
Olive Oil Coconut Oil Strawberries
Cherries Oranges Swiss Chard
Bok Choy Walnuts Spinach
Collards Kale Apple Cider Vinegar
Apricots Avocado Basil
Parsley Rosemary Bell Peppers
Black Beans Buckwheat Cabbage
Cantaloupe Carrots Cauliflower
Cinnamon Cucumber Curry Powder
Dark Chocolate Eggs Fennel
Garlic Grapefruit Green Tea
Hot Sauce Kelp Kiwi
Lemon Lentils Oatmeal
Limes Onion Red Wine
Shitake Mushrooms Shrimp Shellfish
Turnips Sweet Potatoes Zucchini

 

Sugar and Cardiovascular Health

Most consumers have been led to believe that fats, especially trans fats, are the primary culprits behind declining heart health in the United States. Recent studies though, have concluded that sugar may be even more detrimental to cardiovascular health than any kind of fat. The effects of sugar from direct intake and from starches, (which convert to sugar in the body once consumed) are now known to be major contributors to heart disease.

Studies on Sugar and Cardiovascular Health

In 2016, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published a report that a major, influential 1967 study conducted by the New England Journal of Medicine was unduly influenced by the sugar industry. This report had set the tone for what constituted healthy consumption of sugars and blamed fat and cholesterol intake alone as the primary risk factors for heart related disease and death. As a direct precursor to life-threatening cardiovascular issues though, sugar was touted as being benign.

A recent study in JAMA, among others, definitively linked increased sugar intake to cardiovascular-related mortality. This study followed 40,000 participants and concluded that those with the highest sugar intake increased their risk of death from cardiovascular disease by 400%. This was true even after accounting for other risk factors such as age, weight, smoking, exercise, and alcohol consumption. The study also concluded that diets comprised of just 20% sugar double the risk of heart attack, even though the Institute of Medicine still recommends capping sugar intake at no more than 25% of daily calories consumed.

Another recent study by James DiNicolantonio, PharmD and James O’Keefe, MD, co-authored by Sean Lucan, MD, has also linked increased mortality from cardiovascular disease to excess sugar consumption.  In Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases, the doctors reviewed studies dating back to the 1950s correlating cardiovascular disease to both sugar and fat intake.  Their conclusion was that not only does sugar increase the incidence and mortality rate of cardiovascular disease, but that sugar intake played a larger role in heart-related disease and death than even saturated fat.

Scientists have also published works in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showing an increase in “bad” cholesterol and decrease in “good” cholesterol levels in research participants consuming higher levels of sugar. Additionally, participants showed higher levels of triglycerides, leading to higher incidences of heart attack and stroke. This and other similar studies further suggested that the way the body metabolizes sugar, combined with fat intake, and not fat intake alone, is one of several ways sugar affects heart health.

Indirectly, excess sugar, especially refined sugar, affects the heart by contributing to weight gain and diabetes. Both place extra strain on the heart that can eventually lead to heart failure. In addition, most diabetics in the United States suffer from diabetic cardiomyopathy, a condition where the heart muscle is weakened through excess sugar consumption, eventually losing its ability to pump blood on its own.

Even those not at risk for diabetes are at risk for sugar-related cardiovascular disease though. Sugar is linked to both high blood pressure and increased heart rate, both causing heart stress leading to earlier disease and death. Sugar has also been linked to elevated stickiness of blood platelets, a risk factor for blood clots and stroke. Furthermore, consumption of just two sugary beverages daily as a part of an otherwise healthy 2,000 calorie diet has been shown to increase the risk factor for cardiovascular-related death by 20%. As mentioned earlier, the amount of sugar consumed combined with how the body metabolizes fat also leads to excess strain on the heart.

Arteries of the heart are especially sensitive to sugar. One doctor likened sugar’s effect on arterial walls to sandpaper, slowly eroding and damaging the walls of the arteries until enough plaque has built up on the damaged walls to cause a heart attack. No matter how high a patient’s fat levels, plaque build-up does not occur without arterial wall damage, and sugar does just that.

Sugar Limitations

Sugars from fruits and vegetables are not known to increase the risk of heart disease and death. Refined sugars, sugars from carbohydrates, and fructose and glucose added to processed foods are of primary concern. The American Heart Association recommends limiting sugar intake to 100 calories of sugar daily for women and 150 calories daily for men. Maintaining these limitations have now been shown to significantly improve health and lifespan.