Calm Inflammation with Anti-inflammatory Foods

The fire within.  Photo by Cullan Smith on Unsplash

How do you calm inflammation in your body with food? Inflammation is not just a “buzz” word! Inflammation is connected to fatigue issues.   Being overly tired and feeling like “someone pulled the plug on you” is a sign along with other symptoms you may be having.

Scientists are measuring levels of inflammation in our bodies and finding that chronic inflammation can be detrimental to our health.

Inflammation also has been linked to many diseases including but not limited to obesity, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes.

It is also linked to problems with detoxification within our gut and liver. Symptoms can lead to low immune function, causing a lack of energy and vitality along with the inability to feel well.

However, there is something you can do about it!  Anti-inflammatory foods that are rich in antioxidants are proven to be helpful in reducing inflammation in the body.

Here are some of my top anti-inflammatory food recommendations:

Berries, Grapes, and Cherries​​​​

Are the following sweet foods your favorite?

Berries, grapes, and cherries are packed with fiber, and antioxidant vitamins (e.g. vitamin C) and minerals (e.g. manganese).

Phytochemicals (phyto=plant) such as “anthocyanins” and “resveratrol” are found in these small and delicious fruits.

In fact, berries, grapes, and cherries may be the best dietary sources of these amazingly healthy compounds.

Broccoli and Peppers

Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable that contains the naturally occurring chemical called “sulforaphane.” This anti-inflammatory compound helps neutralize harmful toxins in the Phase 2 liver detox pathway that we are exposed to in our food, water, and air.

Bell peppers, on the other hand, are one of the best sources of antioxidants vitamin C and quercetin.

Be mindful to choose red peppers over the other colors. Red peppers are fully ripe and have more anti-inflammatory properties than the other colors.

Healthy Fats

Choosing the right fats is so important for your health. The fat controversy is still alive and well. It is recommended to keep your daily intake of saturated fats below 10 percent and increase your consumption of unsaturated fats.

However, damaged or “trans fats” are very inflammatory. So it is best to consume more anti-inflammatory foods that are listed below:

fresh avocados

extra virgin olive oil,

small fish (e.g. sardines and mackerel),

and wild fish (e.g. salmon).

Omega 3 foods like chia seeds, hemp seeds, and flax seeds.

Green Tea

Green tea contains the anti-inflammatory compound called “epigallocatechin-3-gallate”, otherwise known as EGCG.

EGCG is linked to a reduced risk of heart disease, certain cancers, obesity, and Alzheimer’s. I think we can all use more of this compound, don’t you?

Drinking steeped green tea is great, but have you tried matcha green tea? It’s thought to contain even higher levels of antioxidants than regular green tea.

Turmeric

This list would not be complete without the amazing spice turmeric?

Turmeric contains the antioxidant curcumin.

This compound has been shown to reduce the pain of arthritis, as well as have anti-cancer and anti-diabetes properties.

You can easily add turmeric to your egg dishes, smoothies, soups or teas.

Dark Chocolate

I had to save the best for last! This *may* be slightly more decadent than my #1 pick of berries, grapes, and cherries.

Dark chocolate, with at least 70% cocoa is packed with anti-inflammatory antioxidants (namely “flavonols”). These reduce the risk of heart disease by keeping your arteries healthy.

They’ve even been shown to prevent “neuroinflammation” (inflammation of the brain and nerves). Reducing neuro-inflammation may help with long-term memory, and reduce the risk of dementia and stroke.

Make sure you avoid the sugary “candy bars.” You already know those aren’t going to be anti-inflammatory!

Conclusion

There are just so many delicious and nutritious anti-inflammatory foods you can choose. They range from colorful berries, vegetables, and spices, to healthy fats, and even cocoa.

Feeling sick and tired all the time can be reduced by adding these amazing foods to your weekly meal plans. I would love to talk with you about how I can help you do just that. Just click the link below and schedule a free call with me.

Continue Reading

3 WAYS STRESS CAN MESS WITH YOUR HEALTH and ENERGY

Photo by Matteo Vistocco on Unsplash

Acute stress usually won’t mess with your health too much. It is your body’s natural reaction to circumstances, and can even be life-saving.  This type subsides after the cause of the stress is over which is usually short-term.

It's the chronic stress that's a problem.  It is these stress reactions that are triggered every day or many times a day that can mess with your health and cause unwanted symptoms of headaches, illness, sleepless nights and weight gain.

Stress may be temporary (acute), or long-term (chronic).

Stress (and stress hormones) can have a huge impact on your health.

Let's dive into the 3 effects of  "stress mess."

Effect #1 Immunity

It’s that time of year when the weather is changing that adds more stress to your system.  This is when you need to be careful to support your body or you could end up getting sick.

It’s bad enough when you do not have enough energy on a daily basis but to get sick on top of it makes life more challenging.

Did you notice that you get sick more often when you're stressed? Maybe you get colds, cold sores, or even the flu more frequently when you are stressed?

Well, that's because stress hormones affect the chemical messengers (cytokines) secreted by immune cells consequently, they are less able to do their jobs effectively.

Did you hear that 70% of your immune system resides in your gut?  

Effect #2 Gut Health

Stress puts a strain on your intestinal microbiome otherwise known as the ecosystem of your gut bacteria and gets it out of balance.

Stress can contribute to leaky gut, otherwise known as "intestinal permeability." These "leaks" can then allow partially digested food, bacteria or other things to be absorbed into your body.

The stress hormone cortisol can open up tiny holes by loosening the grip your digestive cells have to each other. These are called gap junctions.

Picture this: Have you ever played "red rover?" It's where a row of children hold hands while one runs at them to try to break through. Think of those hands as the junctions between cells. When they get loose, they allow things to get in that should be passing right through.  

Cortisol (produced in excess in chronic stress) is a strong player in creating the imbalance in your intestinal system which leads to these gaps in the lining being open too long!

This can lead to a host of health problems relating to your fatigue issues including painful joints, allergies and skin conditions.

Effect #3 Poor Sleep Quality

So many women I talk to are not sleeping well.  I think we have too much on our minds and list of things to do don’t you?  The amount of stress we as women have can be detrimental to our sleep.

Stress and sleep go hand-in-hand, wouldn’t you agree? It’s often difficult to sleep when you have very important (and stressful) things on your mind.

And when you don't get enough sleep, it affects your energy level, memory, ability to think, and mood.  

More and more research is showing just how important sleep is for your health.  Not enough sleep (and too much stress) aren't doing you any favors especially when you wake up feeling exhausted.

If you have read this far and are interested in getting on a call with me to discuss how to increase your energy and reach your health goals, click on the button below for a complimentary 30-minute call.  No obligations. Let's talk.

Stress Busting Tips

Reducing stressors in your life is an obvious first step to fighting fatigue and other health challenges.

Can you:

  • Put less pressure on yourself?

  • Ask for help?

  • Say "no"?

  • Delegate to someone else?

  • Finally, make that decision?

No matter how hard you try, you won’t eliminate stress altogether. So, here are a few things you can try to help reduce its effect on you:

  • Deep breathing

  • Meditation

  • Walk in nature

  • Unplug (read a book, take a bath)

  • Exercise (yoga, tai chi, etc.)

  • Connect with loved ones

Please click on the button below for a complimentary 30-minute call.  No obligations. Let's talk.

Conclusion

Stress is a huge and often underappreciated factor in our health. It can impact your physical body much more than you might realize.

Stress has been shown to increase  affect your immune system, gut health and sleep quality.

There are things you can do to both reduce the stressors and also to improve your response to it.

Be aware of what is causing your stress and eliminate one thing that is not serving you well.

You can bust through the stress with less!

Continue Reading

Stress and the Fatigue Connection


Stress!! Can it it lead to adrenal fatigue?  

Did you know that your fatigue issues may be connected to stress?

Does this sound like you? You are stressed and cannot sleep. You are constantly tired and crave sweets and even salty foods?  

Stress is a physical and emotional reaction to danger either real or not.  Even the day to day demands on our time cause the same stress response in our bodies as real danger.

Since your adrenal glands produce stress hormones, adrenal fatigue is a common subject matter these days.

Your adrenal glands look like walnuts that live on top of both of your kidneys. These important glands produce many hormones, including stress hormones.

But what happens when they become “overworked?”

The fight or flight response to physical danger causes an increase in the hormones adrenaline and cortisol.  This is your body's normal reaction to stress.

Stress can sometimes be positive when it helps us avoid dangerous situations like crashing into a vehicle in traffic.  Our heart rate increases and we are given the strength to respond on demand.

After a short time, the fight or flight response dissipates and your body goes back to normal.

But what would happen if you felt constant stress? Like all day, every day? This is called “chronic” stress.  

Too many women like you are living in chronic stress. Why do you think that is? Maybe there is just too much to do in a given day.

What do you think happens to your poor adrenal glands when they’re constantly working?   Have you ever felt this rush of “false energy”? This is another reason you may feel “wired but tired”. 



Do You Have Adrenal Fatigue?

When your adrenal glands start getting tired of secreting stress hormones day in and out, you can start getting other symptoms:

  • fatigue,
  • difficulty sleeping,
  • mood swings,
  • weight loss or gain,
  • joint pain,
  • sugar cravings,

And even frequent infections like colds and the flu are signs that your adrenals are probably overworked.

There are no medically accepted blood tests for adrenal fatigue. In fact, it's not recognized by most medical professionals until the point when your adrenals are so fatigued they almost stop working. At that point, the official diagnosis of "Adrenal Insufficiency" or "Addison's Disease" may apply.

However, if you do have symptoms, you should see your doctor to rule out other conditions. He or she can give you some wellness strategies that can help to reduce your stress (and symptoms).



What To Do If You Have These Symptoms?

There are many actions you can take to reduce your stress and improve your health and energy levels.

Stress reduction is key to overcoming fatigue issues. There are tons of ideas how you can reduce your stress. My favorites are:

  • scheduling your day ahead of time so you you don’t have to think about it.  I just look at my day planner and see exactly what I am to being doing and where I am to be.   
  • Practicing quiet time (even for just 20 minutes is so important.)
  • Deep breathing
  • Walking in nature, 
  • Go to bed earlier and sleep longer (7-8 hours)
  • taking a bath.
  • spend time with friends
  • Plan a fun activity


Of course, I also recommend reducing sugar and processed food intake and eating more fruits and vegetables. Better nutrition can only help your body. So make sure to prioritize this in your life.




Conclusion

Your adrenal glands produce hormones in response to stress. Adrenaline is released for only a few seconds.  After that cortisol is the main hormone released in a stress response.

After long-term daily stress, your adrenals may get tired.  It is sustained high cortisol that is the problem. Normal levels are fine since it is what wakes you up in the morning.

Adrenal fatigue is a controversial disease that doesn’t have a true diagnostic test, nor specific evidential symptoms.

The most important thing you can do is to get tested to rule out other potential conditions. You can also try stress reduction techniques like meditation, walks in nature, light exercise, more sleep, or even a calming bath.

Photo by Jared Rice on Unsplash

Recipe (Stress-reducing bath salt):
Lavender Bath Salts

Per bath

2 cups Epsom salts

10 drops lavender essential oil

As you're running your warm bath water, add ingredients to the tub. Mix until dissolved

Enjoy your stress-reducing bath!

Tip: You can add a tablespoon of dried lavender flowers.


References:

https://www.thepaleomom.com/adrenal-fatigue-pt-1/

https://www.dietvsdisease.org/adrenal-fatigue-real/

Continue Reading
Close Menu