Natural Anti Inflammatory Foods

A natural process which has a biological purpose to initiate the healing by increasing the circulation is known as inflammation. It is a process which involves the vascular system and immune system. It also involves interplay of various chemical mediators and is known as a complex process. Here, the nourishment and the white blood cells are brought by the increased circulation to the place of infection or injury so that the invading pathogens are killed and the damaged ones are repaired.

The characteristics of inflammation are heat, redness, swelling and pain. Inflammation can be either treated by medicines or naturally by being on a diet. Medicines have side effects, so natural anti inflammatory foods are consumed for better performance without any risk. However, different foods are said to be metabolized differently, some of it promote inflammation while others reduce it. Here are some of the natural anti inflammatory foods.

1. Vegetables and Fruits: Vegetables and fruits of green and bright color help the process of inflammatory. Vegetables and fruits are rich in minerals, fiber, vitamins and antioxidants by which the body gets the essential building blocks for health, for example, squash, sweet potatoes, avocados, beans, lentils, dark green leafy vegetables and cruciferous vegetables. There are many antioxidants and phytochemicals present in the vegetables and fruits that have anti inflammatory properties.

2. Fats: Foods like coconut oil, nuts, sardines, salmon, olive oil and avocados are natural anti inflammatory foods which are very healthy. Omega 3 fatty acids are also natural anti inflammatory agents which are converted into prostaglandins, a hormone like substance. These are found in oily fish of cold water like mackerel, herring and salmon. These are also found in flax seed which is also known as linseed and its oil. The omega 6 fats also help in reducing the pain and inflammation and these are found in sesame seed oil, safflower, sunflower and pumpkin.

3. Spices: There are many spices which help in reducing the inflammation out of which turmeric is the best. It is the best natural anti inflammatory food which is recommended to the patients suffering from arthritis. It can either be taken as a supplement or it can be added to the food. Other spices used for reducing the inflammation are rosemary, cinnamon, garlic, ginger and oregano. Polyphenols and bioflavanoids are used to reduce inflammation as well as fight with the free radicals. Cayenne pepper too is used as anti inflammatory as it has capsicum present in it and capsicums are often used in creams for pain relief.

4. Grain: Whole grains are natural anti inflammatory foods which are rich in complex carbohydrates. The complex carbohydrates help in preventing spikes in the sugar level of the blood because the sugar promotes inflammation. However, grains should be not refined as these have bran and germ and if it is been removed then there is a loss of minerals, vitamins and fiber. Some of the best grains are bulgar, oats, whole oats, quinoa, whole wheat and couscous.

Using An Inflammatory Foods List To Reduce Pain

It is recommended that you use and utilize the inflammatory foods list if you are one of those people suffering from arthritis or any kind of inflammation response affecting the joints which is somehow painful. When you eat these foods, the body is supplied with certain ingredients which it uses to reduce the painful symptoms in a natural way without therapeutic intervention. Eating such natural food has a number of health benefits in addition to reducing inflammation, all of which are directed to the well being of an individual. You will be safe and free from common side effects which are at times associated with the use of anti inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen.

You can comfortably use olive oil to produce effects similar to those associated with anti inflammatory drugs. This has since made it to be included in the inflammatory foods list to assist those affected and it is advisable that you use this oil when cooking. Inflammation is controlled by blocking particular pathways in the affected tissue. Anti inflammatory drugs exerts their effects by facilitating this blockage. When you eat it with food, olive oil is capable of producing similar effects thus controlling the condition. When used in a continued routine, it provides a good natural cure for those severely affected.

You are advised to eat eggs with yolks and drink milk if you are suffering from arthritis. These are good sources of vitamin D and are part of the inflammatory foods list which is currently being used. This vitamin is known to play an important role in controlling the processes involved in development of arthritis disease. This will in a way reduce the resulting pain to the victim. Ginger is known to reduce pain for those with inflammation problems. You can take it by adding to food during preparation. Turmeric has anti inflammatory effects and thus part of inflammatory foods list which is there to be used by those with joint pain and inflammation complications which can be severe.

Use of fatty acids especially omega 3 has been found to offer a good deal to those people experiencing mild and severe joint pain. There are varied sources where you can get this supplement and some of them are fish oil, sea weed and soya beans. The efficacy of these foods has been shown in many patients who have already used them. Due to this notable effect, such food stuffs are part of the inflammatory foods list which presents a natural remedy for inflammation problems.

When foreign compounds enter the body and more specifically to the joints, they have the potential of causing an inflammation response hence the individual experiences painful symptoms. Food containing antioxidants are part of the inflammatory foods list because they have the capability of eliminating all harmful compounds in the specific tissue. For those who already have the disease, these foods have been proven to slow down the rate at which the disease spreads thus allowing sufficient time for other medical interventions which might have been employed. You can derive these vital antioxidants from fruits such as pineapples, strawberries, carrots, pumpkins, oranges and lemons.

Taking Control Of Your Health? Start With A Healthy Eating Plan!

If you are a new comer, starting to look for options to better your health with alternatives, you must have a plan. This is not unlike anything starting from bottom up, you must have a plan for a solid foundation to build on.

A healthy eating plan involves eating a range of food in the right amount. These are some of the changes you will have to make for that better health you are striving for. Eating a healthy diet ensures that your body functions properly and that you become healthy, which is the reason of this plan. Things will start to feel different; your body will stay in a state whereby it is ready to fight illness and diseases. The wide range of food you should select involves all fruits and vegetables like cabbages, Brussels sprouts, spinach, kale, beans, garlic, peppers, tomatoes, onions, any herbs etc. As in fruits: Bananas, apples, mangoes, berries, any stone fruit, best what is in season and fresh. Include many or at least some of these in your daily healthy eating plan every day.

Here are the first important steps you can start with now to change your old unhealthy eating habits to a life changing one for the better.

The first step is to avoid sugary things. Anything that has sugar or added sugar is contributing to bad health and weight gain. This is not as easy as it may sound, because sugar is almost everywhere, even in foods you wouldn’t expect it. When it comes to food it is easy to be mislead and to think we are doing most of the things right. As an example let’s take fruit juices: We think they are healthy for us because of the fruits it has included. The name sounds healthy but the content isn’t; all the additives, preservatives and all the sugar is a major concern for our health. This also applies to sodas, soft drinks, sport drinks, health drinks etc. They all have high sugar content plus other unhealthy ingredients better be avoided.

All of this makes it necessary to change your eating plan in ensuring to receive all the nutrition daily for a healthier and better way of life. It is important that you make sure you have all the basic nutrients like vitamins, proteins, carbohydrates, fibre, starches in moderation, and variety. All these play an important role in our lives like providing our bodies with energy, and boosting the immune system. Making a healthy eating plan does not involve highly processed foods or genetically modified food. They be better avoided because of a number of reasons.

Processed foods do not have all the necessary nutrients as they are removed during processing. The action only focuses on making the product attractive, pleasing for the taste buds for wanting more but does not consider the nutritional part. The other matter: Genetically modified foods (GMOs) are not healthy and best completely avoided. Though this type of food could be less expensive in the market does not mean that they are healthy. For instance, highly processed grains do not have their outer coats. The coats are what holds a high amount of nutrition like for instance in whole wheat.

The nutrients found in a healthy balanced diet have different roles to play. Carbohydrates are a source of energy. It is in our bodies in the form of starch which is later converted into glucose. Protein helps in the growth of our body cells and in the repair of destroyed cells and other parts. Once you eat foods rich in protein, the nutrients become amino acids and our digestive system cannot handle these large molecules. Fats are a preserved form of energy used by the body if it runs out of food. Fat is also used as insulation for our bodies as some of it is under the skin. The point about fat: Our body needs fat; it cannot survive without it, although the body needs the right type of fat. All that wrong information over the last few decades about fat is unhealthy is a myth. Saturated fats found in natural food is good fat. Trans fat in processed food is the bad fat and better be avoided.

Vitamins are not always required in high amounts but they also play a crucial role in our eating plan. Vitamins and minerals can also be sourced from supplements as long as they are the right ones and not the synthetic types.

Education and knowledge is the key to a healthy diet and eating plan. Some effort and time spend now can help for less expenses and less time spend in doctors or hospital waiting rooms later.

The most important step to a healthy life is the change to a healthy eating plan to take control of your health. Just small steps at the time will help you to learn how to eat better in the best possible way.

Healthy Dieting – A Vegetarian Option

There are numerous diets that can be recommended. However, according to Rev. George H. Malkmus, creator and proponent of the Hallelujah diet, a balanced diet without animal protein, should consist of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grain, and such. The Hallelujah diet completely removes the “five white substances” – which are cow’s milk, refined sugar, refined wheat flour, common salt; and also animal fat – from daily food intake. These foods can be replaced with:

1. Plant derived milk, for example rice milk or creamy banana milk,
2. Honey in moderation,
3. Wholegrain flour,
4. Sea salt in moderation, and
5. Plant-derived oil – examples are coconut oil, olive oil.

A daily menu should look like this:

Breakfast

Eat only fresh fruits, or freshly extracted vegetable or fruit juices – no baked or cooked food allowed before noon. Fruits and fruit juices digest easily and are energizers as well as body cleansers. Certain category of people like diabetics and cancer patients should avoid fruits until it is advised. Also, people on certain medication should consult with their doctor as some fruits may interfere with their drugs. Vegetable juices are better for them such as carrot juice or mixed vegetable juices.

Lunch

For lunch a cooked meal is recommended and will include whole grains. However, it is a good idea to eat some raw salads without chemical additives (salad creams) before the cooked meal. This meal can be interchanged with supper.

Supper

For supper a large bowl of raw vegetable salad is in. Your salad dressing can be made at home with the help of good salad dressing recipe books available on the market. Mayonnaise is made from eggs, oil, and additives which are not helpful. You can use vegenaise from instead of mayonnaise. The salad should be a large helping of raw vegetables that you can afford. Raw vegetables are best for nutrition – especially the green leafy vegetables and the bright deeply colored ones. The deeper the colors, the higher the nutrients; the brighter the colors, the more the beta carotene they contain. Obesity is alien to people on this diet.

Snacks should include fresh fruits and raw nuts like apple, banana, orange, and mango, garden egg, carrot, walnut, raw almond, and so on.

Garden eggs are antiseptic, diuretic, and haemostatic. It is effective in removing colitis, constipation, bleeding, hemorrhoids, pain, hypertension, stomach ulcers, swelling, and tumors. It contains potassium, bioflavonoid, and is about 90% water.

To avoid dehydration drink plenty of water and exercise regularly. Get enough sleep to refresh and rejuvenate your body. You will feel good and radiate health.

Kaiser Permanente Study Finds Continuous Health Coverage Essential For Patients Managing Diabetes

When patients with diabetes experience an interruption in Health insurance, they tend to receive the screening tests and vaccines they need to protect their health. A new study has found that this is true even when patients receive free or medical care cost reductions in safety net clinics are federally funded.

The study was funded in part by the National Institutes of Health and the findings were published online in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine.

“Our study shows that patients need health insurance coverage continuously to ensure preventive care is adequate, even when treatment is provided at a reduced cost,” said Rachel Gold, PhD, MPH, lead author and researcher at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland , Ore.

“Most of the services at our safety net clinics are free, but some of the diagnostic tests require a small co-pay that is usually covered by Medicaid,” said Amit Shah, MD, co-author of the study and Medical Director of the Multnomah County Health Department in Portland. “Patients who lose their Medicaid coverage often delay getting tests because they can not afford the co-pay.”

The study involved 3,384 patients with diabetes who received medical treatment from 2005 to 2007 in 50 federal qualified health center in Oregon. This health center provides free treatment or reduction of fees for low-income patients regardless of their insurance status. More than half of the patients in the study (52 percent) had continuous coverage, most often provided by Medicaid, a publicly funded insurance program for low-income people. Twenty-seven percent do not have insurance, and 21 percent had interrupted coverage, during the study period of three years. Patients with private insurance were excluded from the study.

Researchers examined the electronic health records of patients to determine whether they received four services recommended at least annually for diabetes patients: a lipid test for high cholesterol, flu vaccines, a test that measures blood sugar levels, and a urine test that can detect kidney damage.

Forty-eight percent of patients with insurance continue to receive at least three lipid-screening tests at one of the study clinic during the study period of three years; 25 percent received three or more flu shots; 72 percent received three or more screenings for blood glucose; and 19 percent received three or more screenings for kidney damage. Patients with no coverage, and patients with disorders in coverage, receive fewer of these services than patients with continuous health insurance coverage.

Specifically, the study did not show an increase in services received as insurance increases; instead, all of the patients with uninterrupted health insurance are equally vulnerable to missing services, compared with continuously insured. These findings suggest that public insurance coverage must be continuous to ensure that patients receive care consistent and timely.

The study was funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration, National Library of Medicine and the Multnomah County Health Department.

Eat blueberries to live a longer life

Sometimes foods that are healthy don’t always appeal to a large number of people. Blueberries are an exception, however – they are both delicious and nutritious. Blueberries are truly one of the great superfoods for so many reasons. Although they can satisfy a sweet tooth, they are low in sugar and low on the glycemic index, so they will not cause blood sugar levels to spike up. They are full of healthy fiber to improve digestion and aid in weight loss for those who are trying to shed unwanted pounds. And they are incredibly rich in vitamins, minerals and bio-active compounds like anthocyanins which have powerful antioxidant properties. It is this strong combination of nutrients that lead to so many health benefits and, according to new studies, even a longer life span.

Longevity and DNA
While there are many diseases, illnesses and other conditions that can bring about premature death, the underlying cause of these problems involves DNA and its repair. There is DNA in every cell in the body and over the course of a lifetime, many things (such as illness, exposure to environmental toxins, or just the aging process) can damage that genetic material. At first, the cells are able to repair this DNA but as the body ages, they become less efficient at this. This results in DNA that is faulty or damaged, and this in turn can lead to problems like cancer that greatly shorten life expectancy.

However, the strong antioxidant properties of blueberries can help avoid this process and reduce the risk of DNA damage and flaws and thus improve the chances of avoiding many chronic diseases that can shorten life.

What blueberries can do
Because of their high antioxidant content, extracts of blueberries have shown the ability to help repair DNA damage and to reduce the oxidative stress to the cells that can bring about the damage to begin with. This means that, since the DNA damage is avoided from the start, then the chances of developing life-shortening diseases the cancer are likewise reduced.

Blueberries seem so incredibly effective at this that, in a joint study by the United States Department of Agriculture and other research organizations, scientists found that regular consumption of blueberries and their strong antioxidants can increase the lifespan about around 28 percent, or an average of 22 years. This is because blueberry plants evolved to be able to adapt to different environmental stresses like drought, high or low temperatures and other things that can threaten it. When humans consume these berries, they are also able to take advantage of some of the beneficial compounds in berries. And the benefits are truly amazing, including:

Protect the nervous system, including the brain
Protect cells throughout the body from DNA damage due to free radical activity
Decrease the chances of chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease

In short, recent research has shown that regular blueberry consumption – which increases dietary intake of antioxidants – can reduce cellular and DNA damage and prevent the onset of many chronic diseases. The end result of this is a dramatic increase in quality and length of life.

Studies show that eating raw organic nuts may help you live longer

One of the worst things about the low-fat craze – which gripped America and other parts of the West for decades and is only now slowly eroding as people realize that fat can be healthy after all – was the fact that so many people avoided nuts in their diet. While it is true that nuts are what is considered to be a calorie-dense food – high in fat as well as protein – this does not necessarily mean that, when eaten in moderation, they are unhealthy. As a matter of fact, research is increasingly coming to light which shows nuts to be one of the great health foods. They are a great part of a balanced diet and are appropriate for people with a number of health conditions, including diabetes, heart disease and other chronic diseases that can cause so much damage. Let’s take a look at the past and future research on the benefits of adding nuts to the diet.

Recent and past studies
One recent study which has many people in the nutrition and health world talking is the one conducted at Maastricht University in Germany. This study found that those who consumed nuts daily (at least 0.3 ounces) have a reduced risk of many serious chronic diseases. More specifically, this nut consumption reduced the risk of diabetes by 30 percent, of cancer by 39 percent and of degenerative neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease by a whopping 45 percent.

This needs to be taken in the context of other, less recent studies which also highlighted the benefits of nut consumption. A long-term study from Harvard University which tracked patients for 30 years found that those who consumed nuts on the daily basis were 20 percent less likely to die for any reason than those who did not consume such high amounts of nuts in their diets. In another study, published in The Annals of Internal Medicine, scientists found that a nut-rich diet for women was linked to not only a longer life, but one less likely to include chronic disease.

Why are nuts so healthy?
Nuts are now considered to be a vital part of any healthy diet because of their make-up. They are high in healthful fats and proteins as well as containing some non-starchy carbohydrates, which make them an excellent choice for people who have diabetes or are obese, as they can actually aid in weight loss. They are also rich in an amino acid called L-arginine, which can support the health of the blood vessels surrounding the heart, and thus the heart itself. They are also rich sources of vitamins, minerals and fiber which can support the general health of the body.

So don’t be afraid to snack on a handful of pecans, or add those almonds to the morning oatmeal! Research is consistently showing that far from being bad for the body, nuts actually offer a whole array of benefits that have been linked to reduced changes in chronic disease as well as to improvement in general health and well-being.

Try these 15 prebiotic foods to strengthen your immune system

Many people today are receiving their daily dose of probiotic supplementation or at the very least understand that they probably should be. Less likely are people aware that they should also be receiving a regular supplement of prebiotics. Try these 15 prebiotic foods to strengthen your immune system.

Prebiotics have numerous health benefits such as improving gut health, inhibiting cancer, enhancing the immune system, and preventing obesity. They also have shown effective improvements in 91 percent of all human trials and have been shown to reduce symptoms of bowel related issues such as ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome and celiac disease.

Both prebiotics and probiotics nurture the good bacteria required by the digestive tract for proper health beginning at the mouth. Probiotics are live, active cultures capable of multiplying in numbers whereas prebiotics serve as the food source for probiotics and do not grow or reproduce.

Prebiotics benefit the immune system
The benefit of prebiotics starts at conception. Prebiotics are associated with the development of the systemic immune system, or the whole body’s immune function, and benefits babies while they are still in the mother’s womb.

Children have shown numerous benefits such as the reduced risk of eczema, an increase in metabolism and growth, and an increased feeding tolerance to dairy by inhibiting the development of allergies. For these reasons and more, prebiotics are now added to infant formula. An outstanding amount of research demonstrates that prebiotics promote T helper cells which are vital for a healthy immune system.

Improved systemic immunity
Friendly bacteria not only provide the gastrointestinal tract with healthy immunity but they also improve systemic immunity in the entire body. Increased permeability of the intestine in people with leaky gut for instance have a higher risk for pathogens to squeeze through the holes and colonize other organs in the body. Decreasing inflammation of the intestine and supporting an environment for healthy bacteria to thrive decreases the risk for pathogens to wreak havoc.

According to regulation standards, prebiotics are made up of non-digestable carbohydrates (fiber) that are used by bacteria in the colon to produce measurable health benefits. Naturally found in food, a prebiotic is not broken down or absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract. Beneficial bacteria use this fiber as a food source in a process called fermentation.

Prebiotics as functional foods
Prebiotics are considered functional foods in that they provide numerous health benefits and aid in the prevention and treatment of diseases and health conditions.

Currently, there are three major types of prebiotics that are well documented: Inulin, oligosaccharides and arabinogalactans. Examples of food sources that contain prebiotics are:

Asparagus
Bananas
Carrots
Chicory root
Coconut meat and flour
Dandelion greens
Flax and chia seeds
Garlic
Jerusalem artichoke
Jicama
Leeks
Onions
Radishes
Tomatoes
Yams

Inulin and oligosaccharides are short-chain polysaccharides, or chains of carbs, which act at different locations in the colon, ensuring complete intestinal health. By increasing and maintaining the populations of good bacteria, the body is less susceptible to pathogenic bacteria and yeast that can lead to a diverse range of negative health consequences.

Green tea boosts your brain power, especially your working memory

Green tea has held the equivalent of rock star status in the world of natural health and nutrition for years now. This is largely because new research seems to be coming out all the time that finds yet more ways in which the regular consumption of green tea can benefit the body. So far, science has linked green tea drinking to a boosted metabolism, increased ease of weight loss, improved heart health, reduced cancer risk and stronger immunity, just to name a few. This is largely due to the large number of anti-oxidants, catechins and other bioactive compounds that green tea has in abundance. So it should probably come as no surprise that new evidence has emerged which links the use of green tea with another great health benefit: An improvement in working memory and general brain power as well. Read on to find out more about this latest intriguing research.

Swiss study uncovers brain-boosting power of green tea
This new research is coming out of the University of Basel in Switzerland, where Swiss scientists have been looking at the correlation between green tea consumption and better cognitive functions, including working memory. These findings, which used green tea extract on participants and then studying various aspects of their brain power, was recently published in the journal Psychopharmacology and appears to be a promising beginning for natural treatments to be developed in the future that will help with memory loss and other forms of cognitive dysfunction naturally.

These are some of the same bioactive compounds in green tea that have been so extensively studied in regards to cancer, especially breast cancer in women. However, this is the first time that the cognitive benefits of these compounds have been thoroughly studied in regards to brain health and function.

What the researchers found
This study was involved a team of scientists led by Professor Christoph Beglinger of the University Hospital in Basel and Professor Stefan Borgwardt, who is associated with the Psychiatric University Clinic. It found that the reason green tea extract was able to improve brain function was because of its positive effect on brain connectivity: In other words, bioactive compounds made communication between different parts of the brain easier and more rapid. This better communication led to better brain performance, especially in areas like working memory: Participants scored significantly better on their tests after ingesting green tea extract.

Specifically, this study looked at a group of otherwise healthy men and gave them a beverage containing green tea extract before going through a series of tests to measure cognitive performance. Analysis through MRIs found that the men had increased communication between the frontal cortex and parietal lobe of the brain and it was this that was likely responsible for the enhanced mental performance.

This research might open up exciting new opportunities for research, especially in the area of geriatrics, where numbers of patients with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia continue to grow. With further development, these findings might eventually translate into a natural remedy for those who struggle with memory loss and other cognitive challenges.

Fiber-rich diet may reduce colon cancer risk

The numbers, quite frankly, are grim: Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in America and the fourth leading cause of cancer death globally. And even if the colon cancer is not fatal, it can lead to radiation or chemotherapy as well as surgical removal of the colon and the placement of a colostomy bag, which can seriously impact the quality of life for these cancer survivors. That is why so much research in recent years has gone into discovering ways that this cancer can be prevented in the first place. It has long been suspected that a typical American diet – with its reliance on meat and starches – can raise the risk of colon cancer development. And this new study illustrates clearly how important the link between diet and this disease really is.

Intriguing new research
This elegantly done study was a collaborative effort between researchers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and those in KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. The researchers chose 20 African-American men and women in Pittsburgh and 20 men and women of African descent living in KwaZulu-Natal to participate in this study that looked at the link between diet and colon cancer risk.

Before this study began, researchers performed an analysis of the gut microbes in each participant. In other words, they looked at the kind of bacteria living in the digestive tract of every patient in the study. Every patient also underwent a colonoscopy, or visual study of the colon, during which it was discovered that nine out of the 20 Americans had colon polyps (which can become cancerous) while 0 out of the 20 South Africans had the same problem. Then the study itself began.

How the research was done
In this two-week study, the group of 20 African Americans ate a traditionally South African diet. Such a diet consists largely of plant-based foods including a variety of fruits, vegetables, grains and beans. Meanwhile, the 20 South Africans ate a diet that mimicked that of the West, with approximately 2-3 times more meat and fat than their native diet usually included.

After two weeks, participants were examined again. It was found that major changes had taken place in just the short time that this study took to complete its course. The African Americans on the South African diet showed better health in their intestinal flora as well as reduced inflammation and other signs of damage to the colon. Meanwhile, the South Africans on a typically American diet showed increased inflammation of the colon and a decrease in the health of their guts. Both of these are considered to be risk factors for colon cancer.

In short, this study is part of a large (and growing) body of evidence to show that a diet which is rich in plant-based foods helps to reduce the risk of colon cancer, while a diet that is high in fats and meat-based protein increases the chances that this cancer will develop. It is yet another good reason for people to consider cutting back on red meat and high fat foods and increasing their dietary intake of fruits, vegetables and other plant-based foods.