Top Foods That Cause Inflammation

Inflammation

Inflammation is rapidly becoming one of the most studied topics in mainstream health care.

Chronic inflammation has been linked to heart disease, obesity, diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s and fibromyalgia, to name a few. In fact, inflammation is rapidly becoming the most widespread illness of the 21st century.

Inflammation was even featured on the cover of the Feb 2004 edition of Time Magazine where it was dubbed “The Secret Killer.” Secret, because where once, chronic inflammation was seen as the effect of these conditions, many in healthcare are now looking to inflammation as potentially the primary cause of these chronic degenerative conditions.

Unlike acute inflammation from trauma, infections, allergies, burns, or cuts which can heal within a short period of time, chronic inflammation is more systemic in nature and can become a repeating cycle of flare ups over the years.

The problem with inflammation is that it is almost entirely due to lifestyle and environmental factors. A toxic environment, poor of sleep, stress, lack of movement will all contribute to inflammation. However, poor nutrition may be the biggest culprit.

Many of the foods we consume on a regular basis, promote the spread of inflammation throughout the body. For example:

Sugar – Diets high in refined sugars tend to produce a large rate of inflammation throughout the body. Refined sugars are found in almost all packaged foods especially in concentrated forms like high fructose corn syrup.

Vegetable Oils – Industrial fats and vegetable oils produce rancid, trans fatty acids that can increase inflammation and damage blood vessels. Polyunsaturated fats such as corn, soy, safflower and cottonseed oils are also found primarily in packaged foods and restaurant applications.

Grains – Most grains eaten today, including their whole grain varieties, are refined, processed and treated with pesticides and other chemicals. More importantly, wheat, rice, corn, etc. contain gut-irritating proteins that cause inflammation along the digestive tract. Gluten intolerance is an example of this process.

Food additives – Often used as flavor enhancers and preservatives. There is some speculation that these additives, such as MSG and coloring found in processed meats and packaged foods, will trigger an inflammatory response in people already suffering from chronic inflammation.

Reducing inflammation from food sources can potentially be a simple solution to a number of different illnesses and chronic degenerative conditions.

By eating a clean, nutritionally dense, whole food based diet consisting of vegetables, lean organic meats, low sugar fruits, nuts and seeds, we can begin to gain control over a condition that has limited the lives of so many.

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Teens and Adults Both at Risk for Heart Disease

heart disease

The Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation has warned the public of an impending “perfect storm” where young adults are now being diagnosed with heart disease. Coupled with the increasing number of baby boomers already suffering with heart disease, the so-called “storm” will continue to place an increased strain on an already bloated healthcare budget.

Currently, provincial governments spend approximately 30% of taxpayer’s money on sick care. With more and more young adults being diagnosed with heart disease, that number is expected to rise to 50% within the next decade. In the meantime, Canada already spends close to $22 billion annually on heart disease and stroke.

How can we fix this problem? As usual, politicians will call for more tax money, the medical profession will call for better drugs and the public will continue to hope that someone will jut “fix” them when they get sick.

Of course, no one will be talking about prevention. Sure, someone will suggest more tests and early detection as a solution however; medical tests can only tell you when you’re already sick and early detection is not prevention.

Everyone in healthcare knows that most heart disease is preventable with simple lifestyle changes like diet, exercise, not smoking, drinking less etc. We know that prevention is the key eliminating much of the sick care costs, yet there will be no mention of the drastic lifestyle changes which are truly required to prevent disease and illness.

Never mind the fact that the documented benefits of alternative healthcare systems will continue to be ignored by policy makers. For example, research has shown that people under regular chiropractic care reduce health care spending and medical visits by 31%. They take fewer medications and they have less sick days but you won’t hear anyone telling you to see your chiropractor, naturopath, massage therapist etc…

While policy makers are arguing over how to pay for this problem, I would suggest you take your health into your own hands: Learn to eat well, exercise everyday, manage your stress and take care of your body. If you don’t know how, consult an expert who can set you in the right direction. Yes it will be hard to change at first, however, the more you invest in your health and prevention now, the greater the returns later.

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Natural Sunscreen Solutions

natural sunscreen

Fun in the sun isn’t always all its cracked up to be. We are constantly reminded that the sun’s rays can be harmful at times, and to watch the UV index before going out. Oh and don’t forget to slather on metric tonnes of sunscreen before stepping foot outdoors!

But, what if we’ve been getting it all wrong? What if the very thing we are trying to avoid, the sun’s UV rays, are not only beneficial and healthy, but the products people use to protect themselves may be toxic and dangerous themselves?

Consider the fact that all forms of life require the sun to live, including humans. Our skin filters UV rays (the good ones) and turns them into vitamin D, an essential vitamin that sometimes acts like a hormone.

An adequate level of vitamin D has been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, colds and flu and certain types of cancer. Vitamin D also strengthens bones and the immune system.

On the other hand, unsafe exposure to UV rays (the bad ones) has been linked to skin cancer. This is the reason why most people slather on the sunscreen. Unfortunately, many of the ingredients found in commercial sunscreens are toxic and have the potential to be harmful as well.

The main chemical used in commercial sunscreens is octyl methoxycinnamate. OMC for short. OMC was found to kill mouse cells even at low doses. Other problem chemicals in sunscreen include: dioxybenzone, oxy benzone, parabins and retinyl palminate, to name a few. These chemicals can be dangerous even in small doses.

Alternatively, look for safer natural sunscreens that do not use harmful chemicals. Ingredients like Zinc Oxide and Titanium dioxide are safer alternatives. Coconut oil, beeswax, tocopheryl acetate (Vitamin E), aloe vera gel and glycerine are common as well. Start reading the labels and know what chemicals you are absorbing through your skin.

Most importantly, safe sun exposure involves not staying out until you burn. Temper your sun exposure by gradually ramping up your time spend outdoors. Remember, a tan is actually a form of sun protection.

To prevent burns, eating a diet low in sugar and refined carbohydrates, and high in phytonutrients and antioxidants has been show to help somewhat. Also, make sure to keep the sun out of your eyes with either a cap or sunglasses.

Safe sun exposure involves a few common sense practices as well as looking for sunscreen products that do not contain harmful chemicals. Following these simple suggestions will ensure you receive all the benefits of the sun, without the negative side effects.

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4 Health Foods That Are Anything But Healthy

health foodsAs obesity rates continue to climb, especially in children, there has been a push to promote health foods in the grocery store. Items labeled “heart healthy” or “low fat” may seem like a smart choice at first glance, but upon further inspection, may be worse for your health than previously thought.

Sadly, many people who think they are eating healthy are actually missing the mark. While most consumers have been conditioned to read and prioritize calorie counts, fiber content and fat percentage written on food labels, very few will actually pay close attention to the ingredients themselves.

 

Here is a list of four so-called health foods, which are actually not as healthy as they are made out to be.

1. Low-fat Yogurt, Ice Cream, Milk:

In foods, fat equals flavor. If a manufacturer removes the fat, they will need to replace the flavor. Usually, this is done by adding sugars, artificial sweeteners and flavorings. Your body needs fat to make hormones, run your brain, repair itself and do just about anything you can think of. Every cell in your body is composed of an outer fat layer, so not all fat is bad.

2. Bran Cereal/Granola:

This staple of the health food movement is anything but healthy. While some cereals do contain a small amount of nutrients like fiber, protein and potassium, they also contain a large amount of sugar. Also, many of the refined grains found within the mixture, are digested and broken down as sugar once eaten.

3. Veggie Burgers:

While there are some decent veggie burgers on the shelves – those that list vegetables as their primary ingredients, for example – many of the bad ones contain gluten, fillers, yeast extracts and adhesives. These ingredients can wreak havoc on digestion and cause inflammation.

4. Baked Potato Chips:

Don’t be fooled! These chips still contain bad fats like trans fatty acids and are typically high in omega – 6 fatty acids which can displace health omega – 3 fatty acids.

To find out if a food is truly a “health food”, a close inspection of the ingredient list is essential. Food manufactures can market their products as healthy, but it is up to you to make sure you are making healthy choices.

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Obesity Linked to Alzheimer’s Disease

alzheimer'sAs obesity rates continue to climb among all age groups in Canada, we are now beginning to see an increase of chronic illness as a direct result this current obesity epidemic.

Studies have shown that increases in health markers typically associated with obesity (waist circumference, belly fat, high blood pressure and cholesterol) are now directly related to developing dementia and Alzheimer’s as we age.

Scientists have long reported that the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, and dementia increase directly with rising obesity rates. Now, new reports are surfacing that age-related decline in mental function and Alzheimer’s disease may also be related to obesity.

Simon Ridley, of Alzheimer’s Research UK states: “Obesity in midlife is a risk factor for dementia and these projections suggest that rising obesity in the UK could contribute to growing levels of dementia over the coming decades. Dementia already has an enormous impact on individuals, families and communities and it is concerning to see that this could become even greater than previously predicted.”

As it turns out, what used to be thought of as normal, age-related mental decline, might simply be a side-effect of weight gain and obesity during middle age.

While it is still unclear exactly how obesity affects the brain, one theory suggests that proteins released by fatty tissues can travel across the blood-brain barrier and damage susceptible brain cells. Some have even begun to label this effect as Type 3 Diabetes, however more research still needs to be done.

Fortunately, there are steps that one can take to control obesity and improve mental function as we age.

In the past few years, there have been a number of studies that have shown the positive effects of diet and weight control on Alzheimer’s and dementia.

There’s evidence that adopting a Paleo-Mediterranean style diet consisting primarily of vegetables, fruit, nuts, and lean meats such as fish, can reduce the incidence of age-related dementia and Alzheimer’s by as much as 60%.

Keep in mind that simply losing weight is not necessarily the solution. Adopting healthy lifestyle practices such as diet and exercise are the key to healthy weight loss and potentially reversing chronic illness.

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[EVENT] The 12-Minute Fitness Bootcamp – June 24

Regular physical activity, fitness, and exercise are critically important for the health and well being of people of all ages.

THE PROBLEM:

Millions of Canadians suffer from chronic illnesses that can be prevented or improved through regular physical fitness.

New Canadian guidelines recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity a week, yet  only 15% of Canadian adults meet these requirements. And only 7% of people age 5-17 fulfill these requirements

WHY DON’T PEOPLE EXERCISE?

• Exercise takes too long.

• Exercise is painful.

• Exercise requires expensive memberships and equipment.

• Exercise is boring.

What if we could get all the benefits of exercise without all the downside?

THE SOLUTION: SURGE TRAINING!

Conditioning exercises that elicit a specific hormonal and energy production response designed to improve the capability of the body to efficiently and effectively deliver energy for activity. (Also known as “Surge Training”)

Burn fat, get lean and gain strength with short surges of high intensity, short duration exercises:

• Surge Training takes 12 min 1-3x per week.

• Surge Training can be scaled to any age or fitness level.

• Surge Training requires zero to minimal equipment and can be done at home.

• Surge Training is fun and dynamic. No two workouts are the same.

LOCATION: In Touch Chiropractic – 580-555 West 12th Ave., Vancouver BC

DATE: June 24, 2015

TIME: 6:15 PM -7:15 PM

images.duckduckgoCOME READY TO WORKOUT! (Workout attire required)

VERY LIMITED SPACE! (we are capping this event at 20 people)

$10 Guest Admission through Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/the-12-minute-fitness-solution-bootcamp-tickets-17308301596

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9 Top Superfoods

superfoodsYou may have heard the saying: “you are what you eat.” While this may be technically true, when it comes to building real health you are not just what you eat, you are actually what you absorb.

This is because, not all foods are created equal. Anyone who’s ever experienced a junk food craving, understands the difference between what you should eat, versus what you want to eat.

Humans are classified as omnivores. This means we could technically eat anything we wanted, including non-food items, and our bodies will do their best to process and absorb these through our digestive tract.

Absorbing the right vitamins, fats, minerals, carbohydrates and proteins are one of the keys to abundant health and longevity. Few people could argue about the benefits of a diet rich in live, whole foods being better for your health and longevity than pre-packaged, refined junk foods.

While fruits and vegetables traditionally have been the undisputed kings and queens of nutrient density, there is a subcategory of foods that have been labeled “superfoods”.

Superfoods pack quite a nutritional punch relative to their serving size and have healing and restorative properties that go far beyond regular fruits and veggies.

Here’s a short list of some of the most potent superfoods on the planet:

Kale – The undisputed champion when it comes to Vitamin K and calcium. Kale has more calcium than dairy and fortified cereals combined. Best eaten lightly steamed, baked or raw in small amounts.

Dark chocolate – Anything over 80% is high in minerals like magnesium and copper and low in sugar content. Also, dark chocolate is full of heart healthy flavinoids. A great treat.

Cherries – Are rich in anti-oxidants and known for their anti-inflammatory properties used by those with gout and other arthritic conditions. Cherries are great for repair and recovery after intense workouts too.

Wild salmon – Wild caught is best and highest in heart healthy omega 3 fatty acids. Also high in selenium which tends to offset some of the mercury toxicity found in all fish. 2-3 servings a week are generally recommended.

Sea vegetables – Woefully lacking in modern diets, kelp, seaweed, arame and sea asparagus are high in iodine and good salts which can promote thyroid health and have powerful anti-cancer properties.

Wild Blueberries – Immune boosters that attack dangerous free radicals, these potent little antioxidants are low in sugar content and ideal for those wishing to limit their fructose intake.

Coconut oil – A good medium-chain fat that is a versatile cooking agent and a potent energy source. Heart healthy, powerful immune booster and it is a great supplement for those wishing to burn fat.

Free-range eggs – A great source of protein and good fats, free-range eggs are also high in Vitamin D, choline and omega 3s. The best eggs are from chickens allowed to run free and forage in pastures.

Grass fed liver – Often overlooked, liver, especially grass fed beef liver, has more vitamins and minerals than any fruits or vegetables on the planet. Best consumed from grass fed and humanely raised sources.

Adding these delicious and nutritious superfoods to your diet, along with eating a diet low in refined carbohydrates and toxic foods can help you promote longevity, health and wellness.

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Is Organic Food More Nutritious?

organic foodRecently, a group of Stanford researchers concluded that organic food was just as nutritious for you than conventionally grown produce. This caused quite a stir in the natural health community and had many people rethinking their choice to go organic in the first place.

For years, many people thought they were eating a more nutritious diet if they consumed exclusively organic produce.

While, there has been a lot of debate as to whether the more expensive, harder to find, organic fruits and vegetables are really worth it. Concerned natural health consumers are now unsure if they are really getting the biggest bang for their buck.

The results of this study are not new, in fact there have been several studies that have shown mixed results for nutritional value of organic produce. However, some perspective is needed when it comes to the term “organic.”

While the public’s perception of organic farms may be sprawling landscapes, rickety old barns and hand-picked vegetables, the reality of organic farming is quite different.

If you were to visit a large organic farm in Canada, it would probably look the same as a conventional farm. In fact, organic agriculture uses many of the same tools and practices as conventional agriculture. They are typically large-scale productions that use heavy machinery, with very little consideration for soil quality and biodiversity.

However, the Stanford study did point out one very important difference between organic and non-organic produce: There were significantly less pesticide residues found on organic produce compared with conventionally produced fruits and vegetables.

This is important because I believe this is the main reason people purchase organic produce in the first place. Nutritional quality may vary from farm to farm, or year to year, but because of strong regulation, organic food always contains fewer chemicals.

Considering these chemicals have been linked to neurological disorders, cancers and hormone disruption, it is far more important to purchase organic foods for this reason, rather than any perceived nutritional benefit.

While this may not prove to be the definitive study on the matter, there is still a heath benefit to consuming organic produce on a regular basis.

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Inflammation: The Silent Epidemic

inflammationChronic inflammation is rapidly becoming one of the most studied topics in mainstream health care. The cellular damage that results from chronic inflammation has been linked to degenerative conditions such as arthritis, heart disease, obesity, and certain cancers. In fact, inflammation is rapidly becoming the most widespread illness of the 21st century.

Unlike acute inflammation from trauma, infections, allergies, burns, or cuts which can heal within a short period of time, chronic inflammation is more systemic in nature and becomes a integrated within a person’s physiology.

When your body loses the ability to recover from inflammation, chronic health problems can ensue. It is this low-level inflammation that keeps your immune system in constant a state of hyper-vigilance, resulting in a decreased ability to defend against bacteria and viruses.

The problem of chronic inflammation is being studied as simple solution to a number of different illnesses and degenerative conditions. By identifying and removing sources of inflammation in our environment, we can take control over it.

Here is a list of environmental factors that contribute to chronic inflammation:

  • Sugars/grains – Diets high in refined sugars tend to produce a larger rate of inflammation throughout the body due to their acid load.
  • Bad Fats – Industrial fats and vegetable oils produce trans fatty acids that can increase inflammation and damage blood vessels.
  • Too Much Exercise – Chronic exercise, done incorrectly, with little time for recovery, can create constant inflammation and make you more susceptible to injury.
  • Lack of Sleep – Your body heals and repairs inflammation while you sleep. Most people are not getting 8 hours of sleep every night. Less sleep means less repair.
  • Stress – Chronic stress increases production of stress hormones such as cortisol, and can damage organ systems.

There are simple blood tests to screen for inflammation throughout the body. The A1C test, commonly used in diabetics, indicates how your body uses sugar. Also, CRP tests can show overall inflammation in the body. These tests, by themselves, are not diagnostic, but can give you a snapshot of how your body is dealing with the problem.

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[LIVE EVENT] Sleep Hacking 101 – April 22

Do you have trouble falling asleep at night?
Do you feel tired in the mornings even after a full night’s sleep?
Do you find yourself hitting a “wall” every afternoon after lunch?

The solution: Hack your sleep for the best nights rest of your life!

Using the latest information and technology,  we will explore the steps you can take to radically improve your sleep and sleep habits.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015 @ 6:15pm – 7:30pm
Intouch Chiropractic – 580-555 West 12th Ave, Vancouver BC
LIMITED SEATING!

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Research has shown that a quarter of all Canadians are chronically sleep deprived. Unfortunately, unlike nutrition and fitness, once your missed sleep it is very difficult to make up for it later.

Sleep deprivation has also been shown to be just as deadly as smoking and can literally take years off of your life! Here’s why:

• A person who has not slept for 20 hours has a level of impairment equal to someone with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 per cent, over the limit of 0.05, at which a driver is considered legally impaired in Ontario.

• A non-typical sleep schedule from shift work disturbs the body’s natural pattern of rest and rejuvenation, which can lead to physical and mental problems, including cardiovascular disease, hypertension, asthma, diabetes and depression.

• Chronic sleep deprivation can contribute to obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke and other medical conditions. The amount of sleep and the quality of sleep have been shown to affect appetite, weight control and the effectiveness of diets for weight loss.

• An extra hour of sleep a night appears to decrease the risk of coronary heart calcification, or hardening of the arteries, an early indicator of cardiovascular disease.

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