Monday, 18 May 2015

Inflammation: the Cause of many illnesses and How you are Causing it

Inflammation is signified by pain, heat, redness and swelling.  We have all experienced inflammation.  When you bump your knee on that corner table, there was swelling, redness and pain.  There was inflammation, it is a response from our body to hasten up the healing process.

The problem arises when inflammation runs longer than just for an acute situation.  Long term inflammation keeps spinning up inflammatory compounds.  Chronic inflammation causes ageing, weight gain, loss of vitality, illness and disease.

These are some of the things you are doing that may cause inflammation:

  1. Sugar – sugar is one of the most inflammatory foods.  By creating imbalances in blood sugar levels, sugar drives up oxidation and inflammation. 
  2. Processed food – a study of the healthiest and longest living people on the planet reveals that their diet comprises fresh foods.  Processed foods are inflammatory and are packed with preservatives and additives.
  3. You are not eating enough leafy greens - green leafy vegetables are anti-inflammatory, so eat more of them!
  4. The wrong fats – you may be looking out for the wrong fats to consume, with so many theories out there, you could well be confused as to what fats constitute good fats.  If you are confused, I don’t blame you.  Anti-inflammatory good fats are olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil and macadamia oil.
  5. You are not having enough omega 3 intake – we typically do not have a shortage of omega 6, and the ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 in the diet gets too low.
  6. You don’t have enough hydration, get that water in!  If you don’t like the taste of plain water, put in some peppermint leaves, cucumber or lemon.  Avoid artificially sweetened drinks and flavoured water.
  7. You consume too many grains – depending on what your individual situation is, some people do well with whole grains, others do well with no grains!
In our clinic, Hemaview Live Blood Screening screens for inflammation.  In pathology blood testing, imbalances may show up in CRP, ESR, HbA1C, ANA, Rheumatoid Factor, etc. 

Decrease inflammation and you will decrease your risk of premature ageing, and gain back your vitality!

What does your Body Shape say about your Cravings? What can you Do about it to Lose Weight?

The Apple

The apple body tends to accumulate fats around the abdomen, may have skinny chest, arms and legs, and if they put on weight, it is around the middle, creating a “spare tyre”.  This body shape is at the highest risk of cardiovascular events, because visceral fats (fats around the abdomen) are packed close to critical organs of the heart and liver. 

The apple body typically craves carbohydrate foods, sweets and desserts, and may have a “mid-afternoon dip” in energy.  The key hormone involved in controlling these cravings is insulin which can be spiked by increased cortisol.  Cortisol is the stress hormone, and typically, the apple body reaches out for comfort foods (which tend to be sweet or carbohydrate rich) if they are stressed.

To lose weight, the apple body should keep blood sugar level and refrain from high glycemic load foods.  High glycemic load foods are carbohydrate containing foods that convert to sugar quickly, typically processed foods tend to have higher glycemic load compared to fresh food.  In the fruit kingdom, berries tend to have the lowest glycemic load and they are also rich in Vitamin C which is important for this body type.

The Pear

The pear body tends to accumulate fats around the hips, butt and thighs.  This body tends to be “heavy at the bottom”.  This type of body is heavily linked to hormonal imbalance, particularly estrogen dominance.

The pear body typically crave high fat foods and dairy rich foods.  As fats in the hips and thighs are harder to shift, fat loss can be more challenging for the pear body.

To lose weight, managing hormonal balance, working on clearance of estrogen is important.  Increase fibre in the food intake, include soluble and insoluble fibre like oat bran, psyllium, slippery elm and buckwheat.  Reduce rich, fatty food intake and swap dairy fats out for non-dairy fats and cheeses.  Increase cardio exercises 30 minutes at least 3 times a week.  Resistance and weights for the upper body can help to balance the body.

The Tube

The tube tends to accumulate fat all over and does not particularly have a shape.  It can be frustrating, as they tend to find wearing a loose T-shirt and jeans what would suit them.  Sometimes the tube has a combination of both apple and pear bodies, and when not looked after, both areas balloon so much that there is not much more distinction for the waist and hip.

The tube, when overweight, should reduce carbohydrate and startchy foods as well as high fat and dairy rich foods.  The diet should contain healthy fats like raw seeds and nuts, good quality protein and high in vegetables, both raw and cook.  Resistance and cardio exercise is important to help the tube get back into shape.

Breakfast should consist of a high quality protein like Shape Up, mixed with some LSA, blueberries, ½ an avocado and 3 brazil nuts.