|Posted by Sara Love, ND on January 31, 2012 at 7:00 PM|
2012 has started with a bang. All the excitement of the new year, its an election year so we are inudated with campaign ads, and Paula Deen has come out as a diabetic. Since I love food and cooking I was interested in this turn of events. I am not sure what piqued my interest more, the fact that she was diabetic and refusing to change her menus or that she was actively getting paid to promote a new diabetes medication.
The day she announced her diagnosis, I decided to watch one of her shows online which I had never seen. Ms. Deen cooks with a fair amount of fat and sugar and not a lot of vegetables. It saddens me to see this kind of cooking promoted by someone afflicted with such a serious disease. Yes, diabetes can be managed with medications, but even better diabetes can be REVERSED with the help of nutrition and lifestyle modifications.
So, why should we watch what we eat....because food should be our medicine. After you stop eating sugars and other "addictive" foods like dairy and processed grains your body will come to better appreciate the flavors of other foods.
And food looks and tastes so much better than pills or injections.
|Posted by Sara Love, ND on September 14, 2011 at 4:10 PM|
Growing up as an active teen and young adult I always had the thought of inflammation as exclusively an acute process. Minor traumas from running and horseback riding caused swelling, heat, redness, and pain. These are all the hallmarks of acute inflammation. This physiological process is important to the healing of the tissues and as long as the pain did not interfere with my daily activities I ignored it. Years later, while in medical school to become a Naturopathic Physician I learned about chronic inflammation. This process lasts a long time, and can be so insidious that people do not even know that it is happening to them. Chronic inflammation is more complex with several immunological events happening. This in turn can have negative impacts on your health. The good news is that the process of chronic inflammation can be reversed through simple lifestyle modifications. The even better news is that you can even lose weight with these changes to your life. And regain vitality while looking better.
How do I know that people can reverse chronic inflammation? I have seen it firsthand clinically in my patients. I have patients who have been able to wean off of their steroid inhalers for asthma. I have patients who are losing weight and running 5K races who never ran before the age of 40. I have patients with diabetes who are able to manage glucose and potentially prevent further complications.
So, what is happening with chronic inflammation? According to the Linus Pauling Institute, chronic inflammation can last years and is mostly promoted with a specific type of white blood cell called a macrophage. This macrophage releases several cytokines, which are distinctive chemical mediators that promote or down regulate inflammation. A few of the cytokines that are released by the macrophages in chronic inflammation are called IL-1, IL-6 and TNF-alpha. There are several more of these pro-inflammatory cytokines, but these are one ones which are studied the most. The macrophages also release reactive oxygen species (ROS) which in acute inflammation destroys the source of inflammation. However, in chronic inflammation there are enough ROS released over a period of time that the oxidant can damage the tissues. With the tissue damage this restarts the inflammation cascade as the tissue damage triggers more macrophages to come to the site of tissue damage. And the cycle of inflammation continues. Chronic inflammation has been linked to several diseases in the body including cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, dementia, obesity, asthma, and even more. Since this inflammatory cycle can continue it is of the utmost importance to stop inflammation in its tracks and this can be done with simple lifestyle modifications.
The good and bad news, we really are what we eat. By eating certain foods you can promote inflammation. These foods are trans fats, foods high in saturated fats, high glycemic foods, and smoking. The unfortunate thing is that these foods are in nearly every convenience food. For busy individuals these processed foods are easy to grab on the go, but at what cost to our bodies. With other products that are harmful to health we might have an instant negative feedback telling our bodies that the product is bad for you. With the processed foods there is an insidious quality to the harm. One may have an upset stomach, a negative mood, or just not feel well. It is hard to put your finger on the exact cause of the poor feeling which was caused by eating foods. None of us want the foods we eat to be bad for us, food is our source of energy and can give us a source of comfort. An additional problem is that some of these comfort foods have an addictive quality to them and part of changing diet may actually induce withdrawal symptoms. These unwanted symptoms will disappear after time, but a nuisance at the time.
Anti-inflammatory foods include dietary fiber, low glycemic foods, low cholesterol diets, and some herbs including ginger and turmeric. Tumeric one of the major components of curry, has qualities as an anti-inflammatory in addition to being protective against diabetes. Fruits and vegetables contain anti-oxidants which can combat the excessive ROS at the site of inflammation. The great news is that there are so many options for foods to eat and small changes can make great strides to improving your health and vitality. In addition to eating more fruits and vegetables exercise is a great way to reduce inflammation. Another lifestyle modifier that can be incorporated into your busy life is exercise. It doesn’t have to be training for a marathon, yoga can have excellent benefits. In one study adding yoga to standard medical therapy was shown to reduce IL-6 and hsCRP, two of the pro-inflammatory cytokines, in only eight weeks, and not only that, but quality of life improved in the yoga group.
These are only a few of the changes that individuals can make to reduce the systemic inflammation that occurs in the body. For more information on how these changes can help you locate a Naturopathic Physician who treats inflammation. There are many different options for treating inflammation as well as managing stress in a productive way, to empower you to regain your vitality.
Paula R. Pullen, MEd , et al., Effects of Yoga on Inflammation and Exercise Capacity in Patients With Chronic Heart Failure Journal of Cardiac Failure June 2008 Volume 14, Issue 5 , Pages 407-413.
Linus Pauling Institute http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/inflammation.html Accessed September 12, 2011.
Aggarwal BB Targeting inflammation-induced obesity and metabolic diseases by curcumin and other nutraceuticals. Annu Rev Nutr. 2010 Aug 21;30:173-99.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mark-hyman/food-addiction-could-it-e_b_764863.html Accessed September 13, 2011
Kiecolt-Glaser JK, Stress, Food, and Inflammation: Psychoneuroimmunology and Nutrition at the Cutting Edge. Psychosom Med May 2010l 72(4): 365-369. ,
|Posted by Sara Love, ND on August 10, 2011 at 3:50 AM|
Cannellini beans are also known as white kidney beans. They are an amazing source of iron (2x more than beef!) fiber and other major and minor minerals. The nutritients these amazing legumes pack include molybedenum, this little element is responsible for detoxification of sulfites and other toxins which can cause headaches and fatigue. Manganese is also a huge part of the modest cannellini bean, manganese is a big part of helping anti-oxidants work and in repair of tissues after exercise. Thiamine is also in the cannellini beans, this B-vitamin works in brain function and cognition. And the fiber, both soluble and insoluble helps the body with digestion, regulation of blood sugar, and lowering cholesterol. Making it a excellent food choice for diabetics, individuals with heart disease or high cholesterol, and athletes looking for a protein and iron source that is also low fat.
They are easy to blend and make for a creamy alternative to tofu in vegetarians who avoid soy. Alternatively you can put them on a mixed green salad. I use them in my arugula pesto and vegan lasagna. See recipe section for the specific recipes.
For more information and tips on preparing cannellini beans go to http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=87
|Posted by Sara Love, ND on August 5, 2011 at 9:00 AM|
Arugula greens are a nice way to start eating a new green. They are superbly flavorful, wonderful for waking the taste buds. Not only that, but looks can be deceiving. Arugula is not a lettuce at all! It is in the kale family, and rich in many minerals and vitamins, far exceeding iceberg or other lettuce, and perfect for salads and spring dishes. So why not?
Even if arugula is new to you, consider this:
- Arugula contains about eight times the calcium, five times the vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin K, and four times the iron as the same amount of iceberg lettuce.
- Arugula contains beta carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin, all of which are being studied for their role as antioxidants or in the prevention of diseases like cancer and macular degeneration.
- Eating leafy greens like arugula, spinach, beet greens, Swiss chard and kale is a great way to make sure you get a healthy range of carotenoids.
Arugula is also a wonderful source of chlorophyll, a compound that the body can always benefit from. Chlorophyll cleanses and energizes the blood. It helps bring large amounts of oxygen to all parts of the body, creating an environment undesirable to viruses and harmful bacteria. Chlorophyll also supports healthy skin, and limits the potential of carcinogens! And, it’s extremely tasty and available at this time of the year! What’s not to like?
For recipe ideas, go to the recipe tab on the website
For more on the health benefits of this wonderful green, see the following:
|Posted by Sara Love, ND on February 17, 2011 at 6:15 PM|
@VivacityHealth was awarded 5th place in the Oregonian's FoodDay twitter contest. Entries had to create a recipe and tweet it in less than 140 characters. There were some great recipes that were created. Check it out on http://www.oregonlive.com/foodday/index.ssf/2011/02/bruschetta_takes_top_tweet_in.html
and the chocolate hazelnut spread was further raved about being called "insanely good" by Grant Butler http://www.oregonlive.com/foodday/index.ssf/2011/02/dining_and_food_thoughts_chef.html
|Posted by Sara Love, ND on September 29, 2010 at 7:10 PM|
A great smoothie recipe for breakfast or post exercise
2 ½-3 cups kale, raw chopped
2 cups frozen berries*
1T lemon juice
1-2T honey, preferably raw
1-2 dropperfuls ginger tincture (optional, nice for people with nausea who don’t like ginger and for people who don’t like cold foods as it can be warming in the stomach)
coconut milk to blend
blend and eat, can be made night before for morning breakfast, can also freeze in ice cube trays and save for later
• *mixed berries for a better color smoothie,
• optional goodies to add, 2T ground flaxseeds, whey protein powder, glutamine powder, probiotics
|Posted by Sara Love, ND on April 25, 2010 at 1:44 PM|
Preventative medicine has different definitions depending on who you ask. To many physicians it is getting childhood vaccinations and taking an aspirin daily. Is this all there is? What about diet and exercise and their role in preventing chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension? While many people who have perfect diets and exercise may have diabetes and high blood pressure, chronic disease can be prevented in some people.
There is not a one size fits all approach to preventative medicine. We are all different and require different approaches to keep us healthy. And for many vaccinations and aspirin are a good way to prevent diseases.