Fighting Inflammation with food

The body responds to many diseases and injuries with inflammation. Inflammation is one of the most basic and necessary processes in the body and without a properly functioning inflammatory response, healing is compromised. Some conditions are worsened by inflammation but suppressing inflammation all the time isn’t the best path to healing.

When inflammation is being suppressed by means of some medications like anti-inflammatories and cortisone, it also suppresses the natural healing process that is neccesary to heal the injury. On the flipside, when inflammation goes untreated, inflammation can worsen the condition and should be managed appropriately.

Chronic low levels of inflammation has been linked to a variety of health conditions including high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, asthma and certain cancers. Often one is not aware of this kind of inflammation.  In inflammatory conditions like Crohns disease, ulcerative colitis, osteo & rheumatoid arthritis, gout and many more, the inflammation is present and felt by the person.

Reduction in inflammation and inflammatory markers are likely to translate to slower disease progression. Medications for treatment is helpful however certain dietary habits may increase inflammation in the body and by changing just a few dietary habits and opting for natural anti-inflammatories, inflammation can be controlled much better and the frequency of medication use can be prolonged. Natural anti-inflammatories can allow some people to use less medicine.

By consulting with one of our dietitians, we can assess your inflammatory markers and look at genetics to ascertain your inflammatory profile and help you to seek the appropriate diet and supplemental regime.


Foods that worsen inflammation

High glycemic Index food
Studies have shown that foods that raise your blood sugar quickly can worsen inflammation.

Dairy
People suffering with astma and Rheumatoid arthritis may experience worsening of their symptoms when they consume dairy. Please note that dairy should not be excluded without medical supervision.

Trans fatty acids
Trans fats often referred to as hydrogenated fats are used to make food taste good and extend shelf life. Trans fats are also formed when oils are heated. Trans fats are known to increase inflammation also systemic inflammation linked to heart disease and diabetes.

Saturated fats
Animal fats are the building block for inflammation and a diet high in full cream diary, junk foods, and fatty meats will worsen your inflammation.


Foods that improve inflammation

Omega-3 fats
Omega 3 fats from fish oil are well known for their anti-inflammatory effects but these need to be taken ongoing as part of your daily routine to experience beneficial effects.  A high amount of omega -3 is needed to suppress inflammation and should be between 2000 – 4000mg of omega 3 per day. Consuming this amount of omega 3 from your diet will be difficult and expensive and a quality omega -3 supplement is recommended.

Curry Spices
Tumeric and ginger are both powerfull anti-inflammatory spices.

Curcumin
The bright yellow compound found in the popular spice turmeric has also been extensively studied for its anti-inflammatory effects.  Curcumin is known to be poorly absorbed from dietary origins so supplementation is your best bet. Choose a supplement that can demonstrate a high level of bioavailability for best effects.

Ginger and boswellia
These are botanical extracts that have been shown in clinical studies to reduce pain and decrease cartilage damage making them an excellent option for joint concerns. Ginger may decrease pain and improve function in persons with rheumatoid and osteo-arthritis

Tetrahydro iso-alpha acids(TTIAA) or xanthohumol
Derived from hops, it is a breakthrough in research. It is a phytonutrient with anti-oxidant protection that selectively inhibit kinesis (enzymes that send a signal for inflammation to start) and studies showed it reduced the arthritis index and joint degradation and is a safer alternative to treat chronic inflammation.

Berberine
It is found in a handful of plants widely used in botanical medical practice. It activates MMP-13, an enzyme involved in the maintenance of connective tissue (ligaments, tendons, cartilage). There are 3 general conditions for which we should consider berberine: metabolic syndrome, inflammation, and cancer.

Pineapple and Papaya
These fruits are naturally rich in analgesic enzymes and very helpful to people with muscle pains.

Nuts
All nuts, especially walnuts reduce inflammation and improve blood vessel function.

There you have it, before popping that favourite anti-inflammatory or pain control tablet, think about what you ate today and whether you could improve your supplemental regime.


Featured Products

EC Matrixx is designed to support healthy connective tissues by supporting the extracellular matrix, a key structural component of connective tissues such as tendons, ligaments, and cartilage. It is used for connective tissue support after an injury or surgery.

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Inflavonoid Intensive Care delivers the same great ingredients and benefits as original Inflavonoid, but with added support for those who want a more aggressive approach. It is used to control pain & Inflammation.

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Get to know Liezl Compion

We asked Liezl Compion a few personal and interesting questions. Take a look at what she had to say…

What is your philosophy in life?

To respect and love others just as you want to be loved and respected. To see the potential in people because people are created with a purpose and calling

What are your hobbies?

Hobbies? With three boys under ten there’s not much time for hobbies, but if I get time for myself I enjoy reading, hiking/running, doing Pilates, listening to music and decorating my house with French antiques.

What is your favourite food on “cheat days”?

Chocolate. And warm rolls with Bovril and cheese.

What do you like most about being a Dietitian?

I encourage people to see the beauty in themselves and love to motivate them to make the changes necessary to lead a healthy lifestyle.

What is your biggest pet hate?

Arrogance.

Get to know Talia den Dulk

What is your philosophy in life?

Prevention is a big part of my work ethic and I believe that prevention is much better than cure. I believe that you have to listen to your body as you know your body better than any doctor could. Then on the rebellious side – live life to the fullest…….. Don’t be stupid about your choices.

What are your hobbies?

I love to bake all sorts of cakes. This is a time consuming hobby which I usually leave for the kid’s parties and family birthdays. I love to challenge myself with a half ironman here and there.

What is your favourite food on “cheat days”?

Chocolate……of course!

What do you like most about being a Dietitian?

What I love most about my job is the change that I see in people when they get results. I love the challenge of changing – whether it’s people’s health, diet, exercise or lifestyles.

What is your biggest pet hate?

People that talk too much and listening too little.

Green Detox Smoothie

Try this delicious green smoothie recipe and let us know what you think:

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 1/2 bunch parsley
  • 3 carrots
  • 2 apples, cored
  • 1/4 orange, peeled
  • 1/4 lime, peeled
  • 1/4 lemon, peeled
  • Bunch fresh mint
  • 1/4 pineapple, peeled

 

Directions

Place the ingredients in a blender (you can leave the skins on the apples and cucumber) and puree, adding water or ice as needed.  Serves 4.


1 portion of juice is equivalent to 1 fruit portion and 2 vegetable portions. Look at the high Vitamin A, C and iron and fibre content.

Watch the space for more nutritious juices and smoothies

Treat your GUT for a healthier immune system

The human gastrointestinal tract constitutes about sixty to eighty percent of the immune system. It would make sense to think that if you are suffering with GUT problems whether it is bloating, constipation, diarrhea or abdominal pain, that you may have related problems with your immune system. Gut imbalances have been linked to poor immune function, auto-immune disease, diabetes, skin conditions and of late obesity.

There could be many things that cause your gut to be unhealthy; these include stress that destroys the good bacteria in the gut, food allergens like gluten, dairy, soy, food irritants like alcohol, caffeine and drugs. Parasitic, yeast and bacterial infections may also compromise gut health.

A starting point to improve your gut and immune function would be to provide key nutrients that help to recover poor gut function and subsequently boost your immunity.

Probiotics are good or helpful bacteria that keep the gut healthy. We know that there are many strains of good bacteria and each one of them would have a different role to play. Some bacteria’s are more helpful to aid immune function where others may be helpful with constipation or diarhoea. Contact one of our dietitians to ascertain the right probiotic for your specific symptom.

Besides dietary intervention, I want to focus on gut integrity and GI immune function.

Plantains are a member of the banana family. Dried plantains are able to stimulate the growth of the inner lining of the stomach which would allow damaged gut mucosa to heal.

Astaxanthin is a reddish coloured pigment, produced by microalgae. It is recognized as one of the most powerful anti-oxidants found in nature and typically would be found in marine life like shrimps, prawns, salmon and lobster. Ashaxantin protects the stomach lining by protecting the cells from oxidation, so your cells stay younger and free from damage.

Phosphytidylcholine is a chemical found in eggs, soybeans, mustard, sunflower and other foods. Phosphytylcholine is also found in the mucous cell of the gastro-intestinal tract and has been shown to protect the GI tract. It has also been found to support a healthy gastric environment.

Arabinogalactans has long been used as a dietary fibre and has been shown to boost the immune system. Arabinogalactan extract from larch gum has been found to improve immunoglobulin levels.


 

Featured product:

Metagenics ENDEFEN is an all round supplement for patients with gut complaints such as bloating, ulcers, stomach acid problems and poor immune system. Use 1 ½ scoop per day for at least a month.

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Did you know??

Obesity has been linked to several types of cancer. Specifically, being overweight cause inflammation that causes cell changes in the body. However, just by losing 5% of your body weight can significantly lower dangerous levels of inflammation.