Four Things We Need to Focus More on

It can be a challenging process for many when attempting to follow the latest diet plan or exercise program claiming various health benefits. There is an easy way to cut through all the rhetoric regarding these types of diet plans and so-called healthy programs by simply getting more of the following each day: sleep, spinach, steps and strength. Here are some of the health benefits when you get more of each on a regular basis.

GET MORE SLEEP: Sleep should be first on everyone’s list of things to try to get more of because when you’re deficient in it, everything from how you feel to what you eat is affected negatively. Research has shown that people who get less than six hours of sleep a night have higher blood levels of inflammatory proteins than those who get more than 6 hours of sleep.

This is important because inflammation is linked to diabetes, stroke, heart disease, arthritis, and premature aging, according to data published in the Centers for Disease and Control and Morbidity and Mortality Report.

Research conducted in 2004 has shown that sleep deprivation can enhance the release of specific peptides in the body that produce hunger. Men that slept only four hours each night for two days witnessed a decrease in specific hormones such as leptin and an increase in ghrelin compared with men who slept ten hours during that same time period. Leptin is an appetite suppressant hormone that is produced by adipose (fat) tissue, and ghrelin is released from the stomach in response to someone fasting and promotes the feeling of hunger. The hormone leptin acts on the central nervous system, most notably the hypothalamus, by not only suppressing food intake but stimulating energy expenditure as well. Ghrelin levels typically increase before meals and decrease after meals. This particular hormone stimulates appetite as well as fat production and can lead to increased food intake and a gain in body weight. A second study from the University of Pennsylvania Sleep and Chronobiology Laboratory looked at the sleeping and eating behavior of 225 people. They reported in the journal Sleep, when you’re awake between the hours of 10 p.m. and 4 a.m., you’re more likely to consume extra calories. The group ate, on average, an additional 553 calories typically choosing foods higher in fat when they were kept awake until the early morning hours. So  you may want to start getting more Z’s beginning tonight. A good tip is to eliminate all caffeinated products by early afternoon if you typically have trouble sleeping.

Recommended reading: The Promise of Sleep by William Dement, MD, Dell Publishers, 2000.

Research study: A Prospective Study of Change in Sleep Duration: Associations with Mortality in the Whitehall II Cohort, Sleep, 2007.

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Photo Credit: http://www.12keysrehab.com

EAT MORE SPINACH: Eating more of a plant-based diet, including spinach, would in fact be a good thing for all of us. There is a 32 percent less chance of getting heart disease on a plant-based diet. Spinach is considered at the top of the healthiest vegetable list for nutrient richness. Not only is it rich in vitamins and minerals, it also has an abundance of health-promoting phytonutrients such as carotenoids and flavonoids to provide you with powerful antioxidant protection. In one study on the relationship between the risk of prostate cancer and vegetable intake — including the vegetables spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts, collards, and kale — “only spinach showed evidence of significant protection against the occurrence of aggressive prostate cancer.” If you’re interested in trying to eat cleaner, healthier and more of a plant-based diet, like we were, than the Boston-based food delivery service Purple Carrot may be just what the doctor ordered. Visit Purple Carrot and use the promo code “koko” for a $25 discount on your first order.

Recommended reading: What to Eat by Marion Nestle, North Point Press, 2006 and Always Hungry? David Ludwig, MD, PhD, 2016.

Research study: Nutritional Update for Physicians: Plant-Based Diets, 2013.

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Photo Credit: Purple Carrot (https://purplecarrot.com). Use promo code: “koko” for a $25 discount on your first delivery.

GET MORE STEPS: The odds are that you have heard the old adage “use it or lose it” more than once. It can be a good idea to do a reset, especially before the upcoming Holiday season that is about to take over your life and have a goal of changing your mindset regarding daily activity. The fact is if you’re not finding the time to stay active as you age, your body will slowly begin to “shut down.” When this begins to happens over time – everything from energy levels to metabolism to aerobic capacity to strength – are effected and slowly begin to decrease. Simply getting out for a walk/run/hike will help offset those areas and more. Hippocrates once said, “walking is a man’s best medicine.” To find out if his 2,400 year-old remark was actually valid, two scientists from University College London performed a meta-analysis of research published between 1970 and 2007 in peer-reviewed journals. After studying more than 4,000 research papers, they identified 18 studies that met their high standards for quality. These overall studies evaluated 459,833 test-subjects who were absent of cardiovascular disease at the start of the investigation. The subjects were followed for an average of 11.3 years, during which cardiovascular events (i.e. heart attacks and deaths) were recorded. Their meta-analysis makes a strong case for the benefits of good old walking. The group of studies showed that walking reduced the risk of cardiovascular events by 31 percent, and decreased the risk of dying during the time of the study by 32 percent. A good tool for your tool box is to wear a pedometer to make you more aware of your daily activity via daily steps. Find your 3-day average for steps and start adding 500-1000 steps/week until you’re in the 7,500 to 10,000 steps ball park. For additional information on the benefits of pedometers look into my TBC4 Plan.

Recommended reading: The Step Diet, by James Hill, PhD et al., Workman Publishing, 2004 and Move a Little, Lose a Lot by James Levine, MD, PhD, Three Rivers Press, 2009.

GET STRONGER: There is no way around it, you need to get stronger and maintain strength as you age. Getting and staying stronger as you age will help you hold onto your functional ability. The only way to “hold on” to your strength is work on getting stronger now by becoming more active and sticking with strength training for the rest of your life! An area that is often neglected, when it comes to strength, is grip strength. Research has shown for a long time now that elevated grip strength level is associated with increased longevity. In addition to grip strength, focus on getting your big muscle groups stronger, like your back, buttock and legs.

According to research, individuals who did not strength train lost about 5 to 7 pounds of muscle every ten years and the by-product of this was a reduction in their metabolism by about 50 calories a day. As you grow older, the loss of muscle becomes more pronounced and by the time you reach the age of 70, the muscular system has experienced a 40 percent loss of muscle mass and a 30 percent decrease in strength. With the loss of muscle mass comes the loss of strength and power. A person’s balance, mobility and functionality are also compromised. Strength appears to peak between the ages of 25 and 35 and is maintained or slightly lower between ages 40 and 59 and then declines by 12-14 percent per decade after 60 years of age, according to research published by Doherty in 2001.

Research study: Prognostic value of grip strength: findings from the Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology (PURE) study, Lancet, 2015.

References

Doherty TJ, (2001). The influence of aging and sex on skeletal muscle mass and strength. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care 4:503-508.

Centers for Disease and Control and Morbidity and Mortality Report.

Nedeltcheva AV, et al., (2010). Insufficient Sleep Undermines Dietary Efforts to Reduce Adiposity. Annals Internal Medicine 153, 435-441.

Spiegel, K. et. al, (2004). Sleep Curtailment in Healthy Young Men is Associated with Decreased Leptin Levels, Elevated Ghrelin Levels, and Increased Hunger and Appetite. Annals of Internal Medicine, 141: (11) 846-85.

Rogers, M. A. and Evans, W. J. (1993). Changes in skeletal muscle with aging: Effects of exercise training. In J. O. Holloszy (Ed), Exercise and Sport Science Reviews. Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins.

The Total Body Conditioning Plan, Wood, M, (2016).

Three of the Many Benefits of Cherry Juice

There are currently more than 160 college and professional teams that use cherry juice, specifically the brand Cheribundi, as a recovery aid for their athletes. The following is a list of the health benefits of all the natural, gluten-free, and kosher tart cherry juice.

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Photo Credit: http://cheribundi.com

Over 50 scientific studies support that the tart cherry juice in Cheribundi has the following benefits:

Athletic Recovery

Decreased Muscle Soreness – Antioxidants in tart cherries fight inflammation-causing enzymes, reducing muscle soreness after workouts.

Faster Recovery – Antioxidants work to reduce inflammation and exercise induced oxidative stress, aiding in the recovery of muscle function, which speeds up recovery.

Pain and Inflammation Management

Reducing inflammation – which may cause physical pain.

Managing pain – associated with common ailments such as arthritis and gout.

Improved Sleep

Increased Sleep Time – Melatonin in tart cherries helps regulate your body’s sleep cycle naturally

Improved Sleep Quality – The combination of melatonin and anthocyanins in tart cherries help promote deeper, more restful sleep resulting in better focus, mood, and productivity.

Additional Reading

Read The Science Behind the Benefits of Cherry Juice

Fitness for Recovery: 15 Workouts That Saved My Life

Exercise can be an incredible asset to those who are recovering from substance abuse and addiction.

As a recovering addict and as the owner of several successful rehabilitation facilities, I know the importance of exercise. Below I share my responses to some of the frequently asked questions I receive about recovery and fitness and explain how exercise helped me and countless others recover from addiction.

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Photo Credit: http://strengthrunning.com

How does exercise help addicts in recovery? Research has proven that a fitness routine can benefit recovering addicts. Substance abuse wreaks havoc on the mind, body, and spirit. Exercise is one of the few treatment options that helps mend all three of those aspects at once.

Exercise relieves stress, which in turn, helps create a positive outlook on life. When addicts begin to see and feel improvement, they gain a sense of pride and confidence. This feeling of wellbeing can produce similar effects to meditation, creating the right state of mind for recovery. Additionally, research shows that exercise helps rebalance brain chemistry. Often, drugs and alcohol have altered the brain’s functioning, and exercise can return the imbalance to normal levels.

What exercises would you recommend for recovering addicts? I have seen the benefits of exercise for recovering addicts, first hand. The following workouts played a role in my recovery and the recovery of countless others:

  1. Walking: Starting out slow is essential to any fitness routine, especially for individuals have experienced the trauma of substance abuse. Start with a brisk 20-30 minute walk every day.
  2. Jogging: Once you have built up enough stamina, start jogging. Getting your heart pumping will help return the body to its natural state.
  3. Swimming: The fluidity and weightlessness of swimming helps addicts find an inner peace and calmness after each workout.
  4. Yoga: helps individuals concentrate on every small movement of their bodies, while focusing on proper breathing techniques. For many, this helps restore balance to the mind, body, and spirit.
  5. Tennis: is a great way to work out any inner feelings of anger. Importantly, you don’t always need a partner, just a ball, racket, and a solid wall.
  6. Abdominal Exercises: Focusing on the abs is a great way to strengthen your core. This produces a sense of vigor that can radiate throughout your body.
  7. Hiking: Nothing is more soothing than connecting with nature. Hiking can be a great cardio workout, but can also help build a relationship with the outside world.
  8. Kayaking: Kayaking combines the weightlessness of swimming with the peacefulness of hiking, creating inner strength and a sense of calmness.
  9. Weight Lifting: Weight lifting is a great way to track physical progress and, therefore, build self-confidence.
  10. Team Sports: Sports such as soccer or basketball are a great way to improve communication skills and become part of something that is bigger than yourself. It is also a good way to introduce healthy competition into your life.
  11. Martial Arts: There is no better way to built discipline and focus than through martial arts, such as karate or Tae Kwan Do.
  12. Pilates: Like yoga, Pilates can help create a sense of calm, while also strengthening your body.
  13. Biking: Cycling is a great way to build muscle, while also satisfying your sense of adventure.
  14. Golf: While it may not seem very strenuous, golf helps build discipline. It is also a great time to practice stress control.
  15. Dancing: There is no better way to introduce fun into your fitness routine than with dance.

Per Wickstrom is the founder and CEO of Best Drug Rehabilitation, one of the top holistic rehabilitation centers in the country. He found sobriety after a decades-long struggle with addiction and has since dedicated his life and career to helping others find the same life-affirming success he has. For more information, visit PerWickstrom.com, check out Per’s blog or connect with him on Twitter or Facebook.

Top Fitness Trend for 2017 is Wearable Technology

Won’t leave home without your fitness tracker? If so, you’re part of a rapidly growing segment of consumers using technology to collect daily health metrics. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) has announced its annual fitness trend forecast and, unsurprisingly, exercise pros say wearable technology will again be the top fitness trend in the coming year. The results were released in the article “Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends for 2017” published recently in the November/December issue of ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal®.

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Photo Credit: https://www.dreamstime.com

“Technology is now a must-have in our daily lives. Everyone can easily count steps taken or calories burned using a wearable device or a smart phone,” said Walter R. Thompson, Ph.D., FACSM, the lead author of the survey and associate dean in the College of Education & Human Development at Georgia State University in Atlanta. “The health data collected by wearable technology can be used to inform the user about their current fitness level and help them make healthier lifestyle choices.”

Now in its eleventh year, the survey was completed by more than 1,800 health and fitness professionals worldwide, many certified by ACSM, and was designed to reveal trends in various fitness environments. Forty-two potential trends were given as choices, and the top 20 were ranked and published by ACSM.

“Body weight training, high-intensity interval raining (HIIT) and educated, certified and experienced fitness professionals also remained highly ranked on the survey,” said Thompson. “These trends reflect continued strong consumer interest in strength training and functional fitness.”

The top 10 fitness trends for 2017 are:

1. Wearable Technology: includes activity trackers, smart watches, heart rate monitors and GPS tracking devices.

2. Body Weight Training: Body weight training uses minimal equipment making it more affordable. Not limited to just push-ups and pull-ups, this trend allows people to get “back to the basics” with fitness.

3. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT): HIIT, which involves short bursts of activity followed by a short period of rest or recovery, these exercise programs are usually performed in less than 30 minutes.

4. Educated and Experienced Fitness Professionals. Given the large number of organizations offering health and fitness certifications, it’s important that consumers choose professionals certified through programs that are accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), such as those offered by ACSM. ACSM is one of the largest and most prestigious fitness-certification organizations in the world.

5. Strength Training. Strength training remains a central emphasis for many health clubs. Incorporating strength training is an essential part of a complete exercise program for all physical activity levels and genders. (The other essential components are aerobic exercise and flexibility.)

6. Group Training: Group exercise instructors teach, lead and motivate individuals though intentionally designed group exercise classes. Group programs are designed to be motivational and effective for people at different fitness levels, with instructors using leadership techniques that help individuals in their classes achieve fitness goals.

7. Exercise is Medicine. Exercise is Medicine is a global health initiative that is focused on encouraging primary care physicians and other health care providers to include physical activity when designing treatment plans for patients and referring their patients to exercise professionals.

8. Yoga. Based on ancient tradition, yoga utilizes a series of specific bodily postures practiced for health and relaxation. This includes Power Yoga, Yogalates, Bikram, Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Kripalu, Anurara, Kundalini, Sivananda and others.

9. Personal Training. More and more students are majoring in kinesiology, which indicates that they are preparing themselves for careers in allied health fields such as personal training. Education, training and proper credentialing for personal trainers have become increasingly important to the health and fitness facilities that employ them.

10. Exercise and Weight Loss. In addition to nutrition, exercise is a key component of a proper weight loss program. Health and fitness professionals who provide weight loss programs are increasingly incorporating regular exercise and caloric restriction for better weight control in their clients.

The full list of top 20 trends is available in the article “Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends for 2017.”

What to Eat on the Paleo Diet

Have you heard about the advantages of the Paleo Diet but still don’t comprehend it? Are you overwhelmed by the vast ocean of information about this Diet? Do you just want a simple solution to get started on the Paleo Diet?

Our guest writer Paul Vandyken has made a visual, clear and super simple guide to what you should eat and not eat on a Paleo diet. Enjoy!

Paul Vandyken is a personal trainer, nutrition coach. His personal website is RigorFitness.com. His blog has articles, videos, and pictures with tips, tricks about fitness, nutrition, and healthy lifestyle. If you are on the journey to your healthy and happy lifestyle, visiting his blog may worth a look or even help you enhance your process.

An Overview of the Total Body Conditioning Plan (TBC4)

Here is an inside look at part of a training session from the 4-Week Total Body Conditioning Plan (TBC4). For more of an overall review of the 28-day plan please look here. The TBC4 Plan begins with an assessment and offers short, high-quality strength training options, HIT cardio sessions and nutritional strategies over the course of four-weeks. The TBC4 Plan focuses on changing ones mindset when it comes to exercise and diet.

“Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be”  John Wooden, former UCLA Basketball Coach

Fitness Assessment

Making the commitment to exercise regularly while focusing on specific diet strategies are two important steps. The basic concept is to use the plan as a template to bolster that commitment and hopefully “ingrain the habits into your brain.” There are 6-steps to follow over the course of the 4-week plan and five of those steps have specific game plans. Each game plan needs to be incorporated into your life-style in order to be successful. The 6-steps talk about the importance of changing mindset, performing an assessment, adding in more daily movement, getting stronger and leaner and finally, the value of getting more sleep. By the time you complete your 28-day plan, you’ll improve not only your health and fitness, but more importantly, exercise will develop into a habit.

Strength Days (3x/week, <30:00 sessions)

Focus on primary movements including the Squat, Deadlift, Loaded Carry, Lunge, PushPull and Trunk Rotational exercises. The key takeaway here is to master these basic movements before increasing any type of volume. Build up to completing 2-4 sets of each exercise using a load that enables you to get 8-20 repetitions per set. If you end up working for time instead of reps, aim for 30-60 seconds of work per set and perform the exercises in a circuit fashion for about 30:00. The goal is three times a week and if you have a long history of working out, you have the option of progressing to every other day. If you’re new to the game, try only 1-2 circuits, 1-2 days a week and add in plenty of recovery between bouts of exercise. The volume of work (sets x reps x load) will depend on your ability and training history.

Cardio Days (3x/week, 15:00 sessions)

Focus on short, challenging, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) when it comes time for cardio workouts and these can be done on a bike, elliptical, treadmill, swimming, on a rowing machine or running. According to Len Kravitz, a researcher at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, “HIIT adds up to 15 percent more calories to the total calories expended.” That means if you’ve worked off 550 calories doing HIIT, you can reasonably expect to burn at least another 83 calories post-exercise. The HIIT sessions should include alternating formats using the following two protocols. One option, is to use a 4:00 warm-up followed by interval work using a 1:2 work to rest ratio (i.e. 30-seconds of maximum effort, 1:00 lower intensity) x 5 rounds, then a cool-down for 4:00. The second option, includes a 4:00 warm-up followed by a 30-20-10 protocol. This means 30-seconds of easy work followed by 20-seconds of moderate intensity work and then 10-seconds of maximum effort for a total of one-minute. Repeat this for 7 rounds followed by a 4:00 cool-down. Both of the workout protocols should take you about 15:00. The exercise intensity will depend on your ability and training history. The TBC4 Plan recommendation is to wear a heart rate monitor during workouts especially if you’re new to exercise.

Nutritional Strategy (8 Diet Pillars)

The TBC4 offers 8 Diet Strategies to follow during your time spent on the plan. These include: Diet Strategy #1 – Drink more water first thing in the morning. Diet Strategy #2 – Never skip breakfast. Diet Strategy #3 – Don’t drink your calories. Diet Strategy #4– Be aware of processed foods. Diet Strategy #5 – Decrease your added sugar and salt intake. Diet Strategy #6 – Be aware of portion distortion. Diet Strategy #7 – Eat more fruits and vegetables. Diet Strategy #8 – Decrease your calories prior to bedtime. For an in-depth look of each please read here.

Game Plan: Follow the 8 Diet Strategies each day. Focus on reducing added sugar. A goal for women is <100 calories (25 grams) a day. A goal for men is <150 calories (38 grams) a day. Increase the amount of daily fiber. You can use the exact same number in terms of daily gram that is recommended for added sugar, as your goal.

The following is an example of part of a training session for someone other than a novice.

(Part of) Dynamic Warm-up

Mountain Climber (perform in “slow motion”) As movement competency improves the individual would progress to a faster pace for repetitions or time.

Weighted Step-Ups

Inverted Row

T-Pushups

Hammer Curl/Squat/Press

Hanging Abdominals

Some of the Unexpected Benefits of Beet Juice

If climbing Mount Everest is on your bucket list, you may want to add beet juice to your grocery shopping list. A recent study by Bakker et al. published in Nitric Oxide suggests that drinking beet juice may help prevent symptoms of altitude sickness like headache, fatigue, nausea, shortness of breath, poor appetite, and insomnia.

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Photo Credit: https://crudojuicery.com

The onset of high altitude illness occurs when your brain and other body tissues are starved for oxygen. As elevation increases the partial pressure of oxygen in the air decreases, meaning there is simply less pressure to move the oxygen from the air into our lungs, blood, and body tissues. Standing atop Everest at 8848 meters (29,029 ft) would feel like you were breathing 6% less oxygen than compared to sea level! Beet juice is a natural source of inorganic nitrates, which are metabolized inside the body to nitric oxide.

Nitric Oxide is essential for normal functioning of the vasculature and is a potent vasodilator, allowing for greater blood flow and oxygen delivery to tissues. Bakker and colleagues hypothesized that drinking beet juice might prevent the reduction in artery function that typically occurs at high altitudes. Their study participants drank either beet juice or a placebo and ascended from 1370 m elevation to 4200 m elevation. As expected, participants on the placebo experienced a decline in artery function, measured by an ultrasound test called flow mediated dilation (FMD). Amazingly, when participants drank the beet juice the altitude-induced drop in FMD was prevented! In addition to increased NO production and vasodilation, beet juice might also help prevent altitude sickness by improving the efficiency of oxygen usage within the mitochondria of the cells.

Researchers have found that the body can produce more energy per molecule of oxygen consumed when supplemented with beet juice. The application of this finding has been tested among athletes who have consistently shown the ability to race faster in time trial style events and to go longer before reaching exhaustion by adding beet juice to their pre-competition regimens.

Therefore, if you are an athlete competing at high elevation, you really want to get on the (beet) juice. If you plan on hiking, skiing, or climbing mountains, the safest way to acclimatize to the altitude is to ascend slowly. Your body has natural compensation mechanisms that help you adjust to the “thinner air.” However, it can take weeks before these fully kick in. To boost your body’s acclimatization process, prevent high altitude illness, and feel as spry as a mountain goat in the Andes, follow these dietary strategies:

• Eat at least 8 servings of vegetables and fruits per day, especially leafy greens and berries which are high in micronutrients and antioxidants.

• Avoid high-fat and heavily salted foods, as they can actually impair arterial function by slowing blood flow and decreasing NO production.

• Drink enough fluid to ensure adequate hydration but do not over-hydrate. The best way to monitor fluid status is by the color of your urine which should be clear to pale yellow in color without any foul odor.

• Avoid alcohol which can interfere with respiratory function and disrupt normal sleeping patterns.

• Pack BeetPerformer Beet Juice in your backpack and drink a can daily to wash down your GORP (Good Old Raisins & Peanuts).

Tara Martine, MS, RD, LDN is the Health Promotion Registered Dietitian at Tyndall Air Force Base and the female overall winner of the 2014 Savannah Rock N’ Roll Marathon.  Tara earned her BS in mathematics from The College of William and Mary.  She holds a Master’s degree in nutrition from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.  She is a member of The Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics as well as the Sports, Cardiovascular, and Wellness Nutrition practice group.  Her areas of expertise include sports nutrition, weight loss, and plant-based nutrition.

What to Know About Chronic Inflammation

Inflammation is the body’s immune response and attempt to heal itself after injury however, it may also be the underlying cause to most autoimmune diseases. Chronic inflammation occurs over time from long-term stress on the body. Some contributing factors include diet, lack of exercise, stress, and excess weight. Dr. Zach Bush the creator of gut health supplement, RESTORE, explains how inflammation can affect our health.  Dr. Bush is a triple board certified physician who became keenly aware that biotech environmental factors are embedded in our soil, water, and the air we breathe, all relating back to our gut, which can affect our overall health.

According to Dr. Bush, anyone who has chronic problems such as headache, digestive problems, fatigue or joint pain, should consider being evaluated for inflammation.  Inflammation can also be silent.  People can feel just fine and the inflammation can be affecting their heart, blood vessels, brain, digestive tract and joints.

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Photo Credit: http://garmaonhealth.com

There are a couple of simple blood tests you can take to determine if you have generalized inflammation.

Test # 1 :ESR – Erythrocyte, or red blood cells, Sedimentation Rate

Inflammation causes excess protein which circulate in the blood stream and some of them can coat red blood cells.  When you put the red blood cells in a test tube you can determine if they are coated with protein by how fast they settle.   For women the normal range is 0 – 20 millimeters per hour (mm/hr).

Test # 2 :hsCRP –  High Sensitivity C-Reactive Protein

There is one specific type of protein that circulates in the blood stream. This test determines how much of it is in your blood stream. The normal range is less than 3 milligrams per liter (mg/L).

Both are simple blood tests that any naturopathic or medical doctor can do.

If the tests show up positive, you have significant inflammation.  Additional diagnostic tests may need to be done to identify where the inflammation is coming from.

If the tests show up negative or normal, you may still have inflammation. Dr. Bush suggests looking at diet and lifestyle to determine which factors may be contributing to inflammation such as refined processed foods, saturated fats, etc. Dr. Bush and a team of scientist came up with an antidote to modern agriculture practices. Made in the US, RESTORE is a soil-derived, scientifically-backed mineral supplement that creates a firewall against toxins entering the gut wall. RESTORE helps create a biological environment for good gut bacteria to grow and flourish, to support improvement of overall health.

Zach Bush MD was President of his medical school class at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center with his MD, and later became Chief Resident for the department of Internal Medicine at the University of Virginia.  Over the last 12 years Dr. Bush has continued to further his medical and basic science knowledge — he is among the few physicians in the nation that is triple board certified, having completed training and certification in three fields including Internal Medicine, Endocrinology and Metabolism, and Hospice and Palliative care. He has published peer-reviewed articles and book chapters in the areas of infectious disease, endocrinology, and cancer.

He uses RESTORE in his clinic, Revolution Health Center, and has seen clinically significant improvements in patients with Leaky Gut Syndrome, Gluten Intolerance, Autism, Type 2 Diabetes, Autoimmune conditions such as Crohn’s Disease, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Understanding the Difference Between Types of Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates can seem confusing – some are considered “good” while others are deemed “bad.”

Dr. Neal Malik, MPH, RDN, CHES, EP-C, a core faculty member at the School of Natural Health Arts & Sciences at Bastyr University in California, explains that processed carbohydrates (sometimes called refined carbohydrates) are lacking fiber, as well as many important nutrients such vitamins and minerals. Consuming these processed carbohydrates may lead to a spike in blood sugar, and is often associated with a number of chronic conditions such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

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Photo Credit: http://foodstantly.com

It’s tough for even the most health conscious eaters to know for sure which carbohydrates to avoid, and which can have great health benefits. Dr. Malik breaks it down below:

  • DO incorporate whole grains into your diet. These include whole grain breads, pastas, cereals, brown or wild rice and quinoa. They are minimally processed and therefore provide more nutrients and fiber than their refined counterparts.
  • DON’T drink soda. Most people forget that sodas are full of carbohydrates. They’re main ingredient is sugar, which is an extremely processed carb!
  • DO eat lots of beans and legumes. These foods contain plenty of fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals. They can also increase feelings of satiety, helping you feel fuller for longer.
  • DON’T sip on fruit juice. One whole orange is not equal to one glass of orange juice, so you are getting several times the recommended serving amount without the satiety. Even 100% fruit juice contains fructose (a sugar and therefore carbohydrate) which is absorbed and processed by the body quicker than if one were to eat a whole fruit.
  • DO eat sweet potatoes. The bright orange color signifies that these carbohydrates are a wonderful source of Vitamin A and fiber.

Additional Reading

Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes.

The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living by Jeff Volek, PhD, Stephen Phimmey, MD