Defeat Inflammation

Eat to Defeat Inflammation

The first nutrition course I ever took in college changed my life. I was absolutely fascinated to learn what vitamins and minerals were and how important they are for good health. It was also about that time I finally understood what Hippocrates meant when he said, “let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”. Today, that saying is even more important as nutrition science has come a long way since I took that first nutrition course. Just think about inflammation, your body’s natural protective response to illness or injury. In fact, a little inflammation under normal circumstances can be a good thing. When you cut yourself, you want your immune system to respond quickly by sending white blood cells to your wound to fight off infection. But a low-grade persistent state of chronic inflammation is not a good thing. In this circumstance, white blood cells inappropriately move into tissues and cause destruction. In fact, chronic inflammation has been linked to a whole host of health conditions from type 2 diabetes and arthritis to heart disease, obesity, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Thanks to the anti-inflammatory effects of certain foods, a healthful diet can help you fight off inflammation, (Regular exercise, not smoking, and losing weight are powerful tools, too.) Start by eating less of the “bad stuff”— fast food burgers, French fries, and sodas, as well as sweets such as cookies, cakes, and pies. These highly processed foods loaded with fat, sugar, and salt promote inflammation, while eating more of the “good stuff”—yes, more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts—inhibits and protects against inflammation. Here are some of my favorite anti-inflammatory foods:

Fish and walnuts. Salmon and tuna are great sources of inflammation-fighting omega-3 fatty acids, as are walnuts. These foods help offset the pro-inflammatory effects of omega-6 fatty acids, which are pervasive in our diet. Omega-6 fats are found in eggs, corn, soy, and safflower oils.

Olive oil. Studies suggest consuming a Mediterranean-style diet—a diet high in plant foods and olive oil—helps decrease joint tenderness in people with rheumatoid arthritis.

Red wine and dark chocolate. Resveratrol, a phytonutrient found in red wine, has been shown to inhibit inflammation, while the consumption of dark chocolate, something I do almost daily, has been linked to lower levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a biomarker of inflammation in the body.

Turmeric. Spice up your life. Turmeric, also known as curry, is a traditional spice of Indian cuisine. In a recent pilot study, supplemental turmeric helped reduce joint tenderness and swelling in people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.

Tart cherries. It’s cherry season and according to the latest research, tart cherries may have the highest anti-inflammatory content of any food. In a recent study, women with osteoarthritis who drank tart cherry juice twice a day for several weeks experienced a significant reduction in important markers of inflammation.

Eating to fight inflammation could be one of the best things you do for yourself. For your next meal, how about some salmon curry and a glass of red wine, followed by some tart cherries covered in dark chocolate for dessert?


Article by Pamela Riggs: Director of Medical Affairs and Health Sciences at the Shaklee Corporation

Hate to Floss?

As someone constantly getting in trouble for not flossing, I found this article from by Ruth Butters interesting…

CoQ10 And Gum Disease

Having problems with your teeth and gums? Coenzyme Q10 may help. Clinical research indicates that CoQ10 benefits periodontal disease, both as a treatment and a preventative. Periodontal disease – a widespread problem characterized by swelling, bleeding, pain, and redness of the gums – is the most common cause of tooth loss in adults. The disease is caused by plaque-forming bacteria, which create inflammation and deterioration of the gum tissue. This deterioration often results in the loss of teeth. It’s estimated that 90% of Americans will experience gum disease during their lifetime, and 25% of Americans over 60 will lose teeth due to the disease. But bad as loss of teeth is, it isn’t the worst possible result of gum disease. Studies suggest that the natural inflammatory response to the bacteria may have adverse effects throughout the body, including damage to the heart.

Low levels of CoQ10 associated with gum disease

Dentists agree that good oral hygiene is the first line of defense against gum disease, but research has shown that the coenzyme can also play an important role in both prevention and treatment.
A natural substance found in every cell, the coenzyme plays two important roles in overall health. Its primary function is to assist in the production of energy at the cellular level, and it is also a powerful antioxidant, capable of neutralizing the damaging effects of free radicals (chemically unstable molecules formed during the process of cellular oxidation). In both respects it is important to tissue health.
In the early 1970s pioneering studies indicated that gum tissue taken from patients with periodontal disease was low in the coenzyme, and since that time studies have repeatedly confirmed that low CoQ10 levels are definitely associated with periodontal disease.

Supplementation effectively halts disease and may reverse it

Numerous animal studies and clinical trials involving human periodontal disease patients indicate that supplemental dosage of the coenzyme can effectively halt the progression of the disease. In addition, several small studies have shown that additional CoQ10 can actually reverse the effects of the disease, and when used in conjunction with other treatments can result in faster and more complete healing than expected with standard treatments alone.
CoQ10 is known to boost the immune system, which in turn enables the body to more effectively fight infection. It is believed that supplements promote faster healing by increasing the amount of cellular energy available for tissue repair.

Trillions of Reasons to Supplement

Your body contains trillions of cells. Billions of new cells are created every single day. Each cell is like a high performance engine. It needs high quality raw materials (nutrients) to function properly. The quantity and quality of nutrients you ingest affects every system in your body: cardiovascular and digestive, muscular and skeletal, lymphatic and endocrine, reproductive, urinary, and even your nervous system. In other words, how you look, feel and perform is directly affected by your daily nutrient intake.

Your Body Can’t Manufacture All The Nutrients It Needs On Its Own

Scientists define a vitamin as a compound essential for life. Since your body cannot manufacture most of these vitamins on its own, it can come by them only from the food you eat and the supplements you take every day. Over the long term, proper nutrition impacts every aspect of your health – from its ability to maintain health to its role in preventing nutrition – related diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.

Proper nutrition and a healthy lifestyle can prevent many major diseases 60-90% of the time.

Every day you make choices that will either improve your health or harm it. Studies show that if you don’t eat right, get to a healthy weight, exercise regularly, and supplement your diet with proper nutrients, you increase your risk of developing certain diseases, such as heart disease, cancer and type 2 diabetes. Good health is a choice, which means that disease (in many cases) also is a choice.


Heart Disease is the number one killer in the US.

Every minute of every hour of every day, someone dies from a heart attack. According to the American Heart Association, 80% of all heart disease in women is preventable with proper nutrition and healthy lifestyle choices.

Cancer is the number two killer in the US.

Approximately one of every two adults will be diagnosed with cancer sometime during their life. The American Cancer Society reports that 60% of all cancer-related deaths can be prevented by improving lifestyle choices – by being physically active, losing weight, stopping smoking, and getting proper nutrition

Diabetes: The illness multiplier.

Diabetes contributes to more than 230,000 deaths every year. Plus, if you have diabetes, you are two to four times more likely to have a heart attack or stroke and 10 times more likely to have a limb amputated. Also, diabetes is the number one cause of kidney failure and blindness. A recent study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine suggests that 90% of all type 2 diabetes is preventable with proper nutrition, achieving a healthy weight and engaging in other healthy lifestyle behaviors.

Our standard American diet (S.A.D.) is a big, fat problem.

The standard American diet is causing a plethora of health challenges. The United States is ranked 37th in longevity behind countries such as Cuba, Chile, and Greece, even with all of the medical technology and pharmaceutical innovations available today. A major consequence of our S.A.D. is the obesity epidemic, which even affects our children! The American Society of Pediatrics issued a statement recently that suggests, unless current trends reverse, one third of all children born today can expect a shorter life than their parents due to type 2 diabetes.
Our food is fast, and our metabolisms are slow. Our drinks are soft and our arteries are hard. Our nerves are fried and so is the junk we put into our bodies.
Fast food sales have increased nearly 2,000% over the past 30 years. One third of our total calories come from fast food, which is lacking in good nutrition. Not only does high fat, high carbohydrate fast food deliver a lot of calories, but the latest research shows that it also may result in acute inflammation. Consuming these high fat, high calorie fast food meals regularly may lead to chronic inflammation, which may put you at risk for many diseases, linked to inflammation, including heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, certain cancers, and Alzheimer’s disease.

90% of Americans fall short in getting essential nutrients in our diets.

98% of Americans do not eat the recommended seven to nine servings of fruits and vegetables each day. What might surprise you even more is that, even when you try to do the right thing, the nutritional value of our produce isn’t what it used to be. In fact, a 2004 study of 43 crops showed a decline in the nutrient content of up to 38% over the past 50 years.

The proven benefits of nutritional supplementation:

The good news is that the very latest research suggests that you can positively influence you health every day through lifestyle changes you make and through the quality of your nutritional intake.


A recent study of people who took a wide range of high quality nutritional supplements for 20 years or more showed dramatic benefits compared to those who took just a multivitamin or no supplement at all. These long term supplement users were 73% less likely to have diabetes, 39% less likely to have high blood pressure, and were nearly four times more likely to describe their health as “very good” or “excellent” compared to nonusers. In other words, consuming a wide variety of high quality supplements is associated with better health and a reduced risk for heart disease, stroke, diabetes and more.

Countless Studies Can’t All Be Wrong
Many of the world’s leading experts in medicine, biochemistry and nutrition believe nutritional supplementation positively affects overall health. Doctors from Harvard, Stanford and Yale, and researchers from the American Heart Association, the American Medical Association and the American Cancer Society can’t all be wrong. if you want to improve your health, be sure to get some of the most important nutrients your body and your brain need to function optimally: a multivitamin, vitamin D, calcium, B vitamins, vitamin C, omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and probiotics. Start today and make an investment in yourself.