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

Healthy Kids

Children’s Health

Super Wellness For Super kids  

Children grow at a much faster rate during their first few years than at any  other time in their lives, stressing the need for parents to ensure optimal  nutrition. Of special importance are macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins,  and fats) that provide calories and essential vitamins and minerals critical to  proper growth, development, and immune function—including all eight B vitamins  and vitamins C, A, and D, as well as calcium, iron, and zinc. In addition,  growing children should achieve adequate intakes of omega-3 fatty acids such as  DHA, which is essential for early brain and eye development.

Although  specific nutrient needs vary throughout the different stages of life, there is  probably not a more critical time for optimal nutrition than during  childhood—especially early childhood. Good nutrition is absolutely essential for  the development of healthy bodies that will thrive with abundant energy, healthy  brain function, a responsive immune system, and strong bones and teeth.  Healthful eating and exercise habits  established during childhood also  will help reduce the risk of obesity as well as many degenerative and  lifestyle-related diseases of adulthood, including diabetes, heart disease,  cancer, hypertension, osteoarthritis, and other conditions related to nutrition,  weight, and lifestyle. In other words, acquiring beneficial lifestyle habits  early in life, making nutritious and healthful food choices, being physically  active, and filling in nutritional gaps with the appropriate dietary  supplements can provide a strong foundation for a lifetime of health and  wellness.

For more information on supplements click HERE.

The Fishy Facts

Are you considering adding a fish oil supplement to your diet?

Here are some of the facts: According to the Centers for Disease Control and the American Heart Association (AHA), heart disease—specifically coronary artery disease—is still the number one cause of death of men and women in the United States. And while it was once considered a man’s disease, today more women than men die from heart disease. And unfortunately, at least 100 million Americans have one or more risk factors for heart disease. To reduce the risk of heart disease, the AHA recommends eating two servings of fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids each week. But most Americans eat fish only three times per month or less. Moreover, there are growing concerns about unsafe levels of contaminants such as mercury and lead that are now commonly found in many fish.

Did You Know:

Over 4,500 research studies on omega-3 fatty acids’ effects on overall health have been conducted in the last 25 years.

  •  The average American intake of EPA and DHA is only 0.1 to 0.2 g/day, even though the American Heart Association recommends at least two fish meals per week to provide an intake of about 0.3 to 0.5 g/day of EPA and DHA.
  •  Most American diets provide more than ten times as much omega-6 than omega-3 fatty acids, even though there is general scientific agreement that individuals should consume more omega-3 and less omega-6 fatty acids to promote good health.
  •  Research shows that high levels of omega-3 fatty acids promote cardiovascular health and help retain normal blood pressure and triglyceride levels.
  •  According to the AHA, certain types of fish may contain high levels of mercury, PCBs, dioxins, and other environmental contaminants. Generally, older and larger fish contain higher levels of contaminants.

The following is taken from an article by Dr. Andrew Weil:

New research from England suggests that fish oil may help slow the progression of osteoarthritis – the “wear and tear” version of arthritis that often is an unwelcome feature of getting older. In fact, based on their study in guinea pigs, the investigators from Britain’s University of Bristol say that fish oil may help to prevent arthritis from occurring in the first place. The study team fed omega-3 rich diets to guinea pigs that have a genetic pre-disposition to develop osteoarthritis and found that compared to a control group of animals eating a standard guinea pig diet, the fish oil diet reduced incidence of the disease by 50 percent. Positive effects of the diet included a reduction of the degradation of collagen in cartilage and better retention of the molecules that give cartilage its shock-absorbing properties. Evidence also indicated that omega-3 influences the biochemistry of arthritis and as a result can help prevent osteoarthritis and slow progression where it has already occurred. The study was published in the September 2011, issue of the journal Osteoarthritis and Cartilage.

OmegaGuard delivers a full spectrum of ultra-pure, pharmaceutical grade omega-3 fatty acids, which studies show help support healthy heart, joint, and brain function. It is made with a proprietary multistep molecular distillation process for the utmost purity and potency. OmegaGuard contains all seven omega-3 fatty acids, including EPA and DHA, which studies show help: reduce the risk of heart disease, retain healthy triglyceride levels, maintain normal blood pressure, and support brain, eye and joint health.

Shaklee Omega Guard contains natural fish oil derived from small, cold water fish. it contains more EPA and DHA than other selected brands, contains no cholesterol, and comes in a small size for easy swallowing. To ensure purity and potency, the fish oil in OmegaGuard undergoes a multi step molecular distillation process, which: Concentrates and refines the omega-3 fatty acids, Removes lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium, dioxins, and PCBs, and other contaminants, reduces oxidation and formation of trans fats, and minimizes odor and fishy aftertaste.