Summer is here in full force which means long, hot and humid days!
As I mentioned last month, I believe the 3 biggest health issues in America today are blood sugar, gut health and inflammation. This month I want to focus on inflammation.
It seems like everyone's talking about inflammation these days! More and more studies are coming out linking chronic inflammation to a vast majority of chronic diseases, even cancer. But, not all inflammation is bad. Some inflammation is actually necessary for our survival. It helps us overcome any acute insult or injury to the body. For example, if you contract a bacterial infection, the body quickly produces inflammatory chemicals known as cytokines, which help kill the foreign invaders. During this fight between the bugs and your immune system, you feel terrible, but only for a short time. Soon, you're up and on your way again with no long term effects.
It's only when this inflammation becomes chronic or long term, like a small smoldering fire which does not burn out, that it leads to major problems.
Normally, during a period of low-grade inflammation, the body tries to warn us that something is wrong by producing many nagging signs and symptoms, like:
- Aching of joints and muscles
- High blood pressure
- Rising blood sugars
- Sleep issues
- Skin issues
- Frequent abdominal pain and other gut issues
- Mood swings
- Difficulty with sleep
- Low energy levels
If we do not get to the root of these symptoms and allow the inflammation to persist unchecked, after years, the inflammation becomes evident in the form of a heart attack, stroke, Alzeheimer's disease, cancer, or autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, ulcerative colitis or rheumatoid arthritis, which can no longer be ignored by us.
Some signs of chronic inflammation are:
- Chronic fatigue and low energy.
- Mood issues including anxiety, depression, and panic attacks.
- Memory problems, brain fog, or loss of focus.
- Difficulty falling asleep, waking up in the middle of the night, or unrestful sleep.
- Gut symptoms including acid reflux, IBS, constipation, diarrhea, blood or mucus in stools, intermittent abdominal pain, gas and bloating.
- Chronic muscle and joint pain, swelling, redness.
- Chronic allergies and asthma requiring frequent medications.
- Chronic skin issues like eczema, psoriasis, redness of face and cheeks, or hives.
- Frequent or daily headaches, tremors, easy loss of balance, tingling and pain along nerves in the extremities, dizziness.
- High blood pressure.
- Metabolic syndrome, abdominal obesity, or diabetes mellitus.
- Low bone density or osteoporosis.
- Heart disease, peripheral vascular disease.
- Diagnosis of cancer: Yes, taking action is possible even after being diagnosed with a cancer as you can still try to prevent future development of new cancers at other sites.
Recipe of the Month
Almond Flour Pizza
This recipe is great if you want to eliminate wheat and gluten from your diet and still enjoy a pizza!
2 cups almond meal / flour
2 organic eggs
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic
2 teaspoons chopped basil (optional)
1. Mix all the ingredients together to form a dough.
2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
3. Lightly oil two pieces of parchment paper.
4. Put the dough between the two pieces of parchment paper and roll it until desired thickness. *I made mine thin crust and it was very sturdy.
5. Move the pizza and bottom piece of parchment paper to a pizza tray.
6. Bake for 10-15 minutes - until middle is cooked.
7. Take out of the oven. Put all of your pizza toppings on.
8. Put back in the oven for about 15 minutes - until toppings are cooked.
To reduce inflammation, it is important to break free of unhealthy habits and begin to incorporate healthy habits!
1. Decrease processed foods such as gluten, dairy, sugar, caffeine, alcohol, wheat or white flour, and artificial sweeteners.
2. Eat 2 - 3 services of fish per week such as salmon or sardines and incorporate a high quality omega supplement.
3. Incorporate anti-inflammatory herbs such as ginger and turmeric.
4. My favorite Omega supplement and anti-inflammatory supplements are Mega X and Ease from Plexus!