15 Fantastic Anti-Inflammatory Foods and Juices

Creamsicle orange juice

The more health studies and articles I read, the more one single fact becomes clear: Inflammation either causes or is part of nearly every serious health condition! High cholesterol and heart disease? Inflammation. Diabetes? Inflammation. Asthma, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Parkinson’s, Obesity, and Osteoperosis have all been linked to – you guessed it – inflammation!

Fortunately inflammation can be lowered significantly through diet. Change your diet, and see if you don’t feel better after a week.

  • EAT: Avocado, nuts, and wild salmon are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E. Omega-3s reduce swelling and discomfort in the joints, while vitamin E helps with healing.
  • EAT: Brazil nuts, salmon, oatmeal and brown rice all contain selenium, a trace mineral that we don’t need a lot of, but deficiencies can lead to major problems. Surveys indicate that rheumatoid arthritis sufferers tend to have lower selenium levels in their blood. Selenium may reduce arthritis symptoms by controlling levels of free radicals. Skip the pricey supplement and eat one Brazil nut a day. It’s that easy.
  • JUICE: Pumpkin, carrots, and sweet potatoes contain Carotenoids – ie. they’re orange. When your body eats orange, it converts the plant pigment into Vitamin A, a powerful antioxidant that fights joint discomfort (and cancer!). Juicing is the best way to help your body absorb nutrients from orange vegetables.
  • JUICE: Grapefruit, papaya, oranges, and mangoes are rich in Vitamin C. A study from Duke University shows that the right amount of Vitamin C reduces risk of rheumatoid arthritis. However, too much vitamin C accelerates joint damage from osteoarthritis. The USDA recommends 75mg per day for women and 90mg per day for men as the happy medium between the two extremes.
  • JUICE: Turmeric, the yellow spice that gives curry powder its color, is a powerful anti-inflammatory that Ayurvedic healers have used for centuries to relieve arthritis pain. Other curry spices, like ginger, work well with turmeric to further reduce inflammation.

Essentially, a diet of mostly fruits and vegetables with lean meats and good fats is anti-inflammatory. But, even within a healthy diet, there are anti-inflammatory superfoods. Change your diet, and you very well may change your life. Ask us about our nutrition packed, delicious, and anti-inflammatory juices!

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5 Romantic Mistakes To Avoid This Valentine’s Day

Romantic Valentine's Dinner

One quarter of Americans dine out for Valentine’s Day – that’s 25 percent of the population! Talk about crowded. And you know how it usually goes – you drink champagne and red wine, eat a multi-course meal of heavy foods like blue-cheese salad, creamy lobster bisque, filet mignon, and a sinfully rich chocolate soufflé for dessert. Sure, that dinner sounds delicious, but afterwards you just want to curl up in a food coma.

I don’t know about you, but that’s not the way I like to end the night on Valentine’s Day!

Mistake #1: Choosing the Wrong Restaurant
Unless you have the date booked at a favorite small eatery with a quiet, romantic atmosphere, you’ll be trying to make your sweet-nothings audible over the persistent roar of the V-Day crowd. Wouldn’t it be more romantic to set the mood with candlelight and soft music at home?

Mistake #2: Dining Late
If you really want that heavy Valentine’s Day dinner, go for it. Everyone deserves to splurge once in a while. But, if you’d like to uh… have your cake and lick the icing off him later too, then plan to eat earlier in the evening. That way you have some time to recover from the inevitable food coma!

Mistake #3: Drinking Too Much
I love champagne to celebrate, and red wine – anytime! But when there’s just the two of you, it’s all too tempting to split the entire bottle of champagne, and then start pouring the red. While a little alcohol can be wonderfully relaxing and help set the mood, too much will lead to an early bedtime and headaches in the morning. So, instead of buying an entire bottle of champagne, buy a split (a half-bottle) instead. That’s just enough for a first-course toast.

Mistake #4: The Slippery, Butter-Laden Slope to Food Coma
Restaurants tend to add butter, cream and salt to everything, which is exactly what you don’t want on Valentine’s Day. The butter and cream will make you feel full fast, but on a multi-course meal, the food keeps coming whether you want it to or not! The result? Food coma. And all the sodium added to restaurant fare will cause you to retain water, which doesn’t feel very sexy.

Mistake #5: Eating All the Wrong Foods
Meat and dairy-based dinners won’t help your libido, but these foods will:

The Right Foods for a Romantic Evening

• Asparagus (raises your histamine levels and may help you climax faster)
• Celery (increases androsterone – a pheromone)
• Watermelon (dilates blood vessels, improving blood flow)
• Pomegranates (may increase testosterone)
• Avocado (its healthy fats are great for blood flow)
• Spicy foods (the active ingredient in hot chili peppers heats up your metabolism and gets your heart pumping!)
• End your romantic dinner with chocolate-covered strawberries and bananas – they’re light, packed with antioxidants, and you can have a lot of fun with a good chocolate drizzle…

5 Travel-Friendly Foods to Keep You Healthy In-Flight

immune system boosting superfoods

When you travel for business, you already know what you’re in for. Your sleep schedule will suffer; you’ll be constantly on the go; and you’ll be coming into contact with foreign environments your body isn’t used to. If you add to that mix the circulated air and un-sanitized seats of air-travel, you should probably just schedule your sick-time now, because you’ll need it.

But, while you might not be able to control your mode of travel or how much sleep you get, you can control your nutrition. Here are five foods that are airport security friendly and could potentially help you avoid getting sick while traveling:

Almonds

Almonds have high levels of vitamins E, B and magnesium. The combination of these vitamins working together creates an immunity boost that can help ward off upper-respiratory infections. As a bonus, the good fats in almonds also help you maintain level energy. To get the most benefits out of almonds, eat them raw.

Goji Berries

Goji berries are filled with powerful antioxidants and are rich in vitamins A, B, C and E. Goji berries also have trace minerals, such as zinc, iron, copper, selenium, calcium and phosphorous. Of these, the most active cold-fighting ingredients are zinc, selenium, vitamin A, and the extremely high levels of vitamin C.

Kale Chips

Kale is filled with cold-combatting antioxidants, vitamins A and C, calcium and is high in iron. Kale is also great for cardiovascular support.

Fresh Citrus

Believe it or not you can bring fresh fruit such as oranges and grapefruit on the plane. You just need to make sure it is wrapped or in a container when you go through security. High in vitamin C, citrus fruits boost the production of white blood cells which, in turn, help fight infection. Just be sure to wash-up before you eat.

Whey Protein Bars

Whey protein is rich in cysteine, an amino acid that converts to glutathione in your body which helps fight bacterial and viral infection.

Prefer to drink your whey protein? The rule is that you can’t bring fluids through security, but that doesn’t mean you can’t bring something you can mix with fluid on the plane. Get a bottle of water on the other side of security from one of the vendors or in-flight, then mix a package of whey protein powder to gulp down those immunity boosters.

To further boost your immunity while traveling, be sure to drink plenty of water and stay away from alcohol and soda.

True Confessions of a Cardiovascular Surgeon

Tomatoes at the farmer's market

Viral “confessions” rocked Facebook last month – the first tell-all was from a TSA Agent, but the second confession was one I found especially heartening. (Pun intended)

Last December, Dr. Dwight Lundell published an essay titled “Heart Surgeon Declares On What Really Causes Heart Illness” on the Tuned Body website. Now more than 200,000 people have his words plastered on their Facebook walls. It’s not that what he says is revolutionary – you’ll read the same information here on my blog – but the fact that a heart surgeon is questioning cholesterol drugs in favor of natural, nutritional healing is wonderful to see.

His findings (and if you read my blog, they’ll sound familiar) are:

  • A diet of natural, unprocessed food can prevent, and possibly reverse, heart disease.
  • Low-fat, high-simple-carb diets cause chronic inflammation, thereby destroying the walls of our blood vessels, and causing cholesterol stick to them and form plaque blockages.
  • The Western diet has excessive levels of Omega-6 acids from corn and soybean oils, whereas we should be eating far more Omega-3 acids (from nuts and fish).
  • To reduce inflammation, he recommends eating protein and complex carbs (ie. lean meats, fish, fruits and vegetables).
  • Saturated fats aren’t the enemy – eat moderately and enjoy olive oil, grass-fed meat, and dairy: Dr. Lundell writes, “Mainstream medicine made a terrible mistake when it advised people to avoid saturated fat in favor of foods high in omega-6 fats.”

His theme is that cholesterol doesn’t cause heart disease – inflammation does. And Inflammation can be caused, and controlled, through diet!

To read more about anti-inflammatory diets, check out my previous posts:

Anti-Inflammatory Foods for Joint Health

Women’s 5 Most Frequent Health Issues & Food Solutions