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Diet, Health, Fitness, Lifestyle & Wellness


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5 Natural Ways To Reduce Inflammation In Your Body

By Margaret Wertheim   May 3, 2013

Inflammation is associated with some of the worst health problems out there including heart disease, cancer, and autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. While acute inflammation is a helpful process for the body when you have an injury such as cutting your finger or spraining your ankle, chronic inflammation is detrimental. Here are some easy ways to adjust your diet to decrease inflammation and improve your overall health:

1. Make sure to get your omega-3 fatty acids.

EPA, one of the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish, fish oil, and algae-based supplements along with DHA, has anti-inflammatory properties. Unfortunately, plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids like flaxseed and walnuts provide alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which does not have anti-inflammatory properties until it’s converted by your body to EPA and only a very small amount of ALA gets converted. To truly reap the anti-inflammatory benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, it’s best to consume EPA directly by eating fish, taking fish oil, or an algae-based EPA and DHA supplement.

2. Avoid omega-6 fatty acids and trans fats.

Omega-6 fatty acids promote inflammation in the body through the production of inflammatory compounds. Most people eat way too many omega-6 fats, which you will find in corn, soybean, and cottonseed oils. Another type of pro-inflammatory fats are trans fats, found in any products with “partially hydrogenated oil” in the ingredient list. They are usually found in baked goods, shortening, and margarines.


3. Avoid sugar and refined carbohydrates.

Sugar and refined carbohydrates contribute to elevated blood sugar and insulin levels, which may cause and exacerbate inflammation. In addition, sugar and refined carbs also contribute to weight gain and can make it more difficult to lose weight. Excess body fat is another major contributor to inflammation.

4. Eat antioxidant-rich foods.

Free radicals are highly reactive compounds that can damage the cells of your body and create and contribute to chronic inflammation. Antioxidants are able to neutralize these free radicals to reduce inflammation. Antioxidants include vitamins A, C, and E as well as the colorful pigments of fruits and vegetables.

5. Make sure you’re getting plenty of vitamin D.

Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with several inflammatory and autoimmune conditions like Crohn’s disease and multiple sclerosis, though it’s specific role has not yet be elucidated. The two main sources of vitamin D are the sun and food. Many people, especially those who live further away from the equator, don’t get much sun exposure especially during the winter. When you aren’t making enough vitamin D in your skin from sun exposure, make sure to include food food sources of vitamin D like fish and egg yolks and foods that are fortified with vitamin D like almond or coconut milk.

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5 Surprising Health Benefits of Hemp

Brandi, selected from Diets in Review     August 17, 2013
  
Hemp has always had trouble stepping out of the shadow of its dirty cousin marijuana. While it is closely related to whacky tobaccy, hemp has microscopic amounts of THC — the chemical in marijuana that gets you high — and eating hemp foods won’t jeopardize your next drug test. The health benefits of hemp are so vast that people are beginning to abandon the antiquated stereotypes of the versatile plant.

Sharon Palmer, author of The Plant Powered Diet, wasn’t wasting her breath when she said, “I think hemp is the next ‘it’ food — it has been for a while.” The hemp seed is bursting with Omega-6 and Omega-3, essential fatty acids that have heart health and anti inflammatory benefits. Hemp seeds are nutty in flavor and breathe life into salads, desserts, yogurts, cereals, and breads. Hemp seeds can be turned into butter, milk, protein powder, finishing oil, and soap.

Unfortunately, Uncle Sam outlawed hemp farming in 1958, a shame when you consider how amazing a crop it is. The plant thrives without pesticides, purifies the soil around it, and kills weeds. The U.S. is the only country that bans industrial hemp farming, quelling what could be an agricultural and financial boon for our indebted country.

Adding hemp foods to your diet is something you should seriously consider, and below are five health benefits of hemp you might not have known.


Five Hemp Health Benefits You Didn’t Know About

=> The protein and fiber in hemp combine to slow digestion, which prevents spikes in blood sugar and therefore sustains your body’s energy. A diet rich in hemp promotes digestive regularity.

=> When sprinkled on your cereal or fruit at breakfast, hemp protein and fiber also help aid in satiety, which will prevent you from snacking and keep you fuller longer.

=> The Omega-3 fatty acids in hemp reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, lower blood pressure, and may even ward off Alzheimer’s disease. Hemp seeds are one of the few Omega-3 sources found in plants.

=> The Omega-6 fatty acids in hemp stimulate skin and hair growth, maintain bone health, regulate metabolism, and help the brain function.

=> Hemp seeds contain essential amino acids, which improves muscle control, mental function, and normal body maintenance of cells, muscle, tissues, and organs.

Sharon Palmer contributed to this report.

source: www.care2.com