Drinks, Health Tips, Smoothies

What you need to know about inflammation

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word, “inflammation”? For many, words like pain, damage and destruction come to mind and rightfully so.

Inflammation is a process designed to happen for our protection. It is a knee jerk reaction to an injury or an infection. Think of what might happen if this response didn’t exist. There wouldn’t be proper repair to damaged tissue and threatening germs would have their way with us. However, inflammation can only serve us well when it is kept under control, in an individual who is normally healthy.

Traditionally, relief for inflammation involves the R.I.C.E method. This method involves resting, “cooling” down, compressing and elevation of an injury. Today, several health professionals are recommending a method that is in contrast to said method, called M.E.T.H. The proponents behind this method claim that this is a way which works with the body’s defence mechanism instead of against it. The theory behind this is, when we “help” our body with a quick fix, we tend to work against it, prolonging the healing process.

Ugly Inflammation

 There are several reasons why inflammation gets ugly. To name a few, they are:

*Having an impaired immune system/chronic infections

*Consuming a diet rich in arachidonic acid (omega 6 fatty acid) and not enough omega 3

* Constant exposure to toxins (foods and environment)

*Prolonged trauma/injury

*Obesity

Chronic inflammation can lead to damaged tissues in other parts of the body and as a result could lead to health conditions such as heart disease. This can be minimized by including more whole foods like nuts, seeds, legumes and especially vegetables and fruits into your diet.

Factors that impair healing:

*Nutrient deficiencies

*Lack of sufficient protein

*Over use of effected area than is needed

NUTRIENTS TO THE RESCUE!

There is a time period in which healing from inflammation is most crucial and that is during the first six to eight weeks after an injury or infection.

By focusing on several key nutrients, will ensure that your body is well equipped with the necessary tools it needs to deal with an injury/infection. By doing this, you will minimize any further damage and speed up recovery.

TOP SEVEN RECOMMENDED NUTRIENTS FOR A SPEEDY RECOVERY

*Vitamin A

*Vitamin C

*Vitamin E

*Essential Fatty Acids (Omegas)

*Enzymes

*Protein

*Zinc

FOODS WITH ANTIINFLAMMATORY PROPERTIES

*Turmeric

*Pineapple

*Ginger

*Papaya

*Garlic

*Aloe Vera Juice

*Flax Oil

*Hemp Hearts

Here is a simple and delicious way to incorporate the majority of these ingredients and key nutrients, mentioned above:

Cool down inflammation with a tropical smoothie!

Tropical Spice Anti Inflammatory Smoothie

Ingredients:

2-3 clementines, peeled or 1 medium orange

1 cup of unsweetened coconut water

1 cup of frozen or fresh pineapple

1 cup of frozen or fresh mango

½- 1 tsp of turmeric powder (if you aren’t a fan of spice, start off with ½ tsp.)

1 tsp of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped or ½-1 tsp of ground ginger

3 tbsp of hemp hearts

½-1 tsp of stevia to sweeten, optional

Instructions:

In a high speed blender, place coconut water, ginger, hemp hearts, turmeric, oranges and sweetener. Then, add in your fruit and blend on low to get things moving. Next, turn up blender speed to high until ingredients are blended well.

Enjoy!

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Drinks, Recipes

Golden Milk with Holiday Spice

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Some of you might have seen this bright yellow “latte” popping up on your Pinterest home page, claiming numerous health benefits. If you’re wondering what all the fuss is about, I’ll fill you in on a few things about this bright warm drink…..

IT’S ALL ABOUT THE TURMERIC

Although this drink comes with other health improving ingredients, turmeric is the star of the show. Turmeric may seem like a new health product but It has been used for many years as a part of the Ayurveda system of medicine that is rooted in the Indian subcontinent. The active compound in this yellow spice is curcumin. This compound contains anti- inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties, the two main stars that make turmeric a fantastic natural health aid.

PEPPER

What a strange thing to add to a “latte”!  Pepper does have a lot of health benefits but the main reason it’s added into Golden Milk is its component piperine which is said to increase the bioavailability of curcumin. There are other natural health practitioners out there that say that it doesn’t really matter. Until I find more research that it doesn’t make a difference, I’d suggest adding it in this recipe because……..1. There is very little pepper in these drinks to even be able to taste it and  2. because of  the other health benefits that you’d gain from pepper-it can stimulate your taste buds that in turn, increases stomach acid secretion which improves digestion ( this wouldn’t help those with hyperchlorhydia, high levels of stomach acid, which is a much rarer occurrence in comparison to hypochlorhydia, low levels of stomach acid). Black Pepper also has antibacterial and antioxidant properties.

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GINGER

Traditionally, golden milk recipes don’t include ginger but seeing as we are in the midst of the Christmas season it seemed fitting to add some holiday spice to this drink! Ginger, another spice that is native to India, is most known for its support in digestive upsets- eliminating gas by soothing and relaxing the intestinal tract, and helping with nausea in pregnancy and motion sickness. And just like turmeric, ginger also contains an anti-inflammatory compound, called gingerol.

CINNAMON

This very aromatic spice is mostly known for its ability to help regulate blood sugar levels, due to its circulatory stimulating effect. Some other health benefits that come from cinnamon are that it’s used as a digestant, anticonvulsant, diuretic and as  an antibiotic-other than it being a warming spice, this might be one of the main reasons we tend to see more cinnamon in recipes during the fall and winter months!

GOLDEN MILK with HOLIDAY SPICE

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 Tbsp unrefined coconut oil

1 1/2 tsp ground turmeric

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp fresh ginger, grated or 1/4 tsp dried, ground ginger

1/8 tsp ground cloves

pinch of ground pepper

2 1/2 Tbsp of pure maple syrup

1 cup full fat coconut milk

1 cup soy milk ( organic, non GMO) or your favourite milk alternative

INSTRUCTIONS:

In a small sauce pan, melt coconut oil over low to medium heat. Next, remove from heat and add the maple syrup and all of your spices and blend well. Combine the two milks and slowly add a small amount ( couple tablespoons at a time) to your melted oil and spice mix then stir until combined. Do this a couple more times and then add in the rest of your milk. Return to heat and let it come to a slow boil over medium heat, occasionally stirring. Turn down the heat to low and let it simmer for 5 minutes. After, you can use a handheld blender our high speed blender to blend this drink even more and to remove any clumped up spices. Plus, blending it this way also adds a nice froth to make it more like a latte!

Hope you enjoy, thanks for stopping by!