Monthly Archives: November 2013
Yes they are.
We all know that when allergy season comes around a lot of people around us, including ourselves sometimes, all of the sudden are sick or have colds presenting signs of allergies. Symptons like but not limited to, sneezing, coufhing, runny nose, itchy eyes, pressure on your face or head. What makes it worse is that whatever triggers allergy symtoms is rarely obvious. Most people automatically say they are reacting to pollen. And for some this may be true. But there are other things taht trigger allergy attacks, and they are less obvious. This may be your body crying out for attention.
Allergies are often what happens to you when your system is not functioning properly.These symptoms often are associated with poor intestinal health, disfuctioning immune system, and most common, food sensitivities. Quite often these symptoms are found together and in relation to each other.Everytime you have a sinus headache or a runny nose, it’s your body begging for attention.
In order to start to tackle your problem with allergies, you have to know what triggers it. And I am referring you what is triggering it inside your body not the outdoors trigger. When you think of allergies, you have to think of the immune system. It is obvious that your immune system is being over stimulated. An outdoor allergen may be causing your initial reaction, but it is likely there are other allergens you are responding to.
Common food allergies are often a prime suspect when it comes to immune system dysfunction. The main culprits are often grains. For example, you could have a corn allergy, wheat allergy or even a dairy allergy. The reactions against these foods are often confused for traditional allergy symptoms. Symptoms such as itchy skin, congestion and post-nasal drip are known to be food allergy related. Thus, the common food allergies should not be ignored. What makes consumption of these foods even trickier is that your reaction may not be allergic. Rather, it may be intolerance or the more common sensitivity. Therefore, you have to start with eliminating your problem food. Testing for your problem food can be a real asset when it comes to trying to eliminate your triggers.
Identifying your food triggers is only part of the consideration you should make. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that once you have done this that you are in the clear. I have seen patients initially get better after eliminating foods, only to relapse because they didn’t take care of the secondary effects of the problem foods. This often means supporting the gastrointestinal tract. From a functional medicine view point, everything begins and ends in the gastrointestinal tract. When it comes to allergies, much of the conversation can be steered to histamine. Histamine, the chemical mostly responsible for allergy symptoms, is produced in excess when there is gastrointestinal dysfunction. As more histamine is circulated in the system, your symptoms have a tendency to become worse. While histamine can be controlled symptomatically with natural products, sometimes even better than the prescriptions, the core of the problems remains. Taking care of the gut means giving it the support it needs. The best support comes in the form of the right nutrients and a diet that eliminates allergenic foods while supplying high levels of nourishment.
Missing key nutrients
Finally, when allergy symptoms are presented it means your immune system is missing the nutrients it need to keep a proper balance. There is a vast amount of evidence showing that certain nutrients are needed to regulate the immune system. This is very important when trying to prevent the hypersensitivity that is known to be associated with allergies. Nutrients like Vitamin D, antioxidants and omega 3’s. The cooperation of these nutrients is critical when guiding the immune system’s functions. A better functioning immune system is better equipped to respond against certain stimulations.
Everyone agrees allergies are annoying.However, I hope now it is clearer that allergies aren’t just something that is present when seasons change.If you have allergy problems it may be time to take a closer look at your body’s functions. It’s an indication that your systems are in need of support and they they are missing nutrients like the ones mentioned previously.Your immune system depends on it.It is possible to eliminate or reduce your allergy symptoms when you have a plan.
You Should Question Dietary Recommendations about Fat
Dietary recommendations are among the most ironic pieces of advice that are probably given. You may wonder what I mean by this. Let’s use eggs as an example. We ate eggs for generations. Then we were told not to eat eggs because they contain cholesterol and as we all know, cholesterol is the root of all healthcare evils (said tongue-in-cheek of course). In contrast we are now seeing that eggs have no significant effect on blood cholesterol levels. The vast discrepancy in the information that we here can leave one wondering what to trust for dietary advice.
This same logic can be taken one step further when you consider fat in the diet. Again, for numerous years no one thought about fat in the diet. We just ate what was available to use and it seemed to work itself out. However, science came along and we started making correlations between saturated fats and heart disease. As the adage goes, if a little is good, more is better. This did not exactly hold true however. When many started taking the fat out of their diet for fear of increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease, they did not realize that this would be replaced by excess carbohydrates. Ironically, this reduction in fat and increase of carbohydrates still increased cardiovascular risk, just in a different way.
The Forgotten Truth about Fats
The moral of the story is that our body needs fat and contrary to some outdated thoughts about fat it is not bad for us. Fat consumption needs to be in a balanced ratio as it is found in nature. But many of us are still fat phobic when in reality we should not be. Fat provides several components that are essential to our normal function. Interestingly, we have been indoctrinated to avoid cholesterol and to try to get our cholesterol levels lower and lower. This is detrimental in many ways however and impairs several functions. Sources of saturated animal fat provide cholesterol. And while many think that saturated fats are bad, the truth is that they are only problematic when consumed in excess as compared to unsaturated fats. To further this point, when we consume grass fed or free range sources of meat, we are actually consuming a balanced ratio of fats. You don’t have to figure out the nuances of the diet and wonder if you are eating the right ratio. You just have to eat the right food and the details will be taken care of for you.
Additional benefits to eating fats in your diet include adequate consumption of fat soluble vitamins, antioxidants and essential fatty acids. Dietary fat is an excellent source of the fat soluble nutrients vitamin A, D, E, and K. While all of these are of vital importance, vitamin D has gotten the spot light more recently. This simple nutrient alone supports adequate immune function, increases uptake of calcium, aids in glucose control, acts as a hormone and improves cardiovascular and bone health. Additionally from ideal sources of dietary fat, we derive essential fatty acids. Often times these are identified as omega 3’s. Omega 3’s are vital to overall health and most Americans are extremely deficient. Among the numerous benefits that omega 3’s offer, they promote adequate brain function, reduction of inflammation and subsequently advanced aging, improved skin integrity, reduction of cardiovascular disease and cancer and lowering of triglycerides.
How Modern Food Preparation is Putting you at Risk
What we should be concerned about are consuming damaged and harmful fats. Fats that are overcooked have become rancid and actually promote inflammation in our body rather than preventing it. This is best illustrated by smoking rising from your oils and signals that you have crossed the smoke point of your oil. Additionally, you should avoid fats that are manipulated. These will be labeled as hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated. The good news is that if most of the food that you consume does not come with a label, you are not likely to be eating these damaged fats.
The Solution to Keeping Your Fats Balanced
The solution to keeping your fats balanced is eating a Paleo Diet. The Paleo Diet is the foolproof solution to getting the right fats in the right amounts in your diet. When you consume sufficient quantities of plants, fats and proteins in the diet, you will find that you are not likely to over-consume the potentially health robbing fats in the diet, but rather you will be ingesting those fats that promote health and wellness. Nuts, seeds, and avocados as are found in the Paleo Diet are among a few of the foods that provide not only fat, but fat that helps improve your overall metabolic function and reduces inflammation.
Memory is A Skill
Have you noticed a decline in your memory? Do you find it harder to remember things these days? Are you walking into a room and forgetting why you went in there or do you forget someone’s name 5 seconds after they just told you what it was? These are all indications of poor memory. Many people think incorrectly that memory loss is simply a part of the aging process. Memory is an acquired skill that must be nurtured. As we age we can actually enhance our memory by providing our bodies with what it needs and by putting our brain to work.
It’s not your age, it’s your Diet
One of the reasons that many think that memory loss is part of the aging process results from lack of awareness of those things that rob the brain. The brain, like nearly all areas of the body has specific requirements. It must have a constant energy source so that it can carry out the tasks that we place upon it. The brain also demands precursors to help it form new tissue. That stated, our diets have a significant role to play in how our brains function. The diet either helps us develop new neurological tissue and think better or it sabotages us by promoting a chronic inflammatory state that damages our brain tissue over time, resulting in potential memory loss.
The Paleo Diet
The Paleo Diet provides the perfect ground work to develop a better memory. Again, having a good memory means having a good supply of energy to the brain routinely to allow it to carry out its function. As glucose is the preferred energy source for the brain, a diet that manages glucose levels and prevents fluctuations will support memory. Studies have shown than when the glucose levels are stable the brain is able to form new networks of interconnections. The complexity and function of the brain grows. In contrast, when glucose levels are unstable, the brain suffers and interconnections are not made. Even worse, an overall state of inflammation is created that stimulates neurodegeneration. You don’t notice it all at once, but the brain is slowly declining as neurological tissue is lost.
Equally important in the management of brain health, are fatty acids. Fats make up the coating around the nerve cells that speed up the processing of a neurological impulse. Additionally, they also are needed to make healthy membranes for the nerve cells. Without these fats, the nervous tissue begins to degenerate. It does not have the ability to repair itself as consistently as it needs to. Moreover, just as abnormal levels of glucose can cause inflammation in the brain, so to can fats. Diets higher in inflammatory omega 6 fats such as those found in the Standard American Diet (SAD) contribute to neurodegeneration. Likewise, diets such as the Paleo that lead to consumption of higher amounts of omega 3’s as are found in nuts and wild protein sources inhibit the inflammation. Not only do they inhibit brain tissue damage, but they also promote brain tissue development.
I’m sure you have heard the expression “use is or lose it”. This applies as equally to the muscle tissue as it does to the brain function . When you use your brain on a daily basis, and give it the necessary precursors and nutrients that it needs, your memory enhancement will change as quickly as changes in muscle tissue from exercise.
Ahh, wheat! How we do enjoy it. We put it in everything. Flour helps us make our soups and broths thicker. It allows us to bake cookies, cakes, and pizza’s. And who really wants to eat a burger and a slice of cheese if we didn’t have two slices of bread to put it between? It’s hard to imagine going to a ball game and asking for a hot dog without a bun? Things just would not be the same without wheat. Or would they?
For some reason, there seems to be an attraction to wheat that we can’t explain. There is a strong attraction to wheat that you can really feel physically especially when you stop consuming it. I am not surprised because this grain has begun to permeate our food supply. It’s almost impossible to find a package food that does not have wheat in it! It is obviously very popuplar, but at what cost?.
Wheat allergies do not just present themselves in the gut
As many are aware, an allergy to wheat is relatively common. More prevalent than previously given credit for, allergies to wheat can create a multitude of symptoms. Conventional thought has suggested that a reaction to wheat meant gastrointestinal distress. However, as we better know now, gastrointestinal dysfunction does not make up the largest percentage of reactions against wheat. Instead, areas such as the nervous system are more dramatically impacted. Likewise, the skin can also be affected leading to notably rashes. This does not mean that the gut does not have a role. It just means that if you are only looking to the gut for an answer to your ails concerning wheat allergies, you may be overlooking the problem.
Allergy or sensitivity?
Moreover, the definition is not completely accurate. What most of us consider as wheat allergies are actually wheat sensitivities. Therefore, if you are looking for an allergy by traditional standards, when in reality it is a sensitivity that is causing the problem, you are likely to miss the primary cause. Add to this that wheat as we know it has changed greatly over the years. We no longer eat the strains of wheat talked about in the Bible. Instead, if you are consuming wheat in the form we know it today, you are consuming a hybridized form. This hybrid form produces a greater quantity of the allergenic proteins, thus making it more reactive.
If you were told that you have an allergy or a sensitivity or something like that to wheat, would you be able to stop eating it? You wouldn’t really have a choice if you wanted to feel better. If you gave it a try, you could be amazed at how much better you would feel. Especially if you ae routinely consuming wheat. I have seen countless patients that remove grains from their daily diet and feel so much better just after a month. Yo don’t want to dismiss a wheat allergy. You could be opening the door to reactions against other things you re eating. Also when consumption of wheat stops you may be removing unexplained symptoms that were connected to your wheat allergy. You can’t go wrong with a grain free diet based in whole foods. You could also follow the Paleo Diet, this is exactly the diet you need to be eating to get rid of those allergies and unexplained symptoms.
Are Nuts Part Of The Paleo Diet?
Recently I was asked to review an article on the Paleo Diet. Someone had asked the author, a Paleo Diet advocate, about eating nuts. Just like in grains and legumes, nuts tend to be high in phytates. Legumes and grains are not considered Paleo foods and should definitely be avoided. How does one justify the consumption of nuts when grains and legumes were high in phytates as well and are not recommended, especially since nuts are often recommended as part of the Paleo Diet.
The author diplomatically provided sound science and logic to show that the amount of phytates in nuts can at times be higher than that found in grains and legumes, but that nuts are not considered a staple of the diet. In those instances were grains and legumes are commonly eaten, they are eaten on a repetitive basis, thus making the total accumulation of the phytates from these foods substantially higher. The level of phytates accumulated from eating nuts alone is not likely to be a problem. Therefore, the primary concern of phytates interfering with mineral absorption becomes a non-issue.
The bigger point is not whether phytates, or even grains and legumes for that matter, are a problem. The bigger issue is that if you look hard enough you are going to find some issue with nearly all food categories. Therefore, the idea is not to avoid a particular food grouping, but rather to eat it on a moderate level, or stated another way, to diversify the consumption of food. One thing I have learned from practice is that the body is not a fan of extremes. Too much is often just as bad as too little. Neither is an ideal state for the body. Stated another way, we call too little deficiency, and too much toxicity.
Too Much Of Anything Is Not Healthy
As a real world example, let’s take something that nearly all Paleo eaters like, meat. For simplicity, let’s use a chicken breast. A chicken breast is a protein source, and as such it is made up of amino acids. Just by the name, you can see that these are acidic. Lack of adequate protein consumption hinders detoxification, promotes muscle wasting, reduces our metabolic rate and impairs our ability to produce some of our hormones and neurochemicals. Clearly stated, it is essential. In opposition, too much protein, or an imbalanced amount of protein in the diet relative to other food categories has a tendency to make the body more acidic. Higher levels of acidity, as noted through urinary and salivary pH assessment can promote the onset of some chronic diseases. However, when protein is consumed in moderate amounts throughout the day with sufficient amounts of vegetables and fruits, the acidifying nature of proteins is kept in check by alkalizing effects of potassium.
Keep the diet diverse as possible and try to avoid extremes. You are more likely to stay balanced in your diet when you consume a variety of foods. I have often noticed that Paleo eaters have a tendency to be extreme in their actions. I personally think sometimes it just goes with the mindset. But instead of extremes, if you try to stay in the middle of the road and practice a more central line of moderation with your Paleo Diet choices, you will maximize the health promoting benefits that the Paleo Diet aims to provide.
Paleo Diet Low Carb?
It has been a while now since the low carb craze hit the United States. Yet, here we are many years later still talking about it. There must have been something to the ideas of Dr. Atkins. Indeed there was. He knew that an abundance of carbohydrates was not ideal for normal human function and that decreasing their intake could lead to weight loss. As weight loss is always a hot topic, the low-fat-fad grew. A few other popularly named diets even followed, all with same basic premise of cutting back the carbs in the diet. Included in this category is the Paleo Diet. However, I am here to proclaim this as a fallacy by those that do not eat Paleo.
Why Do We Need Carbohydrates
The Paleo Diet cannot be low carbohydrate. The whole premise that we should eat low carbohydrates goes completely against the way that our body functions. There are two very simple reasons that we should be eating carbohydrates. Foremost, our body’s primary energy source is carbohydrate and second, most of the diet should come from plants, which are denser in carbohydrate.
We Need Balance
We have to eat carbohydrates. Even those individuals that subscribe to the low carbohydrate diets know this. The key, as is often understated, is that the body needs balance. Too many carbohydrates are a problem, but so are too little. As is typical of human behavior, we go to the extremes, leaving rational thought behind. However, let’s take a simple look at the need for carbohydrates. Your body burns glucose for energy. If glucose is not available, protein and fat are used for energy, the latter being preferential. However, their use is precipitated by the conversion to glucose. The need for glucose is extremely high in the brain as it is the only macronutrient that allows proper function.
Moreover, when glucose is absent in sufficient quantities, the hormone cortisol is produced to maintain adequate blood levels. Cortisol is produced at the expense of other hormones. Add to this that many of us are already suffering from low cortisol levels due to chronic stress. Bottom line is that as this scenario plays out, hypoglycemia / low blood sugar functional can set in with accompanying hormone dysfunction. Do you have the mid afternoon lull in energy, get irritable when you don’t eat and get headaches or brain fog sometimes? You may already be headed down this path and don’t even realize it.
Plants Are Carbohydrates
Apart from any of this, most of your diet as a Paleo eater should be plants. Plants are carbohydrates. Granted, not all plants are the same. Nuts are higher in fat and protein, and beans / legumes have a reasonable amount of incomplete protein. That aside, the rest of the plants that you should be eating are carbohydrates. The carbohydrates differ in quantity and composition, but nonetheless, they are carbohydrates. Yams and butternut squash are higher in carbohydrates than say broccoli and asparagus. However, the makeup of both is a carbohydrate. When you consume a balanced diet of both carbohydrate dense and sparse plants, your total carbohydrate consumption is likely to look far more balanced than if you were to consume a diet higher in grains. Grains are of course carbohydrate laden.
So as you can see, the Paleo Diet cannot be a low carbohydrate diet by its nature when implemented correctly in a balanced fashion. Can you eat low carbohydrate on the Paleo Diet? Sure you can. I would even argue that there are times that “low carb” is the best approach. But this is not the premise of the Paleo Diet. The Paleo Diet is about eating real foods as you would find them in nature, including those that have more carbohydrates such as starchy vegetables and fruits. For Paleo success, the answer is not no / low carb, it is balanced carbs.
Our Food is Hurting Us.
You are exposed to it every day and don’t even realize that it is harming you. Three times each day at least, and often times more, you are coming into contact with substances that are negatively affecting your health. Sometimes they are obvious, other times they are hidden. They have the potential to cause reactions, whether as simple as annoying congestion or as serious as a chronic ailment. What are we exposed to every day that has the potential to have this great of an impact on our body? It is our food, the very thing that we have to consume to maintain life.
We have reached a tipping point with food. Once only viewed as a necessity to sustain life, now our view about what is classified as food is different. Consideration has to be given to not only the beneficial role that foods can have, but also to the damaging effects that food may present. We have even come up with catchy terms like “junk food” because we know certain foods should not be routinely consumed. You honestly have probably given little thought to why a food might be called such.
Food Can Make us Better Or Sicker
Food is a very powerful substance. It has the ability to help regenerate health, while also having the ability to weaken our bodies to the point of allowing disease promotion. Yet, most of us don’t realize why this is. In short, it has to do with the interaction of our bodies and the food we were intended to consume. There is synergy between whole, unadulterated foods that are raised and grown in an environment that is minimally affected by man and our bodies. This food matches the way in which our bodies function, literally down to the level of our DNA. In contrast, more modern foods don’t mesh with our bodies. Rather they work against us placing undue strain on our biochemical systems. Herein is the link for why we are seeing an increase in food allergies.
Allergies Are Not A Normal Reaction
Allergies are not a normal reaction from our body. They are triggered by interaction with substances that stimulate the immune system to be over-reactive. In the case of food allergies, you are eating something that is not consistent with your body. This list of foods that are damaging to the body and the immune system is long and continues to grow. But you don’t need a list of foods to avoid. Like I tell my patients, you just need to know where to shop and what to avoid.
Inherently, the more unrefined, non-genetically modified foods you eat, the less likely your food is damaging your health. Food allergies are a manifestation of the ill effects of unrecognizable foods. You know, the ones that make up most of the typical grocery store. These foods promote deterioration of our guts and find their way into our system to trigger reactions. What we think of as the typically allergic reaction is often multiple reactions but they all stem from intake of the wrong foods.
Just as eating the wrong foods can make your symptoms worse, eating the right foods can help alleviate your symptoms. When you are eating a Paleo style diet, you are eliminating the major triggers for the immune system. Remember, allergies to food are not inherent. They exist because we consume food that is “junked” up, which we fondly call “junk food”. Getting back to the basics of food selection is a must for reduction of the common food allergies.
Common Food allergies
Food allergies are common. In fact, they are much more common than the average person would anticipate. If you think you are reacting to foods, how do you know which ones? After all, you could be reacting to one of the big food allergens. Such reactions include a wheat allergy (gluten allergy), milk allergy, egg allergy, and / or a corn allergy. These are the common food allergies. In most cases, one of these reactions will be a contributor to the overall state of dysfunction originating from foods, but there are likely others as well. The question becomes, how do you figure out which foods are causing problems.
The Elimination Diet
This is a question I often get from patients. They want to know how to figure out which foods to avoid. Many options exist for figuring out food allergies. The traditional approach was known as an elimination diet. This diet works well in some cases, but depending on the number of reactions and the state of health of the gastrointestinal tract, it can be difficult to tell which foods are actually problematic.
Food Allergy Testing
Beyond the elimination diet, food allergies are often assessed with lab tests. I am going to let you in on something here that most of the doctors that deal with allergies don’t pay attention to. That is that food allergies are often delayed. This means that the reaction they cause does not happen immediately, but rather takes time to manifest. A true allergy happens quickly. If you are waiting to see an immediate response to determine a food allergy, most of the time you will miss it. When looking for common food allergies, it actually is more efficacious to look for delay reactions, better defined as sensitivities. Food sensitivities make up the greater portion of reactions against food.
Which Test Should I Take?
Herein is the next question that my patients will often ask. They want to know what food allergy test they should run to figure out the best way to identify their problem foods. The best food allergy tests are actually going to look for delay reactions and sensitivities. Within this grouping, there are 3 types of reactions that can take place. Let’s just call them type 2, 3, and 4. (Type 1 reactions are related to true food allergies and are more immediate). Here is the big difference when you are selecting a lab to perform delayed sensitivities to food. Most of these labs only look at the type 2 reaction. What if your reaction is type 4? If you were only looking for a type 2, you may think that eating a particular food is okay, when in reality it could still be causing a reaction. For example, if your test shows that you are not reactive to gluten, but in reality you are, you may continue to have the classic gluten allergy / sensitivity symptoms.
Which Foods Should I Test For?
When it comes to food allergies, and food sensitivities, I let my patients know that there is no compromise for testing all of the foods that they come into contact with. Moreover, I let them know that testing all of the possible reactions for delayed sensitivities, types 2, 3, and 4, is the best option. An added benefit we get from doing this is that we are also able to look at other aspects of the environment that may be a problem, a real consideration here in Houston and South East Texas.
If you are going to take the time to figure out what you are reactive to, make sure you do it right. Not only does this save time, but it also saves a lot of frustration. Nothing could be more aggravating than trying to eliminate foods you are reactive to, only to later learn that the most problematic ones are still a part of your diet.
Reduce Inflammation with the Paleo Diet
Most of us know that inflammation is bad, but few actually realize what inflammation is. Simply, inflammation is the breakdown of the cellular structures in the body. It is the damaging and dying off of our bodily tissues. If this sounds meaningful, it is. While not all inflammation is bad due to its need in normal function of the immune system, prolonged and overbearing amounts of inflammation are problematic.
The Consequences of Inflammation
The consequences of inflammation can be numerous. The most generic way to think about inflammation is that it is aging at a faster pace. I don’t know anyone that wants to age faster than they already do, but that is exactly what happens when you are inflamed. Inflammation promotes damage to the telomeres, the tips of our genetic structures known as chromosomes, that influence our biological versus chronological age. The more inflamed one is, the weaker the stimulus for healing. Aging, and health as a whole, is about building your bodily structures up, repairing and replacing them faster than they are being broken down. Yet, when inflammation is present, cellular structures become inefficient and healing is impaired. If this continues for a prolonged period of time, degeneration becomes pronounced and chronic diseases manifest. Therefore, it is important to keep inflammation to a minimum so that healing can occur and aging progresses slowly.
Standard American Diet Contributes to Inflammation
If you are not familiar with the acronym SAD, it stands for the Standard American Diet. To say that the foods that most people eat is SAD, is an understatement. Food is life. It gives our body most of the things that it needs to function properly. Standard American Diet food in many instances can hardly be called food. Rather, it is a refined amalgamation of food constituents and chemical ingredients. Couple this with an abundance of grains and dairy and you have the perfect mix for an inflammatory storm to occur in the body. Foods that are not as they are found in nature create distress in the body. They are difficult to metabolize and as a result they increase inflammation and promote such problems as abnormal glucose management. In short, if you are eating the Standard American Diet, you are expediting the development of chronic disease by increasing your overall level of inflammation.
Inflammation is Present, Where Do You Start?
So now that you realize you have created an inflammatory environment for yourself, you need a place to start to turn things around. If your lifestyle, particularly your diet, created inflammation, then it can also reduce your inflammation if you make the right selections. Making the right selection to reduce inflammation begins with the Paleo Diet. As previously noted, foods that are refined and denatured contribute to inflammation. In contrast, the Paleo Diet, a diet of real, unrefined, unadulterated foods as would be found in nature and not tampered with by modern man, offer a much different effect on the body. Foods of the Paleo Diet provide key ingredients such as anti-inflammatory fats and antioxidants that limit inflammation at its core. Given the vital nature of food and the necessity to consume it routinely, eating a Paleo Diet is the only real place to start when it comes to controlling inflammation.
Paleo Diet Helps Heal the Damage Associated with Inflammation
The Paleo Diet is one of the best ways to reduce and control inflammation. Yet, what if your inflammation has been present for a long period of time and you have begun to suffer damage associated with this inflammation. This varies from person to person. It may be joint aches and pains, or it may be the onset of chronic disease, for example diabetes. Food is an amazing substance, and due to the inherent healing qualities that food found on the Paleo Diet possesses, it has the ability to not just shut down the inflammatory process, but to also aids in healing some of the damage that might have developed. Based on the observation in my clinic, I would even go as far as to suggest that some chronic conditions can be completely turned around with a lifestyle overhaul centered on modifying dietary habits to match those of the Paleo Diet.
What is “Detox”?
Detoxification has become a buzzword in healthcare. Unquestionably when performed correctly it works. Otherwise, so many people would not be interested in detoxification programs. But detoxification also comes with a stigma. Many hear detoxification and shun the idea because they associated it with frequent trips to the restroom and feeling poor. If this is what you experience with detoxification, you are not undergoing an adequate detoxification process. In fact, you may be doing your body more harm than good.
Do You Know Why You Should Detox
Detoxification is an important concept in today’s world. We are inundated with toxic chemicals and substances from nearly every direction. As we become a more industrialized society, chemicals that did not exist 50 years ago now saturate our environment. Those that we deemed toxic decades ago remain because they don’t breakdown efficiently. This is a real problem as bodies have the same burden. While we have effective means to breakdown some toxicants, not all are so easily transformed and released from our system. Thus our body needs support. Add to this picture the fact that we produce our own toxins that have to be equally eliminated. As you can see the load of toxins can become burdensome rather quickly. With this toxic burden often come many common symptoms. These include fatigue, weight loss, allergies, and gastrointestinal dysfunction just to name a few.
Detoxification Does Not have to be Confusing
Detoxification can seem like a confusing term. Much of this has originated from the idea of detoxification being confused with colon cleansing, or as it should more accurately be stated colon purging. When I speak of detoxification, we are referring to a completely different process. Detoxification, or as the research community calls it detoxification, is a true bodily process. It is something that your body performs on a daily basis. Without it you would accumulate numerous internal toxins that would damage the body. When we speak of physiologic detoxification, we are actually referring to the process of transforming a harmful substance into one that is less damaging to the body and eliminating it through the liver and ultimately the bowels. For this to happen, purging to the bowels is not required, and further not recommended.
The Benefits of Detoxification
Detoxification has numerous benefits, the most profound of which is the reduction of chemical substances that promote inflammation and degeneration of our bodily systems. As these systems degenerate, the body becomes less efficient as it is becoming toxic. The human body can deal with some toxic burden, but the system cannot handle an accumulation of toxins, whether environmental or produced from within. When our inherent detoxification systems are functioning appropriately, many of the common symptoms noted above become less significant. If the body is not focused on dealing with the strain of toxins, it can increase the resources needed for energy production, promoting a healthy immune system and optimizing bowel function.
The Paleo Diet Accelerates Detoxification
Since detoxification is founded in good health that instinctively means that the Paleo Diet must be a part of it. The Paleo Diet has some true advantages when it comes to daily maintenance of detoxification or application of a detoxification program. Foremost, the Paleo Diet provides adequate protein. Protein is essential to maintaining good liver function and without it, the liver lacks the resources to efficiently clear toxins through the second of its two stages. Additionally, the diet emphasizes the incorporation of vegetables and fruits. These have 2 key advantages, fiber and antioxidants. Fiber is necessary as it provides a binding site for toxins so that they can be eliminated. Antioxidants are needed to reduce the inflammatory load that can present as toxins are being eliminated. These same foods also provide the nutrients needed to support the phase one of two that is a part of detoxification by the liver.
How to Have Detox Success Using the Paleo Diet
A successful detox begins with the Paleo Diet. When using the Paleo Diet, you are incorporating foods that are naturally nourishing to the body, provide the essential nutrients needed to support the body’s detox process, and avoiding the consumption of foods that are themselves toxic to the body. If you are serious about detoxification, you must follow through on the Paleo Diet. The best part is you will get to enjoy tasty, nutritious food while supporting your health at the same time.