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What Is Internal Inflammation? & Here Are 5 Foodie Hacks To Help You Heal It

Tag: healthy

What Is Internal Inflammation? & Here Are 5 Foodie Hacks To Help You Heal It

 

First things first: what is internal inflammation.

Simply put, it’s a sign that your body is fighting back. Which is, in theory, good! It’s the body’s process of trying to eliminate potentially harmful infections, injuries, and/or toxins before they can do any real damage.

When something damages our cells, our body releases a chemical that triggers a response from our immune system. This response just happens to include releasing antibodies, proteins, and a heck of a lot of blood to the damaged area.

Hence the swelling.

Healthy, normal inflammation will last a couple of hours at most. In the case of acute inflammation, it can last for days.

It’s considered chronic inflammation when that response lingers. This leaves your body in a constant state of high alert. If left untreated, it can leave some serious damage on your tissues and organs (we’re talking internal scarring, potential tissue death, and fatigue – very serious stuff).

 

How do I get Internal Inflammation?

There’s a whole list of culprits behind internal inflammation, including (but not limited to):

  •   Untreated injuries or infections
  •   Autoimmune disorder (where your immune system attacks your healthy tissues by mistake)
  •   Long-term exposure to irritants

There are also studies that link the following factors to internal inflammation, although they’re less well-known and not as straightforward as the first three:

  •   Obesity
  •   Smoking
  •   Alcohol indulgence
  •   Chronic stress

How do I Fight Internal Inflammation (with Food)?

Even if you don’t believe in that age-old “you are what you eat” adage (although you really, really should), there’s no denying the science behind optimising your health with food. Thousands of studies, hours of research, and millions of resources all point towards diet playing a huge role in our general, overall health.

Crappy food consumption often yields crappy feelings, whereas rich, whole foods often leave us feeling the same way.

So there are certain foods you can consume or avoid if you want to stay far, far away from inflammation. And they all have a significant amount of studies to verify their legitimacy.

Let me list them down.

Eat:

  •   Salmon (and other cold-water, fatty fish).Great source (arguably the best source) of omega 3-fatty acids, EPA, DHA, high-quality protein, and a whole lot of other good stuff. The fact that it tastes so, so good is a tremendous bonus.

 

  •   Avocados. Another winner in the “good kind of fat” category, avocados are, quite literally, a superfood. Rich in fibre, potassium, magnesium, and monosaturated fats – all the things your body needs to fight off infection (and inflammation).

 

Who knew all those avocado toast breakfasts would pay off?

 

  •   Fruits (especially berries). Small but powerful, blueberries contain more antioxidants per cup than any other fruit. You can also load up on strawberries (a sweet treat), cherries (maraschino? More like maraschi-yes), and oranges (citrus-y goodness) for a fruit-flavoured inflammation-fighting diet.

Avoid:

  •   High-Fructose Corn Syrup. The one thing that makes all dieticians hiss (like a cat). HFCS is one of the main types of added sugar in Western diets, and let me tell you; you don’t want all that extra processed fructose in you.

 

A high-fructose diet has been linked to obesity, insulin resistance, diabetes, fatty liver, and chronic kidney disease … just to name a few.

 

  •   Refined Carbohydrates. Carbs aren’t bad. In fact, you need them in a healthy, balanced diet.

 

Refined carbs are the problem, here. Because refined carbs have had most of their fibre removed, leaving carbs with a high glycemic index (GI). Foods that have high GI are known to raise blood sugar more rapidly – and more extensively – than foods with moderate or low GI.

 

A rapid spike in blood sugar can encourage the growth of inflammatory gut bacteria – something you definitely don’t want.

Basically, the answer to fighting internal inflammation is sort of ridiculously simple. Balanced diet, healthy lifestyle. Everything in moderation. Enjoy your beers and your brews, your coffees, and your ice creams. Just remember to keep the portions in check, and you’ll be golden.

 

If you’d like to find out how Hearty Health can help keep you eat well and feel, or find out more about how you can get Hearty Health ready meals direct to you or at your facility, simply call 1300 728 764 or email hello@heartyhealth.com.au

Can Healthy Eating Make You Smarter? Here’s What We Know

For the longest time, parents were perfectly happy feeding their kids a whole bowl of sugar-coated cereal soaked in 100% milk with a side of artificially-flavoured orange juice every morning before school. They likewise survived until lunchtime on little else than a mug of coffee and two slices of avocado toast or two sunny-side-up eggs.

The goal wasn’t necessarily mental stimulation or clarity so much as it was “make it ‘til you can get a proper meal in.” A crying shame, to be sure, but very, very few can actually whip up a hearty, filling breakfast that nourishes both the brain and the body when pressed for time.

And besides; is such a thing possible?

 

Smarter Snacking

According to a study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, a diet “high in fat, sugars, and processed foods in early childhood may result in lower IQ scores.”

That’s a yikes.

Meanwhile, scientists over at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, have learned that levels of lutein – a nutrient present in leafy greens (like spinach and kale) and eggs – may be linked to cognitive performance across our life span, particularly “in the grey matter of brain regions.” It’s basically like an anti-aging compound for the brain.

And speaking of eggs, did you know that they’re also packed with a memory-improving substance known as choline? Meanwhile, salmon and walnuts are over here brimming with essential fatty acids that improve brain function.

So what’s the verdict? Can food really make you smarter?

“Smarter” might be too generic a term. I’m not saying that eating nothing but salmon and eggs for the rest of your life is going to boost your IQ some ten, twenty points. But there is significant evidence that suggests doing so will improve your comprehension and memory capacity (both short-term and long-term retrieval).

Basically, there are some foods that could potentially improve all matters regarding grey matter, and their assertions are all scientifically backed. Here’s a quick list:

    1. Salmon – a great source of that delectable “good kind of fat,” omega-3 fatty acids. Recent research (published around 2017) suggests that omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids are crucial for improving cognitive functions.

 

    1. Eggs – a delicious-and-nutritious two-for-one, eggs contain high amounts of choline and lutein; two substances linked heavily to memory matters. Lutein helps slow down cognitive decline. Choline, on the other hand, is essential for brain and nervous system functions that include mood, muscle control, and – yep! – memory.

 

    1. Walnuts – touted as a “brain-booster” and “mood-stabilizer,” a decent amount of studies have linked walnuts with improved productivity and problem-solving capabilities. No surprise there, seeing as walnuts also contain high traces of good old omega-3.

 

    1. Spinach, Kale, and Other Leafy Greens – we mentioned spinach and kale in the context of lutein, but did you know that the iron in them can give you a shot of brain clarity?

      Iron is an essential mineral that the body uses to transport oxygen to all systems. If you’re low on oxygen-carrying red blood cells (which will happen if you’re low on iron), you could experience an intense brain fog linked with fatigue.

 

  1. Beets – and on the topic of bringing oxygen to the brain, beets contain specific dietary nitrates; special compounds that can be converted to nitric oxide. Our bodies use nitric oxide to relax our blood vessels and increase blood flow (specifically, oxygen-rich blood) to the brain.It may seem like a stretch, but a 2016 study showed that older adults – aged 60 and up – who drank beetroot juice for six weeks straight experienced significant brain benefits. What’s more, their brains took on similar appearances to those of adults younger than them.

The Verdict?

We are what we eat. If we choose to eat food that could, potentially, improve our grey matter and cognitive functions, who’s going to be upset? Popping a handful of walnuts every day or increasing your spinach intake may not give you tangible or immediate brain-boosting results, but it’s also not going to harm you in any way.

So cook up your salmon and serve it with a side of beets! Even if it doesn’t give you the photographic memory you were looking for, it’s still going to taste (and feel!) pretty darn good.

If you’d like to find out how Hearty Health can help keep you eat well and feel, or find out more about how you can get Hearty Health ready meals direct to you or at your facility, simply call 1300 728 764 or email hello@heartyhealth.com.au

3 High-Protein and Highly Delicious Breakfast Options To Get Your Day Started Right

High protein breakfast

 

Sure, toast is nice and all but wouldn’t your belly benefit from a change of pace—and taste? So in the interests of taking your tastebuds to the next level, here are 3 totally mouth-watering ways to wake up your tummy every morning.

 

Updated Eggs on Toast

We know, we know, eggs on toast isn’t exactly groundbreaking but eggs do have over 16g of protein per serve, so it’s in all our interests not to ignore them. 

To give our protein pals a little more zing, start with a slice of quality sourdough bread, slightly toast and follow up with a layer of sundried tomato spread. Then poach 2 eggs with white vinegar and layer on top of the bread. Follow up with a dash of tabasco sauce and you’ve got a recipe to relish. 

 

Bircher Bowl

Make this the night before for a wake-up call worth getting up for. Start with oats and then team them up with a high-protein Greek yoghurt, followed by sliced almonds, dried apricots, and a dash of milk. Perfect.

 

Brilliant Brekkie Wrap

Adding a wrap to your protein-packed breakfast is a game-changer for those always on the go.

Simply start with a soft wrap, layer on avocado and cream cheese, add a layer of smoked salmon and a few slices of fresh cucumber. Then roll into a one-handed bundle of joy. 

Now that you’ve got breakfast sorted, why not talk to us about lunch, dinner, and dessert?

 

To find out more about how you can get Hearty Health ready meals direct to you or at your facility, simply call 1300 728 764 or email hello@heartyhealth.com.au