Carolyn Burris, MS, Nutrition Forum Health Knoxville February 20, 2019 Feeling under the weather and a cold or virus coming on? You have choices! So, let’s take a healthy step by making this tasty immune fighting soup. Here are some of the benefits in the soup’s ingredients. Coconut Oil– has […]
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My pre-60th birthday journey to improve my previous test results from Seasons of Farragut continues! This month I decided to focus on the first tenet in our Forum Health Knoxville wellness regimen – nutrition!
About two years ago I took the ALCAT test and was astonished at my lengthy list of reactive foods! The ALCAT is a fascinating food sensitivity test in which white blood cells are introduced to a variety of foods, chemicals, and herbs. The severity of the reaction determines if a substance is mild, moderate, severe, or normal within my body. Since knowledge is power, I decided to receive the news that gluten and dairy were on my “severe list” as a positive indicator rather than “buyers’ remorse” for having performed the test!
Lyn-Genet Recitas has written a book, The Plan, which explains how inflammation from food intolerance can cause symptoms such as joint pain, skin disorders, fatigue, weight issues, headaches, and digestive disorders. Whereas a food allergy can have almost an immediate effect, a food sensitivity may not show up for several hours to 3 days later. For weight gain, it’s not as much about the calories as the chemistry of the body. One person may benefit from last night’s salmon and broccoli, but someone else may actually gain 2 pounds. Inflammation from food intolerance causes damage to the lining of the gut. As the lining becomes “leaky” with gaps present, foods begin to slip through not completely digested. This causes the body to attack undigested foods.
As we age, inflammation can increase which causes our systems to slow down. Many of us have much less stomach acid and digestive enzymes to break down food. This can ultimately alter our weight and our health. Reactive foods cause our bodies to produce more histamine which causes water retention via dilated capillaries. The brain responds by increasing the production of Cortisol. As more Cortisol is produced, fewer sex hormones are produced since both sets of hormones depend on the same building blocks. Increased Cortisol causes an increase in glucose which causes an increase in blood sugar! This domino effect alters the good bacteria in the gut and can increase yeast production. The altered gut flora leads to a weakened immune response since about 70% of our immune system is in the gut.
Even though my 60th birthday is a little over 6 months away, I am planning now for better health, mental acuity, energy, and sense of well-being! My goal is to improve all of the test results that I have previously had at Forum Health Knoxville. You may remember that I did a Telomere test several months ago – a fascinating test revealing how rapidly one ages relative to a normal population. Those results showed that I was above average for my age range; however, there was definitely room for improvement!
For my birthday countdown, I have chosen to begin with a detailed cardiac evaluation measuring specific markers in my blood. My total cholesterol has always been slightly elevated; however, over 50 percent of patients hospitalized with acute myocardial infarctions had normal lipid levels as defined by the traditional blood tests. Functional medicine has identified over 400 risk factors, but they are all exacerbated with inflammation, oxidative stress, and immune dysfunction (chronic infections).
Cholesterol is not the villain portrayed in the statin commercials! It is a biological necessity for creating vitamin D, our steroid hormones, estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone, as well as other tasks. High levels are not a sure sign of cardiac disease, nor are low levels a promise of heart health. Our bodies manufacture most of our cholesterol with a smaller amount coming from the food we eat.
Since cholesterol has to travel through the blood which is watery, the body packages it in various “containers” called lipoproteins. Lipoproteins vary according to the amount of protein, fat, and cholesterol they contain. Those with more protein and less fat/cholesterol are called high density lipoproteins or HDL. Those with less protein and more fat/cholesterol are called low density lipoproteins or LDL. A third type carries even more cholesterol and fat with less protein and it is called very low density lipoprotein or VLDL.
If you have not been committed to healthy eating, a lifestyle change is needed and foundational in improving your body’s ability to remove toxins. You can start today by making healthier decisions about what you eat.
Strawberries are in full bloom! Local grocery stores and roadside vendors have the best of the best when it comes to strawberries. As with any berry, strawberries are loaded with antioxidants. Strawberries also are an excellent source of vitamin C and manganese. The antioxidants and vitamin C in strawberries help to clean up the free radicals affecting the eyes and joints. Strawberries are known for helping reduce the risk and symptoms of macular degeneration, rheumatoid arthritis and gout.
This year for National Nutrition Month the American Dietetic Association is promoting “Eat Right With Color”. Scientists have discovered major health benefits packed in the color of fruits and vegetables. The powerhouse chemicals responsible for this are called phytonutrients. Phytonutrients are what put the brightness in tomatoes and strawberries and the brilliant color in oranges, carrots and kiwi.
Valentine’s Day and American Heart Month make February a month to celebrate sweethearts. What a perfect time to show your loved one how much you care by preparing a meal with heart-healthy superfoods such as omega-3 fatty acids and fresh vegetables. Adding superfoods to your daily diet has the ability to decrease the risk of cancer, improve heart function, and fight infection. Make heart healthy dishes for you and your sweetheart and you will be doing your part for a healthier heart!
Super Bowl parties are full of snacks loaded with calories, fat and preservatives. Resist the urge to splurge! These tasty treats will help create a deliciously healthy Super Bowl party.