Eat Better – Live Better – Feel Better
(Part 3 of 3)

      Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS     May 7, 2016  


 
 
     
 

Eat Better - Live Better - Feel BetterIn Part 1, I described how acute inflammation could develop into chronic inflammation. In Part 2, I discussed the damaging effects of chronic inflammation.

 
Now it’s time to make a difference and be proactive. My goal is to help you bring chronic inflammation to its knees.

 

The methods to reduce chronic inflammation in the body include an anti-inflammatory diet and an anti-inflammatory lifestyle. Results are not going to happen by taking a pill to solve the problem. It will take repeated and significant efforts on your part. But, your personal benefits will be life changing.

 
1. Human cells and gut bacteria must be kept happy. They must be fed what they require.

 
Nourishment with nutrient-dense foods is the answer. These include animal products from nose to tail. Animals should be pastured or wild caught and allowed to eat their natural diet. They should not be fed foods that have been genetically modified or contaminated with any chemicals, hormones, or antibiotics. Other nutrient-dense foods include vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds.

 
Three foods that are not on everyone’s radar are: (1) sea vegetables (seaweeds), which are unusual vegetables that offer significant nutrient density; (2) liver, which contains nutrients that are hard to find elsewhere in such concentration, and (3) fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, and kefir, all of which are loaded with live cultures of good bacteria for the gut.

 
In addition, fiber from vegetables and fruits support the growth and function of healthy bacteria in the gut.

 
2. The gut lining must be kept intact. Anything that could damage this lining or the healthy balance of microbes must be eliminated.

 
Some of the unhealthy substances that are damaging to the healthy balance of flora in the gut and to the delicate gut lining are:

  • Processed grains
  • Processed sugars
  • Processed food products that have unhealthy ingredients (including added sugars, unhealthy fats, chemicals, preservatives, food coloring, etc.)
  • Legumes in general (some legumes can be soaked and cooked properly to make them less of a problem)
  • Unhealthy fats (including man-made trans fats and any partially-hydrogenated or hydrogenated fats) as well as excessive omega 6 fatty acids from processed vegetable oils (including corn oil, soybean oil, peanut oil, canola oil, safflower oil, etc.)
  • Pasteurized and homogenized milk and milk products from cows that have been grain fed
  • Continued bouts of antibiotic treatment and other toxic substances

 

3. Specific lifestyle habits are necessary to support the immune system and reduce chronic inflammation.

 
Stress Reduction is a difficult goal. We live in a society where external stresses and self-imposed stresses are a part of daily life. This is one area where I have much work to do personally. Here is an example where stress alone caused severe damage in the mouth.

 
Whatever excuses you may have, the reduction of most stress is in your power. Stress reduction is essential for health. Ways to reduce stress include:

  • Exercise
  • Meditation
  • Yoga
  • Deep breathing
  • Progressive muscle relaxation
  • Advice from a qualified mental healthcare provider

 

Restorative Sleep is the way your body reconditions itself. It means obtaining 7-8 hours of sleep a night. It should be in a quiet, cool, and dark environment to be most beneficial.

 
Effective Exercise includes the correct amount and correct intensity of aerobic and anaerobic sessions that are customized for your body. Also, non-exercise movements are biologically necessary including walking and standing rather than sitting at a desk most of the day. Excessive exercise as well as a sedentary lifestyle can contribute to chronic inflammation.

 
4. Vitamin D from the sun is an important ingredient to maintain health and reduce inflammation.

 
Vitamin D has been shown to be vital in many normal biological functions in the body. The best source is proper exposure to sunlight. An excellent app to determine how much sun you may require based on where you live, the time of year, your age, your skin color, the amount of clothing you wear, etc. is called D Minder.

 
Other natural sources of vitamin D include cod liver oil, wild caught fatty fish, pastured egg yolks, and grass fed butter.

 
One way to determine how much vitamin D is in your blood is to have your healthcare professional order a blood test called 25-Hydroxy Vit D Test.

 
There are supplements of vitamin D3 you could consume. However, you need to have vitamin K2 as well as Vitamin A in your diet for these supplements to work properly throughout your body.

 

•••

 

So, that does it. Eat better; feel better; live better. The Holy Grail for health seems to be (1) giving your body what it needs and (2) removing from your body what it does not need. Easier said than done, but definitely doable. At 69 years of age, I am a living example of how I transformed my life with a healthy diet and lifestyle. Read my story.

 

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Don’t Confuse Me with the Facts

evolution rA friend of mine is an avid workout guy – at least an hour a day, 5 days a week. He also eats non-fat foods and lots of whole grain cereals and grain products. He tells me he is eating healthy. I recently told him about ancestral nutrition, effective exercise, and their relationship to overall health. He not only blew me off, but he was angry that I tried to confuse him. In my opinion, he actually was upset because I gave him information that conflicted with his personal beliefs and challenged who he really is. I could only say I was sorry – sorry that he wouldn’t consider my point of view.
 
There is much evidence-based research today that has created a path for the discerning person to follow to regain and maintain the health that the human body was designed to possess. My friend was not that person, but are you that discerning person? If yes, then the path starts with you making a decision to change your life – to change your health.
 
Some people need a personal tipping point like a stroke or a heart attack to make a change. Some people need a love-of-their-life like the birth of a granddaughter or a grandson to institute a change. Some people are motivated after they get a new job or move into a new home. Some people only need information that they never knew existed. Which discerning person are you?
 
Here is some conventional wisdom that I have found in my personal pursuit of health that requires further consideration:
 
• Fat makes you fat
 
Consider this: Carbohydrates make you fat because of excessive insulin production. Healthy fats satisfy your hunger and provide fuel. Ingested fat will not become storage fat unless insulin is excessive from too many carbs.
 
• Running 5 miles a day is good heart exercise
 
Consider this: Chronic exercise produces oxidative stress, is unhealthy for the cardiovascular system, and discourages fat burning. Lifting heavy things a couple of times a week and sprinting once a week are much healthier for your heart as well as your waistline and need only take 10-20 minutes each. In addition, a couple of hours of aerobic exercise spaced out during the week and physical non-exercise movement throughout each day will round out a healthy routine.
 
• Breakfast is the healthiest meal of the day
 
Consider this: The most important time to eat is when you are hungry. If your hormones are in balance, you may actually not need to eat until noon or later. When you do eat, each meal conceptually should be a plate of food partitioned like this: at least half of the plate should include non-starchy veggies either raw or sautéed in healthy fat; a quarter of the plate should be some type of free-range or wild-caught protein including their natural fats; and the last quarter could be made up of some of these – some nuts or seeds, deeply colored fruit (like berries or citrus), a small starchy vegetable.
 
• Whole grains have plenty of nutrients
 
Consider this: Grains contain elements that irritate the gut and interfere with normal absorption of necessary minerals. Grains were only introduced into the human diet about 10,000 years ago, and the human gut never evolved to digest them properly. For 2.5 million years before grains were introduced, all the necessary nutrients the body needed were provided by eating animals from head to tail, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds.
 
• Vegetable oils are healthy
 
Consider this: Vegetable oils are mostly inflammatory and are chemically unstable. When they are introduced into the body, they potentially create serious health problems. In addition, chemically altered trans fats and partially hydrogenated fats are toxic to the body. Saturated fats from coconut oil, avocados, animals that are pastured and/or allowed to eat their natural diet, and butter from grass-fed cows are necessary for healthy cell function.
 
• Artificial sweeteners are good for you and help you lose weight
 
Consider this: Artificial sweeteners are toxic to the body. In addition, the brain senses the sweetness of these sweeteners and stimulates insulin production.
 
• Eggs are bad for your heart
 
Consider this: Free-range eggs provide excellent nutrition for the body unless you are allergic to eggs. Some people who have reactions to convention eggs do not have problems with pastured eggs. The cholesterol in pastured eggs is not a problem – especially if the egg yolk is eaten soft rather than scrambled or hard-boiled.
 
• If your stomach does not hurt, you don’t have gut problems
 
Consider this: Many diseases begin when the intestinal lining becomes permeable (called a leaky gut), and stuff that should never enter the blood system starts invading. A person does not have to have digestive symptoms like gas or pain or constipation or diarrhea to have a leaky gut. But, before other disease manifestations can be resolved, the gut must be made healthy.