Monday, July 22

Wellness Weekend: Healing with Food

Do you suffer from chronic conditions like heart disease, depression, diabetes, allergies or arthritis? And have you been told there is no cure, but instead, your symptoms have to be managed with medication for the rest of your life while your health slowly worsens?

What if you could be empowered to take charge of your health and reverse or even eliminate your condition?

All chronic conditions have one thing in common: inflammation. This common denominator leads to an overactive and at the same time weakened the immune system. Inflammation makes your blood stickier, depletes your body and brain of precious nutrients and causes pain. Inflammation is also a major cause of weight gain or inability to lose weight. Many people I work with do not overeat calories but still were unable to lose weight before coming to see me.

Sugar, white flours and certain vegetable oils are always highly inflammatory, but sometimes perfectly healthy foods can cause inflammation for certain individuals. Therefore, a healthy diet is not one-size-fits-all. With functional medicine testing, we can identify inflammatory foods and design a customized diet plan. And personalized supplementation can be very helpful for healing the gut, the root of inflammation. Once the gut is healed, previously inflammatory foods may no longer cause inflammation.

While everyone is different, here are some general principles of anti-inflammatory diets:

Avoid sugar and artificial sweeteners, and use honey, stevia or maple syrup instead in moderation. Avoid white flours and refined starches.

Avoid highly processed oils such as corn, soy or canola and choose healthy fats like olive, avocado, sunflower or coconut oils instead.

Vegetables, grass-fed meats, and wild fish tend to be the least inflammatory foods. Eat lots of fresh vegetables, berries, and fish and make use of your local farmer’s market at this bountiful time of year.

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