The Truth About CBD Oil – Excellent Alternative for Pain Relief

The Truth About CBD Oil - Excellent Alternative for Pain Relief
Hemp Flower

In my journey looking for a healthy alternative for joint pain, I came across CBD oil (cannabidiol). CBD oil comes from the Hemp plant.  A plant that is of the same family as the Marijuana plant, however does not contain the levels of THC ( tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive component of cannabis that marijuana contains and thus does not produce the high or stoned effect that alters thinking and perception which is characteristic of marijuana.

The Truth About CBD Oil
Hemp Rope

CBD (Cannabidiol) oil and Cannabis have been used medicinally by many cultures for thousands of years. The plant used for its CBD content, also known as the hemp plant, was and still is used for its superior fiber, in making cloth, rope and paper.

 

One of the misconceptions about CBD is that it will make you high, like marijuana does. The truth about CBD oil is that it does not have a psychoactive effect like THC, meaning, it won’t make you high, however, CBD can help a depressed person feel better (as in not depressed) and an anxious person feel calm, according to claims.

The Truth About CBD Oil
CBD rich hemp

According to articles I’ve read, the highest quality CBD oil comes from the flower and stalk of a cannabis, or hemp plant that is bred for high CBD content.

Those plants are low in THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). The cannabis that contains THC in higher concentration, is a different genus of the cannabis plant and is bred specifically to be high in THC. This plant is generally low in CBD.

More Differences between CBD and THC

We’re going to talk a little about the chemistry here.  Our body’s receptors that link up to different chemicals, substances, etc., specifically the ones that link up to CBD are different types of receptors in the body (CB2) than the ones that receive THC (CB1).

The receptors that receive CBD (CB2 receptors) are found in the immune system, the gastrointestinal system and the brain (in a lesser quantity).

The receptors that receive THC (CB1 receptors) are found primarily in nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.

There is a misconception that THC does not have healthful effects and is only used recreationally. The truth is that THC also has healing properties.  For the purpose of this post. I will stick to discussing the healing properties of CBD.

A Little More Science

Our body has a system called the endocannabinoid system, meaning an internal cannabinoid system.

Two of the most common endocannabinoids (ECS) are called arachidonoyl glycerol and anandamide that link up to the CB1 and CB2 receptors and are responsible for appetite, mood, pain sensation, memory, protection of the nervous system and is the primary homeostatic (stabilizing) regulatory system of the body, basically regulating over reaction to stimuli.

It also maintains a part of the brain that regulates emotional balance, memory and neuro-excitability and acts to ensure proper function of the digestive, kidney and reproductive systems. CBD can help these systems, according to some research,  by linking up to those same receptors, primarily CB2 receptors.

What is CBD oil used for?

My focus in this post is using CBD for the purpose of dealing with pain.  In my experience, I started using CBD oil because so much of the literature out there says that it can decrease inflammation and thus decrease pain.  I know that I suffer from chronic pain and inflammation.  What kind of pain? Arthritis pain, muscle pain, and nerve pain.

Research and claims by users of CBD have shown that it helps with anxiety and depression.  I also suffer from anxiety and have found CBD to definitely have a calming effect.

Research has also shown that CBD oil helps decrease the number of seizures in a drug resistant form of childhood epilepsy. A pharmaceutical medication has been created containing CBD to help children with this type of epilepsy.

CBD is potentially neuro-protective (meaning protects the nervous system) from Alzheimers. Parkinsons,  and MS.  It has shown to be very helpful with  MS spasticity according to some of the literature out there.

So far research has been limited to animal studies, cell cultures and limited human trials. However, many users of CBD are reporting to have great results with using it.

Much more research is underway to prove how CBD can help a multitude of different ailments.

The different products containing CBD

There are various potencies in the different products containing CBD oil.  It’s always recommended that you try a lower potency product first.  Use it consistently for a month so that you can know for sure if it is working for you. It can take a few days to get it into your system to where you can start to feel the positive effects.

The Truth About CBD Oil
CBD Cream
The Truth About CBD Oil
CBD balm

For pain, there are creams or balms that you can use topically by massaging into the area of pain. Depending on the brand, you can find a couple of different potencies.

A broad spectrum tincture that includes CBD, CBC, CBG in different potencies is available from Charlottes Web CBD.

CBD isolates are available in various potencies  and capsules from Medterra.

The Truth About CBD Oil
CBD Oil tincture

How to use CBD oil

It is very individual as everyone’s endocannabinoid system can be different. What was recommended to me by the company rep whose oil I use, for the first 4 days of introducing it to your system, take a full dropper of the tincture in the morning after a meal and another full dropper in the evening after a meal. Place the dropper full of tincture under your tongue for a minute then swallow. Rinse it down with some water.

I tried a couple of different methods as far as quantity and timing to see what worked best.  I split the evening dosage into two parts. I took it about 10 hours after the morning dose and then took the last half of the evening dose before bed.

After four days drop the dosage down to 1/2 a dropper in the a.m. and 1/2 a dropper in the p.m.

If you take capsules double up on the recommended dosage when you first start taking it for 4 days and then back off to the recommended dosage after that.  Again, you might need to experiment and see what works best for you. As for the topical creams, use as needed.

Ultimately, just follow the instructions by the individual company that you purchase from and then modify as needed.

Supposedly you cannot overdose on this stuff.  You can, however waste it if you use too much because more isn’t always better.  If the highest potency isn’t helping you with the recommended dosage then only increase it by a quarter dropper at a time to see if more helps you (a quarter dropper per day more than the recommended dosage for a week).  I find that small changes work best.

If you use a lower dosage product and you don’t find it helping you, next time you purchase, try the next potency higher.

The Truth About CBD Oil
CBD Oil

In my research I have come across a tremendous amount of information about CBD.

What is most recommended for maximum benefit is a broad spectrum product.  One that has more than just the CBD isolate since most herbals and food based therapeutic protocols are most effective with all the components of that plant based extract.  Our bodies know better what to do with that.

You will find that some companies do offer  broad spectrum products with all but the THC  component.  I have tried a broad spectrum CBD as well as the isolate by Medterra and I find that the isolate by Medterra works best for me.

How do you know which brand is best?

The Truth About CBD Oil
CBD Oil Brands

Because Hemp oil CBD is not regulated it can be tricky to choose a brand. I have been using a high potency CBD oil (tincture) by Medterra and am very happy with it. Check out my review on Medterra CBD.  There is also one by Charlottes Web CBD that has a great reputation for being very effective.

Conclusion

I reached a point in my every day life that I needed some pain relief without side effects.  I am so happy that I allowed myself to get past the stigma of using products that come from the Cannabis family of plants.  I feel like my life has been given back to me.

An added positive effect from the CBD oil that I noticed, is that I believe it has strengthened my immune system.  As a health care provider I am exposed to people who are sick with a cold or flu all the time and have managed to stay healthy.

If you have any questions about CBD, or anything to add, I would love to hear from you in the comment section below.

In Good Health,

DrDina

The Benefits of Dandelion Tea – Decrease inflammation

I first learned about dandelion, back in 2014 when one of my mentors who helped me prepare for my bodybuilding/figure competition recommended dandelion tea to help eliminate excess water retention at the end of the competition prep when it’s so important to look my best as I stepped on to the competition stage. I gave it a try and it was amazing how well it worked.

Even More Importantly

What I discovered later on, when I was having some difficulty with swelling in my knees, is that this tea surely got rid of water retention and also helped get rid of swelling in my joints.

Here you will find The Benefits of Dandelion Tea.

Benefits of Dandelion Tea
Dandelion Tea

The Diuretic Effect

The Benefits of Dandelion Tea
Dandelion Whole Plant

Historically Dandelion has shown to be a very effective diuretic and helps with water retention.  It supports kidney function, as it stimulates the kidneys to produce more urine.   In a study in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine it showed that after two doses of dandelion tea, urinary output was increased and water retention (bloat) decreased.  Historically it has also been used to prevent urinary tract infections,

Research has also shown that all parts of the dandelion help to reduce inflammation.

The Detox Effect

The Benefits of Dandelion Tea
Dandelion Root

Dandelion root promotes healthy liver function by helping to detoxify the liver, inhibits fat metabolizing enzymes which can help in weight loss by not breaking down and absorbing fats.  It can also soothe digestive ailments.  Roasted root can be used as a coffee substitute.  Its rich in antioxidants thus neutralizing free radicals.  It helps increase urine production and decrease uric acid as well as supporting the immune system by being helpful in fighting bacterial infections in the digestive system, the urinary tract and the reproductive organs.

The benefits of dandelion tea
Dandelion Root Tea
Great for liver detox
The Benefits of Dandelion Tea
My Favorite Dandelion Tea
For overall detox

The Different Parts of Dandelion and What They Target

The leaves from the dandelion plant target the kidneys and the root targets the liver.  For an overall detoxifying effect you can use a combination tea utilizing the leaves and the roots.  My favorite brand is one by Traditional Medicinals.

Use for inflammation and bloat, aka water retention

The Benefits of Dandelion Tea
Dandelion patch

In the last couple three years, what I’ve used dandelion for specifically is when I’m feeling inflamed in my joints.  I’ll get up in the morning and feel more pain and stiffness than usual; I have a hard time closing my hands into a fist, more pain and instability in my knees, increase pain and stiffness in my neck and low back.  I have a supplement regimen that I follow that is helpful, however some days, due to increase in salt intake the day before, or eating something I’m sensitive to (sugar is a big culprit), as well as when the weather is cold and damp, I find that I need that little something extra to help me feel better.  That’s when I reach for my dandellion leaf and root tea.    It can make a big difference in my pain and function level.

How Much Should You Use

My experience with it has been to prepare the tea in a large mug, pour boiling water from the tea kettle over 2 tea bags.  I cover the tea cup with a saucer for about 15 minutes to make sure that enough of the tea has been infused into the water.  You may pull the tea bags out, squeezing the bags to insure you get all of the beneficial tea out of the bags.  Drink straight or sweeten with a little stevia or honey and enjoy.  You can also make it an iced tea by adding tea to a glass full of ice.  You can drink the tea a second time during the day, however I find that one dose is plenty.  Be prepared, you will urinate a lot.  Your body’s way of ridding itself of that excess water that’s stored in your body’s tissues. Warning:  Avoid drinking the tea late in the day or evening as it may have you up all night emptying your bladder.

Conclusion

The Benefits of Dandelion Tea
Dandelion seeds

I save taking the tea for those days when I need to rid myself of water retention and bloat.  If you have inflamed joints after increase activity, like on your feet all day, more than usual, some type of physical strain or an athletic event, that would be the time to use the tea, in my opinion.  You can drink it daily, however you will need to increase the dosage on days that you are feeling especially inflamed.  On a regular basis, I would recommend other supplement regimens to help with inflammation https://drdinawellness.com/benefits-tumeric-curcumin-alternative-pain-relief as well as eating an anti-inflammatory diet https://drdinawellness.com/best-anti-inflammatory-foods-making-the-healthiest-food-choices.  Save the dandelion tea for when you need that extra help.

If you have any medical condition that requires you to take medication that has a diuretic affect, check with your medical health care provider before taking this tea.  You may also have to increase your electrolytes if you are using the tea daily.

Some people are allergic to dandelion which is in the same plant family as ragweed, daisy, chamomile, marigold, and sunflower.  therefore caution should be taken before using this tea if you are allergic to any of these.

I would love to hear from you with any questions or comments in the comments section below.

I hope you too will experience the Benefits of Dandelion Tea.

In good health,

DrDina:)

Low Carb Sugar Free Desserts – Recipes you can enjoy during the holidays

Who doesn’t want a sweet treat now and then? Especially during the holidays, when deserts seem to appear at every turn while celebrating the holidays.

In the last couple of years I’ve had to give up sugar pretty much all together due to health issues. I still wanted to have a fun treat from time to time, so I decided to modify some fun favorites into sugar free options.

Checkout some recipes that you can enjoy during the holidays or any time. A great way to stick with your New Year’s resolution and still have some fun food.

Low Carb Sugar Free Desserts

Low Carb Shortbread Cookies

This is one that I modified from a friend’s Snowball recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter (room temp)
  • 1/3 cup Swerve Erythritol sweetener
  • 1 Tbsp Water
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2/3 cup coconut flour
  • dash salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup sugar free chocolate chips (Lily’s stevia sweetened)
  • 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
Low-Carb-Sugar-Free-Desserts
Sugar free Shortbread

Mix softened butter and Erythritol sweetener with a hand mixer. Add water and vanilla making sure that all ingredients are mixed thoroughly. In a separate bowl, measure out the coconut flour. Sift the coconut flour with the salt so that coconut flour is no longer lumpy. A little bit at a time, mix dry ingredients into butter mixture using a rubber spatula or a fork until all of the coconut flour has been mixed in uniformly. Add walnuts, chocolate chips, and coconut, mixing them in well. Preheat oven to 300*. I like my cookies to be uniform, so I weigh the dough for each cookie. You can eyeball it if you wish. I use 32 grams of dough for each cookie, shaping it into a round cookie, about 1/2 inch thick. Placed cookies about 1/2 apart on an un-greased cookie sheet. Bake for 16 minutes. Do not brown top. Cookies will not rise. they will be the same size that you shape them into. Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet until cool to the touch before you move them to another container. They tend to crumble if moved too soon.

I love to eat these cookies with a hot beverage.

Coconut Muffins

This is a recipe I modified from a coconut pancake recipe. This is one of my favorites.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup erythritol (Swerve) sweetener
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 4 whole extra large eggs
  • 16 oz liquid egg white
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • `1 tsp vanilla
  • 100 drops liquid stevia (additional 50 drops if you don’t use erythritol)
  • 98 grams Lily’s dark chocolate baking chips

Preheat oven to 350*. Whisk dry ingredients together. (if coconut flour is lumpy, run dry ingredients through a sifter) Set aside. Mix wet ingredients together except coconut oil. Slowly mix wet ingredients into dry ones until blended. Melt coconut oil. Using a hand mixer on low to medium, blend coconut oil into the mix until mixture is smooth. Place 1/3 cup mix into greased (coconut oil spray) silicone muffin cups. Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 30 minutes. Let stand for a few minutes and pop muffins out of muffin cups.

For chocolate muffin tops, melt dark chocolate (I like to use sugar free dark chocolate from Trader Joe’s) in a double boiler. When chocolate is melted, dip the muffin tops in. Let them sit until chocolate hardens.

For a fun option, add chocolate chips to batter before pouring into muffin cups.

Makes approximately 15 muffins weighing about 72 grams per muffin. 146 calories and 7 grams of protein in each muffin. This does not include the chocolate.

Low Carb Pumpkin Bread/muffins

This recipe comes from modifying a pumpkin muffin recipe. What makes this one so yummy is all the spices.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pure unsweetened pumpkin puree
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 Tbsp melted butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1/4 cup dry stevia
  • 1/4 cup erythritol
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Option:

  • If you add a handful of raisins or dates it increases the carbs of this recipe
  • For extra texture and nutrition add 75 grams flax seed meal
Low-Carb-Sugar-Free-Desserts
Low Carb Pumpkin Bread

Preheat oven to 325*. In a large bowl mix (using a hand mixer) pumpkin and melted butter. Then add vanilla and beat in the eggs. Add all spices and salt and blend real well. In a separate bowl whisk together almond flour, stevia powder and erythritol (as well as flax meal if you’re adding it). Stir in dry ingredients and walnuts (as well as dates or raisins) into wet ingredients until well blended. Batter will be thick. Spoon batter into muffin cups or small bread tins. Smooth tops as much as possible. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean.

Hi Protein aka Bodybuilder pancakes/muffins

low-carb-sugar-free-desserts
Protein muffin

I started making these when I was body building for a quick high protein snack or breakfast. They’re not as sweet as the previous recipes, but these are great when you are dieting strict, have gotten used to not eating sweet stuff and want to enjoy something with bread like texture that’s low in carbs and high in protein.

Ingredients:

  • 16 oz egg whites
  • 4 egg yokes
  • 420 grams pumpkin (1 15 oz can)
  • 1 tsp vanilla and/or 2 tsp almond extract
  • lots of cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coco
  • 115 grams unflavored, unsweetened whey protein
  • 8 packets of dry stevia or 70 drops liquid stevia
  • 1/2 cup quick oats
  • 1/2 cup frozen wild blueberries

Preheat oven to 350*. Combine wet ingredients (except the coconut oil) in a large bowl using a hand mixer. With mixer running add cinnamon, coco, whey protein and stevia. By hand, using a rubber spatula, add quick oats and blueberries. Let stand in fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight. Place silicone muffin cups in a muffin tin or on a cookie sheet. Fill muffin cups with 1/3 cup batter or just below the top of the cup. I like to spray the muffin cups with a little cooking spray just to make sure muffins don’t stick to the cup. Bake for 25 to 28 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for a few minutes before popping the muffins out of the cups.

Total weight of whole batch cooked = 1140 grams, Total calories = 1557, Total protein = 163 grams, Total carbs = 96.5, Total fat = 48.5. If you get 15 muffins out of this batch the average weight per muffin is 76 grams, average calories per muffin = 103.8, average protein = 10.9 grams, average carbs = 6.4 grams, average fat = 3.2 grams.

Conclusion

If you decide to give one of these a try, let me know how they turn out and of course let me know if you have any questions. I’d love to hear from you.

DrDina:)

How Bad is Sugar for your Health – How to Kick the Habit

How-bad-is-sugar-for-your-health
Triple Chocolate Cake

Dessert is a much loved food type. Pastry chefs have created amazing tasty treats to lure us all into the web of their decadent delights. Not only are desserts loaded with sugar, but there are added sugars in many processed foods and drinks. Why is it that there’s so much talk about  sugar being bad for us? How is it that something that tastes so wonderful and puts a smile on our face with every bite, can reap such havoc on our health if consumed in excess?

Eating sugar causes the same type of feel good sensation in the brain as some drugs which leaves a person craving more. Notice how you always want more sweet stuff after you’ve had some. Are the health risks worth the couple minutes of enjoyment?

If you are interested in living a healthy life and feeling good, so you can enjoy the time you have here on earth, then what you eat is of great importance. Here we are going to focus on sugar and how it effects your health negatively which leads to poor health and potentially shortens your life.

How bad is sugar for your health?

In the Blood Stream

How-bad-is-sugar-for-your-health
Iced mocha

When we consume any simple sugar, which is found in sweetened drinks, such as soda, juice, sweetened coffee drinks, or any sweetened beverage, as well as desserts, candy, and added sugars in condiments and other processed foods, our pancreas releases the hormone insulin.  It absorbs glucose/sugar and transports it to the liver to use later on (between meals, when we are going to use extra energy such as in an athletic effort, and during sleep). The liver depends on insulin to do its job.

Glucose is the body’s fuel source. The foods that we eat are converted to glucose in order to be used as fuel by our body. If necessary the body will even convert protein into glucose to use as fuel. In extreme cases where a person is in starvation, the body wastes away and in this process glucose is created out of the body’s own tissue to survive.

The release of insulin balances our blood glucose, however eating too much sugar over a prolonged period or too often can result in various health problems.

How Else is the Body Affected by Sugar

Sugar also effects our body’s energy level. At first it gives us a feeling of increased energy due to an increase in blood sugar (an increase of fuel) which triggers a response in the pancreas to release insulin. This brings blood sugar down and leaves the body feeling depleted of energy. This mechanism causes us to crave sweets making it more difficult to stay away from eating or drinking those sugary tasty treats. The vicious cycle continues and also depletes our body of vital nutrition that helps to keep our energy levels steady.

The key to keeping a dump of insulin into the blood stream from happening and keeping insulin steady, thereby avoiding the cravings for more sweets, is to minimize carbohydrates overall. Making better choices in the carbohydrates you eat, choosing carbohydrates that are lower on the glycemic index (or overall lower net carbs) and nutrient rich will balance out insulin and energy levels. Check out these two links concerned with the glycemic index and with carbohydrate (carb) counting. The carb counting article discusses carb counting in relation to diabetes, however there is information in there that is helpful to anyone trying to decrease their blood sugar. 1) http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/what-can-i-eat/understanding-carbohydrates/carbohydrate-counting.html 2) http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/what-can-i-eat/understanding-carbohydrates/glycemic-index-and-diabetes.html

What About Other Organs

Wrinkled skin
Wrinkled skin

Our skin can be adversely affected by consuming sugar. There is a reaction that happens in our body between the sugars we consume and proteins whereby a substance (a byproduct of this reaction) destroys collagen (the building block of skin and other tissues in the body) and elastin, causing the skin to age faster. The skin loses its youthful appearance and begins to sag prematurely.

                                 Eating Sugar = More Wrinkles

Sugar can Damage the Body Down Deep

Blood vessels get negatively affected because the sugar thickens the consistency of the blood, therefore making it more difficult to flow through the blood vessels, especially the smaller vessels in the organs like the kidneys, eyes, brain, and heart. Over a prolonged period a person can develop, high blood pressure, kidney disease and even kidney failure. High blood pressure can eventually lead to stroke.

Just as the intake of too much sugar can age the skin it can also accelerate cellular aging (over 30 trillion cells in the human body). Cells age as part of the normal aging process. However, sugar increases the rate of this process.

Bottom Line

As enjoyable as it is to eat fun foods and drinks that contain sugar, most of us would agree that eating these types of foods aren’t worth the couple of minutes of pleasure we get while we’re eating them.  Best to save a special treat for once in a while or for a special occasion in order to minimize the negative effects.  Research has shown that a diet generally lower in carbohydrates is associated with more radiant skin, lesser chance of obesity (which can lead to diabetes type 2), and better overall health.

How-bad-is-sugar-for-your-health
6-8 8oz glasses per day

Eliminating sugar and simple carbohydrates from your diet can be challenging and best done cold turkey.  The body’s insulin response will take a few days to reset.  What helps is to drink lots of pure water,  6-8 8oz glasses per day and replace sugary foods with clean protein, good fats, low sugar fruits such as berries, and plenty of veggies (lots of greens).

As you are going through the process of detoxifying your body of sugar be patient with yourself for the first few days as you reset your body.  After those first few days, you will begin to feel better, even lighter and have more energy.  You’ll start to notice the natural flavors of your foods more. Pure clean food will start to become more delicious as you eliminate those things that over sensitize your taste buds.

How-bad-is-sugar-for-your-health
low carb meal

It is very important while detoxifying your body from sugar that you eat at regular intervals during the day so that you don’t get hungry and eat the wrong thing. Prepare your food from the night before, including healthy non-processed snacks and eat every 2 1/2 to 3 hours.  If you work or go to school and won’t be near your refrigerator during the day, make sure to pack a cooler to take with you.  Have all your meals available, that way you have a better chance of sticking to the plan.

How-bad-is-sugar-for-your-health
Almonds

A great between meal snack is about 12 count (or 1 oz) of nuts.  Almonds are a great nutritious, in between meal snack,  low in carbs, contains good fat and protein which will keep you satiated till your next full meal. Another trick to help you level things out is to not overeat.  Stop yourself before you stuff yourself.  Pack smaller meals.  Even measure or weigh your food to make sure you’re eating the right amount.  If you have to eat out, besides making good food choices, cut your meal in half and take the rest to go.

Check out these two YouTube videos on sugar.  Real eye openers.  The one is called Why Sugar is as bad as Alcohol and the other is How to Quit sugar and Unhealthy Habits.

I would love to hear from you about your experience with sugar. What have you noticed in your body after eating sugar, whether you’ve consumed a sugar containing food or beverage on a regular basis or just occasionally.  In the comment section below, feel free to share your experience.  Let me know if you have any questions.  I will get back to you very shortly with a response.

All the Best in your Journey,

DrDina:)

Best Anti Inflammatory Foods -Making the healthiest food choices

anti inflammatory diet
The USDA food pyramid

Many of us believe, because we’ve been told that a healthy diet includes a certain number of servings of fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy and protein, that these foods are all healthy for us. Research is coming up every day with new findings that debunk previous research. Have you noticed more recently that you hear more about food allergies, gluten or dairy intolerance for example?

anti inflammatory diet
Beans

You may have noticed that certain foods you used to eat without any trouble just reap havoc on your body now, sometimes even making your body feel inflamed (pain, feeling bloated, gas, tired…) Even foods considered healthy can be problematic.  Some healthy foods that are recommended by doctors , nutritionists, and the USDA may not be the Best Anti Inflammatory Foods. New evidence has shown that there’s a reason why some of these “healthy foods” are causing us so much trouble.

anti inflammatory diet
grains

I used to always think that if it is a vegetable then of course its healthy. If its whole grain then it is absolutely healthy. Read on to find out the truth.

anti inflammatory dietWhat is Inflammation?

Inflammation is a process that occurs in response to irritants, harmful stimuli, pathogens and damaged cells (such as in an injury). Inflammation tries to protect tissues by triggering the immune system, blood vessels and other chemical processes in the body.  When inflammation has gone on too long then it can cause damage to the body’s tissues.   Usually we think of inflammation occurring in response to an injury, but there are other things that can trigger inflammation and one of those is food.

Not all vegetables are created equal

For one thing, farm lands have been over used for growing food, so soil is no longer nutrient rich. The vegetables of today no longer have the same nutrient value they once had, so supplementation is imperative in order for us to get the nutrition that our body requires to enable it to perform all of its physiological functions. This lack of nutrition often leads to over eating which of course can lead to obesity, an epidemic here in the states.

anti inflammatory diet
GMO Corn, food or toxin

Then there is the topic of genetically modified food. This is a subject of great concern especially in an age where neurological disease and cancers have become more prevalent. These are foods, plants, animals, and microbes that have been genetically and artificially altered in a lab. Most food, if it isn’t labeled otherwise, is genetically modified.  Evidence shows that GMO’s are harmful to health, the environment and violate farmer’s and consumer’s rights. Please check out this link to get the full scoop.  https://www.nongmoproject.org/gmo-facts/

Some of the most recent research

In my constant search for finding that perfect diet to serve whatever purpose I need it to at the time, I came across a very informative book by Dr. Steven R. Gundry, a medical physician, cardiologist and cardiac surgeon called “The Plant Paradox.” It’s a great read whether you’re interested in the topic or not because Dr. Gundry is humorous, entertaining and definitely brilliant as he explains, in very user-friendly language the subject of food. He talks about the history of food and that food basically has an intelligence all its own that has existed since the beginning of time. He does not leave a stone un-turned as he helps his readers understand the true relationship between food and health.

He talks about things that are contrary to what we hold to be true about fruits and vegetables, grains and legumes. He explains what gluten free really is and how there are many other plant based foods that have the same type of properties that our bodies are resistant to and that have an inflammatory effect.  These resistant plant proteins are called lectins.  They are a defense mechanism of plants.

When you’re asked sometimes by your doctor or a friend, “How’s your diet?” You’ll say, “Oh its very healthy.” And you truly do believe that you are eating healthy because you eat your organic fruits, veggies, whole grains, nuts, beans, and unprocessed foods and yet you don’t feel as good as you could. Dr. Gundry explains the reason behind this.

Another wonderful thing about his book that I really like is that he explains what Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories do to the body as well as antibiotics, acid blockers aka antacids, artificial sweeteners, endocrine (hormone) disruptors, and many more .

My Experience

What I noticed while on my quest for eating healthy compared with times when I was not, is that without eating healthy, supplements alone did not fix my health issues. Also, eating healthy alone does not solve all of my health issues. I found it necessary to eat healthy and supplement to complete my nutrition.

The supplements work best when coupled with good food. For example, when I took salmon oil 4 times per day with meals, but ate too many of the wrong carbohydrates, sugary or starchy foods, and not enough protein, the Salmon oil didn’t seem to do much.

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Salmon and Asparagus

When I ate real clean, including veggies, the right kind and amount of carbohydrates, protein and good fats, the salmon oil supplement worked way better. How do I know this? Because when I’d go without the supplement while I was eating right, I could tell that it was lacking this nutrient (didn’t have the same benefits as with the supplement).

Here I will give a brief list of anti-inflammatory foods to get you started, and I highly recommend that you pick up Dr. Gundry’s book, “The Plant Paradox.” He has lists of the Best Anti Inflammatory Foods and the ones that are not. He has a truck load of research and experience as a doctor to back up everything he discusses in his book.                              

Say Yes To:

Olive Oil  *  Coconut Oil  *  Stevia  *  Walnuts  *  Pecans  *  Coconut flour  *  Almond flour  *  Onions  *  Leeks  *  Most Leafy greens  *  Avocado  *  Broccoli  *  Cauliflower  *  Brussels Sprouts  *  Asparagus  *  4 oz Goat Milk Yogurt  *               1 oz Goat Milk cheese  *   Pastured Poultry  *  Pastured Eggs  *  Grass Fed and Finished Meats  *  Any   Wild Caught Fish  *  Plant Based Meats  such as  Quorn:  Chik’n Tenders  *  Tempeh (grain free only)  *  Bread and Bagels made by Barely Bread  *  Wraps made with coconut flour  *  And Many More

Say No To:

Pasta  *  Rice  *  Potatoes  *  Bread  *  Wheat  *  Cereal  *  Peanuts  *  Sunflower Seeds  *  Soy Oil  *  Canola Oil  *  Vegetable Oil  *  Partially Hydrogenated Oil  *   Melon (any kind)  *  Goji Berries  *  Squash (any kind)  *  Tomato  *  Eggplant  *  All Peppers  *  All Legumes (including humus)  *  Peas  *  Green Beans  *  Milk  *  Yogurt  *  Cottage Cheese  *  Corn * Soy * And Many More                                                   

Please know that these are abbreviated lists of the “yes” and “no” foods. Check out Dr. Gundry’s book “The Plant Paradox,”for the full list of foods and prepare to have your mind blown, in a good way.

Conclusion

Bottom line is you are what you eat. If you are interested in restoring your health and feeling good with the time you have left here on this planet so that you can enjoy the beauty that’s around you, your family, your animals, or whatever it is you enjoy, then its important to make this change. If you put bad fuel in a car and don’t take care of it, it doesn’t run well and eventually breaks down. The human body is the same. What you put in is what you get out of it.

I wish you the best as you begin or continue your quest in eating the Best Anti-inflammatory foods.  I would love to hear from you  should you have any questions or comments in the comments section below.

In good health,

DrDina:)

The Benefits of Turmeric Curcumin -Alternative pain relief

The use of turmeric dates back 4,000 years. It was found to be used in the Vedic culture of India as a spice and for religious ceremonies. It was used medicinally as far back as 250 BC (Susrutas Ayurvedic Compendium). In the last 30 some years, it began to gain recognition by modern medicine for its medicinal properties, indicated by the over 3000 publications discussing turmeric in the last 3 decades.1

Where?

benefits turmeric curcumin
Region where turmeric comes from and is primarily used

Most turmeric is cultivated in India and 80% of it is used in India. It is a spice widely used in cooking in South Asian and Middle Eastern cultures as well as in Ethiopia and South Africa. The part of turmeric that is used for cooking and medicinally comes from the root of the plant.1

Botanical supplements have been used in traditional medicine such as Ayurveda (India), Chinese medicine, Japanese and Egyptian medicine for centuries. Many traditional medicines have anti-inflammatory properties and turmeric is one of those.

How Much we Spend on Natural Remedies

Here in America, we definitely like our natural remedies. Studies have shown that over $10 billion USD is spent every year on alternative therapies and over $650 million is spent on supplements used for chronic inflammatory diseases such as COPD, asthma, and rheumatoid arthritis.1

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Turmeric/curcumin supplement

Benefits Turmeric Curcumin

Turmeric has many medicinal uses. Extensive research in the last 20 years suggests that Turmeric Curcumin is a strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. It has anti-microbial properties, helps to alleviate symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, and other digestive disorders, pancreatitis, chronic anterior uveitis and arthritis. Other benefits are: strengthening overall energy of the body, relieving gastrointestinal discomfort, dispelling worms, improving digestion, regulating menstruation, dissolving gall stones. It benefits bacterial infections, burns, and has antiseptic properties.3

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Turmeric Root and Powder

In a recent study numerous plant extracts including Curcumin and Boswelia Extract have shown a significant effect for reducing pain and functional disability, larger that those observed with analgesics and products such as glucosamine and chondroitin. Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) was also considered to have a significant effect on osteoarthritis.2

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Turmeric Plant and Root

In another study of 367 knee osteoarthritis patients with a pain level of 5/10 or more were randomized to use either 1200 mg/day of Ibuprofen or 1500 mg/day of Curcumin for 4 weeks. There was improvement in both groups for pain, stiffness,  and function, however the group that  took the Ibuprofen experienced significantly higher gastrointestinal                      discomfort.4                                                                                                                                            Newer research shows turmeric to impact cognitive health. It enhances cognitive function, benefits cardiovascular health, bolsters immune system defenses, and fights free radicals in the body. More benefits Turmeric Curcumin:   promotes mobility and flexibility, and increases overall body comfort and positive overall well-being.5

My Experience with Turmeric

After many years of being an intense athlete, my body has developed arthritis, especially in my knees, low back and hands. I experienced pain and swelling daily in these areas of my body that were intensified by activity or standing for long periods of time.

benefits turmeric curcumin
turmeric powder

I tried using over the counter analgesics, but in no time started to feel the stomach upset associated with using these medications. I found that I needed something that would give me the benefits of pain relievers without the side effects and the potential harm it could do to my stomach, liver and kidneys.

Having tried many supplements over the years, not to mention diets, I found that eating a reasonable anti-inflammatory diet is very important to help reduce inflammation as well as utilizing a regimen of turmeric supplementation and additionally taking an omega 3 oil supplement.

I tried the Terry Naturally Curamin supplement for a brief period and found it to be effective, but then found out about another supplement that contians curcumin, boswellia extract and other herbs in it as well that were supposed to be beneficial. I’d been on that supplement for a couple of years, took a pretty large dose every day, but I didn’t feel as good as I thought I should for as much as I was taking. Without it I definitely felt worse with regard to joint pain and overall inflammation

I recently went back to using the Terry Naturally Curamin and WOW!! what a difference. I have a lot less inflammation in my joints. I especially have very swollen, degenerated knees and the swelling has gone down significantly. I’m not even taking the Terry Naturally Curamin extra strength formula.

What I discovered in my recent search for Terry Naturally Curamin is that he also puts out formulas that target athletes, migraines and low back pain by adding various nutrients that zero in on these specific needs.

Side Effects

Turmeric is likely safe for women who are pregnant and breastfeeding when taken in the amount that is used in food preparations, however is likely unsafe in amounts used medicinally.

It could make gall bladder problems worse such as gallstones or bile duct obstruction. Might increase bruising or bleeding in people with bleeding disorders. In diabetic patients it can cause low blood sugar. It can worsen symptoms of GERD. Might be problematic for people with hormone sensitive conditions. To be used with caution in iron deficient people. Could slow blood clotting post surgery. Stop taking 2 weeks prior to surgery.

*Note: Clinical studies showed that curcumin is well tolerated by cancer patients, however it can interfere with certain chemotherapy medications used to treat breast cancer and pancreatic cancer, so it’s best to check with one’s oncologist before using turmeric curcumin if they are in treatment for one of these cancers.5

In conclusion, in order to combat pain and inflammation in the joints, you have to do a quick review of your life style, what you eat, drink, what is your activity level, your health history. I recommend that you make changes if they are needed because as the years go by our bodies become less tolerant of bad eating and drinking, especially in excess as well as to a sedentary lifestyle. And make sure to get those 6 to 8 8 oz glasses of water a day. You’ll be doing your body a big favor.

I hope you found this post about the Benefits of Turmeric Curcumin helpful.  I would love to hear from you if you have any questions or any comments on your experience with Turmeric.  I look forward to hearing from you in the comment section below.

Be Well,

DrDina:)

Stay tuned for my next blog discussing the anti-inflammatory diet.

1) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92752/

2) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30232562

3) tumericforhealth.com

4) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24672232

5) Web M.D.

About DrDina

Welcome to DrDina Wellness, a site where you can get information on a natural approach to healing your body.  This will include reviews on various supplements that I have used in my athletic endeavors over the years as well as for the purpose of healing my body and the bodies of my patients in my chiropractic practice.  You’ll also find other write ups about diet, exercise, and other subjects related to improving your health and well-being.  You will notice that there is an emphasis on how to deal with inflammation as it is a prevalent issue in the human condition.

MY STORY

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competitive cycling days

I’ve been involved in some intense sport or form of exercise for as long as I can remember.  At a certain point I had to learn how to eat  to enhance my performance and recover faster after my workout sessions as well as to modify my body composition. I view food and nutritional supplementation as medicine.

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Chiropractic Practice

In my holistic chiropractic practice I’ve been helping patients get better results with their chiropractic treatments, utilizing nutrition and nutritional therapy.

As a personal trainer I have helped my clients reach their goals with proper nutrition and supplementation to get the best results from their training.

 

 

As for my story, In the year 2000, I discovered Spinning, aka Indoor Cycling. I fell in love with it.  12 to 15 years prior to that I was a competitive cyclist, so when I discovered Spinning it was a perfect fit.  But as with most athletic endeavors, I over did it.  I took spin classes 7 days a week and started teaching classes as well.

After a couple years, I started to get migraines, as many as 3 times per week.  I struggled with that for about 2 years when I met a couple of different holistic practitioners who both told me (on separate occasions) that my pancreas was deficient.  I met a nutritional therapist who confirmed this and started me on a therapeutic nutrition protocol to balance my pancreas.

I also found out that my adrenal glands were seriously deficient, which makes so much sense with all the stress I was putting my body under.  I also had digestive issues that needed to be addressed.  I wasn’t absorbing my nutrition.  And then there was the issue of hormone imbalance.  And so my journey began to heal my body with nutrition.  I detoxed and began eating the food my body needed coupled with specific therapeutic nutrition.  The migraines went from 3 a week to one a month.

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Now jump forward to 2009 (I had cut way back on the spin classes) when I got certified to teach Zumba Fitness. I enjoyed teaching so much that I kept adding classes of various fitness formats to my teaching schedule.

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Fitness Classes

At one point I was teaching 13 classes a week, weight lifting 6 days a week and prepping for a body building competition and that included a very strict diet of 6 meals a day of either chicken, fish turkey or eggs and low glycemic vegetables.  My carbohydrates were minimal.  I was having a blast as I got into the best shape of my life.

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Bodybuilding

At a certain point though my body couldn’t do this anymore.  After my competition in August of 2014, I started eating anything and everything I wanted and I began to have pain and swelling in my knees and then eventually in all of my joints.  Pain relievers and anti-inflammatories helped a little but they tore my stomach up.  I discovered once again that I needed to clean up my eating and get back to my natural medicine.

WHY I WANT TO HELP PEOPLE

I don’t like to see people suffer with pain or discomfort.  In my profession, the majority of my patients come to me with pain. Sometimes a simple adjustment of their spine with some massage helps them to feel better, but sometimes it doesn’t.  Big changes in how a person feels often come when nutritional changes are made in conjunction with the spinal adjustments.  I prefer using alternatives that are healthy for the body to help patients get out of pain and discomfort.  This way promotes good health and longevity.  Better for the long run.

WHAT IS MY GOAL HERE?

My goal here is to help as many people as I can, utilizing alternative methods to heal their body.  I’ll be reviewing various nutritional products, discussing the importance of dietary intake as well as talking about the importance of exercise, stretching and life style change.

If you ever need a hand or have any questions, feel free to leave them below and I will do my best to help you out.

All the best,

DrDina Martin
DrDinaWellness.com