Good Nutrition Advice

For a healthy body and mind

Tag: Inflammation

good nutrition advice

PUFAs Keep Children Lean and Healthy

good nutrition advice

A diet rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids, or PUFAS, helps keep children lean and healthy.

A recent study has shown that children who have a diet rich in PUFAS are leaner with less belly fat than those who don’t. The study published in the Journal of Nutrition looked at children between the ages of 7 – 12 years old.  The children and their carers completed questionnaires on their food intake. The children were also scanned to assess their levels of belly fat. The results showed children who had plenty of PUFAS in their diet were leaner, with less body fat and belly fat.

PUFAs are good for everyone. We can’t make Amino Acids in our bodies so we have to get them from food. They make up cell membranes and nerve coverings. They are also important for controlling inflammation, blood clotting and muscle movement. Good sources of PUFAS include tree nuts (e.g. almonds, walnuts, cashews), oily fish (e.g. salmon, mackerel, sardines) and seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, flaxseed).

References: Higher Intake of PUFAs Is Associated with Lower Total and Visceral Adiposity and Higher Lean Mass in a Racially Diverse Sample of Children

Tummy Fat is Toxic Fat

Woman standing pulling measuring tape around waist.Fat around the middle manufactures an array of chemical messengers including blood-clotting agents, substances that contract blood vessels and raise blood pressure, inflammatory agents, hormones and molecules that control hunger. 

Fat cells are also able to produce an immune response in the body, which causes inflammation.

Fat cells secrete oestrogen and two other compounds — tumour necrosis factor alpha and resistin — both of which interfere with the functioning of insulin.

Not all fat in the body behaves in the same way and it is the fat around the middle that is more metabolically active than fat elsewhere.

It has also been called “toxic fat” because it increases your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, cancer and Type 2 diabetes.

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Inflammation: five foods to beat it

Tart cherries are great anti-inflammatory foods

Tart cherries are great anti-inflammatory foods

INFLAMMATION. While the word itself sounds daunting, inflammation is actually a natural response by your body to a stressful situation. Inflammation is the first response as your immune system protects your body from infections, irritation and allergies. Even good sources of stress — such as exercise — can increase inflammation in your body.

Unfortunately the swelling, redness and pain that inflammation can cause is not always wanted and chronic inflammation can cause more serious illnesses. Help your body protect itself by adding foods that promote health, while reducing unnecessary inflammation. Here are five anti-inflammatory foods to add to your shopping list:

Spinach

Want to reduce inflammation after exercise? Popeye knew what he was doing with his spinach consumption! Spinach contains antioxidants vitamin C, and E, as well as carotenoids and flavonoids — all which fight against inflammation.

Tart cherries or tart cherry juice

Tart cherries contain compounds called anthocyanins, which can block inflammation while helping to prevent muscle damage. Add tart cherry juice to your post-workout drink to gain benefits, or eat a couple as an after-dinner treat.

Garlic

It’s no wonder that garlic is loved by many countries around the world — it’s rich in anti-inflammatory compounds diallyl sulfide (DAS) and thiacremonone. Just one clove of garlic offers many compounds that are known to help lower inflammation and increase circulation, such as phosphorus, selenium, zinc, polyphenols, arginine and vitamins B6 and C.

Omega-3 fatty acids

When you consume omega-3s, your body makes resolvins. Resolvins help fight inflammation by inhibiting the production and regulating the movement of inflammatory chemicals. The best source is fish. Other plant-based sources of omega-3s include flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds and hemp seeds.

Kimchi, sauerkraut, and kombucha

Fermented foods such as kimchi, sauerkraut, and kombucha contain probiotics that help to support your immune system and fight inflammation. Probiotics help to support immune system by nourishing your good gut bacteria while crowding out of bad bacteria.

Foods to fight inflammation

vegetablesALTHOUGH inflammation is the body’s normal response to injury, it can lead to disease if it becomes chronic. A recent report from an expert at the University of Alabama (UAB) suggests that you can fight inflammation with food.  

According to the National Council on Strength and Fitness, obesity has been found to cause inflammation, and it can lead to the development of cardiovascular and metabolic disease. Lauren Whitt, PhD, UAB Employee Wellness Director and adjunct professor of personal health adds that weight loss is also related to a reduction of inflammation, and believes  the right anti-inflammatory foods are the answer.  Her recommendations?

  • Citrus fruits – vitamin C and Vitamin E are essential antioxidants
  • Dark, leafy greens – high in Vitamin K
  • Tomatoes – the fruit’s red pigment, lycopene, is a potent antioxidant
  • Wild-caught salmon – contains a rich concentration of omega-3 fatty acids

At lunchtime, choose salad instead of sandwiches, cut down on saturated fat from processed and fast foods and have fruit for dessert or a snack instead of something sugary. Increase your intake of fish, especially oily fish.

Source. University of Alabama at Birmingham (2013, March 22). Foods can help fight inflammation. Science Daily. Retrieved April 5, 2013, from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130322154027.htm

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