• Janet Golownia

Be KIND to your gut...

We cannot exist without our gut microbes and our gut microbes cannot exist without us. What do our gut microbes do for us? They begin to build our immune system at the moment of our birth. They digest the parts of plants that we can't in order to create the chemical messengers that travel throughout our body. They help in the communication between our brain and our body organs and systems. And all of this influences our body's cycle of awake and sleep. We need our microbes to be healthy NOW MORE THAN EVER so that we have a healthy immune system. What do our microbes need from us? They need us to eat vegetables and other whole plant foods. What happens if we don’t eat enough vegetables and other whole plant foods? Chronic INFLAMMATION!

Chronic inflammation is when the immune system fights against the body’s own cells by mistake causing harmful and sometimes painful inflammation.

Signs of chronic inflammation…

  • Obesity

  • You’re always tired

  • Balance problems

  • Insulin resistance

  • Muscle weakness

  • Diarrhea

  • Arteriosclerosis

  • Dry eye

  • Brain Issues

Empirical evidence now links low-grade inflammation with disorders of several body systems and tissues, including the circulatory (atherosclerosis, heart failure), endocrine (insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome), skeletal (sarcopenia, arthritis, osteoporosis), pulmonary (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and neurological (dementia, depression) systems, along with many other adverse health conditions now thought of as inflammatory disorders.”

study: Effect of exercise training on chronic inflammation from ncbi (pubmed) by NIH

Why is obesity a sign of inflammation?

If you are overweight and have more visceral fat cells — the deep type of fat that surrounds your organs — the immune system may see those cells as a threat and attack them with white blood cells.

The longer you are overweight, the longer your body can remain in a state of inflammation.

How do you know if you have chronic inflammation?

A blood test measures a protein produced by the liver, C-reactive protein (CRP), which rises in response to inflammation. A CRP level between 1 and 3 milligrams per liter of blood often signals a low, yet chronic, level of inflammation. The erythrocyte sedimentation rate is another blood test for inflammation. It is used for people with inflammatory conditions, like rheumatoid arthritis.

What has the strongest impact on managing chronic inflammation?

Diet and Exercise


Because these control weight and improve sleep.

Foods to eliminate or reduce greatly …

Foods high in simple sugars like soda, fruit juices with added sugars, sports drinks, processed meat, and processed refined carbs like white bread and pasta.

Eat more of foods high in antioxidants known as polyphenols, omega 3 fatty acids, vitamins and minerals…

  • All types of berries (red berries contain ellagic acid to protect against cancer, recent studies show blueberries may protect cells from damage and lower inflammation, plus vitamins and minerals that strengthen the immune system)

  • Purple, Red and Blue Grapes (antioxidants to protect against cancer and heart disease, Vit C and selenium)

  • Nuts (healthy fats, carbs, protein, minerals, resveratrol, plant sterols)

  • Dark Green Veggies (antioxidants that dilate blood vessels and protect against cancer, Vit A, C, E, calcium, magnesium and potassium)

  • Orange vegetables: sweet potatoes, carrots, squash (Vit A, C, B6, calcium, potassium and fiber)

  • Whole grains (eating one serving a day lowers risk of heart disease and stroke, phytochemicals that protect against heart disease and cancer, zinc and selenium)

  • Beans and lentils (Vit C, calcium, zinc, selenium, B vitamin folate)

  • Fish (omega 3 fatty acids that may help prevent inflammatory diseases, Vit D)

  • Tea (contains two potent phytochemicals -- anthocyanin and pro anthocyanin to fight inflammation, catechins that block cell damage that can lead to cancer)

  • Green Tea (contains EGCG catechin epigallocatechin gallate which is known to reduce inflammation)

Exercise …

Study from University of California San Diego School of Medicine published in Brain, Behavior and Immunity found that one 20 min session of moderate exercise (walking on a treadmill) can stimulate the immune system, producing an anti-inflammatory cellular response.

“…the potential for regular physical exercise as an anti-inflammatory intervention is increasingly being recognized—even among inflammatory disorders in which exercise was previously contraindicated or not considered as a treatment, such as cancer cachexia, muscle myopathies, COPD, rheumatic disease, periodontitis, lupus, and multiple sclerosis.”

“…data from randomized, controlled trials indicate that aerobic exercise training interventions conducted in individuals with higher inflammation, or those that result in even a slight amount of weight reduction, are beneficial for reducing inflammatory biomarker levels, whereas it appears that increasing physical activity alone has a small, often undetectable, effect on inflammation in normal, healthy individuals.”

study: Effect of exercise training on chronic inflammation from ncbi (pubmed) by NIH

Yoga and inflammation…

New research published in Translational Psychiatry suggests that 8 weeks of twice weekly 1 hour yoga practice may alter biomarkers associated with inflammation and psychological health, and even alter markers of gene expression linked to inflammation.

A number of key biomarkers associated with inflammation were examined. These included serum concentration of C-reactive protein (CRP), cytokine serum concentrations of interleukin 6 (IL6), and tumor necrosis factor (TNF). DNA methylation, a measure of genetic alteration in each of these biomarkers (CRP, IL6, and TNF) was also assessed.

In general, results of the study showed than an 8-week yoga intervention was associated with some change in inflammatory biomarkers and DNA methylation. Specifically, participants had lower DNA methylation of the TNF following participation in the yoga program. Though not statistically significant, relationships were also found between positive changes in inflammatory biomarkers and improved self-reported stress and psychological distress.

“In an exploratory study published in Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, researchers found that 12 weeks of yoga slowed cellular aging. The program consisted of 90 minutes of yoga that included physical postures, breathing, and meditation five days a week over 12 weeks. Researchers found indications of lower levels of inflammation and significantly decreased levels of cortisol. The study also found higher levels of BDNF (Brain-derived neurotrophic factor plays an important role in neuronal survival and growth, serves as a neurotransmitter modulator, and participates in neuronal plasticity, which is essential for learning and memory) after the yoga program, suggesting that yoga could have potential protective effects for the brain as well.”

From article:Yoga could slow the harmful effects of stress and inflammation

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