Saturday, November 29, 2014

7 Foods That Are Causing Your Inflammation

Inflammation is the body's natural defense against infection or injury. When you cut yourself while making dinner, your finger may swell, turn red and begin to hurt. Your body causes the wound to become inflamed by sending white blood cells to thee wound to destroy bacteria. In this case, inflammation is a good thing. 

However, chronic inflammation can wreak havoc on your health. According to world-renowned nutritionist and dermatologist, Nicholas Perricone, MD, when that inflammation become chronic, "the immune system mistakenly attacks normal cells, and the process that ordinarily heals becomes destructive." Heart disease, Alzheimer's cancer and even acne are just a few of the possible consequences of chronic inflammation. Here's a list of some common inflammation-causing foods. A few may surprise you.

Sure, it can hard not to indulge your sweet tooth. But sugar may be causing your body undue stress. The American Journal  for Clinical Nutrition suggests that processed sugar triggers the release of inflammatory messengers known as cytokines (these are released by infected or injured cells). Not sure if sugar is hiding in your food? Just check your food labels for any ingredient ending in "ose".  And  don't just cut back on sugary desserts. Breakfast cereals, sweetened yogurt and fruit juices are high in sugar and won't do you any good.

Ok, if too much sugar isn't good for you then sugar-free sweeteners are the next best thing? Wrong! Especially sweeteners made with the protein aspartame  can be wreak havoc  on your health.  Aspartame, a neurotoxin, is commonly used as an artificial sweetener because its 200 times more sweeter than sugar and is sold under the names NutraSweet or Equal. For those who are susceptible , they may have an imflammatory response to aspartame.

Vegetable Oils (High in Omega-6)
Vegetable oils tend to be high in omego-6 fatty acids which are essential for health. However, too much omega-6  (in relation to omega-3) causes the body to produce pro-inflammatory substances like eicosanoids. Eicosanoids have been linked to inflammatory diseases such as allergies, arthritis, Alzheimer's and heart disease.

Cow's Milk
 Milk provides necessary calories, nutrients and fat essential for the growth of young calves, not humans - especially fully grown ones. Milk and its by-products such as cheese are not crucial for strong healthy bones and contains casein, a common allergen that causes inflammation. Plant-based sources of calcium include green leaky veggies such as broccoli, spinach, kale and collards. Love texture of milk? You can opt for nut milk such as organic almond, rice or oat milk.

High Fat/Sodium Foods
We know high fat and sodium diets can lead to chronic diseases  like cancer and heart diseases. Studies also suggest that animal fat also contribute to inflammatory response. Meats high in fat and sodium include burgers, hot dogs, bologna and ribs. Swap out high sodium season mixes for fresh or dried herbs or choose no-sodium added season mix.

Commonly found in prepared Asian food and soy sauce, mono-sodium glutamate (MSG as it is most widely known) is a food additive that enhances the flavour of food. This substance can trigger two pathways of liver damage and chronic inflammation. Prepared soup, soup mixes and fast food may also contain MSG.

Gluten-free diets have become very popular over the past few years and for good reason. Especially for those living with arthritis and celiac disease, gluten can make the inflammatory response even worse. This protein can be found in many foods made from wheat, rye and barley.

Foods to Consume More Of
Nut Milk such as organic almond milk, rice milk and hazelnut milk
Fish such as salmon, sardines and tuna
Plain Greek Yogurt
Fresh & Dried herbs
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Green leafy vegetables

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Egg & Bacon Cups

If you did a survey and asked what the typical American breakfast looked like, more often than not, it looked a lot like sunny side up eggs with good ol' bacon.  Whilst this is not my go-to breakfast option, I was intrigued when I came across this unique spin on the traditional bacon and eggs. Its easy and prep time is less than 30 minutes. Not to mention, you can make a bunch of these and store for quick high-protein snack.

What You Need:
6 strips bacon
6 eggs
1 slice American cheese
Black pepper to taste
Butter or cooking spray
Muffin tin


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
 Lightly grease muffin tin. You can use butter or cooking spray.
 Line each muffin cup with bacon. If its too long, just cut off the extra bit and use to line the bottom. 
Gently crack each egg to fill each bacon-lined cup. 
Cut cheese slice into six equal parts then place each piece on top of each egg. 
Season with black pepper or any herbs or seasonings you prefer.
Once oven is heated, pop the muffin tin inside and bake for 15 - 20 minutes (I like my eggs hard so I leave mine in for 20 minutes). 



Voila! Its time to eat!