Thursday, January 28, 2016

Eat More! Optimal Nutrition for Health

Eat More! Eat Less! Optimize Your Nutrition for Health
Maureen Mason, MS PT, WCS, CCI, PYT-C   January 2016

   Choosing specific foods can reduce inflammation and pain, so here are medical guidelines recommended by the experts. Check with your health care professional for any questions or concerns. Add one new item per week to your current routine. 

Eat more for specific anti –inflammatory* effects:
Nuts such as Walnuts, Almonds, Flaxseed
Avocados   Mushrooms
Salmon, Sardines, Herring
Green Tea, Tart cherry juice, Red wine, 5 oz., and Soy
Spices Turmeric, Ginger, Cinnamon

Eat more for overall health: fresh fruits and vegetables, seeds and nuts and beans, low glycemic foods, “whole food” with no chemical additives, lean poultry, fish, and omega 3 enriched eggs. Balance good fat and protein and carbs to equalize blood sugar response after eating.

Eat Less
Processed food, fried food, meat, and dairy. Seafood such as shrimp and lobster can be pro-inflammatory. Gluten is in any wheat product and also used as an additive in many products, consider limiting if your provider advises. Dairy is associated with indigestion and IBS and many health care providers advise limiting to reduce indigestion. Alcohol and soda are big calorie items and associated with negative health indices. Overall portion size of items from this list can be reduced with benefit, such as having ½ of a donut vs. 3 donuts.

Notice how your stomach and digestive system react for hours after you eat. Notice energy levels, mental focus and clarity, and ease of sleep and waking.

*Anti-inflammatory effects occur on a cellular level with an optimal nutritional intake. Protein molecules called cytokines that are produced with injury act as part of the immune system. Cytokines circulate and sensitize nerves to pain and increase pain sensations. Omega 3 healthy fats and other items listed in the anti inflammatory list help dampen the cytokines and reduce pain signal production. Effects of food are cumulative, so choosing a regular grazing habit from the best items can help you feel better in the long term.

Nutrition Websites and Resources to help optimize eating habits
1.     1..Dr Ski Chilton advises we reduce our overall calorie consumption 20% -30% if overweight or obese; here is a link to his advised anti-inflammatory nutrition program, with a free information guide on healthy eating and suggested good fats:

2. Here is a tremendous link Dr Michael Lara, a holistic psychiatrist, with his outline of slides explaining the inflammatory process and the role of nutrition, supplements, and exercise in health and disease:

3. Do you have “brain fog” after eating, or feel tired? Perhaps you are eating meals that have too high of a glycemic index. Check out this link for excellent detail as to why you may be on a glycemic roller coaster: Foods that are high on the glycemic index include: white bread, cereal, rice, white flour, potatoes, beer, fruit drinks, and processed foods.

4. Are you on the paleo trend? What’s the buzz? If you are a high level athlete you may need more protein to support your training, and some MD's are leaning towards plaeo, Here is a link to the Mayo clinics explanation and medical advice on the topic:

5. Do you really understand what the Mediterranean diet is? Here is the Mayo clinics profile and medical advice:

6. Fact: Physical therapists treating pelvic pain, bowel and bladder problems, sexual medicine, and any musculoskeletal pain problem are directing clients towards self care and healing with optimal nutrition. Here are links to women’s resources for optimizing nutrition in relation to health concerns:

Additional: Fluid and Fiber Management

Optimal fluid intake can be considered an intake of ½ of the body weight in ounces of water per day. A 150# individual may need 75 ounces of water per day.  Food and other fluid intake, temperature, age, and activity level all influence hydration need. Increased temperature and increased activity level both will increase the need for hydration. Signs of dehydration include fatigue, fainting, low blood pressure, falls, constipation, and dry, itchy, wrinkled skin.

Optimal fiber intake is 20-30 grams per day, ideally from consuming excellent nutrition with fiber rich foods.  Fiber supplements are extensive, but the easiest fibers to consume include prunes, plenty of fruits and vegetables, beans, nuts and seeds. Constipating, binding foods include toast, bananas, and applesauce.

Discuss these topics with your health care provider, and enjoy your food, with gratitude,
In health,

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