Category Archives: Diet
When you hear someone talk about inflammation, you might think of pain, swelling and redness in the case of acute inflammation. Chronic inflammation, however, is a different story. That’s what we’ll be exploring here.
Inflammation is the body’s natural healing response to an injury, an important aspect in the repair process! In acute inflammation, white blood cells bombard the trauma site to kick start the healing process. You might feel the effects of acute inflammation in the case of an allergic reaction or injury that causes trauma to the body.
Chronic (also known as systemic) inflammation involves ongoing stimulation of the body’s normal healing process. For example, white blood cells can speed to areas that are tipped off by simply breathing in environmental toxins or carrying excess fat in one’s midsection. If this process continues, permanent tissue damage can result and bring on the need for other treatments – think Hashimoto’s Disease, where inflammation launches an attack on a perfectly healthy thyroid gland and damages it to the point where medication is needed.
One of the more dangerous forms of chronic inflammation is atherosclerosis. The body perceives a buildup of plaque in the arteries as a foreign invader, then it attempts to create a barrier between the plaque and blood flowing through them. If the barrier breaks down, the plaque breaks up and mixes with the blood, creating a clot. These clots are what cause heart attacks and most strokes.
Chronic inflammation is also associated with diseases that cause wear and tear on the body like rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, lupus, Crohn’s and inflammatory bowel disease.
As in acute inflammation, the body perceives that a threat is present and white blood cells are sent to start the healing process. But if there is no injury, white blood cells just build up and direct their attack on healthy organs, tissues or cells. We can’t feel the inflammatory response so we have no way of knowing it’s happening until the damage is done. Heart disease is one example of this type of persistent inflammation.
The Role of Cytokines
If you’ve read up on inflammation, you would have surely come across the term cytokines, as they play a very important role in the inflammatory process.
The immune system uses a type of protein, or cytokine, to act as a chemical messenger to regulate the immune response. Cytokines released from immune cells bind to receptors on other cells with messages on what functions to perform – kind of like a general giving an order to his soldiers. Chemokines, interferons, interleukins, lymphokines and tumour necrosis factor are different types of cytokines that step in to fight various inflammatory diseases.
While we can’t feel chronic inflammation happening in our body, scientists tell us it’s there in varying degrees in every single person. It can be wreaking havoc on our organs and we don’t even know it. So assuming chronic inflammation is present in all of us, it makes sense to take steps to combat it. Turns out it all comes down to lifestyle.
Foods to Avoid
No surprise experts advise to cut out refined carbohydrates like white flour and sugar. Deep fried foods like French fries are another one to cross off your list. Red meat and processed meats like hot dogs and sausage, high-sugar beverages like juices and sodas and margarine, shortening and lard are also important to avoid. All of these foods accelerate the inflammation process.
Foods that Combat Inflammation
The list of anti-inflammatory foods reads like a typical Mediterranean diet: tomatoes, olive oil, almonds and walnuts, leafy greens, fatty fish like salmon, sardines and tuna and a host of fruits like blueberries, strawberries, oranges and cherries (organic of course!) are all must-adds to your daily diet.
Heal Your Gut
If the walls of your gut, or digestive system, aren’t woven tight enough to prevent bacteria, toxins and undigested food particles from passing through to the bloodstream, inflammation can result. In fact, the gut has the highest concentration of immune cells in the body. Again, diet plays an important role in healing a leaky gut as do prebiotic and probiotic supplements.
Reduce Stress, Increase Sleep
We all know stress can make us ill, but eliminating the things that put us on edge is important when it comes to minimizing chronic inflammation. Yoga, meditation or taking long walks can help diffuse a heavy stress load. Studies show that sleep deprivation prompts an increase in inflammatory hormone production, so get your Zs! 
The Role of Antioxidants
Free radicals play a part in promoting chronic inflammation that results in damaged tissues. They come from pesticides, fried and burnt foods, microwave cooked foods, trans-fats, hydrogenated oils and countless chemicals and preservatives that are inhaled or absorbed through our skin. Antioxidants can neutralize free radicals before they can harm healthy tissue.
A good-quality, well-rounded immune supplement can help protect against chronic inflammation. CanPrev’s Immuno Multi is an advanced daily multivitamin and multi antioxidant that is specially formulated to neutralize free radicals and combat chronic inflammation. Immuno Multi in conjunction with a healthy diet, moderate exercise, stress reduction and adequate sleep is a comprehensive approach to chronic inflammation busting.
For when chronic inflammation hits your body which could land anywhere like the joints, heart, and bowels, it would not be a pleasant experience. Try these preventive measures and tips that lead to a healthier lifestyle.
Referenced Studies & Content
As the largest organ in the body, conditions of the skin is a trusted indication of one’s overall health. If you are experiencing skin issues such as severe acne or dermatitis, or flare-ups in your eczema or psoriasis, maybe consider a detox this fall to help settle those symptoms.
This common skin condition prevents the skin’s ability to retain moisture, leaving it dry, itchy and easily irritated. Eczema is a distinctive type of hypersensitivity that is characterized by barrier defects in the skin and allergic hypersensitivity. Thought to be caused by a genetic defect in the filaggrin protein, which is crucial for skin cells to correctly mature into the outermost protective layer of the skin, eczema is typically present on the neck and on places where skin folds, referred to as flexor surfaces.
Affecting both children and adults, eczema can range from mild to severe depending on the size of skin area affected and the degree of itchiness. Though symptoms may flare and subside, the reoccurrence of eczema over the same patch of skin may lead to thickening and tough skin. Triggers of flare-ups may include weather conditions, certain foods, fragrances, and stress.
Though common, this auto-immune disease is an inflammatory skin disorder that results from excessive proliferation of keratinocytes. Essentially, the body is overly reproducing an epidermal cell that produces keratin, which is responsible for the tight functions formed between the nerves of the skin.
The initial sign appears as a sharply differentiated red plaque of skin covered in silvery-white scale. Once the scale is removed, pinpoint bleeding is shown. Psoriasis is typically present in extensor surfaces, the scalp, oily areas of the face, and sometimes flexor surfaces such as the genitals and intergluteal folds. Another common symptom is nail thickening, yellow discolouration of nails, and separation of the nail from the nail bed. Flare-ups can be triggered by dry skin, and picking at the patches.
In connection to celiac disease, this auto-immune blistering disease presents small and fragile vesicles typically found on extensor surfaces, such as elbows, knees, scalp, back, and buttocks. The blisters are extremely itchy and can be easily punctured during physical examination; however the diagnoses of dermatitis herpetiformis is accomplished through a skin biopsy and direct immunifluorescence of normal appearing skin adjacent to lesions. Triggered by the ingestion of gluten, those with dermatitis herpetiformis should watch their diet.
Between Bowel Health and Skin Issues
Many chemicals within perfumes, lotions, soaps, detergents, deodorants and other personal care products can wreak havoc on the endocrine system.
Liver: The liver is one of the main organs of elimination that cleanses the blood from the chemicals that we ingest from food, drugs and excess hormones. This two-part detoxification process begins at converting toxins into less toxic molecules, then changes into a water soluble compound making it easier to excrete by the intestines and kidneys. In order for this organ to function smoothly, the liver require nutrients such as antioxidants, amino acids and vitamin B, which can be found in Detox Pro by CanPrev.
Small and Large Intestines: When food leaves the stomach, it first arrives at the small intestines, where absorption occurs. Unfortunately, optimal digestion does not always occur for reasons like eating too fast, food quality and quantity, antibiotic or anti-acid medication, and many more. This leaves the intestines working too hard at jobs which they are not capable of and thus, inflammation is created. The gut loses its integrity and releases food and nutrients back into the bloodstream. To ensure that this does not happen, a good fibre supplement like CanPrev’s Fibre Flow, and supplement for improving bacterial cultures like Probiotik 15B, can help to support the bowels.
Kidneys: The kidney is responsible for removing waste products, drugs and excess fluid from the body. When blood enters the kidneys, the stream flows through nephrons to filter the blood and requires approximately a minimum of 500ml to 1000ml of waters per day to support these elimination processes. By using ElectroMag from CanPrev, an effervescent drink mix consisting of electrolytes and vitamin C, it can greatly aid kidney health for hydration and nutrients that they body and kidney need.
Lungs: Little do people know, the lungs help the liver by eliminating chemicals that have been metabolized in a gaseous form. An example of this would be alcohol ingestion and having the smell of alcohol on the breath, the next day.
It can easily be forgotten that anything we put onto our skin or come into contact with, is literally absorbed into our bodies. Our bodies are then responsible for processing all these toxins. One of the first things you can do by taking care of your entire body is to keep your skin healthy:
- Stay hydrated by drinking lots of water,
- Use a humidifier during dry/cold temperatures,
- Switch to natural lotions with less chemical ingredients,
- Dry brush the skin to help get rid of excess skin,
- Provide the skin with antioxidants to support and protect healthy skin, such as vitamin E, selenium and zinc, which can be found in CanPrev’s Antioxidant Network
Try some of these common detox protocols to keep your skin and ultimately your body healthy!
- Gluten-free diet
- Dairy-free products
What will you be doing to keep your skin healthy?
Bone tissue is very dynamic because it is constantly being remodeled by dissolving and replacing minerals to keep the bones healthy. Osteoporosis is a disease where the bone is dissolving and losing minerals faster than it can be replaced making the bones hollow, porous and very susceptible to fractures.
Vitamin K for directing calcium
It is common knowledge that calcium and vitamin D3 are needed for increasing bone health, both of which are fairly prevalent in North American diets. Yet magnesium, boron, zinc, vitamin K1 and K2 are equally important in proper bone maintenance to make sure calcium is directed to the bones and not deposited elsewhere in the body such as the heart.
Can Prev’s Osteo Prolong and Vitamin D3 + K2 are formulated with these nutrients so they work together synergistically in absorbable forms to help maintain bone health but also muscles, teeth and skin.
The pH balance in the body is another factor important to bone health that is not usually addressed or well known. The reason this is important is that the blood needs to stay at the pH level of 7.0-7.4. This is a very tightly regulated system in the body so if the body is undergoing an acidic state (i.e. smoking, stress, nutrient-poor diet, and pharmaceuticals etc), the body will draw from the bones to get the minerals needed that are alkaline in nature.
The alkaline nutrients that are helping to buffer the blood are calcium, potassium and magnesium, the very nutrients we want to stay in our bones!
Can Prev’s pH Pro is a formula containing sodium bicarbonate, spirulina, magnesium bicarbonate and potassium, all nutrients that are alkaline to decrease acidity and keep those precious nutrients in the bones. In each bottle of CanPrev pH Pro there are pH test strips so you can check your pH using urine or saliva. If you tend to be acidic, then start increasing your alkalinity by taking 1 or 2 caps of this formula.
Prevention – start early
The prevention of osteoporosis actually begins in childhood and adolescence to gain as much bone density as possible by the age of 20 – 30 and then to maintain that density for the rest of adulthood. Having a youth’s diet full of healthful nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, vitamin D3, K1 and K2 and zinc from a varied diet is essential in providing the building blocks for the bones to grow and be maintained.
Beverages such as soft drinks and energy drinks are popular among youth should be limited. They contain both phosphoric acid and caffeine which increase the amount of calcium lost from the bones. Caffeine causes about 6 mg of calcium to be lost for every 100mg of caffeine ingested. About 2 cups or a 16 oz of coffee contain 320 mg of caffeine which can leach about 20 mg of calcium from your body.
Processed foods are usually very high in salt, which is another substance that should be limited because every 2.3g of salt consumed about 40 mg of calcium is lost in the urine.
In adulthood multiple factors start to add up that can deplete bone minerals such physical inactivity, smoking, stress, alcohol, recreational drugs, increase of salt, caffeine and sugar, pharmaceutical drugs such as corticosteroids and proton pump inhibitors and hormonal changes in women.
Bone health for moms to be
Even pregnancy can leave the female depleted in many nutrients, as the requirement for calcium is very high due to the developing skeletal frame and formation of teeth, thus taking Can Prev’s Prenatal Multi ensures that the mother is receiving the therapeutic amounts of bioavailable calcium and vitamin D3 for the baby.
For those at risk of developing health conditions related to mineral deficiency, or those looking to increase mineral intake and absorption, speak with your natural healthcare provider about what supplements might be right for you.
That time of year is here, when the cold bite of winter weather finally seems to be behind us, flowers are slowly starting to bloom, the birds & the bees are all atwitter and, oh yah – pollen also starts to fill the air!
Are you experiencing itchy, watery eyes, runny nose, blocked sinuses, sneezing and headaches? Love Springtime but loathe allergy season?
If only there were something you could include in your daily diet to help alleviate these symptoms or ward them off altogether…drum roll please!
Eat whole foods instead of relying on allergy medication
Although there are many different OTC medications available to relieve those tell-tale allergy symptoms, sometimes just small tweaks to your diet can also provide you with some much needed relief and even a measure of prevention – more naturally.
Top 7 items that your grocery cart should come in contact with this Spring:
Researchers have discovered that broccoli could help to protect you from respiratory inflammation. In fact, all cruciferous vegetables contain a compound called sulforaphane, which appears to have a very beneficial effect for fanning the flames of inflammation.
Other cruciferous veggies containing this key compound are kale, brussel sprouts, cabbage & cauliflower.
Studies have also shown that getting in at least 500 mg of Vitamin C a day can ease allergy symptoms, and just one cup of raw broccoli packs about 80 mg.
Citrus fruits are considered ‘super allergy fighters’ because they contain higher levels of Vitamin C and bioflavonoids, both of which are natural antihistamines that may reduce allergy symptoms.
Bioflavonoids enhance the health benefits of Vitamin C, including stronger immunity, detoxification, eye and skin and health. This makes citrus fruit a powerhouse in fighting allergies as well as in overall health optimization. Oranges, lemons and grapefruits are rich sources of Vitamin C with naturally occurring citrus bioflavonoids.
However, if considering a supplement – look for a buffered form containing mineral ascorbates as well as bioflavonoids for better absorption.
Quercetin, a flavonoid found in apples, is believed to help reduce the inflammation associated with allergies. Studies indicate that this component prevents immune cells from releasing histamines, or better known as an allergic response.
Garlic, onions, berries, cabbage, cauliflower and most caffeinated teas also contain quercetin.
The skin of red grapes is very high in antioxidants and resveratrol — a well-studied anti-inflammatory compound. Eating red grapes will also help protect the cells from oxidative damage that may cause many diseases such as heart disease and high blood pressure.
Be aware that grapes (and apples) are on the EPA’s ‘Dirty Dozen’ list of highest pesticide residues, so buy organic when possible and wash your produce well.
Omega-3 fatty acids in seafood have natural anti-inflammatory effects that boost the immune system — in turn, improving your body’s ability to fight off allergies which are basically a sign of excess inflammation.
In fact, anything you can do to reduce inflammation in the body has widespread benefits, including easing seasonal allergy symptoms.
Some studies have even shown that eating upwards of six ounces of wild-caught salmon twice a week can be just as effective as taking allergy medication.
While your Healthcare Provider may not be writing you a prescription for salmon any time soon, this recommendation is certainly worth a try, considering all of salmon’s other health benefits. Try wild caught Alaskan caught salmon for a lower risk of contamination of organic pollutants and pesticides.
Not keen on seafood, or have a food allergy to it? Some good vegan sources of Omega-3’s are walnuts, flax seeds, hemp hearts, chia seeds, spirulina (fresh water algae) and sea vegetables like wakame.
You could also consider choosing a high quality Omega-3 supplement.
Collard greens, and other dark leafy greens like kale contain phytochemicals – specifically carotenoids. This component is well known for easing allergic reactions.
To help your body absorb their nutrients more readily, eat collard greens along with a healthy fat. Sautéing them in extra-virgin olive oil or virgin coconut oil is a great, and tasty – way to go.
Be aware that many greens are on the “dirty” list too, so go organic (and local), when possible.
Fermented Foods & Probiotics
I know, you probably didn’t expect this one to be on the list, but according to research, eating probiotic-rich foods such as naturally fermented (not pickled) foods like sauerkraut and kimchi, as well as supplementing with good quality human-strain probiotics can significantly ease allergy symptoms.
Happy allergy fighting this Spring!
There’s been an uptick in awareness that sugar is the culprit behind an increase in conditions like diabetes, chronic inflammation, cancer and high blood pressure.
With many health practitioners now recommend limiting or eliminating refined sugars, many people are taking an extra step and removing or drastically reducing their intake of the sweet stuff altogether. In his book, The Case Against Sugar, science journalist and author Gary Taubes writes that it’s likely that sugar is killing more people than smoking.
And while any efforts to cut back are in good practice, it’s actually difficult to completely remove sugar completely from one’s diet – and the foodstuffs in your local grocery could be to blame.
Much ado about sugar
Many food labels often tout the words “sugar-free” as a health incentive, when in fact, there are a number of additives that affect our bodies like sugar does.
Most people are aware that ingredients like high fructose corn syrup [HFCS], dehydrated cane juice or molasses are just synonyms for, well, sugar – but how familiar are ethyl maltol or maltose?
Now, let’s just be clear: this is not to say that all sugar is “bad.” At it’s simplest, sugar is a carbohydrate, which the body needs to convert to glucose for energy. However, it’s really not necessary to increase your intake in order for the body to make energy.
The pink, candy elephant in the room
At the root, the problem isn’t that sugar is being consumed, nor is it the type, necessarily. It’s the sheer quantity we ingest on a daily basis. In fact, in a 2014 article entitled Death By Sugar in Maclean’s magazine, it was reported that, “According to the latest Statistics Canada figures, Canadians downed 110 grams of sugar a day in 2004, from all sources. That’s the equivalent of 26 teaspoons, amounting to over 21 per cent of our daily calorie intake, and it’s surely gone up since then.
Canadians eat, on average, 88 lb. of sugar per year; the average nine-year-old boy will consume a whopping 123 lb. of sugar per year, and male teens, 138 lb.”
Hide and shriek
Horrified yet? No? How about this statistic:
“Of the 600,000 food items sold in U.S. grocery stores, 80 per cent have added sugar. Sugar and its ilk (including high-fructose corn syrup) are added to nearly everything we consume. Pasta sauce. Bread. Salad dressing. Peanut butter. One tablespoon of ketchup can contain as much as a teaspoon of sugar.” 
“Low fat” products, especially those intended for kids, are often the biggest sugar bombs of all. Sugar-laden processed foods are everywhere: even at the local health food store, it’s truly a matter of buyer beware. Honey, agave syrup, fruit juices, and other sweeteners that often appear in “healthier” options—all are sugars.” 
Cut the sweet talk
But back to our point. It’s not the type of sugar you are consuming, but simply the quantity. And since manufacturers are in the business of selling food, using a number of different types of sugars enables them use each in separately lower quantities. And since ingredients are listed in descending order on labels, this practice thereby allows them to place further down on the label. 
Becoming more aware of the types of sugars used in the manufacturing process empowers and allows us all to take charge and make healthy, sustainable choices.
, ,  http://www.macleans.ca/society/health/death-by-sugar-the-biggest-health-crisis-of-our-time/
Have you tried to cut back on sugar? Have you had any success? We’d like to hear from you. Leave a comment below.
If you’ve ever wondered if what you eat and when you eat makes a difference to the effectiveness of your workouts, the short answer is that it does, and it’s a method many professional athletes rely on. It’s called nutrient timing, and here’s how it works.
The concept of nutrient timing can be divided into three phases: the energy phase, the anabolic phase and the adaptation phase.
The energy phase
There’s a one- to four-hour pre-workout window that allows you to build up muscle glycogen, or carbohydrate stores, that you will draw from as you exercise. The longer you train, the more your body pulls parked carbs from your muscles to fuel higher endurance workouts. Eating a meal with 150 to 200g of carbohydrates up to four hours before you exercise pumps your muscles full of glycogen and helps improve your physical performance.
Sipping on a carbohydrate-rich beverage with added protein during your workout can help increase muscle glycogen stores, too. It will buy your muscles more time, so you can exercise longer and more e ectively.
A moderate serving of protein can also help to reduce muscle damage and the level of soreness you might feel the next day. For instance, adding protein to a carbohydrate beverage can decrease muscle damage and soreness for at least 24 hours post-exercise, when compared to a carbohydrate-only drink.
The anabolic phase
A er an intense exercise session, your body’s muscle and liver glycogen stores are depleted and your skeletal muscle is starved for nutrients. Consuming the right kinds of nutrients at this stage is important for rebuilding tissues and speeding up recovery.
Immediately after a high intensity workout, eat or drink something that contains enough carbohydrate (1.0 to 1.5g per kilogram of body weight) and about 20 to 30g of protein to build your muscle glycogen stores back up. If your workout was only of light to moderate intensity, modify the carbohydrate amount to 0.3 to 0.8g per kilogram of body weight and the protein amount to 10 to 12g.
Remember, the longer you wait to replenish your glycogen stores, the more you invite inflammation, muscle damage and soreness!
The adaptation phase
Your body will hit the maintenance phase about four to six hours post- energy phase. A regular meal, or even a snack that contains about a 1:1 ratio of carbohydrate to protein and under 200 calories, is enough to maintain muscle glycogen stores and protein synthesis. If you’re hungry before bed, you can have a low-calorie protein snack that will help with muscle recovery. Just make sure it has at least 20g of protein with minimal amounts of carbohydrate and fat.
Our muscle glycogen stores are what get us through even the most punishing workouts. Do your body a favour by keeping those glycogen stores topped up – it will help to serve you better in the long run!
Incorporating nutrient timing into your routine
Use the table below as an example of possible nutrient timing with workouts, supplements and meals for three different daily training schedules:
PW supplement: Following prolonged, intense workouts, the post-workout (PW) supplement should provide sufficient carbohydrates to maximize muscle glycogen storage during the first hours of recovery and also contain between 20 and 30g protein. For light to moderate intensity workouts, a light carbohydrate with protein (10 to 12g) supplement is recommended.
CP Snack: Between-meal (CP) snacks should be approximately a 1:1 ratio of carbohydrate/protein and contain 100 to 200kcal.
Bedtime snack: A snack before bed should contain approximately 20g protein with minimal carbohydrate and fat.
Have you ever tried nutrient timing? What have your results been like? We’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below.