Berries for Inflammation and Osteoarthritis Treatment

How might berries improve human health, healthy aging, and quality of life?  Maybe, due to their anti-inflammatory effects, since inflammation can be an underlying contributing factor in the “development, progression, and complication” of a number of chronic diseases. Higher intake of anthocyanins, the brightly-colored pigments in berries, has been associated with anti-inflammatory effects, which may be “a key component” underlying the associated reduction in chronic disease risk. But these are all just associations. You can’t prove cause and effect until you put it to the test.

A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial found that blueberry smoothies could turn off inflammation genes. (This is measuring the expression of pro-inflammatory genes in white blood cells taken from individuals before and after six weeks of drinking placebo smoothies with no blueberries.) They got worse over time. Six weeks later, more inflammatory chemicals pouring out, whereas the blueberry group started out about the same at week zero, but six weeks of daily blueberries and, the expression of inflammatory genes went down.

“In addition to attenuating inflammation,” they demonstrate that “blueberry consumption was able to significantly decrease the levels of free radicals” in their bloodstream: no change in the placebo group, but after six weeks of blueberry smoothies, the amount of free radicals in their blood was  extinguished by half. Okay, but does all that antioxidant and anti-inflammatory power actually translate into clinical benefits? For example  what is the effect of blueberry consumption on recovery from excessive weight lifting-induced muscle damage?

A randomized crossover study: a blueberry smoothie or antioxidant-matched placebo smoothie five and 10 hours prior to, and then 12 and 36 hours after, exercise-induced muscle damage. The smoothies were about a cup and a half of frozen strawberries, a banana, and apple juice, or without the berries, but dextrose and vitamin C added to match it for calories and antioxidant power. Even so, the blueberries worked better at mopping up free radicals. Here’s the oxidative stress without the blueberries: it goes up and stays up. But, with the blueberries, it comes right down. Yeah, but what we care about is the recovery of muscle strength, so you can jump right back into training. Same drop in peak torque 12 hours later, but a day later, significantly faster restoration of peak muscle strength, demonstrating that the ingestion of blueberries can accelerate recovery — something that may be especially relevant to athletes who compete over successive days.

That’s all well and good, but what about using berries to treat inflammatory diseases like arthritis?  Yes, they may have protective effects against arthritis in a rat — significantly reducing “paw volume”— how swollen their paw gets when you inject it with some inflammatory irritant. But there had never been any human arthritis berry studies, until now.

Remember that amazing study where strawberries alone could reverse the progression of precancerous lesions? The strawberries were dramatically downregulating pro-inflammatory genes. Give strawberries to diabetics for six weeks, and not only does their diabetes get better, their C-reactive protein levels, a marker of systemic inflammation, drops 18%. Even just a single meal can help. Have people eat a largely unhealthy breakfast, and the level of inflammatory markers goes up over the next six hours, but less so if you added just five large strawberries to the meal.

So, can “strawberries improve pain and inflammation” in confirmed knee osteoarthritis? No fair that the title ruined the suspense, but yes, osteoarthritis patients randomized to get like a pint and a half of strawberries a day for 12 weeks and yeah, certain inflammatory markers plummeted on the strawberries. But did they actually feel any better? Significant reductions in constant pain, intermittent pain, and total pain. The “first clinical study on the effects of…berries” on human arthritis, and found that a “simple dietary intervention, the addition of berries to one’s diet, may have a significant impact on pain, inflammation, and overall quality of life in obese adults with [osteoarthritis].”

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C6udzAvvacQ#action=share

Immunsystem in der Zeit der Coronakrise stärken

Die Coronakrise hat uns blitzschnell aufgezeigt, wie “verwundbar” wir als Menschen sind. Gerade in Zeiten wie diesen ist ein starkes Immunsystem unerlässlich. Hier ein paar Tipps, was Sie tun können, um ihr Immunsystem zu fördern:

Ernährung
Eine pflanzenbasierte Kost, wäre die beste Option, da sie reich an antioxidativen Stoffen ist und keine proinflammatorischen Stoffe enthält, welche wir in tierischen Produkten finden. Öle und Fette sollten auf ein Minimum reduziert werden, da auch diese entzündungsfördernd sind und zudem das Entgiftungsorgan, die Leber, in ihrer Tätigkeit überfordern. Es ist ratsam konzentrierte, raffinierte Kohlenhydrate/Zucker und weißmehlhaltige Nahrungsmittel wie Schokolade, Kekse, Weißbrot etc. prinzipiell aus der Ernährung herauszunehmen, insbesondere aber jetzt. Industriell gefertigte Lebensmittel sind dem Immunsystem nicht dienlich.
Intervallfasten 16/8, ist zurzeit in aller Munde. Auch dies stärkt unser Immunsystem immens, da der Körper in der Nacht sich ausruhen kann und da er nicht durch den energieraubenden Prozess der Verdauung gehindert wird, seine Regenerationstätigkeit durchzuführen. Des Weiteren führt auch ein längerer Fastenprozess, wie Intervallfasten von mindestens 12 Stunden oder länger zu einem Autophagiemechanismus – der Körper erkennt Viren, entsorgt sie und tötet sie ab. Intervallfasten bedeutet 16 Stunden nichts zu essen, und in den verbleibenden 8 Stunden kann man 1-2 Mahlzeiten zu sich nehmen ohne Zwischenmahlzeiten. Gut wäre zu frühstücken und die letzte Mahlzeit um 16 Uhr zu sich zu nehmen.
Es wäre gut, Nahrung zu sich zu nehmen, welche viel Betacarotin enthält, da es die Abwehrzellen des Körpers erhöht: Karotten, Kürbis, Süsskartoffel, Kräuter (Petersilie und Dill…), Grünkohl, Spinat und andere grüne Blattgemüsesorten. Auch Nahrung, die reich an Vitamin C ist: Paprika, Orangen, Zitrone, Karotten, Kohl (Kohlrabi, Grünkohl, Rosenkohl) und Sanddorn.
Unser Mikrobiom (die Gesamtheit der Bakterien im Darm) wird durch das, was wir ihm durch die Nahrung zuführen, aufgebaut. Mit pflanzlicher Kost, und hier insbesondere durch Ballaststoffe, erhalten die guten Darmbakterien ihre Nährstoffe und führen zu einer Reduktion der unvorteilhaften Darmbakterien. Die guten Darmbakterien unterstützen das Immunsystem, während die schlechten es schwächen. Wir wissen, dass 60-70 % des Immunsystems darmassoziiert sind. Da ist es nachvollziehbar, dass wir unser Bestes tun sollten, um das Mikrobiom gesund zu erhalten. Die pflanzliche Kost führt zu einer Vielfalt an Darmbakterien. Je höher die Diversität der Darmbakterien, umso aktiver und effizienter das Immunsystem. Gut wäre es auch, Obst und Gemüse zu kaufen, das biologisch angebaut wurde oder aus dem eigenen Garten kommt, da diese mehr sekundäre Pflanzenstoffe enthalten. Wenn man auf eine pflanzlich basierte Ernährung umstellt, kommt es bereits nach 24 Stunden zur Veränderung der Darmflora, mitunter zur Stärkung der guten Darmbakterien.
Medikamente: Protonenpumpenhemmer (Magenschutzmedikamente) sollten, soweit als möglich, nicht verwendet werden, da diese unsere Darmflora schwächen und auch zu einer Erhöhung der Darm-Permeabilität führen.

Bewegung
Jeden Tag ein flotter Spaziergang, hilft uns den Stress abzubauen, die Darmtätigkeit anzukurbeln und verbessert die Durchblutung, welches sich wieder positiv auf das Immunsystem auswirkt. Wenn man nicht hinaus kann, so gibt es Möglichkeiten zu Hause Gymnastikübungen und auch Ausdauertraining durchzuführen.

Wasser
Wasser – innerlich: Regelmäßiges Wassertrinken tagsüber hilft, das der Virus sich nicht in der Nasenscheidewand festsetzen kann, sondern dass der Virus in den Verdauungstrakt gelangt und dort durch die Magensäure abgetötet wird. Daher bitte auch wenn möglich keine säurehemmenden Medikamente wie Magenschutzmedikamente einnehmen.
Wasser – äußerlich: Präventiv und auch wenn man eine leichte Verkühlung hat, kann man Wechselduschen durchführen. Sauna ist sehr förderlich, sofern man kein Fieber hat. Wenn man bereits erkrankt ist, bieten sich Überwärmungsbäder oder heiß/kalte Formentation an, aber bitte nur unter entsprechend fachkundiger Aufsicht. Viren mögen keine Wärme, so bieten sich Warme-Bäder an.

Licht und Sonnenschein
Vitamin D ist wichtig für das Immunsystem. Deshalb sollte man sich an der frischen Luft aufhalten, vornehmlich wirksam zwischen 11:30 und 15:00 Uhr, für mindestens 15 Minuten, ohne Cremen mit Sonnenschutzfaktor, da diese die Produktion von Vitamin D verhindern. Wem dies nicht möglich ist und man zu niedrige Vitamin D Werte hat, sollte Vitamin D substituiert werden. Es werden hierdurch mitunter mehr T-Zellen produziert und es führt auch zu einer Verbesserung des Schlafes. Ein zweistündiger Spaziergang im Freien, führt zu einer 25 % Erhöhung der T-Zellen. Vitamin D Versorgung für 10 Tage mit 10.000 IE/d und danach 4.000 IE/d.

Luft
Bewusstes Atmen wie mindestens 10 tiefe Atemzüge reduziert den Stress um ca. 40 %. Erreger können sich dadurch nicht in der Lunge festsetzen. Das regelmäßige gründliche Lüften von Räumen führt neben frischer Luft auch dazu, dass der Virengehalt der Luft in Räumen reduziert wird.

Schlaf / Ruhe
Eine der wirkungsvollsten Maßnahmen gegen eine grippale Infektion ist der ausreichende Schlaf und zwar am besten bereits vor Mitternacht, da hier das Immunsystem die notwendige Energie bekommt, um effektiv zu arbeiten. Da der Melatoninspiegel seinen Peak um 2 Uhr morgens erreicht und dies nur aufgebaut wird, wenn man schläft, empfiehlt es sich besonders jetzt spätestens um 21:30 Uhr ins Bett zu gehen.

Vertrauen
Meiden Sie Stress, denn Angst und Panik schwächen das Immunsystem. „Menschen ohne Hoffnung werden krank. Kranke ohne Hoffnung sterben.“ Diese pointiert formulierte Erkenntnis beschreibt den Stellenwert der Hoffnung für die Gesundheit. Der Verlust der Hoffnung ist eines der Leitsymptome einer Depression. Immer mehr Menschen sind davon betroffen. Hoffnungslosigkeit ist einer der Hauptrisikofaktoren für Suizid und krankheitsbedingten, vorzeitigen Tod. Hoffnung dagegen ist zukunftsgerichtet. Der Anker der Hoffnung ist das Vertrauen in die göttliche Kraft. Die uralte Zusage: „Ich bin der Herr, der Dich heilt“ ist heute noch gültig. Hunderte wissenschaftlicher Studien belegen, dass  gesunder Glaube, auf vielfältige Art und Weise Hoffnung stärkt. die körperliche und seelische Gesundheit fördert und die Lebensqualität steigert. Vertrauen kann man lernen. Wer vertraut gewinnt.

Hygiene
Händewaschen für mindestens 20 Sekunden mit einer herkömmlichen Seife. Wenn man gesund ist und sich nicht anstecken möchte, könnte man eine Maske der Klasse FFP3 bzw. FFP2 mit Ventil tragen. Ansonsten ist der gebotene Mindestabstand von 1 Meter das Gebot der Stunde.

Dr. med. Lydia Schlatter, Ärztin für Allgemeinmedizin

https://www.llg.at/news-facts/Immunsystem-in-der-Zeit-der-Coronakrise-staerken/a/316/

Top 5 Foods That Help You Fight Coronavirus

corona_virus

Despite our best efforts, we may not be able to prevent getting the novel (new) SARS coronavirus that leads to COVID-19. The good news is, it’s a lot like the common flu and for most healthy people, recovery is quick and it’s not a big deal.  The bad news is, it spreads easily, it has at least 10 times the mortality rate of the regular flu, and we don’t have a vaccine yet.

So, if you are immunocompromised, older, working with the sick, or just interested in boosting your immune system, you might be interested to know about a study back in 2005 that found that the presence of nitric oxide significantly inhibited the replication cycle of SARS coronavirus. In other words, nitric oxide disrupts the virus’ ability to grow.

What Is Nitric Oxide?

Nitric oxide is used by the body for cell signaling, blood vessel dilation to promote better blood flow and there’s evidence that it helps lower blood pressure and improve brain function. How can we get more nitric oxide? We can boost our nitric oxide simply by the foods we eat.

Top 5 Nitric Oxide Sources

Here are the top 5 sources of plant-based nitric oxide, so you can better defend against coronavirus if it ever enters your body. Why wait for a man-made vaccine when we can have, as Hippocrates put it, “food be [our] medicine.”

  1. Beetroot Juice – Beets are the king of raising nitric oxide levels. Beets have a lot of nitrates, which the body converts to nitric oxide. According to one study, consuming a beetroot juice supplement raised nitric oxide levels in the subjects by 21% in 45 minutes. Another study showed drinking just 3.4 ounces of beetroot juice every day significantly raised nitric oxide levels in men and women. 3.4 ounces is about what TSA lets you take on the plane for carry-on liquids so it’s definitely not much.
  2. Garlic – Maybe this is why people have taken garlic for colds for centuries. Garlic boosts levels of nitric oxide by activating nitric oxide synthase, the enzyme involved in the conversion of nitric oxide from the amino acid L-arginine. So if you’re taking arginine supplements, garlic will help turn more of it into nitric oxide. One study showed that aged garlic extract temporarily increased blood nitric oxide levels by up to 40% within an hour and another study found that aged garlic extract also helped maximize nitric oxide absorption by the body.
  3. Leafy Greens – Green leafy vegetables like kale, broccoli, cabbage, spinach, arugula, and celery are packed with nitrates, which are converted to nitric oxide in your body. One study found that regularly eating green leafy vegetables was associated with healthy levels of nitric oxide in the body so this is the single best way to keep elevated levels of nitric oxide in your body. Time to start eating more salads!
  4. Citrus Fruits – Or anything high in vitamin C. But of course oranges, lemons, limes and grapefruit are all excellent sources of vitamin C. Vitamin C plays a critical role in health and raises levels of nitric oxide by increasing its bioavailability and maximizing absorption. Research also shows that it may increase levels of nitric oxide synthase, the enzyme necessary for the production of nitric oxide.
  5. Nuts and Seeds – Almonds, cashews, walnuts, chia seed, flax seed, pumpkin seed, and sunflower seeds have a lot of arginine, a type of amino acid that assists in the production of nitric oxide. Research suggests that getting arginine from foods like nuts and seeds in your diet can help increase nitric oxide levels in your body. For example, a large study involving 2,771 people showed that a higher intake of arginine-rich foods was associated with higher levels of nitric oxide in the blood. Another study found that supplementing with arginine increased levels of nitric oxide after just two weeks.

Now here’s our natural drug disclaimer (just like the one’s on TV). Warning: Eating more of the foods listed in our Top 5 Foods to Fight Coronavirus is not only going to help with coronavirus, but elevated nitric oxide levels may lower your blood pressure, improve circulation, and improve mental cognition.

Blueberry Oatmeal Pancakes

Instructions

  1. Make the flax egg by mixing the ground flax with 6 tablespoons of water and letting it sit for 10 minutes. The consistency should resemble that of an egg.
  2. In a bowl, mix together the oats, milk, flax eggs, and oil. In a small separate bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Then combine both mixtures and stir, adding more milk if necessary for your desired consistency.
  3. Lightly grease a hot skillet or pan with additional oil. Pour ½-cup pancake rounds on the skillet and cook until bubbles form on the surface.
  4. Carefully drop 6–8 optional blueberries onto one side of each pancake, then flip and cook on the other side until golden brown.

Prep Time: approx. 30-40 minutes
Serving Size: 6 pancakes

by Daniel Velez

Source: https://lifeandhealth.org/food/blueberry-oatmeal-pancakes/171229.html

How to Lower Your Sodium Intake

Reduction of salt consumption by just 15 percent could save the lives of millions. If we cut our salt intake by half a teaspoon a day, which is achievable simply by avoiding salty foods and not adding salt to our food, we might prevent 22 percent of stroke deaths and 16 percent of fatal heart attacks—potentially helping more than if we were able to successfully treat people with blood pressure pills. As I discuss in my video Salt of the Earth: Sodium and Plant-Based Diets, an intervention in our kitchens may be more powerful than interventions in our pharmacies. One little dietary tweak could help more than billions of dollars worth of drugs.

What would that mean in the United States? Tens of thousands of lives saved every year. On a public-health scale, this simple step “could be as beneficial as interventions aimed at smoking cessation, weight reduction, and the use of drug therapy for people with hypertension or hypercholesterolemia,” that is, giving people medications to lower blood pressure and cholesterol. And, that’s not even getting people down to the target.

A study I profile in my video shows 3.8 grams per day as the recommended upper limit of salt intake for African-Americans, those with hypertension, and adults over 40. For all other adults the maximum is 5.8 daily grams, an upper limit that is exceeded by most Americans over the age of 3. Processed foods have so much added salt that even if we avoid the saltiest foods and don’t add our own salt, salt levels would go down yet still exceed the recommended upper limit. Even that change, however, might save up to nearly a hundred thousand American lives every year.

“Given that approximately 75% of dietary salt comes from processed foods, the individual approach is probably impractical.” So what is our best course of action? We need to get food companies to stop killing so many people. The good news is “several U.S. manufacturers are reducing the salt content of certain foods,” but the bad news is that “other manufacturers are increasing the salt levels in their products. For example, the addition of salt to poultry, meats, and fish appears to be occurring on a massive scale.”

The number-one source of sodium for kids and teens is pizza and, for adults over 51, bread. Between the ages of 20 and 50, however, the greatest contribution of sodium to the diet is not canned soups, pretzels, or potato chips, but chicken, due to all the salt and other additives that are injected into the meat.

This is one of the reasons that, in general, animal foods contain higher amounts of sodium than plant foods. Given the sources of sodium, complying with recommendations for salt reduction would in part “require large deviations from current eating behaviors.” More specifically, we’re talking about a sharp increase in vegetables, fruits, beans, and whole grains, and lower intakes of meats and refined grain products. Indeed, “[a]s might be expected, reducing the allowed amount of sodium led to a precipitous drop” in meat consumption for men and women of all ages. It’s no wonder why there’s so much industry pressure to confuse people about sodium.

The U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend getting under 2,300 milligrams of sodium a day, while the American Heart Association recommends no more than 1,500 mg/day. How do vegetarians do compared with nonvegetarians? Well, nonvegetarians get nearly 3,500 mg/day, the equivalent of about a teaspoon and a half of table salt. Vegetarians did better, but, at around 3,000 mg/day, came in at double the American Heart Association limit.

In Europe, it looks like vegetarians do even better, slipping under the U.S. Dietary Guidelines’ 2,300 mg cut-off, but it appears the only dietary group that nails the American Heart Association recommendation are vegans—that is, those eating the most plant-based of diets.

Written By Michael Greger M.D. FACLM

Source: https://nutritionfacts.org/2019/11/19/how-to-lower-your-sodium-intake/

Omega-3 Breakfast Pudding

Ingredients

Quantity Unit Name
2 cups unsweetened soy or almond milk
1 ripe banana
¼ cup rolled oats
¼ cup chia seeds
cup fresh fruit, chopped
1 teaspoon alcohol-free vanilla
pinch of salt
Optional Add-ins: chopped nuts, unsweetened shredded coconut, and cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Blend banana with milk using a blender, hand-mixer, or fork.
  2. Stir in the remaining ingredients.
  3. Ladle into jars, cover, and place in refrigerator overnight. It will be ready to grab and go in the morning!

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Serving Size: 6 servings

– Jonathan Ewald –

Source: https://lifeandhealth.org/undo-my-disease/diabetes/on-the-go-breakfast-pudding/094629.html