Tag: Health

Can an Anti-Inflammatory Diet Help Osteoarthritis?

anti-inflammatory fruits

Inflammation is one of the key symptoms of osteoarthritis accompanying pain and joint degeneration. It would make sense, then, that an anti-inflammatory diet would help to relieve some of the pain and discomfort, and possibly slow some deterioration.

The problem is that there is no clear evidence that an anti-inflammatory diet will relieve the symptoms of any particular disease.

Anti-Inflammatory Diet Reduces Cytokines

There is pretty clear evidence that a diet high in Omega 3 fatty acids and low in refined grains can reduce pro-inflammatory cytokines and helps with the production of anti-inflammatory cytokines – proteins that help transmit signals within the body. There is general agreement that an anti-inflammatory diet can help reduce low levels of inflammation in most people.

Because of this most doctors and nutritionists will suggest that a diet low in inflammatory foods, such as the Mediterranean diet, certainly can’t hurt.

Reducing Inflammation May Not Be Enough

Even with inflammation reduced, certain diseases such as osteoarthritis will continue to progress. There is no clinical evidence that diet alone will slow the eventual progress of the disease or eliminate associated pain. For that reason most health care providers suggest a moderate diet in combination with other remedies such as exercise and losing weight.

There are plenty of testimonials online that suggest near-miraculous results from maintaining an anti-inflammatory diet. While the people who give these testimonials may indeed have experienced relief over pain and discomfort, it can’t be determined how much relief is coming from their diet and how much from exercise, weight loss or other therapies.

So while we don’t know whether or not an anti-inflammatory diet will help with osteoarthritis symptoms, it certainly can’t hurt.

Spending Time in Nature Reduces Stress – But How Much?

Matthew Forkin in the Wild courtesy National Geographic

Matthew Forkin in the wild courtesy National Geographic

A growing number of researchers are finding evidence that stress levels drop off and mental function improves when you get out into nature. Florence Williams explores the science behind nature therapy in National Geographic’s “This is Your Brain on Nature.”

The article looks scientific findings behind the three day effect, the theory that three days in nature will recalibrate your brain and improve creative thinking. Shorter jaunts such as a 50 minute walk down to a 15 minute meditation – even virtual nature can have physiological and cognitive benefits according to Williams.

One thing Williams doesn’t delve into is the aspects of nature that can significantly raise your stress levels. As they say, nature always wins. It may be that researchers are finding that nature, when it’s peaceful, gives us peace. But nature when it’s wild – well that’s something else to study.

 

Forget Quinoa and Kale – 2015’s Superfood Should Be the Pickle

You’ve heard (ad nauseam no doubt) about the health-giving benefits of garlic. Hot tip: it’s all about the allicin.

For the record, garlic is said to:

  • Fight harmful bacteria
  • Ward off viruses
  • Reduce blood pressure
  • Improve cholesterol
  • Prevent Alzheimer’s disease
  • Boost athletic performance
  • Remove heavy metal from the body (sadly not from the neighbor’s stereo)
  • Fight off osteoporosis

You may also be vaguely aware that apple cider vinegar is supposed to have near-magical healing properties including:

  • Weight loss
  • The ability to moderate blood sugar (especially in pre-diabetic persons)
  • Improving digestion
  • Clearing up sinus problems
  • Curing dadruff
  • Eliminating acne
  • Whitening teeth (or possibly eliminating teeth altogether)

But you may be less aware of the proven bacteria-fighting effects of the lowly cucumber. Among other things, cucumbers are said to:

  • Heal sunburn
  • Remove toxins
  • Repair skin, hair and nail damage
  • Reduce muscle and joint pain
  • Reduce cholesterol
  • Ward off diabetes

All that said, what’s all the fuss about kale and quinoa? Pickles have to be packing at least three times the punch of these supposed superfoods. In fact I don’t know why you’d have to eat anything else at all – except maybe bacon now and then. So why don’t we kinda all get together and agree that the pickle is the superfood for 2015?

Pooping: U R Doing it Wrong

I’ve heard this before – that humans, like bears, were meant to squat in the woods. But finding the proper bathroom posture is danged inconvenient. It means going outdoors with a trail shovel and bundle of “quail tickets” or leaving sneaker prints on the potty seat.

All the other tips featured by this article in Cracked are equally unhandy – or antisocial.

7 Basic Things You Won’t Believe You’re All Doing Wrong via Metafilter

Hope Without Soap

Savon de Marseille soap

Could you go for 130 days without soap…washing your body with just water? Richard Nikoley gave up soap and shampoo about six months ago and reports that the results are amazing. His skin and hair are soft and silky. His wife comments that he smells good!

Nikoley’s post begs some questions.

1. What is Soap Anyhow?

Soap is made from processed oils. Originally these oils were animal fat or certain plant oils. Nowadays some soap products are largely chemical based. Soap, Drugs and Rock-n-Roll, featuring Miracle Soap god Michael Bronner, explains the difference.

2. Is Soap Necessary?

For years the advertising industry played on the deepest fears of women, suggesting that the only solution was to douche with Lysol. I believe the recommended procedure these days is to go au natural.

Soap, of course, isn’t really necessary – neither are baths for that matter. It seems that soap is a matter of preference and any number of Spiffy Moms prefer no soap.

3. When Do You Need to Use Soap?

And that’s all I have to say about that.

Via Boing Boing