I am a private practice physical therapist and owner of Bauer Physical Therapy in Laguna Hill, CA. On a daily basis I receive questions regarding extremity and spine injuries, by managing inflammation, pain and the general degenerative process of aging.
It is important to provide care in the form of exercise instruction, techniques to reduce pain and increase mobility, and improve the overall functional level of my clients.
The question I was recently asked pertained to foods that could help fight inflammation and provide more energy while undergoing physical therapy.
The truth is, healthy saturated fats from high quality minimally processed animal and vegetable sources provide a concentrated source of energy in your diet, and they provide the building blocks for cell membranes and a variety of hormones and hormone like substances. – Dr. Mercola: Beginner Plan-Fats
The Health Creating Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet
- Anti-oxidant rich
- Source of Omega-3
At the foundation of the Med Way of Eating is consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables, beans and nuts derived from healthy oil and fish. To a lesser extent, red meat and dairy.
The Mediterranean diet is rich in fat and foods with essential antioxidant properties.
Antioxidant rich sources from fruits and vegetables are a foundation to a healthy food plate, and protect against oxidation of nutrient dense foods, while providing a healthy dose of fiber.
Eating a Mediterranean diet or other healthy dietary pattern, comprising of fruit, vegetables, legumes, and nuts and low in processed meats, is associated with preventing the onset of depression, according to research published in the open access Journal BMC Medicine. A large study of 15,093 people suggests depression could be linked with nutrient deficits.
You can go heavy on the garlic, onions and even a glass (or two) of red wine.
Antioxidants are important for anti-aging.
As you age, naturally occurring antioxidants diminish in the body and must be included trough diet to fight free radicals from destroying cells in the body.
The antioxidant Amazing sources of omega 3s include wild salmon, grass-fed beef, algae oils, sardines, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, walnuts and flax seeds.
What are the power packing antioxidants?
Glutathione: mitochondria function of cells and detoxification. This is a powerhouse for cell metabolism.
Alpha-Lipoic Acid(ALA): supports insulin sensitivity and reduces inflammation.
CoQ10: supports cardiovascular, immune and nervous systems. Anti-aging and cellular function.
Trans-e-Viniferin:more potent than Resveratrol, Trans-e-Viniferin is extract from Grape Stem and Vine. A strong anti-inflammatory and supports brain function.
Vitamin C: cellular function.
The Potential draw back of the Med diet are the foods from whole grain bread and pasta. These foods are higher in carbohydrates, contain gluten and are more inflammatory in nature. Many people have gluten sensitivities and allergies. Minimizing these foods, or limiting them to a large extent will decrease the total calories from carbs in your diet.
Increasing caloric intake of carbs from fresh veggies, and minimizing fresh fruits to 2 servings per day will reduce sugar intake.
The bottom line remains:
- No processed foods
- No sugar
- No food additives or preservatives
So where do you get your calories from?
Yes, consuming quality fat has many health benefits, and is energy-dense and full of nutrients. Saturated fats have received a bad rap that was misinterpreted as having an adverse effect on cholesterol and heart health. In fact there are many saturated fats that provide great nutrient value without adversely effecting heart health.
Below are healthy sources of fat:
- Grass-Fed Butter from Raw, Organic Milk
- Coconut Oil
- Organic Pastured Egg Yolks
- Grass-Fed Meats
- Brain Octane (MCT Oil)
Types of Omega 3s
EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) – both are long chain omega 3 fatty acids, and both come from animal sources. DHA is the really good one: it keeps your nervous system functioning and provides anti-inflammatory benefits. Higher consumption correlates with improved mood, greater insulin sensitivity, increased muscle growth, and better sleep.
ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) – this is a short chain omega 3 fatty acid. ALA comes mostly from plant sources, and most animals can’t really use it, so they convert it to the super-powerful DHA we just talked about.
The Omega-3 content of your food provides nutrient benefits.
Amazing sources of omega 3s include:
- Wild salmon
- Grass-fed beef
- Algae, fish and Krill oils
- Brussels sprouts
- Flax and Hemp seeds
- Beans (navy and kidney)
The Impact of Omega-3 Fatty Acid on Your Heart are Great
If you just consider the fact that omega-3’s reduce inflammation then you will be able to appreciate the benefits on heart health. Omega-3’s increase insulin sensitivity. This will reduce the onset of Type II diabetes in adults. There are reports that onset of Type I diabetes in children was 55% less when consuming large amounts of Omega-3’s. There is an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease when having diabetes.
Mind Blowing Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids on the Brain
There are many benefits of Omega-3 on the health of the nervous system:
- Improved neurotransmitter function
- Greater cognitive function
- Enhanced telomere function
- Reduced Depression
Signs and Symptoms You may Experience from Omega-3 Deficiency.
- Brain Fog
- Weight Gain
The net result is the Med-based diet, when specifically designed with foods that are heart and brain healthy, can provide anti-aging and anti-inflammatory benefits.
Follow the link below to discover healthy fats to use with high heat cooking.
The only way to gain balance is to loose it,and this takes action.Inaction is the beginning of the degenerative cascade.Randy Bauer, Physical therapist/Health educator
What Health Actions can You start to counteract Aging, support the brain and cognition, reduce inflammatory processes, and realize a healthy lifestyle?
#1 Look at your diet as the first line of defense to promoting health, fitness and general well-being.
#2 What substitutions can you make in your daily diet by eliminating one food, say grass-fed butter for margarine.
#3 Include more Omega-3 in your daily diet by first purchasing, from the list above, healthier food at your local grocery.
#4 What Healthy fats can you include in your daily diet to enhance memory, heart health and energy for your health, physical recovery and energy?
#5 There are Supplements that promote anti-inflammation, provide strong antioxidant support, and create an environment for Health and Healing.