Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Here's To Your Health

My favorite speaker at the Camp JAM was the Naturopath doctor from Portland. He had a really cool name, too. Tyler Keliiheleua. He talked about how diet can affect a child with an autoimmune disease and since I have two kids that fit that bill, I perked right up.

Here are some common inflammatory foods to avoid: refind sugar; refined wheat; pasteurized dairy; grain fed animal meat; vegetable oil. Some of these are obvious to avoid for just being unhealthy, but I never thought of foods being a cause of inflammation. He also said chew your food 32 times! Yes, that's right. It should basically be liquid by the time you swallow it. I've tried this and it's weird to chew that long. But it also aids in digestion because your stomach acids don't have to work as hard to break down foods. You're also supposed to drink less (or not at all) during dinner. This also hampers the acids from breaking down food and keeps it in your system too long. He suggested drinking a glass of water with 1/4 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar (which I ran and bought at Trader Joe's today) 5-10 minutes before your biggest meal. People with autoimmune diseases have trouble breaking down proteins especially and the cider vinegar is supposed to get those juices flowing.

Some common foods that reduce inflammation are: wild cold water fish; organic spices like ginger and turmeric; leafy greens; Extra Virgin Olive Oil; lemon; cilantro and parsley; garlic; water; dark berries; herbal tea; flax seed/oil; and walnut (and walnut oil). He said he would email out some smoothie recipes that used some of these things. I'm curious how he's gonna make a leafy green smoothie that my kid will drink.

The healthy oils are: walnut oil; flaxseed; coconut; grape seed; extra virgin olive oil. He listed the bad oils and I asked about Canola. He said he didn't include it because it falls somewhere in the middle. You don't have to cut it out entirely, but the good oils should be used more often anyway.

The last thing he mentioned that I found interesting were Probiotics. I've been giving Holland that in a pill form, but he was talking about something that was a live culture and had to be kept in the fridge, so that's something I'm going to have to investigate more.

So there are my tips on how to have a healthy gastrointestinal system. Don't forget your fiber!

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