November 17, 2016

Not all fats and carbohydrates are created equal

In my last post, I described how a diet of unhealthy fats and carbs contributes to inflammation in our cells and tissues. Here are some examples of their healthy counterparts and how they can help us reduce our inflammation load.

Unrefined carbohydrates such as vegetables, fruits, legumes and whole grains contain fiber so are digested more slowly than their refined white flour and sugary snack food counterparts. Slower digestion supplies a lower and more steady dose of sugar in the bloodstream which reduces the development of inflammation. 

Happy gut bacteria

Fiber also feeds our gut bacteria, and when these microorganisms are healthy, they have been shown to produce anti-inflammatory effects inside our bodies.

Antioxidants including phytonutrients and vitamins, are also contained in unrefined carbohydrates, and help balance the oxidative stress created from the sugar component of these food.

Go nuts

Nuts and seeds are rich in he...

November 5, 2016

Make smart choices to reduce the risk of chronic disease

First the bad news:

Chronic diseases in U.S. kids and teens are on the rise.  Well established evidence now links chronic conditions including asthma, allergies, eczema, inflammatory bowel disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes, autism, mood and behavioral disorders to chronic inflammation, which is at the root of chronic illness (1).


Chronic inflammation develops as a maladaptive response of our immune system, when ongoing triggers stimulate attack of our cells and tissues. These triggers include factors as far ranging as pollution, stress, poor diet, poor sleep and lack of exercise.

Now some good news:

Growing scientific evidence finds that reducing or removing these infl...

October 13, 2016

Here are some combination ideas that get you on your way to eating a rainbow every


- celery and nut butter

- carrot sticks and hummus

- a salad with lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, sunflower seeds and olive oil

brings your count to 5!

- berry smoothie with chia seeds and cacao powder

- green smoothie with avocado, mango and spinach

- salsa- tomatoes, onion, chile, lime, cilantro, and black pepper

puts the count at 6!

- oatmeal with cinnamon and nutmeg

- roasted sweet potatoes with garlic and thyme

- vegetable minestrone

- veggie stir fry with sesame seeds

Remember to buy organic when you are able, especially for those plants with high pesticide

contamination when grown conventionally.

Become familiar with the Environmental Working Group's Dirty Dozen & Clean 15 list of  conventionally grown produce with highest to lowest contamination. Check this out at

To learn more about how phytonutrients work, check out my article called, A Rainbow of Phytonutrients.

September 15, 2016

This multicolored assortment of farmers market fare is more than just appealing to the eye. The same chemicals that give fruits and vegetables their vibrant colors have been shown to prevent and treat chronic disease in humans.

Can you count how many phytonutrients are on display?

Plant based foods are loaded with colorful chemicals, called phytonutrients, that come in all colors of the rainbow, each color having distinctive health benefits for kids and adults alike.

Studies have found properties in phytonutrients that can boost our immune system,assist our liver to get rid of toxins, help our brain with learning and memory, regulate hormone balance and reduce our risk of cancer.

This is why we might all want to try to eat a rainbow of these foods each day. 

Aim for one food from each color every day.

Not a big fruit or veggie eater? Start with a few a day and work up.

In addition to produce, phytonutrients are also found in beans, nuts, spices, olive oil.

Mix and match your plant based foo...

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Fats and Carbs that Reduce Inflammation

November 17, 2016

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Santa Cruz Integrative Medicine

740 Front Street, Suite 130

Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Tel: 831-607-8086

© 2016 by Janet Volpe

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed are solely my own. All information provided here is meant as general education and not meant as medical advice to treat of advise specific patients. Medical decisions should be made in direct consultation with a medical doctor.