Tag Archives: anti-inflammatory

Foods in a Healthy Paleo DietUnless you have been living under a rock for the past few years, you will likely have heard of The Paleo Diet®, Paleolithic nutrition, or the huntergatherer diet to describe a way of eating that mimics the diet of our ancestral past.  

The basic argument for following this way of eating is that, for the majority of humanity’s time on this earth, this is how we ate, and it subsequently shaped our geneticsThis is particularly the case in terms of how we, as humans, respond to the foods we eat, to the prevention of disease, and the vitality of our species.  

While there has been a massive change in the food supplystarting with the agricultural revolution 10,000 years ago, then, the advent of dairy farming 5,000 years ago, and the more recent industrial revolutionour genetic makeup has not kept pace with these accelerated changes in our food supply. While humans do adapt, as in the case of some recent genetic mutations such as the adult lactase persistence (ALP) gene, these changes take place extremely slowly, resulting in an incongruence between our physiology and the foods eaten on a typical modern diet in the Western world. 

While this argument holds considerable weight, there are thoseparticularly in the field of epigenetics (the study of heritable phenotype changes that do not involve alterations in the DNA sequence)that argue humans can genetically adapt relatively quickly to the addition of new foods into our food supply. While adaptation could occur in a number of ways, the most likely adaptation would be an improvement in the tolerance to dietary anti-nutrients such as gluten, a dietary lectin, or glyco-protein that is resistant to the proteolytic enzymes in our gut that can cause short-term inflammation or, more concerningauto-immune responses if it finds its way into the blood stream.  

The foods that constitute a modern Paleo Diet contain few of these problematic dietary lectins and other anti-nutrients. And, while some individuals may adapt to tolerate these anti-nutrients, there is no benefit to their consumption. Consequently, reducing or eliminating their consumption makes physiological sense 

A far less likely adaptation, however, would be the ability to tolerate a decrease in the consumption of essential vitamins and mineralsThe more nutrient-dense a food is, the less we need to eat to get our daily nutrient requirementsThis, in turn, reduces the likelihood of unnecessary caloric over-consumptionSo, the assessment of nutrient density of a diet is a very useful way to assess the viability of a particular dietary plan.  

Individuals and organizations looking to criticize The Paleo Diet typically state that eliminating certain food types (grains, legumes, starchy tubers, and dairy) would lead to nutrient deficiencies. This is an ignorant position to take given that it is so easy to assess the nutrient density of any diet. In the early 1990’s, when we first recommended the Paleo Diet to help auto-immune patients by eliminating high lectin-containing foods, we asked this same question. We wanted to be sure that doing so did not lead to any nutrient deficiencies. Not only did we discover that this did not occur, we also learned that following the Paleo Diet improved the nutrient content of the most deficient vitamins and minerals in a typical Western diet.  

We have created a table of the nutrient density for the twelve most common mineral and vitamin insufficiency in the U.S. diet. This table can be used to analyze any diet for its nutrient density; and we have compared The Paleo Diet to both an American Heart Association recommended diet and the Mediterranean diet. The Paleo Diet was significantly more nutrient dense than the other two diets. So, when anyone attempts to criticize The Paleo Diet for creating nutrient deficiencies, you can be assured that they are wrong. 

A high glycemic load is another problem with many foods commonly consumed in the United States and other western countriesThis abnormally elevates blood sugar levels. The increased consumption of these types of foods has led to a problematic physiological state termed metabolic syndrome in which insulin sensitivity worsens, leading to chronically elevated insulin levels. Poor dietary habits have now caused this syndrome in as much as a third of U.S. adults. The syndrome consists of a multitude of conditions that, together, increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and type II diabetes. They include increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels. The low glycemic load and high fiber intake of the foods consumed on The Paleo Diet prevent and even reverse this increasingly problematic health issue.

Critics of The Paleo Diet also like to claim there is little research supporting these recommendations. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Dr. Cordain referenced over 900 sources in writing his book, The Paleo Answer, with only a handful not coming from peer-reviewed journal articles. These references combine research that supports the benefits of consuming foods included on The Paleo Diet, as well as the negative consequences of foods not on The Paleo Diet. And as the research continues to grow in volume, we share significant papers at the website. Further, as the popularity of the diet has grown, more and more experimental studies have now been conducted to examine the effects of adopting a Paleolithic way of eating. We stay up to date with these studies and keep a list that you can access to follow this research.

If you want to learn more, the articles and information at our website provide a resource for you to discover why following The Paleo Diet will help you to control your blood sugar levels, avoid the conditions comprising metabolic syndrome, provide foods that are very nutrient-dense, help to avoid caloric over-consumption, and decrease the anti-nutrient load that can lead to inflammation and potential auto-immune conditions. We can confidently state that no other way of eating can do this better than The Paleo Diet   

The Paleo Diet Team is here to help you on your journey to a healthier lifestyle; we invite you to interact with us via our website or social media platforms to help answer any questions you may have. In the meantime, here’s a good place to start. 

Anti-Inflammatory Effects of a Ketogenic Diet | The Paleo Diet

Many are aware that ketogenic diets offer a plethora of health benefits.1,2,3,4,5 Among the ketogenic diet’s best properties are its anti-inflammatory effects.6,7 However, despite the emerging popularity of the diet, the scientific community is still relatively uncertain about the exact beneficial mechanisms behind this dietary approach.8,9,10 Recently however, a new study was published which looked at the potential mechanisms underlying the specific anti-inflammatory properties of ketosis.11

Anti-Inflammatory Effects of a Ketogenic Diet | The Paleo Diet

Eitel, Julia. “Innate Immune Recognition and Inflammasome Activation in Listeria Monocytogenes Infection.” Frontiers. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Feb. 2015.

For those unfamiliar, a ketogenic diet is one which contains very little – if any – carbohydrate.12 One classic example of this dietary approach is seen in the Inuit people.13 The Inuit are indigenous people, who live in the Arctic region.14 Alaska, Canada and Greenland all have Inuit populations.15 In one of the more famous nutrition stories of recent times, Dr. Vilhjalmur Stefansson ate nothing but meat for one year, after being inspired by living with the Inuit, and seeing their remarkably low rate of disease.16,17,18 This was despite the Inuit’s (then) controversial diet of nothing but meat, whether it came from fish or other sources. Stefansson saw no ill effects from a year of an all meat diet, with basically zero carbohydrate. He also consumed no vegetables. It is worth noting, that he also became very ill when he consumed only low fat meat, and nothing else. When he added the fattier meat back in, he immediately felt better.

The many reported benefits of the ketogenic diet include, but are not limited to: less hunger while dieting, improved cognitive function in those who are cognitively impaired, improved LDL cholesterol levels, improved weight loss, and improved levels of HDL cholesterol.19 This is in addition to the aforementioned anti-inflammatory effects. When we look to the scientific literature, we see that the anti-inflammatory nature of the diet has been studied for many years.20,21,22,23,24 The ketogenic diet has also been established as an adequate anticonvulsant therapy.25

This newly published research looks specifically at the ketone metabolite beta-hydroxybutyrate, which seems to inhibit the NLRP3 inflammasome.26 Since the NLRP3 inflammasome was previously found to have been linked to obesity and inflammation, as well as insulin resistance, inhibiting it would make mechanistic sense.27 The resultant weight loss and anti-inflammatory effects, commonly seem (at least anecdotally) when adopting a ketogenic diet, would then make sense as well. The NLRP3 inflammasome also drives the inflammatory response in several disorders including autoimmune diseases, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, atherosclerosis, and autoinflammatory disorders.28,29

Anti-Inflammatory Effects of a Ketogenic Diet | The Paleo Diet

Kossoff, Eric H. “More Fat and Fewer Seizures: Dietary Therapies for Epilepsy.” The Lancet. N.p., July 2014. 

Anti-Inflammatory Effects of a Ketogenic Diet | The Paleo Diet

Menu, P, and J E Vince. “The NLRP3 Inflammasome in Health and Disease: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.” Clinical and Experimental Immunology 166.1 (2011): 1–15. PMC. Web. 19 Feb. 2015.

Could it all be so simple? Possibly, though there is certainly likely more to be more scientific discoveries, relating to the beneficial effects of this specific dietary approach. Moving away from glucose and instead utilizing ketone bodies as a source of metabolic fuel, results in many profound changes, of which we are only beginning to scratch the surface of, scientifically.30,31,32

This new discovery will likely be the first of many new findings regarding the ketogenic diet, and its abundance of benefits. If you are looking to adopt a ketogenic approach, simply follow the many nutritious tenets of the Paleo Diet, and then lower your carbohydrate intake to below 100g per day. How low you need to go for optimum quality of life is highly variant, and many people report different results with different amounts of carbohydrates. Dialing in the best nutrition plan for you, when adopting a ketogenic diet, is integral. Be sure to consult with a professional to avoid possible nutrient deficiencies.

 

REFERENCES

[1] Dashti HM, Mathew TC, Hussein T, et al. Long-term effects of a ketogenic diet in obese patients. Exp Clin Cardiol. 2004;9(3):200-5.

[2] Paoli A. Ketogenic diet for obesity: friend or foe?. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2014;11(2):2092-107.

[3] Zajac A, Poprzecki S, Maszczyk A, Czuba M, Michalczyk M, Zydek G. The effects of a ketogenic diet on exercise metabolism and physical performance in off-road cyclists. Nutrients. 2014;6(7):2493-508.

[4] Hussain TA, Mathew TC, Dashti AA, Asfar S, Al-zaid N, Dashti HM. Effect of low-calorie versus low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet in type 2 diabetes. Nutrition. 2012;28(10):1016-21.

[5] Millichap JG, Yee MM. The diet factor in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Pediatrics. 2012;129(2):330-7.

[6] Schugar RC, Crawford PA. Low-carbohydrate ketogenic diets, glucose homeostasis, and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2012;15(4):374-80.

[7] Masino SA, Kawamura M, Wasser CD, Wasser CA, Pomeroy LT, Ruskin DN. Adenosine, ketogenic diet and epilepsy: the emerging therapeutic relationship between metabolism and brain activity. Curr Neuropharmacol. 2009;7(3):257-68.

[8] Poff AM, Ari C, Seyfried TN, D’agostino DP. The ketogenic diet and hyperbaric oxygen therapy prolong survival in mice with systemic metastatic cancer. PLoS ONE. 2013;8(6):e65522.

[9] Krilanovich NJ. Benefits of ketogenic diets. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007;85(1):238-9.

[10] Mandel A, Ballew M, Pina-Garza JE, Stalmasek V, Clemens LH. Medical costs are reduced when children with intractable epilepsy are successfully treated with the ketogenic diet. J Am Diet Assoc 2002;102:396–8.

[11] Youm YH, Nguyen KY, Grant RW, et al. The ketone metabolite β-hydroxybutyrate blocks NLRP3 inflammasome-mediated inflammatory disease. Nat Med. 2015;

[12] Rogovik AL, Goldman RD. Ketogenic diet for treatment of epilepsy. Can Fam Physician. 2010;56(6):540-2.

[13] Phinney SD. Ketogenic diets and physical performance. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2004;1(1):2.

[14] Bjerregaard P, Dewailly E, Young TK, et al. Blood pressure among the Inuit (Eskimo) populations in the Arctic. Scand J Public Health. 2003;31(2):92-9.

[15] Helgason A, Pálsson G, Pedersen HS, et al. mtDNA variation in Inuit populations of Greenland and Canada: migration history and population structure. Am J Phys Anthropol. 2006;130(1):123-34.

[16] Stefansson V: Not by bread alone. The MacMillan Co, NY 1946. Introductions by Eugene F. DuBois, MD, pp ix-xiii; and Earnest Hooton PhD, ScD, pp xv-xvi.

[17] McClellan WS, DuBois EF: Clinical calorimetry XLV: Prolonged meat diets with a study of kidney function and ketosis. J Biol Chem 1930, 87:651-68.

[18] McClellan WS, Rupp VR, Toscani V: Clinical calorimetry XLVI: prolonged meat diets with a study of the metabolism of nitrogen, calcium, and phosphorus. J Biol Chem 1930, 87:669-80.

[19] Pérez-guisado J. [Ketogenic diets: additional benefits to the weight loss and unfounded secondary effects]. Arch Latinoam Nutr. 2008;58(4):323-9.

[20] Yang X, Cheng B. Neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory activities of ketogenic diet on MPTP-induced neurotoxicity. J Mol Neurosci. 2010;42(2):145-53.

[21] Masino SA, Kawamura M, Wasser CD, Wasser CA, Pomeroy LT, Ruskin DN. Adenosine, ketogenic diet and epilepsy: the emerging therapeutic relationship between metabolism and brain activity. Curr Neuropharmacol. 2009;7(3):257-68.

[22] Gasior M, Rogawski MA, Hartman AL. Neuroprotective and disease-modifying effects of the ketogenic diet. Behav Pharmacol. 2006;17(5-6):431-9.

[23] Kim do Y, Hao J, Liu R, Turner G, Shi FD, Rho JM. Inflammation-mediated memory dysfunction and effects of a ketogenic diet in a murine model of multiple sclerosis. PLoS ONE. 2012;7(5):e35476.

[24] Masino SA, Ruskin DN. Ketogenic diets and pain. J Child Neurol. 2013;28(8):993-1001.

[25] Bough KJ, Rho JM. Anticonvulsant mechanisms of the ketogenic diet. Epilepsia. 2007;48(1):43-58.

[26] Youm YH, Nguyen KY, Grant RW, et al. The ketone metabolite β-hydroxybutyrate blocks NLRP3 inflammasome-mediated inflammatory disease. Nat Med. 2015;

[27] Vandanmagsar B, Youm YH, Ravussin A, et al. The NLRP3 inflammasome instigates obesity-induced inflammation and insulin resistance. Nat Med. 2011;17(2):179-88.

[28] Menu P, Vince JE. The NLRP3 inflammasome in health and disease: the good, the bad and the ugly. Clin Exp Immunol. 2011;166(1):1-15.

[29] Zhou R, Yazdi AS, Menu P, Tschopp J. A role for mitochondria in NLRP3 inflammasome activation. Nature. 2011;469(7329):221-5.

[30] Guzmán M, Blázquez C. Ketone body synthesis in the brain: possible neuroprotective effects. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2004;70(3):287-92.

[31] Laffel L. Ketone bodies: a review of physiology, pathophysiology and application of monitoring to diabetes. Diabetes Metab Res Rev. 1999;15(6):412-26.

[32] Henderson ST. Ketone bodies as a therapeutic for Alzheimer’s disease. Neurotherapeutics. 2008;5(3):470-80.

Almond Lime Kale Salad

During the past several years, kale has become a favorite “superfood” vegetable around the world. Despite its meteoric rise to prominence, kale has always been a favorite food of farmers because it grows fast, resists frost, and requires very little fertilizer.1 Kale is a winter vegetable, so now is a great time to start including it in your meals.

Nutritionally speaking, kale is a rock star, boasting high amounts of beta-carotene, vitamin C, and vitamin K. It’s also a rich source of phytonutrients, including the flavonoid kaempferol. Epidemiological studies associate kaempferol consumption with reduced rates of several degenerative diseases and numerous preclinical studies have shown kaempferol to have a wide range of pharmacological activities, including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anticancer, cardioprotective, and neuroprotective.2

In this recipe, we’re pairing kale with almonds. Like all seeds, almonds contain phytic acid, a chelating “antinutrient” with a propensity for binding with calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc, thereby inhibiting the absorption of these critical minerals.3 You can reduce the phytic acid by soaking the almonds in water for at least eight hours or, preferably, 24. From a culinary perspective, this also improves the taste and texture of the almonds.

Helpful hint: Soak one or two cups of almonds, then discard the soaking water, pat-dry the almonds with a kitchen towel, and store them in your refrigerator for 5 – 7 days. Not only will you always have some handy for a recipe, but also for a quick, nutritious snack.

INGREDIENTS

Serves 1

  • 3 – 4 kale leaves
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed
  • ½-inch piece of ginger, finely chopped
  • ½ cup almonds, soaked at least 8 hours
  • ½ lime, juiced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

DIRECTIONS

kale-and-almonds4
Remove and discard the stems from the kale leaves. Chop leaves into bite-sized pieces.
4 item(s) « 1 of 4 »
*Use the arrows in the lower gray bar of this image-viewer to move left or right through the directions. We recommend using one of following approved browsers for optimal viewing quality: Mozilla Firefox, Safari, or Google Chrome.

 

Christopher James Clark, B.B.A.
@nutrigrail
Nutritional Grail
www.ChristopherJamesClark.com

Christopher James Clark | The Paleo Diet TeamChristopher James Clark, B.B.A. is an award-winning writer, consultant, and chef with specialized knowledge in nutritional science and healing cuisine. He has a Business Administration degree from the University of Michigan and formerly worked as a revenue management analyst for a Fortune 100 company. For the past decade-plus, he has been designing menus, recipes, and food concepts for restaurants and spas, coaching private clients, teaching cooking workshops worldwide, and managing the kitchen for a renowned Greek yoga resort. Clark is the author of the critically acclaimed, award-winning book, Nutritional Grail.

See more recipes!

 

references

1. Straight, K. (July 20, 2014). Rub of the Greens. ABC News. Retrieved from //www.abc.net.au/landline/content/2014/s4049600.htm

2. Calderón-Montaño, JM, et al. (April 2011). A review on the dietary flavonoid kaempferol. Mini Reviews in Medical Chemistry, 11(4). Retrieved from //www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21428901

3. Torre, M, et al. (1991). Effects of dietary fiber and phytic acid on mineral availability. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 30(1). Retrieved from //www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1657026

4 Anti-inflammatory Farmers Market Finds

National Farmer’s Market week celebrates two distinct and important aspects of this way of eating: locally-sourced foods and seasonally appropriate. And to that end, here are a few great, nutrient-dense seasonal foods you may find at your local market to include in your Paleo menu. Many of them provide not only a great variety of flavors, but also anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic, and otherwise health-promoting compounds. 2, 6

Broccoli

Broccoli is rich in vitamin C and fibre, and is surprisingly high in protein. It is a source of some potent phytochemicals, such as sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol, which have demonstrated protective effects in models of cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, and other conditions.1, 5, 11 Sautéed with a little garlic (another nutritional powerhouse) in olive oil, and you’ve got a delicious side dish for any Paleo meal.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes are a good source of antioxidants, retinoids (vitamin A-like compounds), and lycopene. The latter has been shown to protect the skin from the damaging effects of excess ultraviolet radiation – which might come in handy in the summer months, coincidentally, when tomatoes are in season.4, 7, 10 Cooking tomatoes maximizes the lycopene content,3 perfect for a summer Paleo Gazpacho.

If you have an autoimmune disease, certain glycoalkaloids in tomatoes may act to increase intestinal permeability and also contain certain immunological adjuvants (alpha tomatine in tomatoes) that up-regulate the immune response and should be avoided.

Zucchini

Zucchini is rich in folate, copper, and potassium, and is an extremely low-calorie food; only about 10-15 calories in a whole zucchini. It’s also one of the best sources for lutein and zeaxanthin, two phytonutrients that are good for ocular health.9 Zucchini has a delicate flavor which has been described as savory by some, and can be sliced, grilled, and ready-to-eat in just a few minutes.

Raspberries

Raspberries are another great source of antioxidants and anthocyanins. One study showed the equivalent of about a handful of raspberries per day reduces markers of inflammation in the blood while another study showed potentially protective effects against colorectal cancer. 8

While this is a terribly abbreviated list, you’ll surely find many other great Paleo Diet approved options at your local Farmer’s Market, so by all means, enjoy!

William Lagakos, Ph.D.
@caloriesproper
CaloriesProper

William Lagakos, Ph.D.Dr. William Lagakos received a Ph.D. in Nutritional Biochemistry and Physiology from Rutgers University where his research focused on dietary fat assimilation and integrated energy metabolism. His postdoctoral research at the University of California, San Diego, centered on obesity, inflammation, and insulin resistance. Dr. William Lagakos has authored numerous manuscripts which have been published in peer-reviewed journals, as well as a non-fiction book titled The Poor, Misunderstood Calorie which explores the concept of calories and simultaneously explains how hormones and the neuroendocrine response to foods regulate nutrient partitioning. He is presently a nutritional sciences researcher, consultant, and blogger.

References

1. Jayakumar P, Pugalendi KV, Sankaran M. Attenuation of hyperglycemia-mediated oxidative stress by indole-3-carbinol and its metabolite 3, 3′- diindolylmethane in C57BL/6J mice. J Physiol Biochem. Jun 2014;70(2):525-534.

2. Jiang Y, Wu SH, Shu XO, Xiang YB, Ji BT, Milne GL, . . . Yang G. Cruciferous vegetable intake is inversely correlated with circulating levels of proinflammatory markers in women. J Acad Nutr Diet. May 2014;114(5):700-708 e702.

3. Kamiloglu S, Demirci M, Selen S, Toydemir G, Boyacioglu D, Capanoglu E. Home processing of tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum): effects on in vitro bioaccessibility of total lycopene, phenolics, flavonoids, and antioxidant capacity. J Sci Food Agric. Aug 2014;94(11):2225-2233.

4. Khachik F, Carvalho L, Bernstein PS, Muir GJ, Zhao DY, Katz NB. Chemistry, distribution, and metabolism of tomato carotenoids and their impact on human health. Exp Biol Med (Maywood). Nov 2002;227(10):845-851.

5. Lenzi M, Fimognari C, Hrelia P. Sulforaphane as a promising molecule for fighting cancer. Cancer Treat Res. 2014;159:207-223.

6. Macready AL, George TW, Chong MF, Alimbetov DS, Jin Y, Vidal A, . . . Group FS. Flavonoid-rich fruit and vegetables improve microvascular reactivity and inflammatory status in men at risk of cardiovascular disease–FLAVURS: a randomized controlled trial. Am J Clin Nutr. Mar 2014;99(3):479-489.

7. Rizwan M, Rodriguez-Blanco I, Harbottle A, Birch-Machin MA, Watson RE, Rhodes LE. Tomato paste rich in lycopene protects against cutaneous photodamage in humans in vivo: a randomized controlled trial. Br J Dermatol. Jan 2011;164(1):154-162.

8. Sardo CL, Kitzmiller JP, Apseloff G, Harris RB, Roe DJD, Stoner GD, Jacobs ET. An Open-Label Randomized Crossover Trial of Lyophilized Black Raspberries on Postprandial Inflammation in Older Overweight Males: A Pilot Study. Am J Ther. Aug 26 2013.

9. Sommerburg O, Keunen JE, Bird AC, van Kuijk FJ. Fruits and vegetables that are sources for lutein and zeaxanthin: the macular pigment in human eyes. Br J Ophthalmol. Aug 1998;82(8):907-910.

10. Stahl W, Heinrich U, Aust O, Tronnier H, Sies H. Lycopene-rich products and dietary photoprotection. Photochem Photobiol Sci. Feb 2006;5(2):238-242.

11. Tarozzi A, Angeloni C, Malaguti M, Morroni F, Hrelia S, Hrelia P. Sulforaphane as a potential protective phytochemical against neurodegenerative diseases. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2013;2013:415078.

Affiliates and Credentials