Anti-inflammatory Porridge

kale smoothie
The original smoothie with kale

It started as a smoothie. I have often made a smoothie that includes some healthy nutrients. At the same time, I try to keep within the bounds of a low-carb diet

One of the factors in integrative health is the immune system.  Along with nourishment, breathing, mental training, and movement. These 5 vectors are all interlinked. Working with these areas and “connecting the dots”  is the key to good health.

What is our immune system? The system in our body that fights disease and foreign bodies. It consists of the lymphatic system. Part of the function of this system is to transport white blood cells to and from the lymph nodes. In this way, it helps rid the body of toxins, waste and other unwanted materials.

What is inflammation? It is the body’s response to harmful stimuli from foreign organisms. This is a biological reaction to the work of the white blood cells, sent by the lymphatic system.

Is inflammation bad? Not at all, when it is acute. It tells you to stop injuring yourself further – by movement, for example, in a joint injury. In other words, acute inflammation is a good thing. The body repairs itself this way.

So when is it bad? When in becomes chronic, or systemic. Many factors cause systemic inflammation. Systemic inflammation can lead to major health problems, such as cardiovascular disease. We do not want systemic inflammation. We want to avoid it.

What has food got to do with it? Certain kinds of food cause systemic inflammation. Not in everyone. Some people have a genetic predisposal to react to some foods. For example, foods from the nightshade family – potatoes, aubergines, tomatoes and sweet peppers. Hardly surprising when deadly nightshade (belladonna) is a poison. At a cellular level, the toxins present act as an irritant, thus causing inflammation.

Luckily, there are many foods that are anti-inflammatory. They reduce inflammation.

I recently saw a list of 24 foods that are anti-inflammatory. There are more than this number.  I noticed that several of them were in my smoothie. So I tried to expand my smoothie to include more. Only my smoothie became a porridge. On account of chia seeds, I suspect.

I will explain my porridge.

The base is buttermilk. Nothing too anti-inflammatory here. 250 ml. Organic. To this, I add a little fruit. Not too much so as not to kick me out of ketosis. As I have this for breakfast, or “break fast”, I drink a bullet-proof coffee before. I add a small piece banana, just 20g. A good source of potassium and soluble fibre – good for the gut. You can substitute this with cauliflower for less sugar. Red seedless grapes. 20g.  They contain anthocyanins and resveratrol.

Blueberries. 30g. Blueberries are sometimes called a superfood because of the antioxidants and vitamins. Pomegranates, 30g. Contain phytochemicals

So that was the fruits. Now the seeds. I mix seeds together, adding 40g in total to the porridge. Chia seeds (16g) are the reason it becomes a porridge. They undergo a dramatic expansion when put in liquids. Lots of omega-3 fats. Not as bioavailable as those from oily fish, but still. Important in reducing the inflammation related to heart disease. Flax seeds (8g) for similar benefits to chia. Hemp seeds (8g), anti-inflammatory due to gamma linolenic acid. Sesame seeds (8g) contains sesamol. Also, these seeds contain lots of minerals.

seed mix
Seed mix – chia, flax, sesame and hemp

 

Then we add the spices. Ginger (10g) is the one you are most familiar with. Contains gingerols. powerful stuff. Turmeric is also touted as a superfood. The active ingredient here is curcumin. Be careful handling this (as a root). It stains everything! Do not get it on white plastic appliances! I also add a fair amount of cumin, cayenne pepper, and cinnamon. Almost like a curry!

Sometimes I will cut a sprig of kale from the garden.  Kale is available the whole winter. 

That is 11 of the list of 24. I don’t think I want to add fish or olive oil! I take 5ml of cod liver oil on the side to get DHA and EPA plus vitamin D. Garlic would be useful. It tends to screw your social life.

All this can be a little bitter, so I add some vanilla flavoured stevia drops.

Then I use the hand blender and after I have liquefied everything, I leave it for a while. This lets the chia seeds bloat.

Yes, there are other things I could add. You can vary the recipe a bit. Apple peel and cherries might be a tasty addition.

What does it do? For me, it eliminates joint pain. I used to have to wake up every hour to roll over at night. This was due to pain in my back and my hips. I do not do this anymore. I get a good night’s sleep.

I know that by eating or drinking this concoction, I am reducing inflammation. I am including other factors that reduce chronic inflammation. I am following the integrative health protocol. This is the key to good health. A life without pain. This is important when you are over 60. No – this is vital when you are over 60. It is the difference between living and existing.

Thin at 60 – a new taboo?

I have had a great morning! I fasted since yesterday afternoon. I started the day with a glass of water with bicarbonate of soda. Followed that sometime later with a Bulletproof tea. That is tea with coconut oil, dairy cream and butter. Delicious!

I then went swimming. With bags of energy, 2,500 metres crawl was no problem. Then a sauna and a cold plunge. I came out of the swimming hall feeling energised and healthy.

I went to the local supermarket to buy lunch and met a friend, E., whom I had not seen for quite a while.

“Steve, you look so thin! Are you ill?”. I can tell you that I am used to this question. What she said next was new, though. “You know, you should not be so thin being over 60 – it badly affects your looks!”

20161014_132111

Here is a photo of me taken when I got home. What do you think?

OK, I thought. How would I look if I was in a wheelchair. Having had both my legs amputated, due to Type 2 Diabetes? I didn’t say this. I could have retorted, “You’ve gained a lot of weight, are you ill ?” Because that would be speaking the truth.

I tried to explain my lifestyle change.

“Oh, I want to enjoy the pleasures of life -I smoke, I drink, I do not eat ecological food – it’s rubbish! Besides, my BMI (Body Mass Index) is good”

Knowing that the BMI is not an accurate way of measuring obesity, I asked her a question.

“Have you heard of the waist/height ratio?”

“No – what is that?”

I explained that this was a far better method of indicating if you are overweight or underweight. She asked me for something to write on. I gave her one of my Sakharoff.com cards. “Now, tell me the formula?”

I said that you take the waist measurement above the navel. Divide this by the height. If the result is over .5, then it shows you are obese. I showed her using my measurements on the calculator on my smartphone. 82/179 (cm)  =.4581.  She was in no hurry to let me calculate hers!

We continued the conversation as we walked around the shop. She had a friend in Spain who has always been so thin and now, at 71, she was ill. I said that it was possible to be underweight as well. The art of it is to find a weight where you reach homeostasis – normality. Or in Nature’s eyes, perfection.

If you follow a ketogenic diet, your body will find its right weight. Automatically. Because your blood sugar  levels are stable. Your insulin is thus stable. That means that the insulin is not storing excess carbs as fat for a rainy day. It worked for me. According to everyone I meet, I seem to have the DNA from a different species. They are not built like that. It won’t work for them.

Bullshit!

We left each other at the checkout. E., thinking I was a health fanatic. Me, thinking that she was cheating herself of life. Well, you win some, you lose some.

Take this drug and live to 120!

metformin

Read all about it! Take this drug and live to 120!

Metformin is being touted  as a candidate for keeping people alive until they are 120! (sourceDaily Telegraph)

Should we clap our hands with excitement? NO!

The very notion of using a drug to stay alive should set off alarm bells with every person.  Metformin is a generic drug, which means that no one in particular owns the rights to produce it. At the present time, it is cheap. If a drugs giant wanted to, they could corner the market and increase the price. This is every drug company’s boss dream come true!

What is metformin (sometimes misnamed Metmorphine) currently prescribed for? It regulates blood glucose levels in diabetes patients. This is without the side effect of straight insulin, which is an increase in body weight.

In the context of longevity, what is Metformin supposed to do? According to the article:

“Metformin increases the number of oxygen molecules released into a cell, which appears to boost robustness and longevity.”

Do we need a drug to do that? Have they not heard that a practice known as Buteyko Breathing does exactly that? I am doing Buteyko breathing as a part of the Sakharoff Path of Strong Health course. So, according to this research, I am also going to live until I am 120 – without drugs!

Why are we so keen to take drugs for every condition? Drugs are typically synthetic biochemical substances. They are prescribed to suppress the symptoms of physiological conditions. Not necessarily to cure the condition. The efficacy is based on evidence. The evidence does not show  if it affects other body systems. Especially if drug companies fund the research.

57  years more of taking a drug without side effects; are you kidding me?

According to Drugs.com, the main side effects of metformin are:

” Commonly reported side effects of metformin include: lactic acidosis, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, nausea and vomiting, and flatulence. Other side effects include: diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, decreased vitamin b12 serum concentrate, and weakness.”

Now the rest:

  • Abdominal or stomach discomfort
  • cough or hoarseness
  • decreased appetite
  • diarrhea
  • fast or shallow breathing
  • fever or chills
  • general feeling of discomfort
  • lower back or side pain
  • muscle pain or cramping
  • painful or difficult urination
  • sleepiness

Less common:

  • Anxiety
  • blurred vision
  • chest discomfort
  • cold sweats
  • coma
  • confusion
  • cool, pale skin
  • depression
  • difficult or labored breathing
  • dizziness
  • fast, irregular, pounding, or racing heartbeat or pulse
  • feeling of warmth
  • headache
  • increased hunger
  • increased sweating
  • nausea
  • nervousness
  • nightmares
  • redness of the face, neck, arms, and occasionally, upper chest
  • seizures
  • shakiness
  • shortness of breath
  • slurred speech
  • tightness in the chest
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • wheezing

Rare

  • Behavior change similar to being drunk
  • difficulty with concentrating
  • drowsiness
  • lack or loss of strength
  • restless sleep
  • unusual sleepiness

Minor Side Effects

Some of the side effects that can occur with metformin may not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the medicine during treatment these side effects may go away. Your health care professional may also be able to tell you about ways to reduce or prevent some of these side effects. If any of the following side effects continue, are bothersome or if you have any questions about them, check with your health care professional:

More common:

  • Acid or sour stomach
  • belching
  • bloated
  • excess air or gas in the stomach or intestines
  • full feeling
  • heartburn
  • indigestion
  • loss of appetite
  • metallic taste in the mouth
  • passing of gas
  • stomachache
  • stomach upset or pain
  • vomiting
  • weight loss

Less common:

  • Abnormal stools
  • bad, unusual, or unpleasant (after) taste
  • change in taste
  • difficulty with moving
  • discoloration of the fingernails or toenails
  • flu-like symptoms
  • joint pain
  • rash
  • runny nose
  • sneezing
  • stuffy nose
  • swollen joints

To the best of my knowledge, Buteyko breathing has NONE of the side effects. But it does the same thing as “scientists” claim Metformin does.

In short, Buteyko Breathing encourages retention of carbon dioxide in the lungs and blood. This facilitates the release of oxygen from haemeglobin to the cells. This, oxygenating cells. The Bohr Effect. Look it up.

I, for one, prefer a physical method of attaining longevity over taking drugs. Any drugs. What about you?