antiinflammatory

What’s on the Menu – The one soft drink that doesn’t make me sick to my stomach

Yes. There is an actual difference between ginger ale and ginger beer, at least in theory. Traditional ginger beers, use fermentation to create the carbonation & usually yield a stronger ginger flavor. Ginger beer can contain alcohol, but most available nowadays do not. Ginger ale on the other hand is sweetened soda water with added ginger flavor (source). Even though I believe soft drinks can cause serious health problems, these two ginger sodas do offer moderate health benefits, but it’s certainly not because of their sugar content.

There is a reason why they offer you a ginger ale on the plane if you’re feeling nauseous. Studies performed in the last 10 years suggest that ginger can not only help with your run of the mill upset stomach, but it can also alleviate the nausea associated with sea sickness, chemotherapy and pregnancy. It’s important to know that they did not use ginger ale in these research studies. They actually determined that 1-1.5 g of ginger (raw or powdered) could alleviate symptoms associated with these various types of nausea (source). The medicinal effects of ginger don’t stop there.

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Ginger also contains a powerful anti-inflammatory compound known as gingerol (clever name).  This compound has been linked to the reduction of certain side effects of chronic health conditions like osteoarthritis, type 2 diabetes and cancer. In fact, several recent studies have determined that gingerols “may be effective chemopreventive and/or chemotherapeutic agents” in the treatment of colorectal and ovarian cancers (source). The relief of day-to-day muscle pain provided by gingerol is another beneficial aspect.

In 2010, a small study conducted at the University of Georgia suggested that regular ginger supplementation could reduce exercise-induced muscle pain (source). As someone who essentially lives at the gym, this quality alone makes throwing a couple hunks of ginger in my smoothie or afternoon tea worth the spicy kick.

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Much like garlic, I’ve eaten whole hunks of ginger root. However, the intense flavor can be a little much. Which is why I love cooking with it instead of swallowing it whole. I’m a big fan of sauteing up minced ginger in a pan before I toss in vegetables and shrimp for a delicious stir fry. I know it’s a big component of Asian cooking, but I’ve found that it can provide a whole new flavor to a variety of dishes.

I’d love to hear your preferred method of consuming ginger. As long as the recipe doesn’t contain the words “Canada Dry” feel free to send them to elementaltampa@gmail.com or just tweet us a picture the next time you cook with it. Our Twitter and Instagram handle is @ettampa. Let’s connect!

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What’s on the Menu – How to avoid the common cold & vampire bites

Some of you may know what #WCW means. If by chance you’re not privy to the seemingly endless amount of social media hashtags there are nowadays, WCW is an acronym that stands for “woman crush Wednesday.” Apparently, men and women use this hashtag to let their social media followers know which lady “caught their fancy” that week. I’ve yet to participate in the WCW trend, but if I had to pick someone (other than my wife Shannon of course) I’d go with Dr. Rhonda Patrick (site link).

I’ve professed my platonic love for Dr. Rhonda Patrick numerous times in this blog and on the Addicted to Fitness podcast. Her recall for scientific facts and data is ASTOUNDING! I’ve listened to her on multiple podcasts, including her own (link), and it’s damn near impossible to remember all the information she rattles off. One particular piece of information that stuck with me involved the benefits garlic can offer to combating infections.

The majority of research on the antimicrobial benefits of garlic have yet to produce substantial results, but that may be due to the fact that those studies used garlic supplements instead of raw garlic. Dr. Rhonda Patrick described mitigating the effects of a MRSA infection she experienced by eating raw cloves of garlic & taking megadoses of vitamin C. In addition to her anecdotal evidence, a recent 2016 study demonstrated that eating raw garlic significantly reduced the amount of a specific pathogenic stomach bacteria (source). As unappealing as eating raw garlic sounds, there is a scientific reason to why it may be healthier for you than cooked garlic.

One of the numerous sulfur compounds contained in garlic is alliin. Once a garlic clove is crushed or chopped, the alliin converts to allicin. Allicin is believed to be the compound contained in garlic that provides the majority of its antimicrobial, anticancer and anti-inflammatory benefits. What’s interesting is that more alliin is converted to allicin the longer the crushed clove goes uncooked or uneaten (source). This means that in order to receive the maximum amount of health benefits from garlic, you should eat it raw. However, if you’re not prepared to take that leap, simply crush it and let it sit on your cutting board for 10-15 minutes before cooking it. You’ll still enjoy a certain amount of the health benefits without having to endure the bad breath.

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Shannon and I are absolute garlic FIENDS! I don’t remeber the last meal we prepared that didn’t include garlic and/or shallots, which also contain allicin. We’ll chop up a few cloves and toss them in everything from veggies to meatloaf. I’ve also eaten cloves of raw garlic on the rare occasions that I felt a bit under the weather. I’m not sure if I have that ritual to thank for not being sick in a long time, but research suggest that it definitely doesn’t hurt.

If you are one of the brave souls who has eaten raw garlic or if you just enjoy throwing a few cloves in with your sautéed veggies, let us know! Send your favorite recipe that features garlic to elementaltampa@gmail.com or reach out to us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.  We love to interact!

Our First Cryotherapy Experience

If you’ve been a regular listener of the Addicted to Fitness podcast, you’ve heard me mention that I was going to take the podcast to my first cryotherapy session. Well the day has finally arrived! I hope most of you were curious enough to google cryotherapy if you weren’t familiar with it, but for those that didn’t, I’ll give you a short synopsis.

Cryotherapy was first used in Japan in the late 1970’s to help individuals with arthritis. Individuals would step into a open top chamber, like the one in the pic below, and be exposed to rapid, short-term freezing temperatures to drop the surface temperature of their skin. A short list of the benefits produced by this form of cold therapy include reduced muscle soreness and joint pain, reduction in pain sensitivity and a massive release of “feel good” endorphins (source). This episode goes into more details about the benefits of this innovative form of therapy, but if you’re still looking for more information, the cryotherapy center I used, Chill Therapy, has a ton of great information on their website and/or Instagram feed.

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I want to thank Brian from Chill Therapy for agreeing to let us podcast from his facility. I said it on the podcast but I’ll say it again, he runs a top-notch, state of the art facility and I can’t wait to go back. I truly enjoy trying out the newest health and fitness trends like this and I love taking you all along for the ride. If you have a suggestion on the next “hot thing” we should try on the podcast, please leave us a comment below. Also, if you have an extra second this week, please leave us a rating and review on iTunes. I hope you enjoy this episode and stay healthy this week folks!

Links to this week’s podcast

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/addicted-to-fitness-podcast/id1121420986?mt=2#episodeGuid=efc715e4012aa8ca06766c0418a7a2f0

Android: http://subscribeonandroid.com/addictedtofitness.libsyn.com/rss

Website: http://addictedtofitness.libsyn.com/our-first-cryotherapy-experience

What’s on the Menu

This week’s #whatiatewednesday post features a food sold at most grocery stores that has been found to be anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-carcinogenic superfood. The root, that looks a lot like a worm, I’m referring to is turmeric. Turmeric contains a compound known as curcumin that is believed to have the same pain relieving effect as medication like ibuprofen, but without the negative side effects. Curcumin inhibits the same enzyme ibuprofen does that causes inflamed areas of the body to become painful (source). I’m not quite sure the best way to unlock it’s beneficial properties, but for now I’m peeling, chopping and tossing several pieces into a seeping bag to create a powerful afternoon tea time. To get your daily dose of curcumin you can buy ground or whole turmeric and add it to food, or you can buy curcumin supplements. Supplemental forms of curcumin can contain mega doses, which is why you should consult your physician before taking them.

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