Does Your Diet Lower Inflammation?

How can foods impact inflammation? Discover which foods work best for YOU!

Inflammation, (while part of a healthy immune response), is increasingly thought to play a leading role in encouraging a number of major killers, such as:   cancer, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and Alzheimer’s. Dangerous chronic inflammation occurs when the immune system stays turned on and starts attacking healthy cells and tissues, or causing cancer genetic mutations, or the bursting of artery plaque.

What you eat, though, helps determine how much inflammation you produce. It is critical to realize the importance that Omega-3’s play in keeping at bay certain disease or in healing the body.  Doctor’s will also promote a diet rich in Omega-3’s after surgery or to reduce swelling after the body has undergone any type of trauma. Certain foods are inflammation-fighting and should be consumed in abundance (mainly plant or seafood) while other foods can promote and prolong inflammation (animal fats and white flour). Some recommendations:


Omega-3 fats. These are among the BEST and most potent anti-inflammatory foods. Best sources: fatty fish like Salmon, Sardine, Anchovies and Tuna; Dark Leafy Greens: Broccoli, Kale, Chard, Spinach, Seaweed. Walnuts and other nuts; Flaxseed, Pumpkin Seeds; and Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Herbs and Spices: Basil, Oregano, Cloves, Marjoram, Tarrogan, SPearmint, Capers, Prepared Yellow Mustard, Peppermint, Thyme, Saffron, Bay Leaf, Chili Powder, Turmeric, Rosemary, Curry.

Colorful produce. Red Onions, Tomatoes, Prunes, Red Grapes, ALL Berries, Pomegranates, and Oranges all are packed with  flavonoids that have anti-inflammatory properties.

Herbs and spices. Ginger and Turmeric, Cinnamon either dried or fresh, are among the most healthful spices. For herbs, sprinkle on some freshly chopped Sage, Rosemary and minced Garlic.

Peanuts, Chocolate, Red wine. Red wine has anti-inflammatory chemicals like resveratrol. Dark chocolate,  at 70% or higher cacao which protects against inflammation. Great News for the research suggests that hot cocoa will also benefit the body’s health. Eat the peanuts right out of the shell in order to maximize reseveratrol intake.


Animal fats. Foods high in whole milk dairy are:  cheese, butter, margarine, ice cream.  Additionally:  egg yolks,  red meat, poultry skin,   All which contain high amounts of arachidonic acid, a molecule used by the body to create inflammation.

Omega-6 fats. While Omega 3 fats make a healthy impact on your body, it’s been found that Omega 6’s  trigger the body to produce pro-inflammatory chemicals. Oils rich in omega-6 fats include corn, safflower, and vegetable oils; mayonnaise; and many salad dressings.

Trans fats. Thanks to much research and the FDA getting behind the 8-Ball, trans-fats are all but gone from packaged foods as research shows they drive inflammation. Now they’re on nutrition labels, so they’re easier to avoid.

Rancid fats. CRITICAL to anyone who leaves the kitchen “to check on something” only to return and find that they have heated oil to the point that it’s smoking.  Besides the fact that smoking oil changes the flavor of a dish, it oxidizes fats and turns them into inflammation boosters. Also, avoid old peanut butter and any old chocolate stashed away for years in your pantry.

White starches. Flour, sugar, white rice, and instant mashed potatoes, for example, all cause quick spikes in blood sugar levels, causing the production of advanced glycation end products that spur inflammation.

Excess alcohol. Avoid drinking more than one or two alcoholic beverages a day; too much alcohol can cause changes in the intestinal lining, allowing bacteria to pass through into the bloodstream, triggering inflammation.

Health Benefits of Sex

The three fundamental needs of males and females are: Hunger, Thirst and Sex!  Most individuals would have no problem agreeing with that list.  The health benefits of sex are measured, however not commonly known.  What research tells us is everything we know about sex is even better than sex itself.  Let’s face it sex can be great and even fantastic when romance is added to it.   Some known benefits of sex are:

Helps you live longer.   It’s been researched to have a 50% reduction in mortality rate increasing life expectancy by 3-8 years.

Strengthens your heart.   Yes, sex can be considered as physical activity.  Having the same caloric burning effect in an hours time as regular Cardio. 

Reduces loneliness.       Closeness trumps loneliness!  Oxytocin, is a hormone responsible for child birth and lactation can also be found in men, stimulating smooth muscle contractions in the walls of the sperm ducts.  Oxytocin is a feel good hormone responsible for bonding and it rises in both genders during sexual arousal and peak at orgasm.

Strengthens bones, muscles and blood circulation.   Testosterone levels in both genders increase and improve on bones and muscles growth.  Blood circulation also benefits the brain, which increases the heart rate and deep breathing.

Got a headache? Engage in Sex.  Opioids have a similar effect on the body as the drugs Opium and Morphine.  When endorphins (one of the four classes of Opioids) increase they provide a natural tranquilizing response to pain reduction.

Fight depression, stress and overeating.   As neurotransmitters are properly excited (dopamine), or inhibited (serotonin and dopamine), depression, stress and overeating are reduced.  Dopamine helps to combat depression and create focus. While Serotonin regulates: mood stability, food cravings, pain, sleep cycle (Most are relaxed and sleepy after a nice romp between the sheets!) and increases the immune system.

Increases the body’s sense of smell. After a passion filled event, the hormone prolactin increases. Found in the olfactory bulb (located in the brain) where smell is formed, prolactin makes brain’s stem cells to grow new neurons 

Aphrodisiacs. Feed Your Libido!!!!!

Let’s make a complete circle and address some aphrodisiacs for the Thirst and Hunger drives.  After all, the Greeks, Romans and Aztecs used food and drink (dilated vessels increase blood flow) as a means of foreplay.

The Gourmet Sleuth suggests the following aphrodisiacs for the palete.

Quench your thirst with a glass of wine.  Drinking from the fruit of longevity is a great way to relax you, promote blood circulation and stimulate your senses.  BUT, more than two glasses of wine can ruin the mood and have a reverse affect. 

Grab the Champagne glasses!  According to the Australian Orchid Society, “Old Totonac lore says that Xanat, the young daughter of the Mexican fertility goddess, loved a Totonac youth. Unable to marry him due to her divine nature, she transformed herself into a vanilla plant that would provide pleasure and happiness.”  Fill tall Champagne glasses to the rim and add a vanilla bean for a heady, bubbly treat.

Coffee in small amounts dilates vessels, but too much will suppress the serotonin levels.

Food of Phallic Shape were eye candy for the ancients.  Asparagus, Avocado (growing in pairs on the tree they resemble male testicles,  Ahuacuatl), Banana, Carrot, Figs and oysters, both which represent the female genitalia.

Many other foods and herbs are known to inspire romance.    Almonds, Broccoli Rapini, Chocolate, Fennel, Pine Nuts, Pineapple, Strawberries and Raspberries

Herbs:  Sucking on Anise seeds, Arugula, Asafetida, Basil, Cilantro, Garlic (small clove crushed, add to vinaigrette for a salad), Ginger, Mustard (try on pork loin), Nutmeg, Truffles liquorice and honey

Prepare a low setting table with lit candles and a few pillows to relax on. Enjoy the ambiance and intimacy that sex brings, knowing that there are many health benefits that go beyond the pleasure of lovemaking.  

By: Kimberly Crocker

Literature Research

  1. Fundamentals of Anatomy and Physiology Sixth Edition, Frederic H. Martini
  2. Perspectives in Nutrition Sixth Edition, Wardlaw, Hampl, DiSilvestro

Low Sodium Dietary Tips

Adjusting flavor, while reducing salt.  Mildy palate pleasing herbs in all your favortie dishes.

Basil, Marjoram, Oregano, Parsley, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme, Garlic, Onion   • Use each alone or mix them together.

• BASIL, OREGANO, PARSLEY taste great in tomato sauces, (use low sodium tomatoes or tomato sauce).   Serve the sauce with pasta or rice. 

  • Fresh minced garlic and diced onion sauté in a 2 Tbsp oil for 7 minutes on med low. Add tomato sauce simmer for 20 minutes, add oregano and parsley, OR basil at end.
  • With 2 tbsp olive oil combine equal parts of ROSEMARY, SAGE, THYME, to a GARLIC clove, half ONION saute` in pan on medium low for 7-10 minutes and then add to your favorite bean dish.
    • Try any of these herbs in your steamed vegetables or in soups.
  • Chives, Dill, Parsley ,Tarragon       • Steam any one of these with your vegetables or with fish.
  • • Tarragon is great in soup.
  • • Dill is great in rice with vegetables and kidney beans, or in dips with yogurt and low fat sour cream.
  • Chives and parsley are great on top of salad, soup or baked potato. They are also good in dips with yogurt and sour cream.

Allspice, Garlic, Marjoram ,Parsley ,Thyme       • Mix these herbs and spices together and rub into any meat, poultry, or pork  for a terrific dish.
Marjoram, Rosemary, Tarragon             • Combine spices and rub into the chicken or turkey (with the skin removed) and steam it.
Curry powder, Turmeric, minced Garlic and diced Onions   • Saute` in 2-3 Tbsp olive oil for 7 minutes on med low temp, then add tomatoes (tomato sauce), rice, black beans and corn for a delicious Spanish flavor.