Top 3 Anti-Inflammatory Foods for Better Sleep, Good Health

Olive oil anti inflammatoryInflammation comes into play in our bodies when bacteria, viruses, damaged cells or unhealthy substances are recognized and attacked by our immune system.  Without immunity and inflammation, healing would not take place.

This system defends our health and is made up of white blood cells, “lymphocyte cells”, “natural killer cells” and others – many of which originate in the bone marrow and then travel in the blood to organs and tissues.

In a healthy body, inflammation smooths the healing process but for some people, the body can become confused and begin to mount a defense against its own tissues.  This can lead to arthritis, celiac disease, irritable bowel disease and others.  In fact, inflammation has been shown to be at the root of the majority of health conditions we face such as heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, an inflammatory bowel and more.

Eating naturally anti-inflammatory foods can reduce the symptoms of inflammation and disease and help to repair and heal the body.  Here are the top three food-based inflammation fighters.

Vitamin D Foods

Vitamin D has been the subject of many studies for its potent anti-inflammation properties.  The foods highest in vitamin D include sardines, salmon, mackerel, herring, maitake mushrooms, cod liver oil, and organic vitamin D fortified milk and yogurt.

A study from the Journal of Investigative Medicine found that vitamin D has important functions beyond those of supporting calcium and bones in the body.  It concluded that vitamin D is a boost to immunity and a deficiency is common in autoimmune disease, where the body’s immune system attacks healthy cells by mistake.

Vitamin D has also been studied for its benefits for sleeplessness and insomnia. The results of a vitamin D study was published in a recent issue of the journal “Medical Hypothesis”.  The researchers followed 1500 patients over a 2 year period. A consistent level of vitamin D was maintained in their blood over many months.

This produced normal sleep in most of the participants, regardless of their type of sleep disorder, which suggests that many types of insomnia may share the same cause.  During the research, the authors discovered the presence of high concentrations of vitamin D “receiving sites” or “receptors” in those areas of the brain that are related to the onset and maintenance of sleep.

Walnuts

A recent research study in the journal “Nutrients” has a lot of good things to say about the benefits of walnuts.  The authors say: “Walnuts could be predicted to be more anti-inflammatory than other nuts for two reasons. First, walnuts are the only nuts that contain substantial amounts of ALA (alpha-linolenic acid is a kind of omega-3 fatty acid found in plants).

ALA is described as one of the more anti-inflammatory fatty acids. And second, walnuts are also particularly rich in ellagic acid (a natural plant chemical found in fruits and vegetables), which has shown potent anti-inflammatory properties in experimental studies.”

Eating a handful of walnuts before bedtime may also be a good way to soothe sleeplessness and insomnia due to the melatonin they contain. Russel Reiter, Ph.D., a professor of cellular biology at the University of Texas says: “Relatively few foods have been examined for their melatonin content. Our studies demonstrate that walnuts contain melatonin, that it is absorbed when it is eaten, and that it improves our ability to resist the stress caused by toxic molecules. Walnuts also contain large amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to inhibit certain types of cancer and to keep the heart healthy.”

Olive oil

Oleic acid is the main fatty acid found in olive oil.  This substance has been shown to greatly reduce levels of inflammation in the body.  A study from the “Current Pharmaceutical Design” journal writes that “Chronic inflammation is a critical factor in the development of many inflammatory disease states including cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, degenerative joint diseases and neurodegenerative diseases. Popular methods to deal with inflammation and its associated symptoms involve the use of non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, however the use of these drugs are associated with severe side effects.”

”Therefore, investigations concerned with natural methods of inflammatory control are warranted. A traditional Mediterranean diet has been shown to confer some protection against chronic diseases through the reduction of pro-inflammatory foods and this has been partially attributed to the high intake of virgin olive oil in this diet. Virgin olive oil contains numerous compounds that exert potent anti-inflammatory actions.”

The anti-inflammatory effects of olive oil also extend to brain health and it’s known to help with depression and insomnia.  Olive oil can help balance hormones and keep the neurotransmitters in the brain functioning well.

Other top anti-inflammation foods include broccoli, green leafy vegetables, blueberries, bok choi, pineapple, coconut oil, turmeric, ginger, wild salmon, beets, garlic, oysters, yogurt and other probiotic dairy foods.  Enjoy a wide variety of them to reduce inflammation, increase overall health, and ensure a good, sound sleep.

This natural health news is provided by Nutrition Breakthroughs, a publisher of nutrition articles and supplier of natural remedies since 2002. Nutrition Breakthroughs makes Sleep Minerals II, the effective natural sleep aid with calcium, magnesium, zinc and vitamin D, and also Joints and More, the natural solution for joint relief, aches and pains, stronger hair and nails and more energy.

Studies Prove Walnut Health Benefits for Sleep, Brain, Heart

health benefits of walnuts
Walnuts are perhaps the most famous tree nut of all and have been named the “Healthiest of All Nuts”. They are rich in plant-based fats and are a good source of the B-vitamins and many minerals.

Even though walnuts are one of the easiest foods to eat, they are also a powerful weapon against chronic diseases. Walnuts can be eaten by the handful as a snack, or in salads, soups, vegetable dishes, baked goods or smoothies.

Due to their uniquely high amounts of healthy fats and potent plant chemicals, recent studies are publishing evidence that walnuts can reduce brain stress, lower cholesterol, increase fertility in men, reduce inflammation, lower the risk of diabetes, strengthen the immune system, and help with insomnia because of the natural melatonin they contain.

Supporting the claim that walnuts are the healthiest nut is a recent study from the journal “Food and Function”. The researchers evaluated nine types of raw and roasted nuts and they found walnuts to contain the highest levels and quality of antioxidants.

An “antioxidant” is a substance in foods or vitamins that neutralizes the harmful effects of oxygen in the body. These “oxidative” effects contribute to aging and disease and can be caused by an unhealthful diet, air pollution, smoking, and also the normal processes of digestion and metabolism. Eating just seven walnut halves per day can be enough to obtain its many health advantages.

English walnuts offer powerful benefits to brain health. A study called “Role of Walnuts in Maintaining Brain Health with Age” was published in the Journal of Nutrition. The researchers wrote that walnuts not only reduce the inflammatory load on brain cells, but they also improve communication and connection between the brain cells themselves – helping to maintain good brain health with increasing age.

For a healthy heart and long life, walnuts have been shown to decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease and also extend life spans in general. Walnuts contain the amino acid l-arginine, which offers protective benefits for the heart. A quarter cup of walnuts contains about 1,130 milligrams of l-arginine. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reviewed 13 heart studies and found that the people eating walnuts benefited from a significant decrease in overall cholesterol and had major benefits in the quantity of antioxidants available to them.

Walnuts can be a good sleep inducing food.  Eating a handful of walnuts before bedtime may be a good way to soothe sleeplessness and insomnia. Russel Reiter, Ph.D., a professor of cellular biology at the University of Texas says, “Relatively few foods have been examined for their melatonin content. Our studies demonstrate that walnuts contain melatonin, that it is absorbed when it is eaten, and that it improves our ability to resist oxidative stress caused by toxic molecules. Walnuts also contain large amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to inhibit certain types of cancer and to keep the heart healthy.”

Walnuts also contain 126 milligrams of magnesium per cup, which is 31% of the recommended daily intake. Regarding the use of minerals for insomnia, a study called “The Nutritional Relationships of Magnesium” reports that the classical sign of magnesium deficiency is falling asleep somewhat easily, but awakening frequently throughout the night, with individuals finding themselves tired even after several hours of sleep.

This natural health news is shared by Nutrition Breakthroughs, a provider of nutrition articles and effective natural remedies since 2001. Nutrition Breakthroughs makes the effective natural sleep aid Sleep Minerals II, with highly absorbable forms of calcium, magnesium and vitamin D in a softgel.

Regarding the use of Sleep Minerals II, Tammy M. of Meridian, Idaho says: “I was plagued with insomnia for five years and desperate for a breakthrough. Nothing has helped me more than Sleep Minerals — I’m so sold on them I could go door to door promoting them.  I’m 60 years old and have never slept so soundly.”

Sleep-inducing foods such as walnuts, tart cherry juice, and bananas are good things to include in one’s diet, as well as relaxing and effective forms of calcium and magnesium.

New Insomnia Chart, Best Sleep Aids, Tips for Good Sleep

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This article is provided by Nutrition Breakthroughs, maker of the effective calcium and magnesium based sleep aid Sleep Minerals II
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Greetings to you,

Included at the bottom of this article on natural sleep remedies is an informative new chart from the National Sleep Foundation.  It contains some interesting statistics on sleep and insomnia, as well as the common causes.  Insomnia is defined as the inability to fall asleep, stay asleep, return to sleep, or can include all of these.  When someone experiences insomnia for at least three nights per week for at least three months, it is considered “chronic insomnia”.

Forty million Americans experience insomnia each year and there is an increased prevalence of insomnia in women and older adults.  It can be caused by stress, anxiety, depression, or major life changes such as with jobs or relationships.  Other causes of sleeplessness include various medical conditions or poor sleep habits such as going to bed too late, consuming caffeine too late in the day, or using computers or cell phones too close to bed time.

Many natural sleep remedies are making the news headlines lately, with research and studies discovering ones that are drug-free and effective.  For example, one study called “The Nutritional Relationships of Magnesium”, found that the type of insomnia associated with a calcium deficiency causes difficulty with falling asleep.

On the other hand, the classical sign of magnesium deficiency is insomnia characterized by falling asleep easily, but awakening frequently throughout the night, with individuals finding themselves tired even after several hours of sleep.

Walking has been shown to help with insomnia. Studies at the University of Arizona found that walking more than six blocks a day at a normal pace significantly improves sleep at night for women.  Scientists suspect that this exercise helps set our biological clock into a consistent wake/sleep pattern, or that it may boost the brain’s production of melatonin, a chemical in the brain that’s produced at night time and encourages good sleep.

Tart cherry juice is another proven natural sleep remedy. In a study published in the European Journal of Nutrition, researchers found that drinking tart Montmorency cherry juice results in significant sleep improvements such as longer overall sleep time, less daytime napping, and increased overall sleep efficiency (the ratio of the time spent in bed to the time spent sleeping).  The researchers credited the benefits of cherry juice to its high natural melatonin content.

A handful of walnuts with dinner or in the evening can also improve sleep.  Russel Reiter, Ph.D., a professor of cellular biology at the University of Texas Health Science Center says, “Relatively few foods have been examined for their melatonin content. Our studies demonstrate that walnuts contain melatonin, that it is absorbed when it is eaten, and that it improves our ability to resist stress in the body and also keep the heart healthy.”

Natural remedies can be a strong force in the fight against insomnia.  Those with sleeping problems are encouraged to seek out and try ones that may assist them to get a regular good night’s sleep.

Here is the insomnia chart:

Insomnia chart national slep foundationThis natural health news is provided by Nutrition Breakthroughs, a publisher of nutrition articles and supplier of natural remedies since 2002. Nutrition Breakthroughs makes Sleep Minerals II, the effective natural sleep aid with calcium, magnesium, zinc and vitamin D, and also Joints and More, the natural solution for joint relief, aches and pains, stronger hair and nails and more energy.