Insulin and inflammation. You are going to hear more about this in the future. What you eat may just be causing some serious inflammation in your body. Diets high in sugar, refined carbohydrates and processed foods can cause inflammation. Foods like essential fats and fish oil are anti-inflammatory. Protein is also anti-inflammatory (providing it is from a natural source like grass-fed beef, wild fish and eggs).
Breads, most grains and non-nutrient dense carbohydrates (rice, pasta) can cause an insulin spike which may result in inflammation and subsequent disruption of digestion with gut imbalance. Diets high in these foodstuffs also cause an inconsistent hormone response and make people feel like their energy is not level. Case in point - recovery after a hard workout. Most common thought was to consume a sugar to help refuel the body's glycogen stores. Not so fast. The idea of recovery is to eat a protein so your body can repair quicker. Why not go for a high-quality protein blend instead? This is a better choice to avoid that insulin spike and level hormone levels so that you have better energy several hours after that hard session. Most endurance athletes and frequent exercisers tend to crash several hours after a tough training bout because they consumed too much carbohydrate and "tilted" that insulin curve.
There are a lot of athletes who now subscribe (like I do) to the fact that if you have an overuse or overloaded joint/tissue area you should avoid any potential food that is inflammatory and load up on more fish oil and quality fats with high-grade protein. Then watch how fast your recovery becomes.
Look around. See how many overweight folks have the bloated, puffy look. Inflammation. Look at their diets We are seeing a rise in Metabolic Syndrome, Syndrome X and celiac disease. Eat clean, get lean and focus on what nature provides - it may just be the best medicine you can find.
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