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Benefits of Turmeric

SANO Editorial

Turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory spice that has been used for centuries. This native Southeast Asia medicinal root is a cousin to ginger and is known for its distinctive orange color and full flavor profile.  Turmeric’s active compound, curcumin, has proven to provide disease combative potential and preventative health benefits.  Here are some key health reasons you should include curcumin in your healthy diet.    

What is Inflammation? Inflammation is the immune system’s reaction to foreign stimuli.  The immune system expands blood vessels around the effected areas to allow more blood flow to reach the injured tissue sending defense cells to speed the recovery and healing process. The physical signs on this response include internal body heat, swelling and redness. Once the foreign stimulus disappears, the immune system returns to normal and the inflammation symptoms disappear.

When you get a cold, the mucous membranes in the nose react to the foreign stimulus with an inflammation reaction by swelling leading to a stuffy nose that is eventually accompanied by a cold.  This common discomfort similar to the body’s reaction to a cut or ear infection mean the body recognizes this foreign harm-causing bacteria and is reacting to rid itself of the current ailment.

Sometimes the body’s response does not work in unison providing painful debilitating conditions that can last long periods of time. Inflammation is present in all parts of the body, so it’s important to understand how it could impact your life and while turmeric is not meant to treat or cure any of these conditions, it can be used as a supplement to benefit some ailments.

Joint Inflammation. There are several ailments that could be the cause of joint inflammation leading to pain, swelling, tenderness, a warming feeling of the joint, and stiffness. Rheumatoid arthritis is one inflammatory condition that causes similar symptoms like pain, stiffness and swelling in the joints.

Studies have been conducted that indicate curcumin could be beneficial to those suffering from joint inflammation because of its ability to support the body’s inflammation response.  Other studies have found that curcumin may also work as a natural painkiller providing reduction of joint pain as well as pain from other causes, like nerve damage.   

Digestive Health.  Inflammation could also be linked to the digestive system with the most common conditions being bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation, heartburn and acid reflux. Digestive diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome, irritable bowel disease and Crohn’s are all caused when chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract is present creating serious cause for concerns that need to be addressed.  Unfortunately, such diseases can not be treated with conventional medications without major side effects.

Studies have indicated that individuals with digestive diseases who supplemented curcumin along with and after stopping the standard anti-inflammatory drugs (steroids) were able to reduce or maintain their normal inflammation markers. Further, curcumin has also been linked to reduce inflammatory compounds in the intestines by strengthening the intestinal wall to prevent harmful bacteria from passing through the intestines and reaching other critical organs, such as the kidneys and liver.

Cognitive Health. Inflammation has also been linked to brain health having effects on memory and mood. Studies have linked Alzheimer’s disease—the most common form of neurodegenerative dementia—to severe cases of inflammation. When inflammatory molecules are not properly regulated, neuroinflammation can kickstart Alzheimer’s disease and rapidly progress. While not a treatment for Alzheimer’s, curcumin continues to be studied as a potential treatment that is yielding promising results.  Senior citizens in India—where curcumin is a popular staple—have a lower prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease and better cognitive performance.

Turmeric is full of flavor, color and health benefits making curcumin a noteworthy staple that should be added to any healthy diet. In selecting a turmeric supplement make sure that it contains piperine, which is a natural compound found in black pepper that helps to enhance curcumin absorption by the body.  The use of turmeric in combination with a nutrient-dense whole food plant-based diet and active lifestyle will maximize the potential benefits on your health.  

Beginner's Guide to Intermittent Fasting

SANO Editorial

Intermittent fasting or time-restricted fasting is one of the earliest and most powerful secrets of health. It’s a secret because this powerful tradition has been virtually forgotten by humans.  Today our days include sitting in front of computers eating three square meals a day (plus snacks)—even though the metabolic state of our bodies hasn’t changed. 

But more recently health-inspired people are re-discovering this dietary intervention providing significant benefits including weight loss, increased energy, improvement of brain cognitive functions, promotion of longevity, and even the reversal of type 2 diabetes, to name a few benefits.  In this guide you can learn everything you need to know about intermittent fasting.  

Intermittent Fasting Defined. Intermittent Fasting is an umbrella term that covers various diets that cycle between a set amount of time of fasting and non-fasting periods. There are a number of ways to actually perform intermittent fasting or time-restricted fasting, but the easiest and most common involve taking advantage of your natural overnight fast.  By skipping breakfast and delaying your first meal a number of hours past the 12-hour mark from your meal the prior night, you are entering your body into a “fasted” state causing your body to refuel on its stored body fat. Some of the different intermittent fasting methods include the following:

  • 16/8 Fast: consumer all of your daily calories in an 8-hour window and fast for the remaining 16 hours
  • 5:2 Fast: consume nourishing, balanced foods five days a week and during the remaining two fasting days consumer approximately 500-600 calories per day
  • 24-Hour Fast: restrict all food consumption for 24 hours once or two times per week
  • Warrior Fast: fast throughout the day and consume all of your calories in a 4-hour window in the evening

There are various versions of intermittent fasting, but the general concept is the same: the longer you stay in the fasted state, the more your body will learn to metabolically burn stored body fat and the deeper your fat adaptation will get.

Metabolic States of the Body. The body operates between three main metabolic states: fed, fasting and starvation. During any given day, your metabolism switches between fed and fasting states. The starvation mode occurs during prolonged periods of low energy intake.  The fed state, or absorptive state, occurs after a meal when your body is digesting the food and absorbing the nutrients.  The fasting state, or post-absorptive state, occurs when the food has been digested, absorbed, and stored. When the body is deprived of nourishment for an extended period of time, it goes into starvation, or survival mode.

Fed vs. Fasting. Your body is designed to smoothly transition between the two more common and opposing states: fed and fasting. When the body is in the fed state, insulin levels are elevated signaling your body to store excess calories in your fat cells. When insulin is present in the your body the burning of fat is halted and instead it burns the glucose from your prior meal. When in the fasting state, insulin levels are low and your body starts mobilizing stored body fat from your cells and burning this fat for energy, instead of glucose.  In summary this means, you can only burn stored body fat while in the fasting state and you can only store more body fat while in the fed state.

Benefits of Intermittent Fasting. In addition to aiding and boosting weight loss, there are several additional health benefits to time-restricted fasting.

  • Increase endurance and energy
  • Boosts metabolism
  • Normalizes insulin sensitivity
  • Promotes the production of human growth hormone
  • Produces lean muscle mass (when accompanied with exercise)
  • Promotes cellular repair
  • Improves brain cognitive functions
  • Improves mood and focus
  • Slows the aging process thereby increasing longevity

In addition to the various health benefits of time-restricted fasting, there are numerous qualifying advantages relative to other diets. Where some diets complicate life, intermittent fasting simplifies it by saving time, money and

Enhancing Intermittent Fasting Results. During your fasting state, you need to refrain from consuming any foods and beverages that include calories, so stick to water, coffee, teas, and broths. You’ll want to avoid beverages that contain sugar and artificial sweeteners, such as, diet sodas, coconut water and alcohol due to the resulting insulin level spikes and knocking of your body out of its fat-burning mode during intermittent fasting. 

One of the best ways to meet satiety is through knowing what food makes your body feeling full and fueled. Filling foods generally include higher amounts of protein, fiber, and water, and low energy density.  Prepare for your fast by consuming meals that are high in these nutrients and always make sure to drink lots of water. Incorporate fruits, leafy green vegetables, whole grains, nut and seeds, beans and legumes, and nourishing whole foods supplements like SANO’s organic plant-based proteins to your intermittent fasting providing for an effective near- and long-term health tool. 

The abstention from eating foods for certain periods of time is quite possibly one of the oldest and most powerful dietary bibles. These biblical principles have evolved into several popular ways to accomplish intermittent fasting and all are accompanied by many health and lifestyle benefits that include dramatic weight loss and the saving of time and money, respective. 

Once you find the intermittent fast that is ideal for you, the key principle to quality health remains the same: don’t consuming empty calories!  Instead, eat a nutrient-dense whole food diet, preferably that is plant-based. 

Keep in mind that you shouldn’t do any type of fasting if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, unless you have received your doctor’s approval.

What You Need to Know About CBD Oils

SANO Editorial

If you had a summer like us, you spent most of July vacationing in Mykonos (because last year wasn’t enough), August in the Hamptons and a sweat sesh whenever time allowed.  Now that summer has come and gone, we wanted to share an increasingly popular wellness trend that we are falling in love with.  Over the last year or so cannabidiol or CBD has become extremely sought-after for its incredible healing power and versatility as a natural remedy and supplement for reducing many ailments. 

Difference Between CBD and THC. There are two different types of CBD oil products—hemp-based CBD oil and marijuana-based CBD. Both contain CBD, and they’re both derived from the cannabis plant, but hemp and medical marijuana are different varieties of the plant.  CBD is completely legal and is not considered a drug since it does not contain THC (or negligible levels)—the compound that makes you feel “high”. Said differently, CBD oil or hemp oil contains the benefits of the cannabis plant without the potential drawbacks of psychoactive compounds typically found from inhalation or other consumption methods.

Endocannabinoid System. Before we can learn about CBD oil’s potential benefits, we must first understand the endocannabinoid system (ECS).  The ECS balances and regulates many functions of the body.  Under normal circumstances, our bodies produce our own endocannabinoids that bind to our ECS receptors keeping us in balance.  However, a poor diet, stress and free radicals / toxins can cause a decrease in endocannabinoid production causing unpleasurable side effects like increased anxiety, inflammation, sensitive digestive system and a weakened immune system. This is where CBD oil can assist in stimulating the ECS receptors, which supplements your body in finding proper balance again in a holistic manner.

Benefits of CBD. While CBD oil research is ongoing, current findings have anecdotally reported that it has served as a holistic wellness remedy for several different ailments, such as dulling chronic pain, reduction of inflammation, anxiety, depression and oxidative stress, maintaining healthy weight, and improving skin radiance. While research continues, CBD oil is thought to stimulate ECS serotonin receptors in a way that can positively increase serotonin levels and improve mental health. Individuals who are taking CBD oil for anxiety, depression or stress specifically have reported feeling an enhanced mood, increased sense of calmness and less irritability. Additionally, there are a many skin care companies that are starting CBD oil product lines to combat acne and calm puffiness and redness caused by inflammation. Further, it has far fewer possible negative side effects than the medications often prescribed for these conditions.

Choosing the Right CBD and How to Use It.  Since the CBD oil industry is unregulated, it is imperative to seek a high-quality, premium source that is formulated by a pharmacist, third-party tested and includes a trusted purity verification. After carefully selecting a premium, non-synthetic CBD oil along with your medical professional, consumption typically occurs internally through ingestion. Because CBD oil is a relatively new supplement, clear dosage guidelines haven’t been set by the medical community. Some integrative doctors are recommending 10 milligrams per day to treat anxiety and pain, so we recommend you speak with your medical professional to determine appropriate dosage for your ailment. 

A part of being your best, most beautiful self is incorporating holistic wellness into your daily life.  And starting with a healthy diet and wellness routine should be the foundation to creating any balanced lifestyle.  By adding CBD oil as a natural remedy and supplement to your SANO life, you can add harmony and balance to your wellness journey.

Freezing Your Way to Better Health

SANO Editorial

When most of us think of happy places, we think of white sandy tropical beaches, tall glasses of rosé and warm baths, to name a few.  On the contrary, have you ever noticed the rush you get from jumping into a cold ocean?  Why would anyone willing want to do this or encapsulate themselves for three minutes in -250 degrees Fahrenheit?  Health reasons, of course! After all, does anyone actually think kale tastes really good?!

Humans have been using cold therapy for hundreds of years, as the super-cold shock creates a release of feel-good endorphins that are difficult to replicate.  The cold shock that occurs inside the body pulls the blood away from your extremities and layers around your organs in a preventative protective state.  This rush that you experience revitalizes your organs and body through the oxygen-rich blood that is created.

Cold-therapy not only is preventative in fighting inflammation—a cause of many diseases including arthritis, diabetes and Alzheimer’s—but it also increases our metabolism.  While a 45-minute Rumble, SoulCycle or Barry’s class are said to burn between 500-800 calories, according the cryo industry, a single three-minute session could burn equivalent calories in only a fraction of the time.  And the flight-or-fight response of cryotherapy is said to leave you with the release of the feel-good hormones, endorphins. 

While cold-therapy may not be your idea of defined happy places, try cryotherapy, jumping into the cold ocean or finishing your shower with a cold water for the health benefits.

Plant-Based is the New Prescription

SANO Editorial

No magic bullet exists for losing weight and keeping a trim tummy, however there is close second and that’s protein.  A diet focusing on protein—in particular plant-based sources—can be beneficial for aiding in shedding excess weight, building lean muscle and feeling fuller in between meals.  Important research published suggests proteins help in the prevention of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and mortality. Mindfully incorporating more plants into your diet and lifestyle can provide some pretty impressive health benefits.

Weight Loss.  In order to receive optimal weight loss results and keep that unwanted weight off, implement plant protein healthy foods into your lifestyle. Plant-based proteins have little to no fats, which mean they have fewer calories than animal proteins.  By replacing high-fat meat with plant protein, not only are you advancing the nutritional composition of your diet, but calories are reduced along with saturated fats.  Your lifestyle diet should include the healthy trifecta of water, fiber and protein.  Diets that include healthy portions of water, fiber and proteins typically make you feel fuller faster and will typically decrease subsequent caloric intake.  Proteins require more energy to metabolize and digest than fats or carbohydrates.  Because proteins are digested slowly they keep you satisfied longer allowing you to cut calories.  

Fibrous Foods Are More Satiating.  The general recommendation for daily fiber intake is 25 to 35 grams depending on age and gender.  The average American eats just half of the recommended amount of fiber each day. Fiber—which is only found in plant-based whole foods—has a laundry list of health benefits, including the key nutrient for supporting weight loss by making you feel full.  Dietary soluble fiber slows the time it takes food to leave the stomach providing for a slower rate of digestion and a feeling of satiety.

Microbiome Mystery.  Cholesterol only exists in animal-based foods, such as meat, dairy and eggs.  Since only plant-based foods contain dietary fiber, that soluble fiber works to eliminate cholesterol from animal-based foods.  Fiber remains important as ever in controlling weight and improving health given the elevated concerns of the Western diet all while the researchers continue to understand the biochemistry complexities with the gut microbiome and its microflora that includes several types of bacteria.  Good and bad bacteria feed on foods we consume with the immune system acting as a security guard to prevent toxins and pathogens from attacking the liver or bloodstream. Additionally, fiber sits in the intestinal watch tower flushing toxins, pathogens and cholesterol through the back door.

Environment Preservation and Sustainability. Believe it or not, the food you choose to eat not only affects your health but also has an important impact on the environment too.  When considering carbon emissions, pesticides, fuel, water and other resources, it’s highly evident how colossal the global footprint is animal-based protein production.  The high carbon and water footprints massively contribute to the climate change, land degradation and harming of the oceans having an overall effect on our food supply.  Studies have shown that nearly 20% of global emissions come from livestock, meaning a person with a diet consisting of high amounts of animal-based proteins had more than double the carbon footprint of a vegan.

Plant-based diets offer innumerable benefits not only for you by providing impressive health benefits, but also adding preservation to the environment.  So instead of meat at your next meal, have fun with it and try a delicious plant-based alternative. You may be pleasantly surprised how you look and feel.