Chef Ellen


Inflammation and the Intricate Balance of Body, Mind, and Spirit

Let’s focus on the enormous dynamic of excessive insulin contributing to inflammation. Glucose is our primary energy source and vital for the body’s cells, brain, and nervous system. Insulin helps your body turn blood sugar (glucose) into crucial energy.

During the digestion of foods, insulin, a hormone, is released by the pancreas. Insulin controls how much sugar is in your blood. Insulin aids in the transport of glucose into the body’s cells. The liver and muscles store the excess energy as either glycogen (short-term storage) or triglycerides in fatty cells. Depending on the size and content of the meal, your blood glucose should respond slightly, rising. Insulin then makes its way from the pancreas into the blood. This energy (our food supply) moves into our cells and metabolizes efficiently when we give our bodies the most beneficial foods. The insulin levels in our blood slow and stop until we need the energy again.

However, when we feed our bodies too many inflammatory foods, such as processed white flour, sugars, GMO foods, and saturated fats, we lose control of the release of sugar into our blood. Improper food combinations (sugar, ultra processed foods, alcohols, additives, preservatives, and pesticides) can stop food conversion to energy by blocking the proper cell absorption and toxin elimination. High insulin levels are a precursor to heart, kidney, eyes, and brain issues. Elevated blood glucose also poses a risk of elevated cholesterol levels, possibly manifesting in raised total cholesterol and affecting the balance of LDL and HDL levels.

When our pancreas is taxed from the overproduction of insulin, insulin produced from the pancreas is endangered, and cells do not respond well to using glucose from our blood for energy. Inflammation is the body’s negative response to insulin resistance. The proper balance of favorable blood sugar is vital. Supporting erratic blood sugar levels and insulin production can be accomplished by:

  • Eating more fiber

  • Diversity with colorful fruits and vegetables

  • Reducing added sugar intake

  • Cooking with herbs and spices

  • Avoiding high amounts of saturated fats

  • Stress reduction

  • Quality sleep

  • Hydration

  • Weight management

Often, fruit gets a bad rap in conjunction with insulin responses. Eating fruit alone in the morning gives you instant energy, satiates, and digests quickly without stress to the stomach lining. For example, if you suspect your digestive system is compromised, eating oatmeal with almonds and blueberries will not immediately convert energy into your cells as efficient energy. The fat and protein only worsen inflammation if you suspect insulin resistance or want to reduce excess cholesterol in your blood. With the most active and disciplined eaters will hold onto excess weight in the form of bloating, toxins, undigested foods, and bacteria still in the gut when there is compromised health.

The liver synthesizes and regulates lipids (fats). Factors such as a healthy diet, regular exercise, and weight management can address low-grade inflammation, insulin resistance, and the progression of metabolic disorders. The right combinations of plant-based foods eaten at the correct times will fuel the cells, detoxify, and eliminate existing inflammation. Plant-based nutrition contains essential amino acids, vitamins, and minerals, contributing to the body’s alkalinity. While healthy fat and protein are critical components in a healthy diet, consuming them in moderation and as part of a well-balanced diet to support overall health, including liver function, is crucial.

The most common ailment associated with insulin resistance is diabetes. Diabetes is present when insufficient insulin production occurs, or insulin resistance develops. A type 1 Diabetic is born with this disease and cannot produce any or enough insulin. Type 2 Diabetes develops from resistance to insulin or a lack of sufficient healthy volume of insulin. Hyperglycemia and diabetes correlate to high glucose (sugar) in the blood and the body not using or producing enough insulin for energy use.

Various excessive stressors affect cortisol released into the body and target specific organs, causing more inflammatory responses. Increased cortisol levels also raise insulin. Give yourself plenty of downtime and self-care practices. At times, the body perceives excess exercise as stress. Becoming mindful that too much can be damaging at times is positive consciousness. What works for one person may not work as effectively for another regarding stress management, so seeking personalized guidance and support is crucial if needed.

Determining the most appropriate diet for your specific situation is within your grasp. Eliminate inflammation and lower health risks associated with blood sugar regulation. Heal with adequate glucose as more plant-based meals provide vital macro and micronutrients.

Focus on the present moment, reduce stress, and positively influence the body’s hormonal balance with balance to body, mind, and spirit.

In good health!

Keep the Balance Chef Ellen