Are you tired of feeling sluggish, dealing with constant aches, and having your energy levels crash even after a good night’s sleep?

While inflammation is not necessarily something you can cure with food alone (nor is it always bad), your diet has a powerful effect on how your body responds to it.

In this blog, we’ll uncover the basics of an anti-inflammatory diet and list the most common foods you should add to combat inflammation.

What is an anti-inflammatory diet?

An anti-inflammatory diet is a way of eating designed to reduce inflammation through proper and balanced nutrition. It focuses on various whole foods that are high in nutrients and low in unhealthy fats, processed ingredients and added sugars.

This diet is similar to the Mediterranean diet, which emphasizes consuming fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fish, nuts and seeds, and healthy fats.

Since the typical Western diet is full of processed foods, refined carbohydrates, and saturated fats, it’s no surprise that inflammation levels across all ages are on the rise.

Following an anti-inflammatory diet is your best defence against chronic inflammation, reducing your risk of developing diseases like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer.

Who can benefit from an anti-inflammatory diet?

An anti-inflammatory diet aims to reduce inflammation by cutting out certain trigger foods and replacing them with nutrient-dense, whole foods.

This diet is recommended for people who suffer from chronic inflammatory diseases such as:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Asthma
  • Crohn’s disease

However, it can also be beneficial for anyone looking to prevent high levels of inflammation from occurring in the first place.

Foods to eat in an anti-inflammatory diet

An anti-inflammatory diet is not a restrictive one. It doesn’t eliminate certain food groups or cut down calories significantly. Instead, it encourages you to focus on the quality of your meals and prioritize whole foods that contain anti-inflammatory properties.

As such, here are the top food groups and items recommended when starting an anti-inflammatory diet:

Fruits and vegetables

Eating plenty of fruits and veggies is always a good idea, but they’re particularly helpful in fighting inflammation. Load up on deeply coloured fruits such as berries, cherries, and grapes, leafy greens like spinach and kale, and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts.

Whole grains

Whole grains like oats, brown rice, barley and quinoa are excellent sources of fibre, B vitamins, and other essential nutrients. They also contain antioxidants, which can help boost your immune system and prevent inflammation.

Healthy fats

Many people shy away from fats because they think it’s unhealthy. However, healthy fats like monounsaturated fats (found in olive oil and avocados) and omega-3 fatty acids (found in nuts, seeds, and fatty fish) act as natural anti-inflammatory agents within the body.

Specific food items containing omega-3 fatty acids are nuts and seeds like walnuts, almonds, flaxseeds, chia seeds, and oily fish like salmon, mackerel, herring, and sardines.

Tea and coffee

Most of us can’t make it through the day without at least one cup of coffee or tea. Good news: both have anti-inflammatory properties, so you don’t have to feel guilty for indulging in your daily caffeine fix.

Herbs and spices

Turmeric, ginger, garlic, and cinnamon are some of the spices and herbs known for their anti-inflammatory benefits. You can add them to your meals or even drink them as teas for a more powerful effect.

Final thoughts

Whether you’re going full-out on an anti-inflammatory diet or just looking for a few simple dietary tweaks to help reduce inflammation, the foods listed above can transform the way you feel while also helping to restore balance and vitality in your body.

Our highly trained practitioners at Calgary Integrative Medicine help you achieve optimal health with our unique and balanced approach to preventative, corrective, and sustainable care.

Reset your diet and health by securing an appointment with us today!

“Am I getting enough vitamin D?” is not a question that is commonly asked. As the days get shorter and the temperatures drop during winter, many of us are at risk of vitamin D deficiency, even if we are unaware of it.

Understanding what causes vitamin D deficiency and its associated health risks can help us take proactive steps to ensure we maintain adequate levels of this essential vitamin all year round.

Here is everything you need to know about vitamin D deficiency, along with proactive steps to keep yourself healthy during the chilly winter months. Let’s get started!

How Important Is Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that plays a critical role in the health of individuals. This vitamin, which is fat-soluble, has been recognized for its ability to aid the body in absorbing and retaining calcium and phosphorus, two crucial elements for constructing bones.

Calcium is necessary for proper bone formation, as it provides strength and rigidity to our skeletal structure. The body’s primary source of energy, adenosine triphosphate (ATP), is made up of phosphorus. This regulates nerves, muscles, and the heart and is also a building block for our genes.

Without sufficient amounts of vitamin D, it is hard to absorb the necessary nutrients from food or supplements, resulting in a weakened body and an increased risk of breaking bones. Those with insufficient levels of this vitamin may also suffer from fatigue, as well as aches and pains in their muscles and joints.

What Causes Vitamin D Deficiency During The Winter?

When winter rolls around, many people find themselves experiencing a decrease in their vitamin D intake. So, what causes this seasonal drop in vitamin D efficiency? The main cause of low vitamin D levels during the winter months is simply a lack of sunlight.

Summer days are ideal for staying active outside, as our bodies produce more vitamin D when exposed to direct ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation from the sun. However, UVB radiation does not reach the skin as much during the winter months.

This means that even if you live in an area where the sun is out during winter, you may still not be receiving enough UVB radiation to produce adequate vitamin D levels.

Additionally, some seasonal dietary habits may also contribute to lower vitamin D levels; as people tend to eat more comfort foods during winter, they may be unknowingly reducing their intake of vitamin D-rich foods.

Ways to Prevent Vitamin D Deficiency During the Winter

On warmer days, it’s fairly easy to meet your daily vitamin D needs with just 10 to 30 minutes of midday sunlight. However, in Canada and other northern latitudes, the angle of the sun is lower during the winter months, which leads to shorter daylight hours and makes it difficult to obtain sufficient vitamin D from sunlight alone. In such cases, it’s recommended to take additional measures to maintain adequate levels of vitamin D.

Take Vitamin D Supplements

Taking vitamin D supplements is another great way to ensure you’re getting enough of this essential nutrient. Is now recommended that adults and the elderly have a daily vitamin D requirement of around 1000-2000 IU. However, it’s important to consult with your doctor and get tested to determine the appropriate dosage for your individual needs.

Eat Foods Rich in Vitamin D

Fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel, are among the best sources of vitamin D. If you are not a big fish fan, you can still supplement your body’s vitamin D supply by consuming foods such as eggs, mushrooms, cheese, beef liver, and fortified milk. Adding these to your diet can help prevent vitamin D deficiency.

Use Artificial UV Light

Indoor lights that generate UV-B light may also increase the amount of vitamin D produced in the skin. UV lamps mimic UV-B radiation from the sun and can be especially helpful if you don’t get enough sun exposure due to where you live or the amount of time you spend indoors.

Daily exposure to artificial UV light for 10-15 minutes has been shown in some studies to be effective at preventing vitamin D deficiency during the winter.

Final Thoughts

The risk of vitamin D deficiency during winter is higher than you may think, but smart lifestyle choices can prevent it. With proper awareness and effort, we can all stay healthy through the colder months and beyond.

In terms of health and wellness, Calgary Integrative Medicine is an excellent place to start. We’re proud to be Calgary’s premier naturopathic clinic, with treatments that can help you live a happier life.

Whether you need help getting started or advice on improving your health, contact us today to discover lasting and sustainable health solutions!

Christmas is a time of joy and celebration with family and friends. It’s an ideal opportunity to gather around your table, enjoy some fine grub, and get into the festive spirit.

However, planning and preparing a delicious meal to serve your family and guests can be overwhelming, time-consuming, and stressful. From considering dietary requirements to deciding on the amount that will feed everyone, it’s enough to make your head spin.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of preparing a feast for your family and friends this year, we’re sharing the easiest ways to simplify your Christmas meal without sacrificing flavour and health.

1. Back to basics

Before getting into the menu, take a step back and remember that Christmas dinner doesn’t have to be an elaborate affair. With a few simple dishes and some careful planning, you can still enjoy a delicious meal without too much fuss.

To make your Christmas meal easier to manage, start with easy-to-prepare options such as roasted chicken, turkey, or beef with mashed potatoes and steamed vegetables. If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, you can try making a festive casserole or one-pot wonder—anything that’s slow-cooked or can be prepped in advance.

2. Buy pre-made

If you’re pushed for time but still want to create a delicious meal without spending hours in the kitchen, pick up some store-bought items like pre-made pies, ready-to-cook roasts, pastas, and other festive dishes. This can save you a lot of time in the kitchen, and it’ll still taste awesome!

Don’t be afraid to purchase pre-made items like bread, cookies, cakes, or even pre-cooked mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce. These can all be heated up and served with your meal, making it easier to put together a delicious feast in no time.

3. Keep it light

Instead of making a big, heavy meal, opt for lighter dishes that are packed with flavour. Salads and sides, like roasted vegetables or quinoa, can be made ahead of time and served alongside the main course.

For a healthy twist on traditional Christmas desserts, try making raw fruit tarts or yogurt-based cakes instead of sugary pies. If you still want to indulge in a sweet treat, consider making or buying mini-desserts like cupcakes and truffles.

4. Use the freezer

If you’ve been cooking up a storm in preparation for the big day, freeze some of your dishes ahead of time. This way, you can have delicious homemade meals on hand when unexpected guests arrive or if you simply don’t feel like cooking.

Freezing food is a great way to save time and effort in the kitchen while still serving up a tasty meal. Soups, stews, casseroles and curries all freeze well, so you can have them ready to cook in just a few minutes.

5. Make it a potluck

Rather than taking on all the work yourself, ask your guests if they can bring some food with them as well—it’s always nice to share ideas and recipes! This way, you don’t have to worry about cooking for everyone and it will also give your guests an opportunity to show off their culinary skills.

Final thoughts

Whether you’re planning ahead or looking for something easy to make on the day, simplifying your Christmas meal doesn’t mean you have to miss out on flavour or nutrition.

With the simple tips above and some careful planning, you can have a delicious, nutritious, and stress-free holiday feast that your family and friends will love.

At Calgary Integrative Medicine, we believe that good nutrition plays a key role in sustaining overall health and wellbeing. If you’d like to learn more about how to celebrate the holidays stress free, reach out to us today!

Given that our modern lives are more fast-paced than ever, it’s important to find ways to slow down and live a healthier life. One way to do this is by adopting some zen habits. Zen habits are important not only for our physical health but also for our mental and emotional well-being. This will help us to be more present in the moment and less stressed overall.

To help you get started, we’ve compiled a list of seven zen habits that you can start incorporating into your life today:

Eat Mindfully

One of the best ways to adopt a Zen lifestyle is to start eating mindfully. This means being aware of what you’re eating, where it came from, and how it will affect your body. Additionally, make a point to savor each bite and appreciate the nourishment it’s providing.

Eating mindfully has been shown to have numerous benefits for both our physical and mental health. It can help improve digestion, boost immunity, reduce stress and anxiety, and even promote weight loss.

Exercise Consciously

Just as with eating, it’s important to be aware of your body when you’re exercising. Listen to your body and don’t push yourself beyond your limits. Focus on how good it feels to move your body and get those endorphins flowing.

It is important to be mindful of how you are feeling when you are exercising. It is important to be in the moment when you are exercising and to focus on how your body is feeling. This will help you avoid injury and maximize your workout.

Connect with Nature

Spend time outside every day, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Appreciate the beauty of nature and take some deep breaths of fresh air. Let the sights and sounds of nature reset your mind and help you relax.

Connecting with nature is one of the best things you can do for your health. There are numerous benefits to spending time outdoors, including reducing stress, improving mental clarity and concentration, and boosting your immune system.

Reduce Your Screen Time

We’ve become increasingly reliant on our computers and mobile screens these days. However, keep in mind that too much screen time can be detrimental to our health. Make a point to unplug from technology and give yourself a break from constant stimuli. Spend some time each day screen-free and enjoy some peace and quiet.

Practice Yoga or Tai Chi

This is a great way to focus on the present moment and let go of stress and anxiety. Yoga and tai chi are both great ways to stretch and strengthen your body, while also promoting relaxation. There are many different styles of yoga and tai chi, so find one that resonates with you and stick with it.

Get Enough Sleep

It’s no secret that most of us don’t get enough sleep. Not only does a lack of sleep make us grumpy, it can also lead to serious health problems like obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.

Sleep is essential for our overall health and well-being. Make sure you’re getting enough rest each night so you can wake up feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the day. Sleeping will also help reduce stress levels.

Live in the Moment

One of the best things about zen habits is that they help you to focus on the present moment. This means enjoying the simple things in life and savouring each moment as it comes. If you can learn to live in the present, you’ll be well on your way to a healthier and happier life.

Often, we spend so much time worrying about the future that it detracts us from the now. This can lead to unhealthy habits such as overeating, smoking, and not exercising. Instead of worrying about what may happen tomorrow, live in the moment and relish today’s adventures.

Final Thoughts

Overall, practising these zen habits can help you to lead a healthier and happier life. If you’re looking to adopt some healthier habits, give these seven zen habits a try. You can also enlist the help of professionals at Calgary Integrative Medicine, who focus on providing long-term and sustainable health solutions.

Calgary Medicine is an integrative health clinic that offers a variety of services to help you live your best life. You deserve to enjoy life’s simple pleasures. Contact them today to see how they can help you on your journey to wellness!

It’s no secret that warmer weather leads to lighter clothing choices and, for many of us, a renewed focus on losing weight. But have you ever wondered why shedding excess pounds seems easier in the summer?

It turns out there’s a science behind it. Several studies have shown that warmer temperatures can lead to increased metabolism and improved insulin sensitivity, both of which are critical for weight loss.

Here, we’ll explain why summer is such a popular weight loss season and offer tips on how to make the most of it to reach your goals.

Warmer weather leads to increased metabolism

When it’s hot out, your body has to work harder to maintain its core temperature. That means you’re burning more calories just by sitting in the heat.

The increased metabolism can lead to weight loss, especially if you pair it with other weight-loss strategies like eating a healthy diet and exercising.

Improved insulin sensitivity

In the summer seasons, the body’s insulin sensitivity improves. This is due to the increased levels of vitamin D (which are caused by exposure to sunlight). Vitamin D helps the body utilize carbohydrates, fats, and proteins more efficiently. It means that your body is better able to metabolize these nutrients and use them for energy rather than storing them as fat.

There is a process called “lipolysis,” and it’s the key to weight loss since it allows your body to burn fat for fuel instead of carbs. Allowing your body to burn fat for fuel is important because it helps to reduce your overall body fat percentage.

There are more opportunities to be active outdoors.

With the summer season comes more opportunities to be active outdoors. The warmer weather and longer days make it easier to fit in a workout or go for a walk or run outside. And, when you’re exercising outdoors, you tend to burn more calories than if you were working out indoors.

In addition, there are more variables at play when you’re exercising outdoors, like wind resistance and uneven terrain. These factors make your body work harder, leading to more calorie burn.

So, if you want to lose weight this summer, step outside and start enjoying your favourite sunny day activities. You can also use the warmer weather to your advantage by eating lighter meals and staying hydrated. And, don’t forget to enjoy the season!

Better sleep quality

Given that the days are longer in the summer, you’re likely to get more sunlight exposure. And this increased exposure to sunlight during the day can lead to better sleep quality at night.

This is because sunlight helps to regulate your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle (or circadian rhythm). When your circadian rhythm is off, it can make falling and staying asleep difficult. But, when you’re getting enough sunlight exposure during the day, it can help to keep your circadian rhythm on track, leading to better sleep.

Being well-rested is crucial for your overall health, and it plays a big role in supporting your weight loss goals. When you’re getting sufficient sleep, you’re more likely to stay active and maintain good eating habits.

Increased water intake

During the summer, you’re more likely to be outside and active. And, when you’re active, you tend to sweat more. This increased sweating can lead to dehydration if you’re not careful to up your water intake.

Dehydration can cause fatigue, headaches, and even dizziness. It can also make it difficult to lose weight as your body holds onto water when it’s dehydrated in an effort to conserve resources.

All this means that making sure you’re drinking enough water during the summer months is essential, both for weight loss and your overall health. Given that the weather is hotter, you might find yourself naturally reaching for more water than usual. This is a good thing!

Final thoughts

If you’re looking for a sustainable health solution, visit Calgary Integrative Medicine. They offer various services to help you reach your health goals, including weight loss. Contact them today to learn more!

We’ve all heard that we should drink at least eight glasses of water a day. While the eight-glass-a-day rule is now outdated in favor of more scientific evidence, it doesn’t change the fact that staying hydrated is vital to our wellbeing. Surprisingly, many of us don’t drink enough water each day, which can lead to issues like headaches, migraines, and decreased physical and mental performance. Here are a few reasons why water is important and why we should drink lots of it.

Helps You Maintain Peak Performance

With so much of our bodies being made up of water, it should come as no surprise that dehydration can affect physical performance. The human body can lose up to 10% of its body weight during strenuous exercise, which leads to increased fatigue, reduced motivation, and reduces overall performance over time. This is why it’s so important we drink enough fluids and stay hydrated before, during, and after exercise. Ensuring you drink enough fluid helps replace any water lost through sweating and helps you perform at your absolute best.

Improves Brain Function

You’ve likely felt a bit woozy, slow, or light-headed on a particularly hot day or after strenuous exercise, and this is a direct result of dehydration affecting your mental performance. Just like losing water during exercise affects physical performance, losing just 1-3% of your body weight in fluids due to dehydration can have a noticeable effect on brain function. Staying hydrating and drinking enough water helps you stay sharp and can improve your mood, concentration, and overall brain function.

Helps Prevent and Treat Headaches

You might be surprised to learn that dehydration is commonly associated with headaches and even migraines in many people. In fact, a headache is one of the most obvious symptoms of dehydration, and simply drinking some water can help relieve a headache. For those who suffer from chronic headaches and migraines, increasing daily water intake could be all it takes to significantly improve your quality of life and lessen the frequency and intensity of headaches or migraines.

May Help You Lose Weight

There’s a reason why so many nutritionists and dieticians recommend that their patients increase their water intake. First of all, replacing sugary sodas and juices with water saves you from the extra calories from sweetened drinks. Additionally, drinking before a meal helps make you feel fuller, which leads to eating less and thus consuming fewer calories.

Several studies reported that drinking half a liter of water half an hour before meals helped participants lose significantly more weight than those who didn’t. There’s even some evidence suggesting that drinking more water can increase your metabolic rate which, in turn, increases the number of calories your body burns and helps you lose more weight. 

How to Drink More Water

The amount of water you need depends on factors like your age, size, level of physical activity, and the area you live in. Regardless, it’s important to stay hydrated, so make a conscious effort to get enough water each day. Try including at least one glass of water with every snack or meal, eat more fruits and vegetables, and keep a water bottle near or with you at all times to ensure you remain sufficiently hydrated throughout the day. If you’re interested in learning more about how drinking more water can help with weight loss or form part of a long-term, sustainable solution to wellness, call Calgary Integrative Medicine today at 403-202-7272 or get in touch with us online to book a consultation.  

With summer in full swing, you may feel like your motivation to stay active is at an all-time low. After all, with all those cool nights on the patio and weekend barbecues, it’s hard not to let loose a little!

While taking a week or two off to relax and wind down isn’t the worst, not working out for two or three whole months can be disastrous for your fitness goals come fall. To help keep you on track throughout the hot summer months, we’ve listed our top 5 ways to get motivated and stay active this summer.

Change Up Your Routine

One of the best ways to get motivated to stay active is by changing up your routine. Summer brings along with it a heap of new exercise and workout opportunities, so take advantage of the longer days and better weather, and shake things up a bit.

Instead of sticking to your regular post-work gym or home workout, try visiting an outdoor gym or take part in some free outdoor activities in the cooler hours of the day.

Avoid the Temptation to Sleep In

While it may be tempting to sleep in after a long summer night, summer is the best time of the year to get a head start on the day. Wake up an hour or two earlier than you usually would and get some exercise in. Go for a pre-work walk, cycle, or run while it’s still cool but not yet hot enough to be uncomfortable.

Something as simple as a summer morning walk can really help you stay motivated and give you a little break before each workday. This, in turn, can improve both motivation and productivity.

Adapt Your Workouts
Let’s face it, the summer heat can make even the most active of us feel lethargic at times. To avoid lethargy taking over and interrupting your summer workout, try adapting your workouts to suit the weather. For instance, you could cut your regular winter workout in half, but double the intensity.

Cutting down your workout time makes scheduling your exercise easier and gives you fewer excuses to forego it. Remember to ease into your workouts in summer, especially during the hotter times of the day. Be sure to stay well hydrated both before, during, and after your workouts, and try exercising earlier in the day when the weather is cooler and your energy levels are at their highest.

Go Camping

Camping is a great excuse to get out of the city for the weekend and take in the great outdoors. Whether alone or with friends and family, camping offers ample opportunities to stay active. Take a bike along with you and explore some country trails or try a long day hike.

While not a workout in itself, spending time outdoors naturally involves more strenuous activities. Even something as simple as setting up a tent or having to walk farther to the bathroom beats lounging around the pool in terms of exercise and activity.

Make the Most of the Weather

The perfect way to get motivated to stay active this summer is to simply combine working out with the gorgeous weather. Outdoor boot camps are especially popular this time of year and are ideal for staying in shape.

Take your workout to your back yard, go for a jog in the park, or try some water sports. Kayaking, canoeing, and stand-up paddleboarding can make for great workouts and are a must if you’re a fan of water sports. Even if you’re not, try giving them a shot anyway, you may just find your new favorite hobby! Last but not least, if all else fails, just remember how far you’ve progressed throughout the year – don’t let that go to waste. Remember how good those endorphins feel after a solid workout and let that be your motivation to stay active this summer.

While we often think about massage as a way to relax and unwind, massage therapy has been used for millennia to treat a wide variety of health conditions. Today, massage therapy plays a significant role in many pain management approaches, including for chronic pain. How massage therapy helps relieve chronic pain can vary from patient to patient but, in general, massage therapy can help relieve chronic pain by increasing blood and lymph circulation, and relaxing and normalizing muscle tissues around the affected area. Let’s take a closer look at what each of these entails.

Increasing Blood and Lymph Circulation

With localized chronic pain comes inflammation. This inflammation is caused by a decrease in blood flow to the affected area triggered by your body’s natural response to protect it. While your body means well, this decrease in blood flow can result in a lack of oxygen and an increase of toxins in the affected area, causing symptoms such as fatigue and increased pain.

A combination of the manipulation of muscle tissue and the chemicals your body releases as part of its natural relaxation response, massage therapy for chronic pain relief is known to improve blood and lymph circulation. This, in turn, improves the delivery of vital oxygen and nutrients to muscles, improves cellular health, and helps muscle tissues function better. The improved circulation also aids in lymphatic drainage, the removal of waste products, and helps reduce inflammation in the muscle tissues. This overall reduction in inflammation reduces chronic pain symptoms and helps restore mobility to the affected area.

Relaxing and Normalizing Muscle Tissues

When muscles tense and tighten up to protect sensitive areas, they can sometimes compress the nerves around them. This can lead to discomfort, numbness, and, of course, chronic pain if the muscles stay tense for long periods. Massage therapy for pain relief helps relax these tense muscles, releasing these compressed nerves and allowing them to continue receiving the proper nutrients and functioning as normal.

Connective tissues can sometimes also get stuck to tense muscles due to poor circulation, interfering with regular movement and restricting a patient’s range of motion. This then contributes to lower activity levels, which can ultimately worsen chronic pain symptoms. Massage therapy for chronic pain provides relief by stretching and loosening muscles and any connective tissues that may be stuck to them, freeing them up and normalizing their function. What’s more, relaxing tense muscles and decreasing inflammation through massage therapy can also enhance the body’s self-healing processes, speeding up recovery from injuries and providing long-lasting relief from chronic pain.

Massage Therapy for Chronic Pain In Calgary

If you’re looking for massage therapy for chronic pain relief in Calgary, look no further than Calgary Interactive Medicine. Our well-trained and passionate massage therapists are dedicated to helping our clients feel their best and offer more than just an average massage. In addition to helping you relax, we aim to deliver therapeutic benefits that serve as an effective part of your personalized pain management plan.

Whether you’re looking to combat muscle tension, everyday stress, or a chronic disease, Calgary Integrative Medicine offers effective and natural functional treatments that heal from the inside out. Reach out to us to schedule a consultation and begin your journey to wellness today.  

Cardiovascular disease is one of the leading causes of death in Canada and worldwide, but it’s not entirely inevitable. Fortunately, there are plenty of things you can do to enhance your cardiovascular health and lower your chances of developing heart disease. To help get you started, we’ve listed our top three tips for enhancing cardiovascular health.

Eat a Heart-healthy Diet

Eating a heart-healthy diet not only tastes great but does wonders for your cardiovascular health in the long term. It can help improve your blood pressure, lower your cholesterol, decrease inflammation (that can often lead to oxidized cholesterol and disease), and decrease your risk of developing diabetes. Heart-healthy tips include:

  • Avoid all seed oils (canola, sunflower, safflower etc.)
  • Eat a diet low in the glycemic index to keep insulin low. This means limiting sugar, pasta, bread, grains and other carbohydrates.
  • Consume adequate protein including meat and fish.
  • Don’t fear fat!
  • Reduce dairy intake if it causes problems for your digestion.
  • Cut out packaged, refined and processed foods.

Eating a heart-healthy diet isn’t just about increasing your intake of certain foods, however, and you’ll want to limit how much salt, sugar, processed carbohydrates, alcohol, saturated fat, and trans fats you consume. In short, pay attention to what you eat, and your heart will thank you for it.

Exercise Regularly

We’ve all heard about the benefits of regular exercise, and if you’re looking to enhance your cardiovascular health, there’s simply no way around it. Exercise gets the blood pumping and keeps your heart healthy and strong by lowering the chances of developing conditions that strain it. The general recommendation is to get at least half an hour to an hour of exercise a day. Ideally, you’ll want to aim for at least two hours of light to moderate cardio, an hour of high-intensity cardio, and at least an hour of strength training a week.

Getting to that level of activity does require some building up, however. And even if you aren’t able to commit to an hour a day, there’s still plenty of things you can do to help. For instance, get into the habit of taking the stairs instead of the elevator at work. Do some extra gardening or cleaning around the house or take your dog out on longer walks. Even as little as five minutes of extra movement a day can contribute to a healthier heart.

Get a Full Cardio Blood Panel

Enhancing your cardiovascular health isn’t just about eating right and getting enough exercise. It’s just as important to regularly monitor your heart health to lower your risk of heart disease. One of the easiest ways you can do this is by regularly testing your cholesterol level. However, studies have shown that up to 50% of people that suffer heart attacks have “normal” cholesterol levels. The reason behind this is that certain harmful lipoproteins simply do not show up on standard cholesterol tests.

The Lipoprotein Particle Profile (LPP) test is one of the most advanced cardiovascular tests available. Rather than simply measuring cholesterol levels, the LPP test measures the lipoprotein particles in your blood directly. By measuring the number and density of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in your body, you’re able to get a much more accurate picture of your cardiovascular risk. This allows you to more accurately determine whether you’re at risk of heart disease and take effective countermeasures before it’s too late.

At Calgary Integrative Medicine, we offer full cardio blood panels (including LPP panels) through our partnered laboratories to better serve our patients. Book a consultation with one of our specialists today to find out more about how getting a full cardio panel can help lower your risk of heart disease and enhance your overall cardiovascular health.

One of the most divisive up-coming functional medicine options out there to relieve pain and inflammation is Platelet Rich Plasma, or better known as PRP.

The process involves platelets, which are blood cells that can help wounds to heal quicker, being extracted from a small sample of blood through a centrifuge (a device that spins at high speed separating the platelets from the blood). The platelets are then injected into the pain area of the patient’s body.

While the process sounds amazing, it is crucial to have a thorough understanding of the positives and negatives of PRP in Calgary.

The Pros Of Platelet Rich Plasma Injections in Calgary

It can help you with an array of medical conditions, including chronic tendon injuries, acute muscle and ligament injuries, arthritis, surgery recovery and bone fractures.  

— PRP is known for being “autologous”  – meaning it comes from the patient’s body – so it is a natural injection.

— Due to PRP using your blood and cells, it works faster to treat injuries and help your body recover from any inflammation.

— The Platelet Rich Plasma injections can take less than an hour. You will be in and out of your appointment in no time.

— The injection does not weaken your body as cortisone does; it strengthens them.

The Cons of Platelet Rich Plasma Injections in Calgary

The procedure itself can be quite expensive for many people, and there are no guarantees yet that insurance companies will cover the injections.

— Due to the minimal published research of the procedure (it is still new), there is some scepticism that there could be long-term side-effects that no one knows yet.

— There will be some pain in the injected areas for several days. There is a set recovery process when it comes to PRP injections.

These are the pros and cons that come with getting PRP injections in Calgary. If you would like more hands-on information on PRP or other non-invasive injections such as Prolotherapy in Calgary, speak to a specialist today.

Calgary Integrative Medicine provides long-term, sustainable health solutions. We aim for the root cause when treating symptoms and our methods are known to improve quality of life. From pain management to anti-aging and chronic illness treatment, at Calgary Integrative Medicine, we want to get you on the road to healing and recovery. Give us a call at (403) 202-7272 or send an email to