7 Sensational Cinnamon Benefits for Your Overall Health

7 Sensational Cinnamon Benefits for Your Overall Health

7 Sensational Cinnamon Benefits for Your Overall Health

Even if your spice drawer is due for an upgrade, you probably have a few staple spices around that you use for various dishes or recipes. Among the classics like salt and pepper (or maybe that Trader Joe’s Everything But the Bagel Seasoning), it’s very common for most households to have some cinnamon on hand. 

Cinnamon is a fan-favorite, especially during the fall season. Whether you’re sprinkling it on your coffee, adding it to your baked goods recipe, or even including it in a savory entrée for an unexpected kick, cinnamon’s unique flavor can fit right in in a variety of settings.  

Table of contents:

Cinnamon Benefits: A Common Household Spice that Really Packs a Punch

Though cinnamon’s taste can’t be praised enough, there’s much more to it than meets the eye—or, rather, the taste buds. Cinnamon offers many health benefits that make it an important part of a healthy, balanced diet. Additionally, this spice has been around for many generations and has provided health benefits to people worldwide for centuries.

A Brief History of Cinnamon

Cinnamon has been traced back through history to ancient civilizations in Sri Lanka and Egypt. Though cinnamon can be considered a common household item today, it was once very rare and valuable. In fact, cinnamon was once considered to be a gift for kings.

Throughout its history, cinnamon has also been used to treat a variety of illnesses, particularly ailments of the throat, such as hoarseness and coughs. Though cinnamon is no longer used as a treatment for illness on its own, multiple studies over the years have found the possible health benefits of cinnamon to be very promising. 

Cinnamon originally comes from the bark of the Cinnamomum verum tree, which contains many of the health-boosting compounds found in cinnamon, including cinnamic acid, cinnamate, and cinnamaldehyde. 

Though cinnamon is sometimes used in its original bark form, most people use the ground-up cinnamon spice in their day-to-day lives.


Ceylon vs. Cassia Cinnamon: What’s the Difference?

While perusing the shelves of your local grocery or health food store, you may notice that there is more than just a single type of cinnamon. In fact, there are two primary types – Ceylon and cassia cinnamon. 

Though the two types of cinnamon are relatively similar in look and texture, some of their biggest differences are the region in which they’re grown as well as how accessible and widely used they are. 

Ceylon is grown from a rarer type of tree found in Thailand and Sri Lanka, which makes it more expensive and difficult to find. Cassia cinnamon typically grows from trees in China that are more numerous, making it the more widely available and less expensive of the two.

Is One Better than the Other?

Though more research is needed, early studies suggest that Ceylon cinnamon benefits might be more significant than cassia cinnamon benefits. Additionally, though their tastes are very similar, and you can generally use them interchangeably, Ceylon tends to have a light, citrus-forward taste, while cassia is deeper and spicier. 

When choosing which type of cinnamon benefits you the most, it should come down to which is more easily accessible in your area, as Ceylon cinnamon may be too expensive or too difficult to find in some places.


More About Cinnamon: Taste, Texture, and Why It’s Popular

There are multiple forms in which to consume cinnamon, including in whole bark, essential oil, or extract form. However, the most common way to consume cinnamon is, by far, in spice form, which is essentially cinnamon bark ground up into a powder. 

In its typical spice form, cinnamon can be added into just about any recipe without changing the texture. It adds a sweet yet spicy taste that is most popular with fall flavors like pumpkin, maple, and chocolate, though it can pair well with a variety of different flavor palates. 

Cinnamon is popular due to its generally inexpensive cost paired with its delicious taste and the many unique ways to enjoy it. Additionally, cinnamon benefits your health in so many meaningful ways, which also contributes to its popularity.


Ways to Take Advantage of Cinnamon Benefits

When you use cinnamon in its ground spice form, it’s easy to incorporate into coffee, yogurt, smoothies, and other sweet or savory snacks. You can also include it as a spice or extract in baked goods. 

Though uses for the pure bark form of cinnamon are more limited than its ground spice form, many people enjoy combining cinnamon bark with hot water, honey, and other herbs to make a sweet and spicy cinnamon tea. Another festive way to use cinnamon bark is to combine it with warm apple cider or mulled wine to create a cozy fall drink.


Is Cinnamon a Superfood?

It’s important to determine exactly what a superfood is before deciding whether cinnamon falls into this category. Generally, superfoods are described as nutrient-rich foods that are beneficial for optimal health. 

Based on this description alone, cinnamon could certainly be described as a superfood. Though there is still more research being done on the specific health benefits of cinnamon each year, the research so far suggests that cinnamon could be a significant part of an overall healthy diet.

Best Superfoods to Pair with Cinnamon

Cinnamon’s spicy and sweet flavor and aroma make it a great spice to pair with various other superfoods for a health-packed meal or snack. One of the easiest ways to consume cinnamon is in a smoothie combined with other delicious superfoods like acai, ginger, spirulina, and more. 

If you prefer to eat your nutrients rather than drink them, you could always combine some of these superfood compounds into a baked good recipe like muffins, bread, or pancakes. Additionally, acai bowls are a great way to enjoy all of the nutritional benefits of smoothies in a bowl with a spoon and lots of yummy toppings.

What’s the Most Digestible Way to Consume Cinnamon?

Cinnamon tends to be easy to digest in all its forms, which makes it easy to add to your diet, no matter your specific health concerns. However, if you have digestive tract or gut health issues, check with your doctor before adding cinnamon to your diet for its health benefits. 

7 Ways Cinnamon Benefits Your Well-Being

Now that you know a bit more about cinnamon, it’s important to understand some of the noticeable ways in which cinnamon could improve your health. You’ll be amazed that something so delicious could also be such a powerful health booster!

1. Great Source of Antioxidants

Oxidative damage from unstable molecules called free radicals can cause inflammation and other harmful issues within your body, and antioxidants are the compounds that fight them off. 

Cinnamon is known to contain a high level of multiple types of antioxidants, namely polyphenols, that can increase your body’s antioxidant levels. In fact, according to recent studies, cinnamon has a significantly higher level of antioxidants than most common spices, including oregano and garlic.

2. Helps Fight Against Heart Disease

Heart disease is the most common cause of death worldwide, so it’s understandable that many people are looking for ways to keep their hearts healthier. 

Although the general quality of your diet and your activity levels play the biggest roles, heart-healthy foods like cinnamon can also help maintain a healthy circulatory system.

Studies have shown that regular cinnamon intake could help reduce LDL cholesterol, improve blood markers for those with type 2 diabetes, and reduce blood pressure rates.

3. Could Help Regulate Blood Sugar Levels

Recent studies have shown promising data that cinnamon could help stabilize blood sugar levels when consumed regularly. 

According to these studies, cinnamon could reduce the amount of glucose absorbed by your bloodstream after meals, which could prevent large spikes in blood sugar. This is due to the fact that cinnamon helps slow down the breakdown process for carbohydrates during digestion. 

Additionally, there may be a compound present in cinnamon that mimics the effects of insulin and lowers levels of blood sugar by as much as 29% in those with diabetes. Cinnamon is able to offer these significant health effects at a typical dose of ½ to 2 teaspoons each day.

4. Supports Brain Function

In order to keep your risk of neurodegenerative disease low as you age, it’s important to take steps to keep your brain healthy. While keeping your brain active with hobbies and new skills is a great way to go about this, the quality of your diet can also play a major role. 

Compounds found in cinnamon have been shown to reduce the buildup of tau, a protein that develops in the brain and often leads to Alzheimer’s disease. Additionally, other studies have found that cinnamon can help protect the health of your neurons, maintain normal motor function, and normalize neurotransmitter levels.  

5. Helps Inhibit Bacterial Growth

Including cinnamon in your diet might help to fight fungal and bacterial infections thanks to cinnamaldehyde, one of the spice’s primary active components. Cinnamaldehyde could be connected to the effective treatment of respiratory tract infections as well as limiting the growth of bacteria like Salmonella and Listeria. 

6. Reduces Inflammation

So many of the most common health issues have inflammation as a root cause, including cognitive decline, heart disease, chronic pain, and more. 

Cinnamon may be able to help reduce inflammation in the body due to its high level of antioxidant properties. This means that when regularly including cinnamon in your diet, you could notice reductions in chronic pain, swelling, and soreness, among other ailments.

7. Supports Oral Health

Cinnamon’s ability to support better oral health is related to its ability to prevent excessive fungal and bacterial growth. Many of the issues that arise with teeth and gums are the result of an unhealthy buildup of bacteria. 

Though more research is needed, cinnamon could be a powerful protector against specific bacterial strains that cause issues like tooth decay, bad breath, oral infections, and cavities. Additionally, cinnamon’s refreshing and strong taste means it can easily be used as a natural flavoring for products like chewing gum and toothpaste.

Are There Any Health Risks Associated with Cinnamon?

With so many cinnamon benefits for your health, it’s hard to believe that the spice could cause any health risks. In general, there are no known health risks associated with consuming cinnamon, especially since the typical serving size is no more than 1 or 2 teaspoons per day. 

If you have pre-existing kidney or liver problems, you may want to consult with your doctor before consuming a significantly larger amount of cassia cinnamon than you were before. Additionally, if you notice any allergic reactions to cinnamon, such as irritation around the mouth or throat, seek medical attention immediately.

How Should Cinnamon Be Stored?

In order to get the most out of your cinnamon benefits, make sure to keep the spice properly stored in your home. No matter what form it’s in, cinnamon should be stored in a dry, cool, dark place that keeps it away from sun exposure or moisture. 

When it’s stored correctly, cinnamon can keep for multiple years without expiring or becoming dangerous to ingest. However, it may lose some of its potency and taste if left for too long, which is why it’s best to only keep one or two jars on hand at any given time.

Boost Your Health Deliciously with Clean Juice

Health is made up of so many factors, but the quality of your diet will always be one of the most crucial. Additionally, enjoyment in nourishing your body is just as important as the types of foods you eat in order to support your overall well-being. 

At Clean Juice, we make it easy to satisfy your cravings and nourish your body at the same time with a wide variety of mouth-watering juices, acai bowls, sandwiches, and more, all made with nothing but the cleanest and healthiest ingredients. Want to make it even easier? Order Clean Juice straight to your door today!


Disclaimer: The information presented here is for educational purposes only and is in no way intended as a substitute for medical counseling. Consult your doctor before using any health treatment, including natural remedies, and tell your doctor if you have a serious medical condition or are taking any medications. 

If you’re unsure whether cinnamon would be a healthy addition to your wellness routine, ask your doctor if any of your health details might make cinnamon unsafe for you.

Elderberry Benefits That Will Blow Your Mind

Elderberry Benefits That Will Blow Your Mind

Elderberry Benefits That Will Blow Your Mind

Elderberry Benefits

If you’re passionate about your health and fitness, you’re probably always on the lookout for new healthy foods that you can include in your diet. It’s important to consume the proper balance of macronutrients like protein, carbohydrates, and fats, as well as all of the right micronutrients, which include a huge variety of vitamins and minerals. 

There are certain foods that make it easy to hit these targets within your typical meals, reducing your need for expensive supplements that take all of the fun out of getting your daily dose of nutrients. Some of these foods would even be considered “superfoods” based on their significantly high nutritional content. 

Elderberry is one of these foods, and if you’re looking for a new and delicious way to improve your health on a daily basis, you’ve come to the right place.

Table of contents:

What Is Elderberry?

Elderberry is a small fruit that’s dark purple in color and is known to have a wide variety of health benefits. 

Even if you’ve never heard of elderberry before, that doesn’t mean elderberry benefits are new; in fact, history suggests that the elderberry plant has been used in many cultures throughout the past several centuries, possibly spanning as far back as prehistoric times. 

The elderberry grows from the Sambucus nigra tree, which is native to many continents, including Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America. The tree typically grows in woodland areas and features white flowers in addition to the deep purple berries during harvesting season.

History of Elderberries and the Sambucus Tree

The history of elderberry benefits and uses goes as far back as prehistoric humans, but the first solid evidence of elderberry playing a medicinal role in society was in ancient Egyptian culture. 

Medicinal use of elderberry is also directly linked to Hippocrates, a legendary figure from ancient Greece who is often referred to as the “Father of Medicine.” According to recorded history, Hippocrates described elderberry as his “medicine chest” due to its long list of health benefits and its powerful ability to fight disease. 

Thanks to the advancement of modern medicine, elderberry alone is no longer used as a treatment for illness. However, the many scientific studies surrounding elderberry benefits suggest that including this fruit in a healthy, varied diet could support some very positive health effects.

How Elderberry Benefits a Healthy Lifestyle

Consuming enough vitamins and minerals on a daily basis is crucial for supporting your body’s many internal systems. Additionally, maintaining a healthy and balanced diet can help to prevent disease and injury. 

Each elderberry is packed with a variety of nutritional compounds, but elderberry benefits are even greater when the fruit is consumed in larger servings.

Elderberry Nutrition Facts

One cup is typically considered to be the standard serving size for elderberries. This serving size contains 26.7 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of protein, and 0.7 grams of fat, all of which are important parts of a balanced diet. 

One of the most significant elderberry benefits when it comes to nutrition is its vitamin C content at roughly 52 milligrams per cup. Other vitamins and minerals found in elderberries include vitamin A, vitamin B6, potassium, and iron. 

The dietary fiber content of a serving of elderberry is also noteworthy at around 10 grams, which can help to support a healthy digestive system.

All About Elderberry: Taste, Texture, and How to Enjoy It

The many elderberry benefits are a great bonus, but what about the fruit’s taste and texture? First and foremost, you shouldn’t eat elderberry before it reaches its peak ripeness at a deep purple or blue color. Not only will the taste be unpleasant, but it is hazardous to your health, as raw elderberry contains a toxin that causes nausea and vomiting. 

Once you’ve got ripe elderberry to try (or some fresh elderberry juice), you’ll notice that this fruit has a tasty balance between tartness and earthiness with a hint of subtle sweetness. Since elderberry isn’t overly sweet on its own, it mixes very well with other fruits to create a well-rounded flavor profile.

What Forms Does Elderberry Come In?

Elderberries are delicate, which means they can be difficult to find in stores due to the challenge of transporting them. However, you may be able to find fresh elderberries in certain health food stores, depending on where you live.

Best Ways to Consume Elderberry

Pressed juices are often the best way to consume elderberries since they offer all the health benefits of this fruit in its purest form while mixing with other delicious fruits for a great taste. However, elderberry also makes a great base for jellies, syrups, and gummies and can even be purchased as an extract or capsule. 

Additionally, elderberries can be a great addition to baked goods like muffins, cookies, or breads. The dough’s sweetness can mix well with the earthiness and tartness of the berry, creating a satisfying result that is just as good for you as it is delicious.  

Combine Elderberry with Other Superfoods for Optimal Health

The term “superfood” isn’t a specific scientific marker but a label given to foods that naturally pack a significant amount of nutrients and health benefits into each serving. That’s why most superfoods are fruits or vegetables, and elderberries are often included in this category. 

Since juice form is one of the best ways to consume elderberry, it’s easy to mix this nutrient-packed fruit with a variety of other superfoods within a fresh cold-pressed juice, including beet juice, spirulina, maca root, ginger, or even celery juice

Another great way to combine elderberry with a superfood is by blending it with acai purée to make a delicious and nutritious acai bowl. Top the bowl with berries, nuts, and some spirulina or maca root powder, and you’ve got a superfood-packed meal!

Can I Still Gain Elderberry Benefits with a Sensitive Digestive System?

Due to the high acidity content, elderberry can cause slight irritation in your gut if you tend to have a sensitive digestive system, especially when consumed on its own. That’s why it’s best to mix small amounts of elderberry with less acidic fruits in a juice or smoothie or even mask the acidity in a baked goods recipe. 

Additionally, if you simply don’t prefer the taste of elderberry, you can still receive all of the best elderberry benefits by taking it as a supplement.

Are There Any Elderberry Health Risks?

Elderberry is generally safe for otherwise healthy people to consume in moderate amounts. However, unripe or raw berries can cause unwanted symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea, so it’s best to consume the fruit blended in a juice or smoothie or cooked into a meal. 

Most doctors will caution pregnant or breastfeeding women against consuming more than trace amounts of elderberry. Additionally, if you consume it and notice signs of an allergic reaction, such as rashes, trouble breathing, or nausea, seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Top Elderberry Benefits for Health and Wellness

Now that you’ve learned a bit more about what elderberry tastes like and how to enjoy it within your meals, it’s time to dive into the specific elderberry benefits that you could be reaping by including this nutritional powerhouse in your regular diet.

Supports the Immune System

In past generations, elderberry syrups, juices, and extracts have been used as home treatment methods for the common cold, flu, and other viral illnesses. As modern medicine has progressed, it’s more common to rely on over-the-counter medications to relieve your symptoms when you’re dealing with a virus. 

However, studies suggest that elderberry could have slight antiviral properties that could help prevent the body from developing an illness, relieve the symptoms during illness, or shorten the duration of illness. The high antioxidant content is one of the biggest contributors to elderberry’s antiviral properties.

Improves Digestion

In order to keep your digestive system working properly, it’s important to consume a certain amount of dietary fiber each day. Though dietary fiber is present in many common foods we eat, including fruits, vegetables, and grains, you may need to increase your fiber intake if you’re having digestive issues. 

A single serving of elderberry packs a whopping 10 grams of fiber, making it a quick and easy way to increase your intake and get your digestion back on track. Not only will your digestion feel smoother throughout the day’s meals, but you’ll also be able to stay regular.

Reduces Inflammation

Inflammation is an underrated yet harmful health issue that can lead to various ailments. Many ailments have inflammation at the root, including chronic pain, autoimmune diseases, fatigue, and cardiovascular issues like heart disease and high blood pressure. 

Several factors can cause inflammation, but free radicals, or unstable molecules left to run rampant throughout the body, are a very well-known cause.   

One of the most important elderberry benefits is the high antioxidant content in every serving, which helps your body to fight against harmful free radicals and reduce inflammation throughout your body.

Regulates Blood Sugar Levels

Spikes in blood sugar occur whenever you eat a meal, and if you have healthy blood sugar activity, the levels will simply go back down over time. However, if you have issues with low or high blood sugar or have been diagnosed with anemia or diabetes, you may struggle to keep your blood sugar at a healthy level throughout the day. 

Elderberry is not considered to be an official medical treatment for blood sugar issues. However, research suggests that elderberries can exhibit insulin-like behaviors in the body by helping increase glucose oxidation and regulate blood sugar levels.

Helps Reduce Risk of Cancer

Though more research is needed, promising studies have shown that regular consumption of elderberry could have certain chemopreventive properties, which means it could lower your risk of developing cancer. 

This is mostly due to the fruit’s high levels of anthocyanins, polyphenolics, and flavonoids, which are all types of antioxidants that can reduce your levels of free radicals and potentially lower your risk of disease. These studies mostly surround European elderberry benefits, and more study is needed regarding American elderberry.

Could Help Prevent Heart Disease

There are many different strategies to use when trying to support good heart health. Though regular exercise, a generally healthy diet, and keeping smoking and drinking to a minimum are some of the best ways to do so, including superfoods like elderberry could have heart health-boosting effects as well. 

One study found that elderberry extract helped reduce bad cholesterol levels and improve good cholesterol function in mice, and researchers believe that this is due to the anthocyanins found in elderberry. However, more research is needed to see elderberry’s specific effects on the heart health of humans.

How Do Elderberry Benefits Compare to Other Superfoods?

Now that you’ve learned a bit more about the specific benefits of elderberry, you may be wondering how this nutritious fruit compares to other foods that have earned the title of “superfood.” The list of superfoods is long, and the items on it are included for various reasons. 

When choosing the right superfoods to include in your diet, you should start with your priorities and choose based on that. If you’d like to increase your fiber intake and boost your overall health markers with plenty of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, elderberry is a great fruit to add to your roster! 

If you have other goals, such as clearing your skin, increasing your protein intake, or reducing stress, you may want to include other superfoods like celery juice, spirulina, or maca root. Luckily, Clean Juice makes it easy to combine all of these incredible superfoods and more into fresh, delicious juice blends!

Include More Superfoods in Your Day with Clean Juice

From customized cleanses to acai bowls and everything in between, Clean Juice makes it easy to pack all of your favorite superfoods into your daily intake while keeping it just as delicious as it is convenient and effective. 

Amazing Maca Root Benefits

Amazing Maca Root Benefits

Amazing Maca Root Benefits

maca root benefits

So many factors go into being healthy, and many of these factors have to do with your lifestyle and how you fuel your body. When it comes to nutrition, you already know all about the big three nutrients: protein, fat, and carbohydrates. However, there’s so much more to a healthy diet than macronutrients.

In order to enjoy optimal health now and to support longevity as you age, you need to be thinking about micronutrients, too. That means making sure you get enough vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other compounds that help to support the myriad of functions your body is carrying out at any given moment.

These days, there are so many new and interesting foods to try that are packed with a variety of micronutrients. Many of them are easy to include in your everyday diet in the form of juice, powder, or pill supplements. 

Below, you can learn about one superfood that is sweeping the nation with its many reported benefits: maca root.

Table of contents:

What Is Maca Root?

Maca root is a plant that typically grows in the Andes Mountains of Peru. This root is part of the cruciferous family of vegetables, which means it is closely related to many vegetables commonly eaten in the U.S., such as kale, broccoli, and cabbage.

Due to the many benefits of maca root, it has been an important part of Peruvian culture and cuisine for centuries. In fact, maca root is among a small number of edible plants that are able to survive the altitude and harsh conditions in the Andes at more than 13,000 feet. 

Though maca root is a staple in Peru and nearby countries, the root’s many positive health effects have just started to become known worldwide.

Is Maca Root Considered a Superfood?

A variety of food types can be included under the category of superfood. This term refers to any food that contains significant amounts of vitamins, minerals, and other health-boosting compounds.

In most cases, superfoods are supported by extensive research that suggests noticeable improvements in health markers after regular use. Maca root falls into this category! Though maca root benefits are still being researched, many promising studies point to significant health effects from eating this superfood regularly.

Maca Root Benefits for Ancient Cultures

maca root benefits

Since maca root is indigenous to the Andes Mountains in Peru, this root has made up a significant portion of the diets of Andean people for thousands of years. 

The Andean people historically used maca as a naturopathic medicine to treat a variety of different health problems, including rheumatic disease and respiratory issues. Aside from the medicinal maca root benefits, the superfood was also a staple in everyday life for the Andean people. It was prepared as a porridge or even a fermented beverage.

Many of the residents of this area of Peru still include maca root in their everyday diets. As the demand for maca root has grown over time, more farmers in other countries are growing maca root in regions that are similar to the Andes. 

For example, maca root is now plentiful in China’s Yunnan Province, a mountainous region that can support the root’s unique growing conditions.

Learn More About Maca Root: Taste, Texture, and How to Eat It

The color of maca root can vary between black, red, and yellow, and this color determines how different maca root products are categorized. Though all maca root types can offer similar health benefits, some are better suited for different needs. 

Red maca powder is the most common type of maca root product for its general wellness-boosting properties and its ease of consumption.

On its own, maca root has an earthy and nutty taste with subtle hints of butterscotch, making it a delicious addition to a variety of foods. Black maca root tends to have a more bitter taste, while products with lighter-colored roots are sweeter and milder.

Different Ways to Consume Maca Root

There are so many easy and delicious ways to include maca root benefits in your healthy lifestyle. Sweeter types of maca root crushed into powder can taste great with oatmeal, cereal, smoothies, or acai bowls mixed with other fruits and vegetables.

All you have to do is add approximately one tablespoon of maca powder into your diet per day to start reaping the benefits. 

Some people stick with one tablespoon per day, but others gradually increase to two or three because they enjoy the taste and want to increase their micronutrient intake even more. Make sure to start small to see how well your body reacts to maca root.

If you’re adding maca root powder into a heated dish such as oatmeal, don’t cook the maca powder in the microwave or on the stove. High temperatures can reduce the nutritional value of the superfood. Instead, just add in your maca powder after your food has been heated.

Can I Take a Maca Root Pill?

Don’t love the taste of maca root or can’t find it at your local grocery store? You can still enjoy all of the maca root benefits in pill form if it’s more convenient for you. 

Maca root supplement pills are readily available in more stores than powdered or whole maca root. Maca root pills come in a variety of dosages, from low to high potency. If you’re not sure where to start, ask a medical provider or a registered dietician which dose is best for your needs.

Best Superfoods to Combine with Maca Root

Many other superfoods also come in powder form, making it easy to combine them with maca root. Some of these include ginger, acai, and camu camu, which all have their own unique flavors and health benefits. Acai is also available in puréed form if you would like to mix maca root into your favorite acai bowl!

Health Benefits of Maca Root

Because of the many maca root benefits, it’s worth including in your daily diet if you want to stay healthy long-term and enjoy better health today. As the effects of this superfood continue to be studied, its value will only increase in the wellness industry.

Packed with Antioxidants

Maca root is a great source of antioxidants, which are naturally occurring compounds that help your body fight the effects of free radicals. Free radicals are unstable atoms that are very chemically reactive, which means they have the potential to damage cells and cause disease.

Consuming antioxidants in your diet each day can help to lower the number of free radicals present in your body and reduce your risk of illness.

Improves Memory

maca root benefits

Due to the high content of antioxidants in maca root, there may be a link between consumption of this superfood and improved memory. According to a 2011 study, black maca, in particular, may have the ability to improve the function of memory in the brain and also increase focus.  

Helps Ease Stress Symptoms

Maca root is considered an adaptogen — an herb that naturally aids the body in adapting to increased stressors. Stressors on the body could be anything from a significant change in routine to an illness, and adaptogens like maca root make it easier for the body to adjust by helping to balance the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis.

This helps to regulate cortisol levels and reduce the damage that excess stress can cause to the body over time.

Eases Menopause Symptoms

Every woman reaches menopause, which is the time menstrual periods cease. Estrogen levels decrease significantly during menopause, so menopause can come along with a variety of related symptoms like mood swings, hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and trouble sleeping.

Early studies suggest that maca root may have some benefits for women going through menopause. It could help to alleviate the severity of uncomfortable symptoms. However, maca root is not a replacement for hormone treatments, sleep supplements, or over-the-counter pain medication.

May Preserve Brain Function

Keeping a high level of cognitive function as you age is a priority for most people, and maca root is one of many natural foods that may have properties to support that. 

In fact, one study conducted with rats that had regular access to maca root indicated a likely correlation between the superfood and improved brain function and motor skills. This could mean preserved cognitive function could be confirmed as one of the best maca root benefits after more research.

How to Store Maca Root for Optimal Freshness

maca root benefits

Properly storing your maca root at home will depend on which form you purchased it in. Maca root pills are the easiest to store as they don’t have to be refrigerated and can be kept for a long period without expiring. 

However, it’s still important to check the expiration date on all pill supplements before consumption and to store your maca root pills in a cool, dry place.

Maca root powder is also relatively long-lasting, depending on how well you seal it between uses. Store your maca powder in an enclosed area away from the sunlight, such as a drawer, cabinet, or pantry. Maca root powder usually doesn’t need to be refrigerated, but it may be necessary if you live in an especially humid climate.

Whole maca root is typically harder to find than its other forms, but if you do purchase whole maca root, keep it as you would any root vegetable. That could mean keeping it unrefrigerated in a cool area of your kitchen and consuming within a few days or refrigerating it to extend its shelf life.

Side Effects and Concerns to Be Aware of

Maca root is generally safe for consumption, but you should always make sure you’re buying maca root powder or supplements from a highly reviewed and tested brand. Additionally, those with thyroid issues may want to moderate their intake of maca root due to its high levels of goitrogens, which can impair the function of the thyroid.

Where to Find Maca Root

Maca root supplements are available in most health food stores. But what if you could start your juice cleanse without even leaving your front door? Clean Juice is here to make that a reality. 

Visit our website to learn more about jump-starting or maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Contact us today to get started with Clean Juice.


Disclaimer: The information presented here is for educational purposes only and is in no way intended as a substitute for medical counseling. Consult your doctor before using any health treatment, including natural remedies, and tell your doctor if you have a serious medical condition or are taking any medications. 

If you’re unsure whether maca root would be a healthy addition to your wellness routine, ask your doctor if any of your health details might make it unsafe for you.

Rose Uncharted: The Sun is Your Friend, Not Foe

Rose Uncharted: The Sun is Your Friend, Not Foe

Be Organic Podcast – Season 1, Episode 37. Rose Uncharted: The Sun is Your Friend, Not Foe

Rose Uncharted, a well known “citizen researcher”, challenges views specifically when it comes to the sun and its counterpart, sunscreen. She also discusses heliotherapy, an ancient practice using the power of sunlight to heal diseases from tuberculosis, cancers, to even skin conditions.


1:40 Intro (jump to section)
3:35 How Rose found her path (jump to section)
9:00 The sun and its false narrative (jump to section)
15:16 Heliotherapy (jump to section)
20:13 Sunscreen and its problems (jump to section)
32:40 Mindful sun exposure (jump to section)

Transcription Below



Kat Eckles: Welcome to Be Organic. I’m Kat!

Landon Eckles: And I’m Landon, and we are the founders of Clean Juice. 

Kat: Don’t worry. We’re not here to introduce just another health and wellness podcast because we like our podcasts…

Landon: Just how we like our food: without the fluff and full of real stuff. 

Kat: So get ready for practical tips, actionable advice, and all sorts of knowledge for living your life organically.

Introducing Rose

Landon: Be Organic listeners, welcome into another episode. I’m super excited for everything that we’re gonna talk about today. We’ve actually got an incredible guest – as always, but this one is extra incredible. It’s funny; when we scheduled this podcast – and I’ll let Kat introduce her – everyone who’s on the team was on the thread, but our attendee on the call today was also on the thread, and the team had no idea.

So when we scheduled this incredible woman, the whole team went back and forth like, “Yay! Rose! She’s here! This is awesome. We got her!” Everyone then got really embarrassed when they found out that Rose was actually on the thread and saw everyone’s response to her getting scheduled. It was probably pretty humbling, but pretty a cool experience for you, huh, Rose?

Rose Uncharted: That was really funny. 

Kat: Well, yes, we are so excited to have Rose. It is safe to say that we are huge fangirls of her. She’s a woman of many talents. One of the prominent ones namely being that she evokes critical analysis of views and beliefs we have all been taught. Rose is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to herbs, natural remedies, and nutrition, as well as other research. She’s gained some serious traction on her social media, An Uncharted Blog, where she publishes her own personal findings as well as the findings of others who have been downplayed in mainstream media. Today, we get the opportunity to hear more from Rose about the topic of sun and break down the idea that sun is a friend, not foe. She also is a very sweet mama with the most beautiful family, and we are just super excited to have her today, so thank you so much for joining us, Rose.

Rose: Oh, thank you for having me. I’m really excited to have a conversation with you guys.

Kat: Yeah. You also have your own line of products, too, right? I don’t think I mentioned that in my intro.

Rose: I do. I do. 

Kat: Awesome. 

Rose: Yeah! It’s called Wild Woman and I have a few natural products. I really wasn’t gonna plug that ticket at all, but I mean – so that’s been really fun. That’s our primary source of income right now, and I’m loving that I have my own little studio in our house and it’s… yeah, it’s a lot of fun. 

Kat: That’s awesome. Well, I know they do great, because a couple of the ones I’ve tried to get every time you’re restocked, and I can’t, so I know you have a great following with them. 

Landon: What are the products, Rose?

Rose: So I have a few balms. I have two – I have like a balm that is supposed to replace a Neosporin type of product. It’s called Rescue. I have a balm called Sunny. That is – I don’t call it a sunscreen. It’s not a sunscreen, but it’s supposed to replace that type of a product. We can get into that later if you want to. And then I have another face balm. I have a hair oil. I have a bug repellent. Just kind of some random products that moms are looking for products to switch out. They’re no longer trusting some of these natural brands, so that was kind of how it started.

I was realizing, “Hey, even these natural products are really not clean.” So that’s why I started making them.

Kat: I love that. To that point, I guess I’d love to hear, your story of how you found yourself down this path of holistic living and holistic wellness. 

How Rose Found Her Path

Rose: Well, I was raised in a home that was quite detached from the Western medical mindset. I was homeschooled. My mother was very much into alternative medicine. We never went to the doctor. I’ve never been admitted to a hospital. I have seven sisters, and there was no chronic disease in our family. I really never had that allopathic medicine type of mindset programmed into me in the first place, so I think that gave me kind of a good perspective as I started to dive deep into alternative medicine and natural living. 

Landon: So you have this background where you grew up in this family, um, which is very, you know, kind of non-traditional right. Where typically people are, you know, they’re going to the, the doctor all the time, especially in their first year of life.

What was that like, kind of growing up and – I mean, obviously for you, you didn’t know any different, right – but looking back and looking how people – I’m using air quotes – are more “traditional” these days, what was that like? Give us a little insight on that.

Rose: Well, I would say that was actually more traditional than what we have now. Like I said, we never went to the doctor. I remember all kinds of natural remedies being used in our home, but I just didn’t think that that was anything out of the ordinary.

I had no awareness of the need for outside medical interference, outside of obviously emergency medical care. So I guess you could say I’ve always been quite natural in my ways, but I didn’t realize how abnormal it was until I became an adult and realized, “Oh, not everyone else lives this way.” 

So I actually never gave up on that mindset. I never subscribed to the modern medical way of how you look at the body. It just kind of came natural to me that health comes from within as direct result of what you put on it, what you put in it, and how you live your life. When I got pregnant with my first son, that’s kind of when it kicked me into high gear, and I actually became passionate about it. 

Kat: That’s so good. And I know something that you and I share is our Christian faith. And would you say that strong spirituality in the way that you were raised – does that play into your perception in the way you look at health and wellness?

Rose: Yes, definitely. I treat our health very carefully and from a God-based perspective of how he created us and what our bodies were made for, which I think a lot of people don’t really dial back and think critically about: how is our body supposed to be functioning on this earth?

We’ve been told all of these things from the skin cancer industry and all of these different industries about how our bodies are supposed to function and what we’re supposed to do when they malfunction, and we don’t dial back and kind of go, “Oh wait, that doesn’t actually make sense, because the body does this.” There’s just not much critical thinking involved when I look at it from my perspective. I know that it’s hard for people who have already learned those ways. Maybe that doesn’t make it make sense. 

Kat: No, it makes total sense. I think God wants us in divine health, and He puts all these tools and all these resources in His world for us to live that way. I think if we just would be more open minded and tap into that, especially as believers, there’s a lot of blessing on the other side there.

And one of those things that God created is the sun. We hear it all the time: “Don’t be in the sun too long! Stay out of the sun, especially in the hot hours! Make sure you wear sunscreen.” We’ve essentially been told to be scared of the sun. I know your take is practically exact opposite of that, so I would love to hear your take on the sun and how we should be approaching it. 

Rose: There are so many misconceptions and falsehoods in what we’ve been told about the sun, and we’d be here for days if I tried to cover everything, but I’ll try to hit on the key points. I’d like to say upfront that I’m not a doctor. I’m not a scientist. I am simply a messenger of information – information that I’ve processed and believe to be important knowledge. My not having credentials in no way disqualifies me from being able to read, process, and understand scientific material and then share it with others.

There’s this monopoly on knowledge, and we kind of view these white lab coat doctors as this… Ali from Empowered Autoimmune says this: that we’ve been indoctrinated to believe that these superior, God-like physicians and doctors are this exclusive gatekeeper to the sacred body of privileged knowledge.

It’s just not true. We are in the digital age, and we have all of this information and data literally at our fingertips. We have to become citizen scientists to safeguard and ensure our own best interests, because as hard as it is to believe, these three letter health agencies that regulate the science that they put out as truth are all wrapped up in just horrible, dirty dealings with big pharma.

We can’t always count on them to deliver unbiased science to us. I’ve actually found that we can almost never count on them. There’s so much conflict of interest. It’s really messy. And when I went to look at the science behind all the claims that were made about the sun and the EPA, and then what the media parrots, I realized that there’s really no controlled studies proving the false claim that the sun causes skin cancer or any other diseases. They’re actually not there. And that’s not just my own opinion having combed over all the science.  There are professionals and researchers and all these people that are saying the same thing: There’s no studies that prove what they’re saying. This is very typical within all of these, health agencies. They’ll make a claim, and if you really actually go and look, it’s not there in the science, and they just assume that you’re gonna be stupid and not look at the science. 

Our view of the sun is that it is dangerous, that you should stay out of it. Well, that’s funny, because the sun is actually the most life-giving source on the planet, and our earth was designed that way. I like to put it this way: we’re meant to be solar panels of light. So we actually absorb the energy of the sun, and it’s life-giving to our bodies.

Landon: That’s really good. 

Kat: Well, and it’s so interesting, right? Because you say there’s no studies that prove the sun causes skin cancers or any diseases, but there’s countless studies proving that vitamin D deficiency is a huge problem in our world today. 

Rose: Absolutely! That’s a whole other thing that I didn’t even take any notes on, because it’s such a big topic, but the lack of vitamin D, I would also say, causes skin cancer and other cancers. It’s a really big problem because when you’re slathering sunscreen on – dependent on which kind you are putting on; there’s two different kinds. There’s one that will block UVA rays, and then there’s one that will block UVB and UVA rays. When you’re putting on the one that blocks both, you’re not able to absorb the vitamin D, and supplementing is actually harmful in a lot of ways, because you don’t have any control over – it’s a complicated thing, but it’s a really big problem.

Landon: So Rose, number one, I just want to commend you for your ability to challenge conventional thinking. I don’t want you to sugarcoat anything, because I want to hear from your perspective exactly what you think. I think that people do need to hear this stuff. I think it’s okay to challenge and to debate and have good conversation around things that are sometimes a little controversial to talk about. So, number one, I just want to commend you and I want to thank you for coming on the show and sharing your experiences with us.

So, number one, you’ve established that the sun is not bad for you. In fact, it’s the exact opposite. The sun actually has a ton of healing properties that many people don’t even know or think about. Can you elaborate a little bit on some of these healing properties that the sun provides?

The Sun and its False Narrative

Rose: Sure. So, something that maybe you guys have not even heard – this is a very new concept even for me, as of last year. So, think about: light exposes darkness, right, by definition? So sunlight – and this is what I’ve read from the sources that I draw information from regarding this topic – the sunlight actually draws out sickness out of our bodies. So what you see as maybe a dangerous skin spot or a mole or something that’s coming out of the skin, when you’re in the sun, is actually the body releasing that toxic oxidized material out of the body. Yes, it damages the skin, but when the body’s given no other choice, it will do what it has to to sustain life.

You’re going to have to have me on again to talk about cancer, because we have it all wrong. Cancer is the body’s last-ditch effort to keep you alive. But the way we think about how the body functions is super distorted by modern allopathic medicine and junk science. So when we actually talk about how the body functions, it sounds ridiculous – and that opinion is not just my own, some mom who has no credentials – we’re talking thousands of physicians and researchers, but of course, all of this stuff is suppressed by big pharma.

You really don’t access that kind of information unless you go digging for it. But yeah, our bodies are self-healing if we let it, and a lot of the diseases that manifest in our bodies, it’s actually, strangely enough, our bodies trying to heal us. And it looks terrible, and you’ve got this pain and you’ve got these – you know, cancer and all this stuff, but when you have organs that are shutting down and they’re not able to do the function that they need to do to make you well, it has to go a different way. It’s going to manifest in a different way, and the body’s going to try to save you. We try to just slap a bandaid with medication on all of these diseases, instead of [considering], “No, the body was like crying out for health and it was manifesting this thing.” So we are just looking at the body completely wrong.

Landon: It’s a very interesting perspective, and from a personal standpoint, I can see where you’re coming from. My dad – when he was 46, he passed away from liver cancer. He was not a very healthy guy: over ate and consumed things that he shouldn’t, and I found it very interesting that the liver is where he developed the cancer. I really truly believe in my heart that if he would’ve lived a different lifestyle, he wouldn’t have developed that. I definitely, just looking into my own life, can see where you’re talking about.


Rose: Totally. I don’t think I really finished answering the question that you asked: what are the benefits of the sun? Heliotherapy was something that was practiced for hundreds of years. Before antibiotic drugs were discovered in… I think the 1930s, the medical community all over the world used the healing power of the sun to cure patients of all sorts of diseases.

There was a doctor named … August, I think. and he was the most famous heliotherapist in the world. He actually operated over 40 clinics at one point in Switzerland, and it’s really cool – his clinics were 5,000 feet above sea level, and he would use the intensity of the UV light, being at that high altitude, and he was able to treat patients very quickly of all sorts of diseases, tuberculosis, smallpox, lupus. There were 165 diseases that were actually proven to be cured by intentional sunlight exposure. Despite all of these amazing achievements by him and other heliotherapists, because there were many at the time – one heliotherapist actually won a Nobel Prize for his work in treating tuberculosis with UV light –  the entire practice of heliotherapy came under attack when big pharma showed up with all of its supposed miracle pills. So they crushed all of the – and this is what would happen to really all of these incredible treatments of old. They get erased and replaced with this delusional way of looking at and treating the body. 

Kat: Just to be clear for our listeners, heliotherapy is basically treating the patient with high doses of light or sunlight or UV light? What does the exact process look like?

Rose: Just sunlight. It’s really simple. Most people around the world don’t have to go out and intentionally do this. It comes natural to them. But for people who are maybe in an area where they don’t get very much light or they’re inside all the time, we actually see the skin cancer rates in those areas are very high, and you’d be surprised to know that the skin cancer rates in places near the equator are much, much lower – actually the lowest in the world. So that does not line up with what they’re telling us.

Kat: That’s so true. It’s funny you say that, because I’m always looking, like, “Where can we move next?” and I was looking the other day at like the lowest cancer rates in the US and all top 10 states are states like California, Florida, Utah, Texas – all states where people are outside in the sunlight and it’s warmer, so they’re literally getting sun year round. So I just think it’s – like you said, for all cancers, it’s such an important factor.

Rose: I was gonna say just a little bit about skin cancer. There’s a lot of deception in that as well as far as what they’re telling us about these statistics. Most people don’t know this, and they bank on you not knowing: the most lethal form of skin cancer is malignant melanoma, but this skin cancer only comprises 6% of the total number of cases every year, so there’s this 94% of skin cancers is not dangerous or life-threatening.

And most people don’t know this, so the sunscreen companies will take advantage of that and exploit our lack of knowledge with all this fear surrounding the sun. The most common types – so that 94% – they’re not even considered cancer according to the Cancer Institute. These types of skin cancer are almost always easily cured, and they very rarely kill anyone.

So there’s the effort to instill fear into the entire population. I believe it’s a deliberate effort to get us to believe that the most healing thing available to us is harmful to us. And that, of course, leads to more sick people, and ultimately more money in their pockets. The sunscreen industry is pretty corrupt too. They go hand-in-hand with these institutes. It’s funny – when you actually go to the Skin Cancer Institute website, there are ads on there that vilify the sun. If you do some searching, you can find out that those ads are directly financed by the leading sunscreen manufacturers, so it’s just a manipulation of public opinion for monetary motives. People don’t question these agencies, because we have this blind belief that they have our best interests at heart and, “Oh, they’re not gonna lie to us” and “Oh, they’re regulated.”

Well, that’s an entirely different bunny trail, but bottom line is these agencies are very, very corrupt. 

Sunscreen and Its Problems

Landon: So let’s talk about sunscreen a little bit. I want to hear your perspective on it. I think people generally believe that sunscreen is – I’m using air quotes again – “good for you,” but I think your viewpoint is that it’s actually very bad for you and could cause certain things. Can you elaborate a little on that? 

Rose: Sure. So, the first problem we have with sunblock is obviously [that] the lotions contain dozens of carcinogens. Many of those ingredients are actually banned in other countries. One of the other issues with it that I think a lot of people don’t know is that when you apply sunscreen, it actually turns off your natural sensors for what your body is trying to tell you. So we slather on the sunblock, go in the sun, and we no longer have awareness to what our body needs.

Those sensors are turned off – and this is especially true with sunglasses – when you put on sunglasses, your body goes, “Oh, it’s dark. I no longer need to produce melanin.” It’s a big disaster because we’re blocking all of these sensors and it actually causes us to burn more.

Landon: Would you equate it to taking a pain reliever when you have pain? Where you’re trying to treat the pain versus what’s actually happening [to cause the pain]. Would you kind of equate it to that?

Rose: I guess that concept makes sense. Obviously you’re still gonna feel the burn if you get burned with sunblock on, but the concept – yeah, that is true. 

Landon: Sunscreen has generally been around for what, 50 or 75 years, max? Not very long.

Rose: Yeah. Not very long. 

Landon: Right, so what did we do before sunscreen?

Rose: So before sunscreen, if you think about it, we were not so disconnected from our natural surroundings. We were outside. We were in the field. We were out there being involved in nature, and we didn’t have to worry about these things, because our bodies took care of it. It wasn’t an issue, getting too much sun. Where now, we’re inside most of the time. We have these people, they’re inside all the time, then they go on a vacation and they take off their shirt, and they’re just in the sun all day and they’re like, “Oh, I’m burned. Sun bad.” It’s just another huge disconnect that we have regarding the sun. 

Landon: Could you almost view the sun as – obviously, we believe that the sun has a lot of healing properties. It’s got to – I mean, it’s literally giving us a vitamin that really, we should only be getting from it, which is vitamin D. Would you also almost consider it as a tool?

Like there’s a lot of different tools out there, and people have to have certain skill sets to use these tools. But like you just said, if somebody has no idea how to use a circular saw and they go and try to use it to cut down all this stuff, and they’ve never used it before, they’re probably not gonna use it right, you know? So for that person who’s inside all the time and then they go out and then they get burned and then they get mad that they get burned, they just didn’t use that tool properly, right?

Rose: Absolutely. Yeah. There’s, there’s that, and there’s obviously what you’re putting in your body. We are disconnected on all angles, and so naturally we do not have a good relationship with the sun, and it burns us. 

Kat: It’s funny that you mentioned that. I remember probably 10 to 15 years ago, I read an article that said spinach helps protect you from the inside out when it comes to sun. I have a green smoothie every day, so I have spinach every day anyway, but whenever I’m at the beach, I’m putting extra spinach in my smoothie that morning because I’m like, “I need that sun protection.” 

Are there other things like that? Of course, eating clean in general is all – you know, if we’re eating processed foods and all sorts of junk, we’re kind of not even on the same planet here – but are there things that people can do as far as what they’re putting in their bodies that might help protect them naturally against any negative effects they’d get from the sun?

Rose: So my naturopath swears by astaxanthin. It’s an algae, and he swears that it prevents burning. I’ve never tried it, so I can’t vouch for that, but that’s an idea. Obviously, there’s going to be more importance on your overall diet and not just one supplement you can take here or there, because your overall diet is going to affect what’s sitting in your tissues.

Because then if you’ve got toxins just loaded in your tissues, the sun’s gonna bake onto that, and that’s literally just cancer waiting to happen. It’s not the sun that’s causing cancer – and we’ll get into the oil thing later, but the oils are the big one.

Kat: I’d actually love to hear you talk about this because, um, this wasn’t something I was aware of at all. I was watching one of your highlights on sun or something, but – the one thing I will put on my body, like when we were in Hilton Head last week and it was hot and I was like, “I need something.” I put coconut oil on. Is that something that I shouldn’t have done? Because it’s a saturated fat?

Rose: OK, so saturated fat is good. Unsaturated fat is bad. 

Kat: Gotcha. OK. 

Rose: I think when you sent me an email, you said something about saturated, and I thought maybe you meant to say unsaturated, so yeah. Saturated is good. So that’s your coconut oils, shea butter, cocoa butter, all those butters? Good. Those have a bond that is not going to oxidize your skin cells. The polyunsaturated fatty acids, which people like to call POUFA for short, they destroy basically, to put it in simple terms, it’s cellular death.


So when you put POUFA on your skin or when you eat it – which, it’s in everything, it’s in all of our products: lotions, makeup, everything. It’s in all of our food: crackers, cookies, soup – healthy food. If you start looking at labels and noticing, “I’m gonna avoid some of these oils,” you’ll realize quickly that it’s in just about everything.

Kat: So say some of those oils for our listeners. Are we talking canola oils and… ?

Rose: Mmhmm. So that would be canola oil, safflower, all of your nut oils. They are extremely unstable. So basically they’re rancid, and when in presence of light, heat, and oxygen, they oxidize, and that basically causes free radical damage, cellular death. So that’s on the inside of your body as well, and it can cause major internal distress, hormonal, immune system – there are some physicians that do all of this research that believe that you can trace POUFA damage back to just about every disease.

So it’s a big issue, and it’s what we all eat right now. So it’s really not that surprising that we have such high skin cancer rates. So my argument is that it it’s those things. It’s not the sun. The sun plays a role, but it’s not the sun, because when you go out in the sun and this is a problem, you’ve got a body loaded with POUFAs because they store in your body. You’ve got to displace them. You’ve got to actually start taking things that will displace that POUFA stored up. But when you go out in the sun and you have a body loaded with POUFA, the sun is heat and light – the two things you need for oxidation to occur. And then it just, it goes to town on your skin.

And so people who are in the sun a lot and have, loads of freckles or loads of sunspots, or, you know, all of this damage on the skin, that’s actually – it does have to do with the sun, but it’s not the sun’s fault, if that makes sense. 

Kat: No, that totally makes sense.

Mindful Sun Exposure

Landon: That definitely makes sense to me. Right now, I could view our listeners and I could see them getting a little bit confused, because you’re bucking conventional wisdom and you’re really challenging them to think about things, and that’s exactly what we want. We want to give our listeners what we believe is really good information and just get them thinking about things. Right now, they’re probably listening, and they’ve used sunscreen before, and they’re thinking, “OK. All right, I’m not gonna use sunscreen anymore, but what can I do? Because you’re telling me the sun’s good for me, what can I do to naturally protect my skin? Where should I be? Where should I go from here?” 

Rose: Yeah, so it’s really not that complicated. 

Landon: That’s good. 

Rose: It is if you are not willing to change your diet, obviously, but it’s two things.So, removing the burden of POUFAs from your body, lessening that consumption. So obviously I don’t go crazy with it; I really try to limit it as much as I possibly can, but if I have a cracker that has some sunflower oil in it, I’m not gonna cry, you know, it’s OK. I’ll have some of it, but we want to lower that burden. So just be more mindful of your purchases. We really rarely will get food out, because certain food that’s cooked in restaurants… they’re all using peanut oil, canola oil, all the ones that we wouldn’t even buy for our kitchen cooking, really bad oil. That’s in everything, so when we can lower that, that’s huge. That’s the main thing.

The second thing is to help your body displace some of that stored POUFA. One of the main things that you can do to do that is take vitamin E. Vitamin E is an antioxidant, and it actually will displace that POUFA. It’s amazing. There is a guy called Matt Blackburn on Instagram. He drives me crazy, but God love him, he was actually one of the ones who led me to the research to find all of that out. He actually has his own vitamin E product. Um, and a little tip. You don’t want to go out and get any vitamin E. You don’t want a GMO vitamin E, and that’s what most of them are.

If you go to the health food store, most of them are gonna not be the one that you want. So you want specifically a non-GMO sunflower-derived vitamin E. I take vitamin E with just about every meal. I put it on my skin. I am actually coming out with a skin serum that has it in it, because my business follows my current research.

So yeah, those are the two things. It’s really not that hard. I mean, it takes some adjusting. You have to start reading labels, and you have to start being mindful with your food choices, but it’s so worth it.

Kat: I know one tip that a lot of people give is to stay out of the sun when it’s heaviest, I think it’s like ten to two, they say. Is that something you live by, or do you ignore that as well? 

Rose: Well, it’s gonna be different for everyone. So what works for me isn’t gonna necessarily work for everyone else. I’m half Italian, so I have pretty dark skin, and I’ve never worn sunscreen. I’ve never had to limit myself in the sun. I may have burned maybe two or three times in my life, maybe being at the beach all day, but it’s very rare. I personally don’t have to, but I can actually speak for someone – my husband, he was very prone to burning when I met him, and over the course of the next few years, cleaning up his diet and doing all the things – you know, I had him following along with the things that I was doing.

We just spent four months in Florida, and he didn’t wear sunscreen once. We would be at the beach all day long, so that’s… if you knew his skin, that’s huge, because he would burn. His skin would peel off. What I’m trying to say is you can build yourself up. You can build your skin up to being able to tolerate longer increments of sun exposure.

What I recommend for people who are prone to burning is to just practice mindful sun exposure. Instead of slathering on sunscreen, you’re now taking responsibility for your own skin by following your body’s cues, going out in the sun for shorter periods of time. If you have to stay out in the sun, put on some clothing, put on a hat, find some shade. Just be mindful of your skin and listen to it. Most people can tell, “You know what? My skin is getting there. I think I need to get out of the sun.” So just turning that instinct back on, and then, as you are able to tolerate more, you can go out for longer periods of time, and you will find, after a year of doing that – or even less, just depends – you will be able to pretty much stay out in the sun as much as you want, and you’ll have a nice tan. I’m talking light skinned people, too. You can get a tan. A lot of it can be genetics, too. I know there’s other factors, but you can for sure turn that around. 

For the really light skinned people who have a really hard time with any sun exposure, my advice would be to avoid eleven to three, generally. Try to start slow with morning and late afternoon sun, evening sun, and just get your body used to absorbing light, because we are all made to absorb light into our skin. It’s just a matter of how much. 

Kat: That’s awesome. What about – I know you live in the Midwest, and we’re in Charlotte, NC, so our winters get kind of cold, too. What do you recommend? We’re gonna start heading that way. How do you make sure that you’re getting the sun exposure you need when it’s colder outside? 

Rose: Well, we try to go out in the middle of the day in the winter. There is an app called Dminder. I bet you’ve heard of it. It actually tracks your sun exposure. It will tell you when the best time to go out is, and when to go out where you will receive vitamin D. I haven’t used the app. I don’t have time for it. I’m like, “Whatever, I’m just gonna go outside,” but some people have had great success with doing that, so if you really wanna be intentional, you can definitely try that. 

Kat: That’s good. And there’s always vacations, right?

Landon: Well, Rose, I was gonna say, I can totally attest to what you’re saying about how your diet, and cleaning up your diet, getting rid of some of these things you were talking about, can actually lead to a better relationship with the sun. This year, I’ve really tried hard to clean up my diet and really focus on eating the right things and cutting out a lot of the bad stuff. This summer I have – I’ve traditionally worn sunscreen. I certainly won’t after this podcast, but this summer I’ve found that I haven’t had to wear any.

And I mean, we were at the beach all week a couple weeks ago, and I did not need to put on sunscreen once. I was definitely attentive to my skin and listening and if it felt too hot, I I’d get out of the sun for a little bit, but I didn’t burn at all, and it felt awesome. I got a really nice tan, and now that you’re saying the diet piece is such a big part of it, I’m totally sold on that. I totally agree with you on that.

Rose: Awesome. 

Kat: Well, Rose, you are just as wonderful in person as you seem on Instagram. You’re wise and beautiful, and, I really mean it when I say that you inspire all of us. Why don’t you tell our listeners where they can learn a little more about you?

Rose: You can find me on @roseuncharted on Instagram. That’s mainly where I post. I really don’t post on YouTube anymore. I do have a channel, but I haven’t uploaded to that in a while. I also have a blog, which I also don’t upload to, so it’s mainly just Instagram. If you’re interested in more detail of this whole sun thing, I have three highlights on my Instagram page containing all of the information I talked about, but I actually get into it way deeper as far as the science goes. I wasn’t able to be as detailed today, but check that out if you’re interested in more.

Kat: Those are great, too. I’ve looked through all those a few times, just because they’re so dense with information. They’re awesome resources. 

Rose: Thanks. And there’s a book that I read a couple of years ago. A guy named Andreas Moritz – it’s called Heal Yourself with Sunlight, and he was the one that exposed a lot of this, initially, to me, and I am super grateful for that book. He sadly was killed a few years ago, mysteriously. He was working on cancer cures and AIDS cures, and most of the doctors that do that aren’t allowed to continue with their work, so.

He’s amazing. And then I would also recommend looking into Ray Pete’s research. He’s more so on the side of educating on what POUFA does to the body as a whole. So it’s actually somewhat over my head, but he goes into all of that and it’s very fascinating. If you’re interested in, you know, questioning some of the claims that I made look into his research.

Landon: That’s awesome, Rose. I’m actually on your website too, roseuncharted.com, and I’m looking at your Wild Woman line, and it looks like you’ve got some really cool stuff on here. I know Kat has probably purchased most of your stuff and, I’m certainly going to be looking into it too.

Rose: Oh, thank you.

Landon: Yeah, no doubt. So just thank you so much for coming on. Like I said, thank you for being able to – I would say step out of your comfort zone, but it sounds like you’re pretty comfortable there. I appreciate who you are and I appreciate your ability to challenge us to think a little bit differently about things, especially something that’s so important as the sun, which is, you know, there for all of us to absorb, to live a healthier lifestyle. That’s what we’re all about. So Rose, we just appreciate you and we thank you so much for coming on the show.

Rose: Thank you so much for having me. 

Kat: Awesome. Absolutely.

Thank you so much for tuning in today to Be Organic. We’re so excited for you to become healthier in body and stronger in spirit. 

Landon: So if you like what you heard, please be sure to subscribe on apple podcast to never miss an episode.

Kat: And we’d love to connect with you over on Clean Juice’s Instagram. Give us a follow! Slide into our DMs with any suggestions for guests or topics that you might want to hear more about.

Landon: All right, y’all. Thanks for listening. Have a great week and remember to be organic.

Kat: Just a quick legal disclaimer: We are not doctors. While we absolutely love discussing wellness and nutrition with our expert guests, you should always talk to your physician or other medical professional before making any dietary or lifestyle changes. They can assess your specific needs and come up with a plan that works best for you.

In addition, this is for educational purposes only. Clean Juice franchises are only offered by delivery of a franchise disclosure document in compliance with various state and federal laws.

Dr. Will Cole: How Inflammation Causes Weight Gain, Anxiety, and Gut Issues

Dr. Will Cole: How Inflammation Causes Weight Gain, Anxiety, and Gut Issues

Be Organic Podcast – Season 1, Episode 1. Dr. Will Cole: How Inflammation Causes Weight Gain, Anxiety, and Gut Issues

In this episode of Be Organic, Dr. Will Cole chats with us on what’s causing our inflammation and also provides us with a step-by-step process on how to heal, including what foods to avoid, supplements to use, lifestyle practices to adopt, and ways of eating to explore.

Dr. Will Cole is a leading functional-medicine expert and a Doctor of Chiropractic. Dr. Cole specializes in clinically investigating underlying factors of chronic disease and customizing a functional- medicine approach for thyroid issues, autoimmune conditions, hormonal imbalances, digestive disorders, and brain problems. Dr. Cole was named one of the top 50 functional-medicine and integrative doctors in the nation and is a health expert and course instructor for the world’s largest wellness brands such as mindbodygreen and goop. Plus, he is the author of two outstanding books: “The Inflammation Spectrum” and “Ketotarian.”

Find more from Dr. Will Cole:

Website: drwillcole.com
Instagram: @drwillcole
Books: Ketotarian, The Inflammation Spectrum


2:30 How inflammation is deteriorating your health (jump to section)
12:13 The most common symptoms of inflammation (jump to section)
14:48 How gut inflammation is stopping you from losing weight (jump to section)
18:44 The four main foods that trigger inflammation (jump to section)
23:58 Other common health foods that can lead to gut inflammation (jump to section)
26:28 How to calm your inflammation and help your gut heal (jump to section)
35:02 Dr. Will Cole’s plant-based approach to the Keto diet (jump to section)
37:35 How intermittent fasting can help calm your gut inflammation (jump to section)

Transcription Below



Kat Eckles: Welcome to Be Organic. I’m Kat.

Landon Eckles: And I’m Landon. And we are the founders of Clean Juice. 

Kat: Don’t worry. We’re not here to introduce just another health and wellness podcast.

Landon: Because we like our podcast just how we like our food: without the fluff and full of real stuff. 

Kat: So get ready for practical tips, actionable advice, and all sorts of knowledge for living your life organically.

Landon: Hey guys, welcome into another episode of our Be Organic podcast powered by Clean Juice. My name is Landon Eckles, and I’m the CEO of Clean Juice. I’m joined here with my wife, who’s our chief branding officer and is in charge of making sure our brand is on point, that we’re giving you guys the best information out there when it comes to health and wellness. I’m going to let Kat intro our guest today, because we are super pumped to have him on board. 

Kat: Absolutely. So today we are joined by Dr. Will Cole. I’m super excited for this one. He’s someone that I’ve followed on Instagram for a long time. I love his information. I love his books. I think he’s so spot on in boiling it down to inflammation and what’s really going on in our bodies and what we need to take control of. Dr. Will Cole is a leading functional medicine expert and he’s also a doctor of chiropractic. He specializes in clinically investigating underlying factors of chronic disease and customizing a functional medicine approach for things like thyroid issues, autoimmune conditions, hormonal imbalances, digestive disorders, and brain problems.

Dr. Cole was named one of the top 50 functional medicine and integrative doctors in the nation, which is so cool. He’s a health expert and course instructor for the world’s largest wellness brands like mindbodygreen and goop. Yes, that’s Gwyneth Paltrow’s goop! 

Plus, he’s an author of two outstanding books. One is called The Inflammation Spectrum and the other is Ketotarian. So welcome, Dr. Cole! Thank you so much for joining us today. We’re so excited to have you. 

Dr. Will Cole: Thanks guys. I’m excited to talk with you about all this fun stuff.

Landon: Dr. Cole, I pride myself on being in rooms where everyone else in the room is smarter than me, and I can absolutely say on this episode that I’m the least smart person on it. So thanks for joining us so much. 

Dr. Cole: That’s very nice of you, but I know functional medicine very well, but I don’t know everything. We’re all learning, right. 

Kat: Absolutely. 

Landon: That’s right. 

How Inflammation Deteriorates Your Health

Kat: Like I said, you boil a lot down to inflammation, and I think you’ve mentioned before that we’re living in this age of inflammation. What do you think’s contributing to that? Why do you think that’s going on right now, today, in our country and in our world?

Dr. Cole: Wow. Yeah, so it’s a problem, really. If you look at the statistics of chronic disease and the amount of people that’s impacting. It’s estimated that one in two Americans are insulin resistant. Look at the statistics of cancer and heart disease and diabetes and autoimmune conditions. It’s estimated that 50 million Americans have on have an autoimmune condition. All of these issues and then the mental health: the rates of depression and anxiety and ADD and ADHD and autism. There’s so many different issues. 

All those problems that I mentioned have one thing in common and that’s inflammation, and it’s far reaching. Those are all very different health issues, but they have that commonality, that common link of chronic inflammation. Inflammation isn’t a bad thing inherently. God made inflammation as part of our immune system. It fights viruses and bacteria. it’s actually a really important thing for human health.

Like so much of the planet, and so much of our body, it’s subject to the Goldilocks principle, right? It’s not too high, not too low, but just right. That law is still applicable to inflammation. It’s when inflammation is thrown out of balance when problems arise. So it’s this chronic inflammation that’s sort of like this forest fire burning in perpetuity that’s the issue.

Why is that? Researchers are looking at the growing mismatch between genetics and epigenetics. It’s estimated that our, the human DNA on our genetics haven’t changed in 10,000 years, yet our world has changed very dramatically in a very short period of time. So you look at the food supply, you look at environmental toxins, you look at technology and the impact that that’s having on us, all of this stuff is really concentrated over a very short period of time, and it’s triggering these genetic predispositions that, again, have been around for thousands of years. Why are they being awakened like never before? Why are they being triggered like never before? Researchers are looking at this onslaught of epigenetic or environmental lifestyle: things that we do, whether that’s food or stress or toxins or technology, all this stuff is really awakening those genetic predispositions for things like heart disease, diabetes, cancer, autoimmune conditions, et cetera. 

So that’s what I’m really immersing myself in as a functional medicine practitioner. My day job is consulting patients online in different states and countries to give them answers as to why they are feeling the way that they do and giving them, most importantly, tools to start to deal with these things, to start feeling better and understanding how to feel like themselves again. For some people, they’ve been going through their health problems so long, they don’t even know what that is, but to start to regain health again.

Kat: Mm-hmm, that’s so good. I feel like too, it’s almost like people have come to expect to feel bad. Do you know what I mean? It’s like, “I’m just getting older. I’m just this, just that.” There’s all these excuses for, “I just don’t feel as good as I did.” I don’t think that people realize that they’re not supposed to feel that way.

Dr. Cole: Oh, certainly something that I say a lot is just because something’s common doesn’t necessarily mean it’s normal. That is definitely true that they equate ubiquity with normalcy. And that the reality is that you can look at the statistics and you can find someone feeling just as lousy as you are or worse, and then equate that with normalcy. These are things like all those things that I mentioned, all those health problems, whether that’s mental health issues or diabetes or heart disease or autoimmune conditions that they’re largely influenced by lifestyle choices. We have a lot of influence of how our body is functioning or not functioning. So while it’s sobering to look at the statistics, the other side of that coin is that we understand these health problems now more than ever to really give people tools to start feeling better.

Because if you look just at a generation ago, like our parents’ generation or our grandparents’ generation, these issues were growing. They aren’t as bad as they are now, but they still had a lot of these problems. Many people just didn’t know why people were sick, and they didn’t have any tools. They just knew, “OK, My doctor’s telling me to take this pill, and that’s basically what I’m gonna do.” You see this when there’s, say, a genetic predisposition for autoimmunity for a family, and the person that I’m consulting online, they say, “Oh yeah, I saw this in my grandma or my mom, but they aren’t here anymore or they’re really sick.”

They just didn’t know they had even any options. And now people are growing to understand, they have options in healthcare. They can actually do something about it. So it’s, in that way, a cool age to live in where yes, these problems are growing, but people actually can have agency over their wellness, which is kind of a new phenomenon.

Kat: Absolutely. I know that inflammation obviously can occur anywhere in our bodies, but I really wanted to hone in today on inflammation in the gut, just because I think it’s such a key piece of our overall health. We all know now, even mainstream science has accepted this kind of brain-gut  connection. They’re really starting to realize that our second brain is in our gut and how important keeping that healthy is.

Can you speak to specifically what you think is causing this gut inflammation? I know you mentioned technology and food and lifestyle, and maybe even just breaking that down a little more and how that really starts to wake up that microbiome in a bad way.

Dr. Cole: Yeah. So the foods research is pointing to are associated with disturbing the gut and impacting our gastrointestinal system in a negative way, increasing intestinal permeability – or what they call leaky gut syndrome. It’s just increased permeability of the gut lining, and that’s allowing things to pass through the gut that shouldn’t be able to pass through the gut that can trigger inflammation throughout the body or systemic inflammation. 

So gluten-containing grains would be number one. I have this conversation in the inflammation spectrum in my second book, because is it the gluten protein? We know that, thousands of years ago, in Biblical times, the wheat that they were would be eating there isn’t the wheat that we have today because of the hybridization of the wheat, the cross-breeding of wheat. So that structurally, the wheat is different from a protein standpoint, but also the spraying and the glyphosate spraying. We know that glyphosate can impact the microbiome as well. So, I don’t think it’s as simple as saying, “Well, gluten’s bad, and it is what it is.”

I think it’s what we’ve done to the wheat supply, the overconsumption of it, certainly, and the spraying of it. I’m not saying gluten’s bad for everybody. You probably can get better sources of it too.

Kat: Well, you hear people all the time. They’re like, “I went to Italy and I could eat all the pizza and I felt fine.”

Dr. Cole: Yeah, I hear that a lot too. I see that with patients where the food supply is different. I also think part of that could be the stress that people are under. I could be the same meal, but you’re eating one under more stress and one more relaxed. The outcome will be different because of the stress of how your body metabolizes foods and processes. I think it is a mixture of both: I think it’s the stress and I think it’s the food supply. 

The next one would be added sugar, which most people know that. It’s processed refined sugar.

High omega-6 oils, like vegetable oil, canola oil, these type of things that are rancid oftentimes at room temperature, very sensitive to light and heat. Oxidizing can be proinflammatory and can impact your gut health, certainly. 

And then conventional dairy. I would say that those are the four foods that are gonna be what I call in the book “core four,” these four foods or food additives: things in food that will drive up inflammation, that will impact your gut in a negative way, and can contribute to, leaky gut syndrome or can increase intestinal permeability.

Then we have to look at non-food stuff as well. I think looking at the glyphosate, looking at stress, the impact that has on gut health. Looking at other toxins that can impact gut health as well. And medications. Even over the counter medications, NSAIDs – nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs – are linked to increased intestinal permeability too.

I know some people have to be on medications. Some people to people have to take NSAIDs from time to time, but they still have potential side effects that we should be aware of. You should talk to your doctor especially if you’re taking these things chronically. Those are some things that people can think about as far as gut health.

Kat: That’s good.

The Most Common Symptoms of Inflammation

Landon: So some people, like myself – I’m a novice when it comes to this stuff, so I’ll speak for all of us out there who are really trying to learn this stuff, but really don’t quite understand it. If we’re having some of this gut inflammation, maybe we don’t even know it’s gut inflammation.

What could be some of the symptoms that we could be looking for to tell us that, “Hey, this might be what’s going on”?

Dr. Cole: So some common things that I see people on the lower end on the inflammation spectrum are things like low energy levels, fatigue, background anxiety – they have this sort of sense of anxiousness, maybe they have panic attacks too, but some anxiety – and digestive problems, whether they have bloating or they’re not going to the bathroom every day, or they have looser stools all the time. Then looking at hair health: are you losing hair? Looking at nail and skin health; those are other signs that there’s things going on in the body. And trouble losing weight’s a very common one, too. Maybe muscle joint soreness, tightness. Those are some other things to think about. Brain fog, that’s a common one as well: trouble with word recall, name recall issues. Depression would be another one. All those things I just mentioned are various manifestations of chronic inflammation.

In the west, it’s easy to separate mental health from physical health; people don’t connect the two, but the reality is mental health is physical health and our brain is part of our body. We have to look at mental health, because I actually see that probably more oftentimes than anything of how people are feeling mood wise, and it really is just the same as all those other symptoms, the digestive symptoms and the musculoskeletal symptoms and the hair and the – it’s all the same. They’re all the body. 

These are all check engine lights, in a way. Something’s going on underneath the hood, proverbially speaking, that’s causing you to notice you feeling the way that you do. So, my job is to almost do what the mechanic does when the check engine light’s on and find through diagnostics, why the check engine light’s on in the first place. 

You could have a hundred people with fatigue, and what’s driving fatigue with, for one person isn’t necessarily driving the fatigue for the other person. So is it a gut problem? Is it a nutrient deficiency? Is it chronic infection? Is it a hormonal imbalance? These are all things to take into consideration. Those things that I just mentioned, they’re very, very, very common, but they’re certainly not normal.

How Gut Inflammation Stops You from Losing Weight

Landon: So you mentioned one thing that I think a lot of listeners are particularly thinking about, especially this time of the year. “New year, new me;” they’re on a weight loss kick, they’re trying to lose weight, they’re trying to feel better. One thing you mentioned was an inability to lose weight or even weight gain. How would you say that inflammation in the gut – how does that make one, not lose weight or continue to gain weight? How are those two things connected? 

Dr. Cole: Good question. So basically, our gut and brain are formed from the same fetal tissue – when babies are growing in their mom’s womb, the gut and brain are formed from the same fetal tissue, and they’re inextricably linked for the rest of our life through what’s called the gut-brain axis.

If you think about it, the intestines even resemble the brain for that reason. 95% of serotonin, our happy neurotransmitter is made in the gut, stored in the gut, and it’s referred to in the medical literature as your second brain – our gastrointestinal system. It’s a major master control system of our body; just like our brain is, our gut is as well, and this bidirectional relationship between the gut and the intestines is very important for human health. Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine –you know, every doctor takes the Hippocratic oath: “First do no harm.” 

He said a lot of smart things, and that’s why he’s the father of modern medicine. He said, “Let food be my medicine and medicine, my food.” He also said, “All disease begins in the gut.” Now, research is catching up with that ancient knowledge of Hippocrates, that the majority of health problems today, at least to some degree, begin in the gut, if not a major component to health issues.

Specifically to weight loss resistance or weight gain – trouble losing weight – there’s a lot of exciting studies showing the landscape of someone’s gut health. The microbiome, the trillions of bacteria and yeast living in the gut, influence the body in major ways. Some of the main pathways is that… it’s your second brain. So imbalances in the gut will speak to the brain, almost like crosstalk through the brain through the vagus nerve, through the entire nervous system, and kind of say, “OK, these are imbalanced,” and that the brain is becoming imbalanced because of that. 

What’s downstream from that is the brain-hormonal axis. So you have this sort of gut-brain influence on the brain-hormonal axis that I see oftentimes, because if the body’s in this sort of low-grade state of inflammation and then in a sympathetic fight-or-flight state, that’s not the parasympathetic rest-digest, hormonal health state. So your whole hormonal endocrine, system’s gonna be off because of this low-grade inflammatory that’s gut centric in that way.

There’s different research studies to show that there’s different bacterial imbalances or different colonies of bacteria, which are basically neighborhoods of these bacteria, and depending on the studies that you look at, we have about a hundred trillion bacteria in our gut. To put that into perspective, we have about 10 trillion human cells. So we are all about 10 times more bacterial than human cells.

These are gut master governors and control colonies, neighborhoods that tell our body how to be functioning. So if people are missing certain colonies of bacteria or they have overgrowths of certain bacteria, studies are showing that people that have trouble losing weight have higher rates of these imbalances of the gut bugs that kind of tell their body how to regulate.

That’s just through the gut-brain axis, but then we know 20% of your thyroid hormone is converted into your gut. So people that have sluggish thyroid – maybe because the gut’s not healthy to activate the thyroid hormone. There’s so many mechanisms at play there. That’s just two, but there’s actually more than that. It’s just largely influential on our metabolism.

The Four Main Foods that Trigger Inflammation

Kat: That’s great. I want to spend the second half of this podcast talking about what to do to calm the inflammation, but before we get there, I think it’s interesting that you, in some of the blogs I’ve read and some of your books, you talk about some seemingly healthy foods or health products that actually might be contributing to this inflammation.

One of them that I thought was really interesting is nuts and beans. I think that’s something that we’ve all accepted as like, “Oh, that’s a healthy meal. I give my kids black beans all the time,” or “I eat certain nuts. I practice seed cycling.” Could those things be playing into the inflammation that’s going on in certain people’s bodies?

Dr. Cole: So what I’m talking about that there – and I talk about it in both Ketotarian and The Inflammation Spectrum, it’s really the heart of what I do in functional medicine. It’s, bioindividuality. We’re all created differently, so it’s not a one size fits all and saying, “Well, just because this is healthy, this is great food for everybody,” because it may not be good for them based on what’s going on in their gut, based on what’s going on genetically, based on what’s going on at that point in their health journey. Where someone’s at now on their health journey may not be like later on in their health journey. Maybe they can have those foods that they weren’t able to have now.

So it’s just not a static, over-generalized, broad, sweeping statement for anybody, but it’s definitely dynamic in that way. Foods like nuts and seeds and legumes, which are part of what I call the eliminate foods. So the core four are the four foods that I just mentioned: grains, added sugar, high omega-6 oils, and conventional dairy.

The eliminate is core four plus four more. So that adds in nightshades, which are a plant group that includes peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, goji berries, white potatoes. We add in nuts and seeds, legumes, and eggs. All healthy foods, all whole foods, nothing inherently wrong with any of those four additional foods, by the way.

I do good with most of those foods, but I’ve seen over the years there’s some people that don’t. So what I wanted people to really explore in The Inflammation Spectrum, my second book, is to find out what their body loves, because they may find that maybe they do fine with six of those foods, but not with two. Or they do fine with four, but not the other four. We’re all different. 

So because of what’s going on in people’s guts or genetic predispositions or autoimmune flares, there may be certain foods that are “healthy,” quote unquote, but may not be optimal, and that’s sort of the larger question. Just because something’s better than the standard American diet doesn’t necessarily mean it’s optimal for you at this point in your life.

So the reason why is because there’s lectins and phytic acids in the legumes and nuts and seeds. There’s alkaloids in the nightshades. These are proteins that are basically plant defense mechanisms that can be irritable for some people that have over-reactive systems. They could be stressing out an already stressed-out system. Once we start healing your gut and calming things down and increasing intestinal integrity, then you can bring some of these foods back in and not have a problem. 

It’s also the preparation of these foods: soaking nuts and seeds. Soaking legumes, using pressure cookers to break down these – so it’s not just the food, it’s the preparation. Traditionally, a lot of these foods would’ve been sprouted and soaked and pressure [cooked]. Humans just somehow knew that would be the best way to do it, and it does make the nutrients more bioavailable. 

So, it’s definitely a nuanced conversation. I’m not saying nuts and seeds are bad or legumes are bad. It’s just – OK, is it right for your body? And then when you do bring it back in, what’s the best way to make it more, most digestible and bioavailable?

Kat: Yeah. Yeah, to that point, two experiences I’ve had kind of on either side of that spectrum, I make – I call it a dump smoothie – every day. I just throw whatever I have into it, and for a while, I was cutting up squash that I had and freezing it and throwing it in my smoothie. I work with a naturopath, and I was like, “There’s something wrong.”

She did her testing on me and she’s like, “You’re reacting to that yellow squash.” So I had to take it out for a month or six weeks. There was something that was causing me to react, and I’ve slowly added it back in, and I’m fine. I just thought that was interesting; I would’ve never thought that. It’s squash! It’s good for you!

Then on the other hand, I can’t really eat gluten. That’s not to say that I don’t – I do occasionally, but it bothers me. But I can eat a sprouted Ezekiel bread and not really have any issues at all because of the way that gluten was prepared and sprouted. 

So I think it really is true that we have to, first of all, listen to our bodies. And second of all, really think about the way we are preparing that we eat. 

Dr. Cole: Certainly. Yeah. Many people don’t know, because – our culture, in many ways, we’re so divorced from even thinking about these things, so I think it’s great that people are having conversations like on your show to really illuminate this and you can start questioning, “Oh, I thought it was a whole wheat. It was good!” But well, maybe it’s not good. Let’s figure this out for you. 

Other Common Health Foods that can Lead to Inflammation

Kat: Yeah. Last little thing before we move on to, like I said, healing, I do want to talk about oats and oat milk, only because I think that is such a trend right now. Every time I see it on Instagram, I want to write back, “Make sure it’s organic!” I really want people to understand that just because it’s getting so trendy, so if you could just quickly speak to oats and oat milk and your beliefs about that, that’d be awesome.

Dr. Cole: It’s funny; oats – it can cross-react with gluten, and a lot of it’s contaminated with gluten too in the factories that oat is made. So there’s a lot of cross-contamination that’s going on there with oats, but if you get steel cut oats, that’s certified gluten-free people that have a problem with the gluten, with the protein and wheat, rye, oats, spar, barley, spelt, that kind of stuff – if you get the steel cut oats, then you typically should be fine, if you’re not having a beyond-gluten problem.

There are definitely, without a doubt, gluten-free grains that can be problematic or more problematic for some people more than the gluten is. So we talk about that in The Inflammation Spectrum. It’s not just about gluten. We have to look at these other plant proteins in gluten free grains too. 

But if it truly is just a gluten problem, then steel cut oats could be okay, but there is a mechanism called cross-reactivity. These are foods that mimic gluten, so they’re similar enough in structure on a protein-electrolytic level that the proteins in the oats or the quinoa or the rice can be similar enough in structure and can cause reaction to them too. That’s not everybody. So certainly there are some people that do fine with these things. Honestly, I do fine with steel cut oats. I don’t have it as an all-the-time thing, but I do fine with it. It’s not a big deal for me, but some people are going to have a problem.

So it’s this larger question that we just keep saying of checking with your body: Find out what your body loves. That’s really what I implore people to do in The Inflammation Spectrum. We’re all different, and people are disillusioned as to what’s right because there’s so much conflicting information online. That’s because there’s so many different people out there, and these are not all absolute rules. 

People should just be mindful of organic, certified gluten-free, if they’re avoiding gluten, with oats and oat milk.

Kat: The organic’s important because oats are one of the most sprayed crops, right? 

Dr. Cole: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Yes. Without a doubt. Yeah, absolutely.

How to Calm Your Inflammation and Help Your Gut Heal

Landon: So we’ve talked a lot about some things that cause inflammation in the gut. I wanna talk a little bit about what we can do to calm the gut or calm the inflammation. And first I want to jump into exercise. So again, you know, “New year, new me.” People are exercising. Are there things that people can do from an exercise perspective on helping their gut to calm down or helping the inflammation in their gut if it’s running too high?

Dr. Cole: Well, I think movement is generally a great thing for human health. It’s great for lowering inflammation. It’s great for increasing insulin sensitivity, basically allowing glucose to go in the cells to lower inflammation. That way it helps to lower insulin levels, which is great.

Sweating is good for supporting these healthy detox pathways. So, there’s a lot of benefits to movement. I just would say, going back to even the bioindividuality of that, some people are working out and they’re (quote, unquote) “paying for it” the next day, where they feel worse. They may just be doing too much too soon for where they’re at.

The theory of exercise is obviously to break down muscle to build it up bigger. Some people can break it down all right, but they’re not building it up. Things like adrenal fatigue or HPA axis issue – it’s really a brain base issue. Their hormones are so stressed. They’re in such the sympathetic fight-or-flight state that they can’t even handle too much exercise.

I’m not saying they can’t exercise, but they might wanna do more chill stuff: move, sweat, but don’t overdo it. “Overdoing it” is so subjective. You have to find your own sweet spot where you’re seeing benefits, you’re seeing the needle move in a positive direction, but you’re not spinning your wheels and you’re just feeling worse after that. More isn’t always better when it comes to that. But I would say move, sweat, be active, but find your rhythm where you feel the best with, for sure.

Landon: It’s so funny you mentioned that. I took off December – and if I’m really being honest, I took off November and December – from working out, and then come January, I’m hitting it six days a week, and then the next week, I feel totally exhausted. Totally sore. Just felt like I completely overdid it, and I didn’t feel good at all. Here I am trying to feel better by working out, jumping back into it, but I clearly overdid it. I think what you’re saying is, “Let’s listen to our bodies. It’s not one size fits all.” If you haven’t worked out in two months, don’t work out six days a week and lift heavy. Ease yourself into it, which is what I’m doing now. 

Kat: Yeah. And it’s like, go walking. I always tell that to people. Don’t make it any more complicated than go on a 45 minute fast walk. That’s exercise, that’s getting out there, that’s great for your body. I think people make it more complicated than it has to be. 

Dr. Cole: Totally. Yeah, I mean, so much of us have sedentary lifestyles. So getting up and walking is so important. Getting out in nature, go on a hike. It doesn’t have to be this big, detailed, high-intensity thing all the time.

Kat: Totally. I want to talk next about supplements. I’m the supplement queen. You come into my house and-

Landon: You can find anything!

Kat: Yeah. I open my cabinet and there’s everything in there. So I’m probably – you know, we just actually had this conversation yesterday where he’s like, “I think you need to lay off some stuff and see what your body can do on its own.” 

But, let’s talk about maybe three or four of your top supplements that you think generally fight inflammation. I know turmeric is one, everybody has heard about that. Probiotics are great for the gut, B vitamins… Maybe some of those that you’ve really seen success in your practice with. 

Dr. Cole: You did mention some of the core things that I think are good general foundational stuff. So B vitamins, methylated B vitamins specifically – they’re more bioavailable like methylfolate, methylcobalamin, folate and B12 sources that are more bioavailable, and avoiding the synthetic things like folic acid. 

So B vitamins, omega fats that are clean, from a reputable source. Omega fats from fish, getting those long-chain omega fats, and you can get vegan sources that are long chain as well from algaes and things like that. And not that I’m against nuts and seeds like chia seed or flaxseed omegas. They’re just not the long-chain. So they’re not gonna have the serve the same purpose and be as be as bioavailable as the long-chains. So algaes would be the vegan source for these long-chain omegas, or fish oil, krill oil, things like that. Turmeric is very well researched, as you pointed out. The curcuminoids – the compounds in turmeric, the spice – very good at calming inflammation levels down.

A couple more that I… probiotic is good, because a lot of there’s a lot of gut-centric inflammatory problems there for many people. Inflammation in the gut is causing a cascade of inflammation in other parts of the body. I’m a fan of adaptogens. So, adaptogens are a plant group that help with balancing inflammation levels. That’s really how they work. They lower inflammation and specifically they help to balance out that brain-hormonal axis and modulate cortisol levels. But anti-inflammatory most of them are so things like ashwagandha, rhodiola, lion’s mane, chaga, holy basil – a lot of things that are used everywhere that traditional societies lived on the planet. There are adaptogens found, and they have been used for thousands of years, but now the research is coming out of the mechanisms of how they benefit people and they are effective. 

So those are some things to consider, and resveratrol, the compound that’s in a many good fruits and vegetables – resveratrol is also, in some exciting studies, showing to be anti-inflammatory as well. 

Kat: That’s awesome. 

Landon: So, correct me if I’m wrong, but you can’t out-supplement a bad diet, right? If you’re eating the gluten and the dairy and all the stuff that you probably shouldn’t, if you’re feeling some of this inflammation, taking all these different supplements while also not addressing some of this other stuff that we talked about… they’re basically going to be at a net zero.

Dr. Cole: Yeah, I that’s how I feel about it. Honestly, I say that a lot. I feel that way, but I will say this: there are patients that I’ve seen over the years where they are noncompliant from a food standpoint. They just do not listen to what I’m saying, and then they take the supplements, and we see the labs improve. We see them feeling better. 

So it’s not what I would advocate, because I would say, “Whoa, how much better would you be when you actually had that food foundation.” But some people just have that grace where they don’t need to do a lot and they just change a few supplements. Not everybody can get away with that. Certainly food is primary and the supplements are targeting based on the need and what’s appropriate, but the body’s amazing. Sometimes you’re like, “What the heck? You haven’t changed one thing about your food, and you take a couple-five supplements and you shifted so much!”

They’re like, “I’m so happy!” I’m like, “Well, good for you, but honestly, it’d be a lot better if you changed all the food, too.” 

Kat: Yeah. I don’t know if you’ve seen this – we actually had a sick child that was struggling with brain inflammation that. It made him really sick and he wasn’t okay.

The first thing that we did was the supplement, and it kind of got him to this [point where] he stopped regressing and he basically was steady, but it wasn’t until I took the gluten out, then I took the dairy out that he caught up to with where he was supposed to be. So I think that there is a place where people may plateau and they need to start to take things away to take them to the next level.

Dr. Cole: Some nutrients that I didn’t mention, if I could, are fat soluble vitamins: vitamin A, D, K2. Those are deficient in a lot of people, and vitamin D specifically, it’s hard to get it through food. Things like iron and B vitamins, sometimes you don’t need to change much about your diet and you just fill those deficiencies up and it does change a lot of stuff for the person.

Kat: Vitamin D, I think, especially with energy, that’s something that if people come to me and they’re like, “I’m tired,” I’m like, “Start there.” That’s the first thing I usually tell people, especially in the winter, especially when they aren’t out in the sun, it’s like, “Just see if that helps,” and oftentimes it does. 

Dr. Will Cole’s Plant-Based Approach to the Keto Diet

I like your philosophy on food. You call it ketotarian. I sometimes cringe when I hear about the keto diet, just because I see people eating keto and they’re eating non-organic ground beef with shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream and queso cheese and avocado, and that’s a keto meal and I’m like, “Oh, your insides.” So I love that your view is a little bit more of a plant-based keto diet. So I’d love to hear a little bit more about that. 

Dr. Cole: Thank you. Yeah, so ketotarian is my made-up word for a mostly plant-based ketogenic diet, and it is largely vegan keto. So entirely plant-based, and those vegetarian keto options and a pescatarian keto options, or wild caught fish. I call it vegetarian in the book; it’s basically mostly plant-based, but still wild caught fish. So it’s a clean keto. It’s the way I think people should go keto for long term wellness. Of course there’s exceptions to that, going back to my earlier statement of just because something’s better doesn’t necessarily mean it’s optimal.

The people that go keto, they’re off of a lot of the refined junk food carb-age, and then they think, “Well, that’s amazing.” Well, yeah, it’s better than the standard American diet, because you’re off of all the sugar and junk, but what does that look like six months, a year, two years, three years down the line? Is that sustainable for most people?

I would argue no. There’s a lot of potential pitfalls of that way of eating. I don’t necessarily think that everybody needs to be in ketosis forever and ever. The goal of the ketogenic diet for most people, unless they have a seizure disorder or neurological problem where they’re using specific therapeutic levels of ketones to help with their seizure disorder, everybody else should be using the ketogenic diet for metabolic flexibility. They should be able to burn fat when they need to, and then go back to sugar burning mode when they want to, too. That’s a great tool, and that’s certainly needed in our country, because everybody’s only in sugar burning mode.

So I use the ketogenic diet in the form of ketotarian in a clean, mostly plant based way to gain metabolic flexibility. Then they can go in and out of ketosis when they want to, because they have the metabolic flexibility to do that. So that’s why I really go into a deep dive in Ketotarian so they can do this.

The amazing benefits of ketosis, the fat burning, the anti-inflammatory, the brain boosting, the mitochondrial biogenesis, all the cool science around ketosis, but let’s apply it in a way that’s sustainable, that’s practical, that’s clean, that’s appropriate for just everyday human health. 

How Intermittent Fasting Can Help Calm Your Gut Inflammation

Kat: I love that. Something that I practice is intermittent fasting, and I’ve probably done it for, gosh, I mean, almost 10 years just naturally. It just seems to be the natural way that I have the most energy and that my body likes to eat. Is that something that you’ve seen beneficial for inflammation in particular? 

Dr. Cole: Certainly, yeah. It is something that I talk about in Ketotarian and The Inflammation Spectrum because of the research surrounding it. Because digesting food requires a lot of energy, somebody that has a stressed out system – or really any human under the sun that’s going through something – taking a break from digesting food can be very therapeutic. Obviously, I’m saying all of this with a balance and a grace and a lightness to this. I’m not saying start yourself. I’m not advocating for eating disorders. I’m just saying a gentle, balanced break from eating and then refeeding – and eating in a healthy, balanced way when you refeed – that is what humans would’ve done for thousands and thousands of years. But now, for most of the West, we have food on demand. It’s like we never have to take a break, for most of us, and our genetics, our biochemistry is not used to it. Our gut needs to repair; autophagy, like cellular recycling pathways, need to repair. All this stuff needs to be regulated and supported, but we never give our body a break from it. So I love time restricted feeding, intermittent fasting when it’s done in a balanced way. What is a balanced way depends on the person and what their goals are and how far they have to go into it, but it’s something that I do every day, too. 

Landon: So if I’m one of our listeners and I’ve listened to this podcast and I’ve had an awakening: “So, hey, I’m suffering from some of the symptoms that you guys are talking about. I want to go home, make myself a dinner tonight that’s gonna maybe help with some of the inflammation.” What should I be cooking tonight for dinner? 

Dr. Cole: So I would say a good anti-inflammatory dinner that is also ketotarian in the sense of we’re focusing on these healthy fats and clean protein and lots of greens, I would say, you could do sort of a pescatarian keto option.

You could do a wild cut salmon filet. You could drizzle extra Virgin olive oil or avocado on that. You could have – in the book I have – they’re really good, actually, they’re avocado fries. They’re crusted with almond flour and they’re baked and we have this chipotle aioli dressing. We have the healthy fats from the fish and the avocado. You can have it on a bed of sauteed vegetables, any one that you wanted. Cooking the vegetables down, having them soft, makes them more gentle on the gut too, makes them more bioavailable to the gut, so that’s a good anti-inflammatory meal. 

You could have sort of a ketotarian shake with almond milk or coconut milk with some greens in there and maybe spirulina powder from an anti-inflammatory standpoint. You could put some turmeric in those, the spices that are anti-inflammatory as well. So you could have that as a dessert.

Landon: Does your book, Ketotarian, go through some of these different recipes that I could follow? If I really wanted to commit to this and really try this for 30 days?

Dr, Cole: Oh, certainly, yeah. In both the books, there’s lots of recipes, but in Ketotarian specifically, there’s 81 recipes. There’s pictures and a meal plan and all that stuff, so yeah, people can do it really easily. 

Landon: So… I’m gonna go buy your book – seriously, I’m gonna go buy your book so then she cooks all the meals for me. Where am I going to find it? 

Dr. Cole: You can get everything at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, any independent bookstore, too. We have the links at drwillcole.com if people want to get the links there too. 

Kat: Awesome. I’m sure we’ll put them in the show notes here. I just want to say, we went through one type of inflammation on this podcast, but there’s eight different types. So I would definitely encourage everyone, if they’re interested in learning, go check out these books, where Dr. Cole really breaks down each type. He helps us with a comprehensive guide for healing and feeling our best self. So, this was so awesome. I loved this. I loved getting to talk to you and getting to learn more.

Landon: I feel like I’m the emoji right now where the eyes are open and the mind is just blown. For the last 45 minutes, I’ve basically felt like that. I’m sure a lot of people agree.

Kat: I’d love to sign off maybe with just one more tip from you. What would be your best – and this is probably too concise – but your best tip for living life organically?

Dr. Cole: Oh, wow. I would say – I say this a lot because it’s actually really true and I don’t just say it flippantly. I think that the genesis of sustainable wellness is why you’re even doing what you’re doing. All the stuff that I just talked about for the last 45 minutes: macronutrients and micronutrients and vitamins and all this stuff – all this stuff should be secondary to why you’re doing it. What’s your intention of doing what you’re doing? So I think the seed of sustainable organic living is really born out of self-respect. The analogy that I use in The Inflammation Spectrum is: if you saw yourself as a Tesla versus an old beat-up car, how would you treat yourself?

People that own the nice cars are treating it with respect. If many people see themselves as the old beat-up car, they’re not even respecting what they’re given. I think that we need to be good stewards and respect what we’re given and use self-care as a form of self-respect.

So to me, something that’s an adage or a mantra that we say in the clinic is “You can’t heal a body you hate.” Many people wouldn’t say they necessarily hate themselves, even though a lot of people actually do, but they just don’t respect themselves. You can’t heal a body you don’t respect. So that’s what I would say. 

Landon: Amen. That’s so good. 

Kat: It’s so good. All right, y’all, so Amazon: there’s The Inflammation Spectrum and Ketotarian. Hop on there and order those. And you said your website is drwillcole.com?

Dr. Cole: Yeah. drwillcole.com. 

Kat: Awesome. Well, you’re brilliant. This was a blessing for us and we thank you so much for coming on today, and I’m sure we’ll be talking again soon.

Dr. Cole: Yes, likewise guys. Thanks so much. 

Landon: Thank you. 

Kat: Thank you so much for tuning in today to Be Organic. We’re so excited for you to become healthier and body and stronger in spirit. 

Landon: So if you like what you heard today, please be sure to subscribe on Apple Podcast to never miss an episode. 

Kat: And we’d love to connect with you over on Clean Juice’s Instagram. Give us a follow! Slide into our DMs with any suggestions for guests or topics that you might wanna hear more about. 

Landon: All right, y’all, thanks for listening. Have a great week, and remember to be organic.