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5 Anti-Inflammatory Diets You Should Try – Forbes Health

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Inflammation is a big buzzword in nutrition these days—and for good reason: About 60% of Americans have a condition caused by or complicated by chronic inflammation. However, an anti-inflammatory diet, which is a simple eating plan consisting of common foods found at the grocery store, can help tamp down those flames. 

What Is Inflammation? 

Cut your finger, and it might be a little swollen for a day or so. Get a cold, and you’re coughing up mucus for a bit. These reactions are called acute inflammation, and it’s usually a very good thing as it’s your immune cells rallying to fight off bacteria that could infiltrate the affected site.

However, while acute inflammation is short-lived, chronic inflammation hangs around for months, years or even a lifetime. Instead of fending off bad guys like bacteria or viruses, your immune system spins out of whack, damaging arteries and organs. 

Why the betrayal? In some instances, chronic inflammation can stem from a case of acute inflammation that never resolved itself, which can happen when the body doesn’t make enough of the chemicals responsible for calling off the immune response. Another culprit is obesity, especially when there’s too much fat parked in and around the liver and other organs. This abdominal, or visceral, fat spews out inflammatory compounds, which take aim at cells and tissues all over the body. 

Aside from its link to obesity, chronic inflammation is also a major cause—and consequence—of top killers of Americans, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, dementia, asthma, many types of cancer, osteoporosis and depression. In fact, you could have chronic inflammation and not even know it.

“Unlike the obvious symptoms of acute inflammation, [low-grade] chronic inflammation silently damages the body,” says Mari Anoushka Ricker, M.D., a director at the Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona and an associate professor at the university. 

Blood tests for inflammation can include tests that detect the C-reactive protein (CRP, a protein produced by the liver in response to inflammation) and the erythrocyte sedimentation rate (which measures the speed that red blood cells pool in a test tube—a faster rate may mean more inflammatory compounds). But these tests aren’t routinely ordered, and may or may not reveal chronic inflammation, especially in its early stages. 

What Is an Anti-Inflammatory Diet?

The American way of eating is a recipe for chronic inflammation, thanks to its emphasis on saturated fats, added sugars, refined carbs and sodium. 

Meanwhile, there are thousands of health-promoting substances in healthier foods, including wider-known ones like vitamins, minerals, fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, and lesser known ones, such as  flavan-3-ols (in tea and cocoa) and anthocyanins (in blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and other red and purple plant foods). Just as certain chemicals in the body cause inflammation, naturally-occurring chemicals in certain foods can prevent and combat it by providing key nutrients. For example:

  • Vitamin E (in nuts and seeds) and vitamin C (in cauliflower, citrus and berries) are antioxidants that deactivate free radicals, which are inflammatory molecules that drift into the body from pollution, cigarette smoke, sun radiation, poor diet or are created in the course of normal body metabolism. 
  • Omega-3 fatty acids in fish suppress the production of inflammatory compounds while ramping up chemicals that cool down inflammation. 
  • Fiber in whole grains, fruit, legumes and other vegetables fuels microbes in your intestines, which return the favor by producing butyrate, an anti-inflammatory fatty acid that protects against heart disease and offers other benefits.

Eat enough foods rich in these inflammation fighters, and you’ve got an anti-inflammatory diet. 

Types of Anti-Inflammatory Diets

Long before the invention of cheese curls, chicken nuggets, soda and all the other ultra-processed foods that make up the bulk of the average American diet, people around the globe thrived on their traditional diets. As different as a Chinese stir-fry might seem from a fresh Italian pasta topped with marinara sauce, at its core, a traditional diet meets an anti-inflammatory diet checklist.  

Below is a roundup of the more well-researched anti-inflammatory eating patterns from across the world, as well as the DASH diet, which takes its cue from traditional diets. 

Traditional Mediterranean Diet

Italy, Greece, the south of France, Lebanon and other countries along the Mediterranean Sea have unique cuisines, but they share many of the same ingredients. Research suggests the Mediterranean diet helps ward off a bevy of inflammatory-based diseases, including obesity, cardiovascular diseases, stroke, type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, allergies, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.  

To pluck just one study of hundreds, researchers tracked thousands of Greek adults ages 20 to 86 for four years. For those adhering most closely to a Mediterranean-style diet, deaths from heart disease dropped by one-third, and the group experienced a quarter fewer cancer deaths and deaths from any cause.  

Characteristics of a  traditional Mediterranean diet include:

  • A wide diversity of fruit, vegetables and minimally processed grains and legumes form the bulk of the diet. 
  • Olive oil, nuts and seeds are the main fat sources.
  • Fish is the principal animal protein. A small portion of red meat is eaten just once every week or two.
  • Small amounts of cheese and yogurt are the principal dairy foods, with next to no butter or cream.
  • Wine is allowed in low to moderate amounts and only with meals.
  • Sweets are relegated to celebrations and based on nuts, olive oil and honey  A favorite snack: figs stuffed with walnuts.

Traditional Okinawan Diet

Okinawa is a Japanese island famous for having a high rate of its people reach 100 years old in good health. The local diet gets much of the credit. 

“The overall dietary pattern is dominated by anti-inflammatory vegetables, particularly Okinawan sweet potatoes,” says Bradley J. Willcox, M.D., a professor of geriatric medicine and director of research at the Department of Geriatric Medicine for the John A. Burns School of Medicine at the University of Hawaii. 

 “They also have the highest soy consumption in Japan, and likely, the world,” he says, adding the diet also boasts low amounts of pro-inflammatory foods, such as added sugar, saturated fat and red meat.  

A traditional Okinawan diet is:

  • Low calorie
  • Rich in vegetables, including seaweed
  • Rich in legumes, particularly soy
  • Moderate in fish
  • Low in meat and dairy
  • Moderate in alcohol

While this may sound like any other healthy diet, there are unique elements, such as:

  • It contains lots of soy. The diet averages about 3 ounces of tofu, miso and other soy foods daily. Soy contains anti-inflammatory isoflavones and other protective compounds, and is linked to cardiovascular health.
  • It’s rich in seaweed. You may be familiar with nori—the dark sushi wrapper— but it’s just one of more than a dozen types of seaweed in Okinawan cuisine. They’re rich in protective compounds, such as astaxanthin, a powerful antioxidant and inflammation-quencher.
  • Okinawan sweet potato is the main starch. Sure, it’s eaten in other cuisines, but it’s not fried and is the main starch in the traditional Okinawan diet. It’s rich in anti-inflammatory nutrients such as beta-carotene (the orange pigment), anthocyanins and vitamins E and C. 
  • It’s low-fat. The Okinawan diet certainly shares similarities with the popular Mediterranean diet, but its main differentiator is that it has far less fat, says Willcox. While the Mediterranean diet typically consists of 30% to 40% healthy, mainly monounsaturated fats, the traditional Okinawan diet consists of only about 10% fat. 

Traditional Nordic Diet 

The cuisines of Denmark, Sweden and Finland differ, but traditionally, they share core healthy foods, including:

  • Whole rye products (bread, muesli)
  • Berries
  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Fish
  • Cabbage
  • Broccoli
  • Sauerkraut
  • Carrots
  • Potatoes
  • Canola oil as the principle oil 

These foods provide anti-inflammatory benefits due to a wealth of nutrients. Rye deserves a special shoutout—it’s a grain that’s been shown to help reduce blood sugar, the inflammatory marker C-reactive protein, and PSA (a marker for prostate cancer in men). 

People who adhere more closely to this way of eating have lower blood levels of C-reactive protein and other markers of inflammation, according to a University of Eastern Finland review of the research. 

Especially protective are fruit (apples, pears, berries), grains (rye, oat and barley) and diets that limit non-lean and processed meat and keep alcohol in moderation. The review also found that even a short-term stint on a healthy Nordic diet can improve certain inflammatory markers and trim off pounds.  The randomized studies—done in various Nordic countries, and lasting six to 24 weeks—assigned a healthy Nordic diet to one group while the other stayed on the modern (and less healthy) diet of the country.

A healthy Nordic diet may also have big payoffs when it comes to type 2 diabetes protection, a disease closely linked with chronic inflammation. In a study tracking 57,053 middle-aged Danes for 15 years, those whose diet most closely mirrored a healthy Nordic pattern cut risk for type 2 diabetes by 25% (for women) and 38% (for men), compared to people whose diets strayed most from the healthy paradigm. 

Traditional Mexican Diet  

Another popular, anti-inflammatory eating pattern hails from Mexico. Mainstays of a traditional Mexican diet include:

  • Corn tortillas
  • Beans
  • A wealth of fruits and vegetables (including hot peppers)
  • Rice (brown and white)
  • Cheese 

Indeed, research has linked a traditional Mexican diet to lower inflammation. A National Cancer Institute-funded study of 493 post-menopausal women of Mexican descent living in the U.S. found that those following a more traditional Mexican diet averaged a 23% lower CRP score—the blood marker of inflammation.

Legumes, which play a starring role in Mexican cuisine, are linked to protection from an impressive lineup of inflammatory-related conditions: High blood pressure, obesity, high blood cholesterol, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. How does a bean-based diet manage all that? According to a review in Advances in Nutrition much of the credit goes to its very high fiber level, which has bodywide effects: 

  • Reduces inflammation, especially when legumes replace red meat
  • Reduces “bad” cholesterol
  • Blunts the rise in blood sugar after a meal, which over time helps prevent type 2 diabetes and inflammation
  • Quells appetite, which helps with weight loss

Legumes are so nutritious that the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends we consume them weekly.

Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH)  

The DASH diet was created in the 1990s in the United States as a way to lower high blood pressure (hypertension). It does that—and more. A 2018 review of several studies found that DASH significantly lowers CRP compared to a typical American diet.

DASH follows the anti-inflammation playbook. It’s rich in fruits and vegetables, most grains are whole, its protein sources are mainly fish, poultry and legumes and it limits pro-inflammatory foods such as red meat, sweets and sugary beverages.  

Another perk of the DASH Diet is that it can lower your LDL. Excessive saturated fat raises LDL—the “bad” blood cholesterol—but DASH limits foods high in this fat, which are also known to trigger inflammation. These foods include fatty meat, high-fat dairy (butter, cream, cheese, whole milk), and coconut, palm and palm kernel oils. Instead, the menu features fat-free or low-fat dairy and vegetable oils, such as canola, corn, olive and safflower oil. 

Sources

Chronic Diseases in America. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed 3/24/2021.

Ricker MA, Haas WC. Anti-Inflammatory Diet in Clinical Practice: A Review. Nutrition in Clinical Practice. 2017;32(3):318-325.

Innes JK, Calder PC. Omega-6 fatty acids and inflammation. Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids. 2018;132:41-48.

Longo M, Zatterale F, Naderi J, Parrillo L, Formisano P, Raciti GA, Beguinot F, Miele C. Adipose Tissue Dysfunction as Determinant of Obesity-Associated Metabolic Complications. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2019; 20(9):2358.

Phillips CM, Chen LW, Heude B, et al. Dietary Inflammatory Index and Non-Communicable Disease Risk: A Narrative Review. Nutrients. 2019;11(8):1873.

Hussain, T., Tan, B., Yin, Y., Blachier, F., Tossou, M., & Rahu, N. Oxidative Stress and Inflammation: What Polyphenols Can Do for Us? Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, 2016.

Cione E, La Torre C, Cannataro R, Caroleo MC, Plastina P, Gallelli L. Quercetin, Epigallocatechin Gallate, Curcumin, and Resveratrol: From Dietary Sources to Human MicroRNA Modulation. Molecules. 2019;25(1):63.

Fraga CG , Croft KD , Kennedy DO , Tomás-Barberán FA. The effects of polyphenols and other bioactives on human health. Food Funct. 2019;10(2):514-528.

Traber MG, Stevens JF. Vitamins C and E: beneficial effects from a mechanistic perspective. Free Radic Biol Med. 2011;51(5):1000-1013.

Bach Knudsen KE, Lærke HN, Hedemann MS, et al. Impact of Diet-Modulated Butyrate Production on Intestinal Barrier Function and Inflammation. Nutrients. 2018;10(10):1499.

Martínez Steele E, Baraldi LG, Louzada ML, Moubarac JC, Mozaffarian D, Monteiro CA. Ultra-processed foods and added sugars in the US diet: evidence from a nationally representative cross-sectional study. BMJ Open. 2016;6(3):e009892.

Phaniendra A, Jestadi DB, Periyasamy L. Free radicals: properties, sources, targets, and their implication in various diseases. Indian J Clin Biochem. 2015;30(1):11-26.

Tosti V, Bertozzi B, Fontana L. Health Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet: Metabolic and Molecular Mechanisms. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2018;73(3):318-326. doi:10.1093/gerona/glx227

Trichopoulou A, Costacou T, Bamia C, Trichopoulos D. Adherence to a Mediterranean diet and survival in a Greek population. N Engl J Med. 2003;348(26):2599-2608.

Simopoulos AP. The Mediterranean diets: What is so special about the diet of Greece? The scientific evidence. J Nutr. 2001;131(11 Suppl):3065S-73S.

Willcox BJ, Willcox DC, Suzuki M. Demographic, phenotypic, and genetic characteristics of centenarians in Okinawa and Japan: Part 1-centenarians in Okinawa. Mech Ageing Dev. 2017;165(Pt B):75-79.

Willcox DC, Scapagnini G, Willcox BJ. Healthy aging diets other than the Mediterranean: a focus on the Okinawan diet. Mech Ageing Dev. 2014;136-137:148-162.

Lankinen M, Uusitupa M, Schwab U. Nordic Diet and Inflammation-A Review of Observational and Intervention Studies. Nutrients. 2019;11(6):1369.

Galbete C, Kröger J, Jannasch F, et al. Nordic diet, Mediterranean diet, and the risk of chronic diseases: the EPIC-Potsdam study. BMC Med. 2018;16(1):99.

Santiago-Torres M, Tinker LF, Allison MA, et al. Development and Use of a Traditional Mexican Diet Score in Relation to Systemic Inflammation and Insulin Resistance among Women of Mexican Descent. J Nutr. 2015;145(12):2732-2740.

Challa HJ, Ameer MA, Uppaluri KR. DASH Diet To Stop Hypertension. In: StatPearls. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; May 23, 2020.

Soltani S, Chitsazi MJ, Salehi-Abargouei A. The effect of dietary approaches to stop hypertension (DASH) on serum inflammatory markers: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized trials. Clin Nutr. 2018;37(2):542-550.

Hadjichambis ACh, Paraskeva-Hadjichambi D, Della A, et al. Wild and semi-domesticated food plant consumption in seven circum-Mediterranean areas. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2008;59(5):383-414.

Whole Grain Pasta Nutrients

More whole grains in the diet could save Australia billions | Queensland Country Life

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Smaller dietary changes with more whole grain products could significantly improve health and save billions in healthcare costs, says the managing director of the Nutrition Council for Grains and Legumes, Sara Grafenauer.

ONLY small dietary changes that would make Australians eat more whole grains could significantly reduce the incidence of heart disease and diabetes and lead to massive savings in our healthcare system.

Research by the Grains and Legumes Nutrition Council (GLNC) published last week in the international journal Nutrients found that swapping just three servings of processed grain foods a day for whole grains could save a staggering $ 1.4 billion annually.

These savings result from lower costs of treating heart disease and type 2 diabetes and a reduction in productivity losses due to illness.

The GLNC research, conducted in collaboration with an expert from the University of Kuwait, is the first study to quantify the health care savings associated with meeting the recommended daily intake for whole grains in Australia.

And the researchers believe the results have a significant impact on policy makers and could provide strong evidence that the messages regarding whole grains in national dietary guidelines are further strengthened.

Sara Grafenauer, managing director of GLNC, said conditions such as cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes are major health problems in

modern Australia and that increasing whole grain consumption would play a big role in reducing the incidence of these deadly conditions.

“Eating three servings of whole grains a day is known to reduce the risk of heart disease by 13 percent and type 2 diabetes by 32 percent,” said Dr. Grafenauer.

She said there is a lot of room for improvement in terms of increasing whole grain consumption in Australia.

The latest data shows that only 27 percent of Australians achieve the Recommended Daily Target Intake (DTI) of 48g per day.

The average whole grain consumption was 21 grams per day, which left a 27 grams per day gap.

“Knowing that a diet low in whole grains is the second leading risk factor for disease and death in Australia, the results of this study underscore the need for a change in diet,” she said.

“If 50 percent meet the DTI, it could save $ 734 million and more than $ 1.4 billion if 100 percent of Australians could achieve that goal,” said Dr. Grafenauer.

On the positive side, it is not difficult to stimulate the consumption of whole grain products.

“Three whole grain servings can be easily achieved by swapping out grain foods rather than increasing the energy density of the diet,” she said.

Breakfast is an important opportunity for change.

“By focusing on whole grain breakfast cereals and whole grain breads – the two largest sources of whole grains for Australians – the target levels for whole grains could be reached with minimal change in normal eating habits,” said Dr. Grafenauer.

“Simply switching to a whole grain option could have a profound impact on individual health as well as the Australian economy.”

There are a number of products that the GLNC recommends that consumers switch to whole grains, including bread, cereals, rice, noodles, noodles, polenta, couscous, crackers, oats, quinoa and barley.

Dr. Grafenauer said the next week would be a perfect time for consumers to start switching to more whole grains in their diet as this was whole grain week.

“There are a number of resources available to encourage increased whole grain consumption, including a video showing how refined grains are swapped for whole grains, an e-book with easy-to-prepare whole grain recipes, and searchable whole grain product data,” she said.

The Story More Whole Grains in the Diet Could Save Australia Billions, first appeared on Farm Online.

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Whole Grain Pasta Nutrients

5 Benefits of Sunflower Seeds and How to Eat Them

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Sunflowers aren’t just great backgrounds for Instagram photos. They also grow something tasty and nutritious: sunflower seeds.

Here are the biggest perks of this little snack.

Chewing sunflower seeds can’t just benefit your taste buds. Here are some ways adding sunflower seeds to your diet can benefit your health.

1. Good for your heart

Sunflower seeds are rich in nutrients that your heart loves. These include fiber, vitamins, healthy fats and minerals. Research suggests that a diet high in seeds can help keep your heart healthy and protect against heart disease.

Also, snacking on sunflower seeds can help keep cholesterol and blood pressure levels under control. A 2012 study of 22 women with type 2 diabetes found that consuming 30 grams of sunflower seeds per day for 3 weeks helped significantly lower “bad” LDL cholesterol and blood pressure.

2. Rich in antioxidants

Sunflower seeds are full of compounds (like antioxidants) that help keep your body healthy.

These tiny seeds contain a variety of antioxidant compounds, including chlorogenic acid, vitamin E, and more. Antioxidants help protect your cells from damage that can lead to disease.

Diets high in antioxidants are associated with lower risk of chronic disease. For example, a 2018 review of 69 studies found that higher blood levels and higher dietary intake of vitamin E were linked to lower risk of cancer, stroke, and all-cause death. That means it can even help you live longer.

3. May help promote healthy blood sugar levels

Eating a balanced, nutrient-rich diet is one of the best ways to keep your blood sugar levels at healthy levels.

Some nutrients (such as protein, fiber, and magnesium) are particularly important for blood sugar regulation. Sunflower seeds are a great source of these nutrients and a healthy choice for peeps with and without diabetes.

Sprinkle sunflower seeds over a green salad or combine sunflower seed butter with apple slices for a blood sugar-friendly snack.

4. Rich in minerals

Sunflower seeds are packed with important minerals like magnesium, zinc, copper, and selenium. It is important to make sure that you are getting enough mineral-rich foods in your diet as these nutrients do a lot for your body.

Zinc, for example, is important for a healthy immune response. Do you want well-functioning antioxidant enzymes? (Tip: Yes you do.) Selenium is essential. Magnesium is a superstar mineral that is essential for a healthy stress response, blood sugar regulation, and more.

Adding foods rich in minerals like sunflower seeds to your diet can help ensure that you are getting the recommended amount of these nutrients in the registry.

5. Practical and filling snack

Sunflower seeds are portable and, thanks to their high levels of protein, fat, and fiber, are super filling. That said, they’re a clever snack when you’re on the run.

Protein is the most filling macronutrient, and sunflower seeds provide 5.4 grams per ounce, which is pretty good for a plant-based source of protein. They also contain fiber and healthy fats, which makes them a well-balanced snack.

Try keeping a pack of sunflower seeds in your bag or backpack so you have a healthy option when hunger strikes.

Although they are tiny, sunflower seeds are loaded with nutrients. Even a small serving can have a big impact on your nutrient intake.

Here is the nutritional breakdown for one pack (50 grams) of plain, salted sunflower seeds.

  • Calories: 288
  • Protein: 9.55 grams (g)
  • Fat: 24.6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 11.9 g
  • Fiber: 5.5 g
  • Vitamin E: 12.0 milligrams (mg)
  • Vitamin B6: 0.397 mg
  • Magnesium: 63.5 mg
  • Phosphorus: 570 mg
  • Zinc: 2.62 mg
  • Copper: 0.904 mg
  • Folate: 117 micrograms (mcg)
  • Selenium: 39.2 mcg

Sunflower seeds are a good source of many vitamins and minerals. They are particularly rich in vitamin E, folic acid, phosphorus, copper, manganese and selenium.

Vitamin E actually refers to a group of nutrients that play many important roles in the body. They act as a powerful antioxidant and protect cells from damage. These nutrients are also involved in immune function, cellular signaling, and more.

Selenium is another mineral that is concentrated in sunflower seeds and acts as an antioxidant. It is also needed for thyroid function and reproductive health.

Zinc, copper, magnesium, phosphorus and manganese are required for healthy bones and immune function. The B vitamins folate and B6 are essential for metabolism, enzymatic reactions and other important processes.

Sunflower seeds also provide protein, healthy fats and fiber. What more could you want from a delicious snack food?

You can buy sunflower seeds raw or roasted. They come in pits (for peeps who like instant gratification) or in their shells (for those who like a challenge).

Both forms work well as a snack. However, if you’re using sunflower seeds in recipes, topping salads, or mixing with other ingredients to create a delicious student mix, it’s better to buy the unpeeled version.

Remember that peeled or unpeeled sunflower seeds, salted or flavored, can be very high in salt. They may also contain additional ingredients such as added sugar, so reading the labels is important.

Sunflower seeds have a mild taste and go with almost anything. Here are some ways to use sunflower seeds in meals and snacks:

  • Sprinkle peeled sunflower seeds on top of your salad for a crispy boost of fiber, fat, and protein.
  • Make your own sunflower butter by mixing the seeds in your food processor.
  • Add sunflower seeds to oatmeal, yogurt, or chia pudding.
  • Mix together salted sunflower seeds, almonds, cocoa nibs and dried cherries to make a salty and sweet trail mix.
  • Use sunflower seeds in baked goods like muffins and bread.
  • Top grain bowls and pasta dishes with salted sunflower seeds for a unique texture and taste.

As wonderful as sunflower seeds can be for your health, there are a few things to keep in mind when consuming them.

Like all nuts and seeds Sunflower seeds are high in calories. That doesn’t mean they are bad for you, but it is something you should be aware of. Only one ounce contains 163 calories, so a few handfuls of sunflower seeds provide a pretty high amount of calories.

If you are sensitive to salt or have high blood pressure, it is a smart idea to avoid foods high in salt, such as salted sunflower seeds, as foods high in salt can contribute to high blood pressure. Choose unsalted or lightly salted sunflower seeds instead.

Likewise, if you are allergic to sunflower seeds, avoid them. You should also stay away from products that contain sunflower seeds.

Sunflower seeds may be tiny, but they offer some impressive benefits.

They’re packed with fiber, protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. This means that they can help keep your heart healthy, promote healthy blood sugar levels, and keep you from getting hungry at noon.

Try adding sunflower seeds to your meals and snacks for a tasty nutritional boost.

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Normatec Brand and products review: Pros and cons

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We include products that we believe will be useful to our readers. If you buy from links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Here is our process.

Normatec offers air compression therapy for legs, arms and hips. Several sports organizations and teams use these products to aid athletes recovery after rigorous training sessions or competitive events. People with leg pain or poor circulation may find that Normatec’s products relieve their symptoms.

Air compression therapy works by increasing blood flow to the muscles, which can improve performance and aid recovery. However, these devices come at a high price and may not be suitable for those with certain underlying medical conditions.

This article takes a closer look at Normatec and its products. It also suggests alternative devices that people can use to relieve muscle fatigue and pain.

Hyperice acquired the rights to Normatec products and patents in 2020. Hyperice sells several different health-related products, including percussion massagers, heat and cold therapy devices, massage balls and rollers, and various accessories.

Hyperice has an A + rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB). However, customer reviews only give them 1.73 out of 5 stars. The main complaints mention problems with:

  • Delivery time
  • defective products
  • bad customer service

A representative has responded to all of the complaints people have made with the BBB. The company is not BBB accredited.

USA Softball announced its decision in 2019 to make Normatec an official USA Softball supplier. In the announcement, the governing body noted that several professional sports teams are using Normatec’s compression therapy products.

The Normatec website does not contain any customer ratings. However on Amazon, more than 300 customer reviews have given the Normatec Pulse 2.0 Leg Restoration System an average score of 4.6 out of 5 stars.

Traditional compression therapy uses socks or stockings to support the veins in the legs. The stockings put pressure on the feet and lower legs to reduce swelling and improve blood circulation.

Normatec is a type of external pneumatic compression device (EPC). An EPC device uses air to apply external pressure to part of the body – often the legs or feet.

Doctors use EPC to treat deep vein thrombosis or blood clots. A person can use the device after surgery in the hospital or at home with proper instructions.

Normatec devices work similarly to the EPC devices that a doctor can use in a hospital. Both types use air to put pressure on specific areas of the body, such as the legs, hips, and arms. However, Normatec markets its equipment as an easy way to warm up before a workout, recover from a strenuous workout, and improve overall performance.

In a 2017 study, researchers found that air-pressurized devices like Normatec helped improve flexibility and relieve pain in a person’s legs after a workout. They also found that the device helped reduce oxidative stress and proteolytic markers when a person was recovering from resistance training. However, it is important to note that Normatec provided 50% of the funding for this research.

Other research involving a small number of male trail runners suggests that high pressure compression garments can improve neuromuscular function and reduce perceived muscle soreness.

Normatec currently offers its 2.0 system on its website and through other sellers, including Amazon. The system uses a patented pulse massage pattern.

The company’s current line of products includes the following options.

Please note that the author of this article has not tried these products. All information is purely research-based.

Normatec 2.0 Pro

The Normatec 2.0 Pro is the most advanced device from Hyperice. It offers several features including:

  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Transport Security Administration (TSA) approval for hand baggage
  • 10 intensity levels
  • Touchscreen and color display
  • ZoneBoost technology
  • 15 V power supply and rechargeable lithium-ion battery
  • Pre-programmed modes such as Recovery Flush, Rehab and Custom
  • 1 year warranty
  • customizable time, pressure and zone settings
  • light and compact design
  • Pressure overlap zones for maximum compression
  • Use of durable construction materials, including tubing and zippers
  • three different size options for legs of different lengths
  • Free Shipping

Customers who purchase this device can add tote bags, such as a backpack, to their order for an additional fee.

The 2.0 Pro is available in three models: legs, hips and arms. A person can order just one of the systems or the entire body system, which includes all three zones.

If a person has a discount code, they can enter it at checkout to save money on their order.

Hyperice sells the Normatec 2.0 Pro leg system here.

Normatec 2.0

The Normatec 2.0 is the simpler model. As with the Pro, people can choose between legs, arms, and hips versions. One person can order them individually or all together as part of a larger package.

The main difference between this base model and the Pro is the features and functions. The basic model includes the following features:

  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • TSA approved for hand luggage
  • seven intensity levels
  • Color display
  • ZoneBoost technology
  • 15 V power supply and rechargeable lithium-ion battery
  • 1 year warranty
  • customizable time, pressure and zone settings
  • light and compact design
  • Pressure overlap zones for maximum compression
  • Use of durable construction materials, including tubing and zippers
  • three different size options for legs of different lengths
  • Free Shipping

One person can order the Normatec 2.0 leg system here.

Other Hyperice products

Hyperice offers a variety of products that help with muscle regeneration, fatigue and pain. Some of its other products include:

  • Hypervolt: A percussion massager.
  • Poison: A device that, depending on the model, supplies different areas of the body with heat and vibrations.
  • Hypersphere: A vibrating massage ball.
  • Vyper: A vibrating muscle roll.
  • Hyperice: A portable cooling device that offers cold therapy on different parts of the body depending on the type selected.

Normatec devices can be helpful to some people. The company heavily markets its products to athletes and others who are physically active and need help recovering from workouts. The main advantage of Normatec products is that the massage effect can promote blood flow to the muscles. Humans can maximize the effectiveness of the devices by lifting the part of the body being treated.

Normatec may not be for everyone. A big downside is the price, with the base model starting at around $ 1,000 and the Pro starting at around $ 1,500. A person may be able to find more cost effective solutions to recovery.

People with injuries or underlying illnesses should speak to their doctor before using Normatec devices. A doctor familiar with a person’s medical history can make recommendations as to whether the Normatec device is likely to work for them.

Normatec is not the only commercially available brand of EPC muscle recovery devices. Several competitors offer similar products at different prices. You may want to consider the following options, all of which are available at a lower price than Normatec’s products:

Alternatively, people looking for an easy fix can try wearing compression stockings, which research has shown can improve exercise performance and reduce perceived muscle soreness.

A person should speak to their doctor before using a Normatec device. The doctor may be able to advise you on other ways to get the desired effects from this treatment.

Normatec or similar EPC devices should not replace medical advice or care. If the pain persists during exercise or activity, a person should speak to their doctor and get an exam. It is possible that the pain was not related to recovery but was due to an injured muscle or joint.

A person should seek medical advice if any of the following symptoms occur after using an EPC device:

  • Swelling in the limbs
  • Warmth in the limbs
  • Pain in the skin under the cuffs
  • Collapse of the skin under the cuffs

Normatec is a brand of EPC devices that have a massaging effect on the muscles of the legs, hips and arms. Normatec’s product marketing is aimed at athletes who are looking for faster recovery after training.

Similar devices are available from other brands, often at a lower cost.

Although EPC treatment presents a small risk, a person should speak to their doctor before using any device. You should stop using it immediately if you experience a skin reaction or if your muscle pain persists or increases.

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