The Health Up Newsletter
Created Bi-Weekly by Teri Yunus
Health Up With Teri Health & Wellness Coaching

February 8, 2024 | ISSUE 170
What's Inside This Week
  • Inflammaging
  • What About Essential Oils?
  • The Skinny on Beautiful Skin
  • Full Body Workout
  • The Extras

A chronic low-grade inflammation that may be responsible for the further decline and onset of disease

This is a term I was not familiar with until I read Dr. Michael Greger's How Not To Age book. If you follow me, you know that Dr. Greger is my ‘go-to’ for learning what the science says about health and nutrition. His latest book is no exception to the vast amount of knowledge he shares repeatedly in his publications and on his website, The chapter on inflammation hit home with me and maybe it will with you, too. Inflammation is the base of all illness and disease and reducing the amount of inflammation in our bodies can help us to remain active and vital as we age. 
There are many factors that may be responsible for inflammaging…exposure to viruses or other environmental toxins like air pollution or chemicals in the products we use, lifestyle choices including smoking, exercise and what we eat, along with how well we sleep. Dr. Greger reports that the primary driver of inflammation is what we eat. 
Food can be pro-inflammatory or anti-inflammatory. The Dietary Inflammatory Index (DII) was developed to provide a quantitative means for assessing the role of diet in relation to health outcomes ranging from blood concentrations of inflammatory cytokines to chronic diseases. The most pro-inflammatory components of food are saturated fat and trans fat. The top five sources of saturated fat in the US diet are cheese (yes, pizza), desserts like cakes and ice cream, chicken dishes, pork and burgers. Trans fat has been banned in the US but remains in small amounts naturally in meat and dairy and are created when refining vegetable oils. Dr. Greger goes into detail on how we can reduce the inflammatory hit of these foods in his book but the best way to reduce it is by avoiding these foods completely. If that seems daunting, reducing the amount of these foods and/or boosting the anti-inflammatory foods in your diet may be worth a try. 
Anti-inflammatory foods are (yep, you guessed it) plant foods. The spice turmeric is the single most anti-inflammatory food, followed by garlic and ginger and tea! Yay for tea! Tea, green or black is the most anti-inflammatory beverage. The components of anti-inflammatory foods fiber and flavones. Dietary fiber is found in whole plant foods like whole grains, legumes (chickpeas, beans, lentils and split peas). Flavones are concentrated in fruits, herbs and vegetables (and they have fiber, too!). Apples, oranges, celery, bell peppers and more are examples. Chamomile tea is the most flavone-filled beverage. 
Centenarians around the world (the Blue Zones) escape inflammaging by counterbalancing their age with a high blood level of anti-inflammatory compounds. This is known as anti-inflammaging. It's one of the secrets of longevity. Eating a diet high in fiber and flavones offsets or counterbalances the effects of living longer. Bonus is that these people feel good and enjoy their lives until their last breath. 
It is impossible to avoid all inflammatory agents in our diet and in our environment. The key is to do our best to stack the deck in our favor by choosing wisely when it comes to lifestyle choices. Reducing inflammation is a great strategy for a long, healthy, joyful life. 

What about essential oils?
Late to the game on this one…but, better late than never, they say

Feels like I am late to the game on this one. I have been interested in essential oils for many years. It’s just one thing that I had never devoted much time to. Recently, I have become more interested and I love what I am finding! Here is a very brief description of how to use and what to use essential oils for…there’s so much more!
The three primary ways essential oils are used are for aroma for relaxation and a comforting environment, topically for many purposes and internally for their many benefits. Aromatically, when you inhale the oil’s aroma either from the bottle or via steam or a diffuser. This can make your home smell wonderful or help you sleep better. Some oils can help open up your sinus passages and help you to breath better. Others have various health and well-being benefits.
You can also apply them topically—just be sure to dilute it with a carrier oil like jojoba oil before application. With most oils you can dispense a few diluted drops on your skin. With others you’ll want to add them to your favorite lotion, cream, or bath gel. Some oils can provide pain relief, others can help with headaches or stress. The uses are endless.
We can even ingest small amounts of a few select essential oils to enjoy their flavors as well as their benefits. I have been adding one called JuvaFlex Vitality to my tea. It is anti-inflammatory and the blend helps with liver and lymphatic detoxification. One drop is enough of most oils as they are highly concentrated, especially if they are high quality oils.
Not all oils are created equal. Choose the highest quality, purest oils to get the most from the oils you use. I have recently fell in love with Young Living oils. So much so that I signed up to be a Brand Partner. I was a consultant for Pure Haven for over 10 years and had dabbled with their oils (many are organic and higher quality) but I did not fully engage until I learned about and starting use Young Living oils. Now I have a diffuser in almost every room of my house and I love the aromas that make my home inviting and warm.
However you use your oils, always check the label on how to best apply them. Essential oils are highly concentrated natural extracts located in a plant’s seeds, leaves, bark, flowers, roots, stems, rinds and other parts. Distillers of essential oils use various methods to extract these oils that render them even more potent than they were in their respective plants. In such a concentrated form, it’s important to know how to use oils safely and what precautions to take. Take those extra few minutes to learn safe use of the oils you choose.
Here are a few examples of commonly used essential oils and how to use them.
Lavender essential oil is easily one of the most well-known oils in the world. This gentle oil can be used almost anywhere—added to water to make a room-freshening spray, in the bath or mixed with your favorite lotion.
Lemon has a tangy scent that can liven any day. Diffuse it to share its crisp aroma, apply a couple drops to a cotton ball to rub away sticky adhesive or promote the appearance of youthful skin by adding it to your nighttime skin care routine.

Tea Tree essential oil is widely used for its cleansing properties, particularly when applied topically to the skin, hair and nails or to neutralize unwanted odors.

With its warm, herbaceous aroma, Oregano can be added to a carrier oil and rubbed into your joints after a long day. Oregano Vitality is anti-inflammatory, anti-aging and is used for arthritis, respiratory infections and more. It is diluted 50-50 and has a potent taste so be cautious if using.

Eucalyptus can literally be used from head to toe, to rejuvenate your hair; help hydrate dull, dry skin; or to inhale as you wind down for bed.

Peppermint’s cool, crisp scent and tingling touch make it one of the most versatile oils. Rub it into fatigued muscles after a run or fitness class for a refreshing post-workout cool down. I like to rub this on the back of my neck every morning to start my day. 

Frankincense is grounding, complex aroma is often diffused during prayer or meditation to encourage self-reflection. It may boost immunity, is anti-aging and anti-inflammatory and is often using for healing. 

Cedarwood essential oil’s balmy, rich scent can chase away unwanted smells and invites an atmosphere of coziness and peace.

Orange’s sweet smell makes everything feel right. Add it to your linen spray to give your wash some citrus-scented freshness. Orange Vitality can be added to your beverages to boost the flavor and promote cardiovascular and respiratory wellness. 

Want your house to feel like a sunny beach house? Grapefruit brings a welcome burst of freshness, whether you’re diffusing it or using it to zest up your household cleaners.
There are so many uses for essential oils. If you are curious about what oils can do for you, let me know. I am happy to share what I have learned and to guide you. The world of essential oils is exciting and I am all about learning new ways to promote health for myself, my family, my clients and my readers. Here is the link to order if you are ready to jump in and give oils a try. Use the promo code SHAREYL for 10% off your first order. 

The Skinny on Beautiful Skin
Healthy skin starts inside your body

As we age, we may be noticing some changes in our skin. Our skin becomes thinner, loses elasticity, and can sag and wrinkle. This may be inevitable but premature aging is not! Our skin is our biggest organ and at risk for damage from stress, sun exposure, as well as other toxins in our environment.
Beautiful skin is created from the inside! All the skin care products in the world can’t help us if we are not nourishing our bodies with the right foods. Here’s a quick list of what to choose followed by what to avoid or limit.
3 Top Food Groups for Beautiful Skin
#1 Colorful fruits & vegetables – high in antioxidants and micronutrients. Berries are the bomb!
#2 Beans & Lentils – Anti-aging due to their anti-inflammatory properties
#3 Nuts & Seeds – Healthy fats high in Omega 3 fatty acids which nourish our skin and scalp
Food Groups That Age Us Too Soon
#1 Dairy and meat (all animal products) – inflammatory
#2 Highly processed foods – lacks nutrient value and highly inflammatory
#3 Refined sugars and flours – same story, here. Inflammation causing
Oxidative stress to our skin and to our organs leads to premature aging. The best way to combat the effects of this oxidation is by the foods we put into our bodies. This, along with adequate hydration are key to the healthiest skin. Green tea has been shown to improve skin elasticity and hydration. And it’s a powerful weapon against all kinds of diseases. Drink it up!
That being said, there is a lot more we can do for our skin in addition to our healthy eating habits. What we put in our mouths is important. What we put ON our skin is, as well. Hydration is imperative…on the inside and on the outside. Moisturizing our skin reduces inflammation in our bodies and can lead to slower aging. Adding an emollient to our skin regularly is a simple way to reduce systemic inflammation. Choose wisely when it comes to moisturizer, though. Choose products with safe ingredients and avoid those that have been shown to cause issues. Not sure what is safe? Check out the EWG Skin Deep database at Of the 12,000+ synthetic compounds used in cosmetics, less than 20% are recognized as safe. Even if the product advertises as “all natural”, it may not be the safer choice. Arsenic and cyanide are all natural and we really don’t want to expose ourselves to those.
Sunscreen in your face moisturizer can slow aging, studies show. A daily SF15 reduced sagging in study subjects. This should be used daily…even on cloudy or rainy days. And again, check out safe sunscreens on the EWG website as not all are created equal.
Niacinamide lotion was a lotion that stood out in the few trials that it was included in. A daily application to one side of the face of participants for 12 weeks demonstrated fewer wrinkles on the side niacinamide (B3) lotion was used. There are only a few studies available but there were no adverse effects noted (such as skin irritation). Might be worth using if you are concerned about facial wrinkles.
A skin care routine is vital to slowing the aging process. It’s best to start early in life but starting anytime is a good habit to create. Choose your products carefully and use them regularly. You may find that a healthy diet (one high in vegetables, fruits, legumes and whole grains and low in animal protein) along with a non-toxic skin care regime leads to your skin looking it’s best. When we look good, we feel good and that is the good stuff!

Full Body Workout
Movement is imperative for good health. Whether it's with a simple walking program or working with weight, it's a good thing. Here is an example of a full body workout. Check out examples of YouTube if you are unfamiliar with the movement. Start slow and increase weights as you notice strength increasing. 

Lower Body Workout
Dumbbells (*weight of your choice…not too heavy)
3 Sets of 8-10 reps each
*Goblet Squats
*Romanian deadlift
*Walking lunges
*Step ups
*Glute bridges
*Calf raises
Plank - hold for 30 seconds and up
Upper Body Workout
Dumbbells (weight of your choice…not too heavy to start)
3 sets of 8-10 reps each
*Chest Press
*Bent over rows
*Shoulder Press
*Bicep curls
*Tricep curls
*Lateral raises
Plank - hold for 30 seconds or more

LIFE Smoothie
Low Inflammatory Foods Everyday (LIFE)
LIFE Smoothie
½ lb dark green leafy vegetables (baby kale or spinach)
2 ½ cups blueberries
1 banana
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tbsp ground flaxseeds
½ cup water
½ unsweetened plant milk (soy is best)
Added bonus –
1-2 broccoli florets
¼ tsp turmeric
1/8 tsp ground ginger (even better than fresh)
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp Ceylon cinnamon
Blend all the ingredients you choose in a high-speed blender and sip over 30 minutes. This makes a large smoothie. I cut the ingredients down when making one just for myself. Disclaimer…This smoothie does not look like the one in the photo…it has blueberries and cocoa powder in it so it's much darker and just as delicious. 
Adapted from Dr. Joel Furhman's original recipe

Food for Thought
did you know
Once you hit your 70s, those migraines you have had most of your life may disappear. Only 10% of women and 5% of men over 70 still report migraines. Even better news: If you do have a migraine, it may not actually come with the headache. As people age, some may experience migraines as visual or sensory disturbances without pain.
There is evidence that migraines may be reduced or eliminated with a shift to a whole foods, plant-based way of eating. I can testify to this. I'm not 70 yet but my 35 year history of migraines went away with my lifestyle change!

Interesting findings from Dr. Michael Greger's  “How Not to Age” book: 
How to reduce DNA damage with food. Yes, food is medicine. 
  • one daily ounce of mixed nuts (walnuts, almonds, and hazelnuts) can reduce damage with 12 weeks
  • five teaspoons a day of tomato paste within 2 weeks
  • three-quarters cup of microwaved frozen spinach or one cup of other cooked green leafy vegetables a day within 3 weeks
  • about four daily teaspoons of spinach powder within 2 weeks
  • two cups a day of steamed brussels sprouts within 6 days
  • a single serving of watercress within 2 hours
  • about 1 ½ cups of green tea or tomato, orange, blood orange, or carrot juice within hours to weeks, and
  • eight kiwifruit within 4 hours or one kiwifruit a day for 3 weeks (both methods reduce the same amount of damage).

Catch my Health Tip Tuesday video on Facebook on Tuesdays to hear my health tip for the week!
Share with your friends and family. Sharing and commenting along with liking or loving <3 increases the exposure so more people can become aware of the value of healthful living.

“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.”
-Mae West


what small step will you take this week?
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Lots of love from Teri