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How To Survive The Holidays Without Sacrificing Your Health

Symptoms of Hidden Food Sensitivities + Intolerances Dr. Will Cole

When are you most likely to gain weight, get bloated, feel completely unproductive, and generally lift all your rules and forget all your good habits? The holidays, of course. No matter where my patients are from, whether I am coaching them locally in Pittsburgh or on a webcam consultation with someone thousands of miles away, one topic invariably comes up at some point during the course of our treatment: the holidays.

This time of celebration and family is usually focused on food, and it’s typically the kind of food that can make you feel bloated, gain weight, and generally feel lousy the next day. Can you say “food hangover”?

But who says the holidays need to involve gluttonous binging and harmful food choices? Not me. I say, let’s reclaim the holidays for your health! Let’s use festive meals as both times for togetherness and good medicine. Let’s navigate through your celebrations in a way that can leave you feeling better the next day, rather than worse. Let the days of post holiday regret be a thing of the past!

Of course, a holiday meal is not that different from any other meal – it is an opportunity to create more health, or destroy some of that hard-earned health you value so much on all the other days of the year. This holiday season and beyond, choose to give yourself and your loved ones the ultimate gift: the gift of health.

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FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE CONSULTATIONS FOR PEOPLE AROUND THE WORLD

Tips For Staying Healthy During The Holidays

1. Spoil your appetite

If you’re going to a holiday party where you don’t exactly know what the hosts will be serving, or you know it won’t be on your list of good food choices, have a healthy snack before you go. Taking the edge off hunger will help you to make more rational, healthier choices at the holiday party. Then, if you decide to eat that cookie, you’ll choose to do so rationally instead of compulsively, and move on without polishing off the rest of the plate.

2. Keep your hands out of the snack bowl.

Bowls of pretzels, peanuts, and other grab-a-handful (or a spoonful) snack foods are common at holiday parties. While it may feel instinctive for you to grab some of these treats which, on the surface, seem like a healthier choice than something with frosting or chocolate chips, these snacks are best left alone, too. They typically contain inflammatory oils, like canola or soybean, and inflammatory grains, like wheat. Inflammation is not festive, so keep scanning the food table for a better choice.

3. Veg out.

Most parties put something healthy on the table, if for no other reason to assuage guilt. That’s why I usually find myself standing in front of the vegetable tray, and there is nothing wrong with that! Think what a good example you are setting. When the other party guests see you making healthy choices, they may pick up the broccoli just because you did (you trendsetter). Since most holiday gatherings offer some vegetables, possibly some fruit, and often some meat, keeping it simple by filling up on these nutrient-dense and delicious foods.

4. BYOT.

That stands for Bring Your Own Treat, and what better way to share this holiday season than by showing your friends that eating healthy can be delicious, and you have the goods to prove it? Try making a yummy recipe you found online, or make a healthy twist on a family favorite, and bring it to the party. That way you’ll have at least one sure thing you can eat!

5. Go for the GF alcohol.

I’m not insinuating that drinking alcohol is the healthiest option. We all know it’s not, especially in excess. However, if you’re going to drink it, I want you to have better alternatives, to minimize any damage. My advice is to avoid any alcohol made from grain. That means beer and grain alcohol, especially those made from gluten-containing grains. Instead, go for sugar-free choices made from fruit, like hard cider, wine, tequila, brandy, cognac, and rum. There are even spirits made exclusively from grapes or potatoes (such as potato vodka)! In moderation, these are the smarter choices for you. (And you thought I was going to spoil your party)!

6. Just say no to sugary holiday drinks.

The sugary holiday lattes and hot cocoas that are sold at large chains are absolutely loaded with sugar. Opt for making your own holiday lattes at home. And if you have to have eggnog? Try making it at home with organic, real-food ingredients.

7. Lay off the sauce.

People like to drizzle sauces or include them for dipping everything from meat to chips to fruit, but who knows what ingredients are in those fancy sauces? In many cases, it is wheat flour or refined sugar, so rather than risk a reaction, skip the sauce.

8. Pre-load with natural medicines.

If you know you may end up eating something that doesn’t agree with you, try taking digestive enzymes, probiotics, and anti-inflammatory nutrients like turmeric before the party. While these are not a license to eat everything in sight, they may help soften the blow if you have a run-in with a sugar or gluten bomb.

9. Don’t be afraid to say “no thank you”.

It’s always okay to politely decline something you don’t want, don’t like, or know you should not have. Sure, some of those people in your life may equate love with food or pressure you to try “just one,” but really, has anyone’s day ever been ruined because someone turned down a cookie or drink? I don’t think so. Seconds later they will have forgotten, but you can feel good about your resolve for hours.

10. Have an organic holiday party.

When you’re hosting the holiday party, you get to control the food choices and quality. Why not spread the health-love to all your family and friends? Instead of conventional factory-farmed meat, opt for going local and organic. Beef should be grass-fed, whereas chicken, turkey, and ham should be pasture raised. Choose organic vegetables and fruits, and make a few choice dishes filled with the best possible ingredients. You don’t have to break the bank. Your party can prioritize quality over quantity. Because it’s your party!

11. Be sweet on grain-free desserts.

If you are hosting, or just bringing a dish to a party, you can make a delicious dessert using gluten-free and grain-free flours like coconut, almond, hazelnut, and tapioca. These allergy-friendly desserts don’t exclude anyone, and since grains aren’t always the best option when it comes to healthy eating, you can feel better about having a little something sweet. There are many recipes online for delectable grain-free desserts, so browse a bit and have fun!

12. It doesn’t have to be all about the food.

What if the food doesn’t really matter? What if, instead of worrying about eating, you focus instead on relaxing and enjoying the good time with your family and friends? Remember stress isn’t good for your health, either, and healthy eating needn’t be a source of anxiety. Make a conscious effort, logical choices, then relax and enjoy yourself. Being a nervous health zealot is never necessary to make healthy decisions in a sustainable and realistic way.

13. Know what’s coming.

Knowledge is power when it comes to making the healthiest choice. If you’re going out to eat, check the restaurant menus beforehand to ensure you know your options and what you can and cannot substitute. You could even call ahead to make arrangements for any special preparations. Good restaurants will accommodate. You could also eat ahead of time if you know wherever you are going isn’t going to have acceptable options for you. Remember, food is only part of any gathering—the real point of getting together is the people.

14. Leverage the buddy system.

It’s a lot easier to stick to your goals when you have a partner who vows to do it with you. Find someone who can accompany you, so you can encourage each other to stick with your goals. This can also make your health journey feel less lonely (and I guarantee you are not the only one who wants to come out on the other side feeling good about themselves!). If it’s a potluck style event, you could team up to make a healthy contribution to the meal. This makes less work for you, and more delicious options to choose from.

15. Practice moderation.

There’s no doubt that alcohol can be inflammatory, specifically due to the burden it puts on your liver and digestive system. To indulge more responsibly, look for cocktails made with gut-healing, anti-inflammatory ingredients like ginger, kombucha, and water or coconut kefir. Also choose better alcohols in moderation—the least inflammatory are grain-free options such as hard cider, tequila, brandy, cognac, rum, and red wine. In fact, a glass of red wine every once in a while has been shown to decrease (1) inflammatory CRP, so have a little if you so desire.

16. Keep it moving.

With our busy schedules, it can be tempting to put self-care activities like exercising on the back burner. However, exercising is essential for keeping inflammation at bay. Studies have shown workouts such as yoga (2) and tai chi (3) are powerful inflammation calmers, so make sure you’re adding some movement to your days. Besides, the stress-relieving qualities can help you keep your cool, even at the most challenging of get-togethers.

17. Take care.

Life stress and burnout can keep you from expressing your full, generous, loving nature, and it’s also been implicated in many different health issues, including increased inflammation. According to research, just 12 minutes of meditation every day can decrease inflammation, (4) so consider making a few quiet minutes of sitting part of your daily routine.

If meditation isn’t your style (or even if it is), you could also practice the Danish concept of hygge, which is basically the art of cozy—a perfect practice for the cold winter months.

18. Pass it on.

Use gatherings with friends and family to share some healthy foods that you enjoy,but that your loved ones probably wouldn’t otherwise get to try. I’m planning on bringing some plant-based keto recipes to my next celebration, to show my family just how delicious clean eating can be.

19. Spice it up.

Turmeric is a spice well known in the wellness world for its next-level inflammation-fighting abilities. Curcumin is the compound found in turmeric that is responsible for its ability to down-regulate inflammation. Cooking with turmeric is a great way to incorporate this anti-inflammatory action into your wellness routine, but taking a supplement around the holidays can be even more effective for a higher potency dose of those anti-inflammatory capabilities. Look for a supplement  that contains piperine, since it can increase the bioavailability (5) of curcumin by 2,000 percent, and aim for a dose of about 10 grams per day.

20. Recalibrate your gut.

Your gastrointestinal tract, including the microbes living inside your gut, are a foundation of your health. Inflammation can compromise your gut lining, which can lead to chronic inflammation. Probiotic supplements deliver beneficial bacteria to your microbiome for gut healing, so arming yourself with probiotics during the holiday season can ensure your gut has the best possible chance at thriving and fighting inflammation. Look for probiotics with at least 10 billion CFUs, that contain Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains. These are the good bacteria that  have specifically been shown (6) to decrease inflammation.

How To Avoid The Blood Sugar Highs and Lows

According to the CDC, about 33.9% of adults (7) in the U.S.—that’s more than 84 million people—have pre-diabetes. What’s even more shocking is that only one-third of them know they have it. Many of us don’t think about our blood sugar until there’s a problem; and sadly, blood sugar problems that go untreated can progress to full-blown diabetes, which is a leading cause (8) of heart attacks and strokes.

Pull back the curtain on diabetes and pre-diabetes and you’ll find insulin resistance at their core. Insulin is the hormone that directs the sugar in your blood to your cells, which your cells then use for fuel. When you become insulin resistant, the insulin receptor sites on your cells become weak and you end up with blood sugar that is too high. This can cause side effects like fatigue, cravings, and excessive thirst.

But don’t worry, it’s not all bad news. (I promise I’m not on a mission to ruin your holiday!) The good news is that making healthy lifestyle choices can make a huge difference in insulin sensitivity. And it is possible to enjoy the holidays without sabotaging your blood sugar health.

By leaning on a few blood sugar-friendly lifestyle practices—and indulging in moderation—you can have a happy and healthy end to your year.

How to balance blood sugar over the holidays

Whether you have a diagnosed blood sugar problem or just want to avoid the ups and downs many of us experience over the holiday season, here are a few tips to incorporate into your end-of-year routine:

1. Try intermittent fasting

Studies have shown that intermittent fasting can help regulate blood sugar levels, even in those who are at risk for type 2 diabetes. One study in particular showed (9) that fasting improved blood sugar response in men—regardless of how much food they ate.

As you might guess, this makes fasting a great practice to adopt over the holidays. It’s also super simple. To get started, just leave a 14- to 16-hour window between dinner and breakfast the next day.

2. Move your body

I know it’s tempting to sit on the couch this time of year, but if you can get active for just a few minutes every day, your blood sugar levels with thank you. It doesn’t really matter what you do—it could be something as simple as tennis or an at-home yoga routine. Or, opt for HIIT and resistance training, which have been shown to (10) improve glycemic control and insulin sensitivity.

If you haven’t had a chance to get active during the day, take a 10-minute walk after dinner. Studies have shown that walking after a main meal resulted in lower blood glucose levels. In fact, one showed that it reduced (11) blood glucose by around 12% compared to a 30-minute walk at any other time of day. Make it a family activity and invite everyone to go with you. The dishes can wait!

3. Make water your new best friend

Of all the blood sugar offenders, sweetened beverages are probably the worst. Studies have shown that people who consume more than two servings of sugar-sweetened beverages per day have a 99% increased risk (12) of developing LADA (latent autoimmune diabetes in adults) and a 20% increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

If you can avoid sweet cocktails, sodas, and high-sugar holiday drinks (I’m looking at you, pumpkin-spiced latte), you can drastically cut down your sugar intake without missing out on any of your favorite foods. Instead, keep your water bottle with you at all times and sip regularly. If you get bored with plain water, add some fresh lemon juice, a splash of blood-sugar balancing (13) apple cider vinegar, or pick up some sparkling water on your next grocery store run. Being properly hydrated will also help you avoid snacking mindlessly, as many people mistake thirst for hunger.

 4. Add cinnamon to…everything

Cinnamon is famous for its blood-sugar-balancing properties. Studies have shown (14) that it’s a useful add-on therapy in treating diabetes and cinnamon consumption is associated with a statistically significant decrease (15) in levels of fasting blood glucose.

Luckily, cinnamon is an extremely versatile ingredient that goes great with almost anything. Add it to your morning coffee or your afternoon tea. You can incorporate it into a ton of recipes, like sweet potato dishes, oatmeal, and smoothies.

5. Fill up on nutrient-rich foods first

Finally, when you sit down to the dinner table, fill your plate up with dishes containing veggies, healthy fats like coconut or avocaodos, and healthy carbs like sweet potatoes and squash, first. These foods will provide fiber (which can also influence blood sugar control (16) in a positive way, leave you satiated, and help you avoid simple carbs and empty-calories foods, like dinner rolls.

Everyone deserves to enjoy the holidays and indulge on occasion, but you also deserve to feel your best and not experience the crankiness, fatigue, and brain fog caused by blood sugar roller coaster. By making a few tweaks like the ones above, you can have the best of both worlds.

How To Keep Up With The Keto Diet During The Holidays

If you’re on the high-fat, moderate-protein, low-carb keto diet, this time of year can be very stressful. In fact, it can feel like a full-blown ambush led by all your favorite treats and comfort foods; an attack designed to push your willpower to its absolute limits. You might even wonder: Is it even possible to both stick to your keto diet and also enjoy the holidays?

If you can relate to this, I hear you. It’s tempting to throw keto out the window this time of year.

But before you do, hear me out!

As a functional medicine practitioner and the author of the book Ketotarian—the (mostly) plant-based plan to burn fat and crush your cravings—I know for a fact that it is possible to stick to your keto diet, even in the face of holiday parties, pumpkin pie, and family stress.

Here’s how to effortlessly find your way around holiday menus and parties without sabotaging your progress towards healthier living.

1. Eat with intention

When you get to that holiday gathering, B line it to the veggie trays (skip the dip, though), roasted green vegetables (Brussels sprouts, broccoli, green beans), meats (like turkey, ham, or roast), and green salad (look out for dressing with added sugar, and stick with olive oil and/or vinegar to be safe). These foods are keto-compliant and will make you feel like you can really enjoy the food without sabotaging your progress.

You’ll want to avoid foods like mashed potatoes, stuffing, corn, rolls, and traditional desserts. The good news is that the first list of foods is far more nutritious and filling, so you’re likely to end the night on a much more satiated—and less bloated and fatigued!—note.

2. DIY dessert

If you read the tip above and thought to yourself “What’s a holiday party without dessert?!” don’t worry. This is where you have to think ahead and get a little creative by making your own dessert with recipes that are made with keto-friendly ingredients—like stevia, monk fruit, and coconut or almond flour—instead of carb-loaded grain flour and conventional sugar. Not sure where to start? Try my crustless pumpkin pie with coconut whipped cream. Bring enough to share with friends and family.

3. Say no to liquid carbs

For anyone trying to reduce their sugar intake, liquids are the first place to turn. And while nothing quite says the holidays like a peppermint mocha or creme brulee latte, the syrups in these drinks are anything but low-carb. Instead, stick to herbal tea, black or bulletproof coffee, or unsweetened lattes and cappuccinos. Your blood sugar levels with thank you!

4. Don’t arrive hungry

If there’s no time to prep a bunch of fun keto-friendly holiday recipes, it’s time for plan B—which is to eat beforehand. This is especially important if you’re not sure what will be served at the party. Eating before you go will guarantee that you don’t arrive hungry or in the middle of a low blood sugar crisis, making it endlessly easier to make healthy choices.

Not sure what to eat? Try fat bombs, which are chock full of energy-boosting healthy fats like coconut oil or almond butter to balance your blood sugar and keep you satiated. To get started, try my Coconut Almond Butter Fat Bombs recipe, which were specifically designed to fend off cravings.

5. Turn to keto comfort foods

Ready for some good news? Almost every food you look forward to over the holidays can be adapted to be more keto-friendly. Don’t believe me? Try mashed cauliflower instead of potatoes, making grain-free rolls with stuffing with coconut flour, or using arrowroot flour in your gravy instead of white flour. In some instances, you might not even be able to tell the difference. By making smart substitutions where you can, you can enjoy all your favorite dishes without compromising your diet.

By leaning on these five tips, you can protect your progress on the keto diet over the holidays.

Blood Sugar Balancing Recipes For The Holidays + Beyond

The wonderful thing is that food doesn’t have to taste bad just because it is healthy! You can have foods that taste good and make you feel good also! You don’t have to forgo taste if you want to be healthy. As a functional medicine practitioner, I am busy all day seeing patients and helping them along their journey to better health. These three recipes are what I eat in the morning to fuel me throughout the day. They’re designed to keep your blood sugar balanced, awaken your brain, and restore your energy to help you feel amazing all day long. Plus, they taste delicious so you aren’t missing out on the taste of the holidays. Start your morning with one of these so you can feel better about the rest of your day – treats included!

Sipping broth.

This super easy breakfast is perfect for those cold winter mornings. You can make your own morning sipping bone broth or buy some already made. Kettle & Fire is my all-time favorite! Make sure you are buying broth that uses grass-fed meat and organic ingredients. Also, if they include apple cider vinegar that is even better since it helps to draw out he minerals from the bones!

Chocolate Peppermint Adaptogenic Smoothie

The combination of avocados, adaptogens, and coconuts work together to keep your blood sugar balanced and your brain clear and focused.

Ingredients

  • ½ avocado
  • 1 cup spinach or other greens of choice
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon cacao powder
  • 2 cups full-fat unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon lion’s mane powder
  • 5 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 2 drops liquid stevia

Method

Combine all ingredients in blender, blend, and enjoy!

Macadamia Chia Pudding

These healthy fats will fuel you all day long!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons almond butter
  • ½ cup chia seeds
  • ¼ cup chopped macadamia nuts
  • 2 drops liquid stevia

Method

  1. Place coconut milk, stevia, vanilla, and almond butter together in a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Stir in chopped nuts and chia seeds.
  3. Pour into container and place in refrigerator overnight.
  4. Enjoy cold or warm it up!

I also love fat bombs for their ability to help curb cravings.

Fat bombs are super-healthy and easy to make, two things that are essential during the busy holiday season.

These are high in, yup you guessed it, fats. My goal as a functional medicine practitioner is to use food as medicine as much as possible. Many find themselves on a sugar roller coaster that leave them feeling fatigued and bloated. Healthy fats are a slow, sustainable form of energy that can be a powerful tool to curb sugar cravings that awaken the hangry beast within. If you want to learn more about stopping cravings in their tracks, check out my article for all the fun science on why we crave sugar in the first place.

These are a few of my favorite recipes:

Cocoa Almond Butter Fat Bombs

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup virgin coconut oil
  • ¼ cup almond butter
  • 1 ounce unsweetened baking chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa
  • ½ teaspoon stevia drops

Method

  1. Melt the ingredients in a pan over low heat. Stir continuously to avoid burning. You can also use a chocolate melter or double broiler.
  2. Pour into silicone molds. Get creative and use festive holiday shapes like snowflakes, Christmas trees, or snowmen.
  3. Place in freezer until hardened.
  4. Remove from molds and store in a sealed container in freezer.

Chocolate Peppermint Macadamia Nut Bombs

Ingredients

  • ½ cup virgin coconut oil
  • ½ cup cocoa
  • 5 drops food-grade peppermint essential oil or extract
  • ¼ cup finely chopped macadamia nuts
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon stevia drops

Method

  1. Melt the ingredients in a pan over low heat. Stir continuously to avoid burning. You can also use a chocolate melter or double broiler.
  2. Pour into silicone molds. Get creative and use festive holiday shapes like snowflakes, Christmas trees, or snowmen.
  3. Place in freezer until hardened.
  4. Remove from molds and store in a sealed container in freezer.

Coconut Lemon Fat Bombs

Ingredients

  • ½ cup virgin coconut oil
  • ½ cup coconut butter
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • ½ teaspoon stevia drops

Method

  1. Melt the ingredients in a pan over low heat. Stir continuously to avoid burning. You can also use a chocolate melter or double broiler.
  2. Pour into silicone molds. Get creative and use festive holiday shapes like snowflakes, Christmas trees, or snowmen.
  3. Place in freezer until hardened.
  4. Remove from molds and store in a sealed container in freezer.

The Natural Tools You Need To Beat Post-Holiday Inflammation

If you’re even just a little bit interested in wellness, you’ve probably heard about inflammation. Everyone has some level of inflammation in their body. In fact, it’s actually a healthy reaction. However, it can quickly become detrimental when inflammation reaches ongoing high levels. It’s this chronic inflammation that is a factor in many serious health problems including depression, heart disease, and autoimmune conditions.

The good news is that inflammation can be subdued and as a result, so can symptoms of these inflammatory health problems. When it comes to healing, the first step is to find out what’s fueling your inflammation to begin with. As a functional medicine practitioner I advocate for having lab work done to be as informed about your health as possible. In general though, if you already know that you’re struggling with inflammation, you can get it under control with a few supplements that work to drive-down inflammation and support areas of the body that help control inflammation.

1. Turmeric

This spice has created quite the buzz for its powerful inflammation-busting properties. In a supplement, you’ll want to look for curcumin specifically. This is the antioxidant compound inside of turmeric that is responsible for turmeric’s inflammation fighting ability. You can use turmeric to season food but if you are really looking to target inflammation taking a supplement is the best way to go. It’s been shown that as much as 10 grams a day of curcumin is an effective and safe maintenance dose. Make sure that your supplement also contains piperine from black pepper since it can increase (5) the bioavailablity of curcumin by 2,000 percent!

2. Probiotics

If you gut is in bad shape, the rest of your health probably is as well. When your intestinal lining is damaged it leads to increased gut permeability and what is known as leaky gut syndrome. Food particles and bacteria end up entering your bloodstream and triggers an overload of inflammation in your body. Many things can lead to leaky gut syndrome including the foods you eat and certain medications.

Eating a clean diet with natural fermented foods like kimchi and sauerkraut is a great way to start your gut healing journey. But probiotics can take your healing to the next-level by providing your microbiome with additional beneficial bacteria. Make sure to get a probiotic that has Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus strains to help fight (6) inflammation as well as a dosage of at least 10 billion CFU.

3. Support methylation

Methylation, a biochemical process in your body, happens a billion times every second to help your body detox and keep inflammation under control. B vitamins act as fuel for properly functioning methylation and are especially important if you have any genetic mutations such as MTHFR. With so many types of B vitamins, it’s important to get a well-rounded amount of each. A B-complex vitamin that contains methylated B vitamins is a good option. You’ll want to make sure it contains activated B vitamins like B9 L-Methylfolate (L-5-MTHF), B6 Pyridoxyl-5-Phosphate (P5P), and B12 versions like Hydroxycobalamin B12, Adenosyl B12, Cyano B12, or Methyl 12. A good general dose is 1,000 mcg methylcobalamin (B12) per day and anywhere between 400 to 800 mcg for methylfolate (B9) per day.

4. Activate Nrf-2

The Nrf-2 protein works to regulate antioxidant gene induction to turn on genes responsible for detox pathways. Inflammation starts to subside when Nrf-2 is activated but continues to rise when it’s low. Certain antioxidants are able to activate Nrf-2:

  • EGCG
  • Pterostilbene
  • Resveratrol
  • Glutathione
  • L-sulforaphane
  • Quercetin
  • Curcumin

You can get these antioxidants in through certain foods like broccoli (l-sulforaphane), green tea (EGCG), and turmeric (curcumin) but a supplement containing all of these antioxidants can really target your Nrf-2 pathways.

5. Fight NF-kB

There are many different pro-inflammatory cells throughout your body that trigger inflammation. Nuculear factor kappa B, or NF-kB for short, is one of these bad guys. It can actually bind to your DNA and cause a variety of inflammatory cascades. Studies have even linked (17) NF-kB in the pathogenesis of different autoimmune-inflammation spectrum diseases.

Certain plant medicines, adaptogens in particular, have been shown to lower NF-kB levels. These plants and herbs are one of my favorite tools to balance different systems of the body that are out of whack. Ashwagandha and astragalus are next-level NF-kB fighters and can be found in powdered form to add to smoothies and tea.

It’s always important to work with your doctor or functional medicine practitioner, even with natural supplements, to determine which supplements are right for your particular health case since what works for one person doesn’t always work for the next. However, these are generally safe for everyone and can be a good place to start in managing inflammation.

If you want to learn more about your own health case please check out our consultation process. We offer webcam as well as in-person consultations for people across the country and around the world.

Photo: unsplash.com

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BY DR. WILL COLE

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Dr. Will Cole, IFMCP, DNM, DC, leading functional medicine expert, consults people around the world via webcam and locally in Pittsburgh. He received his doctorate from Southern California University of Health Sciences and post doctorate education and training in functional medicine and clinical nutrition. He specializes in clinically researching 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 the best selling author of Ketotarian and The Inflammation Spectrum.

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