Inflammation: So What?

Chronic inflammation may not make you feel sick, but you are sick.

Source: Human Pathology

Source: Human Pathology

We are taught that the immune system is our body’s natural defense system.  The immune system reacts to infection and trauma; sore throat, sprained ankle, rash, etc.  These reactions from our immune system are good reactions.

However, as they say, too much of something is never a good thing and in the case of inflammation, that is true.  Too much inflammation has been highly correlated to conditions like autism, depression, autoimmune disease, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, dementia, allergies, high cholesterol, heart attacks, strokes, cancers, pancreatitis and types 1  & 2 diabetes (the list goes on).

Chronic inflammation can be due to a variety of things:

  • Poor diet: mostly sugar, refined flours, processed foods, and inflammatory fats such as trans and saturated fats
  • Lack of exercise
  • Stress
  • Hidden or chronic infections with viruses, bacteria, yeasts, or parasites
  • Hidden allergens from food or the environment
  • Toxins such as mercury and pesticides
  • Mold toxins and allergens

Food is the key to chronic inflammation.

Help Reduce Inflammation in Your Body:

  1. Whole Foods: Eat whole foods, high-fiber, plant-based diet, which is inherently anti-inflammatory.
  2. Anti-Inflammatory Foods: Especially great anti-inflammatory foods include: the spices ginger and tumeric, bell peppers, oranges, grapefruit, strawberries, pineapple, papayas, lemons, broccoli, kale, brussels sprouts, kidney beans, kiwi, cantaloupe, cauliflower, mangos, mustard greens, blueberries, goji berries.    
  3. Cut Out the Middle Man: Eat grass-fed beef instead of supermarket beef. Cut out processed foods, refined carbs and sugar.
  4. Healthy Fats: Don’t eat “low fat”. Eat “good fats” and get more omega-3 fats from small fish like sardines, herring, sable, and wild salmon.
  5. Cook it Right: Cook foods at lower temperatures and use the right oil based on the temperature you will be cooking at.
  6. Regular Exercise: Exercise helps reduce inflammation and helps improve health across the board.  Start moving!
  7. Relax: Learn how to engage your vagus nerve by actively relaxing (this doesn’t include looking at your iPhone/iPad for 2 hours). This powerful nerve relaxes your whole body and lowers inflammation when you practice yoga, meditation, guided imagery, progressive muscle relaxation, deep breathing, or even take a hot bath.
  8. Avoid Allergens: Find out if you have allergies and stop eating those foods! 
  9. Heal Your Gut: Take probiotics to help your digestion and improve the balance of healthy bacteria in your gut, which reduces inflammation.
  10. Supplement: Take a multivitamin/multimineral supplement, fish oil, and vitamin D, all of which help reduce inflammation.

Sources:

American Heart Association 2007 Annual Report. Accessed at http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=606

http://www.arizonaadvancedmedicine.com/articles/inflammation.html

http://www.westonaprice.org/know-your-fats

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