More and more we are hearing the word inflammation in reference to our health. Historically, the term inflammation stood for a complex set of responses of the body to harmful elements, such as irritants, damaged cells or even toxins. The inflammatory response was protective and adaptive. Its purpose was to eliminate cause of cell injury, clear out damaged cells through the inflammatory process and initiate tissue repair. Inflammation is an adaptive response, a mechanism of our immune system. However, too much inflammation can lead to progressive tissue damage, such diseases as atherosclerosis and osteoarthritis could be a result of too much inflammation. Inflammation can be immediate (acute) or long term (chronic). Long term inflammation can be damaging to tissue without ongoing repair.
The term inflammation, more recently, is being applied to diseases known as inflammatory condition, such as fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, myocarditis gastrointestinal dysbiosis, auto-immune responses, to name a few. A movement has begun to look at causes and remedies for inflammatory conditions.
Today we will address some lifestyle patterns. What can we do to address, curtail, or even prevent unhealthy inflammatory conditions?
Let’s Talk Diet
Plant based diets are primarily anti-inflammatory. Meals that include fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes, and whole grains with emphasis on variety and color are all anti-inflammatory.
GUT HEALTH is essential. A healthy gut is a diverse gut, it requires a balanced and proportional spectrum of microbes which act as protectors of mucosa. When this ecology is disrupted, inflammation can set in. Repopulation and renourishing is an essential part of inflammation management. To do this we must also include foods that are live cultures such as yogurt, and kombucha fermented vegetables.
There are foods that can contribute to inflammation. Let’s take a look:
Sweets and sugar sweetened beverages: Try to keep total sugar intake down to 25 grams daily. DRINK WATER.
Processed meats: The problem here is the addition of chemicals and preservatives, used for the storing and canning of foods.
Refined vegetable oils: Watch out for highly refined omega 6’s, too many causes difficulty in metabolism.
Artificial sweeteners: Popular are pink, blue, and yellow packets which are all derived from chemicals, look for plant-based ones.
Highly processed foods: Look for added chemical compounds these are the inflammatory elements.
Refined carbohydrates: Refined flour quickly raises blood sugar, which is inflammatory, use whole grains or plant based. The metabolism is slower and less inflammatory.
Fried and fast foods: Trans-fat are altered fats and are inflammatory.
Excessive alcohol: Moderate and beyond consumption can cause inflammation.
Saturated fats: To minimize, eat plant-based proteins, avoid tropical oils like palm and highly refined coconut oils.
Foods That Curtail Inflammation
At a basic level, there are foods that help curtail inflammation.
Berries: They are loaded with antioxidants which stop free radicals from forming inflammation.
Leafy Greens: They are strong anti-inflammatory molecules (lots of research to back this up as well).
Olive Oil: Contains OLEOCANTHAN, a strong anti-inflammatory.
Spices: Curcumin, turmeric, peppers, chiles, to name a few, are all anti-inflammatory.
Nuts and Seeds: The fat and protein are anti-inflammatory as well as help regulate blood sugar.
Fermented Foods: Live cultures here help promote gut health and nutrient absorption.
Cold water fish: Omega 3 DHA and EPA balance suppress inflammation as well as encourage anti-inflammatory process.
Cruciferous vegetables: Powerful sulfur compounds helps promote activation of many anti-inflammatory molecules such as glutathione and can play a huge role in cancer prevention.
It has been reported that over 70% of illnesses that arise after age 45 are due to lifestyle patterns. Referring to diet, exercise, and consumption of chemicals.
So, as we move to a healthy life, lets do our part daily:
MOVE instead of sit!
STRETCH whenever you’re able!
PREPARE meals at home as a gift to yourself!
Breathe, PRAY, Meditate OFTEN!
And EAT WELL.
With love always!