What is Inflammation?
Inflammation is the body’s immune system response to damaged cells, injury, pathogens or irritants (stimulus) and is a sign that the body is trying to heal itself. Additionally, having too much inflammation (over a long period of time) in the body is responsible for most chronic diseases like cancer, obesity and heart disease. (Mercola)
To paint the picture of inflammation —>
- A cell, tissue or an organ swells or becomes damaged. The immune system then rushes to the sight and tries to assist.
- The cell or tissue becomes less functional and can be painful and cannot serve you…it’s out of service. These cells can even mutate and eventually cause cancer.
- These less functioning cells signal an immune response to which your body sends white blood cells. Therefore, because your body is busy tending to the inflammation, if you are exposed to a cold or flu, you are more likely to catch it because your immune response is busy trying to mend the inflammation. (Myers)
Is All Inflammation Bad?
No, we need some inflammation to support healing processes in the body. However, unnecessary environmental, dietary and lifestyle practices contribute to a heavier load of inflammation that can simply be eliminated, which allows the body to rest, regenerate and to focus on healing more important aspects of the body.
Things such as food intolerances, smoking, drinking, pesticides, gut pathogens, recreational drugs, over-exercising and stress are variables that can be eliminated, freeing up more energy and important vitamins and minerals for the body’s natural healing processes to take place (i.e. skin, hair and nails).
Other types of inflammation like environmental pollution are hard to control and is based on where we choose to live and the air we breathe.
What Problems are Caused by Inflammation?
—> All Modern Diseases
- Autoimmune Disease
- Heart Disease
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
… just to name a few
Top 3 Inflammatory Foods
The fat molecule of dairy is hard for the body to assimilate as it must cross the human semi-permeable membrane in the gut. More simply, dairy is a protein that is hard to digest. The calcium found in milk is also not bioavailable to humans. Furthermore, pasteurization and homogenization processes cook and damage the healthy enzymes in raw milk, which may help us to better digest it. Additionally, conventional dairy contains steroids, hormones and antibiotics, which throw our bodies out of balance creating antibiotic resistance and hormone imbalance.
Primarily in wheat, man hybridized wheat seventy years ago, which got rid of the bran and germ and left modern wheat with less nutrients and fiber. Wheat has been hybridized 100 of times over, making it apt for shelf life and a soft, light texture. Unfortunately, the soft, gooey nature of modern hybridized wheat turns into a glue-like substance in our gut, causing many gut diseases like gluten intolerance, “leaky gut,” Celiac and IBS. Now wheat is treated with glyphosate (a known carcinogen) and is a genetically modified (GMO) seed.
Currently, in the U.S., sugar is really not sugar at all anymore. Sugar has been genetically modified (man-altered) and is derived from sugar beets. On top of this, sugar feeds bad bacteria and contributes to conditions like candida. Overall, GMO foods like sugar, corn, canola, wheat, alfalfa, and soy have become science experiments and can cause inflammatory responses in the body, since they are no longer natural.
Read these two posts 1) Sugar Isn’t Really Sugar Anymore: Why Your Body is Craving Real Food, not Sugar! + A Healthy Sweetener Guide and 2) Do I really need to eat Organic? Can I just wash the pesticides off? for more information.
Top Anti-Inflammatory Foods
So, how do we combat and deter inflammation from occurring in the body? It’s really quite simple. First, eat colorful, nutrient-rich foods that have all the necessary vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and antioxidants to prevent, fight and protect our bodies from inflammation. Secondly, eliminate foods you may be sensitive or intolerant to by keeping a food journal and doing an elimination diet. Lastly, eliminate environmental and lifestyle practices that contribute to unnecessary inflammation and add in healthy lifestyle practices that deter inflammation.
Here are some of the best anti-inflammatory foods:
- Leafy Greens & Veggies
- Fruits (especially wild blue berries)
- Teas (Matcha, Tulsi and Green Tea)
- Omega 3 Foods (Wild Salmon & Sardines)
- Nuts & Seeds
- Mineral Broths
- Healthy Oils: EVOO & Coconut Oil
- Herbs & Spices (Ginger, Turmeric, Garlic, Cilantro, Saffron)
- Key Supplements (Adaptogens, Magnesium)
- Organic Grass-Fed Meats
Ways to Eliminate Inflammation
- Get rid of inflammatory foods in the diet (gluten, dairy, sugar, soy, bad oils) ——> foods that you may be intolerant to after trying an elimination diet for 2 weeks
- Eliminate Alcohol, Smoking and Recreational Drugs
- Manage Stress (yoga, prayer, meditation, journaling, nature)
- Invest in a Water & Shower Filter and Home Air Filter
- Boost your Diet & Lifestyle with Key Supplements
- Juice for Vitamins and Minerals!
- Movement & Exercise
<3 Eat Your Greens Out