Having chronic as opposed to acute inflammation is a sign that you need to make changes to your lifestyle. We can begin by eliminating sugar and moderating alcohol. Also, we can start eating a whole-foods, preferably home-cooked, diet with seasonal and locally grown foods and remove all processed foods from the diet.
We can begin a practice of meditation, yoga, t’ai chi, or qigong to control stress. Supplements can provide your body the necessary nutrients if you cannot get them in your diet. Some supplements that can help relieve inflammation include:
* A vitamin D supplement may be necessary if you do not get a lot of natural sunlight.
* Ginger offers anti-inflammatory benefits while also acting as a pain reliever and stomach soother, added as tea or a condiment on a daily basis.
* Bromelain is an enzyme that is found in pineapples that eases inflammation. You can take it as a supplement or eat fresh pineapple.
* Boswellia is an herb that contains active anti-inflammatory ingredients, referred to as boswellic acids, that have been proven to significantly reduce inflammation.
* Resveratrol is an antioxidant found in certain grapes, vegetables, and cocoa and is known to promote the look of youth. It keeps your body from forming sphingosine kinase and phospholipase D, which are known to trigger inflammation.
* Fish or krill oil is also a powerful anti-inflammatory containing omega-3 fatty acids and DHA.
* Turmeric, or curcumin, can often produce dramatic results.
Alongside taking supplements, some changes to your lifestyle like getting more exercise, quitting smoking, and finding healthier ways to handle high stress levels, other than alcohol, will help to keep inflammation in check.
Here are some ways chronic inflammation can be a silent killer:
* It can harm your gut.
* It can harm your joints.
* It’s linked to heart disease.
* It’s linked to a higher risk of cancer.
* It has recently been implicated in Alzheimer’s disease.
* It can damage your gums.
* It can make weight loss more difficult.
* It can damage your bones.
* It can affect your skin.
People are living longer and healthier lives all over the world, unencumbered by pain and many of the afflictions we have come to associate with aging. These people don’t have to take pain medications, cholesterol medication, high blood pressure medication, or use walkers or canes, hearing aids, or even glasses, but they can still move around as easily as someone half their age. Also, they are basically unencumbered with the ailments we have come to associate with aging; you may wonder what makes them so healthy.
Anti-inflammatory foods include:
Fermented foods and beverages like yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, lebne, and kefir
Saturated fat-finding foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids rather than omega-6 fatty acids can drastically reduce inflammation and inflammatory symptoms in the body—try eating more fish, nuts, and seeds
Turkey: the chemical tryptophan, known for making us sleepy after a turkey dinner, also helps boost serotonin in your system, combating depression; selenium is another antidepressant found in turkey and it also has anti-inflammatory qualities
Dark chocolate: the chemicals in dark chocolate can help reduce pro-inflammatory C-reactive protein—enjoy a small cube of 70 percent dark chocolate daily to help reduce inflammation
Green tea: this beverage can help ease your stress while doubling as an anti-inflammatory
Legumes like beans and chickpeas: chickpeas contain tryptophan, folate, and vitamin B6, all of which have great anti-inflammatory properties
A diet that includes many anti-inflammatory foods will help the existing inflammation to diminish and prevent new occurrences of inflammation. Along with foods that prevent inflammation, there is a list of foods that you should avoid in order to keep inflammation at bay.
Sugars: excessive use of sugars can result not only in inflammation, but also diseases such as diabetes, obesity, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, and tooth decay. There are natural sugar alternatives such as stevia that will still give you the benefit of having the sweet taste without the inflammation!
Cooking oils: common cooking oils used in kitchens today are high in omega-6 fatty acids rather than omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-6 acids result in instances of inflammation and discomfort, while omega-3 acids are recommended to ease inflammation. Instead of using unhealthy vegetable oils for cooking, try using butter or olive oil or coconut oil. They are high in omega-3s!
Red and processed meats: these meats include a molecule that initiates an immune response in our bodies that may cause inflammation. Since our bodies cannot process this molecule, it is best to avoid it. Instead, try eating more fish and poultry. Also, if choosing to eat red meat, make sure that it is from grass-fed animals and is the leanest cut available.
Alcohol: high levels of alcohol consumption contribute to inflammation and possibly cancer. Try limiting your alcohol consumption to one drink, or four ounces a day, and fill the void with green tea or water.
Refined grains: these grains are processed until they lack all the nutrients and fiber that we look for in grains. By eating too many refined grains, we are filling ourselves with empty calories. Instead of consuming these, try eating foods made from whole grains. Take a closer look at labels when buying bread and cereals to make sure that your grains are truly whole grains!
Food with artificial additives and preservatives: these are common alternatives to sweeteners that we use today. Artificial additives and preservatives are only found in packaged foods. In order to avoid these, try making sure that you eat fresh food or that the food you do eat is sweetened naturally.
All of these foods contain agents that result in inflammation. While it may be impossible to avoid eating some of these completely, at least try to drastically reduce your consumption of these particular foods. Try to substitute these foods with better choices that will decrease inflammation.
If you quell the fire of inflammation, not only will you prevent chronic disease that brings on more stress and medication, but you also allow your body to focus its energy on repairing itself. Using methods to alleviate and prevent inflammation can help you begin to live a healthier and more fulfilling life.
By eating an anti-inflammatory diet, you will see many benefits to your health including:
Increased energy, improved mood: having a better mindset will help you to cope with stresses more productively and view your lifestyle and diet in a more positive light
Better health: better elimination, improved sleep, and so forth will result in a dissipation of some chronic health problems
Improved skin (begins to glow): when your body rids itself of the toxins that cause inflammation, your skin will improve and glow
Healthier hair: eating a healthier diet will give your hair the nutrients it needs in order to promote a lustrous and full head of healthy hair
Improved blood pressure and cholesterol levels: giving your body what it needs will improve the function of your circulatory system and the cholesterol in your blood
Health is the new wealth. A whole-foods diet has some wonderful benefits to your health and well-being. Not only will you look and feel better but you will create the appropriate terrain from which your body can begin the process of repair and regeneration.
Chronic inflammation is often undetectable until it causes larger problems. Knowing that inflammation has a direct link to disease makes it worth focusing on changing our lives to prevent it. Not only can inflammation affect your inner health, it can also affect your physical appearance. To start making changes to your life you can:
* Eliminate or cut back on foods known to cause inflammation
* Get at least thirty minutes of exercise on a daily basis
* Substitute foods that will promote your body’s healing processes
* Try substituting alcoholic beverages with water or green tea
* Find alternatives to stress relief rather than eating, or alcohol
* Improve your mind-set and change your common misconceptions of diet and disease
* Get enough good quality sleep
* Take anti-inflammatory supplements
Since inflammation is a huge factor in disease, finding ways to treat and prevent it can help boost your quality of life. I encourage you to try to find alternatives to the foods that you currently eat and make changes to your activity levels. Pay attention to what food you are buying and how you prepare it. All of these factors can make a huge difference in your feelings of health and well-being.
One might naturally wonder why I didn’t write a book on inflammation alone, as it seems to be at the root of every disease. Well it’s because inflammation is just the tip of the iceberg, just as pain is a symptom of something more. When the body engages in an inflammatory response it cannot mobilize its ability to heal and regenerate.
©2017 by Elisa Lottor.
Reprinted with permission of the publisher,
Healing Arts Press. www.InnerTraditions.com
The Miracle of Regenerative Medicine: How to Naturally Reverse the Aging Process
by Elisa Lottor, Ph.D., HMD.
Harnessing the advances of the new paradigm of medicine--which focuses on the regenerative abilities of the body rather than symptom management--Elisa Lottor, Ph.D., HMD, explains how each of us can turn on the body’s self-healing abilities, prevent illness before it starts, and reverse the aging process to live longer, healthier, and happier lives.
Elisa Lottor, Ph.D., HMD, is an expert in nutrition, homeopathy, and energy medicine with a special interest in regenerative medicine and women’s health. An international lecturer and consultant, she has had a homeopathy and nutrition practice for more than 30 years. She is also the author of Female and Forgetful. Visit her on Facebook