Inflammation food for thought
Did you know that inflammation has shown to be a major risk factor for some of the most common ailments that prevent everyday well-being and often are life threatening. These ailments are called chronic diseases because they take time to develop. They include heart and blood vessel disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, arthritis, among many others often presenting as aches and pains.
Human survival, however, depends upon inflammation. Inflammation is the body’s immediate response to infection or injury. It results in redness, swelling, heat and pain. This response happens because blood flow increases and blood vessels change to allow infection fighting blood cells and large molecules to move from the blood stream into tissue that needs healing. The cells and molecules kill bacteria and remove damaged tissue through inducing the formation of a reactive form of oxygen. The cellular and molecular response also signals for biochemical changes that cause unwanted cells to destruct.
Inflammation and reactive oxygen are designed to work best under certain conditions. These conditions are in a well-nourished person with a mild to moderate injury or infection over a short period of time. The inflammatory response shows its bad side when it is roused in the body without the need to fight an acute injury or infection. This results in inflammation that usually is prolonged and does not develop typically, and thus is called low-grade or chronic inflammation, found in most chronic conditions.
Chronic inflammation can induce the excessive formation of reactive oxygen that attacks healthy tissue, which is called oxidative stress. Chronic inflammation is mainly triggered by improper nutrition, particularly deficient intakes of nutrients regulating the inflammatory response and excessive calorie intake leading to obesity. Because excessive reactive oxygen damages tissue, chronic inflammation also can be triggered by dietary practices that cause oxidative stress. These practices include, for example, high intakes of simple sugars such as fructose and sucrose and low intakes of anti-oxidant nutrients such as vitamin C and zinc.
The good news is the science has now shown that unwanted inflammation can be controlled through your diet from between 40 to 70 percent. So by changing your eating habits you can take back some control over what appears to be beyond your control. Are you doing all you can to help control your inflammation?
Recent studies have shown that by removing all fried food and saturated fats (the bad fats) from the diet and replacing them with monounsaturated oils (the healthy fats) will help to reduce inflammation dramatically. When this change is included with a diet based on the Mediterranean diet, this is when people are able to achieve large changes to their pain and discomfort levels.
Removing sugar and all processed foods and replacing them with wholegrain and foods in their natural unprocessed state, this is the next step to being able to achieving a reduction in inflammation conditions. This typically means eating nuts, seeds, two servings of fruits per day and lots of fresh vegetables. Reduce your red meat consumption to one or two servings of lean red meat per week.
To keep it simple, here is a list of foods to help with inflammation
- Any fruit, particularly berries of any kind, and avocados
- Any vegetables, especially orange and green
- Any whole grains
- Walnuts, almonds, pistachios and other nuts and seeds
- Fatty fish, olive oil and other healthy plant based cold pressed oils
- Green tea, drinking three cups each day
- Turmeric, ginger, garlic and onions
Science has now proven how herbs can reduce inflammation discomfort and symptoms within a four to six week period, including with dietary changes allowing some people to become pain free.
The above list of foods and information is general in nature. If you would like to find out what foods and supplements that can help to bring your inflammation back under your control then you need to talk to your James.
A full range of herbs and nutritional supplements as well as dietary changes and exercises can improve inflammation symptoms and discomfort.
James Maloney ND