Welcome back to the 2nd part of our 7 Secrets to a New Body Series. At first you might be turned off by the title of this article. You might be wondering “what is inflammation all about anyway? And how does this apply to me and my body?” Well, I promise you, you will want to read on! There is shocking information that I am sure you never knew about the damage that inflammation is causing in your body and below are my solutions on how to turn this around and end it once and for all!
Secret #2 Controlling Inflammation More than half of Americans are inflamed, and most of them don’t even know it! Inflammation is part of the body’s natural defense system against infection, irritation, toxins, and other foreign molecules. Most of us are familiar with inflammation. The classic signs are pain, swelling, redness, and heat such as a bad sore throat. Inflammation in this case is a good thing, as it fights foreign invaders of all types. But sometimes the natural balance of the immune system, which produces just enough inflammation to keep infections, allergens, toxins, and other stresses under control, is disrupted.
The immune system shifts into a chronic state of alarm or inflammation, spreading through out the body. Inflammation can then go on to cause a host of other problems. For example, in the heart causes heart disease, in the brain causes dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, in the whole body causes cancer, in the eyes causes blindness, and, as research is now discovering, in our fat cells causes obesity. Getting to the root of the inflammation source and limiting it can be key to solving many diseases in the body along with reducing the obesity epidemic. Anything that causes inflammation can make you gain weight, and any weight you gain can cause more inflammation. The most common cause of systemic inflammation is our modern diet (sugar, animal fat, and processed food, or the high-glycemic-load diet) and lack of exercise.Other things contribute but to a lesser extent, such as food (particularly gluten) and environmental allergens, infections, stress, and toxins. If you are inflamed for any reason, it is very important to find the cause and reduce the inflammation, not just for the purpose of weight loss but because it is a large cause of all the major degenerative diseases of modern civilization: heart disease, dementia, diabetes, and cancer.
Eliminate the Factors That Cause Inflammation: First off, we have to find the factors that increase inflammation and get rid of them. You can take all the anti-inflammatory drugs you want (or eat all the fish oil or chocolate nibs you want), but if you don’t get rid of the cause you will simply be covering up the symptoms. What you eat and how much you exercise are the most important factors governing inflammation. Stress will also make you inflamed. Regular exercise is one of the best-known anti-inflammatories on the planet. Multivitamins are also a great natural inflammation-fighting tool. Identify the sources of inflammation such as sugars, saturated and trans fats; lack of exercise; gluten; food allergies; mold in damp basements or moldy bathrooms, a hidden infection such as a virus, parasite, or a medication you are taking. Sometimes this requires detective work, testing, and working with an experienced doctor, but the results for your weight and your health will be worth the effort because if you eliminate them you can stop the chronic inflammation. Eat Foods That Reduce Inflammation and Avoid Foods That Cause It: Your diet is the most important factor in helping you reduce inflammation. In addition to typical foods that increase inflammation, such as sugar, processed foods, and trans fats, certain food allergies, sensitivities, and gluten sensitivity can be common sources of problems with weight and metabolism. Some of the best anti inflammatory foods are foods whose antioxidant powers derive from their high omega 3 (fish) or antioxidant (plant foods and salmon) content. These foods naturally decrease inflammation.
Fish – wild salmon (not farm raised – it only has ½ the omega 3 of wild salmon), mackerel, sardines, herring, sable
Vegetables – onions, garlic, chives, greens, tomatoes, bell peppers, broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts, lettuces
Beans, Nuts, Seeds (all types) – raw nuts. If you have a handful of nuts every week it will drastically reduce your risk of heart disease – they are high in calories so make sure to count them as part of your caloric intake.
Fruits – berries especially raspberries and blueberries
Spices – ginger turmeric, cinnamon, clove
Herbs - Using anti-inflammatory herbs can have remarkable results. Try adding these herbs to your regimen for inflammation reduction either in your diet or as supplements: Capsaicin (from cayenne pepper), Green tea, Ginger, Quercitin (in fruit and vegetable rinds), Turmeric (the yellow spice found in curry), Cocoa, Rosemary, Thyme, Oregano, Parsley, Cilantro, Terragon, Fennel, Mint, Dill
Beverages – green tea, white tea, black tea, red wine (sparingly), cocoa, pomegranate juice
Dark chocolate – containing at least 70% cocoa solids – enjoy sparingly
Taking supplements like probiotics and enzymes such as bromelain is an additional way to decrease inflammation. Talk to your Doctor and see if it makes sense to try adding them to a standard supplement regimen of multivitamins and minerals and fish oil, which by themselves are powerful anti-inflammatories. Avoid Foods That Cause Inflammation: Specific foods may be a particular problem for some people.
Food allergens (the most common are wheat, dairy, eggs, corn, soy, and peanuts). Elimination and reintroduction of these foods, is the best way to find out if you react to these foods, though testing can be a useful guide as well.
Gluten. It affects 1 percent or more of the population (millions of people) and is an often undiagnosed cause of inflammation.Testing can confirm if this is a problem. Gluten containing grains includes wheat, rye, barley, spelt,kamut, and oats.
It is important to test for inflammation and it’s causes. If you eat right and do the right things you don’t need anti-inflammatory drugs. If you think you might have a food allergy you should go to your Doctor and get tested – it might be keeping you inflamed more than you think. Remember, if inflammation gets out of control these are some of the things that can happen: Rheumatoid arthritis, Osteoarthritis, Fibromyalgia, IBS, Asthma, Lupus, Crohn’s disease and Alzheimer’s. Begin by taking the steps to take care of your well-being today and it will reward you greatly later on down the road.