Stop Inflammation and Start Feeling Better Today
Although the word “inflammation” is tossed around quite a bit, do we know really know why it is there or how to naturally get rid of it? This article will discuss the healthy benefits of acute inflammation, the cause of chronic inflammation, its dangers, and how to stop it at its source to start feeling better today.
Acute inflammation is a normal and beneficial process that occurs when your body’s white blood cells and chemicals protect you from foreign invaders like bacteria and viruses. During an injury or infection, inflammation is necessary to help protect and heal your body. You’ve certainly experienced this type of beneficial acute inflammation if you’ve ever had a cut or infection. The symptoms typically include:
- Loss of movement and function
When inflammation becomes chronic, however, there are often no symptoms until a loss of function occurs.
Chronic inflammation is an example of the silent but deadly “adaptation phase” or second phase of the disease process. As our bodies adapt to ongoing stress and low level poisoning, the body often no longer gives us warning symptoms. This can go on for decades, until finally the body can no longer adapt and a major disease unexplainably manifests.
Chronic inflammation results from a malfunctioning, over-reactive immune system, or due to an underlying problem that your body is attempting to fight off. Many of these “problems” are actually due to an unhealthy lifestyle. Certain dietary components can trigger or prevent health effects in your body, and this is very true with inflammation.
Use these 10 strategies to stop inflammation at its source and start feeling better today!
Dehydration is one of the most common sources of chronic inflammation and the easiest to combat. Without adequate hydration, the body can no longer afford to produce new cells, make digestive secretions or detoxify. Muscles begin to tighten. Cells back up with waste products. Study after study has shown that by merely increasing water intake, a wide variety of symptoms often disappear. A good general recommendation for water intake is half your body weight in ounces (100 ounces a day for a 200 pound person).
-Decrease Sugar (especially soda)
Too much sugar causes the hormonal/endocrine system to race, gradually exhausting the pancreas, adrenals and other endocrine glands. It clogs the lymphatics and digestive tract, greatly decreasing the immune system. Sugar keeps the liver and detoxification system of the body too busy to do its other important jobs. In our culture, decreasing sugar can be a daunting challenge, but your body will thank you with health, longevity, and vitality.
-Increase Fruits and Vegetables
Ideally the largest percentage of our diet, fruits and vegetables contain a wide variety of anti-inflammatory and cancer fighting compounds. Their high vitamin and mineral content and superior types of fiber make them the best choice for the health minded.
-Increase Healthy Fats
Free-range, grass-fed meats and animal products and wild caught fish are naturally high in anti-inflammatory Omega 3 fats (and provide a very bio-available source of protein for cell repair and reproduction). Avocados, coconut oil, raw nuts and seeds are other healthy ways to get these essential life giving fats into your diet.
-Avoid Factory Farmed Dairy and Animal Products
Most conventionally raised meats and animal products are corn-fed, making them very low in healthy Omega 3 fats and increasing inflammatory fats. Hormone and antibiotic injections come with a host of ill effects, such as liver toxicity. Pasteurization and homogenization of dairy also destroy the enzymes and good bacteria that allow for their proper digestion.
-Stop Artificial Sweeteners
The neurotoxic effects and potential links to neurologic diseases of these dangerous chemicals should make every diet-soda drinker think twice. Due to their intense sweetness, studies show that drinking diet-soda often causes the consumption of more calories as drinkers try and satisfy the abnormally induced hunger artificial sweeteners create.
Too much caffeine (coffee, tea, chocolate) and nightshade vegetables (chiefly tomatoes, peppers, white potatoes and eggplant) can cause a wide variety of harmful and often painful symptoms. Moderation is the key to not overwhelming your liver’s ability to break down these compounds.
Due to the way wheat cultivation has changed over the last hundred years, many people suffer with low level gluten intolerance without knowing it. Reducing wheat and other refined grains and replacing them with a wide variety of vegetables will reduce inflammation and is a great health strategy.
Hopefully, you have gotten some new ideas and new strategies to reduce inflammation. Research these topics for yourself. Search anti-inflammatory diets, anti-inflammatory foods, and strategies to reduce inflammation. Putting this information into practice will get you feeling better fast!
See more at The Health Institute of Western Colorado
This article originally appeared in The Grand Junction Free Press in August, 2013.