If you follow my blog, you know I frequently discuss inflammation. I strive, whenever possible, to share information about the anti-inflammatory benefits of certain supplements and foods. However, advertisers also tout these kinds of benefits, and as you well know, you can’t trust everything you see in an ad.
Let’s quickly review what inflammation is and when you may or may not wish to fight it. Then, we’ll discuss reasons you would want to combat this effect and equip you with a list of foods that give you the edge.
What is Inflammation?
Inflammation is one of your body’s natural processes. It serves a beneficial purpose in response to injury or infection. If you get a cut or a splinter, the swelling around the injury is a good example of your immune system taking action to protect and to heal.
This is an example of acute inflammation. It may be intense, but usually only lasts for a limited time. In the affected area, you may see red coloration, extra warmth, pain, swelling, and even a loss of movement. You will still need to clean and take care of a wound. Recognize that you and your body are working together to heal and protect.
If you allow the process to run its course, your white blood cells and other components will attack invading impurities and disease-causing bacteria. It will also block these contaminants from spreading around your body. The swelling should naturally abate and there is normally little to worry about.
When is it Time to Fight Inflammation?
Chronic inflammation occurs when your body’s immune system does not stop. It continues to fight imaginary battles for a long time. These are the inflammation issues you want to reduce, because it can last a long time and bring on many compounding problems.
Autoimmune diseases often cause chronic inflammation. Your body’s immune system continues fighting against your own body, even though there is no invading threat. Type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, cancer, and even allergies are all examples. Obesity, chronic depression, and Alzheimer’s disease also have a connection to inflammation. Read more about the role that inflammation plays in disease.
If you have symptoms of chronic inflammation, including swelling, pain, soreness or other related chronic problems, you may be able to reduce chronic “bad” inflammation by modifying your diet.
What Not to Eat
Your current diet may be causing you trouble. Before we look into foods that fight inflammation, let’s briefly address foods that are counterproductive to your effort and actually cause inflammation.
- White bread and pastries
- Fried food, including french fries
- Refined sugar and high-fructose corn syrup
- Processed meat and red meat, like hamburgers, hot dogs and sausage
- Margarine and animal-based shortening
Inflammation Fighting Foods
So let’s get on to what you should eat! Many of these recommendations may sound familiar from other suggestions I’ve made about how to eat for optimum health. Here, I’ll break them into categories to make your shopping list easier to create.
- Spinach, kale and collards (leafy green vegetables)
- Red peppers
- Black beans, navy beans, kidney beans, and pinto beans
- Other fatty fish, like tuna
Fats, Including Nuts
- Olive oil
- Chia seeds
- Coconut oil
- Sweet potatoes
- Whole raw oats
- Green tea
The list goes on. Many menu items from other cultures around the world often contain foods that help fight inflammation. When you look at the list of what not to eat, it is pretty easy to see why these diseases are such a problem. We’re surrounded by food choices that may provoke many of these issues.
NEED EXTRA HELP FIGHTING INFLAMMATION? I HAVE FOUND THIS NATURAL REMEDY TO BE THE BEST!
Quite often, inflammation is so bad that in addition to dietary changes, something extra is needed.
For my patients, I have recommended Diamond Nutritionals’ Inflamments for the past several years with much success. Inflamments is a special formulation, specifically designed to fight inflammation. It contains the following natural, professional grade ingredients to fight and reduce inflammation:
This orange-colored spice, used for thousands of years in cooking and medicine, contains curcumin. The pharmacologically active component of turmeric, curcumin limits the action of lipoxygenase and cyclooxygenase impeding enzymes in the inflammatory pathways. While some manufacturers use unstandardized turmeric with fluctuating levels of curcumin, Inflamments Formula includes 850 mg of standardized turmeric, guaranteed to contain 95% curcumin.
Skullkap Root Extract
Skullkap root has been used historically in Chinese medicine for allergies, inflammatory diseases and other conditions. Activities include: antioxidant and inhibition of Prostaglandin E2.
Propolis is high in flavonoids, which by themselves may account for many of the benefits attributed to propolis. Caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) is an important component in propolis, acting with anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and immune-enhancing activities.
Graminex G60 Pollen Extract
Graminex Pollen Extract is a high concentration, diverse array of phytochemicals with broad spectrum inflammatory balancing properties. They have been used successfully to maintain normal levels of inflammation. Specifically, they have been shown to support healthy genito-urinary tract function, and have compared favorably to saw palmetto and Finasteride. Preclinical studies on pollen extract have shown its effect on the smooth muscles of the bladder and urethra, as well on modulation of inflammation, and reducing cell proliferation. Pollen extracts and derivatives have also been found to inhibit the generation of abnormal human cell lines.
Put Extra Effort Into Your Diet
Before turning to powerful medications, which can be expensive or cause side-effects, test a few adjustments to your food choices. If the problem is very serious, and you are already on medication for the diseases we mentioned, putting in some extra effort with your diet can have a huge impact!
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