Inflammation is your body’s reaction to an injury, defined as something that causes your body to have an inflammatory reaction. An injury can range from a seasonal cold or allergies to a sprained ankle or a broken bone. This then stimulates the lymphatic and immune system, sending a swarm of white blood cells to try its best to defend us and to keep us from getting sick or to protect and/or heal the injury. Inflammation causes pain, pain doesn’t cause inflammation.
Inflammation happens when your body rushes fluid to the site of the injury, causing swelling. In some cases, this is to isolate and dilute infection while in others it is to pad a joint to prevent further injury (as with an ankle sprain).
Chronic inflammation directly affects your immune system and can open the door for a health crisis and this is because inflammation creates the “ideal environment” for the immune system to begin to malfunction! Once chronic inflammation has started it begins a damaging rippling effect most people are unaware of until they feel the aches and pains from it!
Most people don’t know that chronic stress and lack of sleep are major causes of chronic inflammation and this affects the immune system.
However, not all inflammation is harmful. It is long term and chronic inflammation that is harmful, and that is what we want to protect ourselves from. Our body’s natural defense system often creates an inflammatory response in order to shield the body from further harm. If you injure your knee it will become inflamed, swollen, to prevent the joint from further trauma and to act as a “splint” of sorts. This is all part of the natural healing process. When we “catch” a seasonal cold or flu, our body fights to heal itself. The symptoms we experience are forms of inflammation.
The cause of chronic inflammation
Chronic inflammation affects many, many people and has numerous causes:
Use of certain medications
Hormone imbalances and insulin resistance
Emotional and physical stress
Poor diet choices
Food sensitivities and allergies
Exposure to chemicals and toxins
Excessive alcohol consumption
Leaky gut syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), certain cancers, arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, eczema, and asthma all start with inflammation. To achieve optimal health and wellness, we must address the issue of inflammation.
How do we deal with inflammation?
Avoiding foods that trigger chronic inflammation is one of the most mindful things you can do to protect your body. Common food sensitivities and allergies can go undiagnosed for an entire lifetime and can be the root cause of many diseases and illnesses. Trigger foods, if you know what these are for you, should be removed during a two week (or even longer for up to 3 months) to reduce triggering inflammation.
The most common culprits are:
Dairy, wheat, gluten, soy, corn, tree nuts/peanuts, eggs, caffeine, and processed foods.
If other food allergies run in your family history, you may want to avoid those during this time period as well. You will want to reintroduce food items one at a time, every 3 days to test their effect on your body. The elimination-reintroduction of trigger foods will help you pinpoint which ones you should keep out of your diet.
Fighting inflammation is not just about avoiding certain foods, it is also about settling the inflammatory reactions that are already occurring!
There are many ways to achieve this, but most importantly you must commit to healing your gut and stick to a program long enough for it to work for you. Many people want to see the result right away, but healing takes time. So don’t be discouraged and stay focused on the goal of reducing inflammation, the results are worth it!
Did you know adopting an eating pattern that cycles between periods of fasting and eating (intermittent fasting) also reduces inflammation in the body? Eating for 8 hours of your day and fasting the other 16 is the most common. It is the simplest, most sustainable, and easiest to stick to.
Another helpful solution is adding turmeric which is super easy in the form of Super Curcuminoids as it contains the most potent natural extract of turmeric and It can inhibit inflammatory factors in the body. Inflamagone is a powerful anti-inflammatory botanical formula that is also a great addition to your supplement regimen. For more in-depth information on fighting inflammation with turmeric, read Dr. Nuzum’s article.
Detoxing regularly is key to overall good health and especially helpful with inflammation and gut issues.
The importance of detoxing along with a clean diet with a variety of fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, and healthy fats is crucial to help build your body’s immune system. Supplementing your meals with digestive enzymes and a probiotic, Nuzum’s Digest and Gut health has great benefits. They will help your body properly digest the food that you eat, feed your gut healthy bacteria, and grow a colony of beneficial flora and fauna in your digestive tract. As overall inflammation is reduced, you may see symptoms disappear as you begin to heal your body from illness and disease.
The best diet for those suffering from chronic inflammation
Nature provides us with an abundance of healing foods that we can include in our diet to help reduce inflammation within our bodies. We strongly urge you to move away from processed foods that are full of preservatives and stripped of essential nutrients.
Implementing a diet high in omega-3 rich (one of the most potent anti-inflammatory substances) foods; organic fresh vegetables and fruits, wild meats, and sprouted seeds, is crucial. These foods contain high amounts of antioxidants, minerals, and essential fatty acids that are attributed to attacking inflammation.
Making small adjustments over time and eliminating processed foods from your kitchen and replacing them with clean, whole foods is the best way to slowly change your diet. It will feel less shocking and hopefully help you adopt a new lifestyle. A permanent diet change versus a short term one.
Some of the most beneficial anti-inflammatory foods that you should be adding to your diet are dark leafy greens, celery, broccoli, pineapple, bone broth, coconut oil, ground flax seeds, ginger, bok choy, beets, blueberries, chia seeds, walnuts, and salmon. Dark leafy green foods alkalize our bodies helping to reset our body’s pH. They also assist the body in its modulation of pH, enhancing its ability to adjust. Celery has a high potassium content, a mineral that is helpful in flushing toxins out of our bodies. Broccoli is also high in potassium, as well as magnesium, and contains key vitamins, flavonoids, and carotenoids. Pineapple, a citrus fruit that is packed full of bromelain, a digestive enzyme that is associated with positively regulating your immune response to unwanted inflammation. Bone broth is a magical, easy to absorb elixir that is rich in many different minerals including calcium, phosphorus, silicon, sulfur, and others.
There are high levels of antioxidants in blueberries and in coconut oil. Coconut oil has lipid fat that contributes to fighting not only inflammation and arthritis but also osteoporosis. Ginger is an immune modulator that reduces inflammation caused by overactive immune responses in all of its forms, whether fresh, dried, or in supplement form. It has shown through various testing methods, that it contains over 70 antioxidant phenolic substances. Beets help to repair any cell damage that may have been caused due to inflammation.
Chia seeds reverse the effects of inflammation, lower blood pressure, regulate cholesterol and benefit your overall heart health. Walnuts are high in protein and omega-3s. Last but not least, salmon is one of the richest omega-3 foods available. Wild-caught salmon is higher in nutrients and is preferred over farmed fish. Omega-3 fatty acids are known to inhibit some 6,000 pro-inflammatory enzymes in the human body. Omega-3 fatty acids help lower the risk of heart disease, cancer, and arthritis.
Inflammation is something we all deal with from time to time and is part of our body’s natural defense system. However, long term chronic inflammation is not healthy and something we should work to avoid. If left untreated, it can cause permanent damage and lead to long term illness leaving us vulnerable to a multitude of diseases. By eliminating troublesome trigger foods, eating clean organic foods, detoxing, and adding probiotics to your diet you will start to see reduced inflammation and result in a healthier you. If you would like help please reach out to us and we will gladly assist you in getting to your optimal health naturally.