Health Freedom Resources
Dietary Source of Inflammation & Top Ways to Reduce It
What is Inflammation?
Inflammation is an immune response the body makes to come to the aid of any injury to its tissues. When there is an acute injury, first there is swelling to prevent movement of any toxins to the rest of the body along with redness, pain and heat. The heat brings increased circulation, with white blood cells rushing to protect the area and remove debris and/or invading pathogens, and promote the healing process.
However, chronic inflammation caused by repeated injury, including from poor dietary and lifestyle choices, results in chronic stress without any chance to stop the immune response. Then drugs of any type may seem like a solution. However, there are other possible answers.
An emerging key factor in chronic inflammation is diet. We know there are many foods that produce an inflammatory response, as well as a variety of other foods that can reduce inflammation. Knowing how to avoid the inflammatory foods, as well as how to combine the anti-inflammatory foods into your daily diet can make life a lot easier, more comfortable and healthier.
For example, even though it tends to be inflammatory, you can still have a burger, as long as it is organically raised grass fed, which means it provides a larger amount of Omega 3 fats, making it less inflammatory. Also substitute for other inflammatory items that go with the burger: bread is high in inflammation-causing properties, so you should forgo the bun altogether. You could get your burger wrapped in lettuce instead, a variation that some restaurants are offering these days. Instead of fries which are cooked in highly heated oils creating transfats, choose a salad or a seasonal vegetable medley. The lettuce and vegetables in the salad or on the burger can help combat the slightly inflammatory properties of even organic, grass-fed beef. If the restaurant offers alternatives such as sweet potatoes instead of french fries, that can help promote a better balance, too.
But there are many types of foods that are highly inflammatory without any redeeming nutritional content! These are especially processed foods, wheat flour bread products, sugar and altered, oxidized or rancid fats (trans fats Ė fats exposed to high heat) and vegetable oils with excessive Omega-6s.
Get the Anti-Inflammatory Food Guide Chart to have an easy reference guide showing where foods fall on the scale.
Foods High in Anti-Inflammatory Properties:
Black seeds (Nigella Sativa), barley grass, cacao, spirulina, wheat grass, flax seed, aloe vera (the gel), cayenne, garlic, ginger, horseradish, licorice, raspberry leaf, rosehip, dandelion, onion, spinach
Foods With Moderate Anti-inflammatory Properties:
Moderately Inflammatory Foods:
Banana, corn, plantain, barley seeds, brown rice, buckwheat, bulghur, egg noodles, millet, polenta, rye, soba noodle, teff, wheat bran, whole wheat, wild rice
Highly Inflammatory Foods:
Pork, processed meats, A1 homogenized milk, condensed sweetened milk, cream cheese, conventionally-raised (factory-farmed) chicken and eggs, processed vegetable oils (margarine, corn, sunflower, soybean, peanut, safflower), transfats (in most packaged baked goods,high-heat fried foods, fast foods), processed cereals, corn, cous cous, refined flour, glutinous white rice, jasmine rice, tapioca, wheat flour
Another key to reducing inflammation is healthy gut bacteria.
Your intestines have a large proportion of immune cells. Having healthy gut bacteria means maintaining a balance between healthy bacteria that protects the body from inflammation and toxins and the unhealthy bacteria that promotes digestive discomfort and food allergies.
Processed foods, sugar, antibiotics and other medications, alcohol, environmental toxins, overgrowth of bad bacteria, parasites, low stomach acid, lack of necessary digestive enzymes and chronic stress can all work to undermine healthy gut bacteria and integrity of the intestinal wall. This can lead to issues such as inflammation and thus inflammation-related diseases and leaky gut.
The best way to maintain a healthy balance of beneficial gut bacteria is through proper diet and lifestyle habits.
According to ND, Kathleen Cole and information on the back of the chart, these includes:
1. Consume an alkaline diet which is also an anti-inflammatory diet. A great ratio of alkaline to acid in your diet is 80/20. Having another easy reference chart such as the Alkaline/Acid Chart can further make it super easy to choose the right foods.
Buy both the Anti-Inflammatory Food Guide and 80/20 Alkaline/Acid charts together and save 5% ....
3. Reduce your exposure to heavy metals, pesticides, parasites and environmental toxins as much as possible. One example of how to reduce heavy metal intake is to eat only fish that is rated low in mercury content and donít eat fish as often. Avoid tobacco smoke, alcohol and prescription medications. ...
Cleansing to detox your body of its accumulation can improve your microflora balance and immune response, helping beneficial bacteria to flourish and reducing pathogenic overgrowth. Choose from our Cleanse Kits and Programs
4. Avoid tap water, buy a faucet mount filter at minimum and whole house filter if possible. Chlorine and other chemicals added to the public water supply kills off good gut bacteria. Avoid most bottled waters as well since, unless it is from a verified and trusted source, most of these are barely better than tap water at best and sometimes actually are just bottled tap water!
5. Eat a variety of fermented foods such as miso, saukraut, kimchi, kefir, yogurt, etc. and fiber-rich foods as people around the world did with traditional diets. These provide natural probiotics and their natural food to keep healthy gut bacteria replenished and flourishing.
6. Donít shy away from bitter foods. The typical American diet is extremely low in bitter tasting foods and many of us have learned to see it as a bad, undesirable flavor. However, bitter flavor is integral to healthy digestion. It helps ensure healthy levels of hydrochloric acid in the stomach and initiates the digestion process. Some examples of bitter herbs include dandelion and ginger....
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