Inflammation & Health

Inflammation   

Inflammation is not a cause of illness. It is a natural process of the body responding to injury, infection, oxidation, or other problems. However, due to imbalances in the body, genetics and lifestyle issues, inflammation can become chronic in a low-grade state. This situation may be painful, but also may be without obvious symptoms.

Chronic systemic inflammation has been linked to every major degenerative disease in industrialized nations. From cardiovascular disease and cancer, to osteoporosis and arthritis, inflammation has been called "the engine" that drives degenerative disease.


It is important to calm down inflammation so the body can start to repair. Think of a house. If a house is on fire you would not go in and start to clean and remodel the house. You have to put the fire out first. If the body appears to be inflamed, it is best to put the fire out so as to eventually start the rebuilding process.

                                         

 Key concepts

* Inflammation is a systemic process, not just a localized phenomenon.

* Inflammation is related to alterations in GI function, hepatic detoxification, and immune, nervous, and endocrine system function.

* Oxidative stress plays a role in the pathology of excess inflammation.

* Nitric oxide (NO) is an important regulator of cell function. In the intestine, NO regulates blood flow, peristalsis, secretion, and is associated with inflammation and tissue injury.

* Diet and nutrients help modulate the triggers and mediators of inflammation.

* A comprehensive approach to inflammation involves lifestyle, environment, diet, nutraceutical (professional prescribed targeted nutritional support) and stress management.



Adapted from Dr. Ryan Bentley, The Wellness Prescription

Unrecognized Guid format.Best and Worst: Top 10 Most Inflammatory and Anti-Inflammatory Foods!

Inflammation: A localized physical condition in which part of the body becomes reddened, swollen, hot and often painful, especially as a reaction to injury or infection. 

We all know when something is inflamed. But, what about inflammation on the inside of our bodies? Internal inflammation can happen for a host of different reasons: high temperatures when cooking food, eating processed foods, sugar, trans fats, etc. A high level of inflammation within the body can cause many health problems. An easy way to combat this? Eat more anti-inflammatory foods and eliminate the inflammatory ones. 

But, what is an anti-inflammatory food? More importantly, what is an inflammatory food? While you know healthy, whole foods from processed foods, none of us can see the true effect they have on our bodies (sometimes, until it's too late).

Often diseases such as diabetes, PCOS, excess weight gain, coronary heart disease and countless other illnesses can be contributed to the inflammation from various foods. Here is a list of some of the most anti-inflammatory foods. 

TOP 10 ANTI-INFLAMMATORY FOODS

1. Wild Alaskan Salmon: Salmon contains anti-inflammatory omega-3s (wild is better than farmed) and has been known to help numerous ailments. Try and incorporate oily fish into your diet twice weekly. If you don't like fish, try a high quality fish supplement.

2. Kelp: High in fiber, this brown algae extract helps control liver and lung cancer, douses inflammation, and is anti-tumor and anti-oxidative. Kombu, wakame and arame are good sources.  

3. Extra Virgin Olive Oil: The secret to longevity in Mediterranean culture, this oil provides a healthy dose of fats that fights inflammation, can help lower risks of asthma and arthritis, as well as protect the heart and blood vessels. 

4. Cruciferous Vegetables: Broccoli, brussel sprouts, kale and cauliflower are all loaded with antioxidants. Naturally detoxifying, they can help rid the body of possible harmful compounds. 

5. Blueberries: Blueberries not only reduce inflammation, but they can protect the brain from aging and prevent diseases, such as cancer and dementia. Aim for organic berries, as pesticides are hard to wash away due to their size. 

6. Turmeric: This powerful Asian spice contains a natural anti-inflammatory compound, curcumin, which is often found in curry blends. It is said to have the same effect as over-the counter pain relievers (but without their side effects). 

7. Ginger: Ginger contains a host of health benefits. Among them, it helps reduce inflammation and control blood sugar. Ginger tea is a great addition to any diet.

8. Garlic: Though a little more inconsistent (in terms of research), garlic can help reduce inflammation, regulate glucose and help your body fight infection. 

9. Green Tea: Like produce, this tea contains anti-inflammatory flavonoids that may even help reduce the risks of certain cancers. 

10. Sweet Potato: A great source of complex carbs, fiber, beta-carotene, manganese and vitamin B6 and C, these potatoes actually help heal inflammation in the body. 

TOP 10 INFLAMMATORY FOODS

These foods have been linked to obesity, increased risks of numerous diseases and even death in some cases.

1. Sugar: Sugar is everywhere. Try and limit processed foods, desserts and snacks with excess sugar. Opt for fruit instead. 

2. Common Cooking Oils: Safflower, soy, sunflower, corn, and cottonseed. These oils promote inflammation and are made with cheaper ingredients. 

3. Trans Fats: Trans fats increase bad cholesterol, promote inflammation, obesity and resistance to insulin. They are in fried foods, fast foods, commercially baked goods, such as peanut butter and items prepared with partially hydrogenated oil, margarine and vegetable oil.

4. Dairy: While kefir and some yogurts are acceptable, dairy is hard on the body. Milk is a common allergen that can trigger inflammation, stomach problems, skin rashes, hives and even breathing difficulties. 

5. Feedlot-Raised Meat: Animals who are fed with grains like soy and corn contain high inflammation. These animals also gain excess fat and are injected with hormones and antibiotics. Always opt for organic, free-range meats who have been fed natural diets. 

6. Red and Processed Meat: Red meat contains a molecule that humans don't naturally produce called Neu5GC. Once you ingest this compound, your body develops antibodies which may trigger constant inflammatory responses. Reduce red meat consumption and replace with poultry, fish and learn cuts of red meat, once a week at most. 

7. Alcohol: Regular consumption of alcohol causes irritation and inflammation to numerous organs, which can lead to cancer. 

8. Refined Grains: "Refined" products have no fiber and have a high glycemic index. They are everywhere: white rice, white flour, white bread, pasta, pastries... Try and replace with minimally processed grains.

9. Artificial Food Additives: Aspartame and MSG are two common food additives that can trigger inflammation responses. Try and omit completely from the diet.

10. Fill in the Blank: Do you constantly have headaches or feel tired? Sometimes, you may develop an allergy to a food and not even know it. Coffee, certain vegetables, cheese... there might be a trigger you aren't even aware of. Try and take a few foods out to see how you feel and slowly incorporate them back in to see if there might be a hidden culprit lurking in your diet! 

taken from: Clean Convenient Cuisine, By Rea Frey, September 18, 2010

               Chronic inflammation is often felt
                             as pain or fatigue,
                  but is not always noticed.
 


Chronic inflammation increases the risk of many health problems from arthritis to diabetes, cancer and Alzheimer. It is called the silent killer because of the increased risk of strokes and heart attacks.

Inflammation is the body healing itself.    But when the stress of chronic irritants continues, or when the specific nutrients needed to meet that stress is lacking,  inflammation continues.

Repeated poor food choices present a chronic irritant that increases inflammation.
  The worst are foods commonly eaten:

Poor Quality Oils              

Many common foods contain large amounts of heated and modified oils for which Westerners have developed a habitual taste.  These stabilized oils are difficult for cells to use in building and maintaining their dynamic soap bubble-like cell walls.
                                            
Poor quality oils increase inflammation by leaving sticky or foamy residues which the body has to manage until they are eliminated. These oils are in excessive amounts in many common snack and fast foods, and cooking oils. 

Fresh oils are needed to build and maintain cell walls.  Some oils are essential vitamins in that the human body can not make them, and they must come from the diet.  Only small amounts of high quality oils are required for cell membranes to be highly functional.  The more poor quality oils eaten, the worse the problem.

The oils in vegetables are made bioavailable by lightly steaming them - easy for the body to absorb and use  But as they are processed and cooked, they increasingly lose their quality and become oxidized.  Eating oxidized oils makes the problem worse.


Oils in capsules, from flax seed oil to fish oil, can help with the imbalances caused by the common Western diet, but poor quality fish oils 
are often rancid, and worsen the problem.  Better is to address the cause of the problem by eating quality foods, than to use pharmacological doses to relieve symptoms caused by dietary imbalances.
                                                                       
Sugars and Starches

Chronic inflammation comes from repeated eating of high glycemic-index foods.  The result is that insulin spikes and rapidly lowers blood sugar.

Cells work best when they have a steady level of blood-sugar fuel.  The sugar highs from eating rapidly absorbed sugars, processed starches and other simple carbohydrates, the resulting insulin spikes, and the resulting rebound sugar lows are all alarming to the body, and require adaptive responses such as cell walls become insulin-resistant.

The stress of blood sugar imbalances
 affects cortisol and estrogen levels increasing inflammation and leads to diabetes, hormone imbalances and weight problems. 
Tasty Chemical Flavorings, Artificial Sweeteners and Stimulants

The flavoring of barbeque potato chips is one of many synthetic "natural" flavors.  Many flavorings are excitagens.  They wake people up by eliciting a stress response.

Giant snack food manufacturers have invested heavily in finding food additives that are exciting and addictive, to obtain "loyal customers" and "increase market share." Once a person has a favorite food, such a soda, they prefer it and may not like the taste of other sodas. 

These increase inflammation, especially in vulnerable individuals.  It is difficult for the body of many people to process these synthetic chemicals.  They can cause chronic allergic inflammatory symptoms such as headaches, sinusitis, fatigue, achy joints, and can irritate the kidney, bladder, liver or bowels when being eliminated. 

Stimulant drinks, artificial sweeteners, flavoring and coloring chemicals increase the risk of strokes and heart attacks. Too much sodium in the diet does not come from nutrient-rich salt such as sea salt, but from sodium based food additives.

Inflammation often occurs in response to such stressors, the white cells producing oxygen radicals to protect from irritants, and attempt to heal tissues.  Warm, swollen or painful areas may be seen or felt, as in arthritis, bursitis, reflux gastritis, colitis....the list goes on.

Many people habitually eat foods that are chronic irritants
  
                               
                                                   
Persistent Chemical Residues
 

Over 2 billion tons of pollutants are dumped into the environment annually. Many of these are called persistent organic pollutants because once they enter the human body they are held in body fat, until the body has the nutrient resources needed to detoxify and excrete them.

Toxic body burdens increase chronic inflammation. Scientific evidence recently reported in the news associates persistents organic pollutants with autoimmune disorders such as cancer and diabetes. Living near a freeway increases the incidence of autism and heart attacks.

Common diets often also contain irritating chemical residues such as pesticides and pollutants like BPA which are hormone disruptors.

Overweight ?

Having a waist greater than hip measurement is a strong indicator of the cardio-metabolic syndrome, with accompanying risks of inflammatory disorders such as heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, cancer, Alzheimer....the list goes on too.

Losing weight can increase chemical residues being released from the fat into the blood, worsening symptoms.  Detoxification makes losing weight less difficult.

Some people have stronger detoxification enzyme systems than other people. Healthy people eliminated toxic residues well. Nutrients that are necessary for effective detoxification are lacking in many common foods, even those that look good.

Lifestyle Choices to lose weight and decrease inflammation
Many people
are hungry because although they may be overfed with common foods, they are undernourished with the essential nutrients.

Eating quality foods, gentle exercise, and stress reduction techniques such as calm breathing and relaxation breaks reduce indicators of chronic inflammation and weight over time.
                            
     
Quality foods such as kale and brussel sprouts contain antioxidants, fibers and phytonutrients that up-regulate the detoxification system and help the body eliminate stored chemical irritants.  Light steaming is often the best preparation to provide food nutrients.  Quality foods increase detoxification abilities, and make weight loss more likely to be accomplished symptom-free.

Nutrient-dense food concentrates and medical foods and specific to meet individual needs generally make decreasing chronic inflammation and losing weight easier, faster and more efficient.

Consider Alternative Anti-inflammatories

Using h
igh-dose synthetic vitamins for specific reasons can have health benefits, but research show long-term high-dose use of some antioxidants can have the opposite result.

Although they can be helpful in crises, long-term use of NSAID such as ibuprofen, steroids such as prednisone, other anti-inflammatories and pain relievers can have serious adverse health effects.  They can also interfere with the healing aspects of inflammation.

Preventive health care has many advantages over waiting until a major health event requires crisis care.  Reducing chronic inflammation reduces health risk factors and can be very effective at diminishing present or future pain. 


Therapeutic Lifestyle                                        


Individual bodies are different and have differing needs.  We consider our job to help you find therapeutic lifestyle changes that are effective, as well as cost-effective, approaches that will work for you.

We use evaluation methods to help determine your individual needs. 

When considering nutrient supplements, realize that there are numerous sellers of cheap stuff that looks good because they have high numbers on the label, but are low in real health benefits.

We offer access to what we consider to be the best sources of food concentrates and medical foods. We realize that what you want is

          Therapeutic lifestyle changes fit to you !
 

Your can obtain from us a personal therapeutic lifestyle program tailored to fit your individual needs, which may include:

  • Initial and follow-up testing
  • Practitioner consultation
  • One-to-one lifestyle counseling
  • Solutions for staying active
  • Simple eating guidelines
  • Progress tracking
  • Nutritional product recommendations
  •  Program guidebook & educational materials