Did you know that inflammation is the common link between such debilitating conditions as Alzheimers, heart disease, cancer, and arthritis?
“Everything is related to inflammation!” says integrative nutritionist Barbara Mendez, R.Ph., M.S. “It can cause skin conditions, allergies, headaches, very painful menstrual periods, chronic diseases…everything.”
Inflammation is your body’s response to stress – whether from your diet, lifestyle or environment. Think of what happens when you catch a cold. You may experience inflammation in the form of a fever as your body heats up to eradicate the effects of the invading virus.
This kind of inflammation is good, but the modern epidemic of chronic, low-grade inflammation destroys the balance in your body. When your body’s systems experience a constant inflammatory response, you become more susceptible to aging and disease.
“The inflammatory response should be self-limited,” explains functional medicine physician Susan Blum, MD. “All of those inflammatory molecules, immune cells, and fluid can really disrupt the functioning of wherever the inflammation is located.” That’s why chronic inflammation’s at the root of so many diseases, from Alzheimer’s to cancer.
What causes inflammation?
Most importantly, the standard American diet causes inflammation. Most of us suffer from chronic inflammation and disease because the American diet is pro-inflammatory. It is rich in pro-inflammatory compounds, while lacking antioxidants and other nutrients that help to prevent and control inflammation.
How does our diet cause inflammation?
One way is our excessive consumption of refined carbohydrates. Sugar and white flour are deadly poisons that have an inflammatory effect on the body. Unaware of this, the average American consumes more than 160 pounds of sugar and 200 pounds of white flour per year. Sugar and white flour increase blood sugar, and even a modest increase in blood sugar generates pro-inflammatory chemicals. Most people eat these poisons daily in the form of bread, pasta, breakfast cereal, cookies, cakes, soft drinks, candy, etc.
Another major culprit is chronic stress, which produces hormones that result in chronic inflammation. Stress produces inflammatory chemicals that can make your skin break out or your intestines go into revolt. And tense people are prone to pimple-picking, which just exacerbates the inflammatory response. Likewise, insomnia causes inflammation. People who are sleep deprived have higher levels of inflammatory chemicals.
So what can you do to prevent inflammation and disease?
- Drink plenty of clean, fluoride-free water because pure, mineral-rich water is the most basic, yet one of the most powerful, anti-inflammatory nutrients for your body. By drinking naturally high-pH water from mineral sources you will not only alkalize your body, which will prevent disease from progressing, but you will also cleanse your blood and detox body.
- Eat plenty of fermented foods – yogurt, fermented vegetables, Kombucha tea, kefir, sauerkraut, and apple cider vinegar are all excellent examples of probiotic-rich superfoods that will help to populate your gut with beneficial bacteria, ensuring proper function for your digestive tract. The proliferation of harmful pathogens in the body can also be prevented with fermented foods and beverages.
- Cut out the carbs and omega-6 oils, and increase the intake of healthy, saturated fats. Although this is unlikely to be approved by the average American doctor, saturated fats like those found in butter and fat from grass-fed animals, as well as in coconut and palm oils, are much more beneficial for your health, unlike carbohydrates and oils rich in omega-6 fatty acids, which stimulate disease-causing inflammation. The best thing to do is avoid the low-fat diet and start eating more healthy fats combined with mineral and enzyme-rich whole foods.
- Get plenty of natural sunlight exposure because vitamin D hormone plays an essential role in regulating immune function, as well as preventing the onset of chronic illness. A powerful, natural anti-inflammatory, vitamin D is easy to get through natural sunlight exposure or supplementation, and it is one of the most efficient methods to prevent inflammation.
Reference: NaturalNews, BodyEcology