Inflammation: The Root of Many Diseases
Inflammation is actually a normal, vital function of our bodies. The problem is when our body responds with too much inflammation at inappropriate times and leads to many diseases.
Inflammation is a response by your body’s immune system to activate blood cells to neutralize a foreign invader such as bacteria, virus, foreign body, etc. The inflammatory process is also used in wound healing such as after a strain of a muscle or sprain of a ligament. White blood cells set off a complex chemical sequence that begins the process of identifying the problem and sending immune fighters to the area to neutralize the threat. Inflammation results in increased blood flow to the affected area making it red, hot and swollen. The mechanical presence of extra fluids in an area can make a joint not move well. It can also put pressure on nerves and causing them to malfunction.
Inflammation Can Be Widespread
It’s easy to see that if a bacteria enters a cut in your hand that the inflammation process will begin to protect you as part of your immune system. It is also understandable to have painful swollen joints in arthritis as joint tissue becomes inflamed. Inflammation can also occur as a key part of coronary artery disease (inflammation of blood vessels and clot formation) fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, concussion, digestive problems, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, cancer, early aging and more.
Inflammation Index or Inflammation Factor (IF)
A healthy inflammatory response is good; it keeps us healthy and free of diseases. However, our body can over do it. Too aggressive an inflammatory response can lead to more damage and illness than the condition that started the process. Each individual has a resting inflammation index or inflammation factor (IF) that dictates how inflamed we will become in circumstances that trigger inflammation. Too high is a problem and can occur due to many factors.
Stress, lack of sleep, poor diet, the wrong types of foods, unresolved physical injuries, past use of antibiotics, excessive alcohol and tobacco use can all cause our resting inflammation index to be set too high. In the presence of a “trigger” our body not only kicks in inflammation, it sets off a huge, exaggerated response.
Foods are crucial to inflammatory status. Certain foods naturally promote more inflammation, while others tend to reduce inflammation. A lack of balance between these foods can lead to a high IF. For people with known inflammatory conditions already like arthritis or an injury, avoidance of high IF (pro-inflammatory) foods is best. For people with no known inflammatory disease or illness then low to moderate intake of high IF foods should be acceptable. In general, eating as many anti-inflammatory foods or supplements daily will lead to better health.
Try this plan for 30-60 days to lower your inflammation index quickly. Some people may find this diet is good for an everyday lifestyle and I think it is truly ideal for good health.
What to eat: Reduces Inflammation:
- Lean meats (Chicken, fish, turkey)
- “Breads” made of almond or coconut flour
- Seeds and nuts
What to avoid: Increases Inflammation
- Red meat
- Breads and Grains
- Nightshade vegetables (potatoes, peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, more)
Supplement this diet with a nutritional product that promotes healing from inflammation. I recommend Apex Energetics’ ClearVite. It is a nutritional supplement drink that gives very good basic nutrients, as well as improves gut function and fights inflammation. Contact us for ClearVite info.
A nice site I found that is all about inflammation and how to manage it with diet has an IF checker for common foods is located here: http://inflammationfactor.com/look-up-if-ratings/ They also have an app for iOS and Android and other resources. In general when using their checker, stay with foods that have positive numbers (fight inflammation) and avoid foods with negative numbers (promotes inflammation)
Who Can Benefit from a Low Inflammation Diet?
- Anyone who wants to live healthier
- Anyone who wants to lower their risk of heart disease, cancer, premature aging, etc
- Anyone who has sensitivities or allergies to foods
- Anyone who more than occasionally gets indigestion, heartburn, bloating, gas, irritable stomach, etc
- Anyone who has had a head injury/concussion recently or has lingering affects from one
- Anyone who has suffered a traumatic injury: car accident, sports injury
- Anyone with arthritis; osteo or rheumatoid
- Anyone with memory issues or difficulty thinking (brain fog)
- Anyone with chronic illness such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, EBV, diabetes
- Anyone with poor energy levels or just feel crummy all the time
Need help? Have concerns or questions about inflammation? Call me at (714) 938-0575 and we can set a time to discuss your concerns and see what type of individualized plan can help you get your health back.