Inflammation is the body's natural process to aid in protecting and healing our injuries, internally and externally. This is, of course, a helpful process. However, chronic inflammation is a harmful, ongoing process that can wreak havoc on various systems of the body from cardiovascular to the nervous system. Let me briefly explain:
BASIC INFAMMATION TYPES:
ACUTE = Good (i.e. healing a cut). This is a built-in, protective, yet short term inflammation reaction.
CHRONIC = Bad (i.e. inflammation in the joints/arthritis or Inflammation in the brain/dementia). This is a long term process, damaging to health.
Hs-C Reactive Protein (Inflammation in your body increases the level of CRP in your blood, possibly indicating an infection or other conditions): 1.00 mg/L or less * Pomegranates/juice helps lover CRP.
Homocysteine (High homocysteine level can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease): 3.00- 10.00 umol/L * B vitamins help levels.
Lp-PLA2 (Lipoproteins are fats + proteins that carry the fats in your bloodstream. If you have Lp-PLA2 in your blood, you may have fatty deposits in your arteries that are at risk of rupturing and causing heart disease or stroke): 200 ng/mL or less * Eat cleaner, less unhealthy fats/fast food.
Uric Acid (Determines how much uric acid is present in your blood. Too much uric acid causes inflammation, such as Gout)= 2.4 - 7 mg/dl * Black/Tart Cherries or the juice help lower Uric Acid.
INFLAMMATION SIDE EFFECTS:
Arthritis (heat/swelling/stiffness in joints, overall body pain)
Muscle (including the HEART!) and nerve pain/pressure
Cardiovascular issues (high blood pressure, lipid spikes, angina)
Dementia and possibly Alzheimers
Skin inflammatory conditions, such as Eczema
WHAT CAUSES INFLAMMATION IN THE BODY?
Wear & Tear. Repetitive movements, often work-related.
Stress, anxiety: Stress hormones, cortisol, adrenaline
Acidic Food: Coffee, soda, sugar, aspartame, alcohol, red meat
Tobacco: Cigarettes, pipe, cigars, chew, snuff
High Cholesterol/Deep-fried foods: Clams, fries, hot wings, onion rings, chicken fingers, doughboys, donuts, pizza, red meat, pork (ham, bacon, sausage), butter, hot dogs, dairy, and sweets. * Trans Fats/Hydrogenated oils are included in the unhealthy fat category. These manufactured trans fats are detrimental to our health, especially heart health. Read your food labels!
High Sodium and Nitrate laden foods: deli meats, ham, bacon, sausage, bologna, chips, pickled foods, & many canned goods.
Dehydration: Drink 6+ cups a day. Always have H20 with you!
Not enough sleep: 6-8 hours a night is healthy. This is the body’s REPAIR TIME. Establish Routine: Tea + book by 8pm/bed @ 9pm.
WHAT HELPS TO CALM INFLAMMATION?
1. First, the basics: Drink plenty of water throughout the day to flush out any lactic acid which causes soreness in the body. Eat as clean, wholesome, and balanced as possible. And, get your rest. If at all possible, try for 8 hours of rest each night for body recovery.
2. Topically- Massage & Topical Essential Oils: If you have any of these essential oils on hand, they can help greatly with relieving inflammation: Lavender, Frankincense, Peppermint, Wintergreen, Arnica, Rosemary, Marjoram, Blue Tansy, Chamomile, Turmeric, & St. John’s Wort. You can also find creams with these types of ingredients in them at Walgreens. Asking a pharmacist on site is one of the quickest ways to find what you’re looking for.
3. Exercise & Gentle Stretching: Walking and stretching may assist in releasing inflammation. Moving releases synovial joint fluid which lubricates.
4. Plant-Based, Mediterranean Style Diet.
Eat Alkaline: Water (6+ cups daily), Fruits, Veggies, Greens (kelp, spirulina, chlorella, dulse, kale, spinach, arugula, watercress), Healthy Fats (nuts, seeds, avocados, coconut, flax, olive oil), Fish (salmon, cod, sardines, anchovies), Whole Grains (oats, wild rice, quinoa, spelt, organic grain flours such as barley), legumes, & lentils.
5. Supplements: White Willow Bark (natural aspirin), Garlic, Bromelain (pineapple enzyme), Omega 3’s, Ginger, Turmeric/Pair with Pepper for best absorption, Caspian, Glucosamine Chondroitin, Magnesium (500 mg daily in the eve), Boswellin (aka “Indian Frankincense”), Hyaluronic Acid (joints). You can find many of these at Drugstores in the supplement or Natural Food section.*Ask your doctor before starting a new supplement. DO NOT TAKE SUPPLEMENTS WITH BLOOD THINNERS! ASK PHARMACIST FIRST!
6. Relax: Sleep enough, don’t worry, have a plan for things such as finances & family responsibilities. Try a Bath: Take a warm bath in Epsom Salts. The magnesium in Epsom Salts is a natural muscle relaxant. If you cannot do baths, ice your back/shoulder for about 30 minutes. Then, use a heating pad. This helps to create circulation and lessen tension/pain.
NUTRITION~ FOODS TO EAT:
Greens: spinach, arugula, kale, watercress, romaine lettuce, scallions
Fish: Alaskan salmon, tuna, sardines, cod, mackerel
Healthy fats: avocados/guacamole, flaxseed (ground), coconut oil, olives/olive oil, walnuts, almond/nut butter, pumpkin seeds, Brazil nuts
Superfoods: beets, broccoli, ginger, turmeric, green & white teas
Beans and legumes
Fruit: pineapple, pomegranates, dark grapes, blueberries, cherries
Organic, NON-GMO Soy (soy milk, tofu, miso)
Eggs (free-range, organic)
Apple cider vinegar
Probiotics: Imbalanced gut bacteria = Inflammation (Sources: Goat cheese, Greek yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kombucha). You can also take a supplement. I suggest starting with a 25 billion count, and working your way up to 50 billion CFUs.
WHAT IS THE #1 INFLAMMATORY CAUSING FOOD? Post your thoughts!
What steps will you take today to 'tame the flame' in your body?
Disclaimer: This information is for your educational purposes only. Please consult with your health care provider before changing or beginning any new health regimen.