Scientists and Doctors worldwide have come to the same conclusion (finally!): Most (maybe all) chronic diseases, including aging, have the same trigger: Inflammation!
Inflammation is a naturally occurring process in our bodies, has it’s own time and place, and certainly serves a purpose when necessary. We need inflammation as part of the healing process, it let’s us know to give that ankle a break when we sprain it, or not to bend from our back when we have managed to pull something. Inflammation kicks in to allow healing proteins and blood to rush to the area and clean up the damage, then it’s supposed to move out. The problem is when we have chronic low grade inflammation in our bodies…because it usually goes unnoticed for YEARS without showing you it’s ugly face. When it does show up in our lives- we all too often do not know that is part of the root cause of the problems we are experiencing.
The SHORT list of diseases associated with Chronic Inflammation:
Back/Neck pain, prostate issues, female hormone imbalance and early menopause, bloating, lack of energy + focus, inability to maintain a healthy weight, diabetes, heart disease, inflammatory bowel diseases (IBS, crohns, Ulcerative Colitis), allergies, cancers, chronic pain, ADD/ADHD, migraines, thyroid issues, and macular degeneration. The CDC has come forth stating that of the 10 leading causes of mortality in the US, chronic low grade inflammation contributes to the pathogenesis of at least 7 of these! Poor dieting habits, sugars, processed foods, over eating, leaky gut, food additives, lack of sleep and too much stress (who doesn’t have that?!) all contribute to our inflammatory levels.
Here’s the good news….wait for it…what you eat on an every day basis can actually bring down all this inflammation!! These top 10 foods/supplements can not only help to bring down harmful excess inflammation that is just causing damage waiting to show up as disease down the road, but they can also help repair damage already done! It’s never too late to start so don’t worry if you got the memo late, just get working on it TODAY! Don’t wait for good health to find you, make it your own choice!
Top 10 Anti-Inflammatory Choices You can Make:
1: Vegetables and Fruits that have high antioxidant and phytonutrient levels
The research is clear- it takes 10 servings/day of high antioxidant veggies a day to get rid of inflammation. A good rule of thumb I tell patients- shoot to make veggies at least 75% of every meal. Variety is key, and this is where you should be eating a rainbow of foods. The more color the better- we’re talking the darkest berries, the greenest of greens, reddest reds ect. Each food/color has it’s own special nutrient profile, so the only way to get a good mix of great healing benefits is to eat variety and keep your body guessing!
Salmon is so great because of all that fat! Believe it or not, this fish is packed with good anti-inflammatory Omega 3’s. Other great fish choices include anchovies, sardines, and mackerel.
Please don’t cook with it though! Olive oil is meant for salad dressings or little to no heating. When we use this oil to cook at high temps we are not only damaging the great omega 3’s, but we’re oxidizing the fats making it MORE inflammatory!
4: Plant Enzymes
Enzymes are not only going to cut down inflammation, but they’re going to help heal your digestive system as well! Look for a mixture of plant enzymes with Bromelain, Papain, Protease and Peptidase in them. For digestive help take with a meal, to cut down inflammation and stimulate healing take between meals.
5: Raw Nuts
I don’t know if we’ve gotten the point across about good fatty acids yet…so here’s another option! Raw nuts still have their oil and enzyme content in take offering more benefit. Walnuts, almonds, macadamia nuts are all great snack options (in the right serving size) but also pecans, flax, chia and hemp seeds offer great benefits as well!
6: Herbs & Spices
That’s right, nobody likes bland boring food. You don’t have to eat raw lettuce all day to beat inflammation people!! Ginger, garlic, basil,cinnamon, oregano and Tumeric all pack a powerful punch when it comes to inflammation. (Look up the recipe for Golden Milk and the benefits if you don’t believe me)
7: Dark Chocolate
Yep, I said it. When you get a piece of organic, very dark (we’re talking 72% or higher) chocolate you’re actually doing yourself a world of good! Your good gut bacteria will actually break that little treat down into heart healthy anti-inflammatory compounds…YAY!
8: More SLeep
7-8 hours of good quality sleep per night reduces inflammation, and changing that by 1-2 hours can increase inflammation. Prescription sleeping pills, or OTC ones for that matter, don’t induce quality of sleep just the quantity and despite taking sleep aids too many suffer from poor sleeping habits. Your sleep can be re-trained,and when you improve your sleep you improve your stress levels and are able to repair your body with ease.
9: Whole body exercise
Routine makes a difference here. Hitting the gym too hard and too little can cause an increase in inflammation (we’ve all been there btw) but a regular routine actually promotes less inflammation in the long run…plus your sleep just might improve when you start exerting more of yourself.
These supplemental nutrients have a lot of research baking their anti-inflammatory effects and should work their way into your every day routine for total health: Antioxidants, Vitamin D (get your levels check to determine your daily dose/make sure you’re not deficient in this one!) CoQ10/Ubiquinol- this protects your mitochondria, aka the power house, of all your cells and essential for heart health!
Health & Happiness,