Is Your Problem Inflammation?
If you’ve taken the steps to become healthy by exercising and changing your diet but still don’t feel well, there’s a good chance that inflammation is the cause.
In a healthy body, inflammation serves a useful purpose by initiating the healing process. The cardinal signs of acute inflammation are redness, heat, pain and loss of function.
The inflammatory response is usually self-limiting, whether it involves repairing an ankle strain or activating your immune system to fight a cold.
In those with dietary imbalances, inflammation takes longer to resolve. In addition, because inflammation disrupts normal metabolic function and disturbs cellular growth, not only do minor injuries and infections take longer to resolve, but serious diseases, such as cancer and atherosclerosis, are more likely to develop.
Inflammation wears many “masks” in your body. It can present as:
- Joint aching and stiffness
- Arthritis and tendinitis
- Nausea and cramping
- Allergies and asthma
- Hormonal imbalance
Inflammation also prevents your body from building muscle, which can affect weight loss.
Since fat cells are made up of inflammatory chemicals, excessive fat can promote inflammation and result in additional weight gain and more inflammation. It’s a viscous cycle.
We have found the following anti-inflammatory tips helpful with patients (put it on your fridge):
Geoff and Steph’s Top 20 Guide to Reducing Inflammation and Improving Health
- Buy unprocessed foods – vegetables, fruits, nuts and pasture raised/hormone-free/antibiotic-free animal products
- Avoid vegetable oils – canola, corn, soy, cottonseed, sunflower, safflower, grape seed, rice bran
- Use healthy oils – olive, coconut, avocado, macadamia nut, walnut, sesame, flax, hemp
- Avoid sugar – even “healthy sugars” (agave, cane sugar, etc…see prior blogs). Use local honey when needed as a sweetener.
- Treat the following carbs like sugar – pasta, bread, rice, potatoes, noodles, corn, breakfast cereals, energy bars, crackers.
- Avoid artificial sweeteners, colorings, flavors and MSG
- Eat naturally fermented foods like sauerkraut , kimchee, yogurt, kombucha and pickles
- Avoid conventional deli meats that are highly processed and contain nitrates
- Avoid sweetened beverages (even fruit juice)
- Eat full-fat foods
- Eat free-range and organic eggs
- Avoid tofu unless it’s fermented. Soy can affect estrogen and thyroid function.
- Buy local and seasonal
- Beware of foods making health claims such as: low-fat, low-carb, low-sodium, high-fiber, anti-oxidants, phytonutrients
- Don’t overcook your food
- Have a big, colorful salad everyday
- Eat wild not farmed
- Focus on nutrients not calories
- Exercise intensely and include weights
- Get adequate sleep