Chronic inflammation has been linked to many debilitating and painful aging type diseases. Allergies, cancer, diabetes, digestive disorders, heart disease, asthma, obesity and many other problems have all been linked to the inflammation process. Most people have experienced some type of inflammation. Stiff achy joints, swelling, irritable bowel, even redness around a splinter are all signs of inflammation. Many current dietary and health experts blame the current American diet as the main contributor or cause. Processed food, fast food, sugar and bad oils are just a few of the suspected agents of inflammation.
Inflammation is a natural process. It is a part of the way the body heals. It can bring extra blood to a region and jump- start certain enzymes and building blocks of healing. This is one of the reasons I suggest to patients to avoid as much as possible the anti-inflammatory medicines and there are many. There are over the counter anti-inflammatories as well as prescription medicines for this purpose. These medications block the natural inflammation process and can actually interfere with healing. Too often though, the natural inflammation process will get out of balance and this leads to a constant state of ongoing inflammation not directly related to the healing process. This is called “chronic inflammation.”
If diet is thought to be a root cause of chronic inflammation, lets take a look at some of the foods that cause inflammation and some that prevent it. Read below for partial lists of each. What we eat can make a huge difference in our health.
Foods that can cause excess inflammation:
- Bad oils: Trans fats, saturated fats, hydrogenated fats and oils
- White foods like white flour, white potatoes (including sugar)
- Fried food
- Corn oil, soy oil
- Red meat, especially corn fed fatty red meat
- Body fat: this is a big one, no pun intended. Fat in the body can set off chronic inflammation. Inflammation itself can lead to “leptin deregulation” which in turn can lead to a loss of the body’s ability to regulate its fat levels, leading to more inflammation.
Some doctors (Perricone) have described sugar as the worst possible cause of inflammation, aging and weight gain.
Anti Inflammatory Foods Include:
- Raw nuts and seeds
- Dark green veggies
- Healthy oils such as extra virgin olive oil, high quality fish oil supplements and oils rich in omega 3 fatty acids
- Grass fed meat
- Wild salmon
- Cruciferous vegetables such as brocolli
- tumeric is a natural anti-inflammatory
- ginger is anti-inflammatory and may reduce blood sugar
- green tea
As you can see. An anti-inflammatory diet is also consistent with a healthy diet. Eating healthy fresh food can help prevent inflammation, diabetes and degenerative illness. Enjoy your fresh food today and look forward to a healthier future. Feel free to contact our office for more information.