Fight the Flames of Chronic Inflammation Part 1

Inflammation deserves to be understood. It is the infamous “double agent”; it inextricably linked to both healing and, in many modern cases, disease.

Inflammation is not evil. Normal signs are recognizable in even the smallest of injuries: pain, heat, redness and swelling. All these mean that the immune system is working.  Once the threat is neutralized, chemicals that counter-act inflammation are summoned and the symptoms subside. Inflammation is natural and brief when the body functions correctly. Clearly, if inflammation has become a cause of disease, something has gone terribly wrong.

The problem lies in low availability of chemicals that clear inflammation. If inflammation is not cleared, it will stay put–and wreak havoc on one’s health in the meantime.

A healthful lifestyle counteracts chronic inflammation. To specifically target inflammation and prevent future damage make sure to incorporate:

Vitamin D deficiencies are strongly linked to chronic inflammation, so make sure to get enough Vitamin D from oily fish, and the sun (but don’t spend too long and risk skin cancer!)

Foods with low glycemic indexes:  fruits, unprocessed whole grains, unsaturated fats from oils, and vegetables

EPA and DHA Omega-3 fatty acids (and the plant equivalent) from wild caught salmon, walnuts, and flax seeds.

Citrus peel for the phytochemical limonene– an anti-inflammatory boost that will also help to protect the skin from sun damage. So feel free to soak up the Vitamin D! (But don’t ditch the sunscreen just yet.)

Tumeric–it has curcumin, an anti-inflammatory agent. It also is a wonderful spice that can be easily substituted for black pepper on the dinner table.

Garlic, Broccoli, Blueberries, and Sweet Potatoes–check out our previous post “Avengers” of the Plant World, at Your Service for more about these plant powerhouses!

Water and (unsweetened, organic) Green Tea–green tea has anti-inflammatory compounds and hydration is extremely important. In 101 Ways to Live Well: tips 1-3  we discussed hydration–remember: drink 1/2 your body weight in ounces every single day!

What should  2009 there was an influx of “anti-inflammatory” diets.

Clinical Nutritionist Douglas Andersen, DC, DACBSP, CCN created two lists for his patients that summarized the general teachings of the anti-inflammatory approach to nutrition in 2009:

1) Dietary imbalances that cause inflammation:

Too many calories

Too much saturated fat

Too much sugar

Too many refined carbohydrates

High omega-6 to omega-3 ratio

High sodium to potassium ratio

2) Common sources of imbalances:

Too much fast food,  fried food, and junk food

Too many soft drinks

Too many meals out

Too many servings per meal

Too much processed food

Too much high-fat animal food

Too many desserts

Too much alcohol

Andersen evaluates a “typical” lunch using his guidelines (emphasis added):

“A typical… lunch of a cheeseburger, fries and a soft drink, delivers a meal that is high calorie, high saturated fat, high sodium, high refined carbohydrate and low omega 3 fatty acid. In other words, all five dietary imbalances are present in a very common, very popular meal. If this person has a dinner consisting of three slices of pepperoni pizza, salad (iceberg lettuce, cherry tomato, croutons with blue cheese or Italian dressing) and a beer (not exactly an unusual dinner) the result is a second consecutive five-point pro-inflammatory exposure.” Douglas Andersen, DC, DACBSP, CCN, Dynamic Chiropractic Sept. 23, 2009

With discipline, one can easily change the amount of inflammation in the body–and prevent serious damage in the future–by incorporating the foods that counteract inflammation and avoiding the dietary imbalances that cause inflammation.

It is a good idea to detoxify your system so that you can balance the chemical aspect of your health and start from a “clean slate”–free from inflammation. I recommend the Standard Process 21-Day Purification Program–please email me if you have any questions. I would be happy to correspond with you about this program, with which I have had 15 years of success.

My email is drclaps@clapschiropractic.com. You can also find information about the Purification Program on the Standard Process webpage.

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~ by danclaps on July 10, 2012.

18 Responses to “Fight the Flames of Chronic Inflammation Part 1”

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