Today, more than one-third American adults are overweight or obese. The WHO has estimated that worldwide 347 million people have diabetes. Every day, 2500 Americans die from cardiovascular disease such as coronary heart disease, heart attacks and stroke. Chronic diseases are linked to malnutrition and deficiencies and they are a rising epidemic. As a Health Coach with a focus on bio-individual nutrition, I wanted to share some info today on the topic inflammation. There are two types inflammation: 1) Acute and 2) Chronic.
presents for a short period time after injury or micro-bacterial invasion with immediate symptoms. Inflammation is an important protective response of our body that involves immune cells, blood vessels, and molecular mediators. The main purpose inflammation is to eliminate the initial cause cell injury, clear tissues damaged from the original insult and to promote tissue repair. Or in short – to heal.
when acute inflammation is not resolved, it transforms into Cellular, or Chronic, Inflammation, a painless process developing in the body over decades, but eventually resulting in Chronic Diseases such as Thyroid disease (Hypothyroidism, Hyperthyroidism, Hashimoto), Diabetes Type 2, Heart Disease, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson, Cancer, ADD, Autism, Chronic Pain, Fertility problems, Osteoporosis, Gout, Asthma, Multiple Sclerosis, Migraines, Skin diseases, Allergies, Depression, Anxiety and many more. An added benefit an anti-inflammatory nutritional life style is balanced weight management.
Obesity and being overweight are caused by inflammation, and at the same time are a source for inflammation. Contrary to some belief, being overweight is not a cosmetic problem – it poses serious hormonal and metabolic imbalances resulting in chronic health problems.
What causes chronic Inflammation
1) The food we eat
Sugar is by far the biggest contributor to inflammation, avoid sugar, white flours (which are immediately converted into sugar during digestion) and processed foods and starches if you want to manage inflammation. A high intake meat also raises inflammation markers, so limit it to maybe 1 – 2 times a week for high quality.
Exercise can cause acute inflammation, which is normal. What is concerning is the potential for chronic inflammation as a result overtraining in those who exercise vigorously. This combination puts you not only at higher risk for injury and illness, but also for chronic inflammation. When you start a workout regimen, discuss it with your doctor and learn how to train healthy within your natural limits.
3) Being overweight or obese
Carrying to much fat, especially around the belly, starts a vicious cycle, in fact, it almost acts almost like its very own organ since it’s capable having such a large impact on the body. It is considered toxic because it is capable provoking massive inflammation which interferes with the body’s hormonal functions. It produces excessive estrogen, which can cause cancer, and fat-generated inflammatory cytokines are the main contributors to heart disease and other inflammatory disorders. Since excess body fat is linked to hormonal changes, including those serotonin and other brain neurotransmitters, excess body fat negatively impacts mood and it is a precursor to dementia and heart disease.
4) Food Allergies & Sensitivities
Food can cause food allergies, which always present with immediate symptoms. Food sensitivities are more problematic to single out, because they might not cause immediate symptoms, but causing harm and raising inflammation markers for a long time without immediate symptoms, just manifesting years or even decades later. Two major food groups causing food sensitivities are gluten and dairy products. Often, people suffer from symptoms they would never connect to a food sensitivity.
I often hear people say: “But I can’t be sensitive to this food. I am not having any problems and have eaten it all my life.” And then it turns out their eczema, arthritis, depression and many other problems are resolved after eliminating a specific food.
Eight steps to decrease inflammation:
- Use complex whole-grain products such as quinoa or brown rice pasta instead refined, white flour products. If possible use gluten free, as gluten can cause chronic inflammation in some people. Try to eliminate white flour foods like bagels, cookies, cakes etc. and try to bake with alternatives (buckwheat or Chickpea flours are a great substitute for wheat products because they are gluten free). White flours raise your blood sugar level, inflammation markers and are stored as fat when over-eaten.
- Incorporate as many as fresh whole fruits and vegetables as possible and use a variety colors per day. Every food color has specific mineral and vitamin content, the more colors, the better. Especially make ginger, avocado, onions, flax seeds, mushrooms and garlic part your daily routines, they are powerful inflammation fighters.
- Choose high quality protein foods such as skinless poultry, fish, eggs, legumes and Greek yogurt. Aim for organic and high quality, especially when consuming animal protein. Limit high-fat red meat intake such as prime rib, bacon, sage, salami or hot dogs or avoid at all.
- Choose Omega-3 rich foods, such as wild salmon, tuna, walnuts grass-fed beef, chia seeds flax seeds and their oil fats. Avoid Soy, Corn, Safflower and Canola oils at all times, they are high in Omega 6, which promotes inflammation
- Avoid trans fats which are almost always part prepackaged baked goods processed foods, margarines, flavored coffee creams, somes shelf-stable peanut butter, and chocolate- or yogurt-coated snacks. There is no safe level trans fats.
- Include Turmeric in your diet. The curcumin in Turmeric has anti-cancer properties and is a powerful anti-inflammatory spice. You can add it to smoothies or recipes, it has also been shown promising results in treating depression and anxiety.
- Drink and green and ginger tea and filtered water.
- Avoid processed foods. As a general rule, when food is packaged it is most likely processed and packed with food additives, chemicals, preservatives and endocrine disruptors which can cause inflammatory response in the body.
Please call me with any questions you might have 770.778.3535. I would love to hear from you!