If you are a research and health news junkie like I am, then you have probably heard someone talking about how inflammation is the “big bad wolf”.
I want to quickly say… NOT SO FAST!
While systemic inflammation is an absolute nightmare to most people, it is not necessarily “THE” problem. The question you should always ask is, what caused it? What caused the inflammation to occur? Was it diet? Physical injury? Bacteria? Virus? Parasite? Stress (yes, stress)? A Structural Shift?
Maybe, just maybe the inflammation is there in an attempt to HEAL.
In every pathology class, the basic process of healing is introduced.
For simplicity, I will talk about wound healing. When you first get a physical wound, your body goes through 3 phases of healing that wound. Inflammation is the first phase after bleeding is stopped, inflammation begins to bring essential cells, nutrients, enzymes, and growth factors to the area in order for the body to repair itself. Without this process, healing cannot occur. Inflammation is NECESSARY! Remember this when you attempt to bring down inflammation during the healing process. You should always consult a trusted health professional before “bringing down inflammation”.
Obviously, inflammation COULD cause a problem with SEVERE injuries. In such cases, bringing inflammation down may be necessary. This is usually done in a hospital setting under the supervision of surgeon, or trauma specialist.
Okay, now that we know inflammation is NECESSARY for healing, we can focus on the “bad form” of inflammation. “Bad inflammation” occurs when the body has a reason to systemically heal itself. Think of it this way… If you are constantly providing your body with IRRITANTS (i.e. food, inhaled, injected, topically), then it will have the need to cause inflammation in order to heal. Although I will not get into the different irritants here, I will blog on them in the future.
My favorite way to reduce irritants is to eat foods that are high in antioxidants and that provide properties that do not encourage inflammation. These foods have been shown to reduce inflammatory blood markers that tend to be high in MOST chronic disease processes. I am not saying that you won’t get a chronic illness if you eat these foods, BUT I will say that it is a good idea to be proactive rather than reactive when it comes to chronic illness. With that being said, here my top 5 “anti-inflammatory” foods:
- Animal based Omega-3 fatty acids (My favorite is Fish oil). These are also important for brain health!
- Leafy greens (kale, spinach, collard greens, swiss chard).
- Blueberries (high in antioxidants).
- Tea (Matcha tea from Japan, and Tulsi tea are the absolute best).
- Fermented foods (kefir, kimchee, miso, pickles, sauerkraut, olives, and other fermented vegetables, will help recolonize your gut with beneficial bacteria that control inflammation).
I hope you increase these foods in your diet ASAP and that you learned a little about inflammation and how it is bad and NOT so bad at the same time.
Did you enjoy this post? Feel free to share it with people that you love and care about by clicking one of the social media buttons below. As always, we provide COMPLIMENTARY CONSULTATIONS to discuss your individual case and determine if we are a good fit to help you improve your heath.