Inflammation: A Silent But Deadly Threat

Posted on by Margo Gladding

Inflammation is the body’s natural defense mechanism against infection, irritation, toxins, and other foreign substances. It is a critical process that keeps one healthy. However, sometimes the immune system can become disrupted and can shift into a chronic state of inflammation, without you even knowing it. Inflammation is believed to be a major cause of degenerative diseases, such as heart disease, dementia, diabetes, and cancer. The most common causes of inflammation are diet (sugar, animal fat, processed foods, high-glycemic intake). Fat cells, especially around the mid section, are major players in promoting inflammation. They produce hormones as well as inflammatory messengers. Other causes of inflammation include food sensitivities/allergies, lack of exercise, environmental allergens, infections, stress, and toxin load. Are you inflamed? • At your next doctor’s appointment, talk to your physician about testing your C-reactive protein (CRP) levels. It is a major marker of inflammation. What foods cause inflammation? • Foods that you are sensitive to (often dairy, wheat, gluten, eggs, corn, soy) – consider keeping a diet diary to track symptoms or try an elimination diet. You can also determine possible food sensitivities via a blood test (www.ALCAT.com). • Sugar • Refined carbohydrates (baked goods made with white flour) • Processed foods • “Bad fat” - Trans fats and hydrogenated oils What foods fight inflammation? • A great study shows that eating a “polymeal” of 4 ounces of wild fish, 5 ounces of red wine, 3.5 ounces of dark chocolate, 2.5 ounces of almonds, 400 grams of fruits and vegetables (about 2 2/3 apples), and 2 clove of garlic a day could reduce heart disease by 75% and increase life expectancy by seven years. Click here for a link to the study. Other ways to reduce inflammation: • Increase your exercise • Reduce your stress • Limit toxin exposure Supplements that can support healthy inflammatory response: • TurmericGingerGreen teaGrapeseed extractQuercetinProbioticsEnzymesOmega-3 fatty acidsAntioxidant nutrients