Health & Wellness

Inflammation and health.

Inflammation and health.

Inflammation is one of the many complex biological responses our bodies. Our tissues response to toxins, pathogens, damaging stimuli, and free radicals.  Subsequently, inflammation is actually a protective response allowing our bodies to utilize immune cells, and blood vessels. The function of inflammation is to eradicate the cause of cellular injury, affected dying cells and tissues harmed from the source, and initiate the healing and repairing of our body’s cells and tissues.  

What do you think of when inflammation comes to mind? Redness, skin hot to the touch, swelling, even pain? Those are some of the classic symptoms. Inflammation is a pretty umbrella term for your immune system adapting to causative factors (those toxins, pathogens, damaging stimuli, etc). Inflammation is closely regulated by the body under the most normal circumstances because deviations from just the right amount can cause really detrimental effects to the body. 

Sometimes people think infection is synonymous with inflammation. This is not the case. They are different processes within themselves. To clarify, inflammation being the immunity response to a host of different causes. Infection being the relationship between outside microbes and the body’s response. Inflammation therefore should be known to not be solely caused by infection. Plus infection does not solely result in conditions where inflammation is present. 

Now that we have that all cleared up… there are two type of inflammation. Acute and chronic. 

One of the most powerful tools to decrease inflammation isn’t from your local pharmacy, latest fad drink supplement. It is from REAL, WHOLE food. 

The Dept. of Nutrition at Harvard has cited experimental research studies that “have shown components of foods or beverages may have anti inflammatory effect.”

Reducing inflammation can have a huge impact on your daily wellness and even longevity.   Choosing the right foods can be difficult. However, choosing to consistently consume foods that accelerate inflammatory disease will shave years off the quality and quantity of life.   

Avoid or limit these inflammatory foods: 

  • Refined carbohydrates (white breads, pastries, processed pastas) 
  • Fried foods (french fries, and all that in between) 
  • Sodas and other sugary drinks
  • Red meat processed meat products.  ** for the very BEST outcome avoid all animal products **
  • Margarine, shortening, and lard
  • Dairy!! 

These foods have been linked with an increased risk for chronic diseases. You will develop Type 2 Diabetes and Heart disease. The two things people who consume the Standard American Diet have the MOST in common. Inflammation is an important underlying mechanism for the development of these diseases and it has been shown in research studies OVER and OVER again. Still, people consume them. Unhealthy consumption of foods that lead to weight gain also promote obesity, which in itself is a risk factor for inflammation. 

I call this the tri-fecta of inflammation: Obesity, Diabetes, Heart disease. 

Confused?? Most people are.. I was too. Understanding all the health risks, change needed to occur.. but how? This is another facet from which Living Whole was born.. 

In order to help, try consuming more foods that decrease inflammation. As luck would have it, these foods form the base of healthy, balanced, plant based nutrition. 

Foods that decease inflammation: 

  • green leafy veggies: spinach, kale, collard, chard. Go for anything green! 
  • tomatoes
  • olive oil (minimal amounts, excess consumption will promote weight gain)
  • healthy nuts: almonds, walnuts, macadamia 
  • fruits: especially antioxidant rich berries, strawberries, cherries, and oranges

Anti-inflammatory foods are particularly hight in natural antioxidants and polyphenols (the protective compounds in plants).  Fruits and vegetables such as blueberries, apples, and leafy greens have some of the highest concentrations of these compounds. Nuts also lower the risk of cardiac disease and diabetes. Even coffee (in reasonable amounts) have polyphenols that protect against inflammation. 

Causative: there is a reason why you grew up eating your fruits and veggies. We have gotten away from local, simple yet delicious, WHOLE, minimally process eating. Conclusion:step away from the boxes, freezer meals, processed crap you are being marketed and change your life by simply eating your way to health.