Understand Inflammation & 5 Foods to FIGHT IT
Inflammation is the catalyst of all disease.
Most of us are walking around inflamed and foggy brained, and we consider this NORMAL. We think it's NORMAL to have a 3 pm slump, to have imbalanced hormones, headaches, and bloat... but this isn't OPTIMAL.
You deserve to feel optimally.
Here's how you may see inflammation show up in your own body.
Bloating, swelling, or feeling full of gas after you've eaten
Diarrhea, Constipation and strong odored gas
Hormonal imbalance (intense PMS, mood swings, painful periods)
Headaches, brain fog, migraines
Depression anxiety, mood disorders
There are two main types to focus on:
This is when you eat something and immediately feel terrible, have gas, bloating, etc. This is our body's immune response, just like when you get a cut and your arm turns red and begins to clot.
Low grade chronic inflammation is the most common contributor to the symptoms listed before, as well as most chronic diseases. Basically, it means that your body stays in a constant state of battle, trying to protect itself from invader, irritant, or stress.
This type of inflammation can be dangerous as it sometimes even go unnoticed, especially if it is a response to a food that we eat often.
Let's get to the root: what's causing inflammation?
When we eat food that our body sees as "foreign," our immune system has to work in overdrive (READ:inflammation)
Let's simplify this: the more processed a food is, the less recognizable it is to your system. YOUR ENTIRE SYSTEM. Hippocrates said it best when he said, "all disease starts in your gut." Here's why:
90% of your body's serotonin (your happy chemical) is found in your GUT.
70% of your immune system is found in your GUT.
The state of your gut can be made visible on your largest organ, your SKIN.
Therefore, if the food you are eating is dictating how your gut functions, then the food you are eating dictates how your BODY functions.
Too much of the following foods can start this inflammatory response:
highly processed packaged foods, alcohol, caffeine, high sugar snacks and baked goods, hydrogenated oils (found in fried and fast foods), processed meats and cheeses, foods with pesticides and chemicals, and also the personalized food sensitivities that some struggle with like gluten, dairy, soy, peanuts, lectins, nightshades, etc..
NOTICE I SAID "TOO MUCH OF"
You can have a cup of coffee or wine or a baked good a day and likely be in great health. Because your body is more than capable of digesting anything on that list above. The problem is when those foods become your majority. Or when there is not many nutrients to help your body digest these foods.
Good news, there are TONS of foods that are responsible for FIGHTING inflammation.
5 nutrients that will help decrease inflammation (and where to find them!)
1. THE ALPHA AND THE OMEGA 3'S
While Omega 6&9 fatty acids can create inflammation, Omega 3's are responsible for fighting:
reduce inflammation in your joints and body
control blood sugar spikes, keeping your fuller and mentally present for longer
decrease cravings and make weight loss easier
increase brain health & cognition
support healthy hormones and fertility
decrease symptoms of PMS and period cramps
a natural way to help deal with acne
can help prevent chronic disease
support against anxiety and depression, even postpartum depression
Omega 3 fatty acids to add to your plate:
salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring, sardines, avocado, eggs (found in the yolk!), high quality oils (extra virgin olive, avocado, flaxseed, coconut oils), coconut (shreds, coconut butter, coconut oil, MCT oil), nuts (walnuts, almonds, cashews, pistachios, macadamia, etc), cacao (dark chocolate- the higher % the better!), seeds (chia, flax, hemp seeds)
2. FIBER is great for fighting inflammation because it helps with detoxification, found in fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, whole grains, etc..
3. SPICES, SEASONINGS, AND HERBS filled with antioxidants (some herbs have 200x more antioxidants than found in foods!), in charge of fighting oxidative stress and the overproduction of free radicals in the body, (anti aging, anti inflammatory)
4. FERMENTED FOODS- Filled with pre and probiotics that feed the good bacteria in your gut.
Found in: Kimchi, kombucha, kefir, miso, sauerkraut
5. VITAMIN D- Vitamin D is not a vitamin, it's a steroid hormone that regulates hundreds of genes that affect inflammation and immunity. You can find this most efficiently through the great outdoors and sunlight, how amazing is it that we actually feel and function better just by being outside?
We can find vitamin in food as well! Egg yolks (yes, stop having only eggwhites!) and mushrooms, are filled with this magical hormone.
There's WAY more to inflammation than just food.
This was just a starter pack.
Other root causes can be:
Poor lifestyle choices such as smoking, drinking, lack of sleep, and sedentary lifestyle.
High stress: coming from our jobs, relationships, OVER-EXERCISE, or internal distress. (An inflamed system is a STRESSED system. It means our body is doing too much fighting and too little resting.)
Poor water quality; water that is high in lead or chlorine for example.
Toxins in the products that we put on our bodies or use in our daily life (environmental toxins present in cleaning supplies, weed-killers, and pesticides and fungicides).
Are you struggling with inflammation? Want to learn more? I teach all about this in my KYPO Holistic Health Program, where we LEARN and personalize your nutrition and your health without rules and restriction.