I had a great conversation during my workshop today about the damage of sugars and grains in the body. The inflammatory response that the body shows upon consumption of these "Cereal Killers" (HIGHLY suggest this book, by the way!)is so damaging to the body. For years the AHA has steered us towards a low fat diet based on grains. This was to have been the saving grace for heart disease. So, I ask----Hows that working out?
An exponential increase in not only heart disease but diabetes, obesity, cancer and metabolic syndrome has proven that we have been gravely misled. Today, I would like to share the dangers of staying in chronic inflammation and a few tips on reducing this danger zone.
Growing research shows that inflammation may be the common denominator linking diseases such as: Alzheimer’s, cancer, diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Inflammation is the body’s natural response and defense mechanism that alerts us when something is wrong internally; blood, antibodies and other immune system components are rushed to the wounded area in an attempt to repair the damage. This response can induce pain, swelling, redness and warmth, all of which show the immune system is working properly.
We’ve been groomed to reach for the nearest bottle of Advil or prescription anti-inflammatory drug when our bodies are in pain, but in doing this we suppress our most important bodily function for healing. Instead of masking the symptoms; there are many natural resources available to help you resolve the deeper, core issue. It helps to understand that there are reasons for the different processes that occur in the body, and if we can trace symptoms back to the root, well, then you’re officially off to a good start.
Reducing Inflammation: Good Idea or Great Idea?
When chronic inflammation remains for long periods of time and isn’t properly addressed, it can cause the expression of genes that lead to degenerative conditions such as: arthritis, asthma, cancer, and coronary artery disease. Triggers that can fuel the onset of these inflammatory diseases include: stress, obesity, lack of sleep and food additives. According to new Harvard research, the risk of heart attack increased by 300% in women with high blood vessel inflammation and only 40% in women with high LDL (bad) cholesterol.
Acute inflammation can lead to chronic inflammation, but the latter can also exist by itself. Acute forms that are common include: headaches, stiff joints, back pain and acne. Acute inflammation will become chronic if the immune system is unable to rid the body of the offending foreign agent or if the agent is constantly able to re-enter the body.
While anti inflammatory medications can potentially play a life saving role in people with advanced conditions such as cardiovascular disease, it’s important to realize that prescription medications aren’t without side effects. While the medication protects the body from inflammation, the body’s ability to repair, detoxify and protect itself is also inhibited. And many anti-inflammatory drugs will cause constipation – which comes with its own health concerns.
Natural Ways to Greatly Reduce Inflammation
The good news is that we can considerably reduce inflammation by making small changes to our diet and lifestyle. By using the range of natural remedies available, some people are able to go from pro-inflammatory to anti-inflammatory in a short amount of time.
Sleep: Our bodies have the unobstructed opportunity to heal themselves while sleeping. Sleeping 7-9 hours per night will give your body time to heal from the previous days activities and will go a long way in reversing the inflammatory response. However, if you are not sleeping or waking up during the night, then this healing mechanism is interrupted and will cause the body to breakdown as well as take a toll on mental and emotional health and well-being.
Unhealthy Habits: Excessive alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine all take a heavy toll on the body’s system. Eliminating or curtailing your intake will help tremendously with inflammation. One of the fastest ways to quickly reduce inflammation is to discontinue taking stimulates and quit smoking.
Healthy Diet: Sure, a McDonald’s cheeseburger may taste great to a few of you, and in EXTREME moderation, it probally won’t end in your demise, but if you only understood what these foods are doing to your health. Instead, skip the combo and super charge your intake of pure orgaic meats/proteins (i.e. grass fed beef, free range poultry, wild game, wild caught fish) fruits and veggies; many berries and the deeply pigmented vegetables contain natural anti-inflammatory compounds, bioflavonoids and polyphenols that inhibit free radical production in the body. Other helpful foods are curcumin, pineapple, mango, flax seeds and oil, salmon, ginger, green leafy vegetables, onions, dark organic chocolate, garlic and green tea. Your body must have adequate water in order to work properly. The simplest and maybe best form of water is fresh, clean drinking water. Other fluid sources include freshly juiced fruit and vegetable juices as well as herbal teas. During the day snack on raw nuts and seeds as well as veggies and fruit. Certain foods and additives can really agitate your inflammatory response; the bad guys to avoid are trans-fats, sugars, refined carbohydrates and foods containing gluten.
Supplements: Essential fatty acids (EFA’s) are in very short supply in our modern diets, so completing it with a quality omega 3 EFA is recommended daily. Many Omega 3 supplements contain dangerous levels of mercury so be sure to research and buy a brand that has taken the measure of filtering out heavy metals. This happens to be one of the easiest, safest and most effective ways to subdue inflammation in the body.
Probiotics: The gut contains good and harmful bacteria that are intricately balanced to keep your body functioning properly. Things like stress, poor diet/high consumption of refined sugars and antibiotics can throw a wrench into this perfect harmony and lead to an increase of undesirable bacteria which can initiate the inflammatory response. Keep a healthy supply of good intestinal bacteria by daily adding probiotics to your diet. I recommend using a product called Latero-Flora which contains one of the most enigmatic of the transient “friendly” microorganisms located in the human gastrointestinal tract. Bacillus Laterosporus (B.O.D.™ strain) is a spore bearing bacteria which enables the encased spore to survive the stomach acids. Thus, the full benefit of Bacillus Laterosporus B.O.D.™ will bloom and flourish in the colon and establish colonies that will augment the immune system. Bacillus Laterosporus will attack and help to eliminate pathogenic organisms such as Salmonella, E.Coli and Streptococci. They also create a hostile environment against viruses. Second, they stimulate the immune system to produce more antibodies against bacteria and viruses. Lastly, Bacillus Laterosporus BOD improves digestion by completely breaking down food in the intestines and assists in the elimination of toxins. Long term exposure to incomplete digestion and toxins has been implicated as the cause of many chronic inflammation and disease.
Enzymes: Pancreatic enzymes provide powerful anti-inflammatory effects as well as provide immune support to the body. They function in a like manner to digestive enzymes which are secreted by the functioning of the pancreas. Symptoms of pancreatic insufficiency may include abdominal bloating and discomfort, gas, indigestion, and the passing of undigested food in the stool as well as Candida overgrowth. Being absolutely necessary for protein digestion, the proteases also serve other important functions such as helping to keep the small intestine free from parasites such as bacteria, yeast, protozoa, and intestinal worms. Proteases are also significant in the prevention of tissue damage during inflammation and the development of fibrin clots. They also boost the breakdown of fibrin, a process known as fibrinolysis. Fibrin’s role in the elevation of inflammation is to form a wall all over the area of inflammation. This results in the blockage of blood and lymph vessels which leads to swelling. Fibrin can also bring about the development of blood clots that can become dislodged and produce strokes or heart attacks. Pancreatic enzyme preparations are very useful in the treatment of many intense and chronic inflammatory conditions including sports injuries, joint pains, tendinitis and rheumatoid arthritis. And guess what? Enzymes have anti-aging properties. Because of eating too much cooked foods, many people do not produce enough enzymes after the age of 35. Adding enzymes to your diet will help your digestive system to work effectively and thus slow down the aging process. It is recommend to use a supplement that is enteric coated which means that it can withstand the acidity of the stomach.
Being sensitive to your body’s reaction can help you learn what reduces or increases your body’s inflammatory response and is key to preventing and reversing inflammation.
- Queen Bee Wellness
- Three Goats Farm of Montgomery, Texas
- Melissa is a former beauty queen, personal trainer and certified holistic health coach. Melissa founded Queen Bee Wellness to specialize her coaching practice towards Women's Wellness and Beauty. She helps women focus on finding their own natural beauty from a integrative approach of balancing Mind, Body and Soul. Melissa believes that what we put in our mind is just as important as the nourishing food we put in our bodies and products on our skin. She strives to coach women to balance a healthier body image, approach to wellness and authentic living. With her passion for a clean lifestyle, Queen Bee Wellness therapeutic skin care products were born- to help women enhance their natural glow, without causing harm to their health from chemical laden toxic products. Melissa's philosophy to real beauty is summarized in "Wellness is Beauty". Melissa resides on a 10 acre farm in Montgomery, Texas with her husband and teen aged children. In her spare time she is chief goat wrangler and milker of her "Queen Bee" herd of dairy goats at Three Goats Farm.