Inflammation is a protective attempt by the body to remove injurious stimuli and to initiate the healing process. It is part of the complex biological response of vascular tissues to harmful stimuli, such as pathogens, damaged cells, or irritants.
Biologically, inflammation itself was intended to be protective, but because the causes of inflammation are so insidious in modern day living, the flames of inflammation are constantly stoked, contributing to heart disease, diabetes, autoimmune conditions, depression, and gastrointestinal disorders just to name a few.
What Contributes to
a “Pro-Inflammatory” Lifestyle?
High-sugar foods: Your immune system is suppressed for 2-4 hours after ingesting high sugar foods.
High-fat foods: High fat foods are pro-inflammatory- namely foods with high levels of arachidonic acid and saturated fats such as dairy, animal fat, and refined oils
Food Allergens: Allergens may form immune complexes and lead to inflammation
Foods that promote bacterial overgrowth of the small bowel: Simple sugars and complex carbs that are quickly digested such as refined white flour and white potatoes promote bacterial overgrowth of the small bowel which promote inflammation
Insufficiency of fiber: Fiber binds to toxins from the GI tract and acts like a broom to sweep them out. We need 30-50 grams of soluble and insoluble fiber every day.
Insufficient phytonutrients: Phytonutrients found in fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds have powerful anti-inflammatory properties that decrease the burden of inflammation.
Insufficient exercise: Exercise helps decrease, adipose tissue (fat) which is pro-inflammatory. Exercising also reduces inflammation by building lean muscle-mass which improves insulin sensitivity
Vitamin D deficiency: Vitamin D is responsible for regulating over 150 genes in the body. Low levels contribute to inflammation, autoimmunity, and expedites progression of osteoarthritis
Fatty acid imbalances: Insufficiencies of Omega-3 and -6 fats, along with excesses of saturated fat and trans-fats lead to inflammation.
Magnesium deficiency: Known as the “relaxation mineral,” magnesium is resposible for over 300 enzyme reactions and is found in all of your tissues — but mainly in your bones, muscles, and brain. Deficiency is seen in 20-40% of most “industrialized” populations.
Emotional stress and toxic relationships: Emotional stress and toxic relationships promote inflammation, impair wound healing, and promote immunosuppression.
The good news is that with a few simple changes, you can easily change the swing of the pendulum from a disease promoting, pro-inflammatory lifestyle to a health promoting, anti-inflammatory lifestyle.
The NOURISHED COMMUNITY page is a great tool to help you live an anti-inflammatory, nourished life.