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Remove Deadly Inflammation From Your Diet!
Allan D. Laird D.C.
We all recognize inflammation on the surface. A good example is a twisted ankle. It swells up from edema, gets hot, turns red, and can be extremely painful. As annoying as this is, it is the necessary response to start your bodies healing. Injuries signal the brain to send blood, rich in stem cells and supporting chemical molecules, to begin cleaning up the damage and begin regenerating the tissue. But when inflammation persists longer than initially needed, it causes a continuous destruction of cells that prevents proper healing and may cause long term irreversible damage. As stated in a recent Time magazine article, science is making it increasingly clear that chronic inflammation is the root cause of many serious illnesses and conditions, and not just in muscles and joints. Inflammation throughout the body is the major player in Alzheimer’s, Allergies, Diabetes, Irritable Bowel disorders, Arthritis, many Cancers, and is responsible for the number one killer of Americans, Heart Disease. You could trace the origins of many other life-altering conditions back to chronic inflammation.
So how did we acquire so much inflammation? Some causes include repetitive physical and prolonged emotional stress, lack of exercise, and exposure to environmental toxins, tobacco smoke, alcohol & pesticides. Our lifestyle choices certainly contribute to the buildup of inflammation in our body. In examining 1000’s of patients fighting this war on inflammation, one common denominator stands out, the foods we eat. The good news, it is one of the most controllable causes. Learning what foods influence the inflammatory process and eliminating the culprits is the best strategy for reducing the inflammation that can cause life-altering diseases.
An Anti-Inflammatory Diet is not a diet intended as a weight-loss program, although many people do lose weight when their digestive tract is not chronically irritated. To learn more about how inflammation destroys your digestive system Google “leaky gut”. For now, the following recommendations are a starting point for selecting anti-inflammatory foods that can help your body look and feel younger. Along with reducing painful inflammation, the proper diet will provide increased energy, improve brain function, balance hormones, clear up skin conditions, and maybe most important of all, may prevent a life-threatening disease.
To expedite your recovery from injuries and reduce your risk of chronic, often fatal diseases, No matter how difficult it may seem, please incorporate the following guidelines into your daily diet and start reading labels. Your Life Depends On It !
Everyone needs a starting line!
1.Cut out the Sugar !
The # 1 cause of inflammation in the American diet is Sugar! The average American consumes 120 lbs of sugar a year. No that is not a misprint. I said 120 pounds. Do what you can to eliminate candy, cakes, soda, energy drinks and fruit juices made with corn syrup. If you are thinking “I drink diet soda with 0 calories” Bad news… ten years’ worth of research from the University of Texas Health science Center found people that consume 2 or more diet sodas a day had an increase in waist size 6X greater that those that did not drink diet soda. And don’t get me started on artificial sweeteners. They may be 0 calories but NOT 0 consequences.
- Go Gluten Free.
Gluten is right up there at the top of the charts for causing chronic inflammation. Some folks are more Gluten sensitive than others, but too much will fan the flames of inflammation in anyone.
- Quit smoking and avoid secondhand smoke!
You may be wondering what this has to do with a healthy diet, but the chemicals from smoking cause severe inflammation in your lungs and gut, and like food, they pass into your blood stream, damaging blood vessels, triggering cell death wherever they go. They don’t call them coffin nails for nothing.
- Drive past the fast food !
I mean it, keep your foot on the accelerator. This food has increased our nations obesity rate to 40% of the population with a 147 billion dollar price tag annually. Remember those inflammatory saturated and trans fats, well this food is full of them. Combine those with the high fat, processed, hormone injected meats, and the high sugar content in the desserts, buns, condiments, and soft drinks, and you’ve got the perfect recipe for a lifetime of inflammation and ill-health.
- Eat less Meat!
I think by know we all know too much hormone injected meat is dangerous, but just like we know cigarettes can kill us, some people struggle to quit. Some deli meats like ham, salami and beef are incredibly high in fat. Prepackaged deli meats also contain preservatives which can produce additional bad health consequences. These should be avoided at all cost. Buy low or “heart smart” deli meats from the counter and keep servings down to 4 ounces 2 times a week. Try to eat more wild caught fish and free-range chicken.
- Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables
I tell my patients to shop on the periphery of the grocery store and try to stay out of the isles of lethal processed foods. These products are void of any nutritional value, full of toxic preservatives and your body must work 10x harder to break them down. Breads and tortillas made with bleached white flour have little to no nutritional benefits. Do not buy vegetable or corn oils. They are loaded with saturated and trans fats which raise cortisol levels, a major cause of inflammation. Canola oil has less trans fats but is still chemically processed. Extra virgin olive, avocado and safflower oils are higher in monosaturated fats, making them heart healthier choices. Papaya and pineapple contain bromelain, a well-known supplement to fight inflammation. Add some high antioxidant Acai and blueberries. Good veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, and some sweet potatoes. Don’t forget the shrooms! Certain mushrooms like Maitake, Enoki and Oyster mushrooms have long been recognized for their immune boosting and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Take natural organic supplements
We all need to supplement these days but remember you are an organic organism, so why would you take synthetically lab processed supplements? 90% of the vitamins in pharmacies and department stores are made in some lab. Your body does not recognize or use them the way it does nutritious food. Make sure your supplements come from organic sources or you are literally pissing your money away. I have been using and recommending Standard Process and Mediherb products for years.
- Drink lots of water
Your body is 70% water, which makes proper hydration essential for every one of your trillions of cells to remain healthy. How much is enough? Half your bodies weight in ounces a day is optimal. Example, if you are 150 lbs., you should be drinking 75oz of water daily to keep your bodies systems flowing. Adding a little lemon will help reduce inflammation in your lungs and gut. Helpful for losing weight too.
Need some flavor? Green teas contain specific flavonoids that are potent natural anti-inflammatory compounds. They have been shown to reduce heart disease and various types of cancers.
- Additional dietary supplements to fight inflammation.
Proteolytic Enzymes are compounds that help break down food and proven to reduce pain and inflammation. Omega 3 oils are one of the most researched supplements to reduce inflammation and support joint, brain and heart health. N-Actylcysteine (NAC) helps replenish glutathione, your bodies most powerful antioxidant. It assists in the prevention of high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, mood disorders, inflammatory bowel disease, asthma and more. We also administer glutathione and vitamin C by I.V. therapy to speed up the healing.
Tumeric, Ginger and Cinnamon are 3 great anti-inflammatory spices. They can be easily added to smoothies and daily cooking. A recent study found Clove, ground or whole, has the highest antioxidant compound of any spice.
I hope this information is more than a jacuzzi experience for you. You know, feels good while you’re in it.
Take action! Start with small changes that are the easiest for you, and you will find healthy foods can actually be delicious. Your body will love and reward you with more energy, clarity, longevity and with less pain. Reach out anytime with questions or call for a consultation. Pray for discipline and may God bless you and your family on your journey to better health.
Live Healthy and Love Generously,
Allan D. Laird D.C.
REGENERATIVE MEDICINE CENTER OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
4310 TRADEWINDS DR., STE 300, CHANNEL ISLANDS, CA 93035
office: (805) 702-2500 WWW.REGENMEDSOCAL.COM fax: (805) 233-3035