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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Inflammation and Your Health

What does inflammation have to do with nutrition and why do you care? Well, let me explain. Inflammation is involved with a lot of diseases. We've known for years that things like arthritis, bursitis, colitis - in fact anything with an "itis" – are inflammatory diseases. However, in recent years we have also learned that inflammation plays an important role in heart disease, cancer and diabetes as well.


So the question is: "What can we do about inflammation?"

Here are my top 9 things that you can do to reduce inflammation.
#1: Don't smoke.
I probably didn't need to tell you about this one. But among all of the other bad things that cigarette smoke does to your health, it also triggers inflammation.
#2: Control your weight.
We used to think of fat tissue as a storage depot that basically just sits there. Now we know that fat tissue is also an endocrine gland - which is just a fancy way of saying that it releases hormones into the bloodstream. And when we are overweight our fat tissue releases a lot of inflammatory hormones into the bloodstream. That's not a good thing!
#3: Get plenty of exercise.
It's not entirely clear whether exercise reduces inflammation itself or whether it is exerting its beneficial effects on inflammation by helping with weight control and blood sugar control (see below). Nevertheless, among all the other benefits, exercise helps with inflammation too!
#4: Control blood sugar.
When blood sugar levels are high it leads to free radical production and the free radicals cause inflammation. Weight control and exercise are two of the best ways to control blood sugar levels for people with type 2 diabetes.
#5: Reduce intake of saturated and trans fats.
Diets high in saturated and trans fats have been shown to be associated with increased inflammation.
#6: Control blood pressure.
High blood pressure damages arterial walls, which causes inflammation.
#7: Eat foods with a low glycemic load.
That's just a fancy way of saying that you should eat foods that don't raise your blood sugar levels very much. That is why I say no white sugars and no white flours for sure!! Lots of protein is great!
#8: Make sure that you get plenty of antioxidants in your diet.
Antioxidants reduce free radical production and free radicals cause inflammation - so you want make sure that you are getting enough antioxidants in your diet on a daily basis. My advice, however, is to avoid megadoses of single antioxidant supplements by themselves. Recent clinical trials have suggested that they can do more harm than good. Make sure that your nutritional foundation is a supplement like Vitalizer that contains all of the naturally occurring antioxidants in balance. And eat lots of fresh produce!
#9: Make sure that you are getting adequate amounts of omega-3 fatty acids in your diet.
The American diet is actually quite deficient in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to lower blood pressure and to help control the insulin resistance that leads to elevated blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetes. Omega-3 fatty acids have also been shown to be beneficial in several types of inflammatory diseases, so omega-3 fatty acids deserve to be in everyone's anti-inflammation program.(They are included in the Vitalizer and, of course, OmegaGuard)
So there you have it. Nine steps that you can take to reduce inflammation. A lot of these are ones that you want to follow not just for inflammation, but for so many other things related to great health as well!

To Your Health!
Cara

2 comments:

  1. Inflammation is an unavoidable condition. The steps are very helpful.

    ReplyDelete
  2. oh, getting away from the white flour is soo hard.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me. Your thoughts and tips are what make this blog shine!