Inflammation

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  • In order to improve our health we must do the following three things with our diets:
    • Eliminate negative reaction from harmful foods ex. by cutting out the bad food and adding more good food
    • Clean out any substances causing negative reactions ex. with fiber and other detoxifying foods
    • Heal from the damage done ex. give it time
  • An important variable in digestion is food allergies and sensitivities, as they can greatly impact digestion and cause debilitating inflammation leading to irritable bowel, celiac, Crohn’s Disease, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, eczema, psoriases, fibromyalgia, lupus, MS and even heart disease.
  • Digestive health is compromised when
    • the body does not absorb vital nutrients it needs to heal and restore itself from food
    • undigested food leaks across the intestinal wall and enters the systemic circulation causing full blown immune problems
  • Avoid processed foods, hydrogenated oils, saturated fats, and sugars; these all cause inflammation.
  • Buy whole foods and include items like a fresh vegetable, fruit, nuts and seeds with each meal.

The first compromise is the ability to absorb the nutrients in the foods we eat. If we can’t absorb the nutrients, we might as well not have eaten. And if we don’t eat the nutrients, the body does not get what it needs to heal and restore itself and we become victim to a vicious, never ending cycle.

The next problem is the undigested food can leak across the intestinal wall and enter the systemic circulation. This is the beginning of full blown immune problems. The food particles in circulation will now be identified by the body as “foreign invaders” and antibodies rush to fight this invasion. The “immune fighters” like the lymphocytes, macrophages and other white blood cells become confused as to which are really harmful “bad guys” and which are “good guys” since the food particles should not be there in the first place. If this cycle continues, the immune system will weaken opening the door to more severe autoimmune diseases.

A valid question you might have is what foods should I avoid to minimize this response in my body?  The list can be lengthy but we need to start with the basics:

meats,

hydrogenated oil or anything with hydrogenated oil in it such as fried foods like French fries,

hot dogs,

fast food,

processed foods,

smoked or browned foods that have nitrates in them,

saturated fat,

sugar,

soda

There are even some vegetables like potatoes, tomatoes and eggplant that can heighten inflammation. Those vegetables are known as “nightshade family of plants” and contain a chemical alkaloid called solanine, which can trigger pain and increase inflammation.

Avoiding foods on the above list can be a challenge for you if you live a hectic and fast lifestyle. Remember, however, our evolutionary process is, take one small step daily and eventually reach your optimal health.  So a first small step might be to start with buying whole foods. Include items like a fresh vegetable, fruit, nuts and seeds with each meal.  Then choose fish like Cod, Halibut, Tuna, Salmon and White Fish as your primary protein source rather than broiled red meats. You can replace your soda with green tea.  Or add herbs and spices like basil, cayenne or chili peppers, cinnamon, cocoa, mint and parsley to your recipes.  Finally, read labels and if you don’t know what something means “google it.”  You can never go wrong if you keep what you eat simple and fresh.