We all know stress is called “the silent killer,” but there is another epidemic plaguing our country and it’s called inflammation. Time Magazine dubbed inflammation as “the secret killer.” If you think the name is scary, look at these statistics reported by the CDC . In 2012, about half of adults had one or more chronic health conditions and one in four adults had two or more chronic health conditions. Chronic diseases and conditions—such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, obesity, and arthritis—are among the most common, costly, and preventable of all health problems.
What is Inflammation?
Inflammation is the body’s attempt at self-protection; the aim being to remove harmful stimuli, including damaged cells, irritants, or pathogens – and begin the healing process. When something harmful or irritating affects a part of our body, there is a biological response to try to remove it, the signs and symptoms of inflammation show that the body is trying to heal itself. Inflammation does not mean infection, even when an infection causes inflammation. Infection is caused by a bacterium, virus or fungus, while inflammation is the body’s response to it.
The Inflammation Nation
As gut health and gastrointestinal compromise can be an instrument for the origins of inflammation and autoimmunity, and since both inflammation and autoimmune conditions have also been associated with the origin of mood disorders, it is only reasonable to suggest that an intimate relationship between gut health, brain function and mental health exists. While it has long been known that stress can wreak havoc with our digestive tract, problems in the GI tract can also negatively impact the brain, causing anxiety and depression. In other words, what is transpiring in your gut may directly influence central nervous system function, influencing neural circuitry, and can therefore have an effect (positive or negative) on behavior.
What you eat is connected to how you feel, and even more so connected to your body’s ability to ward off disease. Depending on what you eat can also provide the breeding ground for disease. There are many lifestyle choices and environmental influences that areassociated with disease and a successful approach for improvement must include investigation into these factors.
Your moods, weight, health, and mental capabilities are affected by the food you consume. Americans are depressed, overweight, and heart disease is still the number one killer. Poor nutrition and lack of exercise are the biggest factors. Not only does improper nutrition affect disease and inflammation, but again, the evidence is clear that there is a strong association between gut health, brain function, and mood.
Disease Starts and Stops with Inflammation
Heart disease, cancer, and other neurological diseases, are the deadly manifestation of inflammation, and are expected to remain as the leading causes of death in the years to come. However, research shows that inflammatory diseases are modifiable by our lifestyle choices. Eating healthy & exercising regularly can drastically reduce inflammation.
Free radicals also play a significant role in the development of disease, with oxidative stress being an early event in the disease process. Therefore, antioxidants are critical to help lessen the harmful free radical damage to our bodies. What causes free radicals? Gluten and glucose. Both are direct initiators of inflammation and the production of free radicals. What does that mean? It means sugar and gluten literally feed disease.
What Can You Do?
Foods that Cause Inflammation:
Top Anti-Inflammatory Foods:
Doctor Recommended Remedies & Supplements:
Anti-Inflammatory Turmeric Tonic
Boil milk on hot stove. Take the pot off of the burner and stir in all the ingredients, except honey, goji berries are ok to heat. Pour into a blender, add honey if needed, and blend for 10-15 seconds, it will create a perfectly creamy and comforting consistency, and of course, that coffee shop froth we all love.
-Prevents the powerful, inflammatory leukotrienes from wreaking havoc in the body
-Anti-inflammatory effect on blood platelets and the ability to inhibit free radical production
-Strong pain relieving effects, along with anti-arthritic activity
-Reduces histamine levels and possibly increases natural cortisone production by the adrenal glands
-Naturally aids nausea
-Inhibits enzymes responsible for pain and inflammation