Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Anti-inflammatory Lifestyle and Diet Tips

Numerous health problems, from asthma and acne, IBD (irritable bowel disorder), to autoimmune diseases are related to bodily inflammation, as are all those that end in ‘itis’. Inflammation per se is not negative but a necessary reaction, the bodies attempt to protect itself by both removing injurious stimuli and then initiating the healing process.  However, modern Western diets and lifestyle can mean that our bodies are in a state of near constant inflammation. The body is forced to over-react and inflammation turns from a positive healing force into a negative destructive one. A typical modern Western diet- that is one which is calorific, high in bad fats, sugar and toxins- is pro-inflammatory, whereas its opposite-a diet rich in nutritious foods-will lower bodily inflammation. Countless studies have demonstrated that a diet rich in plant-based foods and with a balanced ratio of Omega-3, 6 and 9 has an alkalising effect on the body. 

 Fruit and vegetable that are particularly good at lowering inflammation include:

* Sweet potatoes.
* Berries.
* Walnuts.
* Tomatoes.
* Cauliflower.
* And leafy green veg, especially kale and bok choy.

Sulphurous foods are also highly anti-inflammatory, this list includes:

* Onions.
* Leeks.
* Garlic.
* Ginger.
Vitamin E is another key component in reducing the inflammatory response, vitamin E rich foods include:

* Brazil nuts.
* Wheat germ, (which can be sprinkled on most meals).
* Legumes, (peas or beans).
* Avocadoes.

Daily intakes of high quality sources of omega rich seeds and their oils is also highly beneficial for lowering inflammation.Sources of omega 3,6 and 9 include:

* Flax/linseeds, pumpkin seed (high in Vitamin E too), sesame seed, (additionally a great de-toxing oil), and sunflower seeds. 

*Hemp seed oil is particularly recommended as the only complete oil found in nature with the perfect ratio of omega 3, 6 and 9.

-Just remember never to heat these oils or cook the seeds as this can damage their nutritious properties.
 * The lesser known chia seed, grown in Latin America, is also a brilliant source of omega three, the seed can easily be added to most meals and used in baking. Furthermore chia seeds have been reported as useful for removing poullutants, including heavy metals like mercury, from the body so are especially beneficial for those living in cities or areas of high pollution.

 Aside from these staples, fermented foods and drinks such as miso and kombucha will accelerate your bodies alkalising process, as will chlorophyll rich powders such as spirulina, wheatgrass and chlorella. 

 Both the traditional Japanese and Mediterranean diets are examples of naturally anti-inflammatory diets. It is of course a wise idea to follow an on-going healthful, anti-inflammatory diet but nutritional needs become even more pressing during periods of illness or injury.

   If you’ve already experienced an inflammatory disorder, and have been on pharmaceutical drugs for it, taking aloe vera juice internally will soothe and heal a gut likely to be irritated by the use of these medicines, as well as helping you better assimilate nutrients from food sources. Try to source an aloe juice which uses only the plants inner-leaf, as juices which utilise the entire plant can be too abrasive on an already inflamed digestive tract. Other supplements that may help include quercetin, a very powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant, especially useful for those recovering from injury or for those who are prone to allergic response. Of course if you are already on medication always check with your doctor before taking any supplements.

Emma Silverthorn is a receptionist at the Octagon Chiropractic Clinic

1 comment:

  1. Proper nutrition requires ingestion and absorption of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and food energy in the form of carbohydrates, proteins, vegetable oils, and fats. Dietary habits and choices play a significant role in the quality of life, health and longevity. It can define cultures and play a role in religion. Thanks.