What is Inflammation?
Inflammation is taking over this country rapidly. What does the buzzword “inflammation” mean? It is your body’s way of protecting itself from illness/etc. Specifically, what happens is your body (after the inflammation response is triggered) your body increases its production of white blood cells, immune cells and cytokines that are used to fight off infection. Acute Inflammation is a natural process and it is how your body fights off the bad stuff.
Can Inflammation be Harmful?
Inflammation again, in its natural setting, is seen as a positive thing. Unfortunately, there is an issue called Chronic Inflammation that if not addressed and helped, can lead to harmful effects. Chronic Inflammation is when over time, your body is in high alert mode constantly. This happens when you have “too much of a good thing”. Among those harmful effects are cancer, heart disease, diabetes and Alzheimer’s. When the inflammatory cells are active too long in your vessels, dangerous plaque comes in and when it does, your body will send more “responders”. In turn, your arteries will thicken which could result in a heart attack or stroke.
How Can it be Prevented or Controlled?
I have always said, “You are what you eat”. I stand by this especially around the topic of Inflammation. In our office, we view Chiropractic as not just focusing on addressing pain like neck, back pain etc, but also a wholistic view to eating well and exercising. All of this contributes to a healthy lifestyle. You may wonder, “well, how do I prevent chronic inflammation.” Let’s talk about the foods that can help a natural state of inflammation but not overwork the inflammatory cells.
In general, fruit is a great natural way to enhance inflammation in the healthy way but prevent it chronically. Blueberries specifically is a great way to do this. In our household, we have blueberry bushes which gets us all excited during blueberry season and you will see us snacking on these often.
Leafy greens, like spinach and kale, are another great anti-inflammatory food. This can be done easily in a salad but even snuck in a smoothie. Leafy greens have been shown to fight chronic inflammation. They consist of Vitamin A, D, E and K . Many leafy greens also contain alpha-linolenic acid. This is an omega-3 fat that is known specifically for its anti-inflammatory benefits.
Walnuts and almonds are another great way to boost your Acute Inflammatory response. It will help curve your appetite to with just a small handful. I typically always have these on hands for a quick snack in the office.
What Foods Should I Avoid?
Where do I begin? This list is growing daily with all the consumer foods that are being presented to us daily. My key here is to go as “natural” as possible meaning, anything that is grown. I tell my patients who are looking to watch inflammation to stay away from added sugar products and high fructose corn syrup. These ingredients are flooding the marketplace. Be sure to stay away from the soft drinks and stick to water and black coffee/tea.
Artificial trans fat is another big one. This is typically titled as “partially hydrogenated oils” on most foods. There is natural trans fat but typically it is in dairy and meat, artificial is linked to cause chronic inflammation. Vegetable oil is another “cause” of chronic inflammation. Sticking to “olive oil” is best.
Refined carbs are another area to avoid. This is where most of their fiber has been removed. You will find this in pasta, cakes, sugary drinks and any food that is processed that contains “added sugar or flour”.
This is a short list but there are a lot of other foods out there to avoid. If you are interested in learning more, message us though the form at the bottom. You can also read other specific items here:
Can Kimbrell Chiropractic Help Me?
I am passionate about a healthy lifestyle. This includes how we should eat so that we can extend our life and the quality of it. Not only will we at Kimbrell Chiropractic address your pain issues, we will educate you on the right way to eat. Please make an appointment and start feeling better today with chiropractic care!