We’ve all heard the phrase, “you are what you eat.” Unfortunately, this statement is more accurate than most realize. The human body’s biochemicals are composed of the foods that we ingest. Subtle biochemical injuries (dietary trauma) occur throughout our body when we eat a diet that is deficient in fruits and vegetables, and contains refined sugar, “vegetable” oils (soybean oil, corn oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, peanut oil and cottonseed oil), and trans fats found in nearly all packaged food and fried foods. The inflammation associated with a poor nutrition may initially cause non-specific symptoms (malaise, fatigue, headache, intestinal discomfort). It is very subtle. Yet, over time, this diet-driven inflammation leads to the common, chronic diseases that plague our society. (Checkout the wikipedia list of degenerative disease).
Major pro-inflammatory foods to avoid:
- All grains and grain products (bread, pasta, cereal, pretzels, packaged snacks)
- Partially hydrogenated oils (trans fats)
- Corn/safflower/sunflower/cottonseed/soybean oil
- Soda, dairy, soy, and refined sugar
Every time you eat pro-inflammatory foods, you create inflammation in your body that will slowly but surely lead to the expression of chronic pain, diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, or whatever degenerative disease to which you may be genetically predisposed.
The good news is that we can decrease inflammation and feel better by enjoying anti-inflammatory foods. Eating both vegetation and animals that ate vegetation promotes an anti-inflammatory body state.
Major anti-inflammatory foods to enjoy:
- All fruits and vegetables
- Fresh fish
- Lean cuts of meat, chicken, eggs from grass-fed animals or lean cuts of regular meats
- Wild game
- Nuts: raw almonds, cashews, walnuts, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts
- Spices like ginger, turmeric, garlic, dill, oregano, coriander, fennel, red chili pepper, basil, rosemary
- Organic extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil
- Drink water or organic green tea
Nutritional supplements to fight inflammation:
Nutritional supplements cannot take the place of healthy eating. Research increasingly promotes supplements for preventing disease, and inflammation reduction is a likely mechanism of action for many supplements. While precise supplements and exact amounts vary with individual need, suggested here is a general approach for inflammation reduction.
If you want to take:
- 1 supplement, it should be a multivitamin/mineral
- 2 supplements, add EPA/DHA
- 3 supplements, add magnesium
- 4 supplements, add vitamin D
- 5 supplements, add calcium
Quite simply, all you need to do is eat mostly fruits, vegetables, nuts, fish, chicken, and lean meat. Eat until you begin to feel full, and then stop. Take the key supplements and exercise 5 times per week for at least 30 minutes.