You may only think of inflammation as a pain localized in your joints, but internal organ inflammation due to a poor diet can be a real bummer too. Now I know you may be familiar with anti-inflammatory medications, but have you heard of anti-inflammatory foods? The foods you eat really do have an effect on how you feel. Inflammation is a localized reaction of tissue to irritation, injury, or infection. Symptoms of external or surface inflammation include pain, swelling, red coloration to the area, and sometimes loss of movement or function. Common medical anti-inflammatory treatments for joint type inflammation include rest, light exercise, stretching, and medications designed to reduce the inflammation and control the pain. These medications include non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID's). The NSAID's are widely used as the initial form of therapy. For the most part, NSAID's are tolerated fairly well, although they can internal inflammation by irritating the stomach and lead to ulcers. I'm talking about products like ibuprofen, aspirin, or naproxin. In some instances, long-term use can also lead to kidney problems. I suggest a more natural approach, which would include avoiding inflammatory foods.
Inflammatory foods will increase inflammation and increase your pain from the inflammation. Loading up on on what we now call junk foods, with added sugar, high fructose corn syrup, aspartame (Nutra Sweet) and foods deep fried in hydrogenated oil's, starches and refined grains will increase inflammation in your body. Especially the excessive use of trans fats used to preserve the color and shelf life of packaged processed foods. Processed high salt meats, such as lunch meats, hot dogs and sausages, contain preservative chemicals called nitrites which have long ago been proven to increase inflammation and chronic disease. When trying to control inflammation be sure to choose low-fat milk and cheese and lean cuts of meat, which will also promote less inflammation. Diets high in sugar, caffeine, and alcohol have also been associated with internal or organ inflammation, obesity and chronic disease such as diabetes. Also, some vegetables like potatoes, tomatoes, and eggplant may actually make pain from inflammation worse. These vegetables are part of the nightshade family of plants and contain a chemical alkaloid called solanine. Solanine in studies has been found to trigger pain in some people. While I haven't found any hard science behind testing these vegetables, these vegetables contain solanine and there are studies on solanine and pain. If you are trying to control inflammation, try eliminating them from your diet and see what happens. Now that we know some foods we should reduce when trying to control inflammation. Here are some proven anti-inflammatory foods. Omega-3 essential fatty acids are very powerful anti-inflammatory agents. They are found in cold-water fish, krill, walnuts, sunflower, flax, and pumpkin seeds as well as many other foods. My suggestion is to add as many omega-3 fatty acid foods as you can to your diet, as well as supplement with Krill oil it will help reduce your inflammation. Olive oil is another type of oil that will reduce inflammation. In fact, olive oil has been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and help to reduce pain. Other healthy oils include grape seed oil, coconut and walnut oil.
Berries are also a great food choice, especially blueberries and strawberries, which are packed with anti-inflammatory phytochemicals and antioxidants. The pigments in brightly colored fruits, vegetables and berries contain many phytochemicals that have anti-inflammatory properties. One example is quercetin, which is found in apple and red onion skins and has strong anti-inflammatory properties. So lets recap, when you are choosing anti-inflammatory foods to help reduce your inflammation and pain both internal and external, choose fresh foods instead of heavily processed foods.
- Unsweetened organic breakfast cereal served with organic fresh berries and walnuts, with organic almond or coconut milk.
- Snack on organic whole fruits, nuts, seeds, throughout the day.
- Eat more fish and less fatty red meat.
- Stay away from deep-fried fast foods, hydrogenated oil's (trans fat's)
- Drink plenty of water and fresh organic 100% vegetable, and fruit juices, fresh squeezed (not from concentrate), get a juicer, and also drink organic white and green tea (hot or cold).
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