I am often asked how to reduce inflammation. Inflammation is just one sign that you are toxic, nutrient deficient, and in need of a good cleanse! It is also an indication that your immune system isn't doing its job.
If you have inflammation, the first thing you need to do is to switch to a living foods diet, and call your colon hydrotherapist. I will list some other things you can change in your life below, however, these should be used IN ADDITION TO a eating plant-based diet and getting regular colonics!
Omega-3 fatty acids are major anti-inflammatories. The three chief omega 3s that we get from our food are alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). EPA and DHA are found in leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables, walnuts and spirulina. In addition, one teaspoon of flax oil per day seems to supply enough ALA for conversion to daily therapeutic amounts of EPA and DHA. Hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds are also good souces of ALA. Brazil nuts, wheat germ and wheat germ oil also contain significant amounts.
Omega-6 fatty acids are also excellent anti-inflammatories. The major omega 6 is linoleic acid, which is converted by the body into gamma linolenic acid (GLA). This is a natural defense against such diseases as cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, eczema, diabetic neuropathy and PMS.
Although most Americans consume a disproportionate amount of omega 6, it may not be converted to GLA because of metabolic problems associated with diabetes, alcohol consumption, trans fatty acids in processed foods, smoking, stress or illness.
Only nature functions so perfectly as to offer the right balance of omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids in foods such as: flax seeds, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds and grape seeds. Food sources of omega 6 fatty acids include pistachios, olive oil, chestnut oil and olives.
There is a good article on all the omegas here: http://www.savvyvegetarian.com/articles/omega-3-vegetarians-vegans.php
Curcumin is the active ingredient of the Indian spice turmeric. Over the last few decades, hundreds of small scale studies have proven scientifically what Indian people have known for centuries: that curcumin has the ability to halt or prevent certain types of cancer, stop inflammation, improve cardiovascular health, prevent cataracts and kill or inhibit the toxic effects of certain microbes, including fungi and dangerous parasites.
Bromelain is a plant derived proteolytic enzyme. It is extracted from the flesh and stem of the pineapple plant. It is most notable for its effectiveness in the reduction of inflammation and the decreasing of swelling.
Green tea. There is a recent report that the antioxidant polyphenols in green tea had anti-inflammatory properties.
Ginger contains over 500 different compounds, many of which have anti-inflammatory properties.
A healthy inflammatory system relies on pure water, fresh air, regular exercise and a nutrient rich diet. Nutrient rich = whole foods, plant based.
Improving your diet is the MOST important lifestyle change you can make to benefit your inflammatory system. Nearly all foods have some sort of an effect on the inflammatory system - they either speed it up or slow it down. Foods can be classified as either inflammatory or anti-inflammatory. Fats are the key to controlling inflammation (unheated, non-refined fats). The goal should be to eat a good balance of anti-inflammatory fats, while severely limiting the consumption of inflammatory fats. Avoid processed foods, artificial sweeteners, sugar, saturated fats and allergens.
Exercise is another key element to maintaining a healthy inflammatory system. Everyone is different, and opinions vary, but a good goal is 30 minutes of light to moderate exercise a day. Strenuous exercise is NOT recommended, as it can actually suppress the immune system, acting as a trigger for auto-immune disease. Light exercise, however, reduces stress, stimulates the appetite and reduces inflammation.
Get enough sleep! Set a goal for 8 to 9 hours of restful sleep each night. When we sleep, the immune system has time to calm down. If we don't allow our bodies the time for this to occur, the secretion of chemicals involved in the inflammation process will continue building up.
Your immune system (and your inflammatory system) is also dependent upon adequate exposure to natural light. Several major studies show that a deficiency of Vitamin D associated with decreased exposure to sunlight is linked to the development of several different auto-immune disorders, including MS and auto-immune thyroid disorders.
Avoiding chemical toxins is another important factor. Avoid chemical cleaning agents, recreational drugs, cigarette smoke, industrial toxins (many of which are already in your kitchen and laundry room), air pollution and unnecessary vaccines and antibiotics, to allow your immune system to heal.
Maintaining a healthy weight is another important consideration when it comes to maintaining a healthy inflammatory system. It is believed that fat cells secrete inflammatory factors, which bring on the inflammatory response. The result of this is that obesity is characterized by a state of chronic, low grade inflammation.
There is some research into antioxidants and their effect on inflammation. The body manufactures its own antioxidants. These reduce the harmful effects of free radicals and diminish the actions of inflammatory signals.
The best sources of antioxidants are vegetables and fruits. The more colorful you natural foods, the better - yellow, orange, green, red, brown and blue-purple plant foods supply a variety of antioxidants, and the more brightly colored, the richer the food is in antioxidants.
Rich sources of antioxidants include blueberries, mexican red beans and prunes. I would add living foods and fermented foods to that list.
What's the bottom line? A plant based diet, plenty of water, fresh air, sunshine, and exercise. This will help you get the toxins out, and let your immune and inflammatory system function properly.
If you need a plan to get the inflammation out of your life, please contact me.