Research shows that many of the foods we eat will trigger an inflammatory response and may accelerate inflammation on a cellular level causing inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.
Research also shows that hormone like substances called leukotriens and prostaglandins are pro inflammatory and can contribute to inflammatory conditions as they are cell messengers for the regulation of the immune and inflammation processes. These substances are manufactured in the body by a fatty acid called arachidonic acid. By consuming an excess amount of inflammatory foods, there is a rise in arachidonic acid in our bodies triggering a cascade of inflammatory responses.
Inflammation is important in our bodies to an extent. It helps to aid and support the healing process. However, it is when it is in abundance, that it becomes problematic and can cause chronic diseases and conditions. It is therefore vital to our health to make smart lifestyle choices. The choices we make affect the way in which we conduct our lives emotionally and mentally as well as contribute to our energy levels and inflammatory conditions.
Healthy fats support the anti-inflammatory response. If inflammation is present, research has shown that an increase of omega 3 fatty acids can decrease inflammation. Omega 3 fatty acids are found in cold water fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel. Inflammation can also occur if Omega 3 and Omega 6 are not balanced and there is a higher amount of omega 6 in our diet. Unfortunately, our society presents us with many opportunities for the consumption of Omega 6 fatty acid and not Omega 3. Omega 6 is found in safflower, soybean, corn and sunflower oils. It is important therefore to be conscious of our intake of these 2 fatty acids.
Fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants and phytochemicals. These are important in order to combat free radicals which can play a role in chronic inflammatory conditions. It is important to eat an array of fruits and vegetables in order gain the benefits of the variety of antioxidants present in these foods.
Probiotics are bacteria that are found in the gut. They support a healthy digestive system and contribute to a reduction in inflammatory in the gastro intestinal tract. Probiotics also encourage efficient digestion of nutrients from the intestinal tract into the bloodstream.
Herbs and spices not only add great flavour to our dishes, they also contain anti inflammatory properties. These include turmeric, clove, cayenne, rosemary, oregano and ginger.
Black tea, white tea and green tea contain antioxidants and polyphenols which both contain anti inflammatory properties.
An excess intake of inflammatory foods may exacerbate chronic inflammatory diseases and conditions.
Pro inflammatory foods, processed foods include: ·
Trans fats; ·
Refined sugars; ·
Excess dairy if not tolerated well by that individual; ·
Excess gluten if not tolerated well by that individual; ·
Excess caffeine; ·
Refined grains that have had the nutrients stripped; ·
It is important to limit or avoid these foods in order to achieve optimal healthy. Contact your nutritionist or naturopath for further advice in order to reverse or avoid chronic inflammatory diseases.
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