By Nicole Boisvert C.H.N.
Sometimes it seems like there are so many things we need to take care of to ensure great health; exercise, eat well, get enough sleep etc. Now experts are suggesting we have to be concerned about something that doesn’t have any symptoms? No need to worry, the solution to silent inflammation is easier to manage than you may think.
So what is silent inflammation anyway? Silent inflammation is one of two types of inflammation in the body. The first type, acute inflammation is necessary for survival so your body can defend itself against foreign invaders such as bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites. Likewise, your body uses acute inflammation to help repair damaged tissues, so that new tissues can be built and cells revitalized. The second type, silent inflammation is just that; inflammation that falls below the threshold of perceived pain. However, when inflammation runs rampant and fails to turn itself off, even after cells have been repaired or invading microbes destroyed, then it becomes chronic and silent. Silent inflammation is not a disease, only an indication that potential medical problems may lay ahead.
So what does it mean to have silent inflammation? Silent inflammation appears to be a major underlying cause of the development of chronic disease. If not addressed it may lead to a range of disease and health problems including heart disease, diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, multiple sclerosis, ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), as well as various allergies. There are no drugs that can reverse silent inflammation, but there are anti-inflammatory diets and anti-inflammatory dietary supplements that can aide in its reversal.
So how do food choices affect silent inflammation? If you suffer with chronic inflammation anywhere in your body examine your diet. The culprits are almost always the same; wheat, peanuts, oxidized fats, sugar, cow's milk, concentrated fruit juices, luncheon meats and refined breakfast cereals. All inflammation is ultimately driven by a specific group of hormones. These hormones influence the production of prostaglandins which directly influence inflammation and can be altered by dietary changes. A typical anti-inflammatory diet focuses on fighting inflammation through the creation of prostaglandins. These molecules are made in the body from essential fatty acids. Inflammation results when there is an imbalance in the body between the different types of prostaglandins.
So what can I do?
Focusing your diet on anti-inflammatory foods goes a long way to help reduce inflammation. These foods include: healthy fats such as those found in nuts, seeds, fish and olive oil, healthy spices such as turmeric, ginger and hot peppers, green tea and low glycemic carbohydrates such as wholegrains and vegetables. Good (complex) carbohydrates, which are low on the glycemic index include: apples, asparagus, beans, broccoli, blackberries, blueberries, cabbage, cantaloupe, citrus fruits, green beans, honeydew melon, kiwi, leafy greens, peaches, pears, plums, raspberries, spinach and strawberries.
It is best to reduce or eliminate pro-inflammatory foods such as red meat, sugar, coffee and alcohol. At the same time reduce, minimize or eliminate your intake of foods that are typically fried such as chips, French fries, meat, eggs and bacon as well as cow's milk, wheat, sugar and refined high-glycemic carbohydrates such as cookies, donuts, bagels, toast, buns, and Danish. Invest in a juicer and drink fresh live fruit and vegetable juices. Eat more raw vegetables and steamed greens including spinach, broccoli, kale and chard and drink enough filtered water to stay well hydrated. Choose raw walnuts or pumpkin seeds instead of peanuts. Use spelt, whole rye or sprouted wheat for breads.
There are a variety of supplements available to help reduce inflammation in the body. Some of these supplements may include Omega 3 fish oils, astaxanthin, curcumin or products in a developed formulation specific to help reduce inflammation. Discuss your options with a health and body care associate or health care provider.
Learning effective ways to cope with stress is crucial to any health plan. It's not possible to completely eliminate stress; it's a part of life. But you can learn to manage it. Whether you go running, do yoga, or practice deep breathing exercises. Find what works for you and make it a part of your daily life.
*This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your health care practitioner. For any health related concerns, please consult your health care practitioner. Community Natural Foods and all of its associates shall not be held accountable for how this information is perceived or utilized.