5 Steps to Squash Inflammation!
Acute inflammation is your body’s natural and supportive immune response to tissue damage. When you injure yourself, the area of injury reddens, swells, feels inflamed and painful. These are all signs that your immune system is busy at work sending white blood cells to the site of your injury to repair the tissue. In this situation, inflammation is extremely beneficial and works in our favor!
Chronic inflammation is your body’s destructive immune response to a bombardment of environmental, physical and mental invaders which come in the form of things like poor diet, food allergies, toxic chemicals, infection, nutritional deficiencies and chronic stress. Over time, chronic inflammation wears out your immune system and can lead to chronic diseases and other health issues including arthritis, cancer, asthma, autoimmune diseases, allergies, digestive conditions and much more.
In order to reverse the immune systems response and eliminate inflammation there are 5 important steps to take:
1. Uncover hidden food allergies. Consuming foods that you are allergic or sensitive to will be fuel on a burning fire. Each time you eat, your immune system over reacts and causes inflammation in the body.
Action Step: Consider a 94 ELISA Food Allergy Panel to identify your individual triggers. This type of testing is only available through a natural medicine practitioner. Alternatively, you can do an elimination diet for 28 days. Remove the top allergens from your diet for 4 weeks and then slowly introduce the foods back in one at a time. The top allergens consist of gluten, dairy, egg, soy, sugar, beef, pork, corn, peanuts, shellfish, coffee and alcohol.
2. Consume anti-inflammatory foods on a daily basis. Concentrate on eating the following foods to dramatically decrease the fires of inflammation in your body. Anti-inflammatory foods include fatty fish, dark leafy greens, raw nuts, ginger, turmeric, garlic, onions, peppers, unrefined cold pressed olive oil, berries and tart cherries.
Action Step: Overwhelmed at the thought of how to get all those veggies in? One great way to achieve this is through a daily green smoothie.
Anti-Inflammatory Green Smoothie
1 scoop Mediclear Plus Anti-Inflammatory Protein Powder
½ inch piece of ginger
2 cups of leafy greens (kale, collards, romaine, spinach, chard etc.)
½ cup of organic celery
1 cup organic cucumber
1 cup of mixed frozen berries of your choice (strawberries, blueberries, cranberries etc.)
2 cups filtered water
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend for 1 min or until smooth
Serve immediately or store in airtight container for up to 1 day
3. Focus on gut health. Your gut holds approximately 60-70 percent of your immune system, so it stands to reason that it would be a great place to reduce chronic inflammation. If your gut is in bad shape, you can only imagine that your immune system is in some serious trouble and this can result in massive inflammation throughout the body. Most holistic practitioners will agree that almost all disease can be linked back to the gut.
Action Step: A great way to start is by taking a daily probiotic. Ultra Flora Balance by Metagenics is a favorite of many health care practitioners. This dairy free probiotic is an abundant source of good bacteria that can improve gut health and therefore decrease inflammation.
4. Reduce Toxicity. When the body is under constant exposure to chemical irritants such as pesticides, alcohol, drugs, tobacco and household chemicals, cellular injury can occur. Inflammation is a result of the body attempting to heal and protect cells from these toxins.
Action Item: Reduce toxic exposure by detoxing your home. Switch cleaning products to all natural non chemical alternatives such as Norwex, Seventh Generation and Nature’s Gate or make your own. Ditch the dryer sheets as these might just be the most toxic agents in our homes. Eliminate harmful chemicals found in cosmetics and body care products by choosing an all-natural version such as 100% Pure. Finally, consume organic fruits, vegetables, meat and dairy (if consuming).
Follow the Dirty Dozen and the Clean 15:
5. Reduce Harmful Stress Hormones! The body will follow the mind. The old saying goes, “We are what we think”. During periods of stress, the adrenal glands secrete cortisol and adrenaline. Chronic stress leads to consistently elevated cortisol levels which can cause further hormone imbalances and unresolved inflammation.
Action Step: Identify the stressors in your life and take the necessary steps to resolve the stress as much as possible. This important step will make the stress that you cannot change seem much more bearable. If you are experiencing long term chronic stress and/or are experiencing symptoms of stress, consider having your hormones evaluated to uncover imbalances which could be feeding the inflammatory processes in the body. A Comprehensive Hormone Panel will contain crucial information which can lead to healing with appropriate measures resulting in decreased inflammation in the body. For more information on hormone testing please contact our clinic.