Inflammation derives from the Latin word “inflammare” which means in-flames. Lifestyle factors that can contribute to your body feeling in-flames are:
Stress: a response that puts us in fight-or-flight mode. The stress response (also called the fight or flight response) is critical during emergency situations but will deplete our adrenal energy and result in inflammation when adopted as a lifestyle.
Sleep deprivation: research shows that losing sleep for even part of one night can trigger the key cellular pathway that produces tissue-damaging inflammation.
Nutrition: The Standard American Diet which is high in trans-fatty acids and omega-6s and low in fiber and plant-based foods is a very good recipe for inflammation.
Obesity: has been linked to an overall increased inflammation.
Smoking: a number of studies show increased markers for inflammation on smokers vs non smokers.
Omega 3 Fatty acids: sources include seaweed, algae, krill and cold water fish. It’s best to store your Omega 3’s in cold, dark environment. Ideally, you will want to combine these oils with fat soluble vitamins like Vit ,D or E. The recommended therapeutic dosage is 2 to 5 grams/day. Be aware that Omega 3’s may thin your blood and make you bruise easily.
Probiotis: sources include fermented foods, Kefir, Sauerkraut, Kimchee and yogurt. Of all these, Sauerkraut is the one that delivers the highest amount of probiotics when you have 2 to 3 servings/day. I recommend that you follow this link for a 5 min very informative video on “The Invisible Universe Of The Human Microbiome”.
Curcumin: is a compound extracted from the turmeric root. When used for therapeutic purposes, like to reduce inflammation, I recommend that you take curcumin supplement vs using turmeric root powder as a spice. A typical turmeric root contains about 2-5% curcumin, so taking an unstandardized, powdered turmeric root product means that very large amounts would be required to get a beneficial amount of curcumin. The recommended dosage for inflammatory disorders is 2 to 8 grams/day. Bear in mind that curcumin is a blood thinner so I would not recommend it to people who are on blood pressure medication or those who bruise easily. You can find this supplement in capsules, or in liquid form. Black pepper, coconut oil and lecithin can be added to improve absorption.
Other supplements to help with inflammation are: Sulphoraphane (found in broccoli) and Conjugated Linoleic Acid : CLA
Limit consumption of: (and avoid altogether if you know you have gluten or dairy sensitivities)
- Gluten containing grains: foods that contain wheat, oats, rye, spelt, kamut, bulgur, couscous and barley. This includes pastas, bread, crackers, cereals, and other products made from these grains. You can enjoy gluten-free whole grains such as brown rice, wild rice, quinoa, amaranth and buckwheat.
- Dairy products including milk, cheese, yogurt and ice cream
- Alcohol and caffeine containing beverages including coffee, tea and soda.
As always, base your choices on what you already know about yourself and on your gut feeling. Listen to the Doctor in you!
To your health!