Fighting Inflammation

Fighting Inflammation

Inflammation may not be precisely what you think. We may relate it to bloating, swelling of our joints or impaired mobility. There’s more to it than that.

How do we reduce inflammation?

Inflammation is a risk factor for developing heart disease, cancer, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, high triglycerides, high blood pressure, colitis and Crohn’s disease, and cancer (breast, colon, prostrate). Excess weight is the clearest link between inflammation and disease. Inflammatory molecules released by fat tissue affect the cells of all body organ systems. Diseases often arise from too much oxidative stress in the body as a result of the inflammation – a vicious cycle forms because too much oxidative stress worsens inflammation. Oxidative stress triggers the formation of free radicals. Free radicals change your body’s cells in a negative way and make you susceptible to illnesses such as cancer and heart attacks.

If you consume too much fat (especially saturated fat, trans fats, Omega 6), excess sugar, or carry extra body weight, most likely you have inflammation and oxidative stress in you body. If you think you may be at risk of having too much inflammation, because you either have diabetes, high cholesterol, or a family history of heart disease, you can ask your doctor to order a test to measure your C-Reactive Protein – to determine your level of inflammation. Modern processing increases our exposure to inflammatory foods including: the type of dietary fat and the amount of high sugar carbohydrates that we consume, and the low ratio of Omega 3 to Omega 6 fats. It is best to minimize prepackaged baked goods.

We need to increase our consumption of Omega 3 and decrease our consumption of Omega 6 to reduce inflammation. Include fish, Omega 3 eggs, tofu, vegetables and fruit, walnuts, olive oil, canola oil, walnut oil, flax seed oil, red wine, and flax seeds, as part of our healthy eating pattern.

Did You Know?
Ground flax is more effective than eating whole flax seed. Crushing the flax seed enables the Omega 3 fatty acids to be absorbed by the body. Either chew your food well or choose ground flax. Store ground flax in the fridge. Ground flax can be added to hot or cold cereal, yogurt parfaits, stir fry, homemade muffins, ground meat/bean recipes.
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