“Reduce inflammation to treat the root of many issues. If your gut isn’t working right it can cause so many other issues.”
What is Inflammation?
Inflammation is part of our defense system against injury or disease. When the body detects a harmful agent, such as a bacteria, virus, or injury, it sends out a signal to activate our immune response to fight whatever is invading us. The immune system is triggered into high gear, and is releases our first line of defense, inflammatory cells and cytokines. When cytokines are released, these produce more inflammatory cells. We believe that God put on this earth what we need to heal our bodies and live a healthy, disease-free life.
Acute inflammation is bodies immediate response to damage, for example, when we cut ourselves or start to get an illness, such as a bacterial or viral infection. This is a good thing, because it helps the body heal. You may have acute inflammation if you notice redness, swelling, and pain near the site of injury, or with an infection.
This is where the troubles begin. Your body continues to send out these inflammatory cells, even when you are healthy and did not have an injury. These cells continue to multiply, and move throughout the body. They start to wreak havoc on our muscles, tendons, and organs. Chronic inflammation is a little harder to detect. Symptoms can include abdominal discomfort, chest pain, fever, or fatigue. Over time, if not treated and eliminated from the body, more serious issues can arise: Heart Disease, Diabetes, Alzheimer’s Disease, and arthritis. Chronic Inflammation can be cause by a number of things. Those who suffer from Autoimmune Disorders, increased stress in their lives, and obesity are at high risk for having chronic inflammation. The foods that we eat play a major role in increasing inflammation in our bodies. Here are some of the biggest offenders.
Excess sugar in our diets is enemy number one in the fight against inflammation. Sugar is found in all fruits and vegetables. Eating sugar that naturally in our foods does not cause the problems that added sugars and artificial sugars cause our health. Whole foods also have protien, fiber, minerals, and antioxidants. All of these things combined helps protect us from chronic disease and obesity.
Sugar that is refined and added to our foods is what makes us sick. The body only needs 24 teaspoons of sugar a day, when you are not trying to lose weight. The average American eats 4 TIMES that amount, approximately 24 teaspoons per day. The sad part is, most of us don’t even know we are doing this. Sugar is incognito in so much of our processed foods. Sugar has different personalities, named high fructose corn syrup, corn sweetener, fruit juice concentrates, molasses, and anything ending in -ose. Our bodies do not metabolize this type and amount of sugars, so we store it in fat cells, which makes them larger, thus we become obese. Eliminating these foods, and eating whole foods, fruits and vegetables, and lean healthy meats will lower your sugar intake, reduce the risk of chronic illness, and reduce inflammation in your body.
Not to be outdone by sugar, artificial sweeteners are horrible for you. These are created in a lab somewhere, and put in our foods to supposedly improve the tastes of food. Nutrasweet, Splenda, Equal are some of the brand names. They trick people into thinking that since these are not “sugar”, then its better for you. God did not design our bodies to consume and digest these chemicals. All they do is set off our immune response because the body senses them as invaders. Thus, the immune response goes into hyperdrive, and once again, we create chronic inflammation. This is also how we acquire allergies.
Artificial colors have been the leading cause of diseases from processed foods. Although they are pretty and attract the eye, they contain particles that attach to proteins in our bodies and increase inflammation. Some of these colors have even been linked to cancer, liver disease, and leaky gut (Shea, Dec. 20).
Artificial preservatives are put in our foods by manufacturers to, among other things, increase the shelf life of their products. However, consuming these can lead to neurological damage, allergies, hypersensitivity, asthma, and cancer (Anand and Sati, 2023). Artificial preservatives include nitrates, parabens, Formaldehyde, BHT, and BHA. There are natural preservatives that can be used instead, like basil, cloves, and rosemary.
DEEP FRIED FOODS
These are absolutely delicious, and so harmful to our bodies. French fries and fried chicken are staples of the American diet. However, this is one of the reasons Americans suffer from so many diseases and obesity. Fried foods are full of trans-fats, which, yes you guessed it, triggers our immune response. These foods also have AGE’s (advanced glycation end products), which also trigger the immune response. So if your diet is high in fried foods, you will have increased inflammation. Go for the grilled chicken instead of fried. Air frying potatoes or sweet potatoes for your side dish is a better choice.
Drinking a glass of wine or a beer every now and then is not harmful. There have been multiple studies about the benefits of wine. However, in excess, alcoholic drinks can cause damage to our organs, including our liver, brain an stomach. Too much alcohol can increase inflammation, and mess with the linings in our digestive tract, causing leaky gut.
You will be happy to know that some amount of caffeine can actually REDUCE inflammation. However, in some people, such as those with inflammatory issues, caffeine can increase inflammation. If you are a coffee drinker, it is best to not add creamers with high sugar and fat content. At SHAPE, we use Sweet leaf drops to flavor our coffees. Sweet leaf drops are made from Stevia, which is a natural sweetener, but doesn’t act on our bodies like sugar.
HYDRONATED OILS/TRANS FATS
No one should consume these. Trans fats cause inflammation in our arteries, which leads to heart disease. They also raise your bad cholesterol and lower the good ones. Omega-6 found in vegetable, saffron, and sunflower oils, and Saturated fats (with the exception of coconut oils, which actually reduces inflammation), are the two most used in this nation. Changing to olive oil, and Omega-3 ( found in fatty fish, flaxseeds, and walnuts can also reduce inflammation.
MSG, Monosodium Gluconate, is most known to be found in chinese food, is also hidden in soups, salad dressings, and fast food. MSG actually triggers 2 immune responses in our bodies. This is a big problem for people with autoimmune disorders and arthritis. It is also known to trigger migraine headaches in those who suffer from these. By eliminating MSG from your diet, you can reduce a lot of inflammation.
All the good ones are bad. Bacon, red meat, pepperoni, sausage. If these have been cured, salted, or fermented to add flavor, you can bet you will get inflamed if your diet is high in these foods. Instead, choose white meat like turkey or chicken that is hormone and chemical free.
SHAPE AND EATING AN ANTI-INFLAMMATORY DIET
So now I have taken away everything that we love to eat. Now what? At SHAPE, we guide you through choosing the right anti-inflammatory diet so that you eliminate inflammation, reduce pain and symptoms of chronic illness, and lose toxic fat. To learn more about shape, contact me at the “free 15 minute consultation” button.
If you are tired of being tired and want to live a healthier lifestyle, I would be honored to be your guide and help you live your best life. Click to learn more. As a Certified SHAPE ReClaimed Practitioner, I can guide you to a life free of inflammation, give restore your body, mind and spirit. Contact me today!!! You have nothing to lose, except pain, inflammation, and toxic fat.
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