Fighting Inflammation

Introduction:

 

Inflammation can occur in many areas of the body. Besides arthritis, inflammation is linked to heart disease, stroke, asthma, gout and certain cancers. Besides maintaining a healthy body weight and engaging in regular exercise there are many foods and drinks that can help you to prevent inflammation.

 

Asthma:

 

When irritants set off an asthma attack, the body defends itself by releasing chemicals to combat the attack. The body also releases free radical oxygen molecules which can worsen inflammation. By controlling inflammation it is believed that asthma can be better controlled. Gary E. Hatch, PhD, a research pharmacologist states: “We know an asthma attack is inflammatory and produces a lot of oxygen radicals so antioxidants should help to control attacks.”

 

As well as Vitamin C, research from Harvard University has indicated that Vitamin E appears to aid asthma sufferers. Selenium, a trace mineral found in Brazil nuts is also recommended for asthma sufferers and 1 Brazil nut per day will deliver 120 micrograms of selenium, which is more than the recommended Daily Value (DV) of 70 micrograms. Research recommends 200 milligrams per day of Vitamin C.

 

Further research indicated that more Vitamin D in a person’s diet showed a 47% less likelihood of a person having asthma.

 

Cherries and Gout?

 

Gout is a form of inflammatory arthritis and is usually extremely painful. It is caused by a high level of uric acid crystals in the blood. Several studies have found that eating cherries or drinking cherry juice appears to lower the level of risk for gout. People who have regular gout attacks are usually recommended to avoid eating red meat, organ meat and drinking red wine. Chlorophyll is also recommended as a prevention against gout since it alkalizes the blood.

 

Heart Health:

 

Inflammation in the body can have many negative results to our heart and vascular systems. Eating processed “fast” foods and baked goods introduce omega-6 fatty acids into our bodies that increase inflammation. This causes problems with heart disease, obesity, diabetes and related health problems.

 

To counteract the omega-6 we need to take in more omega-3 fatty acid.

 

Several research studies show that eating fatty fish, rich in omega-3 cuts back on the production of inflammatory compounds in our bodies leading to heart disease. Studies have also been found that omega-3 can prevent blood clotting and appears to raise levels of HDL (good) cholesterol to keep plaque from building up in the arteries.

 

A Harvard School of Public Health study found that people eating fish twice a week compared to people who ate little or no fish resulted in a significant difference in a lower mortality rate for those adding fish to their diet on a regular basis.

 

Flaxseed is also high in omega-3 fatty acids that raises HDL cholesterol and reduces inflammation, while lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. Flaxseeds contain a compound called lignans, antioxidants which have been linked with a lower risk of heart disease.

 

Olive Oil:

 

Extra-virgin olive oil is recommended as it is made from the first pressing of olives and contains a high content of antioxidant polyphenols. Not only is it good for the heart but research now seems to indicate it is also good at lowering the risk of breast cancer. Olive oil has a high Vitamin E content which may stop damage to cells leading to cancer.

 

Anti-inflammatory Food and Drink:

 

Following are a few examples of foods rich in anti-inflammatory properties:

 

  • Vegetables: kale, spinach, onions, garlic, Brussels sprouts, red and green peppers, broccoli

 

  • Fruit: berries, citrus fruits, apples, cantaloupe, pineapple

 

  • Whole Grains: brown rice, bulgur wheat, wheat germ

 

  • Legumes & Nuts: lentils, kidney beans, almonds, walnuts, Brazil nuts, sunflower seeds

 

  • Spices: curry, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon

 

  • Fish: salmon, sardines, halibut, herring

 

Anti-inflammatory drinks include, pure fruit and vegetable juices, green and herbal teas and red wine in moderation. Coffee, also in moderation, seems to ward off liver cancer according to studies from Japan.

 

It is possible to eat your way to a healthier body along with maintaining your well-being with regular visits to your chiropractor to keep a balanced spine and healthy nervous system.

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