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Food Sensitivities and Inflammation

Posted on 25 August 2017

Many people turn to pharmaceutical drugs to manage their inflammation. What they do not realize is that their condition may be caused by sensitivities to certain foods and can be alleviated naturally. Adopting a holistic diet plan and complementing it with added natural supplements is a highly successful way to decrease inflammation. Inflammation is the body’s natural defense system against foreign invaders. It increases the blood flow to the injured site and uses pain as a signal to tell the brain that something is wrong. The four characteristics of inflammation are: redness, swelling, heat and pain.  However, too much inflammation causes problems. When this defense system is over activated, inflammation begins to work against the body by responding to foreign invaders that are not actually present. Conditions associated with chronic inflammation include:
  • Joint pain
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Type-2 diabetes
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Lupus
  • Brain Fog
Food sensitivities exasperate chronic inflammation. Food sensitivities and food allergies activate an inflammatory response in the body. The problem is not the food itself, but the body’s response to a “misunderstood invader.” In its misunderstanding, the body’s attempt to defend itself is actually doing more harm than good.  Most of our immune system resides in the digestive tract, which makes it no surprise that inflammatory reactions can include:
  • Vomiting
  • Bloating
  • Stomach aches
  • Cramping
  • Nausea
  • Weight gain
  • Constipation
The common foods that are linked to triggering inflammation are:
  • Wheat
  • Dairy
  • Artificial colours and dyes
  • Simple carbohydrates, such as white bread, instant rice and corn
  • Foods high in trans and omega-6 fats, such as red meat and hydrogenated oil
The good news is that it is possible to fight chronic inflammation by taking a holistic approach to diet and nutrition. Speaking with a dietician or holistic nutrition expert to identify food sensitivities is the first step. This may include an elimination diet or another type of food sensitivity test or identification method. There are many holistic foods, natural supplements, vitamins, minerals, herbs, teas and other products that have anti-inflammatory powers. Fight inflammation naturally by:
  • Increasing antioxidant intake. Green tea, vitamin C, vitamin E, and selenium are all natural ways boost antioxidant levels. Antioxidants fight inflammation by strengthening and repairing the body’s immune system and by interfering with different steps of the inflammatory response.
  • Ingesting more Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s boost the effectiveness of other anti-inflammatory drugs. On their own they also work to reduce inflammation by inhibiting enzymes that are responsible for sparking inflammation. Sources of Omega-3 fatty acids are fish oil, nut oils and some plants.
  • Incorporating herbs and spices. Certain herbs and spices are effective in decreasing inflammation and can be found in many supplement forms. Willow bark, turmeric, cinnamon, oregano, rosemary and ginger are just some of the herbs and spices that have anti-inflammatory powers.
With the guidance of holistic expert, it is possible to manage chronic inflammation naturally and effectively. Identifying the source of the problem through an investigation into possible food sensitivities is a step towards eliminating the problem.  The benefit to a holistic approach to treating inflammation is that it does not attempt to mask the pain of inflammation through the use of pharmaceutical drugs. Rather, it seeks to get to the heart of the problem while also working to strengthen and repair the body.