Quelling Inflammation With Diet

The types of fats we eat produce either pro or antiinflammatory messengers. Much of the inflammatory imbalance Americans experience is due to diet.

Pro-inflammatory messengers call our immune system to areas of damage. After acute healing our cells make anti-inflammatory messengers to calm the immune system. This calming process is not happening for many, leading to excessive inflammation.

Excessive inflammation is a leading cause of many diseases including allergies, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, asthma, autoimmune illnesses, some cancers, depression, diabetes, eczema, gum disease, heart disease, hypertension, inflammatory bowel disease and others. We can restore balance through diet by increasing anti-inflammatory foods and decreasing pro-inflammatory foods.

To decrease pro-inflammatory foods: Avoid trans-fats found in margarines, vegetable shortenings, baked goods and other processed foods. Identify them on labels with the words “hydrogenated oil.” Trans-fats inhibit the production of anti-inflammatory messengers. Eat less refined seed oil. Unless the label says “unrefined”it has likely been exposed to solvents and heat affecting quality. Oil from corn, safflower, sunflower, soy and cottonseed contains omega-6 fats, which creates pro-inflammatory messengers. Choose meat, eggs and dairy from healthfully-raised animals eating their natural diet (grass!). This raises the amount of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids.

To increase anti-inflammatory foods: Eat cold-water fish Consider a fish oil supplement Include flax seeds,walnuts and pumpkin seeds Nutrients are less effective when isolated. Consume a variety of whole foods, whole grains, legumes, vegetables and fruit. This gives your body the nutrients needed to help create balance.