What do obesity, diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, stroke, cancer, and irritable bowl disease have in common? Scientists have linked all of these diseases (yes, obesity is considered a disease) and many more to chronic inflammation. And it’s inflammation that’s making you sick.
Many of you are familiar with acute inflammation – what happens when you get a cut or sprain an ankle. Pain, swelling, redness, and heat are many of the symptoms you experience when your body is trying to heal itself after these kinds of injuries. This normal type of inflammation is a good thing because it means that your body is working properly to defend itself.
However, when the immune system is out of control, inflammation can run wild, much like a fire burning on a windy day. Inflammation like this can attack many different body parts and eventually lead to disease. Some of the biggest causes for this chronic inflammation are 1) excess body fat, 2) what you eat, 3) lack of exercise, 4) inadequate sleep, 5) food sensitivities and allergies, and 6) life stress.
The good news: You can tame this internal fire, reverse your symptoms and disease states, and feel better in as little as a week! It all starts with what you eat.
Hippocrates said, “Let food be thy medicine and thy medicine be food.” Along those same lines, what you put into your mouth and body can also be toxic to your body. Foods like sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, processed foods, trans fats, most saturated fats, white/refined starches, excess salt, food coloring, high-fat dairy, and gluten (for some people) act like poison in the body and cause inflammation and weight gain, especially the toxic belly fat. Belly fat is the most dangerous kind of fat because it produces many inflammatory hormones and seems to fuel the fire in your body.
On the other hand, there are many foods which can be very healing to the body and decrease inflammation very quickly. The following list neatly summarizes what an anti-inflammatory diet looks like:
- Organic fruits and vegetables
- Healthy fats, like virgin coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, canola oil, and grapeseed oil, and those naturally found in nuts and seeds
- Whole grains, including quinoa and amaranth (both are technically seeds but we lump them in with grains), brown rice, buckwheat, and oats
- Smart proteins include fatty fish (get those omega-3 fats), beans, lentils, and organic tofu
- Other healing foods include the herbs and spices in your pantry. There’s ample evidence that turmeric, cinnamon, and ginger, as well as rosemary and oregano, can help fight inflammation and heal your body.
There are many resources on the web with anti inflammatory diet information. We like Dr. Andrew Weil and Dr. Mark Hyman, as well as many other articles on the web that pretty much give the same information as seen here.
The bottom line: eat more clean, whole, real, unprocessed foods, drink plenty of water and green tea, and skip the junk. You’ll be amazed at how much better you will feel in as little as a week. Without all of the offending agents constantly assaulting your body, you will feel better, lose the belly fat, have more energy, sleep better, and can actually reverse diseases like heart disease and diabetes. Take care of your body because it’s the only one you’ll ever get!