20 Jun Inflammation – The Silent Killer
Inflammation is designed for short, intensive reactions to short-term external danger. We need it for survival. However, when inflammation becomes chronic (long term), it slowly but progressively damages our organs, our health and leads to rapid ageing.
Many serious illnesses are caused by chronic inflammation – arthritis, autoimmunity, inflammatory bowel disease, allergies and also cancer, dementia, diabetes, obesity, migraines and heart disease.
What causes inflammation? Well, simply … a Poor Diet !
As 70% of our immune system cells (which regulate inflammation) are found along the lining of our gut, most inflammatory diseases start in the gut. The food we eat has a profound impact on our ability to manage inflammation. Poor diet is a key contributor to inflammation – high intake of sugar white/refined flour goods, processed foods which contain trans and saturated fat, vegetable oils as well as numerous toxic chemicals.
Other key causes of inflammation include:
- Food allergies
- Lack of exercise
- Excess weight, especially around the middle
- Unresolved, chronic stress
- Hidden infections
The good news is that dietary and lifestyle changes can reduce inflammation:
- Eat whole, unprocessed foods – lots of vegetables (especially leafy greens) like broccoli, spinach, lettuce, kale and cabbage and colourful fruit (especially cherries and pomegranate, berries), beans,(kidney, red, pinto) chickpeas, lentils, whole grains.
- Drink pure water every day.
- Limit red meat and dairy – eat fish and poultry instead (ideally organic).
- Eat healthy fats especially high in Omega 3 fats – salmon, herring, mackerel, sardines. Other healthy fats include avocado, olives and olive oil, flax / hemp / chia seeds oils (don’t heat the seed oils, just use for drizzling).
- Take probiotics for healthy gut bacteria.
- Healthy herbs & spices: Turmeric, curry powder, ginger and garlic (dried and fresh), chili peppers, basil, cinnamon, rosemary, thyme, parsley.
- Nuts and seeds especially walnuts, almonds, pine nuts, pistachios, chia, flax and hemp seeds.
- Reduce stress through techniques such as yoga, meditation, tai chi, qigong
- Get moderate exercise every day.
- Being open to Mindfulness and Gratitude can also help reduce stress levels & Cortisol (stress hormone) in the body.
Sharon O’Dwyer, Nutritional Therapist in Carrigaline, offers support to clients who want to improve their health through diet and lifestyle. She offers personalised plans that can help resolve and eliminate symptoms relating to digestive dysfunction including irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, diarrhoea, excessive gas, as well as conditions relating to hormonal imbalance, low energy, low immunity, poor bone health, high blood pressure, food sensitivities, stress and other conditions.