Beating Inflammation

Inflammation, touted as the cause of everything from acne to Alzheimer's and from digestive problems to obesity may sound a little scary. But did you know that inflammation also known as acute inflammation can actually be a good thing? When our body detects something wrong, like an injury or an illness, our immune system's first line of defense is to send out Tcells, white blood cells and lymphatic fluid to the affected area. Water and blood also plays a major role by flooding the scene to remove toxins and flush the area. It's when these antibodies attack that causes circulation, swelling and sometimes, pain - all of which actually help the body defend itself against infection and illness. It happens both externally and internally. External in response to scrapes, bumps, bruises and scratches and internal to fight infections and disease. It's our body's quick immune response that ends as soon as the injury has healed.

But wait, eating the wrong kinds of foods, according to researchers, also causes inflammation, not the acute one but the chronic kind. This one is not good because it causes a constant, low-grade inflammation in the body, Elson Haas, author of The False Fat Diet says. Over time, chronically inflamed organs and tissues start to degenerate, toxins build up and our organs are depleted of vital nutrients. This will eventually take its toll, damaging the intestines, heart, kidney, pancreas, joints, skin and bones.

Luckily, the foods to calm this type of inflammation are easily accessible. Foods like oily, cold-water fish, apples and onions, hot peppers, pineapple, dark leafy green veggies, flax seeds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, olives and olive oils are the perfect antidote. Most of these foods are rich sources of omega 3 fatty acids, which help counteract the damage and may prevent the oxidation of bad cholesterol. Make sure you include them in your diet and steer clear of packaged goods, snack/junk foods, margarine, sugar, fried foods, soda, jams, pastries, bagels and hard cheeses.


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