There is so much talk around inflammation these days....what IS inflammation?
It comes from the Latin word inflammare which means 'to set on fire'.
Inflammation is the body's response to harmful stimuli (e.g. physical injury, pathogens, parasites, etc.).
Acute inflammation is the body's initial response, which is a good thing - chemicals and immune cells are sent to heal the damaged tissue.
Chronic inflammation is when there are changes in the immune response to harmful stimuli causing simultaneous destruction and healing of damaged tissue.
When you have an inflammatory response it doesn't just affect your body, it affects your brain as well....fanning the "fire" of anxiety, depression, auto-immunity and other conditions.
Previously we discussed zinc's role in reducing inflammation, but there are other nutrients that help your body mediate immune response.
Sulphur-rich vegetables such as brassicas (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, etc.) and alliums (onions, leeks, shallots, etc.) are great at reducing inflammation. You can add them to breakfast - broccoli and brown onion frittata, lunch - roasted cauliflower and chopped spring onions on your salad, and dinner - red onions and Brussels sprouts added to roasted veggies or stir fry. Use coconut oil when preparing meals as it has particular anti-inflammatory properties.
Berries are high in antioxidants and, therefore, help contribute to reduced inflammation, as well as green tea.
Turmeric, clove, ginger and rosemary all have anti-inflammatory properties so add them to your meals....turmeric in curries, ginger tea, rosemary added to tomato dished and a pinch of clove added to pumpkin recipes.
Other foods to incorporate into your weekly meal plan are mushrooms, meats and fish high in omega 3 fatty acids and green leafy veggies.
One meta analysis study concluded that fish oil, aerobic activity (exercise), meditation and acupuncture significantly reduce systemic inflammation. So, adding these practices to your day could make a major difference.
Chronic inflammation has a root cause which needs to be addressed. Here are some possibilities:
unidentified allergens or intolerances
Work with a practitioner to identify and address the underlying problem.