Could one simple, and easy to fix problem be at the root of almost all of your health challenges?
If you’re experiencing any niggling health issues, things like fatigue, excess weight, skin conditions, reflux, IBS or more, it’s highly likely that inflammation, that you don’t even know is happening, is the cause.
Research has found direct links between chronic inflammation and a whole host of conditions and diseases, from skin conditions, allergies and fatigue all the way through to Alzheimer’s, diabetes and heart disease.
You might think that when it comes to inflammation you either have it (and know about it) or you don’t.
But a huge number of us are living with inflammation every day. It’s just that we don’t realise.
And until something big and scary happens, we might not do anything about it.
So I hope, with this guide, that we can put an end to inflammation before it’s a problem.
And note: Inflammation certainly rapidly increases the ageing process (and the more we age the worse we are at dealing with inflammation. Kinda like a vicious cycle.) Hopefully, that’s a little motivating too!
But Not All Inflammation Is Bad…
Man With Knee Pain On White Background
Inflammation is a natural response in the body. We all know it as the thing that happens when we cut ourselves, or get an infection. It is the body stimulating a combination of internal and external defence mechanisms and looks like: redness, swelling, heat, joint pain, muscle pain.
It’s an important part of healing and is a delicate balance of giving and taking stimulated by the immune system.
This, perfectly normal and important response is called Acute Inflammation.
It’s what’s happening to me right now. Yesterday I fell over a suitcase (I know) and my knee is hot, red, bruised and swollen. Acute inflammation, happy days!
However, when this gets out of control you have a problem. When the immune response gets locked in the ‘on’ position and you can’t switch it off, that’s when Chronic Inflammation starts to occur.
It’s your body on high alert 24/7.
And this is what we’re talking about today: Chronic Inflammation
How Chronic Inflammation Could Be Ruining Your Health & How You Might Have It And Not Even Know…
Millions of us are walking around on ‘high alert’ every day and we don’t even realise.
And symptoms can include fatigue, fibromyalgia, IBS, reflux, poor digestion, constipation, headaches/migraines, low libido, skin conditions, premature ageing, weight gain, being too thin, low energy, poor sleep, allergies, food intolerances, joint pain…
Right through to degenerative conditions such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and more…
So let’s get into the seven most anti-inflammatory foods to focus on, the seven foods to avoid and my action plan to help you make it real!
And remember, if you ever need the motivation to make this happen: chronic inflammation will dramatically speed the ageing process and the older you get the more inflammation you will have and the faster it will happen!
The Seven Most Powerful Anti-Inflammatory Foods
Quiz: can you notice anything that all of the anti-inflammatory foods have in common…and something all of the pro-inflammatory foods have in common too?
Avocados are possibly one of the very best anti-inflammatory foods. I really recommend having avo every day!
There are FIVE nutrients in avocados that makes them such an anti-inflammatory powerhouse:
- Phytosterols: including beta-sitosterol, stigmasterol, and campesterol
- Carotenoid antioxidants: including lutein, neoxanthin, neochrome, chrysanthemaxanthin, beta-cryptoxanthin, zeaxanthin, violaxanthin, beta-carotene and alpha-carotene
- The non-carotenoid antioxidants: including the flavonoids epicatechin and epigallocatechin 3-0-gallate, vitamins C and E, and the minerals manganese, selenium, and zinc
- Omega-3 fatty acids: in the form of alpha-linolenic acid (approximately 160 milligrams per cup of sliced avocado)
- And Polyhydroxylated fatty alcohols (PSA)s.
All five of these nutrients have been strongly linked to preventing inflammation, especially arthritis.
Ginger contains ultra-potent anti-inflammatory compounds called gingerols (cool name), which are the substances that many researchers believe are responsible for the reduction in inflammation people experience when they start taking ginger supplements regularly.
Gingerols have been heavily researched and proven to be linked to the relief of pain from inflammatory conditions, osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.
In two clinical studies involving patients who responded to conventional drugs and those who didn’t, physicians found that 75% of arthritis patients and 100% of patients with muscular discomfort experienced relief of pain and/or swelling.
Ginger is delicious, easily used in cooking, juices and smoothies and I recommend you fall in love with it!
Research shows that turmeric has powerful anti-inflammatory, anti-tumour, and antioxidant properties.
Turmeric contains a pigment called curcumin, and it is this the pigment that gives turmeric that is the active ingredient behind many of the emerging health benefits.
One recent study found that osteoarthritis patients who added 200 mg of curcumin a day to their treatment plan experienced reduced pain and increased mobility, whereas the control group, which received no curcumin, experienced no significant improvements.
Other research also found that a turmeric extract composed of curcuminoids (plant-based nutrients that contain powerful antioxidant properties) blocked inflammatory pathways, ii effectively preventing the launch of a protein that triggers swelling and pain.
Clinical studies have also found that curcumin also has very powerful antioxidant effects. Due to this, it is able to neutralize free radicals and dramatically reduce joint inflammation and pain.
Definitely worth including in your daily diet, but don’t get it on your clothes. I learned that lesson (on dozens of occasions) the hard way!
Delicious, smelly and darn good for you.
Garlic has huge anti-inflammatory properties that have been linked to cardiovascular health, preventing obesity (related to sulphur-containing compounds found in garlic) and helping and preventing arthritis.
Two additional compounds in garlic (vinyldithiin and thiacremonone) are found to inhibit the activity of inflammatory messenger molecules while also providing an anti-oxidative stress benefit.
The most researched compound in garlic, allicin, has been linked to many anti-inflammatory benefits, and this food should definitely be eaten multiple times daily.
As with many other high-antioxidant foods, beetroot has been shown to have fantastic anti-inflammatory benefits.
The phytonutrients betanin is betanin, and violaxanthin that is found in beetroot have been the subject of huge amounts of research with regards to heart health (a symptom of chronic inflammation).
Alongside the anti-inflammatory benefits that betanin has, it is also proven to have anti-fungal properties and aid in detoxification.
Asparagus is super-anti-inflammatory because of its unique combination of anti-inflammatory nutrients including asparanin A, sarsasapogenin, protodioscin, diosgenin, quercetin, rutin, kaempferol and isorhamnetin.
You don’t need to be able to pronounce those nor do you need to remember them – just know that asparagus has possibly more anti-inflammatory compounds in it than any other food!
(Plus asparagus also contains antioxidant nutrients including vitamin C, beta-carotene, vitamin E, and the minerals zinc, manganese, and selenium.)
7. Omega 3
Omega 3 is crucially important to fight inflammation.
The primary omega-3 fatty acid in flaxseeds—alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA— is fantastic for the cardiovascular system in and of itself.
It also acts as a building block for other molecules that help prevent excessive inflammation and protects the blood vessels from inflammatory damage.
But the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits of flaxseed don’t stop with the cardiovascular system.
Studies have shown that omega 3 intakes can be linked to the prevention of the following inflammation-based conditions: high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, depression, inflammatory bowel disease, asthma and more.