The modern world, filled with conveniences and cutting edge technology never witnessed by prior generations, is changing drastically right before our eyes. We are continuously exposed to toxic, artificial radioactive waves emitted by cell phones, computer networks and other communication devices. The air we breathe contains countless, destructive manmade pollutants generated by contemporary farming processes, transportation and manufacturing services. The majority of food consumed around the globe does not come straight from the ground, nor is it developed to nourish our bodies on a cellular level. Most of the population eats food recognized as a foreign invader to the body. It’s no surprise we are seeing a steady increase in the number of children and adults affected by food intolerances, allergies and chronic inflammation throughout the world.
Inflammation, a commonly misunderstood term often labeled with negative connotations, is a natural, instinctive response to pain/injury/illness/stress. When the body experiences any level of trauma, the immune system automatically sends its troops to the infected area to heal the wound and protect it from further damage. Initial signs of acute inflammation include pain, swelling, redness and heat. If you cut your finger with a knife while chopping vegetables, you will experience some type of pain, heat and swelling. The heat is caused by an increase of blood flow to the area, which is meant to nourish the damaged tissues. These irritating sensations are your body’s way of grabbing your attention and telling you to stop what you are doing so you will not continue to cause catastrophe to your hand by repeating the act. Your immune system is brilliant and will fight tooth and nail to protect you, however, endless fighting will wear anyone down, so it’s important not to exhaust your army.
Chronic inflammation occurs when the immune system is working around the clock to heal the body. The body’s natural state is health, and the immune system does not need to be turned on when the body is in a condition to defend itself. However, the general lifestyle in developed countries consist of repeated behaviors that cause inflammation, so our immune systems are working overtime just to keep us balanced and healthy while we live an imbalanced, unhealthy life.
Symptoms of Inflammation
Symptoms of inflammation include stress, asthma, nose bleeds, loss of appetite, constant cravings for carbohydrates, dehydration, negative thoughts, leaky gut syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, headaches, allergies, food intolerances, acne, skin problems, diarrhea, bloating, gas, stomach pain, heartburn, shingles, ear infections, eczema, mood swings, depression, anxiety, fatigue, lethargy, arthritis, autoimmune disease, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Some of us have never known what true health looks or feels like, and have adapted, or accepted, our chronic ailments. There are ways to improve your current condition and feel better on a daily basis. Discover what behaviors and foods (from the list below) are making you sick and take steps toward productive change.
What Causes Inflammation?
Stress is a major factor of inflammation. Unfortunately, we don’t always realize we are anxious because we have programmed ourselves to run on empty without the rest and recovery we need. When your guilt, anger or to-do list lingers in the back of your mind, unease builds inside of you and creates tension. Over time, your mind and body adapt to a perpetual state of stress. Meditation and yogic breathing techniques help clear and mind and relax the body.
2. Toxic Diets
Many foods we consider ‘healthy’ produce inflammation. These include gluten, processed carbohydrates, dairy, refined sugar (also known as fructose, sucrose and corn syrup), GMO (genetically modified organisms), trans-fats, hydrogenated & partially hydrogenated oils, mono-sodium glutamate (MSG), alcohol, aspartame and meat injected with hormones/antibiotics. These foods are causing widespread intolerances, sensitivities and allergies.
3. Poor Digestion
As we’ve discussed, ingesting impure foods will tax your digestive system, however, overeating will also make you sick. Consuming more than your body needs in one sitting takes a toll on your digestive tract and organs. Your gut must be healthy and strong, or else your immune system will tire out trying to protect it every time you eat.
4. Lack of Sleep
Sleep is crucial for our ability to heal and recover from any mental/emotional/physical activity, including exercise and stress. If you are not getting enough rest, your immune system kicks into gear and begins the healing process for you.
5. Radioactive Waves
Gone are the days of living off the land, writing letters by hand and riding bikes to our destination. We have created a world where computers, cell phones and and network devices are needed just to survive economically. There are exceptions, but in general, we rely heavily on products that emit electromagnetic radiation. Only time will reveal the long-term effects these frequencies produce, but we do know that large amounts of exposure are translated as injury to the body, generating inflammation for protection.
6. Lack of Fresh Air
All that time engaging in computers and cell phones prevent us from being outdoors soaking up fresh air, sunshine and oxygen.
7. Unhealthy Relationships
The turmoil you experience when engaged in a detrimental situation/relationship causes emotional and psychological wounding, which requires healing on a cellular level and puts you in a position that perpetuates chronic inflammation.
8. Sedentary Lifestyle
We know the importance of exercise. The body needs movement in order to function properly. Exercise, even gentle walking and yoga, help boost the flow of oxygen and blood, which are both needed to heal the body completely.
9. Common Chemicals
We are regularly exposed to harmful chemical found in pesticides, cleaning products, paint, latex, cleaning products, perfumes, artificial flavorings, plastics, glues, air fresheners, heavy metals and cosmetic products.
1. Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
Eat vitamin-rich foods that come straight from a plant. Leafy greens (kale, arugula, lettuce, spinach, chard) are especially healing to the body.
2. Fish and Seafood
Alaskan salmon, Arctic char, sardines, Atlantic mackerel, black cod, tuna, trout and halibut are types of fish particularly high in omega-3 fatty acids, which help reduce inflammation in the body.
3. Good Fats
Healthy fats not only nourish your system, but also boost brain function. Avocados, coconut oil, cashews, walnuts, almonds and cold-pressed olive oil are wonderful sources of good fats.
4. Herbs and Spices
Herbs and spices add flavor to your dishes and are considered medicinal in many cultures. Ginger, turmeric, cayenne, cilantro, parsley, cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg boost the immune system and alleviate symptoms of inflammation. Hot herbal teas/infusions are a wonderful way to get your daily dose of antioxidants.
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