Inflammation has been getting more and more scientific attention for the past 10 years. Recent researches show that chronic inflammation might underly many modern diseases such as cancer, diabetes, asthma, allergies, and also cardiovascular, digestive, auto -immune and neurodegenerative diseases.
The recent development of "Epigenetics" (modifications in gene expression that are independent of changes in the DNA sequence and caused by environmental factors) helps us understand the major role played by nutrition and other environmental factors in chronic inflammation.
Inflammation: Environmental Factors
The Industrial Revolution marked a transition from an agricultural to an industrial system of production. Since then our eating habits have completely changed. Refined carbohydrates, excessive use of additives and preservatives, high sugar concentrations, excessive saturated fat, modified starch and a drastic decrease in fruit and vegetable consumption have become the norm!
Nutrition alone is not at stake. Little or no exercise, non-physiological working rhythms (night shifts), little sleep, improper breathing, disconnection from nature, pollution, fertilizers, overmedication, and stress: all these changes have largely contributed to growth of inflammatory diseases.
How can I Get Rid of inflammation?
Changing your diet is so simple, and it will help you fight the inflammation process! Modifying what you eat and the way you eat should be a first step towards reducing the inflammatory process.
Less is more: keep your nutrition simple and you will win against inflammation!
Follow these advices:
- Avoid any kind of industrial processed foods, they’re loaded with unhealty ingredients such as artificial additives, added sugars and preservatives.
- Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables: some studies have shown that fibre plays a major role in controlling inflammation. So, let’s go for raw organic dishes as well as cooked food (according to your digestion sensitivity).
- Get your daily intake of healthy fatty acids mostly from vegan and wholesome omega 3 oil such as hemp, walnut, flaxseed and canola oils.
- Make sure to eat enough unrefined carbohydrates from different and varied sources. Rice, millet, quinoa, buckwheat, Teff, sweet potatoes and legumes are all good choices.
- Have vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidant foods in large amounts: these essential nutrients are so instrumental in controlling inflammation. You can find them in seeds and nuts, green leafy vegetables, onions, berries, beans, and mushrooms.
- Pay also attention to food combination: some combination might be detrimental to health, being highly acidifying. For example, there is a scientific evidence of the fact that carbohydrates should never be eaten with fat or sugar.
- Finally, when there are already signs of inflammation, it is important to supplement your diet with some supplements.
Create a Stress-Free Environment
While eating, let’s create a stress-free environment to aid our digestion. The quality of food is fundamental, but not enough. Only with a quite environment we can really boost the digestion process and avoid triggering dysbiosis and thus inflammatory responses.
How can you assure a calm mealtime? Focus on your breath and breath completely: this exercise is a stress relief.
Have a rest during the day. Overworking and overtraining are pro-inflammatory when coupled with little rest, inadequate sports’ nutrition and a busy professional timetable.
Other inflammation factors are intensive training, smoking, and pollution.
Athletes and Inflammation
Athletes are very vulnerable in regard to chronic inflammatory diseases. As far as athletes are concerned, more mention should be given to the effects of poor nutrition and hydration.
Word of advice? Take your drugs only in case of emergency. Painkillers and antibiotics such as aspirin and ibuprofen have indeed a direct impact on the gut lining and on the microbiome, thus making inflammation more likely. There are some proven powerful natural remedies.
Always Ask an Expert Advice
Why not consult a nutritionist, a naturopath or another specialist and set up a specific programme? This kind of programme often consists of detoxifying and restoring the microbiome thanks to probiotics combined with additional alkalising supplements, minerals and plants.
Preventing inflammation is easy if you always take care of yourself!
Author: Marie-Noëlle Bourgeois, nutritionist
Controlled Trial of Fasting and One Year Vegetarian Diet in Rheumatoid Arthritis, J. Kjeldsen-Kragh MD et AL. The Lancet,Volume 338, Issue 8772, October 1991, pages 899-902.