We’ve got the statistics to prove it! Chronic inflammatory conditions are responsible for seven out of 10 deaths in the US each year.
Although inflammation is part of the body’s natural healing process, millions of people are in “inflammation overdrive” and have crossed the line where inflammation is harmful—not helpful.
It’s easy to see why—some of the common sources of chronic inflammation include:
- Stress, anxiety and depression
- Certain medications (such as statins)
- Poor sleep
- Persistent infection or virus
- Being overweight or obese
- Lacking exercise
- Toxins such as mercury and pesticides
Heaven knows one or more of those factors apply to most Americans—overweight or obesity alone affects two out of three of us.
But arguably the most widespread source of inflammation is our DIETS!
Let’s look at five of the most dangerous inflammatory foods, and how you can start using the power of nutrition to reduce chronic inflammation safely and naturally.
1- Acid-forming foods
A food is considered to be acid-forming to the body if its residue upon digestion is acidic. (Similarly, if the residue is alkaline, it’s considered an alkaline food.) An excess of acid waste in the body over and above what we can effectively eliminate or neutralize can stir up inflammation.
Several foods, although acid-forming, are also very nutritious—including meat, eggs and dairy. These foods are healthful and simply need to be balanced out by enough alkaline vegetables to buffer the acid.
However, the truly “bad” acid-forming foods include refined carbohydrates (white bread, pasta, white rice, sugar, etc.), soda, packaged and fast foods. These provide no appreciable nutrition (other than perhaps synthetic add-ins), they actually rob your body of essential minerals and they feed harmful microbes and yeasts in your gut.
2- GMO foods
The process of genetic modification of foods produces proteins that are completely foreign to your body and may potentially provoke your immune system into overreacting. In addition, they can impact your friendly intestinal flora, leading to an environment that favors dangerous microbes.
3- Factory farmed meats
Instead of being allowed to freely graze in pastures rich in anti-inflammatory Omega-3 essential fatty acids, factory farmed animals are instead fed a grain diet which is high in inflammation-stirring Omega-6 EFAs. The problem is multiplied when the grains fed to the animals are also genetically modified because what is given to the animals ends up in you (see #2 above).
Due to hybridization, we have created a gluten molecule that is more inflammatory than previous varieties. In addition, the amount of gluten in our wheat is nearly double what it was even 50 years ago. Gluten is a very dense, sticky protein that is inherently hard to digest—and now our bodies must deal with a lot more of it, and a more inflammatory version of it.
5- Bad Fats
Bad fats include highly processed fats, rancid fats, trans-fats, and any type of unnatural fats. These fats cause inflammation, trigger the development of free radicals and contribute to practically every disease.
Natural ways to help fight inflammation
In addition to avoiding the inflammatory foods mentioned above, here are four ways to put the power of natural health to work against inflammation in your body:
1) Help buffer the acid with alkaline foods
Alkaline foods include most vegetables (other than potatoes and corn) and most fruits. Try to make at least half of your plate alkaline foods, and eat a big tossed salad every day.
What you drink matters too. So if Jimmy Carter was President the last time you drank anything but coffee, alcohol, soda or Red Bull, it’s time to work in some water. Strive to drink at least eight 8-oz. glasses of filtered water a day.
2) Get enough Omega-3 essential fatty acids
Omega-3 EFAs are Nature’s anti-inflammatory, but as I mentioned in #3 above, our foods don’t have the Omega-3s they used to.
In addition to eating fatty fish, a fish oil supplement like VitalMega-3 can help make sure your body is getting what it needs.
VitalMega-3 contains 1,200 mg of Omega-3 EFAs in every 2-capsule serving, including 600 mg EPA and 400 mg DHA—the “golden stars” of Omega-3s.
3) Get enough Vitamin D
Vitamin D deficiency is linked to depression, pain, overall inflammation, weak immune functioning, inflammatory bowel disease, autoimmune diseases, cancers and more.
Unfortunately, it’s a common deficiency, especially for people living in the northern climates, people who shun the sun, the elderly, people with digestive issues and people taking statins.
Dr. Salerno’s Vitamin D-K Factor can help ensure that your body has the levels of this crucial nutrient that it needs.
Vitamin D-K Factor includes 5,000 IU of vitamin D3 (which is the preferred, natural form of vitamin D) and 45 mcg of vitamin K—to provide additional bone health support.
4) Exercise regularly
Studies show that exercise has powerful effects in reducing inflammation, which in turn can significantly lower your cancer risk, among other things. Plus exercise shrinks fat cells, which automatically fights inflammation by calming your body's immune system.
Stop being an excuse-maker when it comes to exercise. Instead get your doctor’s nod of approval and get moving.
Put these natural measures to work for you in the fight against inflammation and all its harmful effects. Believe me, your body will say thank you!