Anti-inflammatory the natural way!

Everyone  knows  the plain facts  about inflammation.
If you’ve ever been stung by a bee, or  fallen off your skateboard as a kid (I had my fair share of those)  or broken out in hives, or even had the common cold then you know what acute inflammation feels like.  You also  know that your body responds to this type of “trauma” in the form of pains, aches, swelling and itching.

In very basic terms,  inflammation is your body’s natural reaction to heal itself from the damage caused by a virus, fungus, toxin or an injury. Without the process of inflammation, your body can’t heal itself when faced with these “assaults.”

In the most simplest of terms,  all inflammation begins  in an acute phase.  Your  becomes damaged in some way  due to a foreign agent, and it responds quickly  to repair the damage. In most  cases, this reaction goes unnoticed, or symptoms are so mild that they are even unnoticeable. Once the threat has vanished,  your  body will be  able to go back to a non-emergency state—and the inflammation process turns off.

Inflammation becomes chronic when the body has to constantly  fight off  something that won’t go away (repeat offender)  for instance,  H.pylori, Lyme Disease, or even heavy metal toxicity.  At this stage, your body’s inflammation process fails to stop. When this happens, your body becomes less strong and very stressed.

The inflammation process can be compared to a light bulb. When left on continuously, the light  will burn out a lot quicker than if it’s turned off  when not being used. When the inflammation process fails to turn off, the immune system becomes compromised because it is simply overworked and overused. Once the immune system is compromised,  sadly, ALL forms of chronic disease can occur—not just inflammatory diseases. That’s why diseases seemingly unrelated to inflammation occur. These include:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Cancer

These are some very serious diseases that cause much suffering in the world today.  The list goes on with other diseases such as:

  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Lupus
  • And many others

Sadly a lot of  people suffer from diseases  due to internal inflammation.

Many times people will be prescribed NSAIDs  or stronger medicines called steroids.  Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs reduce pain by counteracting the cyclooxygenase enzyme.  This enzyme synthesizes prostaglandins, causing inflammation.

How can you stop chronic inflammation?

Guarding  yourself against chronic disease requires changing the way you think about your health. Many people sacrifice their long-term health because they simply want their symptoms to go away, so they self-treat with over-the-counter medications from the local drug store instead of dealing with the underlying causes that assault their bodies on a continual basis.

The fact is  there is no “overnight fix” for chronic inflammation. In order to effectively stop  chronic inflammation and the potential for future disease, you need to find the true, hidden culprits and either control or eradicate them altogether. Some of the culprits of chronic inflammation include:

  • Fungi such as Candida.
  • Bacteria (including but not limited to) H. Pylori (responsible for peptic ulcers) and Borrelia burgdorferi (responsible for Lyme disease).
  • Viruses such as Hepatitis AE, Herpes, HIV, and Epstein Barr.

Undiagnosed food allergies can also cause inflammation. A lot of  people unknowingly suffer from lactose intolerance or gluten intolerance, or may be allergic to corn or soy (common ingredients found in many processed foods). Undiagnosed food allergies have the potential to cause severe, chronic inflammation. Gluten, milk, soy and corn are in so many things we ingest on a daily basis.  It’s really worth it to go to an allergist and find out if you have any allergies.

Effective therapies to treat the underlying causes of chronic inflammation may take many weeks, months, or even years. While this may seem like “an eternity” it is really  only a short period of time when it comes to increasing the quality of your overall health—and your lifespan.

Viewing food as medicine is an interesting concept.  Many foods have anti-inflammatory agents in them.  There are no side effects and you are nourishing your body as well as treating the inflammation.

One of my favorite anti-inflammatory foods is Kale.

Kale’s antioxidants are both traditional as well as recently discovered.

In addition to conventional antioxidants like vitamin C, beta-carotene, and manganese, kale also provides us with at least 45 different recently discovered flavonoids, including kaempferol and quercetin. Many of the flavonoids in kale are also now known to function not only as antioxidants, but also as anti-inflammatory compounds.

I eat Kale pretty much every single day of my life.   I didn’t start eating it for any reason but to increase my Iron  intake.  Calorie for calorie, Kale has more Iron than beef!  Having said that, what I noticed was an immediate feeling of well-being in my body.    I got curious as to why this may be.  Interestingly enough, Kale is very high in Omega-3 which is very effective in treating chronic inflammation.   Essential Omega fats play an important role in our health, unlike the saturated fats in meat. A serving of kale contains 121 mg of omega-3 fatty acids and 92.4 mg of omega-6 fatty acids.  I was eating fish and taking fish oil to obtain my omega-3 fatty acids.  I had no idea that Kale was such a great source of this wonderful nutrient!

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