Inflammation is a natural process in the body which offers a messenger system to let us know when there is a problem. Every system in our body can become inflamed. This includes; digestion, respiratory, musculoskeletal, as well as our brain, emotional health, and hormonal system. Inflammation is an important aspect of the dis-ease process as well as the healing process. Hippocrates recognized that illness occurs from a series of sins against the body not just one sin. the laws of nature and using the elements of healing and gentle interventions such as hydrotherapy, heat, rest, and anti-inflammatory foods is important. Not suppressing inflammation with medications is also important.
Firstly, we should all eat a naturally anti-inflammatory diet. Following my 10 Principles of Food for Health which includes the following;
- Eat Certified Organic Fresh Food Whenever Possible
Organic food has fewer hormone disturbing and cancer-causing pesticides, as well as higher levels of vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin C Iron, Magnesium, and Phosphorus. Eat organic protein such as poultry, eggs, beef. Be sure to also opt for organic produce like apples, peaches, pears, berries, grapes, lettuces, potatoes. Non-organic produce and protein tend to be contaminated with pesticides and have additional hormonal influences.
- Eat a Primarily Plant Based Diet
The vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phyto-chemicals in plant-based options offer significant protection from cancer, inflammation, and heart disease, especially when eaten raw. Pay special attention to cruciferous vegetables, bitter greens, radishes, and onions. These are especially nourishing for the liver during hormonal fluctuation and also help break down too much estrogens in the body.
- Eat an Alkaline Diet
Fruits and vegetables increase alkalinity. Dairy, animal proteins, and most grains increase acidity, fungal overgrowth, accumulation of toxic metals, and loss of minerals. Other alkaline foods include nuts, seeds, miso, sea salt, and beans.
- Eat Foods that Are Low Glycemic
The degree to which carbohydrates raise blood sugar 2-3 hours after eating is referred to as a “glycemic index”. Pizza and pastry raise blood sugar for 24 hours, for example. Most vegetables and complex carbohydrates (brown rice and beans), are foods that are lower on glycemic index. Corn, sugary fruits, and refined foods (such as white bread), are higher on the glycemic index and should avoid being consumed. New evidence suggests minimizing all grains to about 1 serving a day, and preferably during morning hours.
- Eat High Fiber Foods
Try to consume 40-60 grams of fiber per day. Beans, flax seeds, raw fruits, and vegetables are the best sources. Aim for 10 servings (1/2 cup per serving) of fruit and vegetables per day. High fiber diets help stabilize blood sugar, maintain a healthy weight, lower cholesterol, reduce circulating estrogens, improve insulin sensitivity, and stabilize good flora in the gut.
- Limit Sugars and Sweeteners
Sugars contribute to weight gain and reduce immunity. Artificial sweeteners are unhealthy, only adding toxins to the system. There is chlorine in Splenda, Equal, and other artificial sweeteners, which act as neurotoxins on the brain. Alcohol is not only high in sugar, but both a stimulant and depressant.
- Avoid Saturated and Hydrogenated Fats (But Eat Fat!)
Instead, use olive oil and introduce flax seed oil and fish oil to your diet. The saturated fats found in meats, butter, and, dairy increase the risk of heart disease and cancer. Coconut oil is a healthy but considered a saturated fat. Butter can be used in moderation, be sure to avoid margarine. Don’t be afraid of nuts, seeds, avocados, whole milk yogurt!
- Limit Dairy Products
Eat organic sources of protein when possible. Hormones added to foods, especially milk sources where other hormones are already high, only add unwanted hormonal issues and hormonal excess. Additionally, if we have sensitivity to dairy, it can cause overactive immune system, inflammation, and mucus. Avoid reproductive foods (foods from other animals’ reproductive systems).
- Eat Super Foods
Flaxseeds, turmeric, garlic, raw nuts and seeds, green tea, legumes, berries, and greens (especially kale and cabbage) will help improve estrogen metabolism. Aim for 2 cups of dark greens a day. Also add anti-inflammatory omega 3 fatty acids into your diet. Fish oils, and raw nuts and seeds such as flax, sunflower, pumpkin seeds and walnuts are all excellent sources that contain omega 3’s.
- Engage in Periods of Nutritional Cleansing
This is a basic Naturopathic principle. There are many ways to keep the body clean with food and extra nutrients. An example might be a green day, with lots of veggies, greens, some fruits, and broth. Women are especially sensitive to many foods during hormonal changes and a specific cleanse should be tailored to your needs.
- Bonus. High powered multi-micronutrient formula Calcium/magnesium, Vitamin D covers the basics, depending upon personal health challenge consider gut support, immune support, inflammatory hormonal balance support-customized to your unique needs. Everyone’s needs are unique.
Next, we need to address the system presenting the most inflammation. For example, pain on a muscular level or nerve path can be addressed with nutrients(magnesium), herbs (hypericum)and homeopathies (arnica) specific to your particular needs. Every client’s case may be different and I develop custom naturopathic and homeopathic support plans for each client.