What do arthritis, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, psoriasis and asthma all have in common?
These seemingly unrelated disorders, as well as many others, are all linked by inflammation.
Inflammation is the human body’s natural response to injury. Suppose you sprain your ankle and it swells. That’s inflammation at work. With time and treatment, the inflammation around your ankle goes away and it returns to normal.
But what would happen if you had a source of inflammation that just wouldn’t go away?
What if that inflammation occurred throughout your body and not just around your ankle?
This is called chronic low-grade inflammation. We are learning that such a situation may be quite common. Instead of being a helpful reaction that helps to heal the body, it can be very bad for your health.
For example, cardiovascular disease is the number one killer of American, claiming nearly 600,000 lives each year. Atherosclerosis, the formation of plaque that causes blockages in the arteries, is a major contributor to cardiovascular disease. It is now widely agreed that atherosclerosis is an inflammatory process.
Many other health problems have inflammation at their root, including chronic pain itself, so we need to think about how we can reduce our own levels of inflammation to improve our health.
90 percent of the Standard American Diet is inflammatory and toxic, including grains, sugars, Omega 6 oils, high-fat meats, whole fat dairy and alcohol. These foods are usually processed and sold at fast food restaurants, and leave us inflamed, swollen and overweight.
There are simple steps we can take to reduce inflammation. We just need to make the decision to change our habits.
- Eat more fruits and leafy green vegetables, which contain a complex array of vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants and other phytochemicals that exert anti-inflammatory effects throughout the body. It is recommended that we consume five servings each of vegetables and fruits every day. Grass-fed protein, nuts and seeds, and water can also reduce pain and inflammation.
- Consume the right types, and the right balance, of essential fatty acids. This class of fats is divided into Omega-3 and Omega-6 varieties. We should be eating roughly the same amount of both, but most of us eat far too many Omega-6s. This creates an imbalance that actually leads to excessive inflammation.
The most effective way to increase our consumption of Omega-3 fats is to take fish oil supplements. It’s also helpful to eat more cold-water fish, like salmon, herring, rainbow trout and mackerel, and reduce our intake of saturated fats and common cooking oils, like corn, soybean and cottonseed.
- Supplement your diet with additional anti-oxidants. Many formulas are available, and all of them add protection against harmful free radicals. Free radicals damage cells, which in turn contributes to higher levels of inflammation.
Put Back What You Lack
Obviously, supplementation can play a critical role in reducing inflammation levels and preventing illness. Put Back What You Lack, a member of the Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies, is an online store that provides high-quality, physician-administered supplements that are certified to be pharmaceutical-grade. This means that they have passed rigorous testing for purity to ensure that the ingredients listed on the label are in fact contained in the supplement, which is not the case with most supplements.
You should never take supplements before consulting with a physician, so we encourage you to visit us at Natural Healthcare Center for a complimentary consultation and physical examination.
These anti-inflammatory approaches are just the tip of the iceberg, but they represent crucial steps toward taking back our health. The important thing is to commit to getting started now. This is the year of the family, and reducing the level of chronic inflammation in our bodies is a key component to feeling better, functioning better and living as many disease-free years as possible.
Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician and health educator who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise for the past two decades has been in physical rehabilitation, and he has successfully established himself as a spinal specialist. In his practice, he advocates the science of functional medicine, which takes an integrative approach to treating patients by addressing their physical, nutritional, and psychological needs. Alarmed by the escalation of complex, chronic illness in our country, Dr. Proodian has been speaking to companies and organizations through his “Wellness at Work” program since 1994, motivating thousands of people to make positive lifestyle choices and lead healthier, more productive lives. He can be heard weekly on his radio program, “Proodian Healthcare By Design,” on Tandem Radio.