Inflammation is something that we all deal with, whether we want to admit it or not. Some days we don’t feel the greatest or look the way we want to when we look in the mirror. That is okay! Some of this can be caused from what we have recently eaten, thanks to different foods that cause inflammation in our bodies. There are certain foods that can cause inflammation and others that “fight” against inflammation. Being conscious of what we’re eating can oftentimes make all the difference.
Normally, I am a huge advocate for eating eggs (I have 3 per day at the very minimum), but they can cause a great deal of inflammation, especially in our joints. Eggs contain saturated fat and the yolk has some acid in it that can cause inflammation that may induce joint pain. Other commonly consumed products that can cause inflammation and joint irritation include dairy, processed meats (hot dogs, bacon, sausage), sugary foods/drinks, fried food, and refined grains such as white flour/bread.
It’s no surprise that alcohol causes inflammation as well. Alcohol not only impairs our mental processing ability, but also can interfere with the natural processes in our organs, more specifically our liver and gut. Our body becomes unable to maintain a regular homeostasis (balance) and inflammation can ensue. Usually the effects only last hours to days, but with excessive alcohol consumption, the organs and immune system can become compromised and may start to fail over time. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2842521/#:~:text=Heavy%20alcohol%20consumption%20contributes%20to,gut%20microbiota%20and%20its%20products.
There is hope, however! There are a lot of different foods and supplements that we can take to help reduce inflammation. If you are experiencing some inflammation, try some of these out instead of the products we discussed earlier in the newsletter. Egg whites (pass on the yolks), soy or almond milk, fresh cuts of meat, grilled or baked foods (instead of fried), and food/supplements high in omega-3 fatty acids (fish). Additionally, adding in fresh fruits and vegetables, like berries and broccoli, can help reduce and/or prevent inflammation. All of these are usually options at most restaurants and can easily be found at grocery stores.
Another thing that can help reduce inflammation is exercise, surprise surprise. Getting some blood flow can help filter some inflammation out of effected areas. I wouldn’t prescribe a difficult workout for someone that is dealing with chronic inflammation because that could do more harm than good. But even a little bit of movement can do wonders sometimes.
Having quality sleep can also be very beneficial when it comes to inflammation. While we sleep, our body is able to rest and recover from our daily activities, not just exercise. This is necessary in order to allow our body to replenish the nutrients used up in our muscles, internal organs, and brain, each and every day. These nutrients are what help us to function properly and live healthy lives.
An interesting podcast I listened to in order to gain more knowledge on this topic was “3 Things Causing Inflammation in Your Body & How to Prevent It” by The Doctor’s Pharmacy. In summary, this podcast dives into some heavy hitting issues such as chronic diseases, mental health, and social issues, that can possibly stem from information in the brain. One of the doctors brings up a study done in prisons and juvenile detention centers where they switched their diet to more of an anti-inflammatory diet, and there were tons of positive effects with less violence and conflict. No is this all due to their diet change? I’m not entirely sure, but it was definitely interesting to me and there may be some truth behind this theory. Another topic that they dive into in this podcast is the advertising of the food business. Think about what you see on TV advertised as food, is it primarily fast food with high sugar content that contains a lot of sugar and trans fat? I bet so. If this is all we are seeing and being exposed to time and time again, it can often times be hard to break the mold and find other food options. If all you see is ads for fast food and drinks, while not being educated in the nutrition realm, you wouldn’t know any better than to not eat or drink that. You would almost assume this is what you should be eating since it is forced upon you on the television or on your phone with different social media ads.
If you are someone that is dealing with or has dealt with inflammation and needs some advice on how to deal with it, Andrew and I would be more than happy to help out! Never hesitate to reach out, we’ll do our best to get to feeling back to normal and better than ever!