Chronic inflammation causes autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS). It damages your heart, brain, nervous system, and other organs. Paying attention to your body and removing the causes will reduce chronic inflammation. This will allow your body to begin healing from the damage.
Inflammation isn’t always a bad thing. Acute inflammation protects the body like after a cut, sprained ankle or a sore throat. It’s short term and calms down after the injured area is better. It’s the body’s natural response to fixing the damaged cells. It’s long term chronic inflammation that causes problems. Such as obesity, heart disease, autoimmune diseases, and some cancers.
What Is Chronic Inflammation
Chronic inflammation, also called systemic inflammation, happens after a long period of time. It’s caused by many factors – poor diet, infections, environmental toxins, and stress. After months and even years, the body begins to see this as a threat. It sends an inflammatory response which begins attacking its own internal organs.
MS is inflammation of the central nervous system. Heart disease is inflammation of the arteries. Type 1 Diabetes is inflammation of the pancreas. Instead of looking at each individual symptom, it’s time to look at the body as a whole.
Help your body by reducing inflammation
and stop the damage
→ Autoimmune Diseases (MS, Alzheimer’s, fibromyalgia, lupus, etc.)
→ Digestive Issues
→ Heart Disease
→ Sleep Disorders
First, you want to stop eating foods that are causing inflammation. Also, stop eating any foods causing you an allergy or sensitivity reaction. Common sensitivities are dairy, eggs, gluten, nuts, peanuts, soy, and shellfish.
Inflammatory Foods To Avoid:
– Alcohol, it’s hard on the liver
– Artificial Additives (colors, flavor enhancers, preservatives, stabilizers, etc.)
– Artificial Sweeteners (aspartame, Nutrasweet, saccharin, Splenda, Sweet ‘N Low, etc.)
– Conventional Grain-fed Meats
– Fast Foods
– Grains, they contain lectins and phytates which are hard to digest
– Gluten, it’s on many items, always read the labels!
– GMO’s (corn, soy, wheat)
– Iodized Salt
– Processed Meats (hot dogs, lunch meats, sausage, etc.)
– Refined Sugar
– Trans Fats (baked goods, margarine, shortening)
– Vegetable Oils (canola, corn, safflower, soybean, sunflower, etc.)
Anti-inflammatory Foods To Include
Second, you’ll want to include anti-inflammatory foods to help your body heal faster. This will also help seal your leaky gut. A leaky gut is when your intestines break down allowing toxins to enter your bloodstream.
You need to eat a nutrient-dense diet with a wide variety of vegetables as your main meal. Include fruits, wild-caught fish, grass-fed meats, and pasture-raised poultry. Buy organic as much as possible to avoid pesticides, growth hormones, and antibiotics. If you have a hard time buying organic produce check out EWG’s Dirty Dozen List.
Top anti-inflammatory foods to include:
- Bone Broth
- Coconut Oil
- Dark Leafy Greens (chard, kale, spinach, etc.)
- Extra-Virgin Oil
- Matcha Green Tea
The standard American diet includes too many omega-6 fatty acids which cause inflammation. Omega-6s are in vegetable oils, fast food restaurants are the worst for using these oils.
You’ll need to add more omega-3s due, they anti-inflammatory. They promote a healthy heart, brain function, and for rebuilding the myelin sheath. This doesn’t mean to cut out omega-6s, it only means to lower omega-6s and increase omega-3s for a good balance.
Top Sources For Omega-3s:
- Chia Seeds
Researchers have discovered different autoimmune diseases such as MS, have more “bad” bacteria. In other words, they have fewer “good” bacteria living in their gut. The simple solution to this is by adding more foods with beneficial bacteria. For the best results include at least one tablespoon of fermented foods with each meal. It’s also a good idea to take a high quality probiotic each day.
- Coconut Yogurt
- Fermented Vegetables (carrots, kimchi, pickles, sauerkraut, etc.)
- Kombucha (it contains yeast so avoid if you have Candida)
- Water Kefir
Infections are not considered inflammation but infections can cause inflammation. I know, it sounds a little confusing. Harmful substances such as bacteria, fungus, or viruses cause infections. If you’re not seeing results, you may need to consider infections as a major contributor.
Did you have many rounds of antibiotics? Eat a high sugar diet? Suffer from chronic stress? A fungus overgrowth or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth could be your problem.
Autoimmune Diseases and Heart Health
Having certain autoimmune diseases puts you at a higher risk of a heart attack. Since they are both caused by chronic inflammation. Because you’re at a higher risk doesn’t guarantee you will have one. There are two tests that can help determine the amount of your inflammation and your risk.
C-reactive protein (CRP) – a protein released into the bloodstream. The level increases in response to inflammation. It also helps test for bacterial or fungal infections.
Homocysteine – an amino acid that’s produced in the body as a byproduct of methylation. It can build up in the body causing heart disease and neurological symptoms. Caused by an unhealthy lifestyle or by a genetic MTHFR mutation. Taking vitamins B6, B12, and folate can help lower your risk.
A Lifestyle Change
This is hard at first but it is worth it for getting your health back. Stay away from inflammatory foods and include lots of anti-inflammatory foods. You may even see improvements right away.
There is no right or wrong way of doing this. Pay attention to your body and remove any food that causes problems. This isn’t a diet, it’s a lifestyle change for the better!
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