Chronic inflammation can wreck havoc in the body. As a naturopath, inflammation is one the most common concerns I see in my practice. And for good reason. It also happens to be one of the most common culprits from which many health issues stem.
Most people are familiar with inflammation on the surface of our bodies - swollen body parts, redness and pain. But inflammation can occur inside the body too. It’s the cornerstone of the healing process and a function we all rely on for survival. When our bodies experience an overload of harmful irritants or pathogens, the body’s biological response is to remove it. The response of inflammation ensures the appropriate nourishment and immune activity is delivered to areas that are injured or under attack.
Due to inflammation’s powerfulness and responsiveness, when it continues over a long period of time, it can cause damage within the body. The immune system becomes overactive and many people experience ongoing pain, allergies or asthma, high blood pressure, ulcers, fatigue or skin problems. The simplest cause of inflammation, and one we have control over, is an ‘inflammatory lifestyle’. Constant exposure to stress, a poor diet or environmental toxins, often contribute to symptoms. Try incorporating these three changes for a life free from inflammation:
1. An alkaline diet
Incorporating an alkaline diet into your life is the single most beneficial thing you can do to fight off chronic inflammation and heal your gut. Alkalizing or ‘balancing the pH of your body’ will provide your body with a level of nutrition that it can use to maintain optimal health. Many diseases, such as cancer and heart disease, cannot survive in an alkaline state. There are many foods that are health giving to your body. Root vegetables, cruciferous vegetables, leafy greens, avocados, fermented foods, turmeric, lemon and cayenne pepper are all fabulous foods to alkalise your body. Be sure to minimise dairy intake and avoid trans-fats from margarine, hydrogenated oils and omega-6. Sugar, and any forms of refined or processed foods should also be avoided. Drink plenty of water, get lots of sleep and try adopt a daily practice, like meditation, pranayama or yoga, to help you de-stress.
2. Ridding your home of toxins
Your daily exposure to toxins and chemicals in the home can be contributing to an inflammatory response in your body. Check for mould in your home and switch to cleaning and beauty products with less harmful chemicals. Frequently open windows and shop at your local nursery to buy detoxifying plants for your home like a peace lily.
3. Fruit and vegetable blends
I am a big supporter of using Juice Plus - a fruit, vegetable and berry blend - to get more health-giving whole foods into your diet and fight inflammation. Made up over 25 different fruits and vegetables, it is a convenient and easy way to consume more nourishing foods which provide an added boost of energy and a wide range of nutritional benefits like phytonutrients, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
Find a naturopath
Naturopaths can help you on your path to a more nourished and less toxic life. If you have questions about inflammation or if you’re experiencing any signs of it, contact me for a consultation. I am available for face-face consultations in the Trinity Beach and Cairns area, as well as Skype consultations for those in other parts of Australia or overseas.