Did you know that inflammation in your body could predispose you to health risks?
Did you know that the hormone shifts in menopause could further raise levels of inflammation?
What is inflammation?
We often think inflammation with tangible things like scraped knees. A scraped knee has obvious redness, swelling, pain and heat, right? The thing about inflammation inside your body is that it is silent but still holds the possibility of being destructive. In menopause there are changes with estrogen levels. These shifts together with existing inflammation can impact your health.
This article is intended to give you food for thought, information to make educated choices, and reconnect you to the fact that your body is made to heal. Inflammation serves the valuable purpose of fixing tissue damage; so it’s not all bad. Cellular repair is important and necessary. However ongoing inflammation, which does not resolve, is problematic. Remember you always have an opportunity to guide your body away from being more inflamed to less inflamed.
So what happens with this inner inflammation?
One way to look at this “silent” inflammation is that it is like oil build-up inside an engine. Your engine needs oil to lubricate your gears. However, if the oil is dirty, build-ups occur, your gears are stressed, and things may grind to a halt. Atherosclerosis (build up of fatty materials inside blood vessels) is one common example of a result of chronic inflammation, very much like clogged gears.
Do you have:
Popping or clicking joints?
Redness or broken blood vessels in your face or neck?
Increasing sensitivities to foods or environmental substances?
High blood pressure?
Elevations in your cholesterol, triglycerides or C-reactive protein lab works?
High blood sugar?
Cravings for sugar?
Drowsiness after meals?
Extra weight around your mid section?
Yes to any of the above, indicates inflammation. Inflammation can be temporary or can be chronic depending upon your health history, genetics and various lifestyle habits and how many of the above factors you have at the same time.
Here is what you can do right now to help reduce inflammation in your body:
Avoid environmental and nutritional things to which you are sensitive.
It sounds simple but most of us know when we don’t tolerate specific foods or beverages. Yet we still “try them” now and again. It’s not worth it. If curry always does a number on your digestive tract: it’s not worth the stress to your system.
Give up gluten in your diet.
Even if you are not formally allergic to gluten, there are multiple reasons to avoid it. Firstly gluten is a highly inflammatory substance. It is like tossing gasoline onto any inflammation fire inside your body. Secondly, gluten found in the typical diet is a hybridized genetically modified organism (GMO), which is foreign to our bodies. Lastly it is too heavily ingested as far as quantity. Gluten will substantially ramp up any inflammatory process happening in your system. A wealth of information currently exists on gluten-free foods; so do some research. (http://www.triumphdining.com/blog/, http://www.glutenfreeliving.com/blog/)
Specifically avoid: wheat, spelt, semolina, barley, bulgur, and rye.
Incorporate into your diet: rice, potatoes, quinoa, wheat-free oats, millet, or amaranth.
Corn is a possibility but keep in mind that corn too is inflammatory though not to the degree of wheat.
Increase in your muscle mass and decrease in your body fat. This does not mean hours and hours in the gym. Even modest shifts in body fat substantially reduce your body’s tendency to make inflammatory substances.
Give your body antioxidant rich foods and supplements like:
Increase your intake of Omega-3 Fatty Acids like:
Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA). You can also supplement with Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) but this Omega-3 is sometimes harder to absorb if you have multiple inflammatory signs.
Dietary sources of Omega-3’s:
Make an appointment with your Acupuncturist, Naturopath or Nurse Practitioner, as well as a Clinical Nutritionist or Personal Trainer to get more information, get evaluated and create a plan, which will work for you and your lifestyle.