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  • Michael Lewko, MD

Nutrition and Inflammation – Their 'Relationship'


For thousands of years inflammation has been documented as a chief indicator of illness.Inflammation is the body’s immune system response to protecting the body from injury and infection. It signals the body into defense mood by increasing its white blood cell count to stop infection from spreading.

Scientists and doctors found inflammation is positively correlated to chronic illnesses, like autoimmune diseases. It is important to understand how inflammation works and how nutrition can be integrated as a natural form of pain management.


Types of Inflammation


There are two types of inflammation- acute and chronic (systemic).


Acute

Acute inflammation is the body’s response that occurs in the area of the body where there is a problem. It can include redness, heat, swelling or immobility of the area.

For example:

· Sprained limb

· Tonsillitis

· Inflammation of cut or scrape


Chronic

Chronic inflammation differs from acute. Chronic can last for a lifetime and effects the entire body. Systemic inflammation contributes to many diseases. It is a lower level of inflammation that is consistent throughout the body versus high levels of infection for shorter periods.

Examples of chronic inflammation are:

· Lupus

· Cardiovascular disease

· Active hepatitis

· Rheumatoid arthritis

Inflammation can cause grave consequences. According to the National Cancer Institute, if inflammation persists, DNA can be damaged and can lead to cancer. It is imperative to give the body what it needs to properly heal itself.


Inflammation and Nutrition

Did you know the food you eat AFFECTS the inflammation in your body? A poor diet causes significant health issues that can harm you in the long run.


Nutrition is key.


Chronic inflammation can sometimes go unnoticed. A poor diet high in saturated fats, preservatives and sugar can contribute to injuring your organs, and you may be unaware until the damage is done. Here are several examples of chronic inflammation caused by poor diet:

· Allergies

· Diabetes

· Stroke

· Autoimmune diseases/arthritis


Do we have your attention now?


Your diet could be working against you, making you sick(er).


Here’s a list of some inflammatory foods:


· Refined carbohydrates – pasta, white bread

· Junk food – chips, fast food

· High sugar food – soda, donuts

· Fried food – French fries, fried chicken


Anti-inflammatory Diet


An anti-inflammatory diet is nature’s medicine to healing illnesses. Reputable Dr. Barry Sears explains that “anti-inflammatory nutrition is the understanding of how individual nutrients affect the same molecular targets affected by pharmacological drugs.”


Nutrition.org follows up stating that specific factors can modulate inflammatory pathways in the body. A healthy anti-inflammatory diet that fights inflammation consists of:


· lean meats – turkey, pork

· berries – blackberries, strawberries, blueberries

· fatty fish - salmon, tuna

· vegetables – broccoli, chili peppers

· olive oil – extra virgin

· legumes – higher fiber such as beans

· nuts – walnuts, cashews, peanuts

· seeds – pumpkin, sunflower

· teas – green tea with antioxidants


A proper diet not only promotes longevity, it reduces inflammation. Food is medicine. It naturally aids healing. A great anti-inflammatory diet to follow is the Mediterranean diet.


Help Heal Yourself

The brain and body communicate with one another incessantly. By providing your body healthy nutrition, it signals the brain to stop the body from attacking itself, thus reducing inflammation.


The inflammatory response to proper nutrition provides pain management and promotes healing. For more information, please visit this website to learn more about integrative perspectives along your journey to healing.

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© 2019 by Dr.Lewko