Tonight I took a class on an Anti-inflammatory diet with a Nutritionist. I have attended a class on this before in Kansas City with a dietitian. It is always good to relearn and refresh this information. There is some level of inflammation at the heart of every disease. Acute inflammation is not a bad thing. It is our bodies way of healing. It brings blood flow and white blood cells to damaged tissue but chronic inflammation is not a good thing and it is a growing problem. Anything that ends in "itis" is an inflammatory issue like arthritis or sinusitis. There are certain major contributors to inflammation such as stressful lifestyle, diets high in grains and other allergenic foods, diets high in sugars and carbohydrates, diets high in processed foods, increased exposure to Nsaids, antibiotics, environmental toxins like pesticides, medications, lack of or inappropriate exercise, genetic predisposition and a decrease in nutrient rich protective foods. The gastrointestinal tract is crucial for nutrient absorption. Keeping it well maintained is essential. It is important to remove foods that one knows they are allergic or sensitive too. Probiotics are important. They help keep our gut microflora balanced. In every nutrition class I have taken the issue of gut health being the critical piece of the puzzle for a healthy body has been taught. Our immune systems begin there and our nutrients are absorbed there.
One of the things our teacher expressed several times is that you will get out of this what you are willing to put into it. We all make the choice what to do or not do. It is not a "fun" diet but you can be creative. She recommends trying to avoid the proinflammatory foods for 4 to 6 weeks and over a period of 4 days add back in the eliminated foods one by one to determine if that particular food is a problem for you. Proinflamatory foods include all vegetable oils, spreads and margarines containing soy,corn, cottonseed, sunflower, safflower, grape seed and canola oils because they are high in polyunsaturated fatty acids, fried foods because frying oxidizes oils making them toxic, fast foods, foods made with partially hydrogenated oils/trans fats, grains including those from the wheat family, conventionally raised meats, foods with a high sugar or carbohydrate content, processed and refined foods, common food allergens like soy,peanuts, corn, dairy, nightshade vegetables (tomatoes,potatoes, eggplant,bell peppers,hot peppers,paprika) foods high in lectins which are proteins that bind to certain cell membranes in the intestine disrupting their function. Foods with lectin are cereal grains, beans and legumes. Soaking and sprouting these things helps to unlock the natural enzyme inhibitors that act as a preservative in these foods. Avoid animal milk/cheese and commercial eggs (free roaming are ok), industrial farmed poultry and grain fed meat as well as farmed salmon, peanut and corn products, citrus fruits with the exception of lemon, bottled juices, dried fruits (because they are reduced to a big piece of sugar and often have sugars added to them) Foods that are ok in some of these categories are all vegetables except the nightshades, amaranth, teff, millet, oatmeal, quinoa, rice (brown,wild,black not white),
buckwheat, one or two pieces of fruit (because of the sugar content and not citrus except for lemon), 100% pure maple syrup, raw honey, rice syrup or stevia, split peas, kidney or pinto beans, lentils, adzuki, mung and garbanzo beans (all soaked for 24 hours or sprouted). Deep sea, wild fish, cage free or wild chicken and turkey, free range pasture fed meats. Organic butter, ghee, olive oil (not heated), coconut oil. Sprouted breads are a good option and are available in the refrigerated section of grocery stores. Caffeine and alcohol are also proinflamatory.
There is much more to learn about this topic but in my opinion it is worth the time and effort. The dietary changes may seem daunting but there are great choices available in health food stores that allow us to be creative with our food and healthy. We can do a lot on our own too like sprouting, soaking and making our own fresh juices at home. It all takes effort but aren't you and your family worth it? Convenience has its' place but not in our diets as the mounting health problems in our country and in the world will testify too. Nature gives us the resources we need to be healthy. Real, whole food is one of those resources. One of the reasons industrial, conventional ,farmed meats and fish are bad is because they are fed unnatural diets to fatten them and loads of medications. That gets passed on up the food chain. Gluten is such a problem now because wheat as we know it is extremely hybridized creating excess gluten.
Non organic foods are laden with toxic chemicals and once it is sprayed on it soaks in with few exceptions. Things that have a very thick skin like avocado is one of them. These things are making us sick and for what? money! It is crazy and we all need to take a stand for ourselves and each other.