Love Eats: How to Rid Unnecessary Inflammation

“The art of healing comes from nature, not from the physician.  Therefore, the physician mut start from nature, with an open mind.” – Paracelsus

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), seven out of ten deaths in the the United States are caused by chronic disease.  So what does this have to do with the topic of inflammation?  Due to further research and development, researchers imgresare finding more and more evidence linking chronic inflammation with chronic disease.  It is said that inflammatory markers are related to cardiovascular disease, cancer, alzheimer’s disease, autoimmune diseases, and even asthma.  You may be asking, “How does inflammation directly relate to chronic diseases?”  Well inflammation is the first response by the immune system to either infection or irritation.  It is presented with redness, heat, swelling, pain and dysfunction.  Ironically, as most of us know, inflammation is needed to help heal acute injuries, trauma, broken bones, or any other type of acute invasion of a foreign substance (i.e. bee sting).  These responses are important and necessary  to prevent further damage to the injury at hand.  Chronic inflammation is on going, even at lower levels, which generally occurs due to prolonged acute inflammation. This type of chronic inflammation is what is associated with chronic disease, as mentioned above.

As dancers, it is important for us to be knowledgeable about these facts.  Understanding that acute inflammation is essential for healing is important.  However, knowing that prolonged or unnecessary inflammation can become damaging is also important to know.  The truth is, even normal healthy cells sometimes mount an immune response against other normal cells, resulting in inflammation.  So what can we do to help our bodies prevent or limit this waste accumulation in the body?

One way is to eat higher qualities of food, which provide for more nutrients and energy!!

Foods to Eat More Of:

  • Essential fatty acids found in oily fish, such as salmon, mackerel, tuna (limit to 2 servings per month), halibut.
  • Garlic, ginger, and turmeric when cooking
  • More nuts and seeds, except peanuts
  • Legumes – Split peas, lentils, kidney bones, pinto beans, black beans, garbanzo beans, fermented soybeans
  • Meat – Meat only (not the skin) of organic, free range chicken and turkey, Wild game, venison, elk and buffalo organic, free-range lamb
  • Spices and herbs
  • FruitsGroup 1: Cantaloupe, rhubarb, melons, strawberries, Group 2: Apricots, blackberries, cranberries, papayas, peaches, plums, kiwis, Group 3: Apples, blueberries, cherries, grapes, pears, pineapples, pomegranates
  • Sweeteners – Pure maple syrup, brown rice syrup, raw honey, agave syrup, stevia
  • VegetablesGroup 1: Asparagus, bean sprouts, beet greens, broccoli, red and green cabbage, cauliflower, celery, greens, Group 2: String beans, beets, brussel sprouts, eggplant, kale, leeks, onions, pumpkin, red pepper, turnips, zucchini, Group 3: Artichokes, parsnips, green peas, squash, carrots, Group 4: Yams and sweet potatoes
  • Grains – (1 -2 cups of cooked grains per day) – Amaranth, spelt, barley, buckwheat, millet, oatmeal, quinoa, brown rice, rice crackers.
  • Butter and Oil – A small amount of organic butter is okay, olive oil for cooking, coconut oil for baking, and nut or seed oils (i.e. flaxseed oil) for salads
  • Beverages – Filtered water, small amount of rice, oat, almond or soy milk, herbal teas
  • Eggs and dairy products – Organic eggs

Foods to Eat Less of:

  • Vegetables – Tomatoes and potatoes
  • Grains – Too much wheat products, including breads, cereals, whole-wheat flour, white flour, and pasta
  • Legumes – Tofu can cause reactions in some people.
  • Seafood – Shellfish, including shrimp, crab, lobster, clams, and mussels
  • Meat – Pork, conventionally raised beef (small amounts of organic, grass-fed beef are okay)
  • Fruits – Citrus fruit (lemon is okay), limit dried fruit
  • Butter and Oils – Hydrogenated oils, partially hydrogenated oils, avoid overheating oils, which in process can covert to trans fats
  • Eggs and Diary Products – Moderate/limit dairy – including yogurt, cheese, and animal milks, use organic eggs
  • Nuts and Seeds – Peanuts and peanut butter
  • Beverages – Coffee, soda, juice, caffeinated teas, alcohol

Reference, and for more Information check out:

Black, Jessica K (2006). The Anti-Inflammation Diet and Recipe Book – Protect Yourself        and Your Family from Heart Disease, Arthritis, Diabetes, Allergies – and More. Alameda, CA: Hunter House

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