Inflammation is a buzz word in nutrition circles. It’s our body’s natural process of healing. Yet, chronic inflammation, a subtle and steady current of immune cells flowing through your body, leads to cancer, arthritis, diabetes and heart disease.
It’s tricky. It creeps up on you. Always on the DL. It doesn’t give signals that it’s hanging out in your tissue wreaking havoc on your health. Until you feel pain. Ouch says the knee when running or shoulder as you reach for a plate in the cabinet. Turning over in the bed, creaky low back squeaks.
Who invited inflammation to rob you of vitality? Perhaps you did. If I was elegant, I’d say you made ‘poor food choices.’ I’m not today. So I say crap. Food that sucks the life out of you. Oh yeah, tastes great. But crap is like inflammation. It conceals itself as ‘real’ food. Like refined starches:
- boxed macaroni meals
- soda and sugar-sweetened beverages* (iced tea, Snapple)
- some chocolate, desserts, Twinkies)
Yeah, saturated fats, too:
- fatty beef and pork
- coconut oil
- processed food containing palm oil
- trans fat (margarines, shortening, processed foods – although 80% of trans fat has been removed in our food products, it’s still there)
The Mediterranean diet – mucho fruit, vegetables, whole grains and healthy fat + fish and at the same time ditching refined grains, red meat, processed foods (anything you didn’t make yourself) – cleans up inflammation substantially.
Here’s the down and dirty list for foods that fight pain (in addition to cleaning up your plate): (more…)