Reduce & Eliminate Chronic Inflammation
There are two different types of inflammation. The kind that is in response to an injury or infection (called acute inflammation), and the kind that occurs inside of our body over a period of time and is very damaging to our health. This is known as chronic low-level inflammation.
Our internal systems become chronically inflamed by many things which, broadly speaking, fall into the following categories:
Causes of chronic inflammation are many, including:
- Inflammatory foods & foods that cause allergies/sensitivities
- Emotional stress
- Physical stress/overexertion (including post inflammatory muscle growth and repair)
- Obesity. Visceral fat (the deep fat around our organs), cells secrete inflammatory molecules that create low-grade inflammation and contribute to insulin resistance.(1)
- Imbalanced hormone levels
- Environmental & household contaminants
(household cleaners, pesticides, air fresheners, adhesives, plastics, etc.)
- Chemicals in personal care products
(soaps, cosmetics, shampoos & conditioners, lotions, sunscreens, etc.)
Sleep disorders such as general insomnia, sleep apnea, and narcolepsy can also elevate levels of inflammatory molecules, especially if we are overweight.(2)(3)
It is often not one specific thing that causes chronic inflammation, and what causes inflammation in one person may not in another. It depends on how healthy we are and how strong our immune system is. Unfortunately, when the body is fed an unhealthy diet, not only does this contribute to inflammation, but we are also depriving our body of the foods it needs that naturally heal and eliminate inflammation. It's a double-whammy!
Why Chronic Inflammation is Dangerous
The problem with chronic low-level inflammation is that, like stress, it is silent in nature while seriously damaging to our health. We are completely unaware of it. It can go undetected for a long period of time and not be discovered until it has caused enough cellular destruction to produce the symptoms of a disease.
When we are chronically inflamed, the immune system is in a continual state of reaction to the inflammation. Instead of only responding to an injury and healing us (as with acute inflammation), it is in a continual fire-fighting mode. This constant immune response and overproduction of immune cells begins to damage the body, and a by-product of this internal stress is that free radicals are created. Homocysteine levels also become raised (a risk factor for heart disease). Without realizing it, we set the stage for many different types of chronic disease.
Chronic inflammation is a major factor in setting the stage for:
- Heart disease
- Chronic kidney disease
- Weight gain
- Gastrointestinal disorders (IBS, GERD, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, pancreatitis)
- Alzheimer's disease(4)(5)
Chronic inflammation also prematurely ages the body, shortening our life span.
Eliminating Inflammation - The Body Healer Protocol
Even though inflammation can lay the foundation for many different types of diseases, inflammation itself is not a disease. It is a health condition almost always caused by diet and lifestyle choices. I originally developed the Body Healer Protocol to help my clients eliminate inflammation and heal from the many diseases that develop as a result of chronic inflammation.
Conventional doctors often treat inflammation with drugs such as aspirin or other anti-inflammatory drugs. This medicated suppression is a band-aid approach that does not in any way address the root cause of the inflammation. Some commonly used non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g. Advil and Motrin) can actually cause harm when taken over a period of time to relieve inflammation. They are associated with increased intestinal permeability (creating gaps in the intestinal wall that allow infections and toxins to pass through it). It can then take months for the intestinal wall to heal after the medication has been stopped.(6)(7)
The great news is that healing chronic inflammation is not complicated! It is also something you can begin right now, and your body will respond rapidly.
To eliminate chronic inflammation, we need to hit it from 4 different angles:
|We remove the foods that cause inflammation.|
|We detoxify & eat a diet high in anti-inflammatory foods.|
|We get rid of our stress.|
|We clean up our environment.|
Step 1: Removing Foods That Cause Inflammation
We'll learn how to do just that on the Body Healer protocol.
The pain and inflammation from many chronic conditions begin to disappear within about 3 days on a diet rich in fresh, whole foods comprised of primarily of fresh fruits and vegetables, with a small percentage of legumes, nuts, seeds, unpasteurized dairy, and high-quality meat if you are a meat eater. Why? Because nutrient-rich and antioxidant-rich, high-water, high-fiber content foods are the "tools" the body needs to reduce inflammation and begin healing itself.
Eating unhealthy foods causes inflammation because they are irritants that the body immediately tries to get rid of. They "irritate" the body, producing an inflammatory response. Many of these foods also cause blood sugar spikes, contributing to insulin resistance.
Thanks to our industrialized and chemicalized food chain, there are now many different types of foods that cause inflammation:
- Highly processed refined foods (including trans fats/hydrogenated fats, sugar, salt, grains)
- Food chemicals and additives (over 10,000, including artificial flavors, colors, and sweeteners)
- Genetically modified foods (the altered protein structures are foreign to the body)
- Pasteurized dairy (pasteurization denatures protein and destroys nutrients and enzymes)
- Gluten and wheat (today's hybridized and genetically modified wheat has created a health epidemic)
- Genetically modified foods (genetically modified foods create proteins foreign to the body)
- Processed soy (ONLY consume non-GMO fresh or fermented soybeans - avoid ALL processed soy products)
- Microwaved and irradiated food (both damage or destroy nutrients in the food we eat)
- Pesticides in food
- Alcohol, tobacco, and drugs (including many over-the-counter drugs)
- Factory farmed meat (which contains antibiotics, steroids, growth hormones, and other medicated additives)
A simply way to avoid most of these foods is to head on over to the produce section of the market and focus most of your choices on fresh, whole foods only. In general, avoid packaged foods, frozen foods, and canned foods and you will be avoiding most of the biggest offenders.
Even though there are certain types of food that will cause inflammation in every person because they are considered foreign to the body, there are also healthy foods cause inflammation if our body doesn't agree with them. On the protocol, we will talk about how to identify these foods by eliminating food groups and adding them back one at a time.
The elimination approach is the single best way to discover what foods your body reacts negatively to because it involves removing all potential offending foods, and then adding them back one at a time to see how our body responds. When we remove foods that cause internal distress, the body sensitivity gets "reset" so that when we suddenly introduce it in a large quantity, the body produces a noticeable reaction. Unfortunately, if we continue eating foods that cause us distress, the body again adapts and no longer gives us any warning or indication of its distress but still produces invisible inflammation.
Traditional elimination diets are not very effective as they pay no attention to pesticides, food chemicals, or GMOs (items that not only cause inflammation, but should not be in our food chain to begin with as they are foreign to the body). These are prime candidates for causing chronic inflammation in the body. The Body Healer removes these "foods" which results in a much more effective approach to identifying offending foods and food chemicals.
Step 2: Detoxify & eat anti-inflammatory foods
The biggest step we can take to reduce chronic inflammation is to change our diet. A healthy diet full of antioxidant-rich and anti-inflammatory foods not only nourishes the body and reduces inflammation, but it also removes the cellular waste, the very cause of the hyperactivity of the immune system.
When we hear the term "anti-inflammatory diet", it really isn't a type of diet. It simply means eating a selection of natural, whole foods that are high in specific types of nutrients:
- Antioxidants (the amazing free-radical fighters, found "almost" exclusively in plant foods)
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids (found in abundance in both plant & animal foods)
- Vitamins & Minerals
We will discuss these nutrients in much more detail in the protocol, and talk about why these nutrients must come from whole food sources, not supplements.
Not coincidentally, foods that are naturally anti-inflammatory are also foods that are alkaline in nature (meaning that when we digest them, they have an alkalizing effect). In its natural state, the body is slightly alkaline. When we eat a diet of predominantly acidic foods (from bad dietary habits), the more acidic our body becomes, the more our body becomes inflamed. By alkalizing the body with a variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts/seeds, fresh fruit and/or veggie juices, and smoothies, you assist the body in drastically reducing inflammation. These foods are naturally anti-inflammatory.
As a general rule, if there is pain, alkalize the body. Disease finds it much more difficult, if not impossible, to exist in an alkaline body.
Here are some of the things we will go over in the protocol:
Kick-starting with the Body Healer detox...
In a normal, healthy state, our body naturally detoxifies 24/7. When you eat highly nutritious foods that are anti-inflammatory and high in water content, and stop adding more toxins to the body from processed and unhealthy foods, we begin returning the body to this natural state. The body is no longer forced to focus on removing the continual onslaught of new toxins, but instead, it can now focus on removing the toxins that have accumulated in the body over time.
As the body removes all of this waste, we experience a sudden and dramatic change in our body, usually accompanied by uncomfortable but temporary symptoms. In In the world of nutrition and healthy living, this is what we call a detox, and it is the most powerful way to begin immediately reducing chronic inflammation in your body.
Changing your diet...
- Which foods to give special focus to when it comes to eliminating inflammation
- Natural anti-inflammatory supplements
- Why foods should be high in water content and easy to digest
- How mixing together the wrong foods increases inflammation
This diet is so effective because it not only nourishes the body and reduces inflammation, but it also removes the cellular waste, the very cause of the hyperactivity of the immune system.
Contrary to what you may have heard, meat itself is not inflammatory and grass-fed meats contain a very small quantity of arachidonic acid, the culprit believed to cause inflammation. But if you eat animal products, we will talk about why you should avoid factory-farmed meat and dairy, and why it is important to make sure you do not cook meat at high temperatures (e.g. frying/charring). These cooking methods have been conclusively proven to denature the protein and create carcinogenic byproducts.
Why you need to eat plenty of raw foods...
Giving special focus to these foods...
Include a wide variety of vegetables in your diet. Focus on dark green leafy vegetables, brightly colored vegetables, bok choy, garlic, and onion.
Some people also have an adverse reaction to corn and nightshade vegetables (tomatoes, eggplant, potatoes, bell peppers, chili peppers, tomatillos, goji berries, and huckleberries).
All fruits, especially citrus fruits, berries, papaya, tart cherries, pineapple (especially the pineapple core!), chili peppers (which contain capsaicin, a potent anti-inflammatory), and avocado.
NEVER COOK FRUITS! The phytochemicals and other antioxidants are extremely heat sensitive. Always enjoy them ripe, fresh, and raw.
Nuts & Seeds
Especially focus on walnuts, sacha inchi seeds (the highest food source of omega-3 fatty acids), flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, and sesame seeds.
Where possible, always purchase nuts in their raw form (commonly found in health food stores) and soak for at least 6 hours before eating to neutralize enzyme inhibitors and improve digestibility. Store in the refrigerator.
Spices, Herbs, & Roots
Especially turmeric (see below), fresh ginger, oregano, rosemary, and green tea. The flavonoids in green tea have strong anti-inflammatory properties, however green tea also has a stimulating effect on the body due to the caffeine content (25 mg per 8 oz. cup).
All mushrooms, especially shiitake, maitake, enoki, and oyster.
Ergothioneine is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory amino acid found in high concentration in mushrooms. Cooking the mushrooms releases ergothioneine from the mushroom cells. Mushrooms also contain high levels of polyphenols.
Oily fish (salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies, sardines), free-range grass-fed eggs, and unpasteurized butter.
Anti-inflammatory Supplements: Turmeric & Bromelain...
Both of these nutrients have been consistently shown to improve inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, IBS, psoriasis, and inflammatory eye disease.
Step 3: Get Rid of Stress
No matter how clean your diet is, and no matter how much you exercise and keep in good shape, if you are chronically stressed, you slowly but surely destroy your body. Chronic stress is a killer, and it is a very big offender when it comes to inflammation.
Learn more about what stress is, how it affects your body, and what you can do to become stress-free.
Step 4: Clean Up Our Environment
On any given day, we subject our bodies to hundreds of environmental toxins. They are present in:
- The water we drink (especially municipal water, which is often pumped full of chemicals that are not healthy for our body)
- The air we breathe (chronic diseases, especially respiratory-related, are always high in smoggy cities)
- Personal care items (many soaps, shampoos, conditioners, and cosmetics contain unhealthy chemicals)
- Household cleaning chemicals (some of which are extremely toxic to both the body and the environment)
- Pesticides in our food (conclusively proven to cause cancer and neurological damage)
- Pesticides we spray in our gardens (conclusively proven to cause cancer)
- Environmental contaminants from industries near where we live
It is impossible to never subject ourselves to some environmental toxins, but the healthier we are and the stronger our bodies, the less these toxins affect us. The body quickly and efficiently removes them from the body. The problem comes into play when we not only overwhelm our bodies with inflammation from all four sides, but we also deny it the anti-inflammatory foods it needs to effectively reduce that inflammation.
If you are ready to experience a transformation of mind and body and eliminate chronic inflammation for good, get started on the Body Healer protocol today.
Eliminate chronic inflammation
The Body Healer Protocol
The Benefits of Anti-Inflammatory Foods
The single biggest benefit of eating anti-inflammatory foods is that we are eating the foods we are supposed to be eating. These are foods that the body was biologically built for, and that help create and sustain a healthy and vibrant body. Eating a diet abundant in anti-inflammatory foods is very important and without them, our general health will always fall short.
On an anti-inflammatory diet, we begin to experience noticeable pain relief. This is because the most common cause of pain is chronic inflammation. We also experience a dramatic improvement in of many different health conditions, especially:
- Autoimmune diseases in general
- Arthritis (osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis)
- Gastrointestinal disorders (irritable bowel syndrome [IBS], gastroesophageal reflux disease [GERD], Crohn's disease, celiac disease, ulcerative colitis)
The great news is that as soon as we replenish our bodies with these live-giving foods, not only do we help heal our bodies of disease, but we also slow down the aging process (including the aging of our joints).
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- Life Extension Foundation