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Top Tips For Reducing Inflammation In The Body

Most health experts now agree that inflammation is the root cause behind most all chronic illnesses and disease.

While there are a variety of causes for chronic inflammation in the body, the outcome is always the same. Over time and left unchecked it leads to premature aging and diminished health.

Quite frequently when individuals set out to lose weight the last thing they’re thinking about is inflammation. The focus is all on calories and exercise. This is a big mistake.

In my experience as a fitness coach and weight loss consultant, inflammation is without question one of the most overlooked hidden obstacles that keep people stuck in a plateau.

In today’s post we’ll look at inflammation in more detail and I’ll provide you with my top tips on how to reduce it.

More after the jump…

Inflammation 101

Alright, let’s start with the basics. Inflammation in the body is nothing more than a sign that the immune response is out of control. In other words, the body is working over-time trying to fight against something.

That “something” could be a chronic infection, virus, injury, excessive toxins like alcohol and nicotine, or an overgrowth of bacteria for example.

Stress, both physiological and psychological also play a large role in compromising the immune system leading to inflammation.

Just because you don’t drink excessively, smoke, or have any chronic infections, unhealed injuries, etc, doesn’t mean you’re free and clear from inflammation.

The BIGGEST cause of inflammation in the body can typically be traced back to the gut.

Almost two-thirds of the body’s defenses reside in the gastrointestinal tract (GI tract). Bottom line is if you have imbalances in the GI tract, you’re certain to have some degree of inflammation.

The best starting point for anyone experiencing high levels of inflammation is to work on developing a healthy GI tract. I’ve written extensively on this subject in previous posts, but here’s a quick recap.

When you consume a poor diet high in processed and refined foods it disrupts the natural balance of good and bad bacteria in your gut. Sugar is especially a culprit and this includes consuming excessive amounts of starch carbohydrates.

Trans-fats are also particularly harmful as they form LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) along with free radicals that damage healthy cells.

You’ll also want to look at foods that have a high allergen/irritant effect like gluten and casein (proteins found in dairy and wheat).

All of the above causes an imbalance in the GI tract where healthy probiotics are over-run by yeast such as candida. In essence, the end result is a yeast and fungal environment in your GI tract where digestion and nutrient assimilation is compromised.

Undigested food particles become trapped in the membranes of the GI tract and this results in toxins leaking into your blood stream. Your body responds by dumping out cortisol and increasing immune response to deal with the resulting inflammation.

In short, here is a list of foods you’d want to minimize or pull out of your diet completely if you’re dealing with high amounts of inflammation.

Food and drink that promote inflammation in the body…

- wheat gluten and wheat products in general

- milk and other dairy that contains casein (natural yogurt and greek yogurt is fermented and therefore beneficial)

- all processed and refined foods

- alcohol

- sodas

- SUGAR….SUGAR…SUGAR (three times for emphasis)

- polyunsaturated vegetable oils

NOTE:

This doesn’t get talked about nearly enough but pay special attention to the last item, polyunsaturated vegetable oils. These can be found in a lot of processed foods and are often positioned as “healthy oils.” Do not cook with these oils and look to minimize all processed and refined foods in your diet.

Here’s why…

Polyunsaturated vegetable oils are all high in something called “linoleic acid,” which is an omega-6 essential fatty acid. The body converts linoleic acid to arachidonic acid which promotes inflammation. You want to be focusing more on consuming omega-3 fatty acids. More on that in a minute.

Dietary changes to help reduce inflammation in the body…

While everyone is going to be somewhat different in regards to tolerances with allergens like wheat gluten and casein, I’d recommend pulling these foods out for a while.

There’s no one particular “diet” you have to follow per say, but I’ve found that reducing starch carbohydrates to be particularly effective. A Primal Blueprint type diet that is low in starches and contains fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, healthy fats, and lean proteins is a great starting point.

Basically you want to avoid foods that disrupt gastrointestinal balances and shift more towards omega-3 fats, fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins.

Here’s a list of my top recommendations of foods and supplements to help reduce inflammation in the body…

- Fruits, especially berries, pineapple, and Acai berry

- Fibrous vegetables

- Flaxseed and flaxseed meal

- Extra virgin olive oil

- Green tea

- Ginger

- Turmeric

- Fermented foods (sauerkraut, greek yogurt, kefir, etc)

- Bromelain (an enzyme found in pineapple and papaya)

- Anthocynanin (a bioflavonoid found in Acai berry)

- Aloe vera juice

- Fish oil

- Psyllium husk fiber (and other fiber supplements)

- Probiotics

One particular fruit-greens juice that I’ve found to be particularly effective at reducing inflammation is called the “Lemon-Ginger Blast.” The combination of lemon juice and ginger root is very powerful and provides numerous health benefits.

You can find the recipe in my Lean Code Method Quick Start Nutrition Guide, which is available as a free download with the attached link.

All of the above foods and supplements are extremely effective at helping to reduce inflammation in the body. However, if I had to pick one supplement outside of the diet I’d definitely take it would be fish or krill oil.

Omega-3′s are very effective at helping to reduce inflammation and your best sources will be fish oil or krill oil. You can see why I’m more of a fan of fish oil and krill oil over flaxseed oil by reading my previous post on fish oil.

There’s a lot to talk about with the subject of inflammation. Special consideration should be made with the type and duration of exercise, along with looking to incorporate stress management strategies.

I’ll drill down into these areas in future posts. In the meantime, if you have any questions at all or I can be of assistance in any way, please don’t hesitate to let me know. I’m always happy to help.

Shane Doll is a certified personal trainer, fat loss expert, speaker, and founder of Shaping Concepts Fitness Training Studios. If you’re looking for a personal trainer in Charleston, you can receive a no-obligations personal training trial and consultation without risking a dime. Over 1000 Charleston area residents have transformed their bodies following our unique burst training workouts and simplified nutrition programs. Experience the Shaping Concepts difference today.

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Category: Hormones & Health.