Saturday, January 5, 2013

Eating to Ease Inflammation

If you have chronic inflammation (as I do), then here's my Top 10 list of foods to avoid and foods to consume.

Inflammation is actually a good thing.  When you break your wrist, the wrist swells in an attempt to "stabilize" the joint.  When you cut your finger, the surrounding area swells with fluids designed to protect the wound.  When you bang your shin, you might get a bruise or slight "bump" which is your body sending fluid to protect that sight (bone) from further injury.  Of course, that's simplified.  When you have plantar fascitis, the fascia that runs from footpad to heel becomes "irritated", and fluid rushes to the site to add a cushion of relief.  (In fact, this is the theory behind kinesio tape, a popular physical therapy remedy these days.  Kinesio tape works to "lift" the skin away from the inflammed tissue, thus providing a pathway for the fluid to move away from the injured site, reducing inflammation and the associated pain.)  Again, I've simplified that also.  Arthritis is an inflammation, typically between the joints.  Many sufferers of arthritis have swollen joints (fluid/inflammation) to ease the pain from lack of cartilage in the joint.

But - when inflammation is chronic, individuals are at high risk for other diseases.  (Great article on the intricacies of disease and inflammation in our body.)

Aside from a steady stream of NSAIDS, a change in diet high in anti-inflammatory foods surely cannot hurt.  The Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid is a nice visual.  Foods at the bottom can be consumed in volume, while foods at the top of the pyramid should be consumed sparingly, if at all.

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1 comment:

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