Food is Information.
But Food can also be Inflammation. What we ingest has the ability to instruct our biochemistry and dynamically influence our gene expression, which, in turn, affects our health and how we age.
60 percent of American adults have a chronic disease, 40 percent have two or more chronic diseases, someone will have a heart attack every 40 seconds, cancer is the second leading cause of death worldwide, 50 million Americans have an autoimmune disease and almost half the population of the United States has either pre-diabetes or diabetes.
Depression is the leading cause of disability around the world. Around 1 in 5 American children ages three to seventeen (about 15 million kids) have a diagnosable mental, emotional or behavioral disorder. Anxiety impacts more than 40 million Americans, and Alzheimer's disease is the 6th leading cause of death in the US. Since 1979 deaths due to brain disease have increased by 66 percent in men and 92% in women. 1 in 59 children are now on the autism spectrum. And we saw throughout the pandemic those with compromised immune systems and underlying chronic diseases were in the highest risk category.
What is shocking is that 80% of the most common chronic diseases (heart disease, cancer, autoimmunity, diabetes) are almost always preventable and reversible with lifestyle choices.
That is because all of these diseases are inflammatory in nature. But how do we determine what is causing inflammation in our life?
Universal inflammatory products include alcohol, sugar, and processed foods, but it goes deeper and becomes much more individualized. For the most part there are a few general categories that can be causing inflammation in the body.
Gluten, Dairy, Corn, Soy, Egg and Nightshades.
That’s why the Elimination Diet is the gold standard in the Functional Medicine Community Read how to navigate an elimination diet here.
But what is Inflammation?
Inflammation is the body’s natural response to protect you from harm. Healing occurs through an inflammatory response. There are two types of inflammation: acute and chronic inflammation. Acute inflammation occurs when you cut your finger or hurt your leg. The response triggers a chain reaction in the body to heal/protect whatever it is that is causing a problem in the body. Chronic inflammation, on the other hand, happens when the aforementioned response lingers. This continued inflammatory response can cause the body to damage healthy cells, tissues and organs. Every functional medicine doctor and many more conventional doctors are discussing lifestyle changes as low lying fruit to manage the reversal of this chronic or continued inflammation.
How do I live a low inflammatory life?
Start by minimizing your intake of processed foods, sugars, and alcohols. Followed by performing an elimination diet to find out what foods you may have sensitivities and allergies to.
After that you can greatly influence your expression of disease through lifestyle choices. Nutrition being a major factor, and one we can control daily. It has been found that sticking to a Mediterranean diet is the surest way to healthy living and longevity. Consuming whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, herbs, spices, nuts, and healthy fats, such as olive oil with a low consumption of meat products is the best way to live your healthiest life.
Inflammation can be caused by so much more than just the food you eat. Stress and sleep are major contributors. Create a meditation practice, find joy in community, and spiritual connectedness. Lisa Malin’s article on The Mediterranean Diet goes further into how you can live the Mediterranean lifestyle even if you don’t live near the Mediterranean. The best way to make big changes is to start small. Below are our tips on how to start living a low inflammatory life.
- Cut out processed foods, sugars, and alcohol
- Perform an elimination diet to identify sensitivities and allergies
- Make time for connections with those that fill you with joy
Want to jump start your low inflammatory life? Two great options are periodic cleansing with our Anti-inflammatory cleanse or getting on our new Phast program. Have questions reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org