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15/03/2013 16:54:00
Nature’s Magic Food Turned into Medicine
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Inflammation is part of the body’s natural immune response to protect itself and rid itself from harmful stimulus, which can be irritants, damaged cells or pathogens. The most common signs of inflammation are redness, swelling, itching, heat and pain. However, even though the symptoms are the beginning of the healing process, sometimes inflammation is triggered by compounded reasons, and the immune system mistakenly starts attacking the body tissues, systems, organs, or glands, resulting in chronic autoimmune diseases such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, Multiple Scleroses, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, and Hashimoto Thyroiditis to name a few.

The drug industry is a multi-billion dollar industry, and yet it is not surprising that the world’s population is not only getting sicker, but we are facing an autoimmune epidemic. In our world where we are surrounded by stress, environmental toxins, pollution, pesticides-rich food and a depleted soil, how can we ensure we are taking optimal care of our health?

Eating a nutrient-rich and whole-foods diet is not just for those who are looking to shed a few pounds, but for all who want a healthy and quality life. Nature provides us with many nutrient-rich foods and natural alternatives to processed ones. Could the answer to increased energy, more vibrant health be in what we put in our plates? I sure believe so!

Eating clean doesn’t have to be bland or boring. The key to long-term diet changes is embracing different foods and experimenting with recipes.

Here are some natural ways of adding anti-inflammatory foods to your diet to nourish your body:

Omega-3 rich cold-water fish
Wild Salmon, herring, and sardines in your diet will offer a rich source of omega-3 essential fatty acids in the form of DHA (docosohexanoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentanoic acid); all of which contain powerful anti-inflammatory properties that are beneficial to those with heart disease, depression, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Fruits and vegetables
Wild blueberries are high in phytonutrients and are an antioxidant powerhouse, ranking highest in antioxidant capacity per serving when compared with more than 20 other common fruits.

Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, brussel sprouts, kale, and cauliflower are also rich in antioxidants and are naturally detoxifying. There are many components in cruciferous vegetables that have been linked to lowering cancer risks by reducing oxidative stress.

Sweet potatoes are not only delicious but are also a great source of complex carbohydrates, fiber, beta-carotene, manganese, vitamin B6, vitamin C, and also help heal inflammation in the body.

Turmeric
A powerful Asian spice that contains a natural anti-inflammatory compound known as curcumin; so powerful that it is used as a natural painkiller. Curcumin is said to have the same effect as over-the-counter pain relievers but without the side effects.

Green tea
An antioxidant rich in anti-inflammatory flavonoids that may help reduce the risks of certain cancers.

Incorporating non processed and anti-inflammatory foods into your diet can be life changing. So much so that in 2009 my mother was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis, a chronic, systemic, inflammatory disorder that may affect not only the tissues of the joints but organs and systems. Cases can go from minor discomfort to severe debilitating pain. The severity of my mother’s case led to days of her being bed ridden for excruciating pain, and exhaustion, and requiring a cane to walk.

In December 2011 she started a very specific rotation diet, free of gluten, processed and refined foods, and rich in whole foods. Its now 15 months later and not only she doesn’t have any pain in her body nor needs the cane to walk, but she actively works out three times a week; she has reclaimed her health back! Did I mention this was achieved without taking any medication? Coincidence? And the answer is a resounding: NO!

Healing inflammation through a clean, organic, whole-food and nutrient-rich diet is not only possible, but the direction that many of us are choosing and in doing so, succeeding!

Flavia R. Martins Young 
Registered Holistic Nutritionist and Writer

Rosanne Martins
Biologist, Writer and Holistic Coach



References

‘Polyunsaturated fatty acids, inflammation, and immunity.’ Calder PC. PubMed. Institute of Human Nutrition, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK. Lipids. 2001 Sep;36(9):1007-24.

‘Lipophilic andhydrophilic antioxidant capacities of common foods in the United States’.Wu X, Beecher GR, Holden JM, Haytowitz DB, Gebhardt SE, Prior RL.
J Agric Food Chem. 2004 Jun 16;52(12):4026-37.

Conquering Arthritis – Barbara Allan



The nutritional information on this site is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes. This information does not create any client-nutritionist relationship, and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment. Please consult your health care provider before making any health care decisions or for guidance about a specific medical condition.
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