Add as bookmark

Inflammation the Modern Day Epidemic

by Penny Crowther(more info)

listed in immune function, originally published in issue 267 - January 2021

 

Inflammation underlies so many chronic health conditions. From heart disease to dementia, type 2 diabetes to asthma, allergies, skin conditions, arthritis and auto immune disease, even depression; chronic inflammation is the common thread behind these health issues.

Inflammation makes your immune system less efficient too, not helpful in the midst of a pandemic. In rare, but worst case scenarios such as when people are very ill with coronavirus, inflammation triggers life threatening immune reactions.

What Is Inflammation?

Inflammation is a defensive response kicked off by your immune system. For example, typical signs are redness of the skin, heat, pain or swelling.

As a short lived response in response to, for example, a bacteria or injury, inflammation is a natural and necessary part of the healing process.

Inflammation becomes a problem if the inflammation response is not switched off. It then causes damage to the body. This then further stimulates the immune response and a vicious circle follows, increasing our susceptibility to chronic disease.

How Do You Know If You Have Inflammation?

Sometimes you don’t know if you have inflammation. If you have raised levels of something called C Reactive Protein (CRP) in blood test results from your GP, that is one way to measure it.

 

Penny Crowther 267

 

What Can Be Done To Prevent Inflammation?

There is much that can be done to prevent inflammation with food and lifestyle. Here are some pointers to start with:

  • A healthy gut flora helps prevent chronic inflammation. Keep your gut bacteria healthy with a varied diet and the help of a probiotic or probiotic foods such as yoghurt, kefir and fermented foods (use caution if you have existing IBS though). Bacterial or fungal overgrowth in the gut contributes to unhealthy gut flora. This can be tested for through a private laboratory with a stool sample and treated;
  • Food intolerances e.g. to gluten or cow’s milk, can cause chronic inflammation. Try eliminating these and seek the help of a nutritional therapist, to make sure your diet is balanced;
  • Keep your healthy fats up, particularly omega 3. Omega 3 fats are converted into substances which help regulate inflammation. Good food sources of omega 3 fats are oily fish such as salmon and mackerel, cold pressed oil such as linseed  (flaxseed) or hempseed oil;
  • Increase fruit and vegetables. Us nutritionists are always going on about this but it’s so important! Keep looking for the rainbow. Whether this be through getting more on your plate with salads and sides or through smoothies and vegetable juices;
  • Fruit and vegetables contain plentiful supplies of antioxidants. There is a lot of evidence now to show that oxidative stress and chronic inflammation are linked. Oxidative stress occurs when there is an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants. A good example of oxidation in practice is  when a cut fruit such as an apple becomes brown. Squeezing antioxidant rich lemon juice onto a freshly cut apple will prevent oxidation and maintain the colour of the fruit. In a similar way, our bodies have the internal resources for the ongoing fight against free radicals, one of the principle defences being antioxidants. So there is a good reason behind the advice to eat your greens;
  • Turmeric is a particularly powerful anti-inflammatory food. The benefits of turmeric come from the active ingredient, curcumin, a potent antioxidant  and anti-inflammation agent;
  • Add turmeric separately rather than using ready blended curry powders which won’t contain as much. Turmeric goes particularly well with onions, fresh coriander and lemon or lime juice. You can add in live natural yoghurt to make a great marinade for fish or chicken or eggs. You can also add turmeric to a healthier mayonnaise such as Meridian, Plamil or Farringtons. Turmeric added to food is very safe. In capsules it is more concentrated and there are some contraindications with medications;
  • Pineapple, ginger and cherries are other good foods for helping fight inflammation.
  • Cut down on sugar and refined carbohydrates;
  • Dysregulated blood sugar levels often go hand in hand with inflammation. Diet has a vital role to play because of its effect on balancing insulin and blood sugar;
  • The UK government tends to wheel out the PHE Eatwell Guide, promoting a low fat, higher carb diet which is out of date and hasn’t worked to reduce obesity and the associated inflammation. There is an increasing amount of research now to show that lower carb diets work much better to regulate weight, insulin and blood sugar
  • Keep hydrated;  
  • On a non-nutritional note, pinpointing and dealing with sources of stress in your life is important when it comes to inflammation. Not always an easy task but very necessary. Long term stress produces a high amount of free radicals which cause oxidative damage and inflammation. Journaling is a good place to start and it’s free!

Comments:

  1. No Article Comments available

Post Your Comments:

About Penny Crowther

Penny Crowther DN Med BANT NTCC qualified as a nutritional therapist in 1997 and has been in clinical practice ever since.  She has seen hundreds of clients at her practices in London SW15. She has written for Positive Health, FamiliesGreen FarmHealth Matters, The Health Times and contributed to articles for the Daily TelegraphThe Times Literary  supplement,  Pregnancy & Birth, Marie Claire, has been featured in the Daily ExpressDaily Mirror and on local radio.

She is registered with professional bodies BANT (British Association for Applied Nutrition and Nutritional Therapy) and CNHC.

Penny now specializes in nutrition for women in their 40s and beyond, particularly around peri and post menopause. Her approach to health is holistic, and takes into account emotional, mental and environmental factors as well as nutrition. She studied many complementary therapies before training as a nutritionist which provides a broad foundation of knowledge. She is dedicated to personal and professional development and frequently attends lectures and seminars to keep up to date with the latest scientific nutrition research. Penny may be contacted on Tel: 07761 768 754;   penny@nutritionistlondon.co.uk   www.nutritionistlondon.co.uk

Please note that nutritional advice is not a substitute for medical advice and treatment or visiting your GP or Health Professional.

  • mycology research MRL

    MRL markets mushroom products food grade US & Netherlands GMP standards. Health Professional Videos

    www.mycologyresearch.com

  • Ultimate Body Detox

    Immune system support & heavy metal detox - 3 powerful products: ACS 200, ACZ Nano & ACG Glutathione

    www.resultsrna.co.uk

  • Water for Health

    Specialist online health store focused on hydration, body pH balance and quality nutrition.

    www.water-for-health.co.uk

  • College of Ayurveda UK

    Diploma in Āyurvedic Healthcare, 3-year self-paced distant learning program in Āyurvedic medicine.

    ayurvedacollege.org

  • Rayonex Bioresonance

    Devices vibrational medicine full range of applications and accessories research and clinical usage

    www.rayonex.co.uk

  • Liposomal Nutrients

    Optimum system for nutrient delivery to cells - fully bioavailable vitamins absorbed and metabolised

    abundanceandhealth.co.uk

  • KINESIOLOGIES HANDBOOK

    Volumes I - 2nd Edition Expanded, II & III. Methods using Acupoints, Homeopathy, Nutrition and Herbs

    www.amazon.co.uk

  • The Listening Centre

    London UK Centre for Tomatis Listening Therapy voice, language, depression, autism, dyslexia, stroke

    www.tuneyourears.com

  • nEW VISTAS HEALTHCARE

    Encourages health, strength, balance through homeopathy, nutrition, herbs, supplements, kinesiology.

    www.newvistashealthcare.com

  • Beginner's Guide to ME

    Essential reading for people/carers with ME/CFS serious debilitating illness. Counteracts bad advice

    www.amazon.co.uk

  • Seaweed as Superfood

    Comprehensive nutrient balance found in no other natural food but seaweed: colon health, weight loss

    www.oceansofgoodness.co.uk

  • June Sayer Homeopathy

    Training Academy Homeopathy Nutrition Reiki, Distant Learning. Diet, Health Screening, Detox, Stress

    www.homeopathinessex.co.uk

  • Silica-rich water

    Silica-rich artesian water removes aluminium toxicity. Sourced from protected Malaysian rainforests.

    www.silicawaters.com

  • Dr Amir Cranio-Dental

    For TMJ, ME/CFS Fibromyalgia and MS symptoms contact Dr M Amir at amir@dramir.com Tel:02087803433

    www.dramir.com

top of the page