Inflammation is a critical factor for our overall health, from pain to bone health, obesity, gut function, heart health, liver function, brain function, memory & cognition, immune response and even your hair, skin & nails.
When we get injured, it’s also part of our healing mechanism to repair damaged tissue and protect ourselves against pathogens. In such cases, inflammation is helpful, in all other cases; however; it tends to be harmful.
There are two types of inflammation, acute and chronic.
- Acute inflammation is your body’s natural defence against damaged cells, viruses and other harmful invaders, helping the body to heal.
- Chronic inflammation is systemic, and what we see a lot of in our Rejuv Wellness Clinics. This kind of inflammation is low-grade and lasts for weeks months or even years.
Chronic inflammation is linked to almost every significant health condition and disease due to the production of free radicals that can cause damage to healthy cells if your antioxidant levels are not adequate. If this ratio is out of balance, you can increase your risk of the following conditions:
- heart attack
- arthritis, joint and body pain
- kidney issues
- premature ageing
- lung issues
- reduced eyesight
- a reduced immune system
What Causes inflammation?
Inflammation is caused by an array of many small things adding up to create a systemic inflammatory response throughout your entire body.
A diet high in inflammatory foods, leaky gut, poor blood sugar regulation, low hydration, poor sleep, high stress, shallow breathing, limited exercise, toxic environmental load, poor body balance with your muscular and skeletal systems and a lack of prayer and mindfulness practices, will all affect your inflammation levels.
A Holistic View of Inflammation
At Rejuv Wellness, we look at you holistically from our 7 Pillars of Wellness, and inflammation must also be addressed in this holistic way to help you on your journey to long term wellness and optimum health.
A great place to start is with movement and body balance. The body needs a form of movement each day to keep your bones healthy and your muscles agile. Breathing techniques and cardio exercise are wonderful to not only keep you healthy but also great for your heart & mood. Your skeleton also must be kept in optimum condition for this is the scaffolding for your entire body, and you will only be as strong as that vital foundation.
Movement & Body Balance
Now with our physio departments re-opening to regular hours in the UK & UAE, it is wise to have regular appointments for this will also impact how your organs function and if you are out of alignment your posture too.
Your muscles are attached to your bones and move like full systems. This relationship must be supported to prevent serious issues that limit your mobility and quality of life as you get older.
Physiotherapy is excellent for it works on the body systems, can adjust your skeleton if our and the therapist gives you bespoke exercises to get strong, so the pain doesn’t return. Massage, acupuncture and reflexology all also help you keep this body balance pillar to reduce pain and inflammation.
The next pillar to focus on is the nutrition pillar. Here is a list of the most inflammatory foods to avoid most of the time. A treat on weekends is okay for life and good health is all about balance.
- Processed meats
- Red meat (any animals with four legs or more actually)
- Refined carbohydrates (white flour, white rice, white potatoes)
- Deadly nightshade veggies such as aubergine, peppers, tomatoes and potatoes
- Farm-raised fish
- Traditionally raised animals such as chicken & turkey.
- Trans fats (partially hydrogenated oils)
- Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) and other food additives and preservatives
- Highly processed vegetable and seed oils, such as canola, corn, sunflower, peanut and safflower
- Artificial Sweeteners
These foods tend to increase inflammation and create extra acidity in the tissues, thus increasing pain and the risk of disease.
A diet to reduce inflammation and promote healing removes foods that cause inflammation and includes organic, non-GMO vegetables, fruits, essential fats from plants and clean, organic, wild protein.
Replacing inflammatory foods with these healing foods can reduce inflammation, stabilise blood sugar, reduce toxic load, provide necessary nutrients, and support healthy blood pH levels.
Inflammatory Menu Items to Replace
- dairy milk for unsweetened plant milk
- white rice for brown or cauliflower rice,
- non-organic animals for wild line-caught fish
- hydrogenated oils (canola, margarine, vegetable, sunflower, rapeseed) for coconut, grapeseed or olive (always use cold don’t heat)
- sugar for monk fruit, coconut sugar or stevia
Eat more organic fruits and veggies. For you to have optimum body balance to reduce pain and inflammation, it is best to choose a lifestyle that promotes bone health too.
CRITICAL NUTRIENTS TO REDUCE INFLAMMATION & PAIN INCREASE BONE HEALTH
- Sunlight & Vitamin D3: – I love good exposure to sunshine to get the best Vitamin D. 20 minutes 3 x a week on major muscle groups like your legs is all you need. Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel and sardines 3x a week is also great, but if you cannot do the above, then you will need to supplement. If you need to supplement; take a high-quality supplement that provides vitamin D each day, like in our new Rejuv Immune Restore Capsules always take with a good fat such as avocado or olive oil for this vitamin is fat-soluble.
- Vitamin K2: Best food sources include fermented foods such as sauerkraut, natto, tempeh & kimchi, okra, kale, parsley or spinach. Also fantastic to feed the good bacteria in your gut and reduce gut inflammation. If you don’t like these foods and would find it challenging to eat daily, then you can opt for a supplement form with our Rejuv Digestive Complex Powder or Prebiotic Immune Complex Capsules.
- Nuts, Fish oil, Hemp & Fatty Acids: Omega 3 help to reduce inflammation and provide an excellent foundation for healthy bones and hormones that regulate bone tissue formation. I like coconut oil, nuts, flaxseeds (not the oil), pumpkin & chia seeds, hemp/ hemp oil & wild fatty small fish. I also recommend supplementing with 1000-2000mg of high-quality Rejuv Antarctic Krill Omega-3 per day.
- Magnesium: This fantastic mineral is vital for over 300 enzymes in the body and is critical for all vitamin D regulating pathways. Best food sources include green leafy veggies, seeds, nuts (not peanuts), avocados & bananas. Fresh veggie juice is a great way to boost magnesium, or you can use a super greens powder like our Rejuv Super Greens Powder or WelleCo Super Elixir. If you are under a lot of stress, have sleep issues, feel overwhelmed, have poor cognition or experience pain I suggest you supplement with our Rejuv Anti Ageing Complex Magnesium Capsules. These capsules have four forms of bioavailable magnesium to calm your nervous system. Magnesium is often synthetic, and mist is from a natural source to effective, as all ingredients in our Rejuv line.
- Food Sourced Calcium: A fundamental building block for bone tissue. Avoid synthetic sources as they won’t absorb into the bone but rather stay in the blood and can settle like limescale around your arteries, joints & intestines. Best food sources include broccoli, green leafy veg, okra, moringa leaf, oranges, molasses seeds, sardines or organic grass-fed kefir (if you can tolerate lactose). If you need to supplement, I like coral calcium source like in our new Rejuv Immune Restore Capsules.
- Turmeric. The active ingredient of turmeric is called curcumin, and when you mix this with the active ingredient of pepper called piperine, this creates a powerful synergistic solution to inflammation. You can add these organic ingredients each day to your diet, but if you already have inflammation, you will need to supplement to shift your internal physiology. If you just have inflammation and not much pain, then take our Organic Turmeric Capsules, 2 with breakfast and dinner. If you have pain for a while or it comes and goes then you have chronic inflammation so you will need to supplement with a complex which includes turmeric, glucosamine, MSM and herbal anti-inflammatory ingredients, to get free of pain long term. A complex such as our Bone & Joint Complex
What are You Thinking?
Stress and your thoughts GREATLY affect your inflammation levels. Repetitive thinking and anxiety over past or future worries and not staying in today leaves your body living with an overproduction of stress hormones and in the fight or flight mode which leaves little energy left for the body to heal.
Moments of stress are commonplace with the sympathetic nervous system becoming engaged, allowing for a rapid involuntary response to dangerous or stressful situations. A surge of stress hormones boosts the body’s alertness and heart rate, sending extra blood to the muscles in case you need to act quickly to escape danger. When the threat never really presents itself, and anxiety is triggered by thinking of stressful situations, the body cannot make this distinction and why stress is linked now to all diseases. Cortisol also goes up, increasing the storage of body fat, which for many adds to the current level of stress.
Further Reading to Change Your Mind
One of my mentors, Dr Bruce Lipton, wrote an excellent book called The Biology of Belief. His colleague and fellow neuroscientist, Dr Joe Dispenza, has also written an eye-opening book called You Are the Placebo.
Both books are available in paperback or as audiobooks and will help you get your stress and inflammation under control. Practising mindfulness daily and choosing prayer/mediation techniques that resonate with you is vital.
So that covers 5 of our 7 Pillars of Wellness to help reduce inflammation; body balance, movement, nutrition, supplementation and mindfulness, so the other two pillars to look at is sleep and toxic environmental load.