Health care costs in the U.S. continue to rise. In 2013, health care spending increased 3.6 percent bringing total costs to $2.9 trillion or $9,255 per person. (1)
It is not the health care industry that controls our lives, it’s inflammation! Have you ever had a loved one or yourself deal with pain, obesity, ADD/ADHD, peripheral neuropathy, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, migraines, thyroid issues, dental issues or cancer? If your answer is yes, the battle was not and is not the disease, the battle is inflammation.(2)
Inflammation causes diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, or cancer!
Our guts are made out of large semi-permeable lining. The degree of permeability fluctuates in response to chemically mediated conditions. If your cortisol level is elevated during stress or your thyroid hormone level fluctuates due to working late then your intestinal lining becomes more permeable.(2)
Inflammation occurs when undigested food, toxins, viruses, yeast and bacteria pass through the intestine and into the bloodstream damaging cells
If you then sit down to eat then partially undigested food, toxins, viruses, yeast and bacteria can then pass through your intestine and into the bloodstream. This is known as leaky gut syndrome. When this happen repeatedly, cells become damaged and unable to process and utilize nutrients and enzymes that are necessary for digestion. As more exposure occurs the body begins to attack foreign invaders and responds with inflammation, allergic reactions and other symptoms.(2)
Seven foods help boost the immune system, restore gut flora and reduce inflammation!
Changing our diets can help reduce or prevent inflammation eat more of the following foods:
- Leafy greens: Leafy greens such as kale, spinach and collard greens contain flavonoids, antioxidants, carotenoids and vitamin C. These nutrients protect against cellular damage.
- Animal-based omega 3 fats: A 2012 study found that supplementing with krill oil helped reduce inflammation and oxidative stress.
- Blueberries: Fresh blueberries or other berries are loaded with antioxidants and contain less sugar than other fruit.
- Match tea: This is a nutrient-rich tea from Japan and has 17 times the antioxidants of wild blueberries and seven times more than dark chocolate. These antioxidants lower inflammation and promote immune function and heart health.
- Fermented vegetables and cultured food: Optimizing your gut flora is necessary to help your immune system function at its highest and to ward off chronic inflammation. Eating traditionally fermented foods such as pickles, sauerkraut, tempeh, miso, kimchi, natto, kefir, and yogurt help eliminate toxins, heavy metals and pesticides that promote inflammation.
- Shiitake mushrooms: Shiitake mushrooms contain ergothioneine, which discourages inflammation by inhibiting oxidative stress.
- Garlic: Over 170 studies show that garlic is beneficial in treating more than 150 medical conditions. Garlic is antibacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal, and is an antioxidant. (3)