Food Freedom Friday Edition 25

Is Your Diet Hurting You?

Do you feel stiff when you get up from sitting?

Are any of your joints sore when you fully move them?

Do your hands feel stiff?

Do any of your joints feel swollen?

Do you have unexplained nasal congestion?

If you answered yes to any of the above, there is a very good chance that you have signs of chronic inflammation.

Environmental factors such as stress, smoking, certain chemicals or substances and certain foods have all been shown to support the onset of chronic inflammation. These are all factors we can, for the most part, reduce or eliminate from our lives. Of these, diet is the single most important controllable factor in regards to whether or not we experience chronic inflammation.

What many of us fail to realize is that one major cause of pain is what we eat.

Food is the most important element because this is how your body obtains the necessary nutrients vital to supporting your life. Food is the information that creates the foundation for the functioning of metabolic systems. Healthy diets support healthy metabolic system functioning. A less than optimal diet may result in unhealthy metabolic system functioning, creating the onset of illness, disease and conditions caused by chronic inflammation.
Removing certain foods from our diets will ensure a speedier recovery period and be more effective at making us pain free than the use of pills.

1.       Sugar. 

This one is obvious. Nothing damages the digestive tract like sugar.
The medical community is starting to agree on the fact that chronic inflammation often starts in your digestive tract. This is the largest component of our immune system

2.       Alcohol. 

Okay, okay calm down! Those of you who know me know I am not much of a drinker at all. I am, however, aware that many like to indulge in the "occasional" adult beverage.   It is important to keep in mind that beer or any other alcoholic beverage damages your gut flora and liver when consumed in excess.

3.       Grains

Refined or not, grains are inflammatory. If you are gluten-sensitive, and depending on the source, this could mean 10% - 25% of us, the problem is only exacerbated.
The phytic acid and lecithins in grains are a problem for most of us, even without allergies or intolerances.

4.       Pasteurised dairy.

75% of the world's population is intolerant to lactose. This is often due to the pasteurisation process which destroys the healthy bacteria and enzymes in raw milk making this popular beverage very hard to digest.

In my experience, most of us feel much better when drinking less pasteurized milk or removing it from our diets altogether.

5.       Refined vegetable (crop) oils

Canola, soy, safflower, corn, sunflower, you name it, if it is refined and highly processed, it can be nothing but inflammatory.
Even though these oils are advertised as healthy and trans-fat free, it turns out that the heavy refining which they go through destroys any of the potential health benefits which they may have had. They become oxidized, toxic chemical by-products.

The bad news is, there are a lot of foods disguised and promoted as ‘heath foods’ or ‘good for you’ that you are probably eating on a daily basis that are contributing to chronic inflammation in your body leading to a multitude of health issues.

Poor dietary choices over stimulate the immune system and cause chronic inflammatory responses that deteriorate your body’s overall health, limiting mobility and contributing to painful joints.

There are however, steps you can take today to reduce the likelihood that you’ll suffer from chronic joint inflammation and pain. Getting started is as easy as removing pro-inflammatory foods from your diet and incorporating many of the available anti-inflammatory foods into your daily regime Not surprisingly, these are foods that are rich in immune boosting vitamins, antioxidants, flavonoids, phytonutrients, minerals, proteins, healthy fats and whole food carbohydrates. They are numerous, tasty and easy to prepare. They include such culinary gems as kiwi, pistachios and coconut products.

Michal Ofer