Inflammation

BRING YOUR BODY BACK INTO BALANCE – FOODS THAT STOP INFLAMMATION

Inflammation is an important part of your body’s ability to deal with infection and injury. It is also a crucial part of the training adaptation process.

You essentially need to hurt the body in order for it to adapt, so that it can deal with it the next time you train. This might mean doing something like a long run, which makes your capillaries grow and mitochondria (power house of your cells – provide your body with energy) multiply. It might be doing some short sprints or weight training which helps stimulate muscle fibre growth.

So getting fitter and stronger curing illness and healing injury are all as a result of the body’s natural inflammatory response.

However, when inflammation goes into overdrive, this is known as “chronic” inflammation, which can lead to long term problems such as fatigue, injury and disease.

Certain joint problems like knee and hip problems are caused by chronic inflammation, which is a response that essentially attacks the body’s own cells instead of repairing them.

There are various causes of inflammation, such as poor sleep, overtraining and stress. Food can also play an important role.

Foods to Eat to Reduce Inflammation:

Green leafy vegetable: Kale, spinach, broccoli, cabbage etc.

There is a compound in green vegetables called sulforaphane, which has strong antioxidant properties. One cause of inflammation is due to buildup of ROS (Reactive Oxygen Species) which attack cells. Eating leafy greens can reduce these.

Turmeric:

Turmeric has long been used as a natural medicine in Asia. Some studies show it is as effective as pharmaceutical drugs for treating conditions such as arthritis. This is because it contains the curcumin compound which has strong anti-inflammatory properties.

(It is best taken with olive oil and black pepper as this aids absorption)

Oily Fish:

The inflammatory response is caused by signaling proteins called prostaglandins. The prostaglandins, which have an anti-inflammatory effect, are produced from omega 3 fatty acids found in the likes of salmon, sardines and mackerel.

Foods to Avoid:

Grains:

The issue with grains is due to some of the anti-nutrients they contain. The main one is gluten, which is a type of protein that is difficult to digest. The body reacts, resulting in inflammation. With industrial agriculture, modern grains are becoming more complex, resulting in unrecognizable gluten proteins. To avoid inflammation, grains especially wheat should be avoided.

Refined oils:

Vegetable sunflower, Omega 3 fats are anti-inflammatory. It is the omega 6 oils which cause in pro inflammatory prostaglandins. Heating damages these types of oils and causes them to become oxidized. This is what leads to ROS and cell damage.

Sugar – all added types:

In a healthy person, sugar can be removed from the blood and sent to the muscle for fuel. However, too much sugar or poor transport systems can result in a buildup of sugar in the blood. This is toxic as the sugar molecule can bind with protein molecules and can lead to overproduction of oxidizing agents, which attack cells and lead to inflammation. Minimise your sugar intake at all costs.