When you fall down and sprain your ankle, the swelling and puffiness that you see is due to inflammation.
And when you feel like you are coming down with a cold, your immune system will kick into high gear, trying to remove the germs from your system. This process will also cause inflammation, which in this situation is totally normal.
Basically, inflammation is the body’s way of removing damaged cells, bacteria and viruses, which in turn starts the healing process. In short doses, inflammation is a great thing – that banged-up ankle wouldn’t get better if your body didn’t active its inflammatory response.
The problem is too often our bodies will be in a constant, chronic, and low-level state of inflammation that lasts much longer than the usual 24 or 48 hours.
This type of ongoing inflammation is a precursor to a number of diseases, including certain types of cancers, digestive and bowel disorders, Alzheimer’s disease, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Fortunately, it is quite possible to naturally reduce the amount of ongoing inflammation we have in our bodies – the following three tips can get you well on your way:
Tip 1: reduce your sugar intake
Okay, here’s a somewhat jarring statistic: the average American eats 32 teaspoons of sugar a day.
If you are having trouble envisioning what 32 teaspoons looks like, no worries – try this instead: this amount adds up to 75 to 77 POUNDS of sugar a year. A lot of 10-year-old kids weigh 75 pounds – now imagine your average fifth grader made entirely of sugar and you can see why we have a problem with our diets.
This sugar, as you might already know, is found in all kinds of foods and beverages that we enjoy eating all of the time; stuff like soda and pastries and cookies and candy – the obvious foods.
Sugar is also lurking in lots of foods that don’t necessarily taste that sweet – for instance, check out the label on your ketchup bottle, crackers, and nut butters.
In addition to regular white table sugar, its nasty cousin high fructose corn syrup is in lots of foods. And it also raises inflammation in the body, and is 20 times sweeter than sugar.
In order to reduce your sugar intake, it’s time to start reading labels at the store. Bring along your readers if you need them and plan on spending a bit more time than usual checking out the fine print on that can of soup or box of “healthy” cereal. If you see sugar or high fructose corn syrup on the label, try to choose something that is free of these ingredients.
As a side note, if you need additional inspiration to cut way back on sugar, consider this: the reason we tend to gain weight when we eat too many sweets is because sugar turns off the amount of leptin in the body, a hormone that helps to inhibit hunger.
Consuming sugar will also cause our blood sugar levels to spike and then drop, leading to irritability. And studies have found too much sugar in the diet will reduce our brain’s functioning by 30 percent.
It seems that sugar isn’t so sweet after all.
In place of white table sugar, I strongly recommend trying to get 8 to 12 teaspoons a day of what I call “healthy” sugars – examples are stevia, which is a plant-based, all-natural sweetener or pure maple syrup from non-GMO sources.
Tip 2: increase your levels of omega fatty acids
Omega fatty acids, including omega-3 and omega-6, have been found to help naturally reduce our cholesterol levels, as well as lower inflammation in the arteries.
Since the body does not make these fatty acids on their own, we have to get them from our diet.
If you have ever been advised by a doctor or nutritionist to eat more fish, especially salmon, it’s because it’s chock full of omega-3.
Hemp oil is also an amazingly rich source of the omega family: 3, 6, 9 and 12. I’ve noticed if I have dry and cracked skin, applying some hemp oil directly to the area will heal it really quickly; in fact, hemp oil has been found to heal skin cells three times faster than anything else.
Olive oil is another great source of omega fatty acids, plus it’s terrific for cooking and has a delicious flavor. Just be sure to buy an organic brand of the oil.
Tip 3: learn how to go on a fast from meat
When you think about our ancestors and their daily diets, you might picture them eating large quantities of venison, elk and other meats that they hunted to stay alive.
In fact, we now eat 50 – yes, fifty – times the meat our ancestors ate 200 years ago. Interestingly, our distant relatives didn’t eat meat on a daily basis – they tended to consume a lot of root veggies and other foods.
Fast forward to today, and we are getting more protein than our bodies know what to do with. We’ll scarf down a couple of eggs with cheese for breakfast and then have a protein shake mid-morning before having grilled chicken for lunch and then a steak for dinner.
While protein has its benefits, we are eating so much of it, we cannot absorb it, and our kidneys are having trouble processing it.
All of this meat and protein is also a contributor to chronic inflammation, so going on a meat fast is a good idea. You don’t have to give up cheeseburgers and steaks for the rest of your life; just limit it, and strive to eat more fish and meat-based broths.
Cutting back on meat will help to alkalize your body, which in turn will reduce inflammation. Your system will thank you for it – it really will.
Other natural anti-inflammatories
Besides making the three dietary changes mentioned above, there are some supplements that act as natural anti-inflammatories.
In general, I would say turmeric is one of the best natural anti-inflammatory herbs that money can buy. That’s why we use it in our products like EF Arthritis.
Codonopsis, which is found in our EvenFlo supplement blend, is also a great anti-inflammatory.
Before you start taking turmeric and codonopsis, it is important to be sure your gut is healthy. If your gut is inflamed and not able to absorb nutrients, you can consume all the anti-inflammatories in the world and they won’t do much to help you.
Once your gut is healthy and able to absorb nutrients, then by all means you should consider turmeric and/or codonopsis. Until then, you might want to consider taking our Super Juice Blend.
Super Juice Blend contains beta glucan, which act as cleaners in the microvilli of the small intestine – which in turn helps you absorb minerals and nutrients. Super Juice Blend also contains has ginger to aid with digestion. In addition to being loaded with probiotics and prebiotics, it also contains:
- Spirulina and Chlorella, which are both sources of blue-green algae, which has a rich nutrient profile.
- Spirulina, which supports healthy functioning of the liver and immune system, to aid in detoxification.
- Chlorella, which supports cell reproduction, as well as restorative processes that promote healthy organs and tissues. Chlorella supports proper digestion by promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria and assisting in the elimination of unwanted materials from the body.