A Hot Topic

A Hot Topic

I‘m all fired up about inflammation. I mean it. We are talking about something really important here. This is not just a cool fad or theory; it is a concept we all need to pay close attention to.

Let me lay the groundwork quickly. There are two kinds of inflammation, acute and chronic. When you fall down and skin your knee the acute inflammatory response from your immune system is a good thing, it initiates a targeted laser-like process of healing, then it’s over. Chronic inflammation on the other hand is like that same immune laser—gone over to the dark side, completely out of control, constantly firing and causing cellular chaos. This plays a strong role in the slow deteriorating aging process, which eventually results in a myriad of possible disease states such as arthritis, heart-disease, diabetes, IBS, dementia and cancer. Not good. Not good at all.

How do we avoid chronic inflammation? Well flame-off, put out your cigarette, then put on your exercise clothes and start moving. Avoid obesity at all costs as that creates a perpetual inflammatory state, lower your high levels of unrelenting stress and closely manage your oral hygiene. Then tah dah, my favorite, the A No. 1 preventative we all should stress is: What we put in our mouth!

“The A No. 1 preventative we all should stress is: What we put in our mouth!”

Focus on anti-inflammatory foods. Natural food is God’s delicious gift to us and we should celebrate it every day. The closer you can get to a food’s natural state the less inflammatory it is. For example a whole-grain wheat product is not nearly as inflammatory as a highly processed white-flour product. Fruits and vegetables that have bright colors are a good choice, and wine is anti-inflammatory too, thank goodness. The hero of the day (of course this makes us at Salty’s Seafood Grills very happy) is fish, all kinds of fish. Salmon is an easy call but even lobster and crab are beneficial too. So come on in.

A very simple anti-inflammatory food pyramid guide can be found at drweil.com. Another fantastic web site to explore that even gives you more details and a helpful app is inflammationfactor.com. Here you can find one of the most advanced techniques to evaluate the inflammation level each food generates. It’s a fantastic way to get down to the nitty-gritty of all the factors that go into causing inflammation. Contributing elements include the glycemic index (a sugar thing), fats, fatty acids, anti-inflammatory compounds and antioxidants as well as vitamins and minerals. All these pieces of the puzzle work together to determine whether what you are eating will heat up your inflammation or cool you down. My November 2010 blog post has more on this very hot topic.

Remember now, as Smokey the Bear would probably say, “Only YOU can prevent inflammation fires.”