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Inflammation: Win the Fight

By Dr. Renae Norton

I just got off the phone with a potential new patient and she wanted to know why she was having uncontrolled weight gain, aches and pains, early signs of diabetes, brain fog and gastrointestinal disturbances. How do I address these complex issues? There are so many things that could be at play. But if I had to boil it all down, I would have to say inflammation is the most likely culprit.

For the next four weeks, I will be writing about inflammation. We will begin the series with the warning signs, then describe the types of inflammatory foods, and give examples of foods that are not inflammatory. The series will end with several of my favorite recipes for anti-inflammatory dishes.

Americans eat a regular diet of highly inflammatory foods. As a result, we are number one for obesity in the world.  We are also the wealthiest, unhealthiest country in the world. The aging process in the U.S. has accelerated since the mid-1990s reducing life expectancy for the first time ever. This is happening to us while life expectancy in other countries, especially the Scandinavian countries and Japan, is still getting longer. (Not sure yet what the impact of COVID will be on life expectancy world-wide.) Finally, we have one of the highest rates of infant mortality in the developed world despite having the best medical pre and post-natal care. What the? How can this be? I believe it is primarily the result of a food supply that is polluted with obesogens, carcinogens, autogens, and allergens.

 

Inflammation is at the heart of all of these issues. But most people are not aware of the role that inflammation plays in their lives. As a result, they are unable to protect themselves. In fact, the term that is most often used to describe this phenomenon is silent inflammation. It may be silent but that doesn’t stop it from being deadly. Indeed, inflammation can age you prematurely, raise your blood sugar levels, cause excessive weight gain, damage your heart and brain, throw your digestive system completely out of whack, and make your joints stiff with arthritis.  In other words, all of the things this potential new patient is experiencing and then some.

Understanding what causes inflammation can help us prevent and/or reverse it. This could be the difference between living your life in pain and aging prematurely versus reversing the aging process and enjoying good health. In this article I am going to explain what inflammation is, what causes it, and also give you a list of anti-inflammatory foods and a recipe or two that are not only anti-inflammatory, but also delicious!

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