What you can eat to turn down the heat

By Wendy Rice

Colorado State Extension

What causes the body to turn on itself? This is also known as inflammation (Latin meaning “I ignite”).

Inflammation is the body’s attempt at self-protection and healing from injury or substances. The purpose is to remove irritants, damaged cells and pathogens. Inflammation can be short term (such as a bruise on my leg) or chronic long term that attacks the body’s healthy cells. Chronic inflammation can last for months or years and lead to a variety of autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease, some allergies, fibromyalgia, lupus, asthma, peptic ulcer, sinusitis, heart disease, stroke, psoriasis, Addison’s disease and this list goes on. Inflammation can lead to inflammation in another location or body organ as well. Inflammation tendencies tend to increase with age and we begin to realize that foods that never bothered us before such as dairy and wheat might trigger low grade indigestion or other minor symptoms. .

Food and innflammation

The foods that increase inflammation should be dramatically decreased from regular intake. This includes:

Foods high in refined sugar such as sweet beverages, candy and pastries.

Refined carbohydrates such as white breads and rice, crackers, chips, cereals. Diets that are high in refined carbohydrates and low in protein are harmful.

Foods with saturated fatty acids can be decreased to minimal servings weekly such as pastries, pizza, processed sausage, lunch meats, cheese and red meats.

Polyunsaturated vegetable oils such as sunflower, corn, peanut and soy oils.

Alcohol should be limited to no greater than one serving daily (1 oz. hard liquor, 4 ounces wine, or 12 ounces beer.

Here’s what you can do

Some herbs have also been found to have anti-inflammatory properties such as devil’s claw, ginger root, and turmeric. Green tea on a regular basis enhances bone health and reduces inflammation for postmenopausal women Tart cherries have anti-inflammatory properties, and cherry juice can ease joint pain and arthritis taken twice a day.

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