Chronic inflammation is the root cause of majority of autoimmune disorders and disease. Inflammation in the gut from the foods we eat and drink and the medications we take, can cause systemic inflammation affecting the entire body.
One of my biggest annoyances being a Nurse is the lack of communication between specialities. Doctors, Dermatologists, beauticians alike, all seem to be treating the downstream effects of inflammation, instead of looking upstream at the root cause. Take one of my typical patients from the hospital for example. Dispensing their extensive medication lists, actually gives me a headache! Some patients can be on 10 plus regular pills, all treating a downstream symptom of an upstream problem! Some common chronic health issues that stem from inflammation include; heart disease, autoimmune conditions, arthritis, diabetes, gastrointestinal diseases, anxiety, depression, brain fog, and hormonal imbalances.
Skin conditions such as acne, rosacea, melasma and eczema especially are all triggered from inflammation as well. This is why assessing the foods we eat and regular medications we take, are essential in ensuring we are reducing the inflammatory response in our bodies.
These are some common triggers of inflammation.
Lack of exercise
Stress (physical and emotional stress)
Viruses, bacteria, yeasts or parasites
Allergens from foods or the environment
Long term use of certain medications
Toxins such as mercury and pesticides
Here are some inflammatory promoting foods that you should avoid:
Refined Sugar and high- fructose Corn syrup - Consuming a diet high in sugar and high-fructose corn syrup drives inflammation that can lead to disease. It may also counteract the anti-inflammatory effect of omega-3 fatty acids.
Artificial Trans Fats have been shown to cause inflammation and increase disease risk
Vegetable and Seed Oils are high omega-6 fatty acid content and may promote inflammation when consumed in high amount.
Refined Carbohydrates raise blood sugar levels and promote inflammation .
Excessive alcohol consumption can increase inflammation and potentially lead to a "leaky gut" that drives inflammation throughout the body.
Here are my top Anti inflammatory foods that you can easily add to your diet to reduce inflammation:
Green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, kale, and collards
Nuts like almonds and walnuts
Fatty fish like salmon, tuna, and sardines
Fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and oranges
Grass fed meat
Some of my top tips to reduce inflammation!
At times of stress I will utilise Essential oils! Frankincense: Apply to the bottom of my feet to relax and balance mood swings.
Lavender essential oil: Diffuse at night to help sleep and calm central nervous system.
Remove coffee and replace with a turmeric latte.
Learn to actively relax to engage vagus nerve, the powerful nerve that relaxes our whole body and lowers inflammation. Yoga, meditation, deep breathing or even taking a hot lavender oil bath.