When you hear inflammation, we think of an insect bite or cut on the skin that becomes red, hot and painful. When we obtain an injury out immune system sends white blood cells and other substances induce inflammation which serves a healthy purpose in healing.
However, inflammation can also occur inside the body and be caused by substances called “free radicals” that come from our diet, smoking, a lingering infection, excess body weight, heavy metal or chemical exposure. This constant exposure to free radicals and persistent inflammation in the body may not be felt by a person initially however overtime it is upsetting internal process and systems including endocrine, nervous, and cardiovascular and digestive systems. Chronic inflammation in the body from the things mentioned above can lead to a range of conditions such as heart disease, arthritis, Diabetes, Cancer and depression.
Foods/factors that INCREASE inflammation:
- Processed foods and Sugar (think lollies, chocolate, ice cream, refined cereals, sauces)
- Saturated fats (Butter, biscuits, chips, chocolates, ice creams, meats, fast foods)
- Trans fats (Mostly come from processed foods including packaged biscuits, chips)
- High ratio of Omega 6 oils to Omega 3 ( Omega- 6 fatty acids are pro inflammatory and include vegetable oils such as sunflower, and sesame.) These oils aren’t “bad” however the issue is imbalance of omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acids which are anti inflammatory. So try to eat more omega 3 instead such as from olive and flaxseed oils.
- Overweight and obesity, excess fat cells in our body release their own hormone like substances and toxins which can increase inflammation.
- Too much salt (processed meats such as ham, butter, canned soups, most packaged processed foods)
Foods/factors than DECREASE inflammation
- get enough vitamin D. Make sure to get out in the sun for at least 10 minutes each day.
- Omega 3 fatty acids ( salmon, trout, walnuts, chia seeds, fish oil tablets, flaxseed)
- Turmeric (another reason to spice up life, re Nic's email last week)
- Antioxidant rich foods such as blueberries, broccoli, and cauliflower mop up those free radicals we mentioned earlier.
- Vitamin c from oranges, capsicum, strawberries, pineapple etc
- Regular exercise reduces inflammation
- Fibre ( oats, wholegrains, fruits, vegetables and legumes)
- Red wine ( resveratrol is the chemical of interest helping to reduce inflammation. 1-2 drinks is enough before we start to decrease any benefits from too much alcohol )
Finally I promised a bit about me this week…
I have been
working in health promotion the last 6 months on large scale programs in the community. However my true desire is to work with people face to face, develop relationships with individuals in the community to foster nutrition lifestyle changes and achieve health goals. So I decided to take the plunge and begin my own private practice work. So as of next week I am beginning to see patients from Branxton Medical Centre and Nic has also kindly offered me her room Monday nights and Saturday mornings for appointments!! I am VERY excited to announce this.
I am also worried, as anyone would be with new change, doubt myself sometimes and have fears.
So I recently went on a trip to New Zealand and made a crazy decision to bungy jump. To me if I had the courage to jump of the ledge, and push myself right out of my comfort zone – I could do anything. It was a personal goal to push my limits and prove to myself I CAN do whatever I put my mind to. Fear of change, fear of the unknown,
fear of failure is normal but we have a choice as to whether we sit back and accept it and never know… or we push out of our comfort zones and develop confidence.
Confidence comes from DOING. You cannot wait until you’re confident to then try something. You have to take steps first before becoming more confident.
Therefore from this week’s email I challenge you all to try to push yourself to do the things you want to do, or something that puts you out of your comfort zone (may not be as radical as bungy jumping it could be just going to the gym for the first time!). Remember the more you go along pushing yourself - your confidence will increase and you will achieve your goals, but you have to start somewhere!!
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