(Article re-posted with Permission from www.mixwellness.com.)
High blood pressure has always been known as the silent killer, but inflammation is steadily becoming the new kid on the block with regard to serious underlying health conditions. Conditions caused singlehandedly by lifestyle that can be silent but deadly, affecting every facet of our health, leading to the development and progression of many diseases. Inflammation, at its core, is the body’s effort to fight infection. In an acute situation, this is Mother Nature
at her finest, protecting your body from bacterial and viral invaders. After the “war” is won, your body goes back to its normal state of affairs and the inflammation subsides. However, when we continually expose our bodies to injury through stress and foods that our bodies were never designed to process (trans-fats, sugar, refined grains, etc.), chronic inflammation occurs. Public Enemy #1: Stress
Here’s the science behind it. When we consume simple carbohydrates like white flour and sugar, our blood sugar spikes. This results in our pancreas secreting insulin, whose main role is to bring our blood sugar back into normal ranges. When we continually spike our blood sugar several times a day, not only do we become insulin-resistant, because of our pancreas cannot keep up (further leading to type 2 diabetes), but it is also “like taking sandpaper to the inside of your delicate blood vessels.” This is where inflammation occurs. Adding insult to literal injury, the aforementioned “food” consumed that caused the blood sugar spike, was more than likely baked in one of the many omega-6 oils that just about every processed food contains (which supports a longer shelf life). And while omega-6s are indeed, essential to life, the correct balance with omega-3s is critical. A 3:1 ratio (omega-6s:omega-3s) is ideal and what produces optimal health, but due to the Standard American Diet,
imbalances can run as high as 30:1. Why is this a problem? When such an imbalance is present in the body, cells produce chemicals called cytokines, which directly cause inflammation. But wait, it gets worse. Much worse. The extra weight many individuals are carrying around from these “foods” creates a vicious cycle of fat cells continually releasing cytokines in response to habitually elevated blood sugar. And then it happens again with the next crappy meal. And the next one… Over time, this constant beating results in heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease. Turn Back The Clock
a Standard American to do? First things first, stress less. I know, easier said than done, but think about downsizing your commitments in addition to creating some outlets for stress relief (exercise, yoga, meditation, hobbies, etc.). Start saying no. It’s liberating. Second, eat real. Eliminate the processed, low-fat, no fat “foods” that have gotten us into
this mess. Eat food that our grandparents would have identified
as food: whole, fresh, (naturally) colorful, and nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables; food that goes bad; rich protein sources from grass-fed meat, wild caught fish, and pastur–raised poultry and pork; whole grains and healthy fats; grass-fed dairy and REAL butter. Yes. You. Can. “Forget the ‘science’ that has been drummed into your head for decades. The science that saturated fat alone causes heart disease is non-existent. The science that saturated fat raises blood cholesterol is also very weak. Since we now know that cholesterol is not the cause of heart disease, the concern about saturated fat is even more absurd today,” states Lundell. Trust me when I say this. The human body has the amazing ability to rebuild itself from years of damage. Trading in highly-processed, inflammatory food for nutrient-dense real food can single-handedly reverse arterial damage and inflammation, and add years to your life. It’s never too late.