Day after day in our busy hustle of life, we don’t even think about what we’re doing to our bodies. From the activities we do or don’t do, to the foods we grab out of convenience, years of bad habits quickly add up to long term damage. Chronic inflammation is the cause of more illness and disease than most people even realize. All different kinds of pain and problems evolve due to the inflammatory problems people do not understand: obesity, diabetes, heart disease, strokes, ADD, ADHD, thyroid issues, even cancer. We aren’t educated on these things, because education on what’s killing us would affect buying patterns. You’d stop buying cheez-it’s, and no one wants that.
Let’s start with what we could call dietary inflammation, or as I like to call it, did it to yourself inflammation. Physical life is fairly simple. A body is a complex engine, give it good fuel, it will function great. Give it poor fuel sources with no nutrients, and over time that complex engine will fail. Daily we grab food out of convenience rather than grabbing food that can help us. If you’re experiencing any of the above illnesses you should think about what you’re putting in your mouth. Most people want a doctor to tell them that there is a pill for their problem. The best medicine for dietary inflammation is simple; personal responsibility. Most of the illness mentioned, and many others, start in the gut. That is something we can begin to control ourselves, it just takes a little knowledge and will power.
One culprit that has become quite popular in recent years is gluten. Gluten is irrefutably hard to digest for most people. It could be argued that the whole world has a “gluten sensitivity.” However it could also be argued that the whole world has an eating problem. Cutting out foods containing gluten indirectly cuts out a huge portion of carbohydrate intake. I would say that it isn’t the gluten, but the result of cutting out gluten means reducing carbohydrate intake that is helping. Blame the gluten all you want, from your dietary issues to a bad relationship, IT’S THE GLUTEN. However, no one ingredient is the cause of inflammatory problems. A poor overall diet can wreak some serious havoc. If dietary choices improve, so many problems disappear.
To list a few to avoid: refined carbohydrates, sugars, fried foods, sodas, processed meats, fake butters like margarine and lard, vegetable oils, dairy, gluten, peanuts. Also avoid most beer, as they are typically wheat/barley based. This is not to say you need to live life without these foods, this is just a simple list of things that will improve any situation.
Whether it’s allergy related, or just digestive, all of the foods above cause inflammation. Once in a while these don’t necessarily cause damage, but years and years of constant ingestion causes inflammation. Inflammation is our bodies fighting response and protection sending immune cells and nutrients where needed, but a constant state of inflammation does damage on everything from joints to our immune system. Having constant inflammation ends up with regular cells being attacked as well, almost like your body trying to destroy itself. Things like Fibromyalgia wouldn’t even exist if we could get our lives together with healthy physical intake and activity.
Let’s go through a few diseases that we could probably fix with these better dietary choices.
Diabetes: Type 1- you’re now producing zero insulin on your own, and dependent on a pump or a shot. Type 1 is not always self inflicted, but many times this is a cause of things like high alcohol intake, obesity, high carbohydrate/sugar diet over time. Your cells can no longer receive the glucose you’re feeding them, and you’re developing an over acidic state where you also can’t utilize glycogen stores. I couldn’t say this would be “fixed” with better diet choices, but there is a lot of research showing improvements on diets like a primal, low carb or ketogenic diet.
Type 2- (you did it to yourself diabetes) This is very common. Years and years of a bad diet, or even a high alcohol intake. Sometimes your pancreas just quits unrelated to age, diet, or alcoholism,and we really don’t have a reason for this cause. Maybe a preexisting condition doctors can’t put a finger on has contributed to a person developing Type 2 diabetes. However, most of the time Type 2 diabetes is caused by dietary choices over time and lack of activity. Things any person change with knowledge and actions based on good choices.
Obesity: Although this seems to be the cause of a lot of other diseases like diabetes, heart disease, stroke etc, we do know that this is something we can combat on our own. Everyone has their own struggle and I don’t want to sound harsh, but if you’re extremely overweight, you are asking for other problems. From the excess toxins that you hold onto in body fat, to the stress you put on your heart and other organs, this is in your control. Stand up and start somewhere. Walk out your front door, walk up and down the stairs, walk around your block. Maybe push your stroller around the neighborhood, but get moving one way or another and take responsibility for your own life. Don’t sit there and take your prescriptions, missing out on life until something more serious like diabetes or cancer comes calling. Put in a little effort, and cut out some of these foods.
Cancer: Every single person reading this knows someone who either has, or has suffered from cancer. I lost my grandfather to lung cancer earlier this year. Cancer cells feed off of glucose, the simple math would say remove glucose from your diet. There is a lot of research behind alkaline diets as well to fight cancer naturally. Cancer cells feed on glucose, but also thrive in an overly acidic state in your body. More on alkaline dieting here. Read up here on ketogenic diets, we also welcome you to simply google cancer and ketogenic diets to get some research on your own. We will include some great links below to help you, as this is a very important topic to us.
These are just a few of the top illnesses running our lives these days.I used these as simple examples, because people have known the powerful effects of food for millenniums. Hippocrates said, over 2500 years ago, “Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food”. If we could just begin to educate ourselves and make a few better choices here and there, we would all live a much more fulfilled life, with much less widespread disease.
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