Image above is from the article The Body on Fire: How chronic inflammation, brought on by an immune system in overdrive, could lead to illnesses including cancer, heart disease and diabetes from Tufts NOW.
Long overdue for another post in my Intro to Paleo Series. The subject of inflammation is exactly how I discovered a Paleo diet. I was on a quest to figure out what on earth was going to clear up my skin. At that point, gluten free was helping a lot, but I knew I could do better. I was already sold on the fact that my diet was causing my skin problems, so I was game to tweak it some more. I was also due to have a minor surgery and wanted to help my body to heal as quickly and efficiently as possible. After Google-ing and reading a lot of different takes on an anti-inflammatory approach, I decided on Paleo. I am not going to lie, after being gluten free for only two months, I was skeptical of how I was going to further cut out grains, beans & dairy!
Well, I think we all know how that story ended. The Paleo suited me just fine! Personally, I found that Paleo helped to clear up my skin, but I also had less headaches, neck/back aches, stomach troubles, seasonal allergies and was just “less sick” in general. Just as an example, after being Paleo for several months, we moved to a new house in July. In October, someone was visiting, had a headache and asked for an aspirin or Tylenol. We didn’t even realize that we hadn’t unpacked that box yet. 4 months and neither the hubby or I had needed even 1 pain reliever.
The basic ideas that I wish to share here are that inflammation can be in many different forms. Acne, headaches, back pain, gallbladder problems, dermatitis, sinusitis, bronchitis, any type of -itis…you get the picture. The less obvious conditions that are linked to inflammation are obesity, high cholesterol, blood sugar issues and heart disease. So, chances are, if you have a problem…it is likely related to some type of localized or overall inflammation! Again, I am not a doctor or a researcher, so I will link you to a couple of articles to get you started figuring this stuff out for a yourself. (Then I will get to the food stuff, which is my thing!)
Read more about inflammation here:
- What is Inflammation? from Mark’s Daily Apple
- How to Tell if you are Inflamed from Mark’s Daily Apple
- How inflammation makes you fat and diabetic (and vice versa) from Chris Kresser
- fish oil
- spinach & greens
- fish (especially salmon)
- various types of beans
- soy milk
- soy sauce
- peanut butter (reduced sodium)
- 1 cup of canned pumpkin has an IF rating of 334, which makes it strongly anti-inflammatory.
- Commercially prepared pumpkin pie has an IF rating of -122 which makes it moderately inflammatory.