It’s a crude analogy, but I liken inflammation in the body to friction in your car engine. Like using the wrong oil in your car, you could be using the wrong oil (like saturated fats or polyunsaturated fats containing too much omega-6 essential fatty acids) in the body (e.g., cottonseed or sunflower) or not enough of the good oils – omega-3s like those found in chia, flax, or cold-water fish like salmon, cod, herring, and sardines.
Like adding sand to your carburetor, some “foods” naturally produce inflammation – e.g., salt and sugar. And, of course, many factors encountered in ordinary use produce inflammation. Potholes, construction, mechanical failure, and inattentive drivers in the car can be compared with damage caused to your body by injury, infection, environmental toxins, viral and bacterial pathogens, and simple inattentiveness to your health.
You can help by just paying attention to your diet. What can you do? Add more raw foods, replace red meat with fish and lean poultry, get rid of “white” foods – white potatoes, white flour, white rice – and reduce the amount of processed foods you consume (they add unwanted preservatives and extract numerous vital nutrients just to enhance shelf life). Replace sugar with natural alternative sweeteners, yellow or blue for white potatoes, yellow, brown or wild rice for white, and flours like spelt for wheat (or at least use whole, unprocessed wheat). And use oils like olive or coconut instead of more fatty ones.
If you have an inflammatory response to any of the mentioned “road hazards” try any of the natural herbal anti-inflammatories – such as cat’s claw, garlic, curcumin (from turmeric), ginger, Boswellia (frankincense), white willow bark, stinging nettle, cayenne, and yucca.
Along with diet changes, supplements assist, as well. More Omega-3 essential fatty acids “add oil to YOUR engine.” Vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin C and zinc reduce inflammation and aid in the healing process, vitamin B helps with tissue repair, and Grape Seed extract is a powerful antioxidant.
Finally, your car needs gas (or electricity) for energy. Just so, it is essential to use a good, complete, and balanced multiple vitamin and mineral complex for all your health issues…including inflammation!
– Randy Lee, ND, Owner, The Health Patch, 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, MWC 73130, phone/fax: 736-1030, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.