Safe Solutions for Harmful Inflammation
By Debbie Mandel
The latest medical research has revolutionized our understanding of the role of inflammation as the root cause of chronic pain and many diseases such as cancer, arthritis, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, allergies and many auto-immune diseases. It is as though a fiery war rages in the body. Unfortunately, anti-inflammatory drugs such as Vioxx and Celebrex, which often trigger many harmful side effects, force us to make painful choices.
Recent medical research has shown that inflammation can be caused or exacerbated by lifestyle and diet. That’s good news because we can make a few healthy changes to our lifestyle and diet with beneficial side effects!
Certain foods increase acidity in the body upsetting the PH balance in the digestive system causing inflammation and fueling pain:
Alkalinizing foods are anti-inflammatory. Fruits and vegetables contain powerful anti-oxidants to boost the immune system to prevent chronic inflammation. To shift the diet in the direction of alkalinity, switch to:
- Beef and pork
- Processed grains, sugar, chocolate
- Alcohol, caffeine and tea
- Night shade vegetables: eggplant, tomatoes, chili peppers and potatoes
- Dairy products if you are intolerant (and many of us are)
- Processed vegetable oils which produce toxic by-products when heated
And finally, practicing a relaxed mindset which releases anger and resentment, striving to be at peace with others and with the self, is a necessary accompaniment to an anti-inflammatory diet. Our daily expressions hold clues to the harmful role of inflammatory remarks: fiery temper, consumed with anger or rage, burnout, etc. And it is the fire in our words and actions that fuels the inflammatory response, a virtual civil war we wage in the body and mind, releasing powerful hormones, acid in our stomachs and pain to alert us to the problem. The solution is to make peace with ourselves, change our diet and implement an exercise regimen – in other words, to create a balance that will heal both mind and body.
- Fish, chicken, veal and lamb
- Fruits and vegetables – nine servings a day (a serving is the size of a fist)
- Whole grains like: Brown rice, quinoa, millet, spelt and kamut
- Raw nuts like almonds and walnuts
- Green tea
- Cold pressed olive oil
- Drink plenty of water to flush out toxins and aid cellular metabolism
Pain and depression emanate from the same center in the brain. Depression can drive and intensify pain. When we release negativity, we catch the abundance that life has to offer. We make room for happiness. If there is a painful loss lodged in our hearts, we can expand the heart so that other good things can fill it; our pain can now occupy a little corner.
By exercising daily which means, walking, playing golf, gardening, dancing, bicycling, and any rhythmic movement sustained for twenty minutes, we can let go of our stress. We release feel good hormones as we activate our immune system, keeping it vigilant. Exercise will help us generate positive energy to uplift our spirit shedding both physical and emotional pain. The choice is yours: Prozac or Puma?
Neutralize the inflammatory conditions in your life. Don’t let chronic inflammation and emotional pain erode who you are! Restore the balance through duality. The opposite of fire is water. Go with the flow and flow in all that you do. Be aware of what causes you pain: anger because of blocked desire, fear because of uncertainty and distrust because of past hurt – these are the elements of strife. Forgiveness is the direct route to peace and freedom from pain.
Debbie Mandel, MA is the author of Turn On Your Inner Light: Fitness for Body, Mind and Soul, a stress-reduction specialist, motivational speaker, a personal trainer and mind/body lecturer. She is the host of the weekly Turn On Your Inner Light Show on WGBB AM1240 in New York City , produces a weekly wellness newsletter, and has been featured on radio/ TV and print media. To learn more visit: www.turnonyourinnerlight.com