What is inflammation?
Whether it's an injury, arthritis, alzheimer's, or depression, the word inflammation seems to be a recurring topic of conversation these days. Inflammation is the body's immune system's response to a stimulus such as injury, infection, or specific foods(1). Most people are familiar with acute inflammation, which presents itself externally through swelling, redness, infections, etc. However, there is also a form of low-level, chronic form of inflammation that also occurs naturally in your body. But when it goes wrong or goes on too long, it can trigger disease processes(2). In fact, chronic inflammation is associated with the development of every major disease, including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s(2). According to researchers at the Yale School of Medicine, inflammation, particularly that the immune sensor Nlrp3 inflammasome, is a common denominator in every age related disease and disability(4). Not only is inflammation prevalent in age related diseases, but the Yale study also determined that it decreased the overall healthspan, period of life spent free of illness and disease, of an individual(3). Inflammation is currently being studied as a contributing factor in mental illness, particularly ADHD and depression(4)(5).
So what can we do about inflammation?
The food you eat, your diet, is one of the most powerful parameters in your overall health, and it is something you can completely control, yourself. In the case of inflammation, your diet has the ability to either increase or decrease the amount of inflammation present in the body. Foods that are notorious for causing inflammation are processed sugars, saturated fats, trans fats, excess omega-6 fatty acids, refined carbohydrates, MSG, gluten (found in grains), casein (found in dairy), aspartame, and alcohol. There are also certain foods that you can incorporate into your diet that are powerful for preventing and reducing inflammation. These foods are typically effective and cheap compared to other methods of reducing inflammation.
With a history of medicinal use that dates back at least 4000 years, ginger and turmeric are two popular anti-inflammatory spices that have both been shown to be powerful methods to reduce inflammation(6)(7 and references therein)(8). We here at ríjuice often refer to turmeric and ginger as liquid gold, and incorporate them into our juice blends whenever we can. More information on ginger and turmeric to come!
Here are two great sources for more information on inflammation:
Disclaimer: this is not a prescription, nor is this qualified healthcare information. Please consult your physician for any matters regarding medical care.
8)https://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/turmeric (and references therein)