How we can reduce Inflammation in the body to boost the Immune System and avoid Disease!

Inflammation is the number 1 cause of heart disease, diabetes, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, autoimmune diseases, joint pain, and cancer. Inflammation severely compromises the immune system and there are ways we can decrease Inflammation in the body so we have a healthy, strong immune system.

Chemical Additives in Ultra Processed Foods

With over 330 approved chemical additives for the use in food it has become hard to avoid and they are often added to foods we even think are healthy, such as Yogurts and Salads. According to the British Medical Journal the average person consumes around 8kg of these chemical additives a year and they make up 60% of our diet!

The best way to reduce inflammation is to cut down or avoid altogether processed foods that contain additives that make food last longer, look more presentable, bind ingredients that would not naturally bind together or make them a brighter "more appealing" colour!

List of Additives we can limit in our diet:

  • Sodium nitrate: To make processed meat look pink.

  • Potassium nitrate: Also known as saltpetre, a meat preservative.

  • Carrageenan: A thickener, used in ice cream.

  • Monosodium glutamate: Flavour enhancer, used in foods such as stock cubes and Takeaways.

  • Sulphite ammonia caramel: Colouring in beer, tea and desserts.

  • Acesulfame Potassium: Sweetener used in soft drinks.

  • Sucralose: Sweetener in confectionery, breakfast bars and soft drinks.

  • Mono/diglycerides of fatty acids: Texture improvers found in bread, frozen meals and mayonnaise.

  • Potassium sorbate: Preservative used in wine, cheese and yoghurt.

  • Cochineal: Red colouring for desserts and wine.

  • Potassium metabisulfite: Wine preservative.

  • Sodium alginate: Emulsifier (mixing aid) in prepared salads, cheese and jam.

Dr Bernard Srour, an epidemiologist at the Institute of Health and Medical Research in France says :

‘We are seeing more and more ultra-processed products with messages about how healthy they are. The food industry is trying to demonstrate that its products are low in sugar and salt and fat but it is replacing sugar with artificial sweeteners, for example, which may cause all sorts of other problems. The cocktail effect of all these additives has also never been investigated. They may generate a health effect that doesn’t happen when the additives are used individually".

Dr Scott Murray, a consultant cardiologist at Wirral University Teaching Hospital in Liverpool and former president of the British Association for Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation adds :

"It is now recognised that inflammation is involved in heart disease along with every other disease process. Heart disease is driven by changes in the way your body handles fat because of excess processed food intake, plus malfunction in the over-stressed fat cells. That, in turn, causes inflammation as the body struggles to adjust its regulatory processes."

Normally, the hormone insulin is released to mop up excess sugar in the bloodstream but this regulatory system starts to fail.

Dr Murray adds: ‘When calorific intake from processed, energy-dense foods gets too high, spare energy is carried from the blood into the fat cells. Fat cells multiply and swell to store this spare energy. This process begins to break down when it becomes impossible for sufficient blood to reach these abnormal swollen fat cells and there is also no more room at the fat cell motel. Spare energy remains in the blood, causing a variety of toxic effects elsewhere in the body and leading to a cascade of further inflammation. New fat cells then form in abnormal places around the liver, heart and pancreas. Abnormal fats and glucose [i.e. sugar] continue to circulate in the blood, causing chronic and worsening inflammation, which also means the body is less able to deal with infections such as Viruses".

Increase Inflammation fighting Foods to our diets

We can increase of bodies ability to fight inflammation by increasing the amount of Inflammation fighting foods we consume thus finding a healthier balance. Foods we can eat more of would include:

  • Foods high in Omega 3 Fatty Acids such as Salmon, Olive Oil, Sardines & Tuna.

  • Herbs & Spices such as Garlic, Turmeric, Rosemary, Cinnamon, Cumin, Ginger, and Fenugreek

  • Whole Plant Foods such as Whole Grains, Beans, Nuts and Legumes

  • Vitimin D High foods such as Mushrooms and Eggs

  • Brown or Wholemeal Breads

  • Dark Chocolate high in Cocoa - over 75%

  • Take Supplements such as Spirilina, Alpha-lipoic acid and Ginger

  • Green Leafy Vegatables such as Kale, Spinach, Collards

  • Fruits such as Berries, Oranges, Cherries

  • Tomatoes in all forms

  • Brown Rice and whole wheat Pasta

Other things we can do to Quickly reduce Inflammation in the body:

  • Take a Break from Alcohol or stop completely

  • Get more sleep! Turn off the TV and other screens an hour of two before you normally would and go to bed.

  • Drink lots of Water to flush out toxins - add Lemons and Lime

  • Have Green Tea instead of Coffee or normal Teas

  • Consume more Green Leafy Vegatables such as Kale, Spinach, Collards

  • Reduce or Limit Salt intake

  • Consume more Fruits such as Berries, Oranges, Cherries, Apples

  • Consider a 1-3 day Fast to reset the body

  • Have a daily exercise routine

  • Cut down or stop smoking

  • Remove/Limit Stress - Meditate, slow walking, yoga or use visulisation techniques

  • Limit or avoid meat products

  • Limit or avoid heavily processed non meat products

  • Strengthen the gut’s microbe barrier with probiotic rich foods such as yogurt, sauerkraut, kombucha, miso, or kimchi

  • Cut out Diary and Gluten

  • Eat a Rainbow a day of fruit and vegetables

  • Make your own preserved foods such as Jams and Sauces so you control what is put in them, know the day they were made and can consume them quickly within normal shelf lives for fresh products

  • Lose weight if overweight

Thankyou for reading and I hope you have found this blog useful in helping to reduce Inflammation in your body so we have strong IMMUNE systems!

Namaha, Lisa x

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