"The greatest wealth is health." Virgil
In the human body, there are trillions of organisms that live inside us and are referred to as the microbiome. This includes human cells, viral strains, yeasts and fungi in addition to bacteria. Central to this system is our “gut” and begins the good versus bad bacteria battle.
Researchers have discovered that a lot of our immune system lives in our gut and poor gut health is tied to many different diseases because inflammation often starts here. By eating lots of anti-inflammatory foods and probiotics, lowering your stress levels and exercising regularly, you can help support a healthy microbiome.
Autoimmune disorders, arthritis, dementia, heart disease and even cancer can be contributed to certain cases of poor gut health, not to mention having a negative impact on overall health, fertility and life longevity. What you eat has a large impact on inflammation and certain things can increase it such as:
- Refined vegetable oils
- Pasteurized dairy products
- Refined carbohydrates and processed grains
- Conventional meat, poultry and eggs
- Added sugars
- Trans fats/hydrogenated fats
Foods that can lower inflammation and increase good bacteria can help turn down an overactive immune system and provide safeguards to healthy cells. You should incorporate as many of these as possible in order to reduce inflammation:
- Fresh vegetables such as beets, carrots, broccoli, kale, spinach, squash
- Whole fruit like apples, blackberries, cherries, grapefruit, strawberries
- Herbs, spices and tea like turmeric, ginger, basil, green tea
- Probiotics such as yogurt, kombucha, kimchi
- Wild-caught fish, cage-free eggs, grass-fed meat
- Healthy fats like coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil
- Ancient grains and legumes like black beans, chickpeas, lentils, quinoa
- Even red wine and chocolate/cocoa in moderation is ok
Getting regular exercise will also reduce your stress and help protect your body from dangerous inflammation. Stress negatively impacts your immune function and if your body is constantly releasing hormones to fight off a threat that doesn’t even exist, you may be more susceptible to infections and other symptoms in addition to inflammation.
Fix your gut. Fix your life.
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INHALE EXHALE SMILE® / LIFESTYLE MEDICINE
This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any medical issue or disease. The author does not in any way guarantee or warrant the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of this article and will not be held responsible for the content of this article. The information in this article is not intended to replace a personal relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. Always consult your personal health care provider for specific medical advice.