If you drink the odd turmeric spiced ‘golden latte’ you might already be on the right path. However if you really want to maximise your wellbeing into a ripe old age then it would be wise to get a handle on ways to switch off inflammation and its ability to create chronic disease in the body.
Inflammation can be a normal and beneficial process. Healthy inflammatory responses are launched in an effort to heal after injury, in defence against foreign invaders like viruses and bacterial and repair of damaged tissue. Generally you know something is inflamed when its, red, swollen and painful.
However there’s an increasing consideration of insidious and chronic inflammatory states that are not beneficial and can affect one or multiple organ systems and are increasingly linked to a whole host of illnesses from Alzheimer’s to cancer. These protracted periods of inflammatory response are like ongoing spot fires, often in multiple organs, that are drawing on the immune system’s resources and depleting its capacity to stay on top of its game.
Often the first warning signs of inflammation are noticed in the digestion. The more we understand about the gut, the more we’re seeing that numerous disease process including systemic inflammation begin here. Not surprisingly then, quality, nutritious food is a front line defence against inflammation.
Unfortunately, many common foods like wheat, dairy and especially sugar are seen as potentially inflammatory however there is no blanket rule that you can apply to everyone.
If you know a specific food causes bloating, heartburn or other unwelcome reactions it’s a reliable indication that your body doesn’t tolerate it. On the other hand whole grains, leafy greens and good quality fats are just a few of the common foods that can soothe the inflammatory response.
Whilst diet is the foundation of tackling inflammation, so too is managing stress as stress hormones are fuel to the fire of inflammation in the body. Restoring your ability access quality sleep and emotional wellbeing are just as important.
If you have a few mild symptoms then you can probably make some tweaks to your diet and lifestyle and restore your body back to balance. However if you have more complex and long standing health challenges then it’s advisable to seek help from a trusted professional. I would suggest a great place to start is with a naturopath or an integrative GP.
Wes Smith is Live Well's Director and has 20 years experience as a practitioner and wellness educator. He has a special interest in working with chronic immune issues, stress, anxiety and depression.
Wes is passionate about inspiring and educating people to create and sustain their vitality and wellbeing so they can live life to the full.
Wes also enjoys teaching meditation and is the creator of meditatewithwes.com an online resource for learning how to meditate. es has a B.App.Sc.(Acup), Diploma of Herbal Medicine, a Yoga Teaching Diploma and is an APHRA registered acupuncturist. Learn more about acupuncture, herbal medicine and meditation.