Well, here I am on a Saturday night researching inflammatory diets which seem to manifest themselves through many symptoms undetected by the most casual citizen as well as many conventional doctors. That adult acne you have that never seems to hibernate long enough, redness in the face from rosacea, rusty or cloudy colored urine, shallow breathing, your cracking knees & arthritis, sore joints, tooth enamel erosion, hair loss, digestive upsets, and overall pain, swelling and warmth are all indications of inflammation in your body. In TCM it would be described as perhaps “excess heat.” Although I have been aware of the Acidic/Alkaline chart & its related foods, sometimes there is a tendency to forget and perhaps even rebel if you have been on a restricted diet for some time or perhaps haven’t had a sundae for months. In my case it was sundaes, but with my cravings I wanted more than just one within 2 weeks time and thus along with reintroducing gluten & refined carbs (with sugar as well) the past 2 months, I realized I had also reintroduced a more acidic environment in my body that probably is hurting and certainly not helping with low ferritin/slight hypothyroid issues. Symptoms have included the adult acne, hair loss, and sustained malabsorption issues with ferritin/iron and other essential nutrients as well as some weight gain. What’s interesting is the hidden effects of gluten intolerance are not only in your gut, but in the more advanced stages, can travel to your brain (think “brain fog”), your joints, your skin in the form of rashes & acne, your hair in the form of hair loss (telogen effluvium & alopecea), and to your nervous system in the form of tingling/numb extremities. What you have here folks is Systematic Inflammation which induces chronic stress which is the root of all modern diseases whether caused by emotional or internal physiological stress.
In order to thrive, your body needs to maintain a blood ph balance of about 7.365; however, when your body’s ph reading falls below this reading or above it, you will start to show signs of inflammation with some more hidden than others but no less sinister.
Foods that are at the top of the chronic inflammation list are as follows:
- Dairy (especially pasteurized homogenized milk, but also cheese, yogurt, cream, etc., anything that comes out of a cow’s udder)
- Gluten (the king of inflammation – gluten damages your intestinal wall and causes systemic inflammation)
- Sugar (high glycemic index spikes your blood sugar and leads to glycation and persistent inflammation)
- Vegetable oils (canola, sunflower, safflower, soybean, cottonseed, corn oil)
- Trans fats (commercial baked goods, margarine, fast foods, deep fried foods)
- Feedlot-raised meat (artificial hormones, antibiotics, omega-6 fats)
- Processed meats that have nitrites, nitrates, other preservatives
- Alcohol (more than one glass of wine per day)
- Refined grains and white flour
- Food additives, preservatives, artificial flavors, etc.
Courtesy of Devin Mooers, http://www.clearskinforever.net/acne-and-inflammation-10-foods-to-avoid/
Avoiding these can greatly assist in healing any chronic stress-related inflammation related disease you may have and move you closer to the 7.365 optimal blood PH reading your body needs to maintain. One thing that is quite interesting, is my discovery that although herbal formulas from either Native American herbs, Ayurvedic to Traditional Chinese Medicine can all greatly assist in healing, we also need to combine this knowledge with functional nutrition analysis of the current mineral levels in our blood and hair as well as pay careful attention to our diet by adopting a more anti-inflammatory diet that includes some of the following foods:
- Raw sesame oil contains sesamin, which prevents the conversion of omega-6 EFAs to pro-inflammatory saturated fats.
- Citrus peel contains a phytochemical called limonene, which is anti-inflammatory and helps protect the skin from the harmful effects of the sun. People generally throw the peel away and only eat the fruit, but eating the peel gives the body an anti-inflammatory boost.
- Tumeric has the active ingredient curcumin in it, which is well known as a powerful anti-inflammatory agent.
- Garlic and ginger are both anti-inflammatory and help stimulate the immune system.
- Nettle Leaf extract is an herb used for its anti-histamine properties.
- Boswellia serrata contains an aromatic gum resin which has been used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat arthritis.
- Perilla seed extract is an anti-inflammatory which helps heal respiratory tissue and reduce histamine levels.
- olive oil
- green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, kale, and collards
- nuts like almonds and walnuts
- fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines
- fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and oranges
- Lemons and Limes
- Green Tea
- Sweet Potatoes
Overall, as recommended by others, a Mediterranean diet is the healthiest although I would follow that with the Japanese diet except without so much if any gluten (noodles, potstickers, etc.).
Foods that Fight Inflammation. (July, 2014). Harvard Women’s Watch: Harvard Health Publications: Harvard Medical School. Retrieved from http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/foods-that-fight-inflammation
Food that Cool Inflammation. (February 16, 2010). Herald Net. Retrieved from http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20100216/LIVING/702169967
PH Balance and Your Health (Part 1). (n.d.). Wellness Watchers MD. Retrieved from http://www.wellnesswatchersmd.com/feature_articles/pH-1.php