4 Tips to Quench Inflammation
by Dr. Polina Kapoustina, ND
February 13, 2019
1) Avoid eating foods that you are sensitive to
A food sensitivity is a delayed immune response your body has to something you ingested. The response can take days to show up, so it’s hard to pinpoint if you are eating a mix of everything.
You can find out what foods you are sensitive to by doing an elimination diet or a food sensitivity test. The food sensitivity test is usually a blood sample, but there are a few options so make sure to go to a high quality lab. An elimination diet is actually just as, if not more, reliable than the blood test, but of course takes more time and willpower.
Common foods people are sensitive to include gluten, dairy, sugar, eggs, and soy but it could be something else that is unique to you.
By consuming these foods regularly, you promote a leaky gut and immune complexes being formed, leading to chronic inflammation.
Chronic inflammation is like an OFF switch that is stuck in ON. The body’s immune system is overactive and no longer able to regulate itself. This can show up in the gut as stomach pain, in our skin as hives, in our joints as chronic pain or systemically as autoimmune disease.
2) Increase the amount of phytonutrients you consume
Phytonutrients are vitamins and minerals from plants. They are found in fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. They act as powerful anti-inflammatories and antioxidants that can extinguish inflammation. Phytonutrients also tend to be high in fiber, which pulls toxins from the gut and acts like a broom to sweep them out of you!
3) Balance the fatty acids in your diet
We’ve heard a lot about the benefits of fish oil by now. Insufficiencies of Omega-3 fats, along with excesses of saturated fat and trans-fats, can lead to inflammation, especially high fat foods that contain a lot of arachidonic acid like dairy and animal fat. Try having fish like sardines or salmon in your diet or getting a high quality fish oil supplement which is guaranteed to be mercury-free and deliver a high amount of EPA that you need to fight inflammation.
4) Check for vitamin and mineral deficiencies
Especially magnesium, deficiency of which is very common in industrialized populations – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3775240/. This can be tricky to test and not typically done with your regular check up, but a more accurate test would be a RBC Magnesium or the EXA Test if you have access to those.
Make sure to also check your vitamin D status, as a deficiency in vitamin D can promote the progression of osteoarthritis and autoimmunity (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23359064). This is something you can ask your family doctor to run for you.
That’s it for the 4 tips, let’s go put them in action!
Please let me know if you need help or have additional questions.
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Dr. Polina Kapoustina, ND