Do you know that you are most likely dealing with low-level inflammation’s effects upon your body if you’re struggling with stubborn belly fat or a twinge of knee pain?
Inflammation is our body’s defense mechanism- a vital part of our immune system. Without it, our bodies won’t heal. If we accidentally cut our finger, or sprain our ankles while playing a sport, we may notice acute inflammation. Which is pretty normal as it is our bodies’ natural response to such. The best part about inflammation is that it goes away!
But what some of us do not know is that in some cases our immune system can go a bit haywire and thus create a low level inflammation that not only stays but spreads throughout the body. This low-grade inflammation is normally associated with many chronic diseases as well as faster aging and weight gain.
Therefore, it is an important component to cultivating optimal health when we reduce low-level inflammation in the body. And what research is now showing is that our gut is the core center of optimal wellness. The health of our gut flora is crucial if you want to live a healthy, vibrant life.
Take a look at five key steps that will help you create optimal gut health to reverse inflammation in the body and put you on the path to wellness:
We have roughly 100 trillion bacteria in our gut. That’s mostly because of what we eat. In most cases, unhealthy ones. Well, we see them all around… fast foods, sidewalk pica-pica and most recently, food parks popping up like mushrooms. And because of these, our gut bacteria balance favors the unhealthy microbes that are promoting inflammation and weight gain.
If you can’t grow your own, I suggest adding cultured and fermented foods or as a supplement, also called probiotics, actually “plants” – healthy, friendly gut microbes to help create optimal health and reverse inflammation. Probiotics are cultured or fermented foods that colonize our guts with health-boosting micro-organisms. Add a probiotic or cultured and fermented food to your daily diet such as yogurt (without sugar), kefir, natto, kimchee, sauerkraut, pickles, and cheeses.
Imagine our guts like gardens. I suggest we plant “probiotics” regularly. Now when you plant, you need fertilizer for optimal results. That fertilizer is called prebiotics. Prebiotic foods contain unique nondigestible plant fibers such as inulin and oligofructose that help your healthy bacteria flourish.
Foods like garlic, beans, bananas, artichokes, oats, jicama, avocado, leeks, onions, chicory root, asparagus, or any green leafy vegetables are high in prebiotics. Friendly bacteria need these specific foods in order to thrive and help reverse inflammation.
3. Enrich With nutrients.
Do you know that omega-3 fatty acids further support our gut garden with nutrients which are powerful in reversing low-level cellular inflammation?
Examples of anti-inflammatory herbs and spices that you can add to meals or smoothies are turmeric, rosemary, quercetin, and ginger.
4. Removing Toxins.
Do you love sugar? I know I do. But do you also know that foods (especially sugar) such as junk foods, sodas, white rice, and white breadare what unhealthy bacteria need to flourish and promote inflammation. Science says that Gut microbes outweigh our cells 10 to 1- so imagine the power they wield in our food choices and our cravings. (Know I know why I have instances of sugar rush!)
Remove these from your diet and you lose weight and reverse inflammation. Better yet, you create optimal health!
5. Add Digestive Enzymes.
As we age our natural enzyme production begins to decline by age 20, so by the time you reach middle age, oour body is operating with much lower enzymatic activity.
In case you do not know, Enzymes are critical to every cell and every physiological process in your body, including digestion.
No matter how healthy our diet is and our lifestyle is, if they are not digested and assimilated properly, they’ll be useless. Digestive enzymes not only help promote optimal digestion and health, they also help avert inflammation.
Add a digestive enzyme supplement between meals to help reverse inflammation, or before a meal to aid in digestion. Some examples are bananas, avocados and pineapples.
You see, taking care of your gut, and the friendly bacteria that reside there, may be one of the single most important things you can do for your health.
Remember to plant, fertilize, and enrich your gut garden to reverse inflammation. 😉
About The Author
Cathy spends part of her days wondering how to combine her 2 loves, writing and photography. The rest of her time she spends taking care of her two babies. Sheena, a Labrador retriever & Amanda, a Siberian husky. She’s been an OLEIA user since May.