Inflammatory diseases represent a work product of bacteria, viruses and other microscopic deviltry. However it turns out that even food products can cause inflammation!
Everything that we draw in our mouths promotes inflammation or stands against it.
In fact it is essential for our health. Yet the best part of medical community still considers the idea to be a fruit of the sick imagination since it runs contrary to the science they were taught. Mind that quite recently students of medical universities were convinced that inflammation was invariably accompanied by infections, allergic and systemic diseases.
Other troubles were believed to be associated with metabolic disorders whileb inflammatory response contribution was not accepted at all. Rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and other diseases were qualified as systemic ones. While inflammatory joint disease is their only visible symptom, “on the quiet” they injure many internals, vessels and the whole body in many cases. In substance it can be called a systemic inflammation. So, in recent years it has been found that a similar process associates the majority of diseases which were considered to be non-inflammatory before.
The interrelation is proved
“The influence of immune inflammation that comes along with many diseases has been reviewed in recent years”, – tells Professor Yuri Vasyuk, Doctor of Medicine and vice-rector of Moscow State University of Medicine and Dentistry.
“Many large-scale and serious investigations demonstrated its causal relations with atherosclerosis, hypertension and coronary heart disease. The last one declares itself in angina heartaches and leads to infarctions, heart rhythm disorders, cardiac failure and finally to sudden death. In fact, it is the primary mortality factor nowadays. The inflammation at such ailments affects inner coat of vessels known as endothelium enhancing their tendency to cramps and blood clots formation.
It was well-proved that body levels of so-called high-specific CRP (or C-reactive protein) and some cytokines grow in the course of all the diseases. These substances are involved in inflammatory response. The more is their number, the more active is inflammation and the more acute is the course of disease. The prognosis of the disease can be estimated by the level of the markers concentration – the higher it is, the earlier patients die.
Thankfully the inflammation can often be reduced, it improves prognosis and increases patients’ survival.
Moreover, inflammation reveals itself at many other diseases, which were never associated with. It plays a significant part in adiposity, non-insulin dependent diabetes, noninfectious hepatic disorders, Alzheimer dementia, Parkinsonism and others degenerative diseases of nervous system. In addition many cancer types are allied with such “quiet” inflammation. One way or another it worsens prognosis and increases mortality.
Pros and antis
Fortunately, such kind of inflammation can be usually regulated medically. It is weakened by pharmaceutical drugs, healthcare foods and high level of physical activity. Sedentary lifestyle always promotes activity of inflammatory response.
All food products can be classified to pro-inflammatory ones which enhance its activity and anti-inflammatory ones which block it. Theoretically they should be balanced, but as a matter of practice there are much more “pro” then “anti” in moderns’ diet.
So how to distinguish the foods? It is not always easy to answer this question since not all the ‘”i”s of the problem are still dotted. Here are few major factors to label foods as pro- or anti-inflammatory:
– content of so-called essential fatty acids (Omega-3 and Omega-6);
– content of antioxidants;
– content of vitamins, micro and macro elements;
– content of specific anti-inflammatory substances.
The last factor is the most simple to determine. Curcumin offered by curcuma is the strongest among such substances. Ingredients of the similar effect can be also found in ginger, rosemary, pepper and other species. The components ensure these species’ taste and flavour. So do not forget to include them into your daily ration.
As for essential fatty acids everything is also clear. Foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids have direct anti-inflammatory value. On the other hand substances which cause inflammation are generated from Omega-6 fatty acids. There is a lot of Omega-3 in fatty fish, walnuts, flaxseed oil and leafy greens. But even this cannot go without paradoxes. For instance, wild salmon is healthful and hampers inflammation growth while farmed salmon (which is commonly found on offer) often appears to be a pro-inflammatory food. The issue is about fish food “served” to the salmon. As a rule it is poor in Omega-3 and full of Omega-6. Such imbalance results in tragic after-effects.
For the same reason our near and dear sunflower oil is a “pro” food while olive oil is an “anti” product. The last one is rich with oleic acid assisting Omega-3 acids in their effective work and sunflower oil is full of Omega-6 pro-inflammatory acids. Other vegetable fats such as soybean, peanut and cottonseed (it is not used in cookery but widely applied in food industry) oils are also overloaded with Omega-6. However we have been always taught that vegetable oils are more healthful than animal fats. Turns out, it is not a sure thing. Besides the Omega-6 essential fatty acids contain in bulk in animal fats. That is why meat and dairy products are on the main “pro” foods list along with soya. Unfortunately, useful oleic acid is a find indeed. Except olive oil it appears in almond and macadamia nuts, so include them in your dietary.
Both-in-one dome and dart
Antioxidants always force contra inflammation, while all starchy and sweet foods facilitate it. Notably the better sugar is digested the worse they inflame our body. There are some paradoxes associated with the fact. For instance apples reputed to be very healthful slightly exasperate inflammation although they are rich in antioxidants. Why is it possible? Apples contain many digestible sugars, which are more powerful than the fruit’s useful components. The situation is similar regarding other sweet fruits. But this is not to say that one should cut them out. Just one should not forget about anti-inflammatory products. Perfect diet requires balance between “pro” and “anti” foods. Besides it is better to choose healthy ones among the first group, such as apples and other fruits.
However berries are leaders among anti-inflammatory foods despite they are rather rich in sugars. They offer very powerful antioxidants. The darker and brighter is a berry the more is antioxidants content since they enhances colors.
The most healthful are dark-violet blueberry, scaldberry, plum and blackberry along with red berries such as cherry, raspberry, strawberry and cranberry. Tea is also very efficient against inflammation if not to “kill” it with some spoons of sugar.