Inflammation is a tool the body uses to protect itself from injury and infection. Excessive inflammation can become systemic, affect every cell in the body and negatively impact your health. Cancer, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer's, allergies, asthma, auto-immune disease like rheumatoid arthritis, and multiple sclerosis are characterized by chronic inflammation. "The most important factor in fighting inflammation is the food we consume," writes Monica Reinagel and Julius Torelli, MD in their 2006 book, "The Inflammation Free Diet Plan."
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Joint inflammation is often painful and limiting. Chronically inflamed joints lack strength, stability, and motion. Pain from inflammation often leads to lack of use, which causes weakness, and instability, which leads to increased lack of use. This vicious cycle of pain, swelling, lack of motion and weakness often leads to disability. Determining and eliminating foods that increase your inflammation will help prevent the occurrence of joint swelling leading to disability.
Food allergies can be a source of inflammation. Reliable food allergy testing is available through blood testing and skin scratch testing. You can also utilize the elimination and challenge test by reintroducing a food after not eating it for a period one month and then recording a detailed description of your body's reaction to it. Eliminating all foods that elicit a positive allergic response as determined through testing with these methods will help lessen inflammation.
The body releases substances that promote inflammation in response to the ingestion of foods high in arachidonic acid. In her 2006 book titled, "The Anti-Inflammation Diet and Recipe Book," Naturopathic Doctor, Jessica K. Black ND writes, "Arachidonic Acid production is the first step in promoting inflammation." A key dietary step for reducing joint inflammation is reducing your intake of arachadonic acid-containing foods like pork and domesticated beef.
Hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated fats are manufactured fats that our bodies have a limited capability to recognize, breakdown and utilize. Hydrogenated fats are manufactured to make oils solid at room temperature so baked goods have a longer shelf life. These inflammation-producing fats are often labeled hydrogenated, partially hydrogenated, trans fatty acid, or trans fat. Read your labels carefully and avoid these man-made fats found in packaged baked goods and margarine.
The standard American diet, or SAD, is full of over-processed foods containing a high number of additives for flavoring, coloring and preservation. According to the author of the 1999 published book, "Beyond Cortisone," Martha Moore AHG says, "Many food additives can either increase sensitivities to inflammatory reactions or can directly activate excessive inflammatory processes inappropriately." To reduce joint inflammation, implement nutritional strategies that drastically reduce your consumption of pork, domesticated beef, hydrogenated foods and highly processed foods, and eliminate foods that elicit allergic reactions.