Prevent Inflammation with the Mediterranean Diet

Danger of Inflammation

The Free Medical Dictionary describes inflammation as:

A localized protective response elicited by injury or destruction of tissues which serves to destroy, dilute, or wall off both the injurious agent and the injured tissue. The class signs of inflammation are heat, redness, swelling, pain, and loss of function.

Inflammation Tablet in Doctor's Office

Image by tashatuvango

Unfortunately, millions of people suffer from inflammation without realizing it. Even people in their early forties blame the constant aches and pains in their bodies and joints on getting older, which is absurd.

Causes of Inflammation

The reality is that many of those aches and pains are the result of their diet.  Most of the inflammation they are experiencing comes from the foods they put into the bodies without any concern for how it may be affecting their health.

The food manufacturers have changed the average diet so dramatically over the past 50 years that it is frightening.  They have gradually managed to convince us that they know what is best for us to eat and we have succumbed to their strategy.

We accept the extreme processing of foods for convenience, colour, flavour, and taste as perfectly acceptable without a moment’s consideration of whether we should be eating the foods, or not.

We rarely take the time to think about the foods we eat – foods that are filled with processed sugars and flour, preservatives, chemicals, artificial sweeteners, etc. – all of which are incredibly bad for the human body.

We have become human guinea pigs for the food industry. They continuously introduce new foods with no idea of the side effects. Nor, do they seem to care if they are any adverse effects as long as the foods sell and make a profit.

It is time to stop this horrible trend. There is a price to be paid and it will be in the general health of the population.  In fact, many are already paying.  There are more serious health problems today than ever before and inflammation is only the beginning of the problem.

Inflammation may sound relatively harmless, but can and often does lead to numerous serious and life-threatening diseases.  Inflammation is the common link between such debilitating conditions as Alzheimer’s, heart disease, cancer, and arthritis.

Body Ecology believes that one of the main causes of inflammation is low-grade bacterial, viral, and fungal infections in the bloodstream and organs like the stomach and gastro-intestinal tract.

They also list other causes of inflammation as:

  • Chronic low-grade food allergies or food sensitivities that may cause few symptoms.
  • An imbalance of bacteria and fungi in your gastrointestinal tract, also known as symbiosis. This causes your immune system to overreact to bacteria in your gut and can be without notable symptoms.
  • Stress! Constant psychological, emotional or physical stress raises the level of cortisol, creating inflammation.
  • Environmental toxicity from our air, water, food pollutants and toxic metals like mercury and lead all contribute to inflammation and have been linked to diseases as varied as endometriosis and cancer.
  • Diet and lifestyle: too much fat, sugar, and protein in your diet, constant dehydration, consumption of too many sodas or caffeine, inactivity, and lack of sleep can all increase inflammation in your body

When you suffer from any type of ongoing inflammation in your body, your immune system can become overburdened. The inflammatory triggers are cycled continuously through your blood where they affect nerves, organs, connective tissues, joints, and muscles.

As a result, we are quickly becoming a world in crisis. Diabetes is running rampant across all ages. Heart disease is on the rise, and we are nearing a pandemic of obesity in children, teens, and adults.

Mediterranean Diet Can Help

The Mediterranean Diet is a way of life. It is not a fad diet created by a doctor or nutritionist that will reach celebrity status like the Atkins or Paleo Diets. It is much lower key. In fact, it is more of a healthy eating plan than a diet. It is filled with wonderfully delicious foods that are actually good for you.

Because of all the extreme fad diets that have come and gone over the past decade, when most people think of healthy food, they picture tasteless dishes that you must force down, rather than enjoy.

That description does not fit the Mediterranean Diet in any way. The foods are not only tasty; they are also great for your health and do not create inflammation in your body.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

The average daily diet today has been essentially stripped of Omega-3 Fatty Acids, and includes an excess of Omega -6 Fatty Acids, which come from vegetables such as corn oil, safflower oil, soybean oil, as well as poultry and eggs. The fatty acid balance needs to be restored.

The more omega-3 fat you eat; the less omega-6 will be available to the tissues to produce inflammation. Omega-6 is pro-inflammatory, while omega-3 is neutral. The Mediterranean diet includes generous amounts of fish and olive oil – both rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

Mediterranean DietThe Mediterranean diet uses olive oil as its primary oil. There is no use of unhealthy hydrogenated oils which wreak havoc in our bodies. The primary meat is fish with the consumption of red meat and poultry at a minimum; which limits the intake of unhealthy saturated fat that also aggravates the body.

Eating fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts, grains and seeds is essential in the Mediterranean diet. This is quite the opposite of the idea that a bottle of processed apple juice is an adequate serving of fruit each day. What people do not realize is that fruit juices are essentially sugar, water, artificial flavouring and preservatives that contribute to inflammation, which will drive you to the doctor rather than keep him away.

A basic premise of the diet is to eat natural foods – as close to nature as possible. Eat fresh, raw fruits (well-washed).  Also eat large quantities of fresh vegetables, raw or lightly steamed or quickly sautéed in olive oil and a little garlic.

The biggest benefit of the Mediterranean Diet is that those miserable aches and pains will begin to diminish and your overall well-being will improve.  And, you will start losing weight more easily.

Of course, you must eat all things in moderation and exercise daily  to ensure weight loss.  Even the healthiest diet can make you fat if you overeat. When you eat more calories than you burn, you will gain weight. Moderation is the key.

When you eat healthy as this diet allows you to do, the toxins are slowly and naturally eliminated from your body.  The pounds begin to fall away, the aches and pains will lessen, and you will become more fit – especially if you exercise regularly.

With a healthy diet, new toxins are not continually introduced through the foods you eat and you can enjoy the result of a relatively pain free life.

Make the choice today to switch your way of eating to the Mediterranean way and say goodbye to aches and pains and hello to a happier, healthier life.  It’s about time.



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