Inflammation is the bane of us all; especially athletes. And in particular, inflammation is bad for the injured athlete.
By limiting inflammation, you can recover faster, because inflammation slows healing, causes swelling in the joints and muscles.
The first thing I want to express is that there is healthy inflammation that warns us to slow down. It tells us when we are sick by causing body symptoms such as swollen glands, sore throats, swelling of joints.
There is also the inflammation that occurs as a result of injury, sprain, bruising, allergic reaction, infection, insect bites, etc. This inflammation is the body’s reaction to trauma and tends to take care of itself. We can also assist the body to recover from inflammation with ice, soaking, and other methods.
Unhealthy inflammation usually goes undetected, because it isn’t something we can readily identify. Why? It occurs on the inside of our bodies and causes symptoms that some people accept as ‘normal’ simply because they don’t realize they can feel better and be symptom free.
Internal inflammation is caused by food intolerance, overindulgence of the wrong foods such as high fat, the wrong carbs and sugar. Chances are if you’ve been eating poorly your entire life, you really don’t know that you can feel much better until you do something different!
Inflammation within the body causes our defense system to go into overload. Years of inflammation can results in conditions such as allergies, diabetes, reflux, rheumatoid arthritis, autoimmune disease, and asthma, heart disease, obesity, dementia, depression, and cancer. Left untreated, it can slowly destroy our organs, lead to rapid aging, and inhibit our ability to function optimally.
Would you believe that anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen or aspirin can interfere with the body’s own immune response?
The wonderful news is that it isn’t a magnanimous task to feel better and alleviate your symptoms.
Food can cause and alleviate inflammation. Healthy Eating can turn your life around!
Here are the common causes of inflammation:
- Highly processed, refined, sugary foods
- Lack of exercise
- Hidden infections with viruses, bacteria, yeasts, or parasite
- Toxins such as mercury and pesticides and mold
- Carrying too much body fat
- Eating trans saturated and saturated fats
Here’s why it’s worse for the injured athlete.
The injured athlete is already dealing with swelling muscles and joints, but also possible infections. Our immunity is decreased, our activity level is less than what our body is accustomed to, and you are under added stress, both physically and mentally.
I’ve experienced inflammation in places I didn’t know it could be. It caused limited movement, stiffness, soreness and burning. My body was furiously tending to the injured parts of my body; therefore I lacked energy, mental clarity; I experienced depression, dizziness, unsteadiness, anxiety, swelling in places where I didn’t even sustain injury, weakness, indigestion, constipation, dehydration, sleeplessness, sweats, chills, involuntary shaking, fever, excessive fear and worry.
Precisely why Healthy Eating is more important now than ever.
Some foods that reduce inflammation naturally are salmon, sardines, trout, herring, oysters, walnuts and soybeans. These foods are high in the good fat that lowers inflammation. Other choices are foods rich in Vitamin D such as milk, cheese, and egg yolks.
Here are some Healing foods, herbs and supplements that naturally reduce inflammation. You can make them a part of your daily diet.
High fiber, plant-based foods are high in the phytonutrients proven to have powerful ant-inflammatory properties.
- Barley grass
- Brazil nuts
- Omega – 3 fats found in oil olive, avocados, nuts, and fish.
- Pistachio nuts
- Sea vegetables
- Sunflower seeds
Herbs/supplements for Inflammation
Spices offer flavor and anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric and ginger are rich in chemicals that can reduce pain and inflammation. These spices also cause thinning of the blood which is good unless you are on blood-thinning medication. Consult your doctor before adding either one to your diet.
- Aloe vera
- Alpha-linoleic acid
- Flaxseed oil
- Evening primrose
- Ginkgo biloba
- Juniper berries
- Mustard seeds
- Red Clover
Avoid inflammation, and get to strength faster.