Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Foods that Sting our Insides


Foods that Sting our Insides

I hate getting a splinter in my finger. There is pain involved in getting the stupid thing out and a lot of the time you end up with a red, swollen, and sore finger afterward. For a couple of days all it takes is bumping that spot the wrong way and there is an instant reminder of healing in progress. That's inflammation. It is redness, swelling, and soreness as the body is working to heal from something.

I am allergic to bees and wasps so I am very familiar with a more dangerous kind of inflammation as well. My body overreacts to the toxins in these insect stings and the overreaction by my immune system creates a worse health problem for me than the demonic stinger from the evil little insect. I get the localized redness, swelling, and pain that everyone goes through but my body's response has a bonus round. The excessive release of chemicals and such intended to fight a toxin and bring healing produce inflammation throughout my entire body. I turn into a strawberry and feel awful for couple of days. Fortunately I haven't had a reaction causing excessive swelling and difficulty breathing. I have to be careful though because allergic reactions tend to get worse every time.

Inflammation can happen anywhere in the body as our immune systems work to keep us healthy. On our insides we don't have the same types of nerve endings as on the outside. Our guts don't need the sense of touch. Can you imagine feeling the entire progress of lunch making it's way through your system? That would be weird. Since we don't have that kind of pinpoint sensation on our insides the effects of inflammation are less obvious but every bit as troublesome if not more so. If, like me, your body freaks out over certain perceived toxins then your insides can be particularly inflamed causing all sorts of health issues.

The list of diseases with inflammation as a source or major contributing factor is quite lengthy. This includes the obvious arthritis in it's many glorious forms. The suffix "itis" in medical terminology means inflammation. Other diseases inflamed at heart include autoimmune disorders such as celiac and lupus. Acne is an inflammation issue as well. And let's not forget obesity.

The number one cause of the inflammation associated with a huge variety of health issues is what goes in the upper end of the digestive system. Our taste buds are being seduced by things that are making us sick. These little home-wreckers are walking in invited and behaving like rock stars in a hotel room once they get inside. 

Here is a partial list of intruders that are known to be dangerous or potentially dangerous to allow into the digestive system:

  • Sugar
  • Saturated Fats
  • Trans Fats
  • Omega 6 Fatty Acids
  • Refined Carbohydrates
  • MSG - Monosodium Glutamate
  • Gluten
  • Casein
  • Aspartame
  • Milk & Dairy Products
  • Alcohol
  • Artificial Coloring
  • Artificial Flavoring
  • "Natural" Coloring
  • "Natural" Flavoring
  • Preservatives
  • Textured Vegetable Protein
  • Yeast Extract 
  • Carageenan
  • Soy Products
  • Anything Hydrolyzed
  • Red Meat
  • Corn Syrup
  • Corn Starch
Avoiding these things can be challenging in modern grocery stores and especially in restaurants, but it can be done. There are a lot of clean, healthy foods that actually reduce inflammation so a focused diet can go a long way toward healing or at least reducing the effects of inflammatory diseases. As the digestive system heals it typically becomes less susceptible to inflammation from some of these things as well. But it has to have a chance to actually heal. Eating foods that cause inflammation are like putting a splinter back in your finger. That's just dumb.

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