In recent years, more attention has been given to the role inflammation plays in our lives, and rightfully so, given all of the health implications that stems from this one specific area. Healers have petitioned their patrons for centuries to limit inflammation-causing foods, thoughts and practices from their daily lives. Atherosclerosis is a hardening of the arteries that can also be characterized by a buildup of fatty deposits and is a disease that stems from inflammatory responses in the body. Now the scientific community has begun in earnest to echo the sentiments of healers past and present to reduce inflammation to limit, prevent or reverse atherosclerosis.
How inflammation is created
From fast food to fad diets, what we put in our mouths for the purposes of nourishment can often lead to malnourishment and inflammatory responses in the body. Pseudo-foods (highly processed foods) contain molecular structures and chemicals unrecognizable by the body. Environmental toxins and many of our medications, whether they be prescription or OTC, also contain or create alien-like molecules. The body responds by ‘inflaming’ the foreign looking molecules to trigger an immune response. Here lies the birth of inflammation for many people.
Cholesterol serves many functions that are vital to our body processes. One of those functions is to operate as the body’s very own anti-inflammatory. Once cholesterol arrives on the scene and encapsulates the foreign object, the inflammatory signals are turned off. Unfortunately, we tend to continuously engage in activities that trigger an inflammatory response and more cholesterol is dispatched to put out the ‘fire’ so to speak. When combined with other biological responses it is only a matter of time before atherosclerosis begins to take hold.
Preventing or reversing atherosclerosis need not be an overly burdensome thing. Here are a few recommendations to keep in mind:
Consume whole foods that are preferably organic. Whole foods are unprocessed or minimally processed foods that, if organic, tend to be free of chemicals, antibiotics and genetic manipulation. Limiting inflammation from food sources becomes an easily manageable affair when sticking to consuming whole foods.
Stay away from fast food and highly processed foods. Disallow these pseudo-foods to continue to rob you of life. Following the first recommendation (above) will be most helpful. Keep in mind that highly processed foods are typically void of nutrition and create tons of inflammation that can lead to atherosclerosis.
Limit environmental toxins. This recommendation is easier said than done when considering the environment outside of the home. In fact, there is little if anything you can do about the air outside or what type of lighting is used at your place of business. However, your home is another story. Plant enzyme based cleaners instead of petroleum based cleaners will help to turn the inflammatory tide in the body. Reducing or eliminating chemical air fresheners will also assist in the fight against environmental toxins. Other in-home considerations to take into account involve chemically based detergents, soaps and personal care items such as cosmetics, which can all contribute to inflammation in the body.
Atherosclerosis has been a prevalent scourge in our recent medical history, but it need not be so. Following the above recommendations can and will be a significant part of reversing, eliminating or preventing atherosclerosis. Be in good health!
Sources for this article include:
Alternative Medicine: The Definitive Guide. Deepak Chopra, M.D.