The root of most diseases and unhealthy physiologic states is inflammation.  If we could eliminate or effectively manage inflammation in the body, health would be in abundance.  Inflammation plays an important role in the healing process and with the immune system.  However, when inflammation gets out of control, body tissues and systems breakdown, contributing to the disease process.

Habits such as smoking, drinking alcohol and over eating in general can cause increased inflammation.  Those are practices that should be avoided or at least minimized.

Another major way to reduce out-of-control inflammation is by managing what you eat.  Minimizing or avoiding the intake of inflammatory foods is where most people can make a significant difference.  The major foods that are inflammatory are sugar, dairy, wheat and corn.  These foods can affect your health so significantly that “moderation” is not even appropriate.  Minimizing or avoiding is essential.

In most cases, inflammation slowly deteriorates your tissues and systems so gradually you do not feel the effects coming on until one day a disease process is diagnosed.  On the other hand, once you have minimized inflammatory foods from your diet, an occasional binge will be greatly noticed by how badly you will feel.  You will wonder how you ever ate those foods in the past so frequently.

In most cases you do not want to replace inflammatory foods with “sugar-free”, “dairy-free” or “gluten-free” substitutes.  These foods have other chemicals in them that are sometimes worse than what you are trying to avoid.

Then what do you eat instead?  Widen your appreciation for vegetables, the one food group that is vastly missing from our diet.  Familiarize yourself with collard greens, Swiss chard, asparagus, carrots, turnips, parsnips, kale, beets, cabbage, mushrooms and many others.  Put vegetables in front of fruits, but don’t forget them also, they are great for snacks.  Combine vegetables and fruits with hormone-free meat and fish and other protein sources for a balanced diet.