My partner Frank was asking me this morning about inflammation. What better time to begin re-posting our ‘Cathy’s Wealth of Health’ columns. This one is on the role of inflammation in age and illness. – Mark/Editor
Inflammation: Causes and Cures
By Cathy McNease, Herbalist
One of the biggest predictors of how well we age is the amount of inflammation present in our bodies. The major killer diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s, as well as the discomforts of gastritis, arthritis, gingivitis, and the many other –itises, all begin with inflammation. When an organ is inflamed, disease follows. Over time that fire in the tissues or cells can become life threatening. Some of the best cures to reduce inflammation are found in colorful fruits and vegetables. The other vital component to fire reduction is to avoid unhealthy fats, denatured grains, refined sugars, and foods heavy laden in artificial flavorings, colorings and preservatives.
In recent years the medical world has awakened to the huge connection between diet and health. One of the measurable factors that your doctor may use to determine disease risks is your level of CRP (C-Reactive Proteins) in the blood. It is now know that this is a more reliable pointer to the possibility of heart disease than merely looking at cholesterol levels. It will also show the amount of inflammation generally present in the body.
Dr Andrew Weil, a brilliant Harvard trained doctor, has created an “Anti-Inflammatory Diet & Pyramid” as a “blueprint for a lifetime of optimum nutrition” (go to drweil.com for the details). My article last month “Eating a Rainbow” outlines many of the beneficial fruits and vegetables that he suggests.