What is inflammation?
By design, inflammation is not technically bad. It was designed to be acute, meaning after something happened, like an injury or illness, it would dissipate. After injuries or illnesses, our body reacts with inflammation and then the injury or illness goes away. This reaction of the immune system was designed to heal our bodies, fight bacteria, and kill viruses.
Chronic inflammation is a different story and it is a rather new phenomenon that is triggered by lifestyle irritants like:
-the food we eat
-lack of activity
-excess body weight
-poor sleeping habits
We are inundated with these things every single day and over time, these small things add up. Think of a tiny flame that is constantly being fanned and pretty soon there is a huge fire; a fire of inflammation!
There are a lot things we can do to decrease inflammation. Let’s start with food first! When it comes to an anti-inflammatory diet, there are three foods we see that really catapult the body into healing from inflammation:
Leaky Gut + Inflammation
Inflammation really stems from the gut so if we can start by adding nourishing, anti-inflammatory, nutrient dense foods into our bodies on a daily basis, our bodies will begin to heal! Many people don’t realize how much a healthy gut directly impacts your health. A healthy gut means you have a diverse and numerous supply of different microbes (bacteria) in your gut. When you eat and digest food, those bacteria form a protective lining inside the intestinal wall, if you will. They allow all the good stuff from the good food you eat to be absorbed through the intestinal wall and into the bloodstream so the body can use them.
Those bacteria also prevent a lot of the junk in food (chemicals, additives, artificial flavorings and colors, etc.) from being able to cross the intestinal wall and go into the body. These chemicals and additives act as irritants so by preventing them from crossing, the inflammatory effects are non-existent. This is great news!
However, when our gut is disrupted, from anti-biotics or we just don’t have a very strong gut for whatever reason, that microbial lining in the intestinal wall develops holes, if you will. Kind of like a sponge. So now the good stuff can still pass through the body but now so can a lot of the junk. This is what you sometimes hear referred to as Leaky Gut or chronic inflammation.
Success in the Kitchen
The first step is making sure you are stock piling those healthy, anti-inflammatory foods so that when you’re in a bind, you have great options to choose from. When you have more of these options readily available versus the junk, it makes decision making that much simpler. By cleaning up the foods you allow in your home, you will start to feel better and it” be easier to notice how poorly you feel when you consume junk. You also might begin to notice that by replacing junk with anti-inflammatory foods, you no longer feel bloated or maybe you’ll notice that gluten was an issue. The picture will start to become so much clearer.
Want to learn more?
Carolyn Williams, PhD, RD, is a leading culinary nutrition expert and 2017 James Beard Journalism Award winner who’s developed a knack for breaking down complex science into quick, reader-friendly tips. The author of two cookbooks, Meals That Heal: 100+ Everyday Anti-Inflammatory Recipes in 30 Minutes or Less (Tiller Press, June 2019) and Meals That Heal – One Pot (The Experiment, September 2022), Carolyn is a sought-after speaker on anti-inflammatory eating and managing chronic inflammation through lifestyle. Her work is regularly featured in print and online for lifestyle brands and media outlets such as EatingWell, Real Simple, CookingLight, and Allrecipes.
For added support in your journey to heal your gut, try my supplements in The Gutsy Gyn Store. The ingredients in Leaky GutLift help regenerate and maintain GI enterocytes while supporting the health of the intestinal mucosal barrier. A healthy GI tract has an epithelial mucosal barrier that prevents the passage of food antigens (proteins), toxins, and microorganisms from crossing into the bloodstream causing inflammation. Stress, overconsumption of alcohol, food intolerances, microbial imbalance and poor nutrition can affect the integrity of the epithelial barrier. The health of the GI tract is dependent on the modulation of these factors.
SporeLift is a spore-based, broad-spectrum probiotic formula designed to maintain diversity and balance in the gut microbiota and support gastrointestinal health after SIBO. Probiotics contribute to balance by positively influencing the intestinal environment via pH balance, microorganism diversity, and immune signaling. SporeLift is specifically formulated with several spore-based probiotic strains to promote diversity and balance within the host gut microbiota.
In health and love,
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