What is Body Inflammation?
Healing disease does not have to be rocket science at all! The laws of nature are simple and reversing illness is predicated on reversing chronic inflammation and hydrating the body with alkaline chemistry.
Essentially, inflammation is the side-effect of harmful agents and internal acidic chemistry that injure cells, tissues, and glands. The inflammatory response brings phagocytes to the area that is degenerating, which helps fight off infection and remove debris from the area.
Due to dietary and lifestyle choices, acute inflammation can develop into chronic inflammation without any major side effects.
Body inflammation causes rest on the three most important pillars of disease – an improper diet, an imbalanced lifestyle, and exposure to toxins that come from personal products and the environment.
Think of the chemistry of inflammatory agents as acidic, and acids naturally burn anything they touch. Since our body’s interstitial fluid pH is neutral and leans on the alkaline side of chemistry, acids will disrupt the balance and injure cells and tissues.
The body will try to mediate this chemical imbalance by excreting cortisol and cholesterol, but if the acids keep arriving and cannot be dealt with or purged properly by the elimination organs, they will take over and cause chronic inflammation.
When this stage of acidification occurs, symptoms such as body aches and pains, lethargy, increased mucus production, joint swelling, edema, arthritis, and skin rashes can develop. At an even more progressed stage, a cytokine storm of acidity and tissue degeneration can cause the body to develop auto-immune disorders, cancer, and other chronic diseases.
How Does Inflammation Occur?
Essentially, the inflammation process develops due to a buildup of toxins in the elimination systems of the body as well as the digestive system, which then gets reabsorbed into the bloodstream.
Usually, a well-functioning liver can deal with many regular toxins we encounter daily, but when it is overwhelmed, these toxins may be released into the bloodstream and then the lymphatic system, taxing the kidneys as a result.
If the kidneys have a hard time expelling them, they will circulate in the body and cause cellular and tissue damage, which results in the onset of a number of diseases.
In fact, the liver is our main source of detoxification, and it has over 2,000 functions in the body (although conventional medicine claims the number to be around 300 functions, the naturopathic community agrees that its role is much more important), including filtering our blood, regulating hormones and blood sugar levels, creating essential nutrients, and metabolizing fats.
When the liver becomes overburdened with toxins, the body will start to store toxins in fat cells as a way for them to be more easily processed later on when the body is more capable of healing.
The liver becomes overwhelmed when we consume acidic foods and drinks. These foods may contain additives, preservatives, and chemicals that the reactive body will treat as a foreign invader and attempt to eliminate if not removed in time via proper filtering by the liver.
If this is not effective enough, these toxins can cause an inflammatory response in our body, which can lead to many health problems.
Eventually, inflammation compounds over time and can result in cellular and tissue degeneration, especially in the genetically weakest parts of our bodies. This is how inflammation is localized as a specific disease with the same underlying cause.
What Are The Main Causes of Body Inflammation?
Primarily, body inflammation causes stem from our dietary and lifestyle choices, which can increase inflammation levels by creating a burden on our bodies’ elimination systems and weakening cells and organs. A high processed-sugar diet creates more fatigue in the digestive tract, so that we cannot properly absorb nutrients needed for ideal function.
Processed sugar also helps feed harmful bacteria and creates gut flora imbalance in the intestinal tract.
This then leads to autointoxication, which creates an acidic environment that feeds viruses and bacteria, all of which cause inflammation. On top of this, a high-stress lifestyle also impacts the efficiency of elimination.
Stress leads to the overproduction of cortisol, which then places a burden on our liver and kidneys to excrete it from the body. When this happens, toxins build up in our bodies, because the elimination organs can’t expel them fast enough.
So, which foods cause body inflammation? The following is a comprehensive list of foods to avoid:
- Foods rich in protein, such as meat (and animal-based products), nuts, beans and
- Foods rich in trans fats
- Foods with processed sugars (complex sugars), high fructose corn syrup, artificial coloring, and preservatives
- Fried foods that are highly heated and processed
- Dairy, which is hard for the human body to process and which is incredibly mucus-forming
- Grains and wheat (including whole wheat), which are high in plant lectins that cause gut damage and leaky-gut
If your body does not have enough beneficial intestinal flora, then it will produce more COX2 enzymes – or inflammatory messengers – in order to kill off harmful bacteria. This leads to a build-up of certain pro-inflammatory cytokines that lead to chronic inflammation. This is the main cause of most forms of cancer, heart attacks, strokes, and bronchial asthma.
A stronger propensity to inflammatory conditions can also be exacerbated by genetic weaknesses. However, there are many ways to reduce inflammation in the body, mainly through diet and lifestyle changes, the replacement of conventional personal and household products with natural products, and the reduction of stress and anxiety.
What Are Some Health Symptoms of Chronic Body Inflammation?
Here are just some of the most common body inflammation signs to watch out for, and to keep as a warning system that your health is at risk:
-skin rashes and outbreaks, including acne or eczema. Rashes are the result of toxins that enter the bloodstream from inside the body and travel to the surface through pores to be expelled
-tiredness, lethargy, depression, deep fatigue after you wake up for a while (a sign of adrenal exhaustion)
-fuzzy head, brain fog, or confusion
-headaches/migraines that come and go with little reason at all
-weight gain despite healthy eating habits
-frequent sicknesses and infections, especially of the respiratory tract, sinusitis, sore throat
-recurring boils or cysts in breasts, ovaries, and on the skin
-allergies to certain foods or environmental factors (such as pollen)
-hair loss and thinning of hair
-frequent diarrhea or constipation without apparent cause
-arthritis, including back pain, that changes locations or worsens over time
-high blood pressure that comes and goes with no apparent cause
-kidney degeneration, especially by eating a high-protein diet
-gut disorders, including leaky gut, Celiac disease, and Crohn’s disease
It is important to remember that inflammation is a natural part of our body’s healing and regeneration process, which means that even though these warning signs are clear indicators of inflammation, it is not always a bad thing!
Inflammation comes to the rescue when we injure ourselves, so that we may repair and heal. However, prolonged inflammation is a clear warning sign that something with our diet, emotional life, or lifestyle needs to be addressed.
5 Essential Tips for Healing Disease
Here are 5 tried and tested tips to reduce inflammation levels in the body and which personally helped me heal many chronic health issues:
1) Eat a diet high in organic fruits
Did you know that fruits are one of the most healing foods found in nature? Fruits are made of simple sugars that feed all the cells in our body with nutrition and vitality to do the jobs they’re meant to do; they are also highly hydrating and astringent, meaning that they promote the cleansing of toxins and acids, while cooling down the body and restoring an alkaline pH balance.
The ideal diet for the proper homeostasis and health of our body is 80% alkaline and 20% acidic. To strengthen your body and heal from inflammation, consuming an 80% raw fruit and veggie diet (preferably higher in fruit intake) will hydrate the body and reverse inflammation in its tracks!
2) Sleep at the optimal body regeneration time
Research shows that most of the body’s healing and regenerative processes are the most active between 10 pm and 2 am. If we can utilize this window of time for rest, our bodies will not only have more reservoirs to deal with inflammation, but we will feel more rested, energized, and productive throughout the day.
The liver and the major organs go through major rejuvenation during these times, our hormones such as melatonin and DHEA are secreted in greater amounts, and our lymphatic system, or the sewage system, works harder to remove cellular waste from cells and organs.
3) Switch to all-natural in terms of personal, household, and cleaning products
Most conventional skin and household products are laden with carcinogenic chemicals and endocrine-disrupting toxins, completely shifting how our body communicates with its constituents and how it delegates important processes.
When we place anything on the skin or inside our mouth, the substances are directly absorbed into the bloodstream and directed to the liver to be denatured and further detoxified. This chemical burden strains not only the liver, but all the other organs that help the liver with the detoxification and elimination process, namely the kidneys and the gut.
4) Refrain from consuming protein-rich foods
Proteins are acids, and since they have to be broken down by the kidneys from their complex structures into simple amino acids, this process puts plenty of strain on our kidneys and causes dehydration (acid chemistry becomes more neutralized with hydration).
When we are constantly thirsty, it is a signal that our body is inflamed and needs to hydrate with electrolytes. By drinking plenty of water and eating hydrating, alkalizing foods, the body can re-balance naturally and decrease its levels of inflammation.
When our kidneys are overburdened from the task of breaking down acids in protein-rich foods, their under-performance can result in an acidic environment for the entire body through the build-up of uric acid in the lymphatic system, which is also known as the body’s sewage system.
In reality, to be healthy, we don’t require complex proteins at all! Our body only requires a small protein source in the form of simple, amino acids that are naturally found in whole foods, fruits, and vegetables. Most importantly, it is not actually protein that keeps the body energized and strong – it is simple sugars!
The protein myth has truly gotten out of hand in our mainstream ‘health’ culture, but the truth is that our bodies run energetically on simple sugars (fructose and glucose) found in simple carbohydrates, such as fruits, whole foods, and vegetables.
I will probably tackle this in another article, but the complex carbohydrate myth that has been promoted in health circles is a complete misunderstanding of nature and natural law. This is why: the body wants and needs less complex chemistry so that it doesn’t have to work as hard energetically (and produce more metabolic waste); it needs to preserve energy to survive, so it will be adverse to anything complex and in favor of anything simple.
This means that it requires simple sugars (fruits and veggies) and not complex sugars (processed sugar, such as cane sugar), it needs amino acids – the building blocks of protein – instead of complex protein, and it desires simple carbohydrates (essentially, carbon is the backbone of life on earth) instead of complex carbs that it needs to chemically break down.
Nature thrives on simplicity, since it’s wise, and we must turn to her to understand the truth.
Coming back to the protein myth, by simple observation, we can see that societies that consume high protein (meat) diets, such as the Inuit People, have the shortest life spans, while those that eat plant-based and simple, carbohydrate-rich diets have the longest!
5) Get physical activity daily
Not only does movement circulate blood nutrients and oxygen to all of our tissues, but it also promotes the circulation of the lymphatic system, which is the body’s fluid waste system. Since the lymph system doesn’t have a natural pump like the blood has the heart, it relies on our movement to circulate waste back to the kidneys to be expelled through urine.
One important tip is to not overdo it with exercise, since excessive exercise creates more uric acid in our bodies, which is excreted as the cells work harder to move muscles, and nerves and keep up with metabolic processes! Just like we eat, work and excrete our waste, so do our cells.
And when they need to perform at their best, they require more food (simple sugars) and excrete waste more readily (uric acid). And if the body is already overburdened by inflammation, it will now have more acid waste to process and detoxify.
The Importance of an Alkaline Diet in Healing the Body
Imagine using sunflower oil to fuel your car. Would you actually do that? Probably not! The type of fuel we use to power objects and our bodies must correspond to what has been naturally designed for that specific machinery. So, why are we as humans confused about the importance of diet on our health?
We are made up of 70% water. Our cells are made up of 90% water, our blood is made up of 83% water, and our muscles and tissues are composed of 65% water. So it makes sense that what we put into our bodies would have a massive impact on what happens within those bodies, right? We are also composed of trillions of cells that eat, work, and expel their waste.
Additionally, we also host good and bad bacteria, microbes, and parasites. Therefore, what we ingest has a vast impact on how the bacteria and parasites in our bodies function. If we eat a lot of processed, chemically-ridden foods, then chances are that more bad bacteria will begin to make themselves at home, leading to all kinds of imbalances and degenerative health conditions.
An alkaline diet is composed of raw fruits and vegetables, some seeds, herbs, and algae. When digested, its high alkaline chemistry hydrates the body brings nutrition to all the cells and tissues, and strengthens the function of the liver and the elimination organs, so that they are better able to expel toxins and metabolic waste out of the body.
Why Eating Raw, Plant-Based Foods Will Fight Inflammation
As we begin to learn more about how whole, plant-based foods boost the immune system and prevent illness, we also discover why overly cooked foods have a detrimental effect on our health.
You may be surprised to find out that cooking your vegetables at high temperatures actually denatures or completely eliminates many of their valuable vitamins, minerals, and enzymes that are necessary for nutrient assimilation and cellular fuel.
In fact, high heat changes the chemistry of any object or compound by breaking down essential bonds and altering the material’s molecular structure. Therefore, eating highly cooked foods is actually not eating “the foods” that you intended to eat, since these foods will be structured very differently once digested by the body. Their composition will inevitably lean on the acidic side of chemistry, which is a precursor for inflammation.
To understand how an alkaline diet fights inflammation, you first have to be familiar with the body’s pH level and what it means. Our bodies are naturally charged with either a more acidic or alkaline pH. However, the body has a specific pH requirement and strives to maintain it within a very narrow range.
For the human body to function optimally, the blood and lymphatic fluid must maintain their pH between 7.35-7.45, on average – which is the alkaline or alive/healing/hydrating side of chemistry. Although the blood cannot get more acidic than that, the lymphatic fluid, being the body’s sewage system, can become quite acidic, as cellular waste, toxins, and chemicals linger in the system before being expelled by the kidneys through urine.
The range of acidity and alkalinity falls on a spectrum between 1-14, with 7.0 being a neutral or pH-balanced unity state of hydrogen and oxygen. Anything below this number falls on the acidic side, while anything above it will be alkaline. The body needs to maintain an average pH for proper homeostasis, which is a precondition of health and longevity.
Essentially, our bodies are naturally charged at a slightly alkaline state, and to be in the optimal state of health, this 7.365 pH level must be maintained. The chemistry of an alkaline diet helps to do so, and even if occasionally becomes more acidified due to chemicals and lifestyle, its alkaline chemistry will help us re-balance.
In fact, the compound called bicarbonate, which is a constituent of an alkalizing diet, helps to regulate acid-base balance, as it can neutralize excess acids in the body. If your diet consists of foods that are rich in bicarbonate (like fruits and greens), then you will be able to keep your pH balance in its natural homeostasis and prevent the onset of many chronic diseases currently plaguing our modern societies.
Disease and illness are simply the body’s way of letting us know that we are not in balance and that internally, we are becoming more acidic than the natural, healthy state of the body. If you think of it in terms of chemistry, acids are denatured by hydration and alkalization.
To lower and reverse symptoms of disease, this means that what you bring into the body and the state in which you live in your environment needs to be more balanced, alkaline, and energetic.
Fundamentally, in nature, acids corrode and break down, while alkaline compounds heal and revitalize. Although we need both processes in the body, nature has designed all of life to operate under a 20% acid and 80% alkaline constitution. When we divert from these laws, we experience the consequences of the imbalance.
By committing to eating an 80% raw diet of fruits and veggies, you can reverse your inflammation symptoms in as little as 1-6 months, depending on the severity of the disease. Fruits are not only full of simple sugars that feed the cells with energy, but they also alkalize the body with their watery and astringent nature.
Body detoxification is truly a process of regaining homeostasis and healing the body from the inside out. It is an art that is based on the understanding of how the body works and what it takes to keep it healthy.
This is exactly why I wanted to teach the “whys” behind detoxification and offer the right tools for those looking to get started on the healing journey. Here are just a few resources you can get started with that can teach you how to detox safely and effectively with foods and herbs:
I hope you enjoy the information, and that it helps you understand more about your amazing bio-spiritual vessel which is the body!