RK Tip of the Week|Inflammation is linked to many health breakdowns

Posted on May 19, 2010

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Ever have a paper cut or hang nail & then go & get citrus juice in it like an idiot? I swear that hurts worse than if you took a hacksaw to your own leg….although let’s not find out about that ok? That citrus juice stings like crazy because it’s creating an inflammatory response & you’re getting that painful reaction.

When you eat garbage – the same thing happens inside your body. And unfortunately we don’t have an immediate alarm that goes off alerting us to the dangerous inflammation like we get when the stinging citrus juice hits our cut. The alarms we get start ringing quietly at first, not really doing a great job of “alarming” you – if it truly alarmed you, you’d have an immediate reaction after you eat the offending item. (Cubicle Dad did a great confessional summary this week about having eaten offending food after getting on the healthy bandwagon.)

But those little alarms that you don’t really hear when your body first starts rejecting the nutrition you give it turn into giant bells & whistles that will inevitably turn up in the form of high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, cancer & inevitably body composition change (increased fat, decreased lean muscle). That’s why we need to be armed with education so that we don’t let those quiet alarms become something so major that medical intervention is nec

essary.

Two studies were published this week outlining how inflammation in specific foods is seriously affecting adults & children in society. One study was done to review if the act of eating processed meats (hot dogs, deli meats, sausages, bacon) had any correlation to disease – and shocker of shockers! – it did. Based on the findings of Renata Micha of the Harvard School of Public Health, each 1.8 oz (50 grams) daily serving of processed meat a day — one to two slices of deli meats or one hot dog — was associated with a 42 percent higher risk of heart disease and a 19 percent higher risk of developing diabetes.

Unprocessed red meat consumption did not have any of the same effects as eating the processed meats. So a good steak from a grass-fed, pastured cow every now & then? A good thing!

The increase in disease from the processed meats comes from the incredibly high sodium content of those meats, and

from the nitrates found in them. Sodium nitrate (and nitrite) are preservatives that reacts with stomach acid and other chemicals in the stomach to produce nitrosamines, which have been shown to cause cancer in animals when consumed in large quantities.

The second big study to be published this week showed how pesticides on produce are linked to ADHD symptoms in children. In a large Harvard study of over 1,100 children age 8 to 15, children with pesticides metabolites in their

urine were twice as likely to have ADHD symptoms. Not surprisingly, the pesticide metabolites were found in 94% of the children; organic food still not being a staple in typical American households, hopefully this motivates a few more families to make the switch & start eating organic.

And the truly awful thing is that ADHD is often treated with drugs! So you’ve got even more dangerous substances going into a child’s body that were never intended by God to be there. So it’s ADHD today that is kids….what do you think those pesticides are doing long-term to the brain & other organs in the body?

Your take-aways?

– Buy organic whenever possible. Start with the Dirty Dozen of produce as those are the highest pesticide-used produce & start getting organic when you can. Organic is very much accessible today, you don’t even need a Whole Fo

ods in your backyard. Chances are your grocery store is carrying a few organic options because they are seeing that consumers are willing to pay a few cents more for a much higher quality product.

– Eat meat, just not meat that doesn’t look like the animal it came from (a hot dog & a pig bear no resemblance to each other). Do yourself one better and get pastured, grass-fed beef/chicken/turkey & check to see that the label tells you something about the animal being hormone & antibiotic free.

Take a look at the other things you eat & see if you can raise the quality quotient there too. These two studies looked at basic food items – meat and veggies/fruits. The American diet typically contains much more exotic & creepy fare that comes in bright packaging, looks nothing like real food, and has an ingredient list that looks like the recipe for rocket fuel. If the pesticides on produce and sodium & nitrates in simple meats can cause major health problems & diseases, imagine what that 100-calorie pack of whatever you’re eating is doing.

We can be healthier if we use our food as medicine (and not the kind of medicine that numbs us out of life!) Real, energizing, life-giving medicine made by the Earth and suited for our consumption.

image by yumsugar
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