Wellness Weekend: Healing with food

Jansen

Do you suffer from chronic conditions like heart disease, depression, diabetes, allergies or arthritis? And have you been told there is no cure, but instead your symptoms have to be managed with medication for the rest of your life while your health slowly worsens?

What if you could be empowered to take charge of your health and reverse or even eliminate your condition?

All chronic conditions have one thing in common: inflammation. This common denominator leads to an overactive and at the same time weakened immune system. Inflammation makes your blood stickier, depletes your body and brain of precious nutrients and causes pain. Inflammation is also a major cause of weight gain or inability to lose weight. Many people I work with do not overeat calories, but still were unable to lose weight before coming to see me.

What can you do? The answer is an anti-inflammatory diet while healing and rebalancing digestion and gut flora.

Sugar, white flours and certain vegetable oils are always highly inflammatory, but sometimes perfectly healthy foods can cause inflammation for certain individuals. Therefore, a healthy diet is not a one-size-fits-all. With functional medicine testing we can identify inflammatory foods and design a customized diet plan. And personalized supplementation can be very helpful for healing the gut, the root of inflammation. Once the gut is healed, previously inflammatory foods may no longer cause inflammation.

While everyone is different, here are some general principles of anti-inflammatory diets:

Avoid sugar and artificial sweeteners, and use honey, stevia or maple syrup instead in moderation. Avoid white flours and refined starches.

Avoid highly processed oils such as corn, soy or canola and choose healthy fats like olive, avocado, sunflower or coconut oils instead.

A lot of people benefit from avoiding gluten found in wheat, although sometimes other grains, as well as corn, soy or dairy can also cause inflammation.

Vegetables, grass-fed meats and wild fish tend to be the least inflammatory foods. Eat lots of fresh vegetables, berries and fish and make use of your local farmer’s market at this bountiful time of year.

I have seen year-long joint pain go away and blood pressure normalize in just a few weeks on an anti-inflammatory diet. The power of nutrition still amazes me, though sometimes targeted supplements are helpful for a time to correct an imbalance that would take much longer with fix with food alone.

To quote Hippocrates: “Just as food causes chronic disease, it can be the most powerful cure”.

Brigitta Jansen, MS, CN is a Functional Nutritionist at Privé-Swiss Wellness, an award-winning luxury clinical-holistic wellness center, located at 1587 Boston Post Road, Westbrook and 28 Main St., Essex; phone: 860-391-8840; website: www.priveswisswellness.com.

Connecticut Media Group