I've been itching to write this post for a while now since I'm frequently being asked how I manage my fibromyalgia through diet. In the past couple of years I've been eating an anti-inflammatory diet and my autoimmune symptoms are noticeably improved. So much so that I lead a fulfilling and energetic life and feel healthier than I ever have. Happily, my fibromyalgia lives in lowercase and does not feature in my life prominently. I believe that healing my gut and switching to an anti-inflammatory diet have been the key to my healing.
Most of us are familiar with inflammation on the surface of our bodies which involves local redness, heat, swelling and pain, but there is another kind of inflammation that lingers within our bodies. Inflammation exists within us all and is an extremely powerful, necessary function for our survival. It's the cornerstone of the body's healing response; ensuring that appropriate nourishment and adequate immune activity is delivered to an area that is injured or under attack.
However, there's a darker side to the wonderful healing capabilities of inflammation and because of its gripping, powerful responsiveness, inflammation can be incredibly destructive to your health, particularly when it extends beyond the boundaries of a localised area, or continues for long periods of time.
Since the 19th century, the idea that inflammation is the underlying cause of aging, and age-related illnesses has been studied in depth. Researchers have discovered that complex chemical reactions occur throughout the body in response to inflammation which leads to an overactive immune system.
Over a lifetime, an overactive immune system will contribute to an overproduction of AGE's, advanced glycation end products, initiating oxidative reactions within cells that will gradually damage organs throughout the body. This type of chronic, low level inflammation is very common and researchers believe it is a contributor in age related diseases including cardiovascular and neurodegenerative illnesses.
One of the simplest causes of underlying inflammation, and one that we have control over is an 'inflammatory lifestyle', which includes factors of environmental toxin exposure, stress and poor diet.
Simply put, what you put in your mouth is arguably one of the most powerful choices you can make to impact your inflammatory status. When I realized this and altered my diet, I continued to feel better and better every day.
Foods To Avoid
You'll want to avoid the following foods, which may contribute to inflammation in the body: