We’ve unwittingly created a world where — every day — nutritional, lifestyle, emotional and environmental factors are fueling chronic inflammation that is taking a heavy toll on our bones. Reado on to learn how you can decrease inflammation
I know it can seem a bit overwhelming. But instead of feeling helpless, I encourage you to remember that you have the power to make changes that will make a real difference. Step by step, you can give your bones exactly the support they need in order to last your entire lifetime — as they are meant to do.
Here are four Better Bones keys to turning off inflammation:
1. Limit pro-inflammatory foods, such as:
• Saturated fats, beef products, and dairy (especially if intolerant to dairy).
• Sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and artificial sweeteners.
• White flour and all refined grains, and other refined carbs.
• Trans fats, and rancid and over-heated oils.
• Excess alcohol, preservatives and artificial additives.
• Any food to which you are allergic or intolerant.
2. Increase anti-inflammatory food intake to decrease inflammation:
• A wide variety of fresh, whole plant foods high in anti-oxidant flavonoids.
• Daily consumption of green leafy vegetables, onions and garlic.
• Eat 2 cups of vegetables for lunch and 2 cups for dinner.
• Eat 2-3 servings of fruits a day, especially berries.
• Eat 2-3 servings of nuts and seeds daily.
• Liberal use of herbs and spices such as turmeric (containing curcumin), cumin, coriander and ginger.
• Use fish, beans, eggs and lean meats as protein sources.
• Eat high fiber foods totaling at least 25 grams of fiber a day.
• Drink green tea, ginger tea and nettle tea as anti-oxidant beverages.
3. Develop an anti-inflammatory, life-supporting lifestyle:
• Reduce toxic exposure (chlorinated drinking water, smoking, excessive alcohol intake, heavy metal and toxic chemical exposure)
• Get adequate sleep (7-8 hours each night). Lack of sleep is pro-inflammatory.
• Control weight (excess fat becomes an endocrine organ that emits inflammatory factors which enhance osteoclastic bone breakdown)
• Control blood sugar and insulin (both of which are inflammatory when high).
• Exercise at least 30 minutes per day, outdoors when possible.
• Consider practicing mindful exercise, such as t’ai chi which reduces DNA-damaging oxidative stress. Set aside 15-20 minutes a day for meditation or silent contemplation.
4. Supplement with key anti-inflammatory and antioxidant nutrients as needed to decrease inflammation.
These are the nutrients that send signals to the immune inflammation turn-off switches and control free radical damage:
• Omega-3 fats.
• Antioxidant vitamins (vitamins A, C, E, D, K2).
• Carotenoids (as lycopene, lutein) and flavonoids (as quercetin, kaempferol, epigallocatechin and rutin) Co Q 10.
• Lipoic acid.
You can have access to a powerful antioxidant formula, with a powerful anti-inflammatory effect. The Super Antioxidant is designed to help protect against damaging oxidative stress and support connective tissues, including healthy bone. Learn more about the Better Bones Program.
Barbour, K. E., R. Boudreau, M. E. Danielson, A. O. Youk, J. Wactawski-Wende, N. C. Greep, A. Z. LaCroix, R. D. Jackson, R. B. Wallace, D. C. Bauer, M. A. Allison, and J. A. Cauley. 2012. Inflammatory markers and the risk of hip fracture: the women’s health initiative. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research 27(5):1167–1176.
Lucas, R., E. Ramos, A. Oliveira, T. Monjardino, and H. Barros. 2012. Low-grade systemic inflammation and suboptimal bone mineral density throughout adolescence: a prospective study in girls. Clinical Endocrinology 77(5):665–671.
I’m Dr. Susan Brown. I am a nutritionist, medical anthropologist, writer, and speaker. Get my free weekly newsletter here.