Dr. Andrew Weil is the leading authority on integrative medicine and healthy aging. He has advocated exercise and a healthy diet for many years to live a longer, more productive life.
Most of us are well aware of this connection. But we are not necessarily aware of the negative effect the wrong foods can have on us. We are typically unaware that the wrong foods can cause persistent, low-level inflammation in the body.
Dr. Weil states, “Chronic inflammation is the root cause of many serious illnesses – including heart disease, many cancers, and Alzheimer’s disease.”
The Harvard School of Public Health says, “Inflammation sets the stage for heart attacks, most strokes, peripheral artery disease, and even vascular dementia, a common cause of memory loss. Inflammation doesn’t happen on its own. It is the body’s response to various modern irritations like smoking, lack of exercise, high-fat and high-calorie meals, and highly processed foods.”
Whether or not you have chronic inflammation in your body is influenced by genetics, stress, exposure to environmental toxins, and diet. Of these factors, your diet is the one thing that you have complete control over. You can eat anti-inflammatory foods and avoid foods that create inflammation in your system.
For example, if you eat beef that is not specifically labeled “grass-fed,” the cows were fed a high-calorie diet of corn and grain to fatten them quickly. The corn may even be genetically altered. Corn and grain are full of omega-6 fatty acids, which have been linked to inflammation. Grass-fed cows are leaner, and their meat is rich in healthy compounds such as omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E.
Learn more about the anti-inflammatory foods that you should be eating.
For a quick reference, look at Dr. Weil’s Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid.