There is a reason why inflammation is such a hot topic currently. Inflammation is a big deal when dealing with most diseases. So, what is inflammation and what is it doing? This is what I want to explore.
What is inflammation?
When I think of inflammation, I use think of the many times I would sprain my ankle as a kid. It would swell up to the size of a softball! I remember how strange this seemed and wondered why it would swell. I later learned there was really two things going on, swelling and inflammation, many times they go hand in hand. Now when I think of inflammation, I think more about what is going on under the surface. Inflammation happens when the body sends out protective layers to act as a defense when it gets injured or sick it. It is the body’s way of healing itself. Without inflammation things may get worse and never heal.
The two categories of inflammation to look at are: acute (good) and chronic (bad). When the body is attacked it protects and heals itself and the acute inflammation goes away. This is the process that should be happening. The body can heal itself, if it is nourished properly and the attack is only temporary. It’s really a fascinating process. Now, chronic inflammation on the other hand is where things get a little messy. This is considered “bad” inflammation, it causes more “wear-and-tear” due to the repeated inflammation, it keeps coming back and can be triggered and re-triggered by certain factors. Unfortunately, there is no real “cure” for chronic inflammation because it is your body’s reaction.
Inflammatory issues can cause more issues
There are many factors that can lead to chronic inflammation. This may be a good time to mention that this is not intended to diagnose, treat, or prescribe anything. It is for educational purposes only. If you are experiencing anything mentioned in here, please talk to your healthcare professional. Everyone’s body may react different to inflammation. So, please don’t put your well-being in the hands of a blog post. 🙂
One of the major problems with chronic inflammation is that it can lead to various other issues. Many diseases have their roots in inflammation. What starts out as an irritation can lead to something that is a much bigger deal.
All this talk about inflammation and disease is getting a little doom and gloom for me so let’s talk about some great ways to avoid inflammation and even some things that may help reduce it.
Fighting back against inflammation
One thing that I talk about often, and trust me it’s a great conversation starter, is reducing our toxic load. Our environment can contain many toxins that put stress on our body. This stress can lead to “wear-and-tear” inflammation. so, what can we do to reduce these toxins? Lets start with air: a good air filter or better yet (if you live in an area with clean air) opening the windows or spending more time outside can reduce exposure to air toxins. You can also look at cleaning up your water, household cleaning products, cosmetics and many other things.
In this article I want to pay special attention to diet. Did you know that there are foods that can cause inflammation and others that can reduce it? This is good news because ingesting food is something I do pretty regularly.
Foods like broccoli, fish, avocados, ginger, turmeric, and some nuts in your diet can help in reducing chronic inflammation. Drinking plenty of good clean water is also great. There are many other foods that can help with inflammation. There are also foods that can cause inflammation, like sugar, trans fats, MSG, refined carbohydrates (white flour) and artificial sweeteners like aspartame, just to name a few. Some individuals even react to foods like corn, gluten, peanuts and various others. It can be helpful to keep a food journal for these types of things.
NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug), the most common being Ibuprofen, are drugs generally used to fight inflammation. But, there are some that choose to avoid these drugs and opt for a natural approach. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) even recommends some supplements like turmeric, Omega-3 fatty acids and various others, because they have a long history of use for treating inflammation and inflammation associated pain.
What can Isoflavones do for inflammation?
Isoflavones are natural compounds commonly found in the legume/pea/bean family, and have been studied closely for their anti-inflammatory properties, specifically genistein and daidzein. genistein and daidzein are found as genistin and daidzin (just drop the second “e” to remember that one) in soybeans. Once these compounds are processed by your body, they become genistein and daidzein. But, before you go out and try to reduce inflammation by grabbing a handful of soybeans there are things to consider. Is it organic, non-GMO and fermented? What is the quality of the soy? Also, there are over 2,000 different strains of soybean and they all vary in their isolation levels. These things all play a role in weather or not you are getting a good source of genistein and daidzein.
There have been many studies on these two compounds. But, just like anything else, there is still much we do not know. One study reads “As shown by this summary of abundant evidence, isoflavones exhibit impressive anti-inflammatory properties in various animal models, and even in humans, through increased antioxidative activities, NF-κB regulation, and reduced pro-inflammatory enzymes activities and cytokine levels, thereby encouraging the application of isoflavones in a range of inflammatory diseases.”
An ounce of prevention…
Including foods that contain anti-inflammatory properties like isoflavones is a great way to help your body fight back. Taking steps to reduce our toxic load, enjoying an anti-inflammatory diet and don’t forget exercise and stress reduction, can go a long way to keeping inflammation down.
Here at Haelan Products we are proud to offer a great source of genistin and daidzin. Haelan 951 is not a supplement, it is FDA classified as a food. Not only that, but by using what is already built into the whole soybean, we see a synergistic effect that increases bioavaibility and produces noticeable results. If you’re looking for an anti-inflammatory food, consider Haelan 951, a powerful immunonutrition beverage.