Diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. What do the three have in common? Inflammation! The same inflammation that is attributed to obesity, arthritis, fibromyalgia and gastrointestinal issues all have this factor in common. The big news is that your eating habits can play a huge roll in these diseases.
Research shows that two enzymes, cyclooxygenase-1 (COX-1) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) are a major causes of joint inflammation. Some are prescribed NSAIDS to block these inflammatory enzymes and reduce pain and inflammation. Recent research has shown that COX-2 enzymes become more active and cause more joint inflammation when you take in more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3 fatty acids. It is interesting to note that omega-6 fats are found in foods that are not healthy for you on a regular basis; meats, fried foods, margarine, snack foods, egg yolks, etc., while omega-3's are found in healthier foods;cold water fish like salmon and tuna, small amount's of dark chocolate, nuts, veggies, fruits, etc.
This reinforces the crusade by many well known nutritionists and physicians who have become extremely vocal about fighting these diseases with a plant based diet. If you are over-weight, losing just one pound takes off 4 pounds of pressure on your knees and the discs in your spine. Imagine, 10 pounds would be 40 pounds off your knees and spine!
An easy way to start this type of anti-inflammatory eating would be to have 'Meatless Monday', which has been hugely advocated and is gaining in popularity. From there you can go to 3 days per week with healthy eating choices. When you start seeing the incredible difference in the way you feel, you will want to stick with these dietary changes. They can be life changing for many people!
Talk with your nutritionist and do some research on your own. A good place to start is The American Institute for Cancer Research, and my favorite, Happy, Healthy Long Life: Dr. Oz's Vegan Challenge, which shows a volunteers blood work numbers before and 12 weeks after, a plant based diet is introduced. http://www.happyhealthylonglife.com/happy_healthy_long_life/dr-ozs-vegan-challenge/
Our way of eating needs to be challenged. Diabetes, heart disease, and obesity are increasing at an alarming rate. We need to wake up and spread the good news; plant based diets save lives and make the life your living much more quality. Isn't that what it's all about?
Shelli Rossignol lmt/cr February 2013
- American Inst. for Cancer Research