By: Dr. Alyssa Musgrove

Inflammation has been associated with just about every health condition. Inflammation is not
always bad. It can be the body’s natural attempt to heal itself and eliminate damaged cells,
viruses, and bacteria. Acute inflammation starts quickly and disappears in a few days. Chronic
inflammation, however, can last months or even years. A sedentary lifestyle, stress, minor food
allergies, and poor diet are just a few of the most common contributors to chronic inflammation.
Chronic inflammation will not typically produce symptoms until actual loss of function occurs
somewhere. Chronic inflammation tends to be low-grade and systemic, silently damaging your
tissues over an extended period. This process can go on for years without you noticing until
disease suddenly sets in.

Since chronic inflammation tends to be “silent,” how can you determine if inflammation is
brewing in your body? Clinical tests used in allopathic medicine include:

C-Reactive Protein (CRP) test: Measures a protein found in your body that signals
responses to any forms of inflammation

ESR (Sedimentation Rate) test: Checks for non-specific indicators of inflammation
Fasting blood insulin test: Although usually used to screen for diabetes, it is also marker
for inflammation. Typically, the higher fasting insulin levels are, the higher your levels of
inflammation tend to be.

Thermography: Also known as Medical Thermal Imaging, is an alternative test used to
measure heat patterns in the body. Abnormal heat spots on the body are an indication of

Eating a wide variety of anti-inflammatory foods on a regular basis can go a long way toward
calming inflammation and preventing chronic health issues. The following foods deserve special
mention for their ability to put a stop to inflammatory responses in your body:
Animal-based omega-3 fatty acids: The body converts omega-3s into powerful anti-
inflammatory chemicals. These fats can be found in fish like wild Alaskan sockeye salmon and
krill oil. Studies have shown fish oil can relieve joint tenderness, reduce morning stiffness

Blueberries: Blueberries are high in antioxidants. They are in season right now and available at
local farmer’s markets. They are lower in sugar then most fruits, and can easily be added to a
salad, yogurt or even frozen and added to a smoothie.

Shiitake mushrooms: These nutritional powerhouses contain ergothioneine, which inhibits
oxidative stress and discourages inflammation. These mushrooms also contain a variety of
other nutrients that most people do not get enough of in their diets, such as copper. The body
cannot produce copper and depends on outside sources for supply. Copper deficiency has been
found to be a factor in developing coronary heart disease.

Garlic: Garlic has been heavily studied and shown to help with hundreds of different
conditions. It has antioxidant, anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. Garlic also has
sulfur-containing compounds, which can help support inflamed joints.

High-quality herbs and spices: These are among the most potent anti-inflammatory
ingredients available, ounce for ounce. Spicing up your meals is not enough, but it is a great
place to start.

Fermented foods: Optimizing your gut flora is important for a high-functioning immune system
and helps ward off chronic inflammation. In fact, the majority of inflammatory diseases start in
the gut, as the result of an imbalanced microbiome. Fermented foods help “reseed” your gut
with beneficial bacteria and also help the body rid itself of harmful toxins such as heavy metals
and pesticides, which can promote inflammation. Some fermented food options are kimchee,
pickles, sauerkraut, kefir, kombucha and olives.

Vitamin D: This vitamin has been shown to inhibit inflammation. Sun exposure of 5-30 minutes
at least twice a week on the arms, legs and face is a beneficial, natural source of this fat-soluble
vitamin. Food sources include wild-caught salmon, mackerel, cod liver oil, tuna, sardines and

Dark leafy greens: Kale, Swiss chard, spinach, and collard greens contain powerful
antioxidants, which help protect against cellular damage. Choose organically grown veggies that
are in season and from a local source. Try eating a fair amount of these greens raw.
While acute inflammation is a necessary part of the body's healing process, chronic
inflammation poses significant health risks. Recognizing the signs of chronic
inflammation and incorporating anti-inflammatory foods and proactive measures can
help mitigate its effects and promote long-term wellness. By taking proactive steps to
manage inflammation, you can protect your health and well-being.

Pathways to Healing specializes in holistic chiropractic care. Dr. Alyssa Musgrove draws on a
variety of techniques, including chiropractic, kinesiology, nutrition, food allergy testing and
lifestyle counseling to assist clients in achieving optimal health and wellness in one setting.
Pathways to Healing is located at 1022 Founders Row, Lake Oconee Village, Greensboro. The
office can be reached at 706-454-2040.

Comments are closed.