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Life After Paralysis is a blog that represents a variety of paralysis community members. It is a place for open conversation about the issues and the interests of people living with paralysis, their family, friends, caregivers, and the professionals that serve them. Comments are welcome!
The opinions expressed in these blogs are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation.

Heal Me

When I’m home I have a twice a week routine that I carry out, religiously. It includes a couple provisions resupply shop stops, the post office and the copy center. The post office is always my first stop to pick up my mail. I could have home US mail delivery, it would create a great amount of ease for me but I like the social interaction that occurs at the post office. I like the small town feel of this post office and on this chore day my post office did not disappoint, I had the good fortune to chance upon a friend that I hadn’t connected with in a while.

In the course of our chitchat about the happenings in our lives, he spoke about an injury he had recently sustained. The conversation took a turn toward ways to decrease the inflammation so that his body could begin the process of healing the damage. And did you know that once our bodies experience harm, inflammation is one of the first responder’s responses as a safeguard? Well it is and only when the inflammation has decreased can our bodies begin the task of healing.

How is inflammation decreased when a body has been wounded? Well, there are external methods, cryotherapy that's pretty much cold showers or there is icing the affected area, compression to the area, rest, acupuncture, all kinds of applications can be applied to our bodies to speed into the healing cycle. I will come back with another blog addressing these applications in more depth, but what I want to offer is what we can do internally to diminish the inflammatory response so as to get on with the business of healing our woes and back out into the flow of life, injury free. Oh, and BTW if these foods are consistently included in a daily eating program, they can slow down the inflammation process when it does happen. Now that's being proactive!

I like to read the endings of books, first and I really enjoy knowing the complete run down of a movie. Yup, I’m a super spoiler and I don’t care if someone tells me the plot of the movie, how it ends, the more I know the better, because honestly I get so wrapped up in the story anyway and I love it even more. Go figure? The spoiler I have for you with this anti-inflammation blog is that there are foods that can ruin your day in a heavy-duty inflammation way.

To begin the no-go zone when it comes to food that lights up inflammation is a formula called the IF (Inflammatory Factor) rating (it’s trademarked) that rates, amounts and types of fat, essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and the glycemic index. This IF Rating uses a number rating system similar to the glycemic index system. A 200 or higher rating is super strong anti-inflammatory while any food below 0, yes, we are headed to minus numbers, is going into the inflammation direction. Here’s a spoiler, hot chili peppers are super-duper high in the ANTI-inflammatory juice, crazy. Follow this link to look up your foods. It’s kind of a cool chart.

OK, foods that make inflammation go away. Fresh pineapple has the enzyme bromelian, a digestive enzyme, which helps breakdown proteins into simpler and more soluble substances adding in digestion and decreases inflammation. Eating too much fresh, juicy pineapple has made my mouth sore so go easy on the fresh stuff if in the acute stage of an injury. The supplement Wobenzyme (it has bromelian in it) is in the miracle category as far as I’m concerned and it’s so good for our bodies. Take Wobenzyme in between meals, it will act as a digestive enzyme if taken with food and the full anti-inflammatory effect will be lost.
Ginger, Cinnamon and Turmeric are rock stars when it comes to anti-inflammatory qualities. The three Musketeers of the spice rack are a must have for daily consumption. A recent morning constitution for me is a mug of hot water mixed with the juice of half of a lemon, one cinnamon stick, half a teaspoon of honey and a quarter teaspoon of ginger, KaPow!

And Vitamin C is another must have for inflammatory one, two punch. Mangoes, pumpkin, apricots, carrots, spinach and parsley, guava, oranges, blackcurrants, kiwi fruit, broccoli, pomegranate, all berries, red bell peppers and hot spicy peppers.

Lastly, the fats that feed our hearts, minds and muscles also kick the snot out of inflammation. The cold-water fish, salmon, Alaskan black cod, sardines, herring, oysters and mackerel (make sure these fish are wild caught, not farmed) are super high in the fat our bodies crave. And it’s not just fish, walnuts, flaxseeds, avocado, olives and olive oils, coconut oils, cauliflower, oregano, marjoram, spinach, beef brains and kidney beans just to name a few foods that kick some inflammation booty.

And just so you know. It’s all about balance, right? Right!!! This doesn’t mean we can’t have anything that is inflammatory, what’s required is balance, add a little this a little that and keep it on the plus side. Here’s to your health, Cheers!

Blessings to All, In Joy Candace

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Posted by Community Admin on Jun 30, 2014 11:52 PM America/New_York