Inflammation occurs naturally as a response to injury or immune attack. It is temporary, and we recover. In a healthy body, damaged tissues are removed and replaced with new tissue.
In a body that has a low grade chronic inflammation, in the blood and soft tissues, better recovery may not be as speedy, and may never be complete. Joint injuries are supposed to give you trouble for the rest of your life, although maybe not until you are older, then you are to expect arthritis in a damaged joint, if not in every joint. Why is this?
What causes chronic inflammation in your body? Why would a young vibrant person in a developed country who has access to good food, good water, vitamin and mineral supplements have a low grade (or not so low) chronic inflammatory condition?
Sugar is one issue. And artificial sweeteners. Don't eat them. Sorry.
Bonnie C. Minsky has an excellent article with more detail about this.
Andrew Weil, holistic health M. D. , Nicholas Perricone, M. D. , an anti-aging expert, Jeffrey Bland, Ph. D, an allergy nutritionist, all write about inflammation as a major cause of disease. But you can avoid it.
Think a moment about all the good stuff you eat - lean beef, chicken, cold water fish like salmon, tuna, mackerel, and sardines. Salads, vegetables - are you not doing everything right? How could you not rehabilitate quickly and completely from a minor dance or sports injury? You are eating all the right stuff! You are working out in pointe shoes or shooting baskets daily. Why would you not recover one hundred per cent?
Here's the reality. We eat beef and poultry and eggs from the poultry, that are grain fed. That means that the fats from those foods are predominantly omega 6 fatty acids. They are not bad fats. However, omega 6 oils in the body support pro-inflammatory pathways. They promote inflammation.
But grass fed beef and poultry do not fill us with so much omega 6 fats. And as lean as you want to eat, for weight loss, or weight maintenance, some daily animal fat is crucial for your health. Eat the grass fed as much as you can.
More bad news - fast foods and processed foods contain omega 6 oils. So much for that convenience.
More bad news - you cannot eat too much cold water fish because of the pollutants in them, mainly mercury. But the good news is, you can now get ultra purified or pharmaceutical grade, fish oils as a nutritional supplement.
You can also decrease your ingestion of omega 6 fats by avoiding all the bottled salad dressings and most bottled vegetable oils that you find at the grocery store. Except for olive oil, avocado oil, walnut oil and flaxseed oil, (and I'm only including here the more typically available oils, there are more), vegetable oils too are omega 6 oils and will promote inflammation in your body.
This sounds pretty hopeless, but here is the good news. Omega 3 oils are anti-inflammatory and are also readily available. If you are willing to make a small lifestyle change, or get your mother/child/wife/husband/girlfriend/boyfriend/cook, or whoever does the shopping and food prep at home to do so (they will thank you big time), you can switch to omega 3 oils,
If your current training is a career building plan, this information is crucial. If you are training for personal enjoyment, it is important for health too. Being athletic doesn't make arthritis a given in your future. Joint pain can be relieved by decreasing inflammation. Inflammation can be decreased by diet. It is really pretty simple.
I hope that if you are a young ballerina, among the men in ballet, or a young athlete, that you will have your parents read this article. I can only touch the tip of the iceberg here, in the topic of omega 3 oils and their anti-inflammatory properties. But the facts seem to indicate that balancing omega 6 fatty acids in your diet with omega 3 oils, would affect your family health for the better. Dance and sports injuries may be in their past or present too.
Bonnie C. Minsky's article is at http://www.consciouschoice.com/2004/cc1706/healthconscious1706.html.
Click here for more information on practicing natural health to help manage high blood pressure, arthritis, add, menopause, heart health, depression, joint pain and more. Dianne M. Buxton is a mother, writer, and a ballet teacher, interested in anti-aging nutrition and lifestyles.