What is Healthy Inflammation?
Most people think of inflammation as unhealthy. Inflammation is associated with pain and many chronic conditions. It is not usually thought of by most people as a healthy process. For the average person, inflammation is something to get rid of. So what do we mean by healthy inflammation? For me, understanding the role of inflammation is foundational and critical for achieving long term health.
Inflammation is a vital healing process in your body. Inflammation is not a disease. Inflammation is a state. Your body is in an inflamed condition for some reason. You may be in an inflamed condition because of an allergy, or twisted ankle, or heart disease. Inflammation is your body trying to fix something that is wrong. Fix the problem and inflammation will subside. So your goal should be to achieve and maintain a healthy inflammation response.
How does one maintain a healthy inflammation?
- You first target the structure and function of the parts of your body that are involved. If you have cardiovascular issues, you develop a nutritional program that supports healthy heart structure and function. Nutrition does not treat disease. Nutrition nourishes the body. You must be clear on this. If you have arthritis, you take nutrients that support healthy joint tissue. And so on.
- Second you take nutrients that help support a healthy inflammatory response. You can manage inflammation while you seek to repair and heal. As your condition and health status improves your inflammation will subside. Curcumin and fish oil are perhaps the two most notable nutrients.
In this interview with Dr. Erin Stokes, we will discuss the concept of a healthy inflammation response. We will also specifically discuss turmeric and curcumin. Most of you probably know something about turmeric and curcumin. It is one of the most popular and successful herbal products. But there is also a lot of confusion, which is to be expected. In this interview we will help you understand the difference between turmeric and curcumin and how you can incorporate both into your supplement program.
We will also discuss three products from MegaFood that promote healthy inflammation. Dr. Stokes will discuss the concept of inflam-aging. This is the concept that inflammation is a key factor in aging. Dr. Stokes refers to recent studies that explore the connection between inflammation and aging. Here is a quote from the abstract of one of those studies from PubMed.
Human aging is characterized by a chronic, low-grade inflammation, and this phenomenon has been termed as “inflammaging.” Inflammaging is a highly significant risk factor for both morbidity and mortality in the elderly people, as most if not all age-related diseases share an inflammatory pathogenesis. CLICK HERE to read more.
Turmic / Curcumin
Turmeric is a plant. The root or rhizome is the active part that has been used for thousands of years as a spice and medicine. The problem with turmeric is that it is not easily absorbed by the body. It is difficult to achieve a beneficial amount by ingesting the whole root. Curcumin is one of the many compounds that exist in turmeric. Curcumin is considered to be the most biologically active constituent. The goal of scientists is to find ways to increase the amount of curcumin that gets into your system. This is done by creating extracts that have high amounts of curcumin and that are also more easily absorbed and utilized by the body. So you have turmeric which has hundreds of different nutritional elements but low potency, and then you have extracts of one or two particular compounds which are higher potency, but leave out the rest of the plant.
MegaFood has created formulas that have both forms. Pure root powder combined with high potency standardized extract. Their formulas were created in conjunction with Dr. Andrew Weil who is partnered with MegaFood. MegaFood has also partnered with Kauai Organic Farms. Kauai Organic Farms grows the organic turmeric that is used by MegaFood. Kauai Organic Farms is one of the farm fresh partners supplying MegaFood.
Here is a video of Dr. Weil visiting Kauai Organic Farms.
The bottom line for consumers is finding a product that works. It is your journey of discovery to determine which products you prefer. Once you understand some of the distinctions between products you will be able to more effectively compare one product with another. In the case of MegaFood you know who formulated the product, and you know the source of the foods that are used and you can even see how they are manufactured. You get to choose whether to try MegaFood. Once you try them you can decide how well they suit you. This is how you determine what products work best for you. I happen to like MegaFood and you will do well by knowing more about their products. You can learn more about MegaFood by listening to our other interviews. CLICK HERE for a list of MegaFood sponsored interviews.
MegaFood products are certified to be pure and free of most common allergens. They are easy to digest, even by people with the most sensitive stomachs. MegaFood products are easily tolerated even on an empty stomach.
About Dr. Stokes
Dr. Erin Stokes, is a Naturopathic Doctor and the Medical Director at FoodState. Erin received her Naturopathic Doctor degree from Bastyr University in Seattle, Washington, in 2001. She combines her experience as a Naturopathic Doctor with an extensive background in the natural products industry. Erin’s personal mission is to empower people with the inspiration and tools to change their lives. Dr. Stokes practices naturopathic medicine in Boulder, CO.