Foods high, such as a salmon dinner, help reduce inflammation. (

FITNESS: Bad inflammation will make your health sputter

Listen to your body and treat it proactively

Ron Cain | Contributed

The food industry is consumed by the need for ever-increasing profits and has no issue with undermining public health and increasing food addictions for the benefit of stockholders.

Inflammation as a result of diet is a concern. It is the equivalent of not changing the oil in the car for too long, draining the oil and putting dirty oil back in. Yes, the car will still run, but it’s going to eventually suffer a significant engine failure leaving you in a crisis.

Most everyone with a grain of common sense looks after their car, so it does not leave them stranded on the side of the road. So why can we not look after our health to the same degree?

When your car engine starts to make funny noises when you start it up, most will call and make an appointment to get it checked. When you go for a hike and can’t keep up, your body aches all over the next day, and your knee blows up – some people will continue to light up a smoke and sit on the couch with a pizza until the knee feels better.

We should listen to our bodies and treat them proactively.

I have never figured out why people work so hard to retire at 60 or 65 after grinding away for 50 years, only to have a short and crappy retirement due to health complications.

One out of four deaths in North America is from heart disease, which is impacted by inflammation in the body.

How your body responds to food and the level of inflammation are not equal between individuals. The response can vary enormously. The older we get, the stronger the reaction.

A study at the University of B.C. found a connection between systemic inflammation in the body and Alzheimer’s disease. Before that finding, we assumed Alzheimer’s triggered inflammation in the brain. There is more glory in finding a drug to treat the disease than allocating resources to educating people about preventing it. My mother and sister are both at the end-stage of this disease, and it gives me the motivation to be as healthy as I can be.

Fat and sugar are the two most critical factors to approach with caution.

The North American diet is very high in refined sugar, processed foods and fat. Prolonged low-grade inflammation irritates the blood vessels – sort of like unwelcome relatives that decide to stay even longer.

The process of reducing inflammation in the body is in several steps: increasing anti-inflammatory foods in your diet; lowering foods such as sugar, white flour, deep-fried food, sugar-sweetened drinks, red meat and processed deli meats that create inflammation; control blood sugar levels; exercise; lose weight; manage stress.

So what to eat?

The good news is that the foods we need to eat to reduce inflammation are the same foods we need to maintain an ideal weight, have energy, improve our memory, etc.

Foods high in anti-inflammatory molecules, such as polyphenols, are found in brightly coloured veggies, fruits and other plant-based foods. Dump baking made with white flours and instead snack on fibre-rich nuts, vegetables, and whole grains. Eat foods high in omega 3, such as fish and take a supplement of omega 3.


Ron Cain is the owner of Sooke Mobile Personal Training. Email him at or find him on Facebook at Sooke Personal Training.

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