What does a stubbed toe have to do with your risk of having a heart attack or developing cancer? More than you may realize. Over the past several years, scientists have confirmed a strong link between inflammation and many diseases, including arthritis, cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. It’s pretty simple - the more inflamed you are, the greater your risk of developing one of these diseases.

Does this mean all inflammation is bad? No. In fact, inflammation is necessary for a variety of purposes including helping an injury to heal or to remove toxins. The problems start when the inflammation doesn’t stop like it should.

So what causes inflammation to burn out of control? For many, the problem begins with diet and lifestyle. Diets high in meat, corn, peanuts, dairy and eggs have been shown to increase inflammation. Even stress has been shown to play a large part in increasing inflammation in the body. While one of the first and most common signs is pain, inflammation often exists without obvious symptoms making the detection of “hyper-inflammation” even more difficult.

What can you do to protect yourself from hyper-inflammation? One answer, which comes from respected integrative medical expert Andrew Weil, M.D., is to eat more anti-inflammatory foods, including ginger, turmeric, green tea and rosemary. Dr. Weil recommends eating these foods as often as possible to reduce inflammation and ease joint pain.

If you find it difficult to eat these daily, try Zyflamend from New Chapter.

Zyflamend combines ginger, turmeric, green tea, holy basil, rosemary and several other anti-inflammatory spices and herbs in one pill. I take it every day because even though I like ginger and curried foods, I don’t eat them as much as experts like Dr. Weil recommend. I also opted for Zyflamend over similar products because it has been clinically studied and proven effective by both the Cleveland Clinic and Columbia University.

Mike Ventresca is the owner of Vital Choice Healthstore located at 9243 Sprague Road in North Royalton’s Timber Ridge Plaza. The phone number is 440-885-9505. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you have concerns about your own health, you should always consult with a healthcare professional.