Inflammation Nation | Rebekah Brown


Inflammation is receiving a lot of attention in both the medical press and mainstream media right now. And with good reason. Rebekah Brown from MPowder shares why we need to rethink our plates in midlife!

As we learn more about what good health ‘looks like’ biochemically, we’re learning too about the common conditions that appear to make our bodies more vulnerable to disease.

Inflammation comes in two distinct forms.

When our body is working optimally, it’s an acute and very clever time-limited response designed to help us heal. However, when signals become confused, we may trip into chronic inflammation. This is when our immune system is overstimulated all the time.

Although further research is required to understand the full implications, it is now believed that this can influence our risk of many chronic diseases as well as contributing to insulin resistance, weight gain and increased psychological stress.

In menopause, our bodies can become more susceptible to chronic inflammation. Progesterone, a natural anti-inflammatory hormone, decreases. Oestrogen is known to have anti-inflammatory properties too.

As our sex hormones decline, our risk of inflammation increases. External stressors, so common in midlife, influence our body’s resilience. These factors, along with common symptoms of menopause such as poor sleep and low mood – are both triggers for and exacerbated by chronic inflammation.

Read more about yoga for stress and anxiety in this complete guide

So, how can wholefoods help?

Researchers believe that ultra-processed foods (UPFs) are playing an increasingly significant role in creating an ‘inflammation nation’. It’s not just what is ‘in’ these foods – the sugar, the salt, the saturated fats – but what we miss when we eat them….fibre, protein, healthy fats.

The solution? A wholefood-led diet, rich in all the qualities UPFs lack – as well as a greater emphasis on anti-inflammatory heroes!

Here are a few principles to get you started:

Love the Leaves

Green leafy vegetables are high in antioxidants and polyphenols as well as fibre. Polyphenols protect the body’s tissues against oxidative stress. And fibre is known to modify both the pH and reduce permeability of the gut.

Prioritise Purple

Purple fruits and vegetables are high in anthocyanins as well as resveratrol, with a positive effect on brain health, inflammation, and heart disease.

The Humble Tomato

Tomatoes are our richest source of lycopene, which is a potent antioxidant.

Good Fat is Good

Loaded with health-promoting omega-3 fatty acids and protein, some varieties of fish, like sardines, salmon, trout and herring, have been associated with reductions in a measure of inflammation called C-reactive protein (CRP)

Nibble on Nuts

Almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, pecans, pistachios and walnuts contain high amounts of fibre, protein, calcium, magnesium, zinc, Vitamin E and Omega-3 fats which all have anti-inflammatory effects

Permission to Caffeinate!

Coffee, which contains polyphenols and other anti-inflammatory compounds, may protect against inflammation, as well. Some of us find caffeine difficult in menopause. But if you’re one of the lucky ones, you can now reframe your morning brew as an anti-inflammatory tool!

Read more in Yoga for Stress and Anxiety: A Complete Guide

MPowder is a vibrant, award-winning menopause co-creation community with supplements loved by thousands of women. Based on science and formulated by their naturopathic, herbalist and lifestyle medicine team, their blends are tested for efficacy via continuous tracking within their community. MPowder’s formulas contain a complex blend of whole foods, herbs, botanicals, vitamins and minerals to support the body and mind from peri-menopause to menopause and beyond. MPowder also offers an inclusive space where individuals can evaluate interventions, expert insight, personal stories, emerging research to select their own route and access to their in-house health concierge team for expert one-on-one support, whenever they need.


2 thoughts on “Inflammation Nation | Rebekah Brown

  1. Patrizia

    Interesting and well written article. It’s useful to think of inflammation as very similar to stress: a totally natural and beneficial mechanism short-term but debilitating and dangerous long-term.

    1. Kat Post author

      Thank you for reading Patrizia! Yes you are right, necessary in the right moments but not when it is something chronic.


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