A new born baby has an absorbent mind, like a sponge! This allows the baby to easily learn the language spoken by the people around them. It does this learning so effortlessly it might appear that it was destined by its DNA just like the colour of its hair. But this is not the case! Language does not grow like hair and teeth. Acquiring a language is a learning skill that involves lots of interaction between the brain and the outside world. The child’s mind is particularly suited for this task. Amazing as this is, acquiring language doesn’t end with childhood. Have you noticed that when you embark on a new project, interest, area of study or line of work, there is a whole new language that goes with it? It dawns on me sometimes when I’m happily listing off the health benefits of a particular food, saying it’s anti this that and the other, that perhaps people don’t really get it. As adults we have a tendency to skim past what we don’t immediately understand. It’s like a foreign language, you just blank it out. So, I’d like to pause and explain a couple of very important ‘anti’s’ as they relate to nutrition and health.
Getting the Anti’s
Oxidation, inflammation, cancer, bacteria and viruses etc. are enemies to the health of the body which needs supportive nutrients and other factors to fight back. Simply put, if you wanted to address a bacterial threat you would choose anti-bacterial properties. So, in general, ‘anti’ as a prefix is a good thing! It is pretty obvious what anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-histamine, anti-aging and anti-cancer mean. Foods, supplements, essential oils, remedies etc. that have these ‘anti’ properties support the body in fighting that particular threat.
Inflammation and oxidation are less easily understood. We loosely associate inflammation with pain. We seek out anti-inflammatories at the Pharmacy for this, yet the harmful effects of inflammation go way, way beyond aches and pains! And, when it comes to oxidative damage, unless you have studied nutrition or biochemistry, you might easily glaze over with this one too.
So, if you want to read on, I will explain a little bit more about the insidious effects of inflammation and oxidation on the body, how it gets there and why we all need the support of anti-inflammatories and anti-oxidants.