It feels like the word "inflammation" has taken over the health and wellness industry in recent years. When I first heard this word being thrown around, I assumed it meant you were bloated, puffy, and retaining lots of water and salt. Sure, that's part of it, but what does it actually mean? Why is this happening to so many people?
So, what is inflammation?
Simply put, inflammation refers to the bodies reaction to something it recognizes as foreign or from an injury it's sustained. When you hurt yourself, your body naturally inflames around the injury to protect the wound and heal itself.
Then what is chronic inflammation? Why does this occur?
It's the chronic activation of our immune system. Sounds kind of scary, right? Nearly 70% of our immune system is located in our gut, which is why the bacteria in our gut is so vital to our health and well-being. These bacteria serve a variety of functions from breaking down food and metabolizing drugs to helping our immune systems mature and maintain regulation throughout our lives. The problem occurs when the "bad" bacteria begin to outnumber the "good" bacteria. Lots of problems can arise from this. Essentially, the lining of our intestines become compromised and can't function as a barrier between our guts and the rest of our body so we get "leaky gut" or increased intestinal permeability which is when chronic inflammation rears its ugly head. The immune system goes into high alert because things that are meant to stay in our guts, leak through and our bodies start to freak out. Say hello to the friend you wish you never met...chronic inflammation. And it's definitely NOT your friend! Chronic inflammation has been linked to many major diseases including cancer, diabetes, arthritis, depression, heart disease and Alzheimer's. Let's look at the ways to fight this silent enemy.
What Can I Do to Fix my Chronic Inflammation?? Am I doomed?
No. You are not doomed so long as you take matters into your own hands and make some lifestyle changes. In fact, some of the best tools to combat inflammation can actually be found in your local grocery store. By choosing the right anti-inflammatory foods, you may reduce your risk for illnesses and disease.
Foods to Avoid that Cause Inflammation:
Refined carbohydrates: Pastries, white breads, processed foods
Fried Foods: French fries, mozzerella sticks, fried dough, fried chicken, etc
Soda and Other Sugar-Sweetened Drinks: Fruit juices, mixed drinks
Red Meat and Processed Meat: Steak, burgers, hot dogs, sausage, bacon
Margarine, Lard, Shortening
Foods with Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Olive Oil, Avocado Oil
Green Leafy Vegetables: Spinach, kale, collard greens, swiss chard
Nuts like almonds and walnuts
Fatty Fish like salmon, tuna, sardines, mackerel, arctic chard, chilean seabass
Fruits like strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, cherries and oranges
If you think you are suffering from chronic inflammation, these are some of the best foods to consume in order to relieve your symptoms and help heal your body. You are not alone in this wellness journey. I'm here to help! Feel free to reach out if you have any additional questions or are interested in learning more about my services.
Till Next Time