Sometimes things don’t turn out the way they’re supposed to.
Sometimes your spouse forgets the eggs at the grocery store.
Sometimes the FedEx package arrives a day later than it should have.
Sometimes you eat “healthy” and still gain weight.
And sometimes your body does what it thinks is “right”… but it actually betrays you. Like when you develop inflammation.
You may have heard about inflammation, but not know too much about it, but it is really important for your overall health.
Basically, inflammation is your body’s response to stress. It could be from your environment, your lifestyle, an illness, an injury or your diet.
If you fall off your bike and see inflammation on your skin, you notice that it produces swelling, due to an increase in fluid to the affected area. This is especially painful, due to the release of chemicals that stimulate nerve endings. It may also look red and feel hot, because the capillaries in that area are filled with more blood than usual.
When you catch a cold, you get a fever as your body heats up to eliminate the invading virus.
These types of acute – temporary – inflammation episodes result from an injury or illness (bronchitis, appendicitis, a cut, sinusitis, etc.) It’s your bodies response to heal you.
But there is also chronic inflammation – it lingers on and on, sometimes for years – especially of the internal organs and joints. You may experience vague chronic symptoms such as:
● Mouth sores
● Chest or abdominal pain
● Joint pain
● Visible signs of aging, like wrinkles
● Acid reflux
● Susceptibility to infections
If you suffer from certain chronic diseases or conditions – like asthma, peptic ulcer, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, and a few others – it means your damaged cells and tissues are trying to heal, but are unable to eliminate whatever irritant or invader is causing the inflammation.
In fact, even some major diseases – like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, depression, and Alzheimer’s – have been linked to chronic inflammation.
There are a number of reasons you may suffer from chronic inflammation.
You may have food allergies or sensitivities. Or an imbalance of bacteria and fungi in your GI tract.
You may live in a toxic environment. You may be experiencing high levels of continual stress. Or your diet and lifestyle can lead to inflammation. Exercise is good for us, but too much training can lead to chronic inflammation.
If you are suffering from inflammation, you have several different treatment options, in consultation with your physician. You can relieve pain through modified activities or medications. You can work with a physio or massage therapist. And you can evaluate your diet, and make some changes.
Some of the foods that contribute to inflammation include sodas, refined sugars, wheat, dairy, red meat and processed meats.
As you might guess, by focusing more on plant-based foods as the foundation for your diet, not only will you reduce inflammation and all the side effects, but you’ll also look and feel much better.
Some foods that especially help to reduce inflammation are:
● Olive oil
● Green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, collards
● Nuts, especially almonds and walnuts
● Fatty fish like salmon, tuna, mackerel, and sardines
● Fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and oranges
Researchers now see that a diet consisting of high levels of fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, fish, and healthy oils helps reduce inflammation inside your body.
I don’t know if you’re suffering from chronic inflammation right now, but I find many of my clients struggle with several of the symptoms. Getting healthy and fit is not just about a number on the scale. It’s about how you feel and how your body functions – especially as you age. My clients are sometimes amazed at how good they feel when they switch to an anti-inflammatory diet.