Learn How To Reduce Inflammation To Improve Your Health!
There is quite a bit of information floating around regarding inflammation in our bodies, which is often caused by stress, food, and injuries.
Contrary to popular opinion, inflammation is not always bad, and in fact, is often times very good. However, too much inflammation and you have a problem.
Inflammation is our body’s natural response to potentially dangerous pathogens, such as bacteria, chemicals, irritants, injuries, poisonous substances, etc. This reaction helps to prevent infection from spreading and causing a lot of damage to our health.
Think of an injury that you have had before, like a sprained ankle, or a broken finger. After the injury, you probably experienced a lot of swelling and pain. It lasted a short period of time while your body attempted to heal itself, and then it went away.
The same goes with a bacteria infection. Your throat might swell up, and your sinuses clog. You feel horrible. After a few intense days to a week, however, everything is back to normal.
This is a sign of proper health!
The issue in regards to inflammation is the longevity of the inflammation. Acute inflammation, which is normally intense and lasts only a short period of time, is healthy and necessary for our survival.
Chronic inflammation, or inflammation that lasts for a very long time, causes a wide range of health issues.
Healthy, acute inflammation often turns into chronic inflammation over time if certain things occur.
The main reasons for chronic inflammation are:
– The Body Attacks Itself!
This is the basis of an auto-immune disease. There is still a lot we do not know about auto-immune disorders, but in the cases of such diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, the body mistakes its own tissues for dangerous pathogens.
– The Acute Inflammation Failed
For some reason, the acute inflammatory response was unsuccessful, and as a result, what was once a healthy, natural acute reaction, became an unhealthy chronic response, causing long-term inflammation.
Stress is also a major cause of inflammation. When we are stressed, our bodies cause cortisol, which is our body’s regulator of inflammation, to not be able to function as it should.
In a recent study, the “common cold” virus was “given” to 276 seemingly healthy adults. They were then put in quarantine for 5 days where they were observed to see the effects of the disease. The study showed that individuals who experienced more prolonged stress were much more susceptible to the disease than those who were not stressed.
There are numerous other studies that have similar results, but you get the point. Stress negatively affects cortisol, which disrupts the inflammatory response, which causes inflammation.
– Other reasons for chronic inflammation include sugar consumption, obesity, lack of sleep, and irritants.
Diet has been shown to have a very big effect on inflammation. Sugar has been shown to have a very negative effect on inflammation. According to American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, foods that are high in sugar cause inflammation in our bodies to increase.
When we consume lots of processed sweets, an increase in AGE’s, which are proteins attached to glucose, occurs. These AGE’s cause damage to proteins, and, as a result, our immune system attempts to break down these molecules. This results in inflammation and a potential for diseases such as arthritis and heart disease occurs.
I want to clarify one thing before I continue. Not all sugar is bad. If you are consuming sugar from whole foods, such as fruit, it is not a problem. It is only a problem when it is found in processed sweets, cakes, cookies, fruit juices, etc., as there is no fiber and other nutrients typically found in other “whole” foods.
There are certain foods known to be inflammatory while others are known to be anti-inflammatory.
I have comprised a list below to help you make better food choices.
– Processed grains
– Artificial sweeteners
– Soy, canola, and cottonseed oil
– Commercially-raised meat
– Wild-caught Salmon
– Grass-fed beef
– Avocado oil, grapeseed oil, and olive oil
– Fruits (specifically blueberries and fruits that are orange and yellow)
– Vegetables (especially green, leafy vegetables)
– Turmeric, black pepper, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, ginger, garlic
– Fish Oil
– Green Tea
– Apple cider vinegar
So there you have it! Eat more anti-inflammatory foods, eat less inflammatory foods, get more sleep, limit stress and anxiety in your life, exercise, and be a healthy weight, and you should have no problems with chronic inflammation!
About Danny Maman My name is Danny Maman. I have a real passion for health and fitness and enjoy having a life that revolves around this. I have my bachelor's degree in exercise science with a minor in allied health. I am also a certified personal trainer with ACE and am a former college basketball player.