Chronic inflammation can lead to an array of illnesses from skin conditions to cancers. Learn how to make lifestyle changes to improve your health and reduce inflammation.
We all know the term inflammation.
We know that when we get an injury, the area surrounding the injury becomes inflamed, painful, hot, and red. Our body’s natural response to inflammation is a process that protects us and has been hardwired into our systems to keep us healthy and safe. This acute (quick to come and quick to go) inflammatory response is a normal bodily defense function and is very valuable to our health. But what happens when we have chronic inflammation?
Chronic inflammation persists for months, years, even decades and usually goes unnoticed until we are faced with an inflammatory related illness such as heart disease, diabetes, autoimmune disease (Rheumatoid arthritis, Hashimotos, lupus etc.), or cancers.
So you may be wondering how we get so much inflammation within our bodies and what we can do about it. Certain lifestyle and dietary habits can be a major contributor to inflammation.
Sugar, processed foods, gluten and refined carbs, vegetable oils, and alcohol have all been linked to an increase in inflammatory response. A more sedentary lifestyle and lack of exercise has also been considered a factor that can increase inflammation. (Resource: Healthline, PubMed)
Some of the most common and often overlooked symptoms of inflammation are:
Skin conditions (such eczema or psoriasis)
Low energy and fatigue
Poor digestion (constipation, bloating, GI issues)
If you suspect that inflammation may be the root cause of some other condition you’re experiencing, ask your Dr. next time you go in to test your C-reactive protein, ESR and white blood cell count. These tests can help determine that inflammation may be present and give you the clue to dig deeper to determine the causes.
Making some simple lifestyle and dietary changes can be one of the best things you can do for your health. Start by removing certain foods from your diet. This list of foods to avoid is a great place to start.
Foods to avoid:
Desserts and baked goods
Processed foods like chips, pretzels, crackers, etc
Vegetable oils like soybean, corn,
Processed meats- hotdogs, lunchmeat, bologna
Once you have these foods removed, start slowly incorporating some anti-inflammatory foods and supplements into your routine to help cool the fire and nourish your body.
Foods to Eat:
Cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts
Leafy green vegetables
Antioxidant berries and cherries
Healthy oils- olive oil and coconut oil
Nuts and seeds (Almonds, walnuts, hempseeds, chia seeds, pumpkin and sunflower Seeds
Fatty fish- (wild caught salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel, anchovies)
Antioxidant green tea
The good thing about inflammation is that we have the ability to reverse damage and heal ourselves through changes to our lifestyle and diet. As always, start small with attainable habits and build consistently. Check out my anti-inflammatory module (coming fall 2019) for additional information as well as a 2 week meal plan to combat inflammation.
You got this!
Love & Light,