Inflammation is one of those buzzwords that everyone uses more often in the nutrition industry, and because we encounter it so often, we hope that everyone knows exactly what it means, but we can certainly know that inflammation affects us, especially if we suffer it daily.
While there is an obvious definition of inflammation - swelling - when it occurs inside your body, it is much more insidious and is considered one of the main triggers of the disease.
What is inflammation?
In a very basic sense, think about what happens when you cut your finger. It swells and turns red and hot as the body sends white blood cells to the injury site to prevent foreign invaders from causing infection. The inflammation caused by this reaction is inflammation, and it is good, in this case. Or if you sprain your ankle or burn yourself, the resulting inflammation is part of the healing process. This is acute inflammation. Chronic inflammation is another story.
Chronic inflammation occurs internally and starts out in a similar way to acute inflammation - the body's response to a foreign invader, bacteria, or anything else that causes damage. Most chronic inflammation originates in the intestine. Let's say, for example, that you have a sensitivity to gluten, but are not aware of it. Every time you eat gluten, the proteins cause your digestive tract to swell while an immune response is triggered by the body in response to the protein. Your body mounts an immune response to the small intestine in response to gluten protein damage. Maybe you were born with a sensitivity to gluten, or maybe you have developed it throughout your life. Maybe you notice some gas or bloating, but you don't think about it much.
Either way, the damage and inflammation get worse and worse and slowly spreads through your system (systemic inflammation). You may notice that a reaction to various foods begins (digestive symptoms every time you eat certain foods) and leaky gut syndrome has developed. Or perhaps then you are diagnosed with an inflammatory digestive disease, such as Crohn's disease, colitis or IB.
Soon this chronic inflammation of the digestive tract begins to deplete your immune system, which is constantly reacting to fire. An immune system that has constantly reacted is one of the causes of autoimmune disease, not to mention that if your immune system is always on guard it cannot fully attend to its other duties, such as scavenging for abnormal cells. In the case of cardiovascular disease, for example, arterial damage and inflammation is caused by oxidized cholesterol (perhaps from eating bad fats, processed foods, excess sugar). When cholesterol is oxidized, it can irritate the tissues where it occurs (as it is used for arterial repair), such as the endothelium (lining of the arteries). This is one of the many causes of chronic inflammation that can damage the lining of the arteries.
Diseases caused by inflammation
· Arthritis (both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis)
· Heart disease / vascular disease
· Hashimoto's thyroiditis
· Sjogren's syndrome
· Depression and anxiety
· Crohn's disease, IBS, ulcerative colitis
· High cholesterol
· Pernicious anemia
· Multiple sclerosis
What Causes Inflammation?
Let's break it down:
A bad diet:
Eating foods that cause inflammation such as sugar, factory-grown grains, high omega 6 meat, refined vegetable oils such as canola, corn or soybean oil (read more here), conventional dairy products, processed foods, alcohol, tobacco, recreational and over-the-counter medicines; a gluten-rich diet from sandwiches, pasta, cookies, baked goods, and other refined grain-based foods.
Not sleeping 8 hours or sleeping poorly, working too much, stress caused by relationships, work, family; no exercise or relief stress like fun activities, meditation; living in a dense, urban area, environmental toxins or pollutants (including cleaning products, cosmetics).
Food that has not been digested properly due to gastrointestinal irritation, resulting in inflammation and leaky gut syndrome.
Tired but force yourself to run 5 miles for exercise? This is a major stress factor in the body, you should carry out a moderate exercise routine, neither very sedentary nor very demanding, which is normal.
Compromised Detoxification: If your liver is stressed and unable to detox properly, toxins build up in the system and contribute to inflammation.
How do you know if you have inflammation?
Inflammation has been called "the silent killer," but here are some signs to tell if you have it:
· Joint irritation or ongoing muscle pain
· Allergies or asthma
· Sugar in the blood
· Syndrome of the Irritable Bowel, other digestive problems
· Skin problems or chronic irritations / rashes
Here are some blood test markers:
· High sensitivity of C-reactive Protein (AS-PCR)
· High homocysteine levels
· Elevated ferritin in the blood
· Elevated levels of LDL cholesterol
· Elevated monocytes (secondary indicator)
· Elevated blood glucose (main indicator)
How to manage inflammation
To reduce inflammation, it's time to examine not only what you are eating, but also address your stress level and lifestyle. Include the following anti-inflammatory foods in your diet:
1. Eat foods rich in omega 3, such as salmon, (and other fatty fish), sardines, free range animal meat, green leafy vegetables, chia seeds, walnuts.
2. Get plenty of antioxidant-rich fruits and veggies, especially blueberries, papaya, broccoli, spinach / chard / kale (green leafy vegetables).
3. Drink green tea.
4. Add beneficial spices like the anti-inflammatory wonder turmeric. Also, ginger, cinnamon, garlic.
5. Take fermented cod liver oil or Nordic Naturals Omega 3 fatty acid supplements.
6. Use free range animal butter, coconut oil, olive oil, and avocado. Avoid vegetable oils.
7. Avoid sodas and sugary drinks. Avoid excess coffee.
8. Do a liver detox.
Sleep 8 hours daily. Enjoy your life and have healthy relationships. Get treatment if necessary. Do not you work too much. Get the right exercise. Do fun activities and relieve stress, it can be gardening, singing, or photography.
It would just take 5 minutes to write down details about your food intake in a journal and it’s a helpful tool for people trying to lose weight. People who keep a food journal often find that jotting down every meal into a notebook helps them eliminate calorie-rich and unhealthy food. A food journal also helps one set a food routine and the frequency of snacking, avoiding weight gain.