I n f l a m m a t i o n 1 0 1
This page provides a quick run down on what it is. why it happens and how you can reduce its effects on your body.
What is Inflammation?
Inflammation is a natural response of the immune system.
When the body sustains an injury or faces an invader such
as a bacteria or virus, the area around the injury will swell. Swelling is part of the healing process and the body’s natural system for solving the problem. The remarkable thing is that it begins
within a millisecond of the damage. Other symptoms of inflammation include:
Why This response is intended to fight toxic compounds,
pathogens, and damaged cells. It affects the health and
functioning of everything from tissues to organs, including
how When this happens, the immune system stimulates the
production of cells, such as white blood cells, and proteins
to help eliminate the threat posed to the body’s natural
process and balance, often referred to as homeostasis.
These cells will help to reduce the risk of an outside invader
or help to repair any damaged tissue.
The process begins with chemical mediators called
cytokines. These act as signals to recruit other parts of the
immune system to come help with the healing that is needed.
Being overweight or obese can cause inflammation that
hinders your health. When you lose weight that
inflammation eases up, but you don’t have to kick this food
to the curb or limit that one.
I know what inflammation is, how do I prevent it?
Besides avoiding getting hurt, the key to reducing inflammation is - you guessed it- a healthy diet!
An anti-inflammatory diet looks very much like a
Mediterranean style diet and includes:
• Good fats - avocado, coconut oil, Omega-3 rich fish like salmon and mackerel
• Fruits – blueberries, strawberries, goji berries, raspberries, cherries, pineapple
• Nuts and seeds – pecans, hemp seeds, almonds, chia seeds, flaxseed
• Whole grains – brown pasta and rice, whole oats, whole grain bread
• Vegetables – artichokes, leafy greens like spinach and kale, cabbage, broccoli, beetroot
• Beans – chickpeas, lentils, soybeans, peas, kidney beans, black beans
• Herbs and spices – turmeric, garlic and cinnamon
• Dark chocolate – it’s high in antioxidants! And a little
dark chocolate doesn't mean anything that has chocolate in it!
Of course, it’s not just about what you eat, but what you don’t eat that is even more important.
You can pound the above foods until the cows come home, but they won’t counter the impact of a diet that's also high in these inflammation-inducing foods:
• Processed sugar Generally, anything that ends on 'ose': Fructose, glucose, sucralose. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition states processed sugar triggers the release of inflammatory boosting cytokines
• Saturated fats Predominantly animal sources found in cheese, red meat, pizza and butter
• Processed meat Hot dogs, burgers, processed ham
• Trans fats The Harvard School of Public
Health highlighted trans fats' link to systematic inflammation. Trans fats are found in fast food, donuts, cookies and partially hydrogenated oils
• Refined carbohydrates. Scientific
American suggested that refined carbs may be even more sinister than fats. This group of foods is basically white carbs – white bread, fries, crackers, white rice and so on
• Sugar-free alternatives. Maltodextrin, acesulfame K, sucralose, and other 'sugar-free' favorites are all on the naughty step here. Aspartame, for example, is nutrient-negative and is a chemical - your body doesn’t know how to process it and spikes inflammation
• Alcohol. Used in moderation, no problem.
But excessive consumption disrupts liver function
We can get a little more detailed with this list and every BODY can have sensitivities or allergies to food that are considered healthy. So when adding or taking away from either of these list it isn't a one size fits all exactly.
When you get rid of all inflammatories all that is left is probably okay, although there is an exception to every rule.