What do you think of when you hear the word inflammation? Does your face grimace with thoughts that you have too much inflammation in your body? Do you feel like everyone is talking about anti-inflammatory “this” and “that” and not sure what is real and not?
The truth is that inflammation is a totally normal immune function in our body, helping us to heal infection or injury. However, it has also gotten so out of control in this modern and fast-paced world we are living in, it’s impossible to avoid.
There are many ways to trigger an inflammatory response - injury, stress, allergies, hormone imbalances, disease and more. On the other hand, these same health issues can also cause more inflammation, creating a vicious cycle. Eventually, if inflammation gets out of control it can trigger an inflammatory response when one is not even needed, this chronic inflammation is not your friend. It causes destruction in the body, damages cells, wreaks havoc on our gut and leads to an imbalanced immune system (80% of our immune system is in our gut).
An example of what chronic inflammation can do: where once we saw heart disease as a result of too much fat in the body, we now know that it really comes down to inflamed blood vessels and tissues in the body. It’s that powerful.
So how do you know if inflammation is an issue? Some symptoms can include: brain fog, digestive issues, joint pain, fatigue, allergies, headaches, weight gain, auto immune disease, adrenal fatigue, depression and anxiety.
Since we can’t avoid it, how do we minimize the effects in our body? The great news is that with the knowledge of what inflammation does to our body, we are not helpless to stop it. With a few simple shifts to a more anti-inflammatory diet and way of life, we can lower our inflammation. Reducing inflammation benefits the body by helping to balance blood sugar and increasing metabolism which all helps to slow the aging process and help you to live a healthy, happy and long life.
Here are 5 tips to start building an anti-inflammatory diet and life:
Avoid those refined sugars, processed foods and trans fats. These all cause inflammation in the body.
Eat 3 servings of veggies in every meal, one serving is equal to about ½ a cup of cooked veggies or 1 cup raw veggies.
Eat more fats, like incorporating more omega-3 fats into your diet: cold water wild caught fish, nuts and flax seeds!
Drink plenty of clean, filtered water. Our cells need them to live, dehydration is a big contributor to inflammation!
Meditation has been linked to lowered stress and inflammation, even with as little and 3-5 minutes a day!
And keep in mind that we are all individuals on an adventure that is unique to our experiences. Try experimenting with different ways to help and heal your body, what works for one may not work for another. Be kind to yourself and nourish your body.
Interested in learning more about reducing inflammation in your body? You can schedule a session with Yvonne Matthews, NC, Trilogy's Nutrition Therapist.