INFLAMMATION IS A BAD WORD
However You Actually Need Some Inflammation To Be Healthy
Inflammation is a normal and beneficial process that occurs when your body's white blood cells and chemicals protect you from foreign invaders like bacteria and viruses. If you have an injury or infection, inflammation is necessary to help protect and heal your body. Through a series of biochemical reactions, white blood cells and other chemicals are sent to the injured area to fight off foreign bodies. You've experienced this type of beneficial acute inflammation if you've had a cut or infection, and the symptoms typically include: redness, warmth, pain and swelling. So it's true that you need some level of inflammation in your body to stay healthy, however it's also possible, and increasingly common, for the inflammatory response to get out of hand.
Chronic Inflammation Is A Different Matter
Sometimes your immune system mistakenly triggers an inflammatory response when no threat is present. This can lead to excess inflammation in your body and is linked to asthma, allergies, autoimmune disease, heart disease and other diseases depending on which organs the inflammation impacts. When inflammation becomes chronic there are often no symptoms until a crisis occurs. This is because chronic inflammation is low-grade and systemic, often silently damaging your tissues. Chronic inflammation can be the result of a mal-functioning, over-reactive immune system, or it may be due to an underlying problem that your body is attempting to fight. Many of these underlying problems are often due to an unhealthy lifestyle.
Lifestyle Risks For Chronic Inflammation
- Diabetes that's poorly controlled
- A sedentary lifestyle
- Long-term infections
- Being overweight
- Eating a poor diet
- An existing heart condition
- A family history of heart disease
- Gum disease
Do I Have Chronic Inflammation?
The fact is we all have it to a certain degree without knowing it since many of the symptoms are silent. And there really isn't a specific test for it. However, a fasting blood insulin level test although typically used to screen for diabetes, is also a marker for inflammation as the higher your insulin levels are, the higher your levels of inflammation tend to be. Or you can just assume you have it and make the necessary lifestyle changes we all know are the healthiest choices.
Reduce Inflammation Naturally
Lifestyle changes go a long way toward reducing chronic inflammation in your body, so focus on making the following changes:
- Eating a healthy diet. This includes avoiding pro-inflammatory foods like trans fats, fried foods, sugar and grains and foods cooked at high temperatures
- Exercise regularly. Exercise is a great way to lower inflammation without any of the side effects associated with medications
- Get plenty of animal-based omega-3 fats by taking a high-quality krill-type oil that is full of these beneficial omega-3s
- Optimize your insulin levels. If your fasting insulin level is not lower than three consider limiting or eliminating your intake of grains and sugars until you optimize your insulin level
- Quit smoking. Smoking hardens your arteries and increases inflammation. And research shows you can reverse all the damaging effects to your arteries within 10 years of quitting
- Make sure your waist size is normal. If you are a woman with a waist measurement over 35 inches or a man with a waist over 40 inches, you probably have high inflammation and should take steps to lose weight
- Have healthy outlets for stress and other negative emotions. High levels of stress hormones can lead to the release of excess inflammatory chemicals so use meditation, yoga and exercise for relief
- Optimize your vitamin D levels. Most people are not aware that vitamin D can have a profoundly dramatic impact on your health. Your best source of vitamin D is through your skin being exposed to the sun for 15 – 20 minutes a day. In the wintertime, however, you may need to take an oral supplement of Vitamin D3.
Foods That Calm Inflammation
Ginger: This herb is anti-inflammatory and offers pain relief and stomach-settling properties. Fresh ginger works well steeped in boiling water as a tea or grated into vegetable juice. Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, radishes, Brussels sprouts, cabbage and the many other members of the cruciferous vegetable family are sulfur-rich foods that help fight systemic inflammation. Regular consumption of cruciferous vegetables can help detoxify your gastrointestinal tract and promote the growth and repair of bodily tissues.
Your Immune System
As always creating a healthy immune system should be your number one priority when it comes to reducing inflammation.