When the white blood cells and chemicals try to protect you from many viruses and bacteria like foreign invaders in your body it is called Inflammation. Inflammation can be good for our body in some small forms so we can stay healthy, but also it can be a route to all disease we can get. We must understand this process before it can lead to some serious infection or disease.
If the immune system in our body begins to trigger false inflammatory responses in our body when nothing bad is happening it can lead to excess inflammation. This condition can lead to heart disease, cancer, asthma, many allergies, autoimmune disease and many more! It can all depend on what area of our organ the inflammation begins.
- Inflammation in your heart causes shortness of breath or fluid retention
- Inflammation in the tubes that transport air to your lungs can cause an asthma attack
- Inflammation of the kidneys can cause high blood pressure or kidney failure
- Inflammation of your large intestine can cause cramps and diarrhea
So in short word the process of inflammation can control our lives: obesity, pain, ADHD, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, migraines, type 2 diabetes, thyroid issues, dental issues and cancer are all forms of inflammation.
Differences between Chronic and Acute Inflammation
So we learned that the role of inflammation it to protect and heal our body. This is called “acute’’ inflammation and can be short and it manifest whit these symptoms:
- Loss of function or movement
So when inflammation can become chronic? It all begins when our body cannot turn off the inflammation process and the tissue or organs in our body become damaged. This process is also called ‘’silent killer’’
Chronic inflammation can go on for years without you even noticing. It is not until something like heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, ulcerative colitis, type 2 diabetes, Crohn’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis develop that we notice it. And even then, most people still do not see the link between inflammation and these conditions.
How do we get Chronic Inflammation?
Chronic Inflammation can begin when our body is unable to turn off the auto immune response of our body. Underlying issues typically begin in the diet, as many of these “problems” are actually due to an unhealthy lifestyle.
When we eat many unhealthy products like rancid fats or sugar the process of inflammation can get worse but when we consume animal based omega-3 fats that or other essential GLA the process can be reduces. There are many more triggers that can start this dangerous process. Others are like GMO products, cow dairy (A1) products, grains or gluten.
All of the following can increase your risk of chronic inflammation:
- A family history of heart disease
- An existing heart condition
- Being obese or overweight
- Eating a poor diet
- Diabetes that is poorly controlled
- A sedentary lifestyle (little or no exercise)
- Long-term infections
- Gum disease
So where does Inflammation start?
You should know that all of your feelings create physiological changes and stress is no exception. Stress can cause digestion to shut down and it affects everything from the amount of blood flow to the digestive tract, how your digestive muscles contract, and how many enzymes are secreted for digestion.
Stress can cause inflammation of the digestive system and make you more susceptible to infection. If you are stressed and then sit down to eat, partially undigested food, toxins, viruses, yeast and bacteria have access to your bloodstream from your permeable gut lining.
Your gut’s permeability can fluctuate in response to a variety of conditions. When the gut is more permeable, “leaky gut” arises, which is when food and toxins can travel in and out of the digestive tract.
When the intestinal lining is repeatedly damaged, the microvilli in your small intestine, which absorb a lot of nutrients and enzymes, are unable to do their job properly. When foreign objects enter the blood stream, the body creates a response through inflammation, allergic reactions and other unfavorable symptoms
Can we trace the Source of Inflammation?
All the changes in our lifestyle can go a long way in reducing inflammation, so we must focus on making these changes:
Looking at the source of inflammation
The changes in our lifestyle affect in reducing inflammation, so we should pay more attention on the following:
- Eat whole foods: We should avoid the foods that include ingredients and to focus more on the organic, whole, and fresh foods in our every day nutrition. You nutritious diet should me focused more on the foods that are close to their ground state as possible.
- Cut out the inflammation promoters: This category includes trans fats, fried foods, GMO, sugar, conventional dairy and foods cooked at high temperatures and oxidized cholesterol (over-cooked eggs). Many also benefit from eliminating grains, legumes nightshade vegetables and cow (A1).
- Get animal based Omega-3: You can find them in high krill oil, fermented cod liver oil and with the regular consumption of wild salmon you can easily get the omega-3 fats that your body lacks. These are the best sources, and you should also consider plant-based versions that include hemp, flax and walnuts.
- Optimize your insulin levels: To make sure that your insulin level is lower than 3, you should test your fasting insulin level with your health care provider. If it’s not lower, that you should limit or eliminate grains and sugars until it gets below 3.
- Exercise regularly: Medications often lead to many side effects, and this is one the best ways to lower the inflammation. We propose you to try the “Heart Rate Training” or “5-Zone Interval training” with Orangtheory Fitness which is a science-based exercise. This exercise focuses on getting your max heart rate in the so called “Orange Zone” which is 84-91% of your max heart rate for a total of 12-20 minutes. This is the new way to get quick and noticeable results because this exercise activates EPOC (Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption) or the “after burn”. This means that the body can burn calories 2-3 hours after the workout.
- Make sure your waist size is normal: Make sure that if you are woman, your waist measurement is not over 35 inches, or a man with a waist over 40 inches. If you are over these measurements, you are in the red zone and you should follow the steps to lose weight through exercise and diet.
- Have healthy outlets for stress and negative emotions: High levels of stress hormones can release excess inflammatory chemicals, in order to resolve stress and past or current emotional challenges, add some more exercise, yoga and meditation to your routine.
- Optimize your Vitamin D levels: Vitamin D deficiency can play a huge role in your health. This hormone is best obtained from sunshine and is a potent anti-inflammatory. In the summer time, aim to get 30 unprotected minutes a day, and in the winter it is best to supplement with a high quality D3 supplement at 6,000 IU daily.
- Quit smoking: A research has shown that within 10 years of quitting, you can reduce all the damaging effects of your arteries because smoking hardens them and increases inflammation.
Foods that fight inflammation
In your every day diet, you should include enough foods that fight inflammation. There are some specific foods that you should include to combat inflammation and you will prevent it having a negative effect on your health:
- Omega-3 fats:
Fatty fish, such as salmon and sardines, are one of the best sources of anti-inflammatory omega-3 EFA’s, and are one of the best known anti-inflammatory super foods. This type of omega-3 is used by our bodies, and that’s why there is no need to convert it to an active form, making it incredibly digestible and effective. You should also consider hemp, walnuts, butter oil and flax.
- Leafy greens
They are good source of vitamin E, which means that they play a key role in the protection of the body form the anti-inflammatory molecules called cytokines. Dark leafy greens are also great source of fiber, which lowers C-reactive protein – a marker for inflammation. And don’t forget the high concentration of vitamins and mineral like calcium, iron and disease-fighting phytochemicals.
- Match Green tea
Green tea contains EGCG, which is the active catechin and it is a very powerful and anti-inflammatory compound. It contains 17X the antioxidants than while blueberries and 7X the amount of dark chocolate.
Turmeric contains curcumin, and that’s why in has the anti-inflammatory power. Curcumin works by blocking the release of enzymes that produce an inflammatory response. The anti-inflammatory effects of curcumin have been shown to be comparable to potent drugs hydrocortisone and phenylbutazone as well as over-the-counter anti-inflammatory agents such as Motrin. However, eating a whole food has none of the negative side effects that pharmaceuticals have, of course!
- Shiitake mushrooms
Due the bioactive compounds such as ergothioneine, these mushrooms contain anti-inflammatory and regenerative properties and potent antioxidants also.
This plant contains both antioxidant and medicinal properties, and also sulphur compound which is called allicin. Therefore, it reacts faster to any dangerous free radicals at a more effective rate than any other compound.
Beets are superstars in the anti-inflammatory department. They are a great source of fiber, vitamin C and phytonutirents called betalains provide both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits.
Herbs and supplements to fight inflammation
There are many natural supplements which are very effective in the fight of inflammation and prevention of disease. Food sources should be your number one resource as you will never be able to out-supplement a poor diet. Here are some of them which you should include into your daily routine:
- Boswellia: This herb, also known as “Indian Frankincense” has active compounds which refer to as boswellic acids that can reduce inflammation. If you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, this is the ideal herb for you!
- Bromelain: You can find this natural anti-inflammatory enzyme in a supplement form when you eat fresh organic pineapple. It is a combination if different enzymes found in the core of the fruit.
- Turmeric, Holy Basil and Rosemary: These herbs are an inducer of a protein that induces inflammation.
- Ginger: To get all the healthy properties from it, you should take a fresh root. It is an anti-inflammatory which also offers pain relief with bonus stomach settling properties. You can make a tea by adding a fresh ginger into boiling water, or just grate it and add as a garnish to meals.
- Resveratrol: A potent antioxidant that is known as the modern day fountain of youth. This antioxidant can prevent you from creating molecules that trigger inflammation.
- Evening primrose, black currant and borage oils: You can find the natural GLA in these oils, which is very useful for arthritis pain. You can notice that you are deficient in GlA, if you struggle with dry skin.