Congratulations for making it to our last lifestyle challenge. This week we are covering Inflammation. What it is, what causes it, and most importantly what we can do about it.
So what is Inflammation?
I like Dr. Marcola’s brief explanation.
“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.”
While this natural process is essential to protect the body, it is also used to heal the body from acute bouts of trauma. An example of acute inflammation would be the swelling, redness, and heat that occurs if you were to stub your toe or bang your elbow to even the “pump” you get from a good weight training session in the gym. This healing process, depending on severity of trauma, should only last a few hours to a few days. Inflammation becomes problematic when it becomes chronic, producing too many of these natural chemicals for too long. Chronic inflammation is linked as an underlying mechanism in many health issues including; tendonitis, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and accelerated aging.
Some of the things that cause or contribute to inflammation include,
Hydrogenated and transfats
Meat (not wild)
Processed and packaged foods
Deep fried foods
Food additives and sweeteners
Poor Sleep, Stress, obesity and sedentary lifestyle are also contributors
What can I do about it?
Eat more anti-Inflammitory foods such as..
Healthy fats such as avocado, olive oil, flax seed oil
Fruits such as cherries, strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries
Mixed nuts and seeds
Fish, fish oils
Dark green veggies, such as kale and spinach
Spices such as tumeric, curcumin
Sleep, regular Exercise, stress management strategies such as meditation
Your challenge this week, is to either stop “one thing” you are doing on the inflammation causing list and/ or introduce “one thing” to help reduce inflammation.
As a bonus, here is an infographic from dr. John Berardi. It gives a pictorial of the healing process as well as specific supplements to take for each stage.