What exactly is inflammation and why do I care?
Inflammation is a localized reaction of your immune system that produces redness, warmth, swelling, and pain to protect your body as a result of infection, irritation, or injury. There are two types of inflammation-acute and chronic.
Acute inflammation is sudden and quick reaction to an injury. Imagine getting a splinter in your finger. The skin gets red, puffy, and swollen around the splinter. Your body is trying to protect itself and isolate the injury. You can also get acute inflammation from a tough workout. Have you ever tried out a new workout or done something physical your body wasn’t used to and been very sore the next day? That is inflammation. Acute inflammation is a sign of a healthy immune system.
The second type of inflammation is chronic. This is the silent, sneaky type that can rob you of your everyday health. It can build up over time without you noticing. It’s very easy to excuse the symptoms of normal signs of aging. Chronic inflammation is your body’s reaction to foods and toxins that are triggers for you.
Chronic inflammation is very unhealthy and is the underlying cause of many autoimmune and heart diseases. Sounds scary, right?
According to a Harvard Medical School report, “Chronic inflammation plays a central role in some of the most challenging diseases of our time, including rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, asthma, and even Alzheimer’s.”
You could be suffering from chronic inflammation if you have these warning symptoms:
1. Weight gain- especially the classic “spare tire” around waist
2. Digestive problems- Excess gas and bloating, diarrhea, constipation
3. Skin problems- rashes, eczema, or psoriasis
4. Poor sleep and fatigue
5. Autoimmune disease or symptoms
Do you have some of these and just thought it was normal?
Making changes to eat foods that nourish your body instead of depleting your health can be a game changer to reverse these symptoms.
Reversing the Effects of Inflammation
You can reverse the effects of chronic inflammation and feel years younger. It doesn’t have to be the end of eating yummy food and enjoying life. Everyone has different trigger foods that cause inflammation in their body. The key to reducing inflammation and feeling better is figuring out what your personal triggers are. You have the power to take back your health!
You need to start paying attention to how what you eat makes you feel. One day you get a bad headache- backtrack to what you ate. Got a new ache or pain? Think about what you’ve eaten lately. Be a detective and start noticing patterns.
The first step in reducing inflammation is transitioning to more whole foods. Eat foods with 5 or less ingredients. Or even better- one ingredient with no nutrition label.
Swapping out the oils you eat can be an easy change. Use coconut, avocado, and olive oils instead of inflammatory processed vegetable and canola oils. Reduce your sugar intake. Little by little start upgrading your foods and you’ll upgrade your life!
The food industry has become big business. They spend lots of marketing dollars to convince us to eat their processed food. It’s no surprise that we are unhealthier than we’ve ever been. They deliberately made food that is addictive. As you start eating more whole foods, your taste buds will recover. You’ll rediscover how good real fruits and vegetables taste. When you know what processed food does to your body and how it makes you feel, it loses its appeal.