Sometimes things don’t turn out the way they’re supposed to.
You forget the eggs at the grocery store.
Sometimes the FedEx package arrives a day later than it should have.
Or you eat “healthy” and still gain weight.
And sometimes your body does what it thinks is “right”… but it actually betrays you. Like when you develop inflammation.
Now, I know we talked about inflammation a couple weeks ago, so you should be somewhat familiar with it. Since it’s really important for your overall health, we’re gonna talk about it a little more today.
A Little Review: What Is Inflammation?
In the simplest of terms, inflammation is your body’s response to stress. It could be from virtually anything: your environment, your lifestyle, or your diet. Your immune system is supposed to protect you from bacterial, viral, and fungal infections. It cleans out damaged cells, irritants, and pathogens. It also starts to heal any infections or wounds you may get. When you see inflammation on your skin, you notice that it produces swelling, due to an increase in fluid to the affected area. This is especially painful, due to the release of chemicals that stimulate nerve endings. It may also look red and feel hot, because the capillaries in that area are filled with more blood than usual. Another example is when you catch a cold, you get a fever as your body heats up to eliminate the invading virus. These types of acute, or temporary, inflammation episodes result from an injury or illness (bronchitis, appendicitis, a cut, sinusitis, etc.).
But there is also chronic inflammation. It lingers on and on, sometimes for years – especially when it affects the internal organs. Although your organs may not have sensory nerve endings, you may still experience chronic symptoms such as:
- Mouth sores
- Chest or abdominal pain
- Joint pain
- Visible signs of aging, like wrinkles
- Acid reflux
- Susceptibility to bacterial, fungal, and viral infections
If you suffer from certain chronic diseases or conditions – like asthma, peptic ulcers, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, and a few others – it means your damaged cells and tissues are trying to heal, but are unable to eliminate whatever irritant or invader is causing the inflammation. In fact, even some major diseases – like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, depression, and Alzheimer’s – have been linked to chronic inflammation.
Why Do I Have Inflammation?
There are a number of reasons you may suffer from chronic inflammation.
You may have food allergies or sensitivities. Or an imbalance of bacteria and fungi in your GI tract.
You may live in a toxic environment. You may be experiencing high levels of continual stress. Or your diet and lifestyle can lead to inflammation.
If you are suffering from inflammation, you have several different treatment options, in consultation with your physician. You can relieve pain through modified activities or medications. You can work with a physical therapist. And you can evaluate your diet and make some changes.
As I stated in the previous article, “Inflammation: Not Just An Ordinary ‘Buzz Word’,” your diet can have both beneficial and detrimental effects on your body. Some of the foods that contribute to inflammation include sodas, refined sugars, red meat, and processed meats. As you might guess, by focusing more on plant-based foods as the foundation for your diet, not only will you reduce inflammation and all the side effects, but you’ll also look and feel much better.
Some foods that especially help to reduce inflammation are:
- Olive oil
- Green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, collards
- Nuts, especially almonds and walnuts
- Fatty fish like salmon, tuna, mackerel, and sardines
- Fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and oranges
Researchers now see that a diet consisting of high levels of fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, fish, and healthy oils helps reduce inflammation inside your body.
In addition, besides all the processed foods in many diets, we tend to eat more omega-6 fats than omega-3 fats. Omega-6 fats tend to be more pro-inflammatory, while omega-3 fats are anti-inflammatory. I’m not saying that omega-6 fats are bad. They help our bodies respond to fix issues such as cuts, invading viruses, and other bodily stresses. However, when the balance between omega-3 and omega-6 fats is off, so is the way our body functions. To help even it out, I would recommend to eat even amounts of these fats. Some sources of each are below in the table.
I don’t know if you’re suffering from chronic inflammation right now, but I find many of my clients struggle with several of the symptoms. Getting healthy and fit is not just about a number on the scale. It’s about how you feel and how your body functions – especially as you age. I know a lot of you complain about daily aches and pains. Well, maybe these dietary changes might just help relieve some of those symptoms.
As always, I’d love to have a chance to speak with you so we can evaluate how you’re doing, and see what steps you can take to always feel your best!
Shoot me a message at email@example.com and we’ll get started. There’s never any pressure to become a member here and you’ll leave with all of your questions answered. Sound good?
I look forward to speaking with you!
About the Author:
Hi, I’m Josh Davidson, owner of Personal Training Institute of Fort Wayne. I have been involved in health and fitness for over 7 years. I would love to help you start living a healthy lifestyle. You can learn more about my staff and I as well as what we do by calling 260-338-2022 or visiting our website here. If you’re looking to start on your fitness journey, sign up for a free consultation and workout today!