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- Written by Joe Jackson
When we think of inflammation, we usually think of it as a result of an injury that we have sustained. However, inflammation can be as a result of many different things such as an infection, an autoimmune disorder, and or long-term exposure to irritants. More pressingly, it can be caused by the types of food that we eat. But are we aware of what types of food cause it? How we can deal with it? And the potential repercussions associated that the harmful inflammations may bring?
Before we look into what causes inflammation it is important to delve deeper into some of the symptoms so we can manage and respond to it effectively. There are five symptoms that may be signs of an acute inflammation: Redness, Heat, Swelling, Pain and or Loss of function. Examples of a loss of function include not being able to move an inflamed joint properly, having a worse sense of smell during a cold, or finding it more difficult to breathe when you have bronchitis. (1) If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, see your medical professional first and then there is an array of things you can do to manage inflammation though lifestyle and diet.
1) Sugar: Most of our diets will inevitably contain sugar whether that be naturally occurring - like in fruits and vegetables - or in many cases, added to our foods. Studies have found that too much sugar in our diets can contribute to multiple health issues, just one of which is inflammation. Research has even found that it may also counteract the anti-inflammatory effects of omega-3 fatty acids. (5)
2) Refined carbohydrates: Carbs often get a bad rap especially from people who want to lose weight, but their negative impact is usually due to the type of carbohydrate most are choosing to fuel with. The energy from carbohydrates can give a great source of fuel for your body especially for exercising. Healthier options for carbs come from vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. However, refined carbs raise blood sugar levels and promote inflammation. These carb sources are usually found in white carbs with minimal nutrients; like white bread, pasta, pastries; sugars from that tempting confectionary aisle. (6)
3) Processed meat: Research has shown the compounds that make up processed meat such as AGEs illicit an inflammatory response. The links between colon cancer from processed meat can partly be attributed to this inflammatory response. (2)
4) Alcohol: The argument for and against alcohol seems to be a continuous one in the media. Most recent research suggests that alcohol – like red wine - can be healthy when consumed, in moderation, however, in excess it brings a host of health issues. The typical health concerns are liver problems, but studies have shown it can lead to a ‘leaky gut’ which can cause inflammation throughout your body. (3)
5) Artificial trans fats: Normal fats are an essential part of our diets – like olive oil, avocado, nuts and seeds and oily fish, but artificial trans fats found in fast food and cakes are a whole different kind that bring an array of health issues. In fact, they are banned in several US states because of the links between the inflammation increases and risk of serious diseases, such as heart disease. (4)
It may surprise you to learn that inflammation can be a good thing. It is actually created to help defend the body from illness and stimulate healing. However, if it’s chronic and sustained it can lead to longer and more serious health dangers, such as diabetes and heart disease.
Another serious long-term issue is Rheumatoid arthritis. This is likely to cause pain, swelling and stiffness in your joints. It can also bring out tiredness, flu like symptoms and weight loss in people. (7) All of which is likely to affect your quality of life later on. Trying to make sure that we are on top of inflammation is of paramount importance in ensuring we do not feel the effects of sustained inflammation later in life.
1) Diet: As mentioned, cutting out bad foods such as sugars, trans fats and processed meat are key to reducing inflammation. There are tons of great whole, natural, anti-inflammatory foods that will help you feel better and improve your overall health.
2) Exercise: It cannot be stressed how important exercise is for your mental and physical wellbeing, but it can also help reduce inflammation in the body. Even a small amount of weight loss can aid in decreasing inflammation. If you have body inflammation you should focus on bodyweight exercises that strengthen your muscles without putting too much strain on that inflamed area of the body.
3) Supplements: Thousands of studies have shown the power of curcumin in fighting inflammation. Read more about just one of the benefits of curcumin here. You can find out more about Truth Origins' water-soluble VITALITY Curcumin here.
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