What is Inflammation?
Inflammation is part of the body’s natural line of defense characterized by redness, swelling, and heat. A small, natural amount of inflammation is beneficial. In fact it is necessary to keep allergies, infections, and other toxins under control. However, when the balance of the immune system is disrupted, chronic inflammation can spread throughout the entire body.
Inflammation is connected to arthritis, allergies, autoimmune disease, diabetes and even Alzheimers. Joints, your gut, quality of sleep, and bones all suffer when inflamed. High levels off inflammation can be caused by poor food choices, lack of exercise and constant stress. Luckily, there is something you can do to help keep your inflammation levels at bay. Turn to your kitchen rather than your pharmacist to restore your body to it’s natural levels of inflammation.
Inflammation and Nutrition
There is a cycle between weight loss and inflammation: being overweight advances inflammation and inflammation advances obesity. The foods we choose to eat send messages to our genes. Specifically, there are a group of receptors called the ‘PPAR’ family; receptors that regulate energy and metabolism. The food we fuel our bodies with talk to these receptors and they respond by promoting or inhibiting inflammation, or speeding up and slowing down our metabolism.
Foods Not to Eat
When we consume a highly processed diet, we are telling our body to produce more inflammation. Eating an unbalanced diet can quickly stir up the fire of inflammation. If worried about inflammation avoid:
- Processed foods
- Refined carbohydrates (cereals, pastries, pastas etc.)
- Excess sugar (sodas, candy, etc.)
- Common food allergens (wheat, soy, gluten, dairy etc.)
Foods to Eat
To send our genes proper messages, it is key to eat a well-balanced diet. The antioxidants and nutrients we get from eating right, will help ‘turn off’ the genes that want to inflame our bodies and cause weight gain. The same foods that are used in weight loss also inhibit inflammation. The foods below will help jumpstart your journey to less inflammation:
- Foods high in fiber
- Healthy fats (extra virgin olive oil, dark chocolate etc.)
- Omega-3 foods (chia seeds, fish oil, egg yolks, etc.)
- Green tea
- Probiotics (supplements, kombucha, yogurt, etc.)
Too Busy Bullets
- Inflammation is caused by stress, poor eating, and a lack of exercise.
- Eat less processed foods, sugar, and refined carbohydrates.
- Eat more high-fiber foods, fruits and vegetables, and healthy fats.
- Supplements, exercise, and sleep are key to living an anti-inflammatory lifestyle.