Everything you need to know what inflammation is quite basic; however, it’s critical to learn & how to prevent as many diseases arise from long-term chronic inflammation.
Inflammation means to, “set on fire” and here is the deal…
If we didn’t have body inflammation, wounds and cuts would never heal properly. Yet, an on-going inflammation or chronic inflammation can lead to a wide range of diseases – hay fever, atherosclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and much more.
Physiologically this is what is happening:
Acute inflammation: is the first bodily response to a harmful stimulus or foreign invader. It is primarily responded by the immune system with leukocytes ( you’ll learn more about this in HBD: Battle with the Bugs!) and the circulatory system ( and more about the heart in HBD: A Heart Pumping Adventure!!) from the blood into the injured tissues. For example, if you sprain your ankle, chemicals form and the body’s white blood cells are released into the blood in an attempt to “fight off’ the foreign substance. This causes redness, heat, and swelling. In the short run, this is a good thing… protecting us from germs like bacteria and viruses.
Chronic inflammation: A prolonged exposure with the inflammatory pathway being stimulated constantly or if the body triggers the inflammatory response with no reason, the inflammatory system may cause damage to its own tissues ( these are called autoimmune disease). And not only does damage occur, but it is also much more difficultly for the circulatory system do deliver important nutrients throughout the body if tissues are inflamed.
Best Ways to Prevent INFLAMMATION
A sedentary lifestyle – hanging out in front of the tv or non stop computer work – has shown to increase inflammation in the body. The body wants and needs to move; get the blood circulating to transport nutrients to vital organs and give you a sense of well being.
Side note: Do some hydrotherapy! Ending a hot shower with cold water is another great way to increase circulation).
1. Avoid pro-inflammatory foods:
- junk and fast foods, high-fat meats, white foods, processed foods
- diets high in sugar have been associated with inflammation, obesity and chronic disease
* One way sugar contributes to inflammation is by means of the liver; if the liver becomes overworked by too much sugar intake, the end result could be non-alcoholic fatty liver. Fat cells release and encourage the pro-inflammatory pathways in the body.
* Too much sugar will push the pancreas to make more insulin and too much insulin is pro-inflammatory.
- limiting nightshade family of plants because of their chemical makeup of alkaloid solamine which can trigger inflammation pathway in the body. These foods include: pepper, potatoes, eggplants, tomatoes
2. Eat anti-inflammatory foods:
- olive oil, cold-water fish, nuts & seeds ( omega 3s), avocado, coconut oil, ghee
* these omega 3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, some cancers, depression, ADHD amongst other things.
- lean poultry, fish, soybeans, tofu
- whole grains
- colorful fruits and vegetables ( especially berries and green leafy vegetables)