Inflammation, good or bad?
It depends. The body’s acute response to injury produces local heat, redness, pain and swelling to bring increased blood flow to heal damaged tissue. While we are grateful for our body’s acute response to injuries such as trauma, infections, fractures and cuts; what happens with chronic inflammation at the cellular level? This kind of inflammation is known as the “silent killer” as it develops without pain and can lead to many chronic illnesses.
The causes of chronic inflammation are many. A diet heavy in trans fats, refined sugar, refined grains, alcohol, food additives, conventional red meat and dairy (particularly from cows) fuels inflammation.
We also have contributing environmental factors such as secondhand smoke, pollution, pesticides and herbicides, heavy metals, chemicals and other airborne irritants. If that is not overwhelming enough on the body, we then have inflammation due to stress coming from the workplace, relationships, personal and psychological. And to top that off, we have genetics!
We now know we have the ability to alter the expression of our genes through changing our environment (i.e. epigenetics). So how do we alter that gene expression? Prevent and also reduce chronic inflammation in the body?
While we cannot prevent everything, we can reduce our exposure to the above factors which can help to reduce inflammation and lower stress!
We can eat more anti-inflammatory foods such as blueberries, dark chocolate, wild caught fish, green tea, ginger, turmeric, extra-virgin olive oil, dark leafy greens, beets and sweet potatoes.
Drink clean water filtered by a black carbon filtration system.
We can exercise at moderate intensity 3 to 5 days per week for at least 30 minutes which helps to fuel weight loss as well as reduce stress and lower the likelihood of chronic illness.
Anyone want to guess what the number one cause of chronic stress is? Relationships. Which reminds us to love and take care of each other better!
One of my favorite new ways to decrease stress is getting a constitutional hydrotherapy. This is a sure way to reduce muscle tension, balance immune function, boost circulation and relieve stress. Look out for another post covering more of the benefits of hydrotherapy coming soon!