Let’s talk about inflammation
Inflammation is the body’s response to injury or trauma. It plays a large role in healing wounds, aches and pains. However, when we have inflammation all over our body, or systemic inflammation (as opposed to acute inflammation) it becomes a clear sign that we are not overall optimally healthy and that things inside us need to be fixed. So what are the best ways to address the causes of systemic inflammation and cool the fire within us?
First, clean up your diet
Start by eliminating processed carbs and refined sugar. These types of food certainly contribute to systemic inflammation and poor gut health. Next, eliminate bad trans fats as these are a bad source of fat and also cause inflammation. Here are some additional ways you can improve your diet:
- Increase consumption of good fats that are high in omega 3’s and antioxidants as these will lower inflammation. Good sources like cold water fish, avocados, olive oil and nuts. These fat sources actually lower inflammation.
- Consider going gluten free, as gluten is a high sensitivity food that agitates the intestine. Gluten is also a highly pesticide and herbicide sprayed food and consuming it will increase your toxic burden and ultimately lead to inflammation.
- Increasing cruciferous vegetable consumption – broccoli, brussel sprouts, kale, cauliflower and other green leafy veggies contain sulforaphane, which is associated with blocking enzymes that are linked to joint deterioration and ultimately chronic inflammation.
Clean up your gut:
Poor gut health goes hand in hand with inflammation. So if you don’t address your gut issues, chronic systemic inflammation won’t go away. Alcohol, sugar, caffeine and red meat all contribute to poor overall gut health, so the less we consume them, the better. It’s also a good idea to add fermented food to the diet along with a good probiotic.
The University of Wisconsin lists ginger, rosemary, turmeric, oregano, cayenne, cloves and nutmeg as possessing anti-inflammatory compounds that inhibit the biochemical process of inflammation.
Zinc is actually a powerful antioxidant which the majority of us are deficient in. Zinc has been shown to clearly lower both oxidative stress and inflammatory
cytokines. Both of these play a role in systemic inflammation and need to be addressed to put out the fire inside us. How?
Magnesium is another mineral that we are chronically deficient in which has been shown to clearly lower chronic inflammation.
Resistance exercise training has been shown to be a strong tool for lowering inflammation, improving cardiovascular health, and additionally preventing atherosclerosis and decreasing the risk of diabetes. In fact, in studies, regardless of intensity, resistance training provided protective effects against oxidative stress and lowered inflammation.