Inflammation is a natural, innate response to injury/pain/illness/stress. The inflammatory process doesn’t happen by accident – it’s necessary for our bodies to heal themselves – and it’s something we’re able to do through food and lifestyle choices.
There are two types of inflammation:
- Acute inflammation – This type of inflammation is brief, lasting several days or less. Pain, swelling, redness, and that radiating sense of warm that we feel at the site of an injury or illness would be the signs of acute inflammation. Acute inflammatory responses are caused by trauma (EX. getting punched), bacterial/viral infections, burns, allergic reactions, etc. Acute inflammation isn’t necessarily a bad thing – pain hurts and is in indication to your body to back off and start healing itself.
- Chronic inflammation – This is the type of inflammation that is linked with chronic illnesses – like obesity, heart disease, and depression – these big problems arise when your body is constantly trying to fight inflammation. It’s when the inflammatory process becomes a constant low-level feature of your physiology that’s always ‘on’.
Chronic inflammation is induced by things that are commonly seen in developed countries such as toxic diets (high-sugar, high-processed carb, high-gluten), lack of sleep/movement, poor recovery, chronic stress, lack of down time/nature time, and poor gut health. If we want to lessen our risk for disease, it’s important to limit chronic inflammation, here are some ways that you can start fighting it today:
- Incorporate more anti-inflammatory foods into your diet such as garlic, spinach, kale, onions, and peppers
- Start using turmeric in recipes. The curcumin in this spice is strongly anti-inflammatory
- Get quality sleep
- Find healthy ways to manage your stress
- Get outside
- Focus on improving your gut health by increasing your probiotic intake (more to come on this later)