Is Inflammation The “Silent Killer”?
Is Inflammation The “Silent Killer”?
What is Inflammation?
Inflammation is our body’s normal and healthy response to injury or attack on the immune system. On the surface of the body, it takes the form of heat, redness, swelling, and pain. Chronic, low-level inflammation at the cellular level, however, develops without pain and can lead to obesity, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and many other chronic diseases.
Are We Fueling This Inflammatory Response?
What’s causing this protective response by our bodies, that ultimately leads to sickness, pain, and ill-health? What are we doing to threaten our bodies normal, healthy functioning? Is our level of inflammation purely a function of the food we’re eating, or are there lifestyle factors that are contributing to our suffering?
Food as Fuel For Inflammation
Anything that causes acidity in our systems creates inflammation. The body ideally maintains an alkalinity level slightly above the PH of the blood. However, problems start to arise when we consistently consume acidic foods over more alkaline alternatives. Typically, when we think of alkaline foods, we’re referring to wholesome, nutrient dense choices such as vegetables and fruit. Major culprits creating toxicity and acidity include those high in omega-6 fatty acids, like dairy and red meat from factory raised animals. Refined grains, processed foods, and sugar are also highly inflammatory triggers. Gluten, the protein found in such grains as wheat, barley, rye and spelt, as well as in numerous other processed foods, could be highlighted as potentially the worst offenders in terms of the destruction of our immune systems. Casein, the protein in our pasteurized dairy products, is also a trigger which needs to be seriously considered.
Our Lifestyle Factors Create a Breeding Ground for Acidity
Our dietary choices are not the only consideration in our nutritional lifestyles. The way we live also contributes to our health and well-being. In turn, it affects our ability to keep illness and disease at bay. This is why taking a holistic or synergistic approach to managing our health is far more effective. Any kind of stress wrecks havoc on our acid-alkaline balance, and hence our level of inflammation. Whether it’s emotional, financial or psychological, anything that causes stress to the mind induces stress on the body. Pollution, chemicals, and pesticides add to our toxicity, creating further inflammation. Acute and chronic illnesses are our bodies response to inflammation, but they also cause further knock-on inflammatory situations. Genetics play a role, but I believe we can determine the path our genes take, to a large extent.
What Does an Anti-Inflammatory Lifestyle Entail?
The good news is that we can create health, vitality, and wellness by adopting an anti-inflammatory lifestyle. This doesn’t have to mean dramatic changes to our diets and lives. More alkaline, antioxidant-rich, anti-inflammatory foods like blueberries, green tea, and dark leafy greens are a great start in shifting the balance in favor of alkalinity. Additionally, adding spices like ginger, garlic, and turmeric to our meals, and experimenting with sea vegetables for seasoning is highly beneficial. Opting for anti-inflammation, omega-3 rich wild proteins rather than the omega-6 rich farm-raised versions, adds further immune-boosting armor to our bodies defenses. Incorporating stress-reducing habits such as exercise, meditation and mindfulness practices builds up our resistance to the stressors that can otherwise take their toll. Finding ways to improve our sleep quality and surrounding ourselves with more positivity in our lives are also crucial pieces of the puzzle.
These are just a few steps we can take to reverse the inflammatory path to ill-health. We may have fallen into some destructive habits. But, there is still time to recreate our destiny to health, energy, and longevity!