Inflammation is a term that we hear very often nowadays, as many people face it on a more common basis. But what exactly is it and why has it become so common? Is it supposed to be good or bad for our bodies? If it is bad, then what can its consequences be?
There are so many questions around inflammation, but not many of us know the exact answers. If you are here, then it is very likely that you have heard of the word recently, and are facing inflammation yourself. Or maybe a friend or family member is going through it as you look for answers to the imposing questions.
So, for starters, we can say that Inflammation is a necessary evil. Confused? Well, inflammation is important, but only when it happens for a requirement from the body.
But what exactly is Inflammation and why does it even happen? Let's find out.
What is Inflammation?
Inflammation, otherwise known as swelling, is a part of the natural healing process of the human body. It takes place as a response by the immune system in case of any injury, illness, or even an infection, and helps in treating the same.
It is natural for the inflammatory response by the immune system to come up in case of any problem. It’s very important and useful in treating the issue. It helps in fighting the cause of the illness or infection and aids in early recovery.
However. The issue is that inflammation doesn’t happen only when there is an issue, it can also happen even when things are going well.
When this unnecessary response from the immune system pops up resulting in unnecessary inflammation. Is the exact moment where we notice things start to go south. The cells of the immune system that usually protect us from infections start to slowly destroy and damage the healthy body parts including the arteries, the joints as well as critical organs.
Why does Negative Inflammation happen and What are its consequences?
Multiple factors can lead to an inflammatory response by the immune system that may lead to unnecessary and negative inflammation in the body. Factors including eating unhealthy and processed food for long periods, not exercising or moving the body enough as well as having too much stress and pressure for consistent periods contribute towards triggering a negative inflammatory response from the immune system.
This inflammation if left unchecked can also reach chronic levels, where it becomes dangerous. It starts to have damaging effects on the body over the longer-term. At an early stage, the symptoms may look vague and might not even get noticed. At most, you might feel fatigued.
However, when the period gets stretched, it becomes a reason for heart diseases, blood vessel issues, diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer's disease, etc.
The most threatening consequence that poses itself in the case of chronic inflammation, is the risk of blockage of an artery. If an artery gets blocked, it might lead to a heart attack and put your life in immediate risk.
How can you reduce Inflammation?
Although the immune system can respond and cause an inflammatory reaction even when not required, it does not produce the reaction on its own. There has to be a trigger for the immune system to come into action.
In the case of this unnecessary and harmful inflammation, it is usually poor eating habits, lack of workout, and poor mental health. By adapting to some better lifestyle habits and taking a few precautions, it is possible to cure inflammation and avoid it going ahead. So what are these changes and precautions to avoid inflammation?
1- Get up and Start Exercising
Working out and exercising is always good for your body. It keeps us healthy physically and mentally. You should exercise every day for at least 30 to 45 minutes to stay fit and healthy. Whether you work out in a gym, go for a jog, or cycle your way around, make sure you do some type of it every day.
Due to exercise, the contraction of muscles releases a signal from the muscle cells that eventually inhibits the negative inflammatory response from the immune system. Many studies have even established a relationship between regular exercise and the reduction in chronic inflammation as a result of it.
2- Remove all the Stress and Pressure
Stress and unnecessary mental pressure serve as common triggers for initiating a negative inflammatory response. Our daily lives give rise to a lot of stressful situations, and more often than not we keep on adding more pressure by not handling the stress properly.
Although it is mostly not in our hands to avoid the stressful situations that we encounter every day, we can certainly change the way we respond in these situations and how we manage them instead of carrying them over. Besides, we can also indulge ourselves in stress-busting techniques such as meditation, yoga, getting good sleep, and listening to light music to handle the stress and lift some pressure. Staying happy and avoiding stress will eventually diminish the chances of negative inflammation.
3- Control your Sugar Intake and Body Weight
High sugar intake can increase your blood sugar level, which may serve as a trigger for initiating chronic inflammation. Similarly, being in an obese and unhealthy state might lead to negative inflammation in your body that may eventually lead to more problems and diseases.
Thus it is important to cut back on sugar intake and manage your weight. One significant step that you can take to reduce your sugar intake is avoiding white food. You should stop eating white bread, white rice, and white pasta and replace them with their brown or whole-grain versions. Similarly, you should stay away from refined sugar commonly known as refined sugar and flour to control blood sugar and manage body weight.
4- Anti-Inflammatory Food
By changing your dietary habits and including anti-inflammatory food items, you can take a significant step in your quest for avoiding negative inflammation in your body and keeping yourself fit and healthy.
It is very important to include fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet. But what fruits and vegetables are better for removing inflammation? Also, are there any other foods that help with the same? Read along to find out all about the anti-Inflammatory diet.
What is an Anti-Inflammatory Diet and how does it help with Negative Inflammation?
An anti-inflammatory diet refers to a diet consisting of food that has a great impact on reducing inflammation. While medications and supplements are important for curing inflammation, it is widely believed by experts that making changes in diet and including certain food can be of big help as well.
An anti-inflammatory diet is considered to be very healthy. Besides helping with relieving your symptoms, it can also provide multiple other benefits that will keep you healthy and reduce the chances of developing other problems too.
An anti-inflammatory diet includes fresh fruits, fresh and green vegetables, whole grains, protein-filled items such as beans and nuts (only plant-based protein is included and meat-based protein has to be avoided), food rich in omega-3 fatty acid and fresh herbs as well as spices.
Fruits and Vegetables – There are a lot of fruits and vegetables that are part of the anti-inflammatory diet. Green and leafy vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, cabbage, mushroom, and kale are an integral part of this diet due to the high amount of Vitamin K that is found in them. Vitamin K is renowned for its anti-inflammatory properties. Fruits such as raspberries, blueberries, cherries, avocado, and grapes also are considered great in removing inflammation.
Whole Grains – The anti-inflammatory diet replaces all white food with whole-grain food. This means that your white bread and white rice are replaced with brown bread and brown rice. Besides, oatmeal, corn, and other grains that are not refined can be included in your diet. This is because whole grains are generally high in fiber content. Fiber is very helpful in fighting inflammation and keeps it in check if consumed consistently.
Beans and Nuts – Beans are a rich and abundant source of antioxidants. Besides, many other anti-inflammatory substances are also found in beans. On the other hand, nuts like almonds, cashews, walnuts, and peanuts are renowned for having healthy fat that reduces inflammation and makes you fit and healthy.
Fish – Fish are the best sources of healthy Omega-3 fatty acids. Fish like tuna, herring, mackerel, sardines as well as salmons are all filled with a high content of omega-3 fatty acid. This fatty acid is known to reduce the production of substances that eventually cause inflammation.
Besides, omega-3 fatty acid is made up of a chain of chemical compounds known as EPA and DHA. Both of these are known for their role in reducing inflammation in the body, which if not addressed in time, can lead to chronic diseases such as heart disease, kidney disease, and diabetes. By consuming fish regularly, you can ensure that there is no negative inflammation in your body.
Herbs and Spices – We all know about herbs and spices that add flavor to our food. But besides the flavor, they also bring antioxidants in large quantities. Two of the most powerful anti-inflammatory herbs include turmeric and garlic. These come with chemical compounds that not only make your immune system strong but also help in reducing negative inflammation and making you stronger.
Alkaline Water – Acidity is one of the common reasons that cause negative inflammation in the body. Sticking to an anti-inflammatory diet will help keep inflammation as well as acidity in check. Alkaline water will also help in balancing the pH level of the body and removing acidity and the issues that accompany it, including inflammation.
However, alkaline bottled water is expensive and it contributes to the plastic waste problem. You can try the DYLN Bottle that comes with a VitaBead Diffuser to create alkaline water within minutes whenever you want. You can carry it along with you and keep sipping cold alkaline water to keep acidity in control and inflammation in check.
Green Tea – It is widely known as one of the healthiest beverages available to us. Besides bringing us refreshing taste and fighting common symptoms of flu and cold, green tea’s antioxidant properties also help in reducing inflammation. Green tea has a chemical compound known as epigallocatechin-3-gallate, shortly known as the EGCG, that reduces the production of cytokine, an inflammation-causing compound. This, in turn, prevents additional inflammation in the body while reducing the already existing inflammation.
Most people out there are unaware of chronic inflammation. People think of inflammation as a reaction by the immune system, that will eventually help our body in recovering. Though this stands true in the cases of when your body is going through an illness, receives an injury, or is infected. It can also happen without any reason, in that case, it’s a big problem.
It is very important to notice this unrequired inflammation as if it's left unattended, it can be very detrimental. It slowly eats away internal organs and arteries and damages them permanently.