Inflammation – The Fire Within

Inflammation is the body’s natural defence system.  It is our body’s way of telling us that something is wrong.

 

Chronic Inflammation

Chronic inflammation “occurs when your immune system gets set permanently to ‘on’.  As a result, it constantly releases a flood of damaging chemicals that could sicken your cells. It’s like a forest fire that never goes out,” says naturopathic physician and nutritionist Kellyann Petrucci, ND.

Chronic inflammation is the root cause of many health issues.

 

Lifestyle Factors

Chronic Inflammation can be caused by many lifestyle factors:

  • Diet
  • Over exercise – How much is too much? It’s different for everyone, but if you are doing too much and not giving your body a chance to rest, you will be putting physical stress on your body.
  • Stress
  • Smoking
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Lack of sleep
  • Environment toxins (pesticides)

Fortunately, there are ways of reducing your risk of chronic inflammation by focusing on these lifestyle factors.  Note: Fat cells produce excessive amounts of inflammatory chemicals.  Losing fat will help you get rid of inflammation.  To help lose fat, there are two lifestyle factors you can focus on now:

1) Efficient Exercise 

  • Exercise efficiently.  The best form of exercise is metabolic conditioning (HIIT, Tabata).  This method of training uses structured patterns of work and rest periods to elicit a desired maximum response from the body.  You not only burn calories during your workout, but the post training muscle adaptation maximises calories burned after your workout as well (or, as that period is often called, the ‘afterburn’).  Aim for 30 minutes of metabolic conditioning at least three times per week.

2) Nutrition

Eat more of:

  • Omega-3s – these contain potent anti-inflammatory properties.  Some foods rich in this fatty acid include chia seeds, fish, fish oil, flaxseeds, lean meats, seafood, spinach, and walnuts.
  • Tumeric
  • Blueberries
  • Dark leafy greens
  • Avocado
  • Watermelon
  • Ginger
  • Beets

Reduce:

  • The amount of flour and sugar, eg. biscuits, soft drinks, cakes and bread.
  • Gluten, more specifically wheat.
  • Casein (a protein in milk).
  • Processed meats.
  • Fried foods.
  • Fast food.
  • Processed food.

Anti-Nutrients

See our blog on anti-nutrients that promote inflammation and how to neutralise their affects.

 

Summary

Chronic inflammation is the root cause of many health issues.  Your best defence against inflammation is to focus on the factors you can control.  Start your journey towards a healthier you by adjusting your diet and exercising efficiently.