Oh inflammation, the culprit of many diseases as you can see from the picture. I had a client in the other day, bounced from doctor to doctor, prescribed different medications, but what is at the heart of the problem? All our technology and medical advances have gotten us all kinds of ways to treat symptoms, but what is at the root of the problem? Why is the cholesterol in your arteries? It’s there to repair, but why does it need to be there? Well we can lower cholesterol, so let’s prescribed a statin, that will fix it! But then we are left dealing with the side effects of the drug. Do we actually decrease our risk of heart disease? Do we need the drugs? Before we bash inflammation, we need to realize that it is a natural process. We need it. Yes you read right we need inflammation. For most healthy individuals they will become temporary inflamed, heal and then return to homeostasis. However, we were designed to deal with acute inflammation, which could be caused by:
- something traumatic like a punch
- allergic reactions
- loss of function
Then it makes sense. The body is doing what is its innate nature, so we can deal with injury and illness. Our problem is that we’re greedy and our modern lifestyles are breeding grounds for chronic inflammation. We don’t know how to handle this inflammation over and over again. Again there are so many variables and creations for chronic inflammation (most stemming from lifestyle choices, like I mentioned). Things that can promote inflammation:
- Stress (as we’ll see chronic cortisol is a pesky brat too)
- Poor Nutrition (high in toxic foods that we looked at Tuesday, insufficient in omega-3 while being high in omega-6)
- Poor gut health (I tell you that gut doesn’t get the love it deserves)
- Lack of sleep (if you think you’ll sleep when you’re dead, well that may be approaching sooner than you thought! Don’t underestimate the power of sleep)
- Obesity and diabetes fuel inflammation. As a result this can encourage: leptin resistance, impaired fat and glucose metabolism, insulin resistance, and beta-cell destruction
- Too much exercise. Awe that chronic cardio is too much stress for the body.
If you ask me these all look that things YOU can change, not some pill to take but some lifestyle changes can DECREASE YOUR RISK OF DISEASE (realize that it won’t change overnight, these are things you need to be diligent about). Obviously there are a lot of factors, so what should we do to decrease chances of chronic inflammation?
- Nourish ourselves: lay off the industrial omega-6 intensive oils, get more omega-3, buy quality REAL foods (grass-fed beef, organic produce), steer clear of gluten and grains, stay away from the sugars, eat foods rich in antioxidants that can neutralize free-radicals and decrease oxidative stress (love my first pressed-olive oil, wild fish, cruciferous veggies and some berries!), eat probiotic foods and sort out your gut health.
- Don’t stress the small stuff
- Cut it out already with the excessive exercise that was trendy in the 80’s
- Don’t smoke
- Move, don’t over-exercise but don’t be sedentary either (more on exercise coming next week)
- Get outside in the Great Outdoors
CHANGE YOUR HABITS, CHANGE YOUR FUTURE, DECREASE YOUR RISK!