People often talk about inflammation as if it’s some sort of gray mist that floats around- not really sure what exactly it is.
Inflammation is the body’s response to pain, trauma, injury & stress. It has 4 key signs: heat, pain, redness, and swelling.
Inflammation isn’t necessarily bad (unless it’s chronic). It’s actually necessary for survival— a reaction the body has as a way to heal itself.
For instance, If you cut yourself and start bleeding, you want the inflammatory response to be triggered, so your white blood cells can come on the scene and keep you from getting an infection. Or, you want clotting proteins to keep you from bleeding to death.
The body tries to heal a specific trauma or infection through the inflammatory response in order to try and reduce the risk of further damage
A key note— your body doesn’t turn against you. Everything your body does is intended first, to keep you alive, and then find balance for health.
As I mentioned above, inflammation becomes an issue when it becomes chronic. And it becomes chronic, when the body perceives a problem when there isn’t one, and it sends out inflammatory mediators which cause swelling, which can lead to pain and so on…
The leading cause of this (mis) perception is your lifestyle— things like your general daily mood or emotions, stress ( emotional, physical or physiological), toxic exposure, AND DIET.
What you eat plays a huge role on how your body responds. You can increase or decrease inflammation with just your food
Many people have an imbalanced diet of inflammatory foods. This means they consume more processed, packaged foods and oils (oils is a big one!) and not enough anti-inflammatory foods- like whole, nutrient-dense fruits and veggies
The 90/10 Rule
I like the 90/10 rule— 90% of the time, you eat whole, nutrient-dense veggies and fruits, lots of greens and mushrooms. Limit grain intake — unless you have a sensitivity to it, I recommend quinoa as your main grain. It’s higher in protein and lower in carbs than other grains. Try to cook at home as much as possible. If you do eat out, eat at restaurants that use high quality ingredients, especially oils!!
And then 10% of the time, eat just for pleasure and fun. When you do this, make sure you have a healthy mind-set. In other words, don’t be stressed when you’re not eating nutrient dense foods. Remember that stress is a big contributor to inflammation.
How do you know if you have inflammation?
So, how do you even know if you have inflammation? Some signs are, memory loss or brain fog, joint pain , bloating and puffiness, fatigue and headaches.
Don’t normalize feeling this way. You’re meant to thrive, not merely survive.
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You have one precious life.
Live it well!
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