A topic that has recently garnered much attention and research, and one that I am very interested about in my life, is chronic inflammation. What piqued my interest was that even though I exercise often and believe that I eat healthy, I still often felt gassy, bloated, and lethargic. I knew that there was something my body was trying to tell me, I just didn’t know what. This fact led me on a journey to find out what was happening. Some of my quest involved research and the other part a trial and error of adding and subtracting foods to see what and how I felt. The result, I have dramatically reduced the amount of bloating (look tighter and leaner while still maintaining my current weight), the gassiness has subsided, and I feel more energetic and vibrant. This is just my result, and I make no guarantees, but if you are experiencing these symptoms than perhaps this is for you.
Inflammation is part of the body’s natural healing process, moving fighter cells to the affected area via increased blood flow. This is the functioning of a healthy immune system. Chronic inflammation is something entirely different. With the body constantly producing immune cells, it can lead to permanent damage, and even lead to cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s.
There are many causes of chronic inflammation, with a few being overweight/obese, chronic stress, and genetics. One factor that contributes to chronic inflammation are lifestyle choices such as diet, exercise (or lack thereof), smoking, and lack of sleep. Fortunately, for us, we can control those lifestyle factors. By increasing daily exercise (at least 30 minutes to an hour daily), sleeping more (6-8 hours), using positive stress relief, and, I believe the biggest factor, changing dietary habits chronic inflammation can become a thing of the past.
A long list of foods have shown to increase inflammation: sugar, salt, saturated and trans fats, dairy, refined carbs (such as breads and pastas (from gluten)), aspartame, alcohol, and processed foods making up the worst offenders. Luckily, by reducing or eliminating some or all of those foods can drastically aid in the decrease of inflammation. What’s even better, there is a long list of foods that actually help fight inflammation. They are: green leafy vegetables, celery, beets, broccoli, blueberries, pineapple, salmon and other fish, walnuts, coconut oil, water, turmeric, and ginger. The Mediterranean Diet (https://authoritynutrition.com/mediterranean-diet-meal-plan/) has been used an example of how to eat to reduce chronic inflammation.
By decreasing chronic inflammation, not only can you feel better day to day, but also decrease chronic disease. While some of the factors are not changeable, the lifestyle factors mentioned above can help fight and reverse the trends chronic inflammation.