Posted on Sep 13, 2018, 9 p.m.
Rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, allergies, and Alzheimer’s disease and other chronic disease that affect millions of lives that all have one thing in common : Inflammation.
For those who have never heard about the links between inflammation and chronic illness you might be interested in doing some research to get a better understanding of it. There are two kinds of inflammation short term acute inflammation and long term chronic inflammation. Acute inflammation can be a beneficial part of healing processes, while chronic inflammation is linked to a wide variety of serious health conditions.
Inflammations plays key roles in CVD, diabetes, obesity, inflammatory bowel disease, metabolic syndrome, and many other chronic illnesses. Sometimes the immune system becomes hypersensitive to allergens such as pollen and dust which results in inflammation. Inflammation plays prominent roles in rheumatoid arthritis and other disease of the joints. Inflammations also affects cognitive health leading to creation of damaging proteins that are associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
You can take control of chronic inflammation with a few intervention options, medications ranging from disease modifying drugs and biologics to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs including aspirin and ibuprofen known as NSAIDs can help to relieve inflammation. Foods containing anti-inflammatory properties such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, and fish in addition to maintaining healthy lifestyle choices including things such as exercising, getting enough sleep, walking barefoot in grass, yoga, limiting alcohol, and avoiding smoking can help to keep inflammation at bay.
Inflammation can be seen as the body’s natural response to protect itself from harm. With acute inflammation as it occurs when you stub your toe the immune system dispatches white blood cells to surround and protect the area creating visible redness and swelling, it is a similar process with infections such as pneumonia or flu; without this inflammation in these settings injuries could fester and simple infections could turn deadly. Chronic inflammation can occur in response to other unwanted substances such as toxins or excess fat cells. Inside arteries inflammation helps fight build up of fatty cholesterol rich plaque and attempts to wall of plaque from the flowing blood, if the wall breaks down the plaque may rupture and contents mingle with the blood forming a clot that blocks blood flow responsible for majority of heart attacks and strokes. Chronic inflammation is the same reaction as acute, only the white blood cells persist flooding the areas and end up attacking nearby healthy tissues and organs; chronic inflammation can travel around the body, when inflammation persists at low levels even after the invader is eradicated it can become an enemy.
Healthy balanced diets can go along way towards keeping inflammation at bay. Some foods encourage growth of bacteria that can stimulate inflammation and others can promote growth of bacteria that suppress it, food is one of the most powerful tools to combat inflammation naturally; choosing the right foods can help reduce risks of illness.
Foods that contribute to inflammation are not surprising and are typically the same foods that are considered to be bad for health such as soda, refined carbohydrates, red and processed meats, margarine, greasy fried foods, and fast foods.
Foods that help to combat inflammation include most brightly coloured fruits and vegetables containing high levels of antioxidants and polyphenols such as blueberries, cherries, oranges, tomatoes, spinach and kale; nuts and seeds, whole grains, fish, and healthy oils such as olive, coconut, hemp seed, or avocado oil. Rule of thumb is to eat a rainbow: if the plate is dominated with mostly organic, unprocessed plant based food bursting with colour that’s the right direction.
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