What is Inflammation and How to Get Rid of it?

Inflammation – not such a ‘Swell’ Experience!

Noun: a localized physical condition in which, part of the body becomes reddened, swollen, hot, and often painful, especially as a reaction to injury or infection.

Well, most of us have heard this term and that’s the dictionary meaning of the word.

Science explains the process as the release of chemicals and messengers in the body that create irritation and swelling.

But does inflammation in the body have any purpose?

In the short-term inflammation can save your life. If you get a papercut at work your immune cells step in to protect against pathogens, heal the wound, do their job and leave. This is called acute inflammation.

But there are other kinds of inflammation which can be quite harmful in the long run.

For example: Chronic inflammation – It is like the dinner guest who can’t take the hint to leave.

Chronic inflammatory diseases are silent killers which may take years before you see their first signs. You won’t see it with your eyes until it is bad enough to cause something like a swollen joint.

Many things fuel inflammatory fire including toxins in the environment which you are exposed to on a daily basis. Also, prescription drugs, antibiotics, chronic stress, lack of sleep and especially what you eat are triggers to chronic inflammation.

Heavily processed foods, sugary and high carb diets, pave the way for obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Inflammation is directly related to Gut disorders like dysbiosis, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth and leaky gut syndrome, which affects your Gut and over time also impacts your brain. That could explain why inflammation often leads to mood disorders. Researchers have found a link between chronic stress, inflammation and depression.

Chronic inflammation is called the silent killer as it plays a role in nearly every disease.

Inflammation at its worst is deadly like a massive Heart Attack or stroke.  Any chronic inflammatory disease can take years before the symptoms become apparent by which time a lot of damage has already occurred.

Signs and symptoms of chronic inflammation:

  • Fatigue and pain,
  • Obesity,
  • High blood pressure,
  • Increased waist circumference, dark circles around the eyes,
  • Skin rashes like hives, eczema and psoriasis,
  • Tenderness of fluid around joints.

And why does all this happen in the first place?

Research has indicated that some of the foods that are not suited to one’s biochemistry can cause inflammation. And that is why it is so critical to ensure that what one is eating is not causing the inflammation. This can then strengthen the immune system. Lesser inflammation means lesser joint pain, lesser gastric problems. In other words, a far healthier life.

So then, what should one avoid eating if one is susceptible to inflammation?

Fight inflammation with your fork. The main culprit being the food you eat. You are what you eat. Having understood this, starting with your next meal you can control all the inflammation in your body.

Not all healthy foods are anti-inflammatory…. some of the most healthy foods maybe creating inflammation.

There are number of foods that can cause inflammation in the body –

  • Refined carbohydrates,
  • Fried foods, soda,
  • Red meat and processed meat,
  • Margarine,
  • Sugar
  • Processed carbohydrates,
  • Genetically modified crops,
  • Most processed foods in the grocery stores,
  • Any kind of junk food.

These should be either avoided or limited to combat inflammation.

The foods that fight inflammation are:

Tomatoes, Fruits,  Vegetables, Nuts and seeds, Extra virgin,  Coconut oil,  Olive oil, leafy greens and fatty fish. Anti-inflammatory food components such as omega-3 fats, protect the body against the possible damage caused by inflammation.

Intermittent fasting can be extremely anti-inflammatory, as giving your digestive system a break reduces inflammation in your gut, which reduces inflammation throughout your entire body.

Some of the known food categories that lead to inflammation are gluten, dairy, corn, and soya. Among these, ‘Gluten’ has been picked as one of the main culprits for autoimmune diseases.

Why not then begin the journey to a healthier You?

‘Goglutenfree’! And “Live Life Lighter..”

Deepa Rajani

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