6 Tips To Prevent Chronic Inflammation From Damaging Your Health

Stubbed toe, twisted ankle or fractured bones – these are injuries that can lead to pain, swelling and redness. This type of inflammation is nothing but normal when your body is trying to heal. It is in fact a sign that your immune system is responding and taking action at the damaged areas in your body.

However, experiencing chronic inflammation, or prolonged inflammation over periods of time, is not a good sign. Typically, normal swelling just goes away. But when it does not, it only means that your body is causing damage to itself, slowly creating tissue damage and causing detrimental health conditions.

Chronic inflammation usually goes unnoticed because it happens at the cellular level. Most people who have it usually find out about it after getting some laboratory tests done. Internal inflammation usually happens in the gut, causing symptoms like irregular bowel movements, diarrhea, bloating, gas pain, constipation, and swollen or rounded stomach and affecting your immunity as a whole. It is essentially a chemical imbalance causing a domino effect in other parts in your body.

According to Shayna Komar, licensed and registered dietitian at Cancer Wellness, eating processed food is very damaging to health. Not only is it too high in calories but it also contains too many chemicals that are precursors to certain diseases such as stroke, diabetes and even cancer. Indeed the most common cancers are triggered by environmental factors such as eating unhealthy and processed junk foods.

According to the World Cancer Research Fund and American Institute for Cancer Research, about 80% to 90% of cancers are caused by environmental factors, whilst genes also play a role in these diseases. And since genes cannot be controlled, the only factor you can watch out for is the kind of food you put inside your body.

In an effort of preventing chronic inflammation and the other diseases it can cause, below are the recommended foods you need to have inside your fridge.

Complex Carbohydrates

Stay away from simple carbohydrates such as cereals, cookies, and baked goods and instead, eat more complex carbs. They contain more nutrients your body can benefit from. Complex carbohydrates contain more fiber and therefore gets digested slowly by the digestive system. This effect gives you the feeling of fullness which means it is a good carbohydrate substitution when you are trying to lose weight.

This kind of carbohydrates are more recommended to diabetic individuals as they help manage blood sugar spikes after every meals. You can get these from beans, nuts, fruits, vegetables and whole grains. A few example of which are broccoli, quinoa, kale and wheat bread.
According to Komay, to ensure that you are eating the healthiest way possible, you need to put some variety in your diet.

Make sure to include fruits and vegetables that are deep and dark in color. The darker the color usually means there are more antioxidants which helps your body fight chronic inflammation and oxidative damage from free-radicals.

Spices

You would think that vegetables contain the highest number of antioxidants, but in truth spices hold that record. A spice called turmeric curcumin has been scientifically proven to disrupt the pro-inflammatory cells in the body. This spice is known as an ingredient in many Indian dishes, but in the West it is packaged as an anti-inflammatory supplement.

You can also benefit from adding the spice to your meals but taking the curcumin form is known to be the most effective. Turmeric tablets side effects are quite rare, but make sure to consult your doctor first before you plan to take this supplement.

Fresh Whole Foods

Anything that has been touched and prepackaged by man should never set foot in your house. What your body needs to stay healthy are fresh whole foods. Generally, your diet should be composed of green and leafy vegetables, fruits, nuts and whole grains. Avoid processed food that contains artificial sweeteners and preservatives. You also need to avoid fructose corn syrup, refined carbohydrates and trans fats.

Lean Proteins

Bacon, salami, hotdogs, sausage and deli meats are all processed and are very high in trans fats. Even fresh meat such as pork also contain fat that is not good for your health. Stick to lean proteins such as turkey, chicken and fish. These proteins contain the least fat and they also help you stay full.

Olive Oil For Frying

Deep fried foods usually sold in restaurants utilize hydrogenated oils which become trans fats. Trans fats are the most dangerous type of fat as they raise the bad cholesterol in your blood. When LDL (bad cholesterol) raises, HDL (good cholesterol) get depleted. This may cause a wide array of coronary diseases such as arteriosclerosis, stroke and even heart attack. Never deep fry your food. If you must, make sure to use healthy oils such as coconut oil or olive oil.

Omega-3

Your body needs a good balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. One of the culprits of chronic inflammation is the high levels of omega-6 in the body. The source of which usually comes from unhealthy and processed food. According to a recent study, an average American meal usually contains 15 to 25 times more omega-6.

This means, there is a need to prioritize more on omega-3 as they are found in limited sources such as walnuts, and flax seeds. Fish such as mackerel, salmon, sardines and cod are also a great source of omega-3 essential fatty acids which help lower down cholesterol and improve your heart health. You can also take fish oil pills as an alternative if you are not a fan of the fishy smell.

Katrina Rice is a mom and a freelance writer. She strongly believes in the concept of holistic wellness through healthy and natural living, traveling and immersing one’s self in new activities. A self-proclaimed health enthusiast, she hopes to inspire more people to do the same.

 

About Ande Truman

Ande has made mistakes in the kitchen since she could reach the countertop. From a restaurant head cook, to cooking meals for friends, to her own solo plate, experimenting & learning drives her. She's also a freelance graphic & web designer, photo/videographer, guitar player and wanderlust-er. In her spare time, she works a full-time 8 to 5 cubicle job. She's the creator of Broke & Healthy.

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