How Inflammation Effects the Body
Chronic inflammation is at the root of practically all known chronic health conditions. You can often find problems arise in the brain, skin, bones, kidneys, liver, thyroid, lungs, GI tract, muscles, and the heart. It's no surprise that what we eat has such an effect on our bodies.
There are two types of inflammation, acute inflammation, which is the “good” inflammation that fends off foreign invaders and heals injuries. Then, there is chronic inflammation. Inflammation which is prolonged and causes a whole slew of problems.
Chronic inflammation is what we need to be wary of, because it has been linked to a number of conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, IBD, allergies, gout, thyroid dysfunction, depression, leaky gut, fatty liver, psoriasis, and cancer.
So what are the causes of inflammation?
1. DIET: Nutrition is considered one of the most effective strategies to reduce whole-body inflammation. The food we eat can directly trigger inflammation by initiating the release of inflammatory molecules
2. EXERCISE: (LACK OF AND TOO MUCH) a lack of regular exercise results in the accumulation of visceral fat and further increases metabolic disease risk and inflammation. While it is good for inflammation to rise and repair the damage done during intense workouts, we also need to allow time for our bodies to heal and recover to keep our inflammation at bay.
3. STRESS: both physiological & psychological, triggers the release of cortisol (the stress hormone). Which in turn can cause an imbalance in your blood sugar and suppress your immune system in an attempt to reduce inflammation.
4. SLEEP: recent studies have shown that short-term sleep loss (as little as one night’s sleep) and long sleep duration (>8 hours) can effect inflammatory homeostasis by activating pro-inflammatory processes. (check out our post on the important of sleep)
Key take aways:
-Focus on consuming an anti-inflammatory diet and choose whole foods that are rich in antioxidants and fibre.
-Aim to incorporate a minimum of 20–30 minutes of physical activity into your daily routine.
-Give your body enough repair time. Training on a schedule with planned recovery days is essential to allowing proper recovery and mitigating inflammation.
-Up your sleep game! Aim to get 7–8 hours of restful sleep every night.
-Keep your stress levels in check; meditating and deep breathing are effective strategies.
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