Updated: Jan 5
Inflammation is critical to life. Inflammation is the body's first line of defence against trauma, injury, toxins and infections. It is absolutely essential for the healing response in the body. Acute inflammation begins within seconds of an incident or exposure. When our cells are in any kind of distress they send out chemical messengers to notify the immune system. The immune cells first responders are inflammatory cells and are meant to trap the the invading substance or start to heal the injured tissues.
For example if you cut yourself, you will soon notice pain, heat, swelling and redness at that injury site as a complex chain of events are unfolding to start to heal the wound. These are the classic signs of healthy inflammation, this response is what can save our lives in a traumatic event. The inflammation process allows the body to bring blood and cell tissues needed to feed and nourish the healing process.
Sounds fantastic doesn't it? Our body knows exactly what to do to heal!
However, the concern begins when the inflammatory process goes on for too long and the body is on high alert all the time, this is chronic inflammation.
Chronic inflammation can be less obvious in the body, it is associated with conditions such as, diabetes, cancer, autoimmune disease, arthritis, alzheimer’s, cardiovascular disease, skin disorders, gastrointestinal disorders, and neurological disease. Less obvious conditions you may be experiencing today that have an underlying inflammatory process could look like joint pain, allergies, asthma, chronic infections (yeast or bacterial), chronic digestive problems (gas, bloating, diarrhea), headaches, migraines, fibromyalgia and/or muscle aches and pains all have inflammation at the root of the discomfort.
Food is one of the main contributing factors for chronic inflammation. It is the one thing we do (consume) multiple times a day, every single day. That can add up pretty quickly! If we are eating multiple meals and snacks throughout the day, especially late into the night, we are not giving our body a break. When we have longer periods of time between meals or if we practise intermittent fasting, it gives the body a fighting chance in keeping up with all the hard work we are asking it to do.
Gluten and grains, dairy, sugar, alcohol and caffeine are all inflammatory type foods, and health depleting when consumed regularly.
Toxins are another source of inflammation, toxins are in the food we eat, the air we beathe, the water we drink, all the lotions and potions we put on our body and the cleaners, detergeants and soaps we are using in our homes. Our skin is our largest organ, anything you put on your skin or on a surface in your home will end up inside the body, so consider switching to natural products. If you wouldn't eat it you probably don't want it on your skin either!
Unchecked inflammation in the body affects your brain long before you start to feel any physical pain or discomfort. Inflammatory proteins called cytokines get into the bloodstream and eventually make their way to your brain. An inflamed brain is certainly not a happy brain. It is a forgetful, anxious, irritable, and depressed brain. So the memory lapse, brain fog or constant bloat you may be experiencing today are warning signs of inflammation and of more serious health troubles in your future.
Once you've identified the offending sources of inflammation in your life, you now get to choose; choose to continue consuming the foods that could be irritating your body or choose to eliminate or at least decrease them. When we are consuming the same foods regularly, the body can become desensitized to the chemical reactions and immune system alerts, meaning we don’t even recognize the impact it is having on the system overall.
Do you know of anyone who has chronic nasal congestion? I would be willing to bet if they eliminated dairy from their diet for a minimum of 2 weeks, they would notice the difference.
Go ahead try it out... choose one food to eliminate and just pay attention to how you feel.
Read the labels on your personal health products and see what's actually in them, it can be some pretty scary stuff! There are SO many clean and natural products available to us now, it's pretty exciting to see what all is out there.
It is important to remember that even if on the surface level you may not feel huge side-effects when you consume certain foods or use certain products, there could be a lot more going on at the cellular level than you realize or attribute to what you just ate, drank, massaged on, or cleaned with.
By avoiding the foods that cause inflammation as we increase health promoting foods, your body, mind, and immune system will be able to relax and allow your body to function more efficiently.
This will help set you up to feel and look your best and show up as your best self in every area of your life!