Understanding Inflammation, and what you can do to lower yours!
by Lisa Bell, Registered Holistic Nutritionist
Acute inflammation is a critical response, necessary for the body’s natural healing process. Acute inflammation has five obvious signs: redness, heat, swelling, pain, and loss of function. Ideally, these are all temporary, as the body begins to heal.
However, inflammation can become chronic, and this is no longer part of the body’s natural healing process! The physical signs of chronic inflammation are much less obvious than the acute inflammatory response, and the prolonged immune response involved with chronic inflammation can last years or even decades. Some common symptoms of chronic inflammation include muscle or joint pain, fatigue, or digestive problems such as bloating, gas, diarrhea or constipation. Chronic inflammation is associated with many diseases and health issues, including arthritis, asthma, allergies, autoimmune disease, skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular disease, and even cancers.
The good news is, there are things we can do to lower our inflammation! The dietary and lifestyle choices we make every day can either feed inflammation, or help to lower it. And it’s never too late to make some small changes that can help:
Try eliminating sugar, gluten and processed foods from your diet. Instead, boost your intake of fresh fruits, vegetables, and alkalizing greens every day. An easy way to do this is with a green smoothie! (Recipe below).
Limit your use of refined omega-6 oils (often found in packaged and processed foods), and include more omega-3 essential fatty acids into your diet, with chia seeds, flax seeds, fish, or a fish oil supplement.
Avoid GMO foods and eat organic if you can. Choose grass-fed beef and free-range chicken when possible.
Drink lots of water!
Try to lower your stress levels. Chronic stress can be a huge contributor to inflammation. Try relaxation techniques such as yoga and deep breathing to help manage stress.
Exercise! A sedentary lifestyle can also contribute to chronic inflammation. Even mild exercise such as a brisk walk can help get our blood flowing and stimulate the lymphatic system.
Try a curcumin or a fermented turmeric supplement. Foodsmiths carries a variety of supplements which can help lower inflammation and decrease joint pain; drop by the store to speak to us about them!
Lisa's Alkalizing Green SmoothieStart with fresh, clean water. Add:
- 1 tsp. Hemp Hearts (you can find hulled hemp seeds in our bulk bins)
- Handful of Spinach
- 1/2 Banana
- 1/2 Pear
- Juice of 1/2 Lemon
- Handful of Kale leaves, separated from stems
- A couple sprigs Parsley
- 1 scoop Garden of Life Raw Fit Protein in your preferred flavour
Blitz in blender and enjoy morning and night!