Inflammation in your body can be a good thing and it can be a bad thing, it just depends on why it’s there. When you cut your finger, your body stimulates an acute inflammatory response to protect the wound and aid in healing.
The immune systems job is to aid in the healing by sending out cells called lymphocytes, monocytes, and killer cells to fight these infections and pathogens. These cells are known as T cells, B cells and NK Cells. These cells circulate through the blood and look for the infected cells or pathogens and their job is to destroy them. So, when you cut your finger these cells go out to fight what they can and aid your body in the healing process. Therefore, inflammation from a wound can be considered good in the body because it has a healing affect.
Inflammation from Poor Dieting
What’s not good is inflammation in the body caused by poor diets, stress, menopause, environmental issues and injuries that have never been addressed. Studies have shown that inflammation in the body can contribute or cause diseases such as cancer, autoimmune diseases such as Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Crohn’s disease, Psoriasis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Diabetes, Allergies, Arthritis, Atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s, Cancer and Heart Disease. If by changing your diet and adding exercise could ward off disease or calm the ailments that you have, wouldn’t you give it a try?
Foods to avoid in an anti-inflammatory diet are margarine, vegetable shortening, and partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, sunflower, peanut and soy oils. While these oils have Omega-6 fatty acid, they have a specific Omega-6 that promotes inflammation. You need to make sure you get Omega-3 fatty acid mixed in with your Omega-6’s. Adding something as simple as flaxseed to your diet can add the important Omega-3’s to your diet which have a more anti-inflammatory response. You’ll want to make sure that no matter how you get your Omega-3’s and 6’s that you are getting equal amounts to balance out the inflammation response in your body.
Our diets are loaded with refined sugars and processed foods. For most people who eat high carb low fat diets will experience inflammatory responses. Eating a low-carb diet with enough of the right proteins can reduce inflammation in the body.
One way to calm the inflammation in your body is through an anti-inflammatory diet. Inflammatory diets includes fruits rich in color, leafy greens, whole grains, sweet potatoes, winter squashes, berries, cherries, apples, pears, omega rich proteins, seeds, nuts, beans and lentils. There are quite a few diet books on the anti-inflammatory diet.
Stress is something we are always under, whether it’s getting to work on time or getting the kids up and to school, even our daily stress can become overwhelming. Cortisol is a stress hormone that is secreted from your adrenal glands and is that “fight or flight” response we get. Cortisol influences your insulin levels and metabolism and is a factor in inflammation in your body. Your body is made to react to stressors and cortisol is released as a direct result but your body can only take so much stress before it breaks down.
Another thing we forget is that our emotional state is very hard on the body and also contributes to inflammation. It is important to take the time for yourself and exercise to relieve stress and to calm the cortisol reactions. When your adrenal glands get really worn down and cortisol gets depleted, it is very hard to replenish them and to bounce back and the constant feeling of fatigue is common.
Environmental causes of inflammation are synthetic fibers, latex, glues, adhesives, plastics, air fresheners and household or commercial cleaners. We are often subjected to these at work or at home. We also have to include pesticides, pollution and heavy metals, not to mention our drinking water, our food and breast milk. Many of these chemicals are fat soluble which means they are stored in fat in our bodies and therefore very hard to get rid of. This is another good reason to exercise and keep your body active so that you can sweat out toxins on a regular basis.
Menopause is another factor. As women age, their levels of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone deplete resulting in an increase in inflammation of the body. Balancing your hormones can help calm inflammation but its best to try to balance your hormones in the most natural state. The loss of estrogen which leads to osteoporosis also puts stressors on the body and regular weight bearing exercise combine with aerobic exercise can help bone growth and ward off osteoporosis.
Also old injuries which build up inflammation around the injury sites and scar tissues are a big part of inflammation in our bodies.
Starting an exercise program and eating anti-inflammatory foods can help prevent inflammation, calm inflammation and help you fight stress, balance your hormones and remove toxins from your body. Are you ready to start your new program? Find a certified personal trainer in your area to get you started, start researching new food choices, see your doctor and make sure that any and all of these changes are ok for you to begin and live a more holistic and healthy life.
- Jeannine Nystrom
Jeannine Nystrom specializes in rehab exercise therapy, is a licensed massage therapist, certified stretching therapist, certified personal trainer and esthetician. As someone who had multiple injuries when she was younger that limited her living a healthy normal life, she was thrilled to find someone who was able to teach her how to self help with stretching and massage, getting back into shape and living a balanced life.
She owns a studio and day spa in Juno Beach, Florida and teaches all of these practices to her clients so they too can have a total holistic body and live a more balanced life.
Visit Jeannine’s website at http://www.totalholisticbody.com