Inflammation gets a pretty bad rap. The thing about it is that it’s our body’s normal and natural defensive response to different illnesses and injuries. Our body sends out an army of white blood cells to surround and protect the area from further harm or damage. So, it’s actually a good thing.
Types of Inflammation
The problems come when inflammation begins wreaking havoc on our body; then it can become real trouble. See, there are two types of inflammation; acute and chronic.
Acute Inflammation ~ This type of inflammation is what we typically see. When you bump your knee or come down with the flu, you’ll deal with acute inflammation that eases up, eventually going away once the injury or illness is managed.
Chronic Inflammation ~ Here is where the trouble begins. When an injury or illness isn’t handled or managed, beneficial inflammation becomes an ongoing issue. Left unmanaged, inflammation can lead to further health issues and diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and arthritis.
There are several other contributing factors that weigh on inflammation. Emotional stress, high-sugar diets, poor digestive health, and exposure to toxins contribute to the body’s inflammatory response. Keep in mind that almost all diseases result from chronic inflammation. The sooner it’s managed and under control, the better the outcome can be.
Signs of Chronic Inflammation
Acute inflammation produces a couple of signs. Basically, there may be slight swelling (inflammation), redness, warmth in the affected area, and pain. If an injury is bad, there may be a loss of function; for instance, you can’t bend your knee, but once the inflammation eases up, you’ll be back to normal.
Chronic inflammation displays slightly different signs. Not all of the symptoms are experienced by everyone. Some of the symptoms are the same as so many other issues, but let’s take a look.
- Brain Fog
- Joint Pain
- Cognitive Decline
Natural Ways To Fight Inflammation
There are four main ways to manage inflammation, whether it’s acute or chronic. Remember, if the issue causing the inflammation isn’t taken care of, there’s a risk of chronic inflammation creeping in to wreak havoc.
- Anti-inflammatory Foods
- Diet Adjustments
- Managing Stress
- Herbs or Supplements
Food is medicine. I personally love being able to eat delicious food to help heal what ails. Let’s take a look at some of these fine foods to feast. The science behind antioxidants playing a role in decreasing inflammation is pretty deep. A majority of the foods you’ll see below are packed with antioxidants and other compounds that battle inflammation.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Fatty Fish
- Leafy Greens
- Berries (raspberry, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries)
- Green Tea
- Dark Chocolate and Cocoa
Not only are these foods delicious, they have many health benefits outside of the realm of inflammation. Add more of these foods to your daily diet and experience the ease of inflammation.
Anti-inflammatory Herbs & Spices
We’re back in the kitchen again. These herbs and spices contain various compounds that inhibit inflammation, reduce inflammatory markers, and are full of antioxidants. Each has its own profile, but that would be an entire article in itself.
- Black Pepper
- Green Tea
Some people prefer to use supplements rather than actually consuming food that contains healing properties. I totally get it; taking Omega-3 supplements can be great for people who aren’t fans of fish. Consider these important supplements.
- Alpha-Lipoic Acid
- Fish Oil
If you combine anti-inflammatory foods with herbs, spices, supplements, exercise, and diet adjustments, you’ll be on your way to kicking inflammation out. Stress is one of the biggest culprits of disease and illness, including inflammation. There are so many ways to reduce stress; it really boils down to what works best for you.
There are several foods that trigger inflammation. Sometimes we have to limit or remove some of the things we love. We remove what hurts us in order to heal us.
- Deep-Fried Foods
- Red Meat
- Processed Meats
- Refined Carbs
- Trans Fats
When chronic inflammation isn’t managed or treated, there is a risk of developing more severe health issues; some of them can be deadly. Making the necessary changes or additions to your lifestyle can help you out so much. Taking the small steps toward a healthier tomorrow can be such a blessing, but it all starts with that first step.