Whether you sprain an ankle as a weekend warrior, develop a blister from breaking in new shoes, or swell up like a balloon after eating peanuts, you’re experiencing inflammation. Inflammation is the result of your immune system responding to a stressor. Acute or short-term inflammation is the body’s normal response to trauma or infection and is essential for our protection, healing, and survival.
Although acute inflammation is healthy, most people experience chronic or long-term inflammation from such things as poor dietary choices, digestive issues, or environmental toxins. Unfortunately, when many people feel pain they seek quick relief in pills that mask the body’s warning signal that inflammation is present and inhibits the body’s ability to repair, heal and protect itself. Over time, chronic inflammation can damage surrounding organs and tissues. In fact, most modern diseases, such as obesity, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and autoimmunity, are caused or worsened by hidden inflammation. The good news is, you don’t have to live with the pain.
By following the four steps below, you’ll learn how inflamed your body is, get to the root of the problem and heal yourself. Reducing inflammation is essential to reduce body fat, strengthen immunity, and prevent disease.
1. Get Tested
The next time you have blood work performed by your doctor or naturopath, make sure he/she tests your C-reactive protein to measure the degree of inflammation in your body. Don’t get tested if you’ve had a recent injury or illness as the CRP can linger from acute inflammation.
2. Find The Cause
Acne, skin conditions, arthritis, back pain, fatigue, weight gain, increased body fat, cellulite, digestive disorders, asthma, allergies, autoimmune disease, dementia, and depression are all symptoms of inflammation. Unfortunately, many doctors treat these symptoms instead of getting to the root cause. In order to bring your immune system back into balance, it’s crucial to address the root cause(s) of why your body is inflamed in the first place.
- Processed products, such as refined carbs/sugars
- Poor quality protein sources
- Manmade fats and rancid oils
- Pasteurized dairy
- Alcoholic beverages
- Inability to breakdown/absorb food
- Unknown/ignored food sensitivities/allergies/intolerances
- Gut imbalances, such as a lack of good flora
- Underlying gut infections, such as Candida, SIBO, or parasites
- Inefficient elimination, such as constipation, diarrhea, or IBS
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Environmental toxins, such as heavy metals
- Hormonal imbalances, such as insulin resistance
- Lifestyle imbalances: stress, sleep, injury, too much/little exercise
3. Eat Anti-inflammatory Foods
Enjoy a nutrient-dense, whole food daily diet that contains plenty of vegetables, especially phytonutrient-rich cabbage family and green leafy vegetables such as kale, broccoli, and spinach. Colorful vegetables, fruits, herbs, and spices are great to include throughout the day to boost antioxidant intake. Stay satiated with high-quality proteins (grass-fed) and natural fats, especially omega-3 essential fatty acids from wild seafood including salmon, sardines, and halibut.
4. Play, Relax & Rest
Living a healthy lifestyle that includes play, relaxation and sleep is essential for your health and well-being. Move your body daily with exercise, but avoid inflammation-inducing chronic cardio. Workout efficiently with resistance training and sprints or other burst activities. Relax deeply daily with yoga, meditation or any other activities that you enjoy. Lastly, get more sleep by going to bed earlier or taking naps. Give your body plenty of time to rest, repair and heal itself.
- Showing you how to shop for foods that support your health
- Teaching you to cook quick, simple and delicious recipes
- Creating a custom meal plan specific for your needs
- Helping you make smart food choices away from home
- Monitoring your daily food journal to help you stay on track
- Working with your physician on proper supplementation