Inflammation: The Bad, the Ugly, and the Really Bad and Ugly

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Inflammation can be a confusing topic. This stems from the fact there are two kinds of inflammation: the good kind (acute inflammation) and the bad kind (chronic inflammation).

Acute inflammation occurs when you sustain an injury like a cut or an illness like the flu. When there is an injury or illness, your immune system releases white blood cells that rush into action.

In the case of a cut, the white blood cells rush to the cut and fight off the invading bacteria so you don’t get an infection. It is the white blood cells fighting the good fight on your behalf that causes your wound to become red and hot.

That’s acute inflammation and it’s what keeps you healthy.

Chronic inflammation, on the other hand, is not good for our health. Chronic inflammation happens over the course of weeks, months and even years.

And when inflammation is allowed to go on this long in your body, it will negatively impact all of your organs and systems.

But what causes this chronic inflammation in the first place? Well, it’s not usually injury or illness. It’s usually lifestyle factors such as eating a poor diet high in junk foods and low in nutritious wholesome foods, certain medications, smoking, stress and environmental factors.

And that’s not even the worst of the news…

Inflammation is the Root Cause of Most Diseases

According to a Harvard Medical School report, “Chronic inflammation plays a central role in some of the most challenging diseases of our time, including rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, asthma, and even Alzheimer’s.”

And according to research published in 2012, “An increasing body of evidence shows that chronic inflammation causes and advances many common diseases.”

Inflammation is something that needs to be taken seriously and not ignored. Most people aren’t even aware they have inflammation unless they have a blood test done. And over the days and weeks and months, their body starts to break down and develop some of the diseases I just mentioned.

At any age, it’s important we take steps to reduce the inflammation in our body. You can do this in a number of ways:

Eat an Anti-Inflammatory Diet

There are certain foods like sugar and trans fats that create inflammation in the body. These should be avoided.

But there are also foods that decrease inflammation, and you should make an effort to eat more of them.

Fatty fish have a lot of omega-3 fatty acids, which have long been revered for their ability to fight inflammation. Other foods to include are blueberries, extra virgin olive oil, green tea and herbs and spices such as turmeric and basil.

Destress

It’s not just what we eat that causes inflammation, stress is a major culprit as well. It’s important that you find healthy ways of destressing. Many people opt for unhealthy options, such as eating sugary comfort foods and drinking and smoking, all of which will increase inflammation in the body.

Exercise is a great way to beat the effects of stress as is meditation. Want to combine the two try a walking meditation. It moves your body while it stills your mind.

Reach for Supplements

There are natural supplements that can help decrease inflammation. For instance, adaptogens like Ashwagandha help eliminate the effects of stress on the body.

There is also ginseng, which fights inflammation in a couple of different ways.

First, it has been proven to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have shown ginseng extract inhibits inflammation and increases the antioxidant capacity within the cells.

On top of this, ginseng has also been used in traditional medicine to ease anxiety and boost mood. That’s a one-two punch against inflammation.

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Try some for yourself today and help protect your body from inflammation and developing chronic disease.