The Anti-Inflammatory Diet

     The Anti-Inflammatory Diet

     The Anti-Inflammatory Diet
     The Anti-Inflammatory Diet

    What is the Anti-Inflammatory Diet?       

      Have you ever heard of the Anti-Inflammatory Diet before? Perhaps you have heard about it from your doctor, or maybe you had read it from somewhere, like a health and fitness magazine. If this is your first time to do further research on this type of diet, then it is important to first discuss what inflammation is.
    Inflammation, Its Symptoms, and Causes 

      We all experience inflammation in different parts of our body throughout our lives. Most of the time, we know exactly what caused it: a scrape from falling on our knees, an allergic reaction after touching a strange-looking plant, an infection after catching a cold from an officemate… the list goes on. There are also times when we are unaware of what caused it, and even times when we do not even know we have an inflammation somewhere in our body. 

    Be that as it may, inflammation is simply the immune system’s natural reaction to trauma. Its main purpose is to reject the irritant as well as the damaged cells, thus making inflammation a natural part of the healing process. After the inflammation subsides, a process called “suppuration” commences, which means the affected area would begin to excrete pus. After this stage comes the granulation period, in which tiny, granular tissue would begin to gather around the area in order to replenish the damaged cells. Keep in mind that healing always begins with inflammation.

     There are two types of inflammation: acute and chronic.

      Acute inflammation takes place rapidly and can escalate to a severe condition, and it lasts from a few days to a couple of weeks. Some examples of acute inflammation are severe trauma to the head, a cut on the skin, acute bronchitis, sore throat, acute infective meningitis, and acute dermatitis.

      Chronic inflammation, on the other hand, can last for months or years. It is usually caused by at least one of two factors. The first is a chronic irritant that the person is constantly exposed to. The second is an autoimmune response in which the immune system of the person mistakenly attacks healthy cells as they perceive the latter to be pathogens. Common examples of chronic inflammation are asthma, ulcerative colitis, tuberculosis, Crohn’s disease, and chronic active hepatitis.

     The biggest problem lies in chronic inflammation, because it usually goes undetected especially if the person continues to live a lifestyle containing the chronic irritant. Over time, chronic inflammation will trigger the onset of a wide range of diseases, such as many types of cancers, atherosclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and so on. 

      One way of telling whether you have chronic inflammation is to have the amount of white blood cells in your body checked. If the level is higher than average, then there is also a high chance that you have chronic inflammation. What is more, it means you have an increased risk of developing a wide range of diseases. According to multiple studies, there is a direct link between obesity and chronic inflammation. For instance, one study published in 2008 on the website of the British Journal of Sports Medicine revealed that obese males have higher levels of white blood cells compared to those who are of the same age but are of the average weight.

     On the other hand, losing excess weight can also help reduce inflammation. A study published in the journal Cancer Research, for example, showed that obese women who were able to shed off five percent of their excess body weight also reflected a decrease in their inflammation marker levels, including white blood cell count. 

    To treat chronic inflammation, you must first have yourself go through a thorough medical check-up in order to determine if it is caused by an autoimmune response. If it is not, then you can check if you are allergic to certain types of food and other substances. For instance, many people are unaware that their chronic inflammation is due to their allergy towards poultry and eggs. 

    Once you have determined the main factors behind your chronic inflammation, the final step is to establish changes to your lifestyle in order to heal from it. The lifestyle causes of chronic inflammation are: 

             A diet rich in processed food  

     Foods rich in sodium, sugar, and other harmful additives trigger inflammation. Eat them regularly and you will naturally develop chronic inflammation. 

             A stressful lifestyle                   

     Stress triggers the release of the hormones adrenaline and cortisol, with inflammation being one of their side effects. Those who experience stress on a daily basis would therefore have higher levels of these hormones. 

              Exposure to certain toxins     

    If you are exposed regularly to certain toxins, your immune system will weaken, thus leading to chronic infection and inflammation. For instance, nicotine and several chemicals in alcohol are known triggers of inflammation. 

      All these goes to show that lifestyle changes can significantly affect chronic inflammation, especially when it comes to weight loss. If you have been diagnosed of having chronic inflammation