Why is inflammation bad for your body?
Inflammation has been found to be an underlying cause in many diseases, making it a hot topic. We now know that the causes behind the diseases most likely to afflict us have one factor common in virtually all of them: inflammation. Chronic inflammation has a role in a host of common and often serious diseases, including Alzheimer’s, arthritis, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and possibly even depression.
It is interesting to know that inflammation is a vital part of the human immune system; there are several inflammation causes. When harmful bacteria or viruses enter your body or when you twist your knee, the body’s defense system takes charge of the situation. On the surface of the body, its local redness, heat, swelling and pain at an area of the body that is injured or under attack. Chemicals ramp up the body to fight, covering the damaged area with blood, fluid, and proteins. This creates swelling and heat to protect and repair damaged tissueand setting the stage for healing.This is the way our body gets nourishment and more immune activity to an area that needs it.
At the same time, inflammation is powerful and can be potentially destructive. Hence, it is very important that it stays where it is supposed to stay and ends when it is supposed to end. But if inflammation persists after its job is done, it can lead to disease. The body has evolved enough to produce enough inflammation because if the body cannot produce it, then it is susceptible to infection.It is important to know there should not be excess inflammation because if the body produces too much, it becomes susceptible to certain inflammation types such as allergy, auto-immune conditions and other conditions.
There seems to be a link between obesity and some diagnostic markers for inflammation, but we don’t know what causes them. These individuals are at a higher risk for heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. The fat cells can trigger the release of a steady cytokines (pro-inflammatory markers) that, in place of an invader to attack, go after healthy nerves, organs, or tissues. As you gain weight, this affects our body’s ability to use insulin, sometimes leading to type 2 diabetes. Inflammatory cells also can have an effect elsewhere in the body,for example - chronically infected and inflamed gums in the mouth can cause damage that leads to heart attack and stroke. Inflammation may also contribute to congestive heart failure and uncontrolled hypertension. Inflammation in the brain can also lead to Alzheimer’s disease. Studies show that how inflammation contributes to cancer. Inflammatory cells produce free radicals that destroy genetic material, including DNA, leading to mutations that cause cells to endlessly grow and divide. More immune cells are then called in creating inflammation that feeds the growth of tumors.
What causes inflammation?
Inflammation causes include the following:
- Excess indulgence in unhealthy foods
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Sugary beverages
- Too little movement
- Imbalances in gut bacteria
How to reduce inflammation in the body?
One of the most powerful tools to reduce inflammation in the body comes from consuming anti-inflammatory foods - real whole foods with anti inflammatory properties.
Avoid: Foods that cause inflammation such as refined carbohydrates, such as white bread, pastries and cookies, fried foods, sugar-sweetened beverages, red meat (burgers, steaks) and processed meat (hot dogs, sausage)etc.
Consume: Anti- inflammatory foods such as foods with a lower glycemic index and foods high in omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants. These can decrease inflammation and protect tissues from inflammatory damage.
It is helpful to includeanti-inflammatoryfoods like whole grains such as jowar, bajra, rajgira, protein sources such as pulses, eggs, lean meat and healthy fats like coconut oil and ghee. High fibre fruits and veggies such as leafy greens are also excellent anti-inflammatory foods. Lastly, traditional herbs and spices especially turmeric must be consumed liberally. Everyday turmericthat we use in our cooking is one of the most potent anti-inflammatory food ingredients. Lastly, stay hydrated. Plain water works very well to remove toxins from the body and lower inflammation.
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