First things first: what is internal inflammation.
Simply put, it’s a sign that your body is fighting back. Which is, in theory, good! It’s the body’s process of trying to eliminate potentially harmful infections, injuries, and/or toxins before they can do any real damage.
When something damages our cells, our body releases a chemical that triggers a response from our immune system. This response just happens to include releasing antibodies, proteins, and a heck of a lot of blood to the damaged area.
Hence the swelling.
Healthy, normal inflammation will last a couple of hours at most. In the case of acute inflammation, it can last for days.
It’s considered chronic inflammation when that response lingers. This leaves your body in a constant state of high alert. If left untreated, it can leave some serious damage on your tissues and organs (we’re talking internal scarring, potential tissue death, and fatigue – very serious stuff).
How do I get Internal Inflammation?
There’s a whole list of culprits behind internal inflammation, including (but not limited to):
- Untreated injuries or infections
- Autoimmune disorder (where your immune system attacks your healthy tissues by mistake)
- Long-term exposure to irritants
There are also studies that link the following factors to internal inflammation, although they’re less well-known and not as straightforward as the first three:
- Alcohol indulgence
- Chronic stress
How do I Fight Internal Inflammation (with Food)?
Even if you don’t believe in that age-old “you are what you eat” adage (although you really, really should), there’s no denying the science behind optimising your health with food. Thousands of studies, hours of research, and millions of resources all point towards diet playing a huge role in our general, overall health.
Crappy food consumption often yields crappy feelings, whereas rich, whole foods often leave us feeling the same way.
So there are certain foods you can consume or avoid if you want to stay far, far away from inflammation. And they all have a significant amount of studies to verify their legitimacy.
Let me list them down.
- Salmon (and other cold-water, fatty fish).Great source (arguably the best source) of omega 3-fatty acids, EPA, DHA, high-quality protein, and a whole lot of other good stuff. The fact that it tastes so, so good is a tremendous bonus.
- Avocados. Another winner in the “good kind of fat” category, avocados are, quite literally, a superfood. Rich in fibre, potassium, magnesium, and monosaturated fats – all the things your body needs to fight off infection (and inflammation).
Who knew all those avocado toast breakfasts would pay off?
- Fruits (especially berries). Small but powerful, blueberries contain more antioxidants per cup than any other fruit. You can also load up on strawberries (a sweet treat), cherries (maraschino? More like maraschi-yes), and oranges (citrus-y goodness) for a fruit-flavoured inflammation-fighting diet.
- High-Fructose Corn Syrup. The one thing that makes all dieticians hiss (like a cat). HFCS is one of the main types of added sugar in Western diets, and let me tell you; you don’t want all that extra processed fructose in you.
A high-fructose diet has been linked to obesity, insulin resistance, diabetes, fatty liver, and chronic kidney disease … just to name a few.
- Refined Carbohydrates. Carbs aren’t bad. In fact, you need them in a healthy, balanced diet.
Refined carbs are the problem, here. Because refined carbs have had most of their fibre removed, leaving carbs with a high glycemic index (GI). Foods that have high GI are known to raise blood sugar more rapidly – and more extensively – than foods with moderate or low GI.
A rapid spike in blood sugar can encourage the growth of inflammatory gut bacteria – something you definitely don’t want.
Basically, the answer to fighting internal inflammation is sort of ridiculously simple. Balanced diet, healthy lifestyle. Everything in moderation. Enjoy your beers and your brews, your coffees, and your ice creams. Just remember to keep the portions in check, and you’ll be golden.
If you’d like to find out how Hearty Health can help keep you eat well and feel, or find out more about how you can get Hearty Health ready meals direct to you or at your facility, simply call 1300 728 764 or email firstname.lastname@example.org