Are You Struggling With Inflammation?
If you deal with chronic pain, stress, exhaustion and fatigue, hormonal imbalance, digestive issues, or any number of other ailments, you likely have an overabundance of inflammation in your system.
After all, some of the most common diagnoses for women – like PCOS and IBS – are inherently inflammatory syndromes.
But what does it really mean to have inflammation in your body? How can you tell?
The list below are symptoms which can be associated with low grade chronic inflammation:
- Skin outbreaks
- Shortness of breath
- Body aches and pains
- Weight gain
- Dry eyes
- Frequent infections
- Fuzzy thinking
We all need a small amount of inflammation in our bodies to maintain good health – this is known as acute inflammation. For instance, with an allergic reaction or infection, our bodies are programmed to respond, identifying the infectious or dangerous substance and responding to repair any resulting damage.
When our bodies are working smoothly and properly, the release of these pro-inflammatory compounds when needed is done easily and efficiently. When the threat has been addressed, anti-inflammatory compounds are released and our bodies return to a balanced state.
When the body’s pro-inflammatory immune cells continue to be stimulated, chronic inflammation arises. When these excess immune cells continually circulate in our systems, they can damage healthy areas such as joint tissue (which could lead to arthritis), blood vessel linings (which could lead to atherosclerosis), pancreatic tissue (which could lead to diabetes), and on and on.
Many women first feel the effects of inflammation during their perimenopause and menopausal years. These times of major hormonal shifts seem to have a profound effect on inflammation for some women. This could explain why women suffer more than men with autoimmune diseases. Estrogen tends to be an anti-inflammatory agent.
– via www.womentowomen.com
Changes To Your Diet
One of the best ways to fight inflammation is just by giving your body better fuel. Eating right and making some small lifestyle changes can help you break the cycle and really start feeling like yourself again.
You might even prevent future damage!
Foods are a wonderful place to start when you are looking to reduce inflammation in your body. What you eat on a daily basis will have a profound effect on your body’s ability to fight inflammation and prevent inflammation from happening. Through eating you literally change the chemistry of your body. Here are some of our top anti-inflammatory foods:
Omega 3 Fatty Acid Rich Foods: These are your number one go to foods for beating inflammation. Omega 3 rich foods stop the inflammatory process in its tracks by blocking the prostaglandin pathways that produce inflammation and supporting the prostaglandin pathways that reduce inflammation. These essential fats are a life saver for those who deal with inflammation. Adding more omega 3 rich foods to your diet in the form of hemp seeds, chia seeds, avocados, olives and walnuts will help you to benefit from these super nutrient dense foods.
Leafy Green Vegetables: Leafy green veggies are filled with a compound known as chlorophyll, which has an incredible alkalizing effect on the body. This alkalizing action can help to dramatically reduce inflammation in the body when consumed on a regular basis. Some excellent greens to try are bok choy, green leaf lettuce, red leaf lettuce, romaine, spinach, swiss chard and kale. Be sure to cycle your greens for best results. If you have sensitive digestion, choose the softer greens like lettuces more often.
Dark Green Veggies: Veggies that have a green pigment will have alkalizing and therefore anti-inflammatory effect on the body. Cucumber, broccoli, celery and zucchini are all wonderful additions to any diet if you are looking for a way to help calm an inflamed body. These veggies should be eaten raw, in juice or smoothie form, or lightly steamed in order to capitalize on their inflammation busting effects.
Seaweeds: Seaweeds are some of the most nutrient dense plant foods on the planet. Rich in alkaline minerals sea veggies not only help to alkalize the body and reduce inflammation, they also work to pull toxins out of the body, balance hormones and protect you from radiation.
Berries: Berries are some of the most antioxidant rich foods on the planet. These little nutritional powerhouses work overtime to protect your body from free radical damage, which can help to reduce inflammation and pain. Blackberries, cherries, raspberries, strawberries, cranberries, blueberries and pomegranates will all help to fight inflammation in your system.
Coconut/Coconut oil: The medium chain triglycerides found in coconut and coconut oil are what gives this super food its anti-inflammatory powers. Caprilic and lauric acid (both medium chain triglycerides) are anti-microbial and help reduce inflammation. This is especially good news if you suffer from acne. Acne is an infection of the pores, which means that there is a need for both the anti-microbial and inflammation reducing components of coconut. Coconut oil can be used both internally and topically to help reduce inflammation, depending on where it is manifesting in your body.
Asian Mushrooms: Mushrooms are powerhouse foods that help to beat inflammation by boosting the immune system. This immune boost helps to slow down cell damage and thus reduces the need for inflammatory activity. Shiitake, maitake, oyster, lobster and Portobello mushrooms are all great choices. Medicinal mushrooms like reishi will have other health enhancing effects on top of their anti-inflammatory power.
Pineapple: Pineapple can save you from inflammation due to a compound in its core called bromelain. This is an enzyme that works to reduce inflammation in the body as well as helping the body to digest food more efficiently.
Apples: Apple skins contain a compound known as quercetin, which is a natural antihistamine. This compound will work in your body to fight off environmental allergies, helping reduce any inflammation that may be caused as a result.
Spirulina: Spirulina is a blue-green algae that is super rich in chlorophyll, minerals and easy to digest amino acids. All of this comes together to make spirulina an inflammation reducing super star. You can also load up on greens by using a superfood blend by HealthForce Nutritionals called Vitamineral Greens. It’s a combination of Spirulina, Chlorella and other superfood green powders.
Papaya: Similar to pineapple, papaya contains an enzyme called papin that helps reduce inflammation in the body, especially in the digestive tract. Papaya is an excellent food to eat on a regular basis to help improve digestion.
– via Young and Raw
Do any of those symptoms of inflammation sound like you?