Ultimately, chronic inflammation wears down the immune system which is why it is often found to be at the root of many health issues and modern diseases we face as a culture today (i.e. accelerated aging, autoimmunity, IBS, arthritis, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, dementia and cancer).
CAUSES OF INFLAMMATION
Some common causes of chronic inflammation are (in no particular order):
- Standard American diet – high in refined sugars, gluten, diary and hydrogenated oils
- Gut health issues
- Environmental toxins
- Lack of sleep
- Sedentary lifestyle
Chronic inflammation can show up in a variety of ways including, but not limited to, acne, allergies, weight gain, digestive issues, joint pain, fatigue and depression. However for some people, chronic inflammation can be festering beneath the surface without manifesting observable symptoms and they may not know it’s there! So, I suggest, at your annual physical, you ask your doctor to include C-reactive protein (CRP), a pro-inflammatory marker released by the liver, as part of your routine lab work.
If you experience any of the above warning signs or your CRP levels are higher than 1 mg/L, don’t worry just yet–food is one of your most powerful inflammation fighters. What you put at the end of your fork everyday will either feed the fire of inflammation or help to extinguish it. The best way to offset the damage and cool inflammation on a cellular level is to eat a diet full of anti-inflammatory foods.
An anti-inflammatory diet is comprised of foods that are widely regarded as healthy for you, including those high in fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytonutrients. Here is a list of my favorite foods for keeping chronic inflammation in check.
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