It seems the health community and popular media has been talking a lot about the risks of inflammation and its impact on our bodies. Even with all the information available, you may be asking yourself what is inflammation and how concerned should we be about it? There are two types of inflammation:
- Acute inflammation occurs in response to a cut or injury. When our body is exposed to injury or illness, our immune system kicks in to heal itself. With acute inflammation, once the body is healed, it goes back to its natural, pre-injury state.
- Chronic inflammation, on the other hand, is a long-term response by the immune system to a stressor. With chronic inflammation, your body has not been able to heal the injury. Lack of sleep, excess weight, no physical activity, processed foods and too much sugar in the diet are all examples of stressors that might lead to chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation weakens the body’s ability to fight illness and remove cellular damage. Over time, this weakness can lead to chronic disease such as cancer, arthritis, heart disease and diabetes. There is strong evidence that what we eat can change the inflammatory response on a cellular level. What we eat matters! The foods to avoid include:
- Processed and refined foods
- Chemically laden foods
- Fast food
- Sugary foods and drinks
- Trans fats