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Is Your Lifestyle Causing Inflammation?

What are the leading causes of inflammation

A woman eating a donut, holding it with both hands.
Everybody loves a treat every now and then. But sugary and processed foods
cater for our taste buds, not necessarily for our good health and anti-inflammation.

(Image by Pixabay.com)

Just about every adult has experienced inflammation in their body. Inflammation isn't always a bad thing. If you cut yourself or get a sore throat, your body starts fighting off the foreign substance that entered it. For minor infections, this is known as acute inflammation. The infected area sends out cytokines, which are like your body's built-in alarm system and white blood cells then swarm the area to help heal it. The area may turn red and feel warm and swollen as your body heals itself.

There is another type of inflammation, however, that is cause for concern: chronic inflammation. This is a type of persistent inflammation in the body that doesn't seem to go away. It's often associated with autoimmune deficiency health conditions and may contribute towards diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and cancer.

Medical conditions attributed to chronic inflammation are often treated with steroids. However, sometimes making a lifestyle change can greatly reduce chronic inflammation in the body. Here are the leading causes of inflammation that you should know about—and that you can change to improve your health.

A Diet High in Sugar and Processed Foods

Unfortunately, a lot of tasty foods such as sweet treats, fried foods, processed meats, and anything high in refined carbs can contribute to chronic inflammation. Sugar, in particular, causes the body to release cytokines. The problem is, with no real infection present, the white blood cells that answer the call have no real place to go and end up causing general inflammation and inflammation of organs.

The good news is you don't have to completely cut these foods from your diet, but you should limit your intake of desserts, cookies, cake, candy, soda and other sweetened foods in addition to deli meats, red meat, fried foods, and carbohydrates. Instead, reach for anti-inflammatory foods such as olive oil, nuts, tomatoes, and kale.

A glass of olive oil, with fresh olives around it, and a piece of bread.
To avoid inflammation, not to mention chronic inflammation, make sure you include
anti-inflammatory foods as part of your daily nutrition, which are good sources of
many good ingredients, such as Omega oils and vitamins.
(Image by Pixabay.com)

Obesity

Studies have found that being overweight or obese causes low-grade chronic inflammation, with the liver being one of the organs most affected. Carrying extra weight increases the risk of heart disease and cancer, and also puts extra strain on muscles and joints.

By reducing your weight, you can help decrease the prevalence of inflammation in your body. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep, as sleep deprivation can make you hungrier. Getting enough sleep can actually help with weight loss.

Stress

There is a strong link between stress and inflammation, as your body's "fight or flight" response creates an overabundance of cytokines. It also raises your levels of cortisol, which increases sugar in your bloodstream, contributing to inflammation.

Sometimes everyday stress is unavoidable, but you can help manage it by learning more about stress relief. Exercising, practicing meditation or yoga, and getting enough sleep can all help bring stress levels down. Listening to music and socializing with loved ones can reduce stress as well.

Drinking

There’s nothing wrong with having a glass of wine to celebrate the end of the workweek, or a couple of beers on the weekend. Heavy alcohol consumption, however, can lead to chronic inflammation. In one study, heavy alcohol intake increased the amount of the inflammatory marker C-reactive protein (CRP) found in the body.

Follow the dietary guidelines for alcohol consumption to ensure you’re not exceeding the recommended amount.

You Can Conquer Inflammation

Instead of turning to medication, try to improve the above areas in your lifestyle to help prevent diseases and keep inflammation in the body low. Shop our health products for supplements and vitamins that can help you conquer chronic inflammation.

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