How to manage inflammation with better nutrition, and why it matters
Are you dealing chronic health conditions? Do you regularly face mental health issues, such as anxiety or depression, or experience physical ailments? If so, you may need to learn more about inflammation in the body and find ways to get it under control.
Inflammation is the body’s natural response to illness and injury. For example, when you get a cut, scrape or sprain, the body responds with increased blood flow, swelling, pain. These symptoms are a sign that the body is trying to heal itself by ramping up its immune response.
Normally, that’s a good thing. But when it gets out of hand, the same system that promotes healing can create the conditions for chronic pain, sickness, and mental health issues as the body stays on high alert mode, and eventually starts to attack itself.
In general, this cycle of an out of control inflammatory response is what causes immune system problems, such as those that lead to arthritis, psoriasis, and allergies, just to name a few examples. Other signs that the body is dealing with chronic inflammation include mental fogginess, digestive issues, undefined aches and pains, and lack of energy.
So, what causes chronic inflammation? In part, the cause can be traced in some people to poor dietary choices, unhealthy behaviors, and poor environmental conditions. Eating processed foods, not getting enough sleep, a lack of exercise, and air pollution can all contribute to chronic inflammation for people susceptible or vulnerable to those conditions.
Another cause is chronic stress. When a person is stressed by poor work conditions, difficult relationships or other issues, the body produces hormones that ramp up circulation and change metabolism. In small doses, this gives the body energy and the mind focused to face challenges. But when stress is long term, those changes in the body create a toxic environment that prevent rest and healing. When the body and mind can’t rest and heal, that inflammation can cause additional health issues that exacerbate and cause mental health problems. (Think anxiety and depression.)
But one solution for ailments of the body and mind is to manage inflammation is to choose a healthier diet. You can choose foods that are more likely to heal the body than aggravate your condition. It helps to include more fruits and vegetables, fresh food, whole ingredients without chemical additives, organic food, and to control sugar, fat, and watch for allergies.
Adding organic and natural foods that have been shown to fight inflammation makes a difference, too. There are foods that are well known to promote better health by reducing inflammation in the body. You’ll want to make choices based on your individual needs, but these are generally good options:
- Curcumin. Found in the spice Turmeric, the yellow pigment curcumin has been found to be as effective as some over-the-counter medications, such as Ibuprofen.
- Green Tea. Contains healthy compounds. The green tea is less processed, and is better for you than black or herbal teas.
- Garlic. This powerful root provides wonderful flavor, but it’s also tremendously helpful in the body. Garlic has a blood thinning effect, and promotes good circulation, plus many more positive benefits.
- Capsaicin. Found chili peppers, the same compound that gives heat and flavor to the pepper can help to control inflammation in the body.
- White Willow Bark. Have you heard of white willow bark? It has a similar effect as aspirin, and has been used for its anti-inflammatory properties since Roman and Egyptian times.
- Cinnamon. This spice comes from tree bark. In addition to being anti-inflammatory, it’s also high in antioxidant, and has lipid-lowering properties.
- Ginger. A host of research studies have shown that ginger has a better anti-inflammatory effect than many non-steroidal drugs. Ginger is a root commonly used to flavor desserts, add warmth to sauces, added to teas, and even candied as a treat.
Please take a little time to review all of your options before making a final decision to treat inflammation in the body, and the conditions it creates. You can take control of your health by learning more, and finding natural ways to promote your health, healing and overall wellness. Don’t hesitate to visit our website to learn more, and reach out with any questions.