Inflammation is our defense mechanism in which the immune system protects us against the “bad stuff” and aids in the healing process. Inflammation is a necessary part of our lives. However, there is such thing as too much of a good thing, and this shows itself as chronic inflammation. The difference between acute inflammation and chronic inflammation is important to understand. Acute inflammation is our defense mechanism, protecting our immune system and repairing damage when we, for example, scrape our leg, break a bone, or get exposed to the flu. Chronic inflammation presents itself as a lower grade of inflammation lasting for a longer period of time (several months to years). When our bodies are continuously exposed to sources of inflammation, even a small amount, we are not given a chance to rest and repair. This type of inflammation can be a result of a variety of factors including a diet rich in saturated/trans-fats and refined sugar, smoking cigarettes, low estrogen/testosterone, physical and emotional stress, and irregular sleep schedules. The good thing, however, is that all these factors can be influenced through dietary and lifestyle changes.
You can start by making small changes to your diet, such as adding a serving of colorful vegetables twice a day, or a lifestyle goal like getting 8-9 hours of restful sleep a night, and from there and you’ll be on your way to living a less inflammatory and stronger life!
For a list of foods to include into your diet, check out our Anti-Inflammatory Food Guide