Asthma, Crohn's disease, chronic sinusitis... the list of conditions caused by inflammation goes on and on. When something harmful or irritating affects our body, there is a biological response to remove it. Some signs and symptoms of inflammation are just our body’s process of trying to heal itself. This beneficial response can become troublesome, however, when the initial inflammation causes more and more inflammation.
Acute inflammation, lasting for a small period of time, as seen in the form of flu or an ingrown toenail, for instance, is not usually of great concern. Chronic inflammation, however, may last several months to a year.
How acute inflammation turns chronic:
- Failure to heal acute inflammation
- A persistent chronic irritant
- An autoimmune response to healthy tissue, mistaking it for harmful pathogens
Examples of chronic inflammation may include:
- Mental health issues
- Premature aging
- Periodontal disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Ulcerative Colitis
So what can you do to help fight inflammation in your body?
1. Sleep - Consistent poor sleep quality or duration, usually under six hours per night, could lead to inflammatory issues. Check out this study for more details: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/207877.php
2. Cook with Spices - Some spices have been found to reduce inflammation. Cloves, ginger, rosemary, and turmeric, when consumed in normal doses during daily cooking, have helped many who suffer with inflammation. Check out this video to learn more: http://nutritionfacts.org/video/which-spices-fight-inflammation/
3. Chew - Our saliva is alkaline which reduces inflammation. Most of us hurry through the chewing process, not allowing enough of our saliva to interact with our food. Read this article on the subject: http://nutritionstudies.org/time-chew-digestive-system-starts-mouth/
4. Eat a Plant-Based Diet - According to a published study, lower dietary inflammation was associated with those following a high-fiber, low-fat, plant-based diet. This type of diet may help treat chronic diseases linked with inflammation. Learn more about the study here: http://www.nrjournal.com/article/s0271-5317(14)00267-X/fulltext
In addition, Dr. Fuhrman states that animal foods are higher in substances linked to inflammation, premature aging, and other diseases. Therefore, a plant-based diet not only lowers inflammation, but taking a break from animal foods may also limit other substances causing the inflammation.
Inflammation plays a role in many ailments and diseases. You can fight back by applying these steps. We do have some control over the health of our bodies. Change may take some effort, but few things are more important than our health. For when we are of good health, we have the strength to carry on the purpose God has called us each to. The effort you put forth will be well worth it.
“In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." - John 16:33