Updated: Dec 9, 2019
We all wish we could stay younger longer and our hopes are that we'll age gracefully and healthfully. So what can we do now that will help us later in life? One area we should take a closer look at is chronic inflammation. Recent research shows that chronic inflammation may be a common underlying cause of major degenerative diseases including coronary artery disease, diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer's.
For decades, inflammation has been viewed as the body's beneficial response to an illness or injury. Now, however, researchers are beginning to view inflammation from a different perspective.
Acute vs Chronic Inflammation
Acute inflammation is easily noticed because there are usually accompanying symptoms such as pain, swelling, redness, or heat.
Chronic inflammation, on the other hand, stays under the surface where it may never be diagnosed. As adults, we all have some active chronic inflammation occurring that slowly wears down our tissues and organs. Sometimes the only way we are aware of it is through blood tests.
If the inflammation increases, it can eventually start to seriously damage healthy cells, tissues, and organs. Links have been established between chronic inflammation and diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and cancer, among others.
Recent research shows that chronic inflammation may be a common underlying cause of major degenerative diseases including coronary artery disease, diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer's.
This new knowledge of the effects of chronic inflammation make it apparent that we need to start fighting inflammation early in life in order to prevent damage and serious diseases later on.
How Can We Reduce Chronic Inflammation?
We could take a common anti-inflammatory drug such as an NSAID or steroid, but they have bad side effects, especially with higher doses and long-term use. It’s no wonder that doctors are starting to recommend more holistic treatments. One such recommendation is to minimize refined carbohydrates and increase fruits and vegetables. Avoid trans fats since they can cause inflammation.
Foods to Avoid
The following is a list of foods that are known to induce chronic inflammation:
Trans fats, found in fried foods
Soybean oil and vegetable oil
Processed snack foods, such as chips and crackers
Desserts, such as cookies, candy, and ice cream
Too many carbohydrates
Choose These Foods
The following is a list of foods that help you fight chronic inflammation:
Dark leafy greens, including kale and spinach
Blueberries, blackberries, and cherries
Dark red grapes
Nutrition-dense vegetables, such as broccoli and cauliflower
Beans and lentils
Red wine, in moderation
Avocado and coconut
Extra virgin olive oil
Walnuts, pistachios, pine nuts, and almonds
Cold water fish, including salmon and sardines
What should I do? We are Here to Help!
Don’t fight inflammation alone, we are here to help you. It can be challenging to begin to change your diet and find high quality supplements. Our licensed and certified nutritionist will work with you to help you learn how to make the healthy changes needed to decrease chronic inflammation.