Chronic Inflammation and your Health

by Rebecca Sherry Eshraghi

These days, we have on our hands an epidemic of undetected chronic inflammation which can sooner or later lead to several diseases, including certain cancers, rheumatoid arthritis, autoimmune disease, atherosclerosis, diabetes, cardiovascular, neurodegenerative diseases and more.

In essence, inflammation is a good thing as it is the body’s attempt at self-protection, to remove harmful stimuli and begin the healing process. However, this needs to be understood in context.

There are two main kinds of inflammation: acute and chronic. Acute inflammation is usually a rapid response to injury and short-lived, lasting from hours to a couple of days and then subsiding. It is the body’s vital mechanism of defense to heal itself by preventing the spread of infections and by removing pathogens. However, if the inflammation does not subside fully, it can become chronic.

Chronic inflammation can be a rapid or slow onset and is characterized primarily by its persistence and lack of clear resolution; it occurs when the tissues are unable to overcome the effects of the injuring agent. Chronic lasts longer with its usually low grade inflammation lingering for months and even years. While acute inflammation is valuable to maintaining health, chronic inflammation causes damage to the tissues.

There are many factors that can cause chronic inflammation, including improper diet, nutrient deficiencies, excess weight, candida and free radicals. It is believed, in the majority of cases, that chronic inflammation begins in the gut. Food and lifestyle can greatly reduce and prevent it. It is recommended to follow an anti-inflammatory diet.

Certain foods promote inflammation and certain foods reduce inflammation. In general, we need to increase our consumption of those known anti-inflammatory foods.

Anti-inflammatory foods:

• Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as fish, walnuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds and more

• Dark green, leafy vegetables

• Beets

• Broccoli

• Berries such as blueberries, raspberries, strawberries

• Turmeric and Ginger

• Probiotics 25g of fiber/day

Pro-inflammatory foods to avoid:

• Foods high in saturated fats and trans-fats

• Processed foods, sugars and high fructose corn syrup

• Artificial sweeteners, colors and flavors

• Dairy products

Since it is difficult to maintain this diet for a long period of time, I suggest adhering to it for at least two weeks every three months and staying moderate on the pro-inflammatory foods in order to avoid recurring chronic inflammation.

Some people are more intolerant or allergic to certain foods such as gluten, therefore a food allergy test would be helpful in determining the specific food that is causing inflammation in an individual.

Rebecca Sherry Eshraghi, PhD, DNM, is a natural and holistic healthcare practitioner at Natural Health Power Works, 2645 Executive Dr., Weston. For more information and/or appointment, call 305-720-9099 or visit NaturalHealthPowerWorks.com

Disclaimer: Information is for educational purposes only. Content does not render medical or psychological advice, opinion, diagnosis or treatment and should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease. It is not a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you may have a medical or psychological problem, you should consult your appropriate health care provider.

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