Inflammation. We need it to stay healthy because it’s the body’s natural response to injury or infection that occurs to bring about healing. When inflammation is chronic, however, that’s when problems happen, including conditions such as autoimmune disorders, allergies, asthma, cardiovascular problems, rapid aging and cancer. Why? When there is continual bodily inflammation, then it can cause damage to bodily tissues and organs, leading to a vicious cycle of even more inflammation and further damage. For example, chronic inflammation can damage arteries, leading to high cholesterol, heart attack or stroke.
Here’s how. For example, when chronic inflammation attacks arteries, then immune cells act to fight the inflammation, followed by cholesterol to cover those inflamed areas—much like a band-aid on them. When inflammation doesn’t cease, then there might be a blood vessel that gives way, which means that the body then has to “fix” it by using a blood clot to mend it. If that clot breaks loose, then it could go to the heart, causing a heart attack, or it can go to the brain and cause a stroke.
Chronic inflammation can also damage nerve cells in the brain, leading to brain degeneration, while chronic inflammation can also eat away at cartilage to damage joints. Rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disorder, results from inflammation gnawing away at the joints throughout the body. Unceasing inflammation can also damage the kidneys (nephritis), the pancreas (pancreatitis) and even airways to the lungs, resulting in asthma attacks or chronic bronchitis.
Chronic inflammation can also depress the immune system so that your body’s defenses can’t fight off what they would normally be able to stave off. Likewise, when a person gains weight or is overweight, then fat cells become more biochemically active, resulting in more inflammatory compounds, which can increase a person’s likelihood of experiencing chronic inflammation.
And get this—when you have chronic inflammation, you most likely don’t even realize it, since you technically feel no pain from it. You don’t feel “sick,” but all the major systems, including endocrine, digestive, cardiovascular, respiratory and central nervous systems are all affected. One marker for chronic inflammation is C-reactive protein, which can be measured via a blood test. A New England Journal of Medicine study showed that people with high levels of C-reactive protein were almost three times as likely to die from a heart attack.
How chronic inflammation plays out is often determined by your genetics, but the good news is that there are some steps you can take to keep unrelenting inflammation in check. That’s why it makes sense to keep chronic inflammation at bay—starting with your diet, using all organic foods, of course, since toxins in foods can add to the inflammation.
Here are some foods and spices to try: organic fruits such as wild blueberries, goji berries, strawberries, lemons, pineapple, papayas, oranges, grapefruits; and vegetables such as broccoli kale, cauliflower, red cabbage, mustard greens and bell peppers; omega-3 packed foods such as coldwater fish, flaxseeds and chia seeds, nuts and more; and spices such as ginger, curcumin, turmeric and basil. Also, if you eat grains, then eat only gluten-free grains.
Additionally, you’ll want to avoid all processed foods and conventionally raised or grown foods, including sugar, refined carbs, milk, beef, grains, omega-6 fatty acids and more.
Keep your chronic inflammation at bay. It could make a huge difference in the direction your health goes.