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Chronic Inflammation



Inflammation is a natural process that occurs during immune responses and wound healing. Acute inflammation is short term and beneficial. It is the low-grade, chronic inflammation that causes problems.



Common symptoms of chronic inflammation:

  • weight gain

  • accelerated aging

  • hormonal imbalances

  • headaches

  • joint stiffness/pain

  • digestive issues

  • blood sugar imbalances

  • autoimmune disorders

  • insomnia

  • brain fog

  • skin reactions

  • arthritis

  • allergies

  • depression

  • anxiety

  • and much more



Diet:

The three biggest contributors to inflammation:

  • sugar

  • refined carbohydrates

  • processed oils



Sugar:

  • Raises blood glucose levels, leading to insulin resistance

  • Leads to glycation, where glucose molecules stick to proteins and fats in the blood

  • AGEs (advanced glycation end-products) are formed, which have been linked to premature aging, diabetes, neuropathy, heart disease, and Alzheimers.


Wheat:

  • Damages the gut lining and allows undigested food particles, bacteria, and other foreign molecules to enter the bloodstream. This is known as “leaky gut syndrome”.

  • Causes an overactive immune system, leading to high inflammation

  • Chronic inflammation from a damaged gut lining can lead to autoimmune diseases, allergies, over-active immune responses, irritable bowels, fatigue, brain fog, hormonal disruption, skin issues, mood imbalances, and more.



Processed Oils:

  • A few examples: canola, safflower, soybean, grapeseed, cottonseed

  • Create oxidative stress through free radical production

  • Oxidative stress is a naturally occurring process during normal cellular function. However, when free radicals become rampant, they overpower the body’s antioxidant activity and cause cascades of oxidation.

  • Damage to proteins and DNA cause premature aging and disfunction in all organ systems.

  • Antioxidants help to combat this oxidative stress by scavenging free radicals and neutralizing them.

  • Include antioxidant-rich foods in the diet to help reduce cellular damage and increase longevity. Try berries, green tea, astaxanthin, chaga mushroom, turmeric, cloves, cinnamon, oregano, cacao powder, leafy greens, and cruciferous veggies.



Exercise:

  • Moderate intensity, long duration exercise, like long distance running, can actually increase stress and inflammation in the body.

  • Evolutionarily, our bodies were meant to move in short, high intensity bursts.

  • Workouts like HIIT (high intensity interval training) are great for improving overall health. This type of movement boosts the immune system, increases insulin sensitivity, inhibits inflammatory molecules, burns fat, boosts metabolic rate, increases human growth hormone, and improves cardiovascular and lung health.

  • Muscle contraction during exercise helps pump the lymphatic vessels, which increases lymph movement, and lowers inflammation.



Grounding:

  • Walk barefoot!

  • Walking outside barefoot reconnects the body with the earth’s negative electrical current.

  • Significantly decreases inflammation

  • Improves mood, sleep, immune function, wound healing, and post-workout recovery.

  • Reduces pain, stress, and the risk of autoimmune diseases, heart disease, anxiety, and depression.

  • The best places to ground are in the dewy morning grass and at the beach.

  • You can also try grounding shoes and mats.



The Lymphatic System:

  • The lymphatic vessels act as a delivery system and a clean up crew.

  • Lymph fluid carries immune cells and inflammatory mediators throughout the body during processes like wound healing and immune responses.

  • Chronic inflammation continuously circulates these cells and mediators, over-activating the immune system.

  • Stagnant lymph fluid fails to cleanse the body of these molecules, causing them to accumulate and generate more inflammation.

  • Bottom line: get your lymph moving! Here are some ways: walking/ exercise, stretching, proper hydration, deep breathing, laughing, dry brushing, rebounding, and manual lymphatic drainage treatments.



Chronic diseases driven by inflammation did not exist hundreds of years ago before we began ultra-processing our food and separating ourselves from nature. The bottom line is that we should understand how our innate need for whole foods and connection to nature provides the foundations of longevity and happiness.


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