What is chronic inflammation, and why should we care? Acute inflammation is something I think we are all familiar with, you get a cut and then there is redness or swelling or sometimes even heat around the wound. Chronic inflammation is far more complicated, and I will explain it as simply as I can. Essentially, inflammation is the body fighting off toxins in the body….so why is that bad? Well, when bacteria, viruses or toxins enter our body our blood releases cells called macrophages, these cells turn into toxin eating bad-asses. Their job is to kill off any foreign substances inside of us, but when they can’t combat the pathogens they grow larger and continue to release free radicals into our bodies. We are constantly allowing toxins into our bodies, with the processed foods we eat, the air we breath, the alcohol we drink and even the stuff we put onto our skin and this constant flow creates chronic inflammation. Overtime, this repeated bout of pathogens leads to DNA damage, and sometimes cancer.
So, what are some of the things that cause chronic inflammation?
- Chemicals like pesticides
- Food sensitivities
Eating nutrient dense foods that are full of antioxidants, can help reduce the levels of free radicals in our body and boost our immune systems. Eating fiber rich foods also lowers CRP (substance in the blood that causes inflammation). And drinking lots of water, to carry nutrients to our cells and flush bacteria from our bodies. Hydration is crucial in maintaining every system in the human body. Lastly, exercise has also been proven to lower CRP and to decrease the size of fat cells.
I compiled a list of some of the most nutrient dense foods that you can eat. Screen shot and add it to your grocery list!
- Watercress (one of the most nutrient dense vegetables out there)
- Red peppers
- Brussels Sprout
- Sweet Potato
- Brazil nuts (high in selenium, which fights free radicals)
- Olive oil (High in Oleocanthal, has similar anti-inflammatory properties as NSAID)
- French Bean, or green been
- Mung bean
- Kidney bean
- Herbs; Basil, Cilantro, Spearmint, Oregano
- Coconut Oil
- Green Tea
- Spices: Tumeric, cinnamon, paprika, ginger, cloves
- Red wine; contains resveratrol.