Inflammation: The Slow Silent Killer

Inflammation is an essential function of your bodyís immune response, but even a little too much inflammation can cause you health problems.
You donít have to have pain or swelling in your body to have too much inflammation. Inflammation is the bodyís response to injury and stress, hurdles many of us deal with on a day-to-day basis.

Inflammation Can Be Causative Factor In Many Major Diseases
Research has linked inflammation to all major debilitating conditions, including:

1. Alzheimers:† Evidence suggests that neuroinflammation, created by the brain’s own immune system, contributes to AD neuropathology and increases the course of Alzheimers.
2. Arthritis
3. Heart disease
4. Cancer
5. Signs of aging.† Researchers canít be sure if inflammation causes aging or aging causes inflammation, or both, but they are sure that the two are linked.
6. Diabetes:†Research shows inflammation causes insulin resistance and insulin resistance causes more inflation to create a vicious cycle.

inflammation brain

Where Does Inflammation Come From

The stress that causes this inflammation can come from a number of sources. These include:

  • Physical stress. (Bruising or straining a muscle, burns and frostbite.)
  • Chronic low grade bacterial, viral and fungal infections.
  • Chronic low level food allergies or food sensitivities.
  • Emotional stress Ė which raises cortisol levels. (Cortisol increases inflammation)
  • Toxicity from the environment: metals and other contaminates in the water and air.
  • Toxicity in our diet: too much fat, sugar, protein, and alcohol.
  • Obesity: Fat cells produce chemistry that creates inflammation.

How Inflammation Works in the body:
Whatever the source of inflammation, the bodies response is similar. Turn up the body’s immune system so that it can fight all these intruders.

For example: When you cut yourself the body automatically increases blood flow to the area and sends in (among other things) killer white blood cells to surround any invading bacteria and “burn” the bacteria up with oxidative chemicals. It is like a protective army destroying invaders. This is called acute inflammation–an amazing process that protects us.

Unfortunately, we have so many stressors in our lives that this “war” ends up going on forever. In any war there is collateral damage and, in this case, some of that collateral damage is to healthy tissue

Sometimes, the body just doesnít know when to stop. It loses its ability to distinguish between the good guys and the invading bacteria or viruses. It ends up attacking the healthy tissues and upsetting delicate chemical and hormonal balances that keep all our systems running properly. This is just one process where long term or chronic inflammation is involved.464404779

How to Reduce Inflammation:
The start of reducing inflammation is reducing stress. Since this stress can come from a number of sources (as described above) there are many ways to do this.

  • Avoiding or removing certain foods from your diet. These include too much sugar, fat, protein, alcohol and any food your may be allergic or sensitive to.
  • Maintain proper weight
  • Proper exercise:† This typically†means low-intensity or mild-intensity workouts.
  • Healthy fats: Most westerners are low in omega 3 fats, which reduce inflammation. These include flax oil, fish oils (wild is better) and Brazil nuts.
  • Beets; that red color is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.
  • Green leafy vegetables like spinach and lettuce contain carotenoids, one kind of inflammation-reducing antioxidant
  • Onions and garlic. Contain quercetin, a potent antioxidant that can help your body fight inflammation.
  • Turmeric and Ginger: many herbs and spices reduce inflammation because of their concentrated antioxidants but turmeric is king for this.

In fact, most the foods and recipes that we deal with at Real Food For Life help to reduce inflammation.

Borsch With A Difference - a variation on  Ukrainian borsch. Photo by MUffet at flicker

Borsch Done Differently: A variation of Ukrainian borsch. Photo by Muffet at flicker

Favorite Tasty Recipes Which Reduce Inflammation

Diana’s Green Smoothie

Borsch With A Difference

Curried Popcorn

You can receive a healthy inflammation-reducing recipe every week by subscribing to my newsletter.

Written by Randy Fritz at Real food for Life.

143 comments

Jeanne Rogers
Jeanne R2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Elena Poensgen
Elena Poensgen2 years ago

Thank you

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Deborah Servey
Deborah Servey3 years ago

Judith S., thanks for you post and the link!

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Donna C.
Past Member 3 years ago

Great read!

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Dennis H.
Dennis Hall3 years ago

Thanks.

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Carole R.
Carole R3 years ago

Good information. Thank you.

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Elena Poensgen
Elena Poensgen3 years ago

Thank you

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Jordan G.
Jordan G3 years ago

An important article. Thank you.

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M.N. J.
M.N. J3 years ago

I misspoke.

Potter thought that the symptoms of the pancreatic cancer which killed him were side effects of medication he took for his psoriasis, so he did not receive treatment before the cancer metastasized. The psoriatic arthritis did not kill him directly.

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M.N. J.
M.N. J3 years ago

Inflammation can also be due to autoimmune (e.g. arthritis) and/or endocrine disorders (e.g. thyroid disease).

Psoriasis and eczema are also products of inflammation. There was an antediluvian tv commercial which comedians used to mock for its use of the phrase "the heartbreak of psoriasis," but I'll bet those people mocking never had to deal with the condition themselves.

Anyone who saw Dennis Potter's brilliant television series "The Singing Detective" knows about the horror of psoriatic arthritis, which put the lead character of the series and his creator in the hospital for long painful periods of time, and eventually killed the writer.

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