Inflammation is a word we are becoming very familiar with. It is the cause of all of our long-term degenerative diseases. This includes everything from the big 3: Heart disease, Diabetes, Cancer, to some that follow close behind such as Alzheimer’s disease, osteoporosis, and even depression.
So what’s the big deal?
Well, inflammation is a protective mechanism and is definitely something that our body responds to well, especially with acute injury (wound or cut) and outside irritants. The problem is when the temporary episodes of injury don’t have time to heal due to ongoing inflammation. When the body is under constant insult, such as smoking, high fat foods, pollution, infection and allergies, the immune system is overwhelmed and cannot repair itself. This leads to disease which can damage blood vessels, promote insulin resistance (that leads to diabetes), and even progress to cancer.
One interesting discovery according to the enclosed article is the concerns with obesity. Fat cells, especially those in the visceral fat that settles in the belly and around organs, promotes problems by churning out all kinds of inflammatory molecules that cause damage to cells and tissues. This is why obesity has such a strong association with heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
What can we do about it?
A blood test known as CRP (C-reactive protein) is a marker of inflammation in the body. Weight loss can lower C-reactive protein levels. A high fiber diet has been associated with lower CRP levels. Be careful with getting this level drawn too frequently. Levels are also elevated after getting your teeth cleaned or a minor bump or bruise. Talk to your doctor about whether it’s worth getting a CRP blood test.
In the meantime…
A diet rich in omega 3 fatty acids (salmon, tuna, mackerel), nuts, seeds, beans, legumes, fruits and veges, poultry and eggs can lower inflammatory insult.
Don’t forget about exercise which is essential in balancing blood sugars and preventing obesity, diabetes and heart disease.