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Recently, we attended a seminar on the biology of ageing. What we learned is that there is a clear connection between inflammation, oxidative stress, ageing and chronic disease. Basically, when we think of the word “inflammation”, we tend to think of acute injuries; redness, swelling, and pain caused by an accident. However, inflammation can happen internally, and over a long period of time, for many different reasons. Stress, lack of exercise, genetic predisposition, and exposure to toxins (like secondhand tobacco smoke) can all contribute to chronic inflammation, but dietary choices play a huge role as well. When we eat foods which don’t agree with us, our body’s immune system can be activated and internal inflammation can occur. While we may not have allergies to particular foods, we can certainly have intolerances towards them and the sooner we discover what foods we react to, the better we can reduce any internal inflammation from occuring. Food Detective is a great way to do this. Food Detective is a personalized test which assesses your particular intolerances towards over fifty common foods, and which is something we can find out for you at our clinic. Click here for more information.
Like an unattended fire, chronic inflammation can slowly spread and lead to serious internal breakdown, with vast implications for your long-term health. You may have heard that disorders like rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and eczema stem from inflammation. However, chronic inflammation has now been connected to a host of modern diseases, from obesity, diabetes, atherosclerosis, and high blood pressure, to Alzheimer’s, osteoporosis, Parkinson’s, cancer, and even depression. The medical world is beginning to view all chronic and degenerative illnesses — and even biological aging — as rooted in chronic inflammation.
Are you inflamed?
Here is a list of symptoms commonly associated with low-grade chronic inflammation.
- body aches and pains
- frequent infections
- dry eyes
- shortness of breath
- skin outbreaks
- weight gain/obesity
Five things you can do right now to reduce inflammation
There are many things we can do to minimize chronic inflammation, such as consuming plant-rich diets which are high in fibre, taking a phytochemical-rich supplement daily, eating low GI foods, and exercising regularly. We do, however, provide a Healthy Ageing Program to ensure the effects of “inflamm-ageing” are minimized as much as humanly possible for your individual make-up. You can find out more about our Healthy Ageing Program here. In the meantime, here are our five best tips on reducing the inflammatory load on your system.
- Revise your diet. Start by limiting or cutting out your intake of trans fats and refined carbohydrates. Replace these with healthy fats, such as omega-3’s and olive oil, and unrefined carbohydrates, like antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables. Opt for low GI foods. Undertaking a Food Detective test will also be of profound benefit so you can eliminate the foods you are intolerant to and which are causing an immune response every time you eat them.
- Add omega-3’s. There is an extensive and growing body of evidence that omega-3’s can reduce inflammation. In our modern diets, we consume an overwhelming amount of omega-6’s in proportion to omega-3’s. Talk to us about which omega-3 sources are the best quality.
- Get a good night’s sleep! Between seven and nine hours of uninterrupted sleep can do wonders to repair and restore your system. Though many scientists are still debating why we sleep, we know that a good night’s sleep is one of the best anti-inflammatories out there! So make getting to bed on time a priority.
- Supplement with a high-quality multivitamin/mineral. Folic acid, B vitamins, and vitamins D, C, and E all have anti-inflammatory effects in your body. For a strong anti-inflammatory base, take a high-quality daily multivitamin–mineral complex which is prescribed to you by a professional. Not all multi-vitamins are the same, and they are certainly not all the same in quality.
- Rebalance your immune system with probiotics. The beneficial flora (probiotics) in your body work hard to protect and rebalance your immune system, so that inflammation can be managed effectively. You can boost your probiotics by eating more naturally fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kombucha, and kimchee, as well as plentiful fiber. We also advise taking a good quality probiotic supplement, which should always be kept refrigerated.