Why Inflammation is Important to health?

What exactly is inflammation?

We have demonized it, and there are definitely good reasons for it.

Naturally, inflammation is an immune response to certain stresses that occur to the body. You know, when you cut your finger or scrape your knee. It generally swells up, gets red, and itches or stings for a while.

That process is how the body heals itself naturally. The immune system responds by sending certain fighters to aid at the site of the wound. Inflammation is a natural response in a healthy body, but it should not last for excessive amounts of time. It is purely to fight that which is foreign to the body.

Chronic Inflammation

Chronic Inflammation

When your body stays in an inflamed state, it is known as “chronic inflammation.” This is where disease can creep in.

Consider the reaction your body has to a cut finger. The swelling, increased blood flow, and general stress that is added to the body because of the injury. You can think of chronic inflammation is essentially your body maintaining this stress when it is not necessary.

The astonishing thing about this reaction is that your body is under such a great amount of stress that it may begin to attack itself.

The signs of inflammation; stress, swelling, etc, is all unnecessary at this point. That means your body has nothing to fight, but it continues to fight.

Imagine stepping in the ring, only to be so confused you begin to punch yourself to win the fight. It doesn’t make much sense.

Natural Medicine

What Diseases are Caused by Inflammation?

There is a long list of diseases that can be caused or exacerbated by inflammation:

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Psoriasis
  • Asthma
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Cancer
  • Heart Disease
  • Stroke

Not only can inflammation be linked to causing these diseases, but it has the compounding effect of making them worse.

One theory behind this is that inflammatory cells could stay within cells and consequently cause a buildup of plaque. As I said, chronic inflammation basically causes your body to fight itself. So, such as in the case of an autoimmune disorder, your bodies immune system is compromised. That means in its weakened state, the unnecessary inflammation is further hindering the effectiveness of your immunity.

The compounding effect continues as you add to the inflammation. Stress can worsen inflammation, and we all know how hard it is to deal with stress. Many drink, smoke, or eat unhealthy foods. This obviously makes the situation worse, and thus begins the spiral into disease and unhealthy habits.

Why Inflammation is So Prevalent in our Society. What Causes Chronic Inflammation?

There are many reasons that disease is so prevalent in today’s society. There is no 100% way to prevent diseases.

The Standard American Diet (SAD Diet) is absolutely one of the worse ways to take care of yourself or prevent disease.

Let me explain:

Fast food

Fast Food

We all know that fast food isn’t good for us. I’m not judging anyone for eating it, I would never do that. I abstain from processed foods, but you’re damn right I slam some Taco Bell every once in a while, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

The issue comes when we begin to become addicted to it. The sodium, sugar, and fats that are in these meals cause them to be highly addictive to our evolutionarily feeble minds. We wonder whether or not we will eat like this again, even though we know we can with our modern conveniences.

Fast food creates a highly acidic environment within your body, which directly correlates with levels of inflammation.

This is another factor that can compound issues in these areas. As we eat more fast food, we begin to feel sluggish. As we begin to feel sluggish, we begin to want to just eat fast food. It’s much easier to just buy McDonalds than going home and cooking something healthy.

As I said, we shouldn’t feel bad about eating fast food. We should, however, understand that eating fast food daily will undeniably lead to poor health.

Bag of potato chips

Processed Food

Processed food is riddled with things that cause inflammation.

The next time you drink a Coca-Cola, take a look at the sodium. We all know that it is high in sugar, but why does it need so much sodium?

One can of pop could have as much sodium as a pizza!

This is because sodium is addictive!

Sugar is also addictive, so it is added in excess to disguise the sodium and create a vile addictive concoction.

Again, we shouldn’t feel bad having a pop now and then. We should realize when it becomes excessive.

Processed foods are loaded with a plethora of unnatural and harmful substances. Rule of thumb, if you can’t pronounce the ingredients, it probably shouldn’t be inside your body.

Exercise equipment

Lack of Exercise

This is another area that we shouldn’t judge ourselves too hard on. We don’t need to run 10 miles a day or lift heavy things every single day to stay fit.

We shouldn’t feel bad about not being extremely active and fit, do what makes you happy.

Just as with anything else, there is a point of excessive laziness.

We get that feeling that we don’t want to get up off the couch, and that’s fine. We shouldn’t make ourselves feel bad about that. Doing it too much for too long, however, can increase the risk of developing chronic inflammation.

Exercise is important because it raises your metabolism, which in turn helps your body rid itself of things it shouldn’t not contain.

Running will make your metabolism go through the roof, even more so with intense training. To be healthy, however, it is not necessary to do this. An hour walk per day can help us tremendously.

It doesn’t seem like much, but most of us do not take the time to exercise at all. We may have somewhat active lives. I would say this is not exactly the same thing, because if you’re work causes you a lot of stress, than the walking is not as effective.

Walking can be a form of meditation. Walk and keep yourself in the present. Focus on what is going on around you and within you at this moment, and you will be both caring for yourself physically and mentally.

Stress and anxiety

Too Much Stress/Anxiety

Stress and Anxiety both run rampant throughout our lives.

There are some days where we feel like we don’t have an option but to be negative and unhappy. We usually have some reasons to be so it feels justified.

Stress and Anxiety become too much when it lingers and festers in our daily lives. Generally, stress is completely normal, but it does become excessive.

Stress causes neurotransmitters such as cortisol to be released. These messengers and hormones can cause acidity in the body, which will cause inflammation.

This compounds with everything else that we have been talking about. Then you really begin to have problems, because you get caught in a vicious cycle.

You make bad food choices and your body becomes a bit more unhealthy.

You become a bit more unhealthy so you become less and less active.

After that, you make bad food choices, and the cycle continues.

Drinking excessive alcohol

Drinking Alcohol

I get it, I have become the stick in the mud because I refuse to drink alcohol. It’s understandable, it’s socially accepted, and it is extremely common to drink alcohol.

I find it very odd, however.

Not that I have never drank before, because that’s definitely not true. We must remember that alcohol is a toxin, and there really isn’t a good amount of any toxin to consume.

Once alcohol goes into the body, your body tries to metabolize it and get it out.

The best known reason for alcohol induced inflammation is a specific gut flora microflora-derived lipopolysaccharide.

According to this study;

“The central nervous system contributes to anti-inflammatory regulation through neuroimmunoendocrine actions. Chronic alcohol use impairs not only gut and liver functions, but also multi-organ interactions, leading to persistent systemic inflammation and ultimately, to organ damage.

Your body immediately tries to rid itself of this toxin, but too many of us just continue to drink. You generally won’t feel any deeply troubling affects until years into excessive alcohol consumption.

We are literally filling ourselves with toxins when we consume alcohol. This toxin causes a myriad of health issues that all compound on top of each other.

Cigarettes

Smoking

Cigarette smoke is another massive factor when it comes to inflammation.

Well, there are really a ton of harmful reasons that we should not be inhaling these substances.

As we discussed, inflammation is an immune response to certain stresses. When you smoke, the harmful substances in the cigarette smoke damage your cardiovascular system and your body responds to this in the exact same way.

The substances damages your lungs, and your body immediately sees that as a threat. Smoking has been shown to cause increased levels of C-protein, which is your immune systems response to inflammation.

The interesting thing about cigarette smoke specifically is detailed in this study.

They found;

“…noted that both inflammatory and traditional risk factors improved with less smoking, but as the time since smokers quit increased, inflammatory markers resolved more slowly than traditional cardiovascular risk factors.”

The effects of smoking can get better from quitting. However, as they detail in this report, it reverses much slower than other cardiovascular problems.

With consistent smoking this continues to get worse, and it has long term effects even after quitting. This compounds with everything else, leading to a chronically inflamed body.

Hot dogs and red meat

Eating Red Meat

Red meat has been proven to cause many health issues:

  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Oxidative stress
  • Cancer
  • Colon issues

There are so many more, I’m sure many that haven’t even been discovered yet.

People always struggle to believe me on this. They always assume I’m being that stereotypical “militant converting vegan.”

I’m not, I just read the studies that come out on it.

Like this one, which concludes:

“Greater red meat intake is associated with unfavorable plasma concentrations of inflammatory and glucose metabolic biomarkers in diabetes-free women. BMI accounts for a significant proportion of the associations with these biomarkers, except for ferritin. Substituting red meat with another protein food is associated with a healthier biomarker profile of inflammatory and glucose metabolism.”

Or this one, which states:

“We hypothesize that a diet rich in methionine (enzyme found in red meat) can malfunction the cardiovascular system in three ways: (1) by augmenting oxidative stress; (2) by inflammatory manifestations; and (3) by matrix/vascular remodeling. ~ In conclusion, our study clearly shows that HMD poses a cardiac threat by increasing oxidative stress, inflammatory manifestations, matrix/vascular remodeling, and decreased cardiac function.”

Or this one, which found:

“The current data suggest that the amount of excess body weight or the degree of adiposity may mediate the relations between dietary red and processed meat intake and serum biomarkers associated with obesity and inflammation.”

I could go on all day, the point is people are willfully ignorant to the facts.

Should everyone be a vegan?

Probably not, and that’s not what I’m asking for.

What I am saying, is that red meat specifically is terrible for our health, and so many people over consume it. The same people that get upset about the strain on taxpayers, while they continue to eat food that is wasting our money because of their expensive healthcare costs.

We don’t need to eat like this anymore. It is unnecessary and literally killing us. It causes inflammation, which can worsen with the other choices that one may make, such as smoking or drinking.

Luckily we can get our vitamins and nutrients with plant-based sources!

Bowl of fruit


Conclusion

We can’t do anything to completely prevent disease. There will always be some threat to our immune system, and we will always make some type of bad choice when it comes to food.

Inflammation is something that will assist with the prevention of disease. It is something that we can control to an extent.

Whether that’s through healthier eating, quitting smoking, not drinking, or anything else. It’s worth it to at least do our best to prevent chronic inflammation.

Our life literally depends on it.

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