Posted by Casey Thaler on Sep 26th 2019
Inflammation refers to your body’s process of fighting against things that can harm it. This is critical to good health, as fighting against infections, injuries, and toxins – is one of the most crucial aspects in staying healthy.
You’re probably already familiar with inflammation, because whenever you over-exercise – you feel sore the next day. This is one form of inflammation. Of course, there are plenty of other forms of inflammation, and they are not all equal. To put it simply, when something damages your cells, your body releases chemicals. These chemicals then trigger a response from your immune system.
This response to inflammation includes the release of antibodies and proteins, as well as increased blood flow to the affected area. There are also two types of inflammation, acute and chronic. The whole process of chemical release and immune system response, usually lasts for a few hours, when dealing with acute inflammation. Chronic inflammation is when this response lingers for far longer. This leaves your body in a constant state of alert. Over time, chronic inflammation starts to have a large negative impact on your tissues and organs. Some research also suggests that chronic inflammation may play a role in a range of conditions. Scientific studies even show links between chronic inflammation and conditions as serious as cancer.
What Is Inflammation, Exactly?
In the simplest sense, inflammation is your body’s way of telling you that there is a problem. This immune system response can be caused by pathogens, damaged cells, or toxic compounds. Inflammation is also necessary for healing. For example, when we over-exert ourselves at the gym, the pain we feel the next day, is the first step for our body to heal itself. Muscle growth is - after all - the tearing down of muscle fibers, and the re-growth of stronger ones. Without inflammation, this critical process would not be possible. When inflammation occurs within our tissues, we see this via redness, swelling, heat, pain, and loss of function.
Why Is Inflammation A Problem?
While inflammation can sometimes be good, and is crucial for healing – it can also be a big problem. This is especially true of chronic, low-level inflammation, which is related to all kinds of diseases and issues. Low-level inflammation is linked to metabolic syndrome, for example. Roughly 1 in 4 Americans suffers from metabolic syndrome, which includes central (abdominal) obesity, insulin resistance, hypertension, and dyslipidemia (high triglycerides and low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol).
All the worst problems start with metabolic syndrome, essentially. And scientific research has shown that chronic inflammation is directly related to the onset of the metabolic syndrome. In addition, too much body fat may promote changes in the cells that promote chronic inflammation. So it becomes a vicious cycle. The signs of chronic, low-level inflammation also may not always be obvious. For others, chronic inflammation may relate to a problem with their immune system. Whatever the cause, long term chronic inflammation may damage the body’s DNA, increasing the risk for cancer, and other diseases.
What Foods Cause Inflammation?
Our diet actually has one of the biggest impacts on chronic inflammation. If you eat healthy foods, your body is likely to have less inflammation. Just as importantly, you should limit and avoid unhealthy foods. This means avoiding refined carbs, like white bread, pastries, French fries, fried foods, soda, sugar-sweetened beverages, red meat, and processed meat. Additionally, some studies show the inflammatory effects of margarine, shortening, and lard. Not surprisingly, the same foods which cause inflammation, generally considered bad for our overall health.
Our neurological health is actually one of the biggest things that is risked, when we eat a continuously poor diet. Long term studies show clear negative associations between chronic inflammation, and increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease. On the flip side, there are many studies which show good associations between anti-inflammatory diets, and improved cognition. Olive oil specifically has been shown to be a key anti-inflammatory substance, as it is one of the most common links in all of the healthiest anti-inflammatory diets.
What Foods Fight Inflammation?
An anti-inflammatory diet should include plenty of foods which contain antioxidants and beneficial bioactive compounds. Some of the best foods for fighting inflammation include: tomatoes, olive oil, green leafy vegetables (spinach, kale, and collards), nuts, fatty fish, and fruits. Some of the foods with the highest amount of anti-inflammatory properties include blueberries, apples, and green leafy vegetables. That’s because these foods are high in natural antioxidants and polyphenols. These are bioactive and protective compounds, which are also found in plants.
There are also multiple scientific studies which have shown positive associations between nuts, and lowered rates of inflammation. Almonds, for example, show a lowered risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, when regularly consumed. Another food which has been shown to be anti-inflammatory, is coffee. It contains polyphenols, and many other anti-inflammatory compounds. That’s why you see daily headlines about how coffee may provide neuroprotective benefits, if you drink it regularly.
To reduce levels of inflammation, aim for an overall healthy diet. If you're looking for an eating plan that closely follows the tenets of anti-inflammatory eating, one of the best options, is the Mediterranean diet. This traditional diet is high in fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, fish, and healthy fats and oils. In addition to lowering inflammation, a more natural, less processed diet can have noticeable effects on your physical and emotional health. Less inflammation in your brain, also helps to achieve improved neurological function.
Our Bars Help Fight Inflammation
That’s it. makes an entire line of products that help fight inflammation. They also contain probiotics, leading to improved gut health, with regular consumption. Additionally, our products are non-GMO, vegan, paleo, and Whole30 compliant. Since all of our products are made from real fruits, there are also additional nutrients and micronutrients. Fruits contain lots of antioxidants, which help to fight inflammation. While you may love the portability of our bars - they are exactly like eating real, unprocessed foods. While some companies claim they only make products with real ingredients - we actually do!
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