When you stub your toe and it swells with blood, that’s inflammation. It’s a tool your body uses to help you heal. You can tell your toe is healing because you can see the inflammation going down as things return to normal.
There are other kinds of inflammation that are less obvious to the eye because they primarily happen inside the body. Such inflammation can occur when your body is trying to rid itself of an allergic reaction to food or to an environmental substance, like pollen.
What scientists and nutritionists call chronic inflammation is the most dangerous kind. This is when one’s diet or lifestyle activates the immune system all the time, so it never shuts off. Chronic inflammation can be caused by a combination of factors, including eating an unhealthy diet (too much meat and sugar are main causes), not exercising enough, smoking and stress.
In a nutshell, inflammation is the genius way your body copes with assaults to its health. When the assaults are a one-time thing, like a broken bone or a wound, the system works great.
But it goes haywire when your body is constantly fighting the same lifestyle attacker. Worse, chronic inflammation is associated with chronic diseases like heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. Bad habits turn on chronic inflammation and chronic inflammation is connected to serious diseases.
The good news is that changing those habits can also turn chronic inflammation off. Experts recommend some basic, healthful strategies that will help reduce chronic inflammation.
- Get some omega 3 fatty acids (essential fats) in your diet. Good sources are salmon, chia seeds, flax seeds, walnuts and avocado.
- Get enough sleep. Eight hours a night helps your body resist inflammation.
- Reduce stress. Excessive stress shoots excess cortisol into your system. Maintaining calmness helps lower the cortisol level in your blood, which reduces inflammation.
- Move around more. Aim for 45 minutes at a time, three days a week. Exercise releases anti-inflammatory protein from your cells, allowing them to calm existing inflammation.
- Drink green tea, eat fruits and vegetables in a rainbow of colors, especially broccoli, kale, collards, rutabaga, turnips and berries. These foods have antioxidant properties that help calm inflammation.
- Spices such as turmeric, garlic, cinnamon, cayenne pepper and ginger are believed to be anti-inflammatory so add them liberally to your food.
These same strategies often help people lose weight, so they are ideal for Spatz3 adjustable gastric balloon users.
Rebeca Espinoza writes about health, fitness and weight loss for Spatz Medical, makers of the Spatz3 Adjustable Gastric Balloon. You can find her on Google+ or at firstname.lastname@example.org.