Three Powerful Tips to Stop Inflammation
Every one of us is acutely aware of inflammation. How do I know that? Every time you have been injured or sick, such as with a terrible head cold, a sprained ankle or painful sunburn, acute inflammation comes rushing to the rescue. You may think that the pain, swelling, tenderness of a sprained ankle is not a good thing – well, it is.
Without acute inflammation, we simply would cease to exist. This type of inflammation is an immune response that protects us, keeps us alive and healthy. Without it, we are sitting ducks. There is, however, another type of inflammation called silent or chronic Inflammation. This type of inflammation is there, 24/7, lurking there…unbeknownst to you. In fact, 75% of all Americans are walking around with this low-level inflammation and are not even aware of it.
Silent inflammation is the core cause of most illness, disease, faster aging and weight gain.
You can look at silent inflammation as like having a sore on the inside of your body that never heals – it’s always there. Its very silence is the issue. Diseases such as cancer, stroke, Alzheimer disease, diabetes, obesity, weight gain, high blood pressure, heart disease and more are all directly related to this low-level inflammation. How can you hit the inflammatory rewind button? By making different choices starting today.
Begin with these 3 tips:
Drop the Sugar. Sugar is the #1 inflammatory ‘food’ and it is in almost every product out there. Unfortunately, most people are addicted to sugar and eat it every day. In fact, according to the USDA, the average American ingests 156 lbs of added sugar a year. Sugars effect upon our body is insidious. It starts by spiking the blood sugar super high and then creating a precipitous drop; much like throwing a ball high up into the air and watching it fall rapidly to the ground. When the blood sugar spikes upward so quickly and then drops just as quickly, this is inflammation. Low blood sugar causes increased appetite and cravings leading to weight gain and poor health.
Our bodies naturally produce insulin in response to the foods we eat. However, most people eat sugar every day and thus, are triggering insulin excessively. Insulin is like a Pac Man in that it likes to gobble up the sugar in our blood and store it in our cells as energy for later use. The problem is when sugar (and other refined carbs) is eaten in excess; insulin is triggered over and over again leading to inflammatory conditions. High insulin levels cause immediate fat storage. Insulin is your ‘fat storage hormone’ (and it likes to keep it there) and fat cells produce inflammatory molecules that slow our metabolism, producing even more inflammatory molecules and it becomes a vicious cycle.
Hydrate. Are you tired? Hungry? Gaining weight? Most individuals are suffering from headaches, joint pain, fatigue, hunger, weight gain and much more due to a lack of water.
Why is water so important? Our bodies are over 70% water and our brain is 80% water. Every process in the human body requires water. So when our cells are lacking water, what happens? Our cellular function slows down and we experience symptoms such as fatigue or weight gain without even realizing that it is a lack of hydration.
Have you ever stood in front of the refrigerator thinking that you were hungry and couldn’t quite decide what you wanted to eat? Nothing looked good? That is a sign you may have been mildly dehydrated. A simple solution: A glass of water.
Exercise. Exercise is another important key in preventing inflammation and creating optimal health. Everyone has heard that exercise is healthy – and it is. However, there is something else about exercise you may not be aware of.
When we exercise, we increase the length of our Telomeres. What are telomeres? They are simply the protective caps on the ends of our chromosomes that protect our DNA. This is critical because these ‘caps’ are what keep us healthy, fit and as a result..helps us to prevent inflammation. A telomere is much like the plastic tip on the end of a shoelace, if the plastic tip cracks or erodes, the lace starts to fray – it loses its protection.
Those with the longest telomeres are the healthiest, fittest, most youthful and longest-lived people.
Exercise is one of the few known ways to increase the length of telomeres. This equates to low-level inflammation, optimal health and a better mood. By incorporating these three tips, you will experience the benefits of living a life without inflammation and turn the switch for optimal health on.
To Your Health,
© 2014 DLS HealthWorks, LLC.
Lori Shemek, PhD, Health and weight loss expert, is the best-selling author of ‘Fire-Up Your Fat Burn!