If you have Acid Reflux, Candidiasis (Yeast Infection), High Blood Pressure, Bacterial or Viral Infections, Arthritis, Acne or Osteoporosis, then you could also have chronic low-grade inflammation.

Systemic Inflammation is the body's response to a stressor whether it is caused by our diet or lifestyle in general. Think about when you stub your toe. The immediate reaction is pain and throbbing. This inflammation is obvious. But chronic, low-grade inflammation is thought to be the leading causes of disease, premature aging and illness. By the time bodily symptoms appear, such as aches and pains, coughing, achy joints, inflammation has already taken hold. A fever is inflammation and this is good inflammation as it is working to eradicate the illness, but there is the subtle low-level inflammation that causes much distress.

Inflammation can be caused by bacteria such as the H. Pylori bacterium that causes stomach ulcers. Stress can be a chronic low-grade stressor due to the rise in Cortisol (a hormone released during times of stress). Food allergies or sensitivities may also cause symptoms. Diet and lifestyle from too much fat, sugar, calories, low-level dehydration, protein, lack of exercise or chronic lack of sleep all contribute as well.

So, how can we reduce inflammation? Through dietary and lifestyle choices. Abundant and noteworthy research demonstrates that through the foods we eat and the exercise we get, we can create optimum health. By including the good fats through our diet, such as Omega 3 fats, we cand reduce this metabolic stressor.

Omega 3 fatty acids (Essential Fatty Acids) are extremely beneficial in reducing inflammation. They are considered "Essential" because our bodies do not make them and thus, are required for human health. Omega 3 fats must be obtained from our diet. The best dietary sources of Omega 3 fats are: Fatty and oily fish such as Salmon, Tuna, Black Cod, Sardines, Flaxseed and Walnuts. Incorporate 2-3 servings of fatty fish per week and a handful of walnuts each day.

Antioxidants are extremely beneficial in protecting your health. A cascade of chemical events occurs when oxidated stress occurs through or lifestyle choices. When the body enters a highly oxidized state, it is due to the free-radicals in your body. Free-Radicals are molecules that are not stable and cause much harm to our bodies. Antioxidants protect us from the free-radicals harming healthy tissue.

How can we get antioxidants? Through fruits, berries, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, beans and supplements. Fruits and vegetables also contain a wide variety of phytonutrients that often act as antioxidants by protecting the cells of the body from the damaging effects of free-radicals. Phytonutrient rich foods are: Red, green, yellow and orange vegetables, onions, garlic, cruciferous vegetables (cauliflower), dark leafy greens, whole grains, legumes, green tea, soy along with the spices ginger and tumeric.

There is recent research from University of California, Davis, showing processed tomato products may protect against inflammation. An emerging body of research suggests that systemic inflammation may be a significant component to the development of chronic diseases and apparently, tomatoes can help. The regular consumption of tomato products has been consistently associated with a lower risk of several types of cancer and coronary disease.

If you have trouble getting the recommened 5-9 servings of fruits and veggies each day, try adding supplements. Supplements that may reduce inflammation include: Garlic, CoEnzymeQ10 (CoQ10), Vitamin D, Alpha-Lipoic Acid, Multi Viamin and Mineral, Calcium, Magnesium, Fish Oil (DHA & EPA), and B Complex.

Move your body! Exercise can help create more muscle and less fat, thus, reducing the excess fat stored in the body. Excess fat stored in the body creates C-Reactive Protein (CRP) and inflammatory molecules which enter the blood stream leading to heart disease and other metabolic diseases. A common marker for inflammation is C-Reactive Protein. Fat is metabolically inactive whereas muscle is active and burns more calories. Obesity is related to low-grade systemic inflammation and as we know, can lead to many chronic disease states. Walking five days a week for thirty minutes a day will helpe reduce C-Reactive Protein levels.

By ensuring that we consistently eat a wide variety of nutritious foods that are high in antioxidants and phytochemicals, along with exercise, we can help to avoid the ravages of illness and at the same time create optimum health.

Lori L. Shemek, PhD, CLC, NC

Author's Bio: 

At DLS HealthWorks, we truly care about our clients. We strive to help create optimum health through gentle support, guidance and motivation. Lori has had much success guiding clients through many health, nutrition and weight loss issues.

If you would like to create Optimum Health in your life, please contact us here: dlsHealthWorks.com