If you follow Blended, you know we're BIG into helping you stay healthy, supporting personal goals and getting you through health-hurdle times. This week, we're talking about something that everyone needs to know about: how Inflammation impacts your body AND mind. It's such an important conversation, we're breaking this into a 2-Part series.
In Part 1 of our Inflammation series, we're going to get into the what-why of inflammation, how it impacts your mind and body and tips on keeping it low.
In Part 2 we'll be getting further into the nutrition-factor and giving you a three-day inflammation nutrition plan for when your body needs more support.
Let's dive in.
The Inflammation What-Why
Inflammation refers to your body's process of fighting against things that harm it, such as infections, injuries, and toxins, in an attempt to heal itself. When something damages your cells, your body releases chemicals that trigger a response from your immune system. There are two types:
Acute: acute inflammation is noticeable within a few hours and is caused by injury or illness. It is short term and typically lasts a couple days.
Symptoms: pain, redness, loss of joint and/or muscle function, swelling, and heat (felt externally from the skin).
Chronic: chronic inflammation has a slow on-set and can last several months to years. It can be brought on by untreated causes of acute inflammation, an autoimmune disorder, which involves your immune system mistakenly attacking healthy tissue, and long-term exposure to irritants, such as industrial chemicals or polluted air. Symptoms:
- Body pain, arthralgia, myalgia
- Chronic fatigue and insomnia
- Depression, anxiety and mood disorders
- Gastrointestinal complications like constipation, diarrhea, and acid reflux
- Weight gain or weight loss
- Frequent infections
We're most interested in the Chronic type and the critical role nutrition plays in both prevention and treatment.
Chronic inflammation has very negative physical and mental health consequences. In addition to the symptoms listed above, it is involved in the disease process of many conditions including: Alzheimer's,
The Gut-inflammation Connection
The major source of inflammation is coming from your gut, which hosts the largest number of immune cells in the body. You also have a lot of bacteria in your gut, which helps regulate your immune cell response. When you aren't eating the right foods, including getting enough fibre, inflammation is the response. You need to feed your gut bacteria the right types of food (fibre specifically).
We love how Dr. Rhonda Patrick breaks this down the what-why of inflammation in the body, the key role your gut and nutrition play in regulating it, and easy tips for keeping your levels in check. Throw in your ear buds, take a walk & listen: Understanding Inflammation
Inflammation & Your Brain
Keeping your brain healthy is another key reason to ensure you don't end up in a state of Chronic Inflammation. Neuroinflammation is proving to play a powerful role in conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Lewy body dementia, and frontotemporal dementia. Rates for these neurodegenerative illnesses are increasing steadily with the aging population, and it is thought that worsening symptoms can be blamed on the havoc inflammation wreaks on brain regions involved in thinking, memory, and movement, or, in the case of frontotemporal dementia, personality, behavior, and language. Read more on this here: Inflammation Harvard Eu
The good news is that what you eat can keep inflammation low, and bring it down if you're struggling with high levels now.
Getting Your Fibre
For a healthy gut, you need to load up on fibre every day (aim for at least 30 to 40 grams). Get 10 to 14 grams of fibre in one single Blended For You smoothie, soup or bowl. Email us for a list of blends with the highest fibre count.
Almonds & Walnuts
Apple Cider Vinegar
Green Leafy Vegetables (spinach, kale)
Omega-Rich Fatty Fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines)
Your daily Blended habit is one way you can keep your gut health in check & keep inflammation levels down. Email us anytime for a list of recommended blends that are right for your taste buds and health goals.
Stay tuned for Inflammation Part 2: we've got more tips and tools for sticking to an anti-inflammatory diet. We've also got an exciting new blend package launching. Can you guess what it's all about?