Today, we look at the major causes of inflammation in the body, and how we can reduce inflammation with vitamins and lifestyle changes.
Inflammation begins in the gut when certain factors cause an imbalance in gut flora or dysbiosis.
These factors include things like a poor diet, toxins in the environment, and stress.
Now, because the gut microbiome is not in an optimal state, the mitochondria in your cells are not getting the nutrients and oxygen needed to convert food into energy.
You can think of mitochondria as the “power plants” in your cells.
Now, to convert energy from food into energy the cells can use, your mitochondria need to make an “energy converter” molecule called ATP.
ATP is the reason that every cell in your body–muscles, skin, brain–you name it–can successfully convert energy from food to complete all cellular tasks.
So your tissues can be healthy and strong.
The problem with chronic inflammation is that it hinders the energy production of mitochondria and ATP.
So your cells do not have enough energy to perform the body’s processes.
This immediately puts your body at a higher risk of any disease.
Now, as inflammation persists, and cells cannot perform at peak capacity, our immune system weakens, and this often leads to diseases like autoimmunity and cancer.
Autoimmunity is when your immune system mistakes your healthy cells as foreign and attacks them.
Unfortunately, many people find out that they have chronic inflammation, ONLY when they get an autoimmune disease, such as Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, or Type 1 diabetes.
As you can see, it’s important to reduce inflammation in the body, and this is exactly what we’ll be talking about in the rest of this video.
So, what are the symptoms of chronic inflammation?
Low-grade chronic inflammation is systemic and can last for months or years, damaging the tissues and causing autoimmune reactions.
Some of the symptoms of chronic inflammation include:
Memory loss and cognitive decline.
Increased cardiovascular risk.
Abnormal growth of healthy cells.
Weakened digestive function.
Loss of muscle tone.
Insulin resistance and weight gain.
Accelerated skin aging.
Joint pain and loss of mobility.
Next, what causes chronic inflammation?
Before we get into the strategies for reducing inflammation, let’s look at 7 major factors, that trigger your immune system to over-react, and cause massive inflammation.
Eating inflammatory foods and foods that are hard to digest and cause reactions.
Leaky Gut Syndrome that causes gas, bloating, constipation, food allergies, autoimmunity, and reduced nutrient absorption.
Fluctuating blood sugar that causes insulin resistance and elevated blood sugar.
Chronic stress that increases cortisol and activates your body’s “fight or flight” response, causing your digestive process to slow down or even stop.
Poor sleep habits that make your sugar levels spike, and cortisol levels increase.
Long-term exposure to toxins in the food we eat, the air we breathe, the products we use, and the water we drink, that overloads your body’s natural detoxification system.
Chronic infections from viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites like hepatitis, herpes, Epstein-Barr virus, and Candida, that are left unresolved.
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Next, let’s look at 5 ways you can reduce inflammation in the body.
Let’s begin with, Number 5. “Stay well-hydrated”.
As mentioned earlier, we are exposed to toxins every day, even though we may not realize it.
One simple way to make sure your body can effectively detox is by staying well-hydrated. When your body has enough water, oxygen and nutrients can move easily through the blood to all cells in the body. And cells need adequate water to carry out their functions.
Drinking lots of water helps to clear the bowels.It keeps toxins moving through the liver and kidneys, and eliminates them via sweating.
In general, the better hydrated you are, the less inflammation you have in your body.
One important tip, is to make sure your water does not contain contaminants such as chlorine, fluoride, and heavy metals.
Coming up next, is Number 4. “Get your body moving”.
To lower inflammation, you have to keep your body moving. Movement includes any kind of activity you do at low intensity, such as walking and stretching.
This helps to keep your organ systems flowing, including the bowel, urinary tract, sweat glands, circulatory system, lymphatic, and even muscles.
When you become stagnant in any of these areas, it can cause a lot of inflammation-related problems.
Exercising daily is an effective way to stimulate your body’s lymphatic system and improve blood flow. It is important to deliver fresh blood to your tissues to reduce inflammation.
This helps to flush away metabolic waste and provide nutrients to inflamed tissues. Avoid sitting for extended amounts of time.
One powerful way to improve the circulation of blood and lymph is rebounding. Other ways to increase blood circulation include taking cold showers, sweating it out in a sauna, and getting a massage.
Regular movement and exercise can help reduce stress and improve mental clarity.
At Number 3, we have “Reduce stress and improve sleep”.
Chronic stress with poor sleep is a surefire recipe to make inflammation worse.
One of the best ways to counteract the stressors of daily life is to get the best possible sleep. When you get enough sleep, your brain flushes out toxins and your body heals itself.
One of these toxins is beta-amyloid, a protein that builds up in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease.
Optimizing sleep has a lot to do with regulating your circadian rhythm, or your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle.
Some things you can do to get quality sleep are:
Avoid artificial light 1-2 hours before bed. You can wear blue light-blocking glasses.
Be in bed by 10 PM if possible; an hour of sleep before midnight is worth two after. That’s because your melatonin production peaks well before midnight.
Make your room completely dark.
Only take caffeine in the morning.
Have a before-bedtime routine.
Practice gratitude to relax your mind.
Go outdoors and get morning sunlight.
Take a magnesium supplement to calm your brain for sleep.
Next, Number 2 is “Heal your gut with an anti-inflammatory diet”.
Gut inflammation causes digestive tract disorders, autoimmune conditions, and brain fog. So, the key to healing your gut is to eat an anti-inflammatory diet.
First, remove refined sugar and grains from your diet as much as possible. These are easily broken down into sugar and should be limited to help balance blood sugar.
Then, get rid of over-processed vegetable oils like canola, safflower, and soy as these are highly inflammatory.
Cook with healthy fats like coconut oil, grass-fed butter, MCT oils, olive oil, and avocado oil. Include other healthy fats like coconut milk, avocados, nuts and seeds, and pasture-raised meats and eggs.
For a detailed discussion of pro-inflammatory foods to avoid and their healthy substitutes, see our video, “5 foods that cause gut inflammation”.
Next, add other antioxidant-rich foods to support a healthy inflammatory response. These include fatty fish, turmeric, berries, leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables, mushrooms, and bone broth.
And don’t forget carminative herbs to soothe your digestive tract, such as arugula, basil, black pepper, cilantro, cinnamon, garlic, ginger, peppermint, rosemary, sage, fennel, and thyme.
Would you like to get a FREE anti-inflammatory meal plan? Click the link below.
And at Number 1, “Use key nutrients to support healthy inflammation”.
To reduce inflammation, consider supplementing your diet with 5 key nutrients.
1. Vitamin D.
Vitamin D is a powerful nutrient that helps to control and coordinate the immune system. In autoimmune diseases, the immune system has a difficult time recognizing the difference between its own cells and foreign invaders.
Vitamin D helps the immune system figure out which cells are harmful and which are not. This reduces inflammation in the body.
Now, a lot of people are deficient in vitamin D. That’s because of sunscreen use, and not getting enough sun exposure. And not eating organ meats, such as liver, and certain fish to get their vitamin D.
For most people, taking 2,000 IU per day of vitamin D3 should be enough to meet their needs. This should be taken together with vitamin K2.
2. Omega 3 fatty acids.
The diets of most people today are comprised of highly processed foods sky-high in Omega 6 fats and deficient in Omega 3. An elevated omega 6 to omega 3 ratio is strongly associated with higher levels of inflammation seen in autoimmune conditions.
We need to focus on DHA and EPA omega 3’s because they can help a lot with autoimmunity. The best sources for these fatty acids are wild Alaskan sockeye salmon, sardines, and anchovies.
They have high levels of omega 3 without the heavy metal concerns of other fish. Also, they are excellent sources of vitamin D.
To supplement, take 2 to 5 grams of a high-quality, purified fish oil that has been third-party tested for mercury. Or go for a krill oil supplement.
If you have symptoms of gut inflammation, such as bloating, indigestion, low energy, and brain fog, the right probiotics can help.
Try fermented probiotic foods such as sauerkraut, natto, kefir, or yogurt. See if you are reactive to them and if they help with the bacterial imbalance in your gut.
Or, choose a broad-spectrum probiotic supplement that can deliver live probiotics directly to your gut. Now, the best probiotic supplement should include prebiotics to support the growth of probiotics while helping to crowd out undesirable bacteria.
Or take prebiotic foods such as dandelion greens, leeks, onions, garlic, asparagus, bananas, chicory root, and artichokes. See our recommended probiotic supplement in our free anti inflammatory diet plan.
Curcumin is one of the most well-studied anti-inflammatory compounds. This compound, derived from the Indian root spice turmeric, holds immense healing power because of its ability to reduce inflammation.
Curcumin has been shown to alleviate autoimmune disorders such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and inflammatory bowel disease.
You can turmeric to your food and drinks. Or choose a high-absorption liposomal supplement, to get more turmeric into your system. See our recommended turmeric supplement below.
A weakened immune system promotes chronic inflammation and autoimmune conditions.
Zinc is a critical nutrient to support a healthy immune system. This mineral is important for supporting the thymus gland and the formation of T helper cells. T helper cells activate other immune cells to fight infections.
To prevent zinc deficiency, consume rich sources of zinc such as oysters, pumpkin seeds, liver, and pasture-raised lamb and beef.
To supplement, take 20 to 40mg of zinc glycinate per day to help relieve autoimmunity symptoms.
Next, how can you test for inflammation?
The most common way to measure inflammation is by doing a blood test for C-reactive protein (hs-CRP). This protein is a marker that shows inflammation.
Doctors also measure homocysteine levels to find out if there is chronic inflammation. Finally, doctors test for HbA1c, a measurement of blood sugar, to assess damage to red blood cells.
As always, this video is educational and does not constitute medical advice; we are not doctors.
I hope you enjoyed this video.
Click on the link below to get your free anti-inflammatory diet plan.
The next video to watch is, “5 foods that cause gut inflammation”.