Inflammation shinsamation – if you haven’t already heard, you soon will. Inflammation is the new scaremonger of the health industry. With the tag ‘anti-inflammatory’ before any food or supplement, consumers are encouraged to buy-in to reduce their so-called inflammation and avoid a whole host of calamities, diabetes, cancer, heart disease etc.
Is this really necessary? I’m going to help you fight the fire and give you the low-down on all things inflammatory and anti-inflammatory…
Feeling baffled and unsure of information on the world wide web I’ve turned to my University books to reference what inflammation is. In which, I can quote “inflammation is not fully understood, but it involves the interaction of several chemical mediators” so remember that the science behind inflammation is not yet fully understood so therefore steps for ‘anti-inflammatory’ are not fail proof.
Scientists have worked hard, however, to understand inflammation to a certain point. I will attempt to make this as readable as possible for you! There are two types of inflammation, acute (sudden, reactive) and chronic (on-going, background).
Acute inflammation follows the following mantra:
- A ‘bad’ or ‘potentially harmful’ substance enters your body.
- Your body goes into fight mode and releases a bunch of chemicals to diffuse, destroy and discharge the attack.
- Your body repairs itself to pre-attack state.
Chronic inflammation, however, is a bit more complex and is what is getting the industry buzzing. Those that have on-going illnesses such as ‘inflammatory bowel disease’ (the clue is in the title), crohn’s disease, diabetes or an auto-immune condition are likely to suffer chronic inflammation to some form. Their body feels as though it’s under attack more-so than an illness-free body and therefore produces more chemicals to undergo ‘diffuse, destroy and discharge’ more of the time. In addition to these illnesses, chronic inflammation is also linked to various lifestyle choices and states such as; smoking, obesity, alcohol intake and DIET.
So with this in mind, it makes sense to avoid inflammation and keep our bodies in a happy non-fighting state, right? Absolutely! My advice, however, is to be wary of this useful pathological system being hyper-sensitised and dictating your every move or food choice. Take a Rachel Clare balanced approach! Include a sensible amount of foods in your diet which are healthy, tasty and may help your body to diffuse, destroy and discharge when needed. Examples of which include:
- Oily fish! 1 portion a week of salmon, mackerel, trout etc is a really healthy choice
- Tomatoes in your salad are a positive move
- Olive oil won’t spoil your anti-inflammatory processes
- Antioxidant-rich fruit are likely to help your natural defences to inflammation
- Kale and spinach taste good and compliment any dish whilst benefiting your health
So next time you’re drawn in by a product or supplement which is famed for its ‘anti-inflammatory’ effects. Think through:
1. Are you really in need of some extra anti-inflammation? Your GP should be happy to do a simple blood test to find this out for you!
2. Can you get these benefits from eating a sensible and varied diet? Probably!
3. Rachel Clare warned me about this type of marketing.
A healthy life is a fruitful life