Even though sugar and inflammation serve important functions in your body in moderation, the problem arises when you eat too much sugar, which results in too much inflammation. This can happen when you eat a lot of processed foods with added sugar and refined carbohydrates which include soda, juice, sweetened beverages, high fructose corn syrup, white bread, desserts, and processed snack foods.
Acute inflammation is a natural response to aid in the healing process of an injury (an example would be swelling from a sprained ankle). Chronic inflammation happens without you knowing, until your body slowly starts to malfunction or shut down. Chronic inflammation has been linked to a number of serious illnesses such as heart disease, high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, cancer, auto-immune diseases, brain dysfunction, joint pain, digestive and skin problems.
In short, consuming excessive sugar constantly spikes your blood sugar, which can lead to molecules that trigger inflammation, insulin resistance, and visceral fat storage. This downward spiral then causes chronic inflammation throughout your body.
The good news is that you can lower your risk of chronic inflammation and many disease processes if you avoid the things listed above, and in place, give your body what it needs to be healthy. Here are some helpful ways to improve your health and consume inflammation-fighting foods:
• Make sleep a top priority – studies show that short sleep durations and poor sleep quality can result in higher levels of inflammation markers.
• Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle – Exercising regularly (join my Fitness groups or Mobile Personal Training where I come to you), managing stress, and not smoking can decrease inflammation.
• Increase your Omega-3 fatty acids – EPA & DHA found in fish oil, and GLA (gamma-linoleic acid) are all healthy fats.
• Pre/Probiotics and 25-30 grams of fiber per day for a healthy gut.
• Ashwagandha herb – reduces cortisol (a stress hormone that can cause damage in high amounts)
• Onions contain quercetin, an antioxidant that can help your body fight inflammation.
• Garlic is good for colds/illness and decreases inflammation.
• Leafy Greens/Spinach contain carotenoids, an inflammation-reducing antioxidant.
• Turmeric contains curcumin, a substance that actively reduces inflammation.
If you need help getting started on a plan to improve your health, contact Tracy Rewerts, NASM Certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Nutrition Specialist. Visit my website at www.TimeForChangePersonalTraining.com or call 303-828-2856.