Blotchy skin. Back pain. Brain fog. Seasonal allergies. As different as they may all seem, these undesirable symptoms are often due to the same root cause: inflammation.
Inflammation itself isn’t evil. In fact, inflammation is not only an unavoidable part of life – in many ways, it’s very useful and your body actually depends on it. When you get sick or injured, your body uses inflammation as a healing response – a kind of protective measure you may experience as localized redness, swelling, heat (or fever), stiffness and pain – by sending more nourishment and immune-boosting activity to the area in need of healing. This kind of inflammation is temporary and a critical part of your body’s ability to regain a healthy homeostasis. But increasingly, many of us are experiencing a different form of inflammation: chronic inflammation.
Dangers of Chronic Inflammation
Chronic inflammation isn’t just that headache you get while fighting off a cold or the swelling on your knee after bumping into a table. Rather, it’s the headaches you seem to get many days out of the month or the way your knee causes you to wince as you jump rope or walk down a flight of stairs. Chronic inflammation is a kind of continued fight response – one where your body attacks its own tissues. As briefly mentioned, this condition is often the root cause of a host of health problems, including autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis or inflammatory bowel disease. In some cases, low-level whole-body inflammation may occur, which may be less perceivable on a day-to-day basis initially, but over time, may tax your body into a state of very serious age-related disease, including neurological disorders like Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s, as well as cardiovascular disorders and cancer. Needless to say, neither chronic inflammation nor whole-body inflammation is considered a healthy level of inflammation. So, how do you know if you’re at risk?
Unfortunately, more and more individuals are experiencing this detrimental potency of inflammation. There are many factors that contribute to these elevated levels, including environmental toxins, stress, lifestyle factors such as smoking and excess alcohol, as well as genetics. The good news is, these inflammation issues don’t happen overnight, and are largely preventable and even potentially reversible. In fact, adjusting your dietary choices alone can make an immense difference on your inflammation levels overall and improve how you feel.
Eating foods that are lower on the inflammatory scale can be helpful as a day-to-day protective practice. These kinds of foods include vegetables like greens, roots and tubers as well as lower-sugar fruits like berries. Healthy fats are also extremely important (especially omega 3s and monounsaturated fats), so foods like nuts, seeds, avocados and olives are great choices. Leaning on unprocessed, plant-based proteins is often recommended as well.
What’s more, some foods are not only lower on the inflammatory scale, they’re actually anti-inflammatory or capable of reducing excess inflammation in your body. Many antioxidants contain this property, so seek out antioxidant-rich superfoods like Goldenberries, Turmeric, blueberries, Cacao and Chia. Anti-inflammation properties are also a big part of what makes CBD (cannabinoids) so powerful. CBD has been shown to be an effective element of pain treatment and appears to reduce unnecessary inflammatory actions in immune cells. By combining these CBD compounds with other anti-inflammatory ingredients, such as Goji or Matcha, Navitas Superfood Shots can be an especially powerful tool in helping you lower inflammation as part of a balanced diet.
Remember, an anti-inflammatory diet doesn’t have to just be warding of disease, it can also be a delicious, energizing and enjoyable one as well! Still not convinced a plant-based diet is beneficial? Click here for a deeper dive into the ways it helps your mind, body (and the planet!)