Inflammation is a normal part of the body’s immune response. When you get injured or sick, your body releases inflammatory chemicals and cells to help protect and heal damaged tissue. However, when inflammation persists over long periods of time, it can actually start to damage the body instead of healing it.
This condition is known as chronic inflammation. New research is revealing just how detrimental chronic inflammation can be, contributing to a wide array of health issues including weight gain, memory loss, heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer.
In this article, we’ll explore the top 7 most debilitating effects of chronic inflammation and provide an overview of what you can do to reduce inflammation for better health. Chronic inflammation often starts silently, with no obvious symptoms initially. However, over time it can undermine many important systems and processes in the body.
Being aware of the risks and taking steps to minimize inflammation through diet, exercise, stress relief and other lifestyle measures can go a long way towards supporting overall health and vitality.
What Is Chronic Inflammation?
Chronic inflammation refers to inflammation that persists in the body for months or years, gradually damaging tissues and organs. Unlike acute inflammation which helps the body heal after an injury or infection, chronic inflammation serves no purpose and can be highly detrimental. There are two major lifestyle factors that promote chronic inflammation: processed foods and chronic stress.
Processed foods like refined grains, sugary snacks, and ready-made meals are often packed with pro-inflammatory ingredients. These include omega-6 fatty acids, artificial trans fats, and chemical preservatives and flavorings. Eating processed foods regularly can keep the body in a constant state of low-grade inflammation.
Chronic stress also stimulates inflammation through hormonal pathways. When we face excessive or prolonged stress, it triggers the release of cortisol and other hormones that activate inflammatory markers like CRP and cytokines. Over time, chronic stress keeps these inflammatory compounds flowing, damaging tissues throughout the body.
Reducing intake of processed foods and managing stress effectively are two impactful steps anyone can take to prevent chronic inflammation. Curtailing these major lifestyle factors can help stop inflammation at its source, before it has a chance to do harm deep within the body. By being aware of these triggers, we can make smarter diet and lifestyle choices for long-term health.
The Issues Chronic Inflammation Causes
Here are some of the main health issues that can arise from chronic inflammation over time:
- Weight gain – Inflammation disrupts normal metabolic processes, slowing down fat-burning and causing more fat storage, especially around the abdomen. This leads to stubborn weight gain.
- Memory loss and cognitive decline – Inflammation triggers production of immune cells called cytokines in the brain, which can inhibit neuron connections and the formation of new memories. This can contribute to brain fog, memory loss, and dementia.
- Heart disease – Arteries damaged by inflammatory cytokines are more prone to plaque buildup and blood clots, increasing risk of heart attacks and strokes.
- Diabetes – Inflammation makes cells less receptive to insulin, contributing to insulin resistance and high blood sugar. This exacerbates diabetes.
- Cancer – Inflammation can stimulate DNA damage and rapid growth of abnormal cells, promoting cancer initiation and progression.
- Autoimmune disorders – Chronic inflammation confuses the immune system, causing it to attack the body’s own tissues leading to autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and Crohn’s disease.
- Depression and anxiety – Inflammatory cytokines disrupt neurotransmitters like serotonin that regulate mood and emotions, worsening symptoms of depression and anxiety.
The longer inflammation goes unchecked in the body, the more damage it inflicts on nearly every organ system. That’s why it’s crucial to limit inflammatory factors in diet and lifestyle to maintain health.
6 Natural Ways To Combat Chronic Inflammation
- Load up on anti-inflammatory foods –
Chronic inflammation can be reduced through diet by incorporating more foods and herbs with natural anti-inflammatory compounds. For example, foods containing omega-3 fatty acids like fish, chia seeds, and walnuts can help lower inflammatory markers. Spices like cinnamon, cloves, and turmeric have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Cinnamon specifically contains cinnamaldehyde which inhibits NF-kB, a key inflammatory pathway. Lemongrass contains citral that suppresses COX-2 inflammation. Citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C which reduces inflammatory cytokines. Garlic and onions contain allicin and quercetin to inhibit inflammation.
Herbs like ashwagandha, cat’s claw, and suma root also provide powerful anti-inflammatory benefits. Ashwagandha is an adaptogen that balances cortisol and other stress hormones that drive inflammation. Cat’s claw has compounds that suppress TNF-a and other inflammatory cytokines. Suma root prevents leukotriene formation to reduce inflammation. Superfruits like camu camu and oils like neem oil also have exceptional anti-inflammatory antioxidants.
All these natural ingredients work synergistically to lower inflammation through different mechanisms. Radiate 21 taps into the power of 21 of these anti-inflammatory superfoods and herbs to create a precision multi-pathway formula for inflammation relief. Learn More About Radiate 21 Here.
- Cut back or eliminate inflammatory foods like –
- Refined grains and sugars – Foods made with white flour and added sugars spike blood sugar levels, which increases inflammatory markers. These include breads, pastries, sodas, candy, and other processed snacks.
- Fried foods – Deep frying creates harmful advanced glycation end products (AGES) and aldehydes which trigger inflammation. This includes fried fast foods like french fries, chicken nuggets, etc.
- Processed meats – Lunchmeats, sausages, hot dogs and bacon contain preservatives like nitrates that convert into inflammatory compounds in the body.
- Full-fat dairy – While yogurt and some cheese are fine, full-fat milk and ice cream are high in saturated fats that activate inflammatory pathways when consumed in excess.
- Margarine & lard – These processed sources of trans and saturated fats promote inflammation compared to healthier fats like olive or avocado oil.
- Excess alcohol – Heavy alcohol consumption above moderation levels increases inflammatory markers like IL-6 and CRP.
- Refined cooking oils – Vegetable, corn and canola oils are highly refined and are high in inflammatory omega-6 fats compared to omega-3s.
By avoiding these pro-inflammatory foods as much as possible and focusing on an anti-inflammatory diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats and anti-inflammatory spices, you can go a long way towards reducing chronic inflammation for better health.
- Control blood sugar –
- Cinnamon – Contains compounds like cinnamaldehyde that increase insulin sensitivity and glucose uptake by cells, lowering blood sugar.
- Chrysanthemum flower – Contains flavonoids that inhibit α-glucosidase and α-amylase enzymes, slowing carbohydrate digestion to prevent blood sugar spikes.
- Citrus fruits – Rich in vitamin C and flavonoids that improve insulin sensitivity and protect pancreatic beta cells, improving blood sugar control.
- Garlic – Increases insulin secretion and sensitivity. Allyl propyl disulfide stimulates insulin production by pancreatic cells.
- Oregano – Carvacrol compound promotes glucose uptake by liver and muscle cells, reducing blood sugar.
- Ashwagandha – Enhances insulin secretion and improves insulin sensitivity through effects on insulin signaling pathways.
- Clove – Eugenol compound mimics insulin to stimulate cellular glucose uptake, reducing hyperglycemia.
Several of these natural ingredients included in Radiate 21 have been shown to help reduce and control blood sugar levels:
- Make time to exercise
- Lose weight –These ingredients can help manage weight loss, making it easier and more effective when reducing your BMI.
- Cinnamon – As mentioned, can help regulate blood sugar and increase metabolism and fat burning due to compounds like cinnamaldehyde.
- Ashwagandha – Can help reduce cortisol and stress-related fat deposition and belly fat.
- Garlic – Contains compounds that may suppress fat synthesis and reduce fat storage around the liver and belly region.
- Citrus fruits – The vitamin C and antioxidants can improve metabolic function and increase fat burning.
- Coconut oil – The MCTs (medium chain triglycerides) in coconut oil can increase satiety, boost metabolism, and encourage fat burning, especially belly fat.
- Manage stress –These ingredients will help manage stress naturally and efficiently.
- Ashwagandha – This Ayurvedic herb contains withanolides that help lower cortisol levels and balance stress hormones. Ashwagandha is considered an adaptogen that reduces anxiety and improves resilience to stress.
- Lemon balm – Has a calming effect on the nervous system. Helps relieve anxiety, stress and sleep issues.
- Chamomile – Contains apigenin, a flavonoid that binds to GABA receptors and has anxiolytic and sedative effects to combat stress.
- Mint – Has a soothing scent that triggers relaxation. Also aids digestion which can help improve stress-related GI issues.
- Citrus oils like lemon, lime, orange – Have refreshing, uplifting aromas that can stimulate relaxation. Limonene in citrus oils also has anxiolytic effects.
- Oregano – Contains carvacrol which has demonstrated anti-anxiety and antidepressant effects in research through monoaminergic mechanisms.
- Cinnamon – Has anxiolytic effects and can lower cortisol levels according to some studies. May also stabilize blood sugar which helps mood regulation.
A supplement containing a combination of herbs and botanicals like ashwagandha, lemon balm, chamomile, and cinnamon may provide anti-anxiety, adaptogenic, and mood-lifting properties to aid stress management.
I highly recommend checking out Radiate 21 to reduce chronic inflammation, and receive all of the amazing benefits from the 21 ingredients listed above.
Chronic inflammation can silently jeopardize many aspects of health, contributing to weight gain, memory loss, heart disease, diabetes, autoimmunity, and even cancer. While acute inflammation is a normal part of the body’s healing response, uncontrolled chronic inflammation serves no purpose and inflicts gradual damage. The good news is that making lifestyle changes like eating more anti-inflammatory foods can make a real difference in reducing inflammation.
Adding ingredients like omega-3s from fatty fish, spices like turmeric and ginger, fruits and vegetables high in antioxidants, and targeted anti-inflammatory supplements can help extinguish the flames of chronic inflammation. Avoiding pro-inflammatory triggers like fried foods, excess sugar, and chronic stress is also key.
Remember that it’s never too late to take control of inflammation. Implementing an anti-inflammatory diet, staying active, managing stress, and considering targeted supplementation can go a long way towards mitigating the debilitating effects of chronic inflammation. Your body will thank you.
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