Thursday, March 19, 2015

Embracing the Anti-Inflammatory Lifestyle

From arthritis and asthma to bronchitis and cancer, experts indicate many health conditions share a common factor -- inflammation. What do you need to know about inflammation and how can you keep your family healthy?

What is inflammation?

Inflammation is the body’s natural response to infection or injury. It’s necessary for your body to heal.

How does inflammation work?

When injury or illness occurs in your body, blood flow to the affected area increases and healing proteins and infection-fighting cells follow. This begins the healing process.

When is inflammation dangerous?

It’s chronic inflammation in the body, a condition that experts describe as an out-of-control immune system response, which signals a problem. Chronic inflammation stresses and injures your cells, causing damage and aging.

What health conditions are linked to inflammation?

Experts say many health conditions are linked to inflammation, including:
Cardiovascular disease
Cancer
Joint problems
Skin conditions, such as psoriasis and eczema

What foods are linked to inflammation?

Sugar: White sugar, in particular, causes a high spike in blood sugar levels in your body, triggering an inflammatory response.
Processed foods: White flour, for instance, is a processed food that can cause inflammation in your body.
Genetically Modified Foods (GMOs): Your body tries to protect against food it doesn’t recognize, such as GMOs, resulting in inflammation.
Dairy products, fried foods, processed and red meats.

Some suggestions for an anti-inflammatory diet:

Some foods that may guard against inflammation and calm inflammation already present in your body include:

Fresh fruits and vegetables: From bitter veggies such as radishes, kale, and spinach, to blueberries and red peppers, fresh fruits and vegetables are great defenders against inflammation.
Green tea: Green tea contains powerful antioxidants that help fight inflammation. Consume at least 2 cups per day for maximum benefits.
Mushrooms: If grown under UV light, mushrooms contain vitamin D, which plays a major role in immune system health.
Grain alternatives:  Amaranth, quinoa, millet, and wild rice are good choices.
Bitter herbs:  Ginger and horseradish are very good anti-inflammatories.

For more diet suggestions, visit this site.

Are there other lifestyle factors that can lead to inflammation?

1. Lack of sleep – Sleep is essential to controlling inflammatory hormones in your body.
2. Carrying excess weight – Extra pounds, especially around your waistline, can be a contributing factor to inflammation.
3. Lack of exercise – Exercise increases blood flow in your body, which decreases inflammation.
4. Excess stress - Stress hormones can cause an inflammatory response in your body.
5. Environmental factors - May affect the estrogen balance in your body.
6. Heavy meal overload -- An excess of mercury and lead in the body can contribute to inflammation.

How do anti-inflammatory medications factor in?

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, NSAIDs, such as aspirin and ibuprofen, block pain and reduce fever.  NSAIDs are typically used for inflammatory conditions such as arthritis or to ease the pain associated with an injury. They are taken by mouth and are available without a prescription.  Always check with your doctor or healthcare provider before taking any over-the-counter medication.

Steroids help reduce the signs and symptoms of conditions such as asthma, lupus, and more. Steroids may be taken by mouth, via an inhaler or spray, topically, or by injection. Your doctor or healthcare provider prescribes steroids. Remember to use your Familywize Discount Prescription Drug Card for maximum savings on medication.

By educating yourself regarding the options available for treating inflammation and embracing an anti-inflammatory lifestyle, you and your family can lead the best life possible.

Live Healthy. Live Smart
-FamilyWize

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