Inflammation is a localized physical condition in which a part of the body becomes swollen, reddened, painful or hot, especially in reaction to an infection or an injury.
What is inflammation?
Inflammation is a localized physical condition in which a part of the body becomes swollen, reddened, painful or hot, especially in reaction to an infection or an injury. When it occurs, the body’s white blood cells release chemicals into the affected tissues or blood to protect the body from harmful, foreign substances. These chemicals increase the blood flow to the area of injury or infection, causing the symptoms associated with inflammation. Some of the chemicals cause a leak of fluid into the tissues, which results in swelling. Pain is the result of stimulated nerves during this protective process.
At times, the body may trigger an inflammatory response when there are no harmful, foreign substances to fight off. This is the case with arthritis. When this occurs, the body’s normally protective immune system can actually cause damage to its own tissues, responding as if normal tissues are abnormal or infected.
Eating healthy to reduce inflammation
If you suffer from chronic inflammation, a proper diet can actually help.* Unhealthy ingredients trigger inflammation in various ways. Sugar allows for the release of inflammatory messengers called cytokines. In the 90s, it became common knowledge that trans fats were not good for the body. Trans fats can trigger systemic inflammation and they can be found in fried food, processed snacks, cookies, donuts, crackers, frozen breakfast products and margarine. While omega-6 fatty acids are essential to the body’s growth and development, excess consumption of omega-6 can trigger the body to create pro-inflammatory chemicals. Omega-6 fatty acids can be found in corn, soy, peanuts, mayonnaise, salad dressings, sunflower, grapeseed and safflower.
Refined carbohydrates (processed carbs) are one of the biggest contributors to America’s rising obesity rates. These carbs are high on the glycemic index and they trigger the production of advanced glycation end (AGE) that encourage inflammation. Refined carbs are found in breads, french fries, crackers, white potatoes, white rice and many cereals. Mono-sodium glutamate (MSG) stimulates two important pathways of chronic inflammation and can affect the health of the liver. MSG can be found in soy sauce and is commonly added to fast food, salad dressings, deli meats, soup mixes and prepared soups. Finally, alcohol is not only a burden on your liver and its function, but it can also disrupt other organs in your body that are multi-functional and causes inflammation. Drinking in moderation or cutting it out completely is recommended.
Get weight loss advice and treatments in British Columbia
At MediMax Obesity Institute, we focus on weight loss in a way that allows our patients to improve their overall health.* By cutting back on the foods that cause inflammation, you can extend your life and limit your pain.* Increasing the proportion of vegetables and fruits in your diet, making fish your main protein and getting more omega-3s can improve your arthritic symptoms.* In order to help you create a plan for eating and living healthier, request an appointment at one of our three locations in British Columbia: Abbotsford, Langley or Chilliwack. You can give us a call at (604) 217-1827 or request your appointment online.
*Individual results may vary; not a guarantee.