Inflammation and the Holiday Diet

Many of us are aware that the choices we make about food can either help to contribute to or combat inflammation. Not many people would bat an eye when presented with a diet plan that is aimed at reducing the amount of bad carbohydrates, including refined sugars. Many know that these foods are connected with inflammation as well as other health problems, ranging from diabetes and heart disease to cancer, as well as other issues, such as mood instability, which can lead to a viscous cycle of health issues.

Additionally, many people who have even the slightest idea about what food is healthy and what is not realize that a lot of holiday foods are simply not. Read on to learn more about how foods that support inflammation might impact your body and why you should consider avoiding (at least a good portion of) that holiday diet.  Chiropractors in Tucker and Brookhaven can provide you with a free consultation to support your recovery.

Your Body and Inflammation

Inflammation takes place when chemicals are released that initiate an alert mechanism within the body. The body is designed to react this way to fight off toxins, injuries and infections. But when this response is a regular occurrence, it can lead to physical damage, according to an article published by the Cleveland Clinic.

A person’s lifestyle can play a significant part in reducing the amount of inflammatory cells that are present, thus increasing the harmful buildup of plaque in the arteries. Plaque built up in the arteries can contribute to a heightened risk of stroke or heart attack.

Eating large amounts of sugars can cause the body to produce advanced glycation end products, which are also called AGEs. These compounds are created when the fats or proteins within the blood are combined with sugar. These harmful compounds can lead to or contribute to inflammation.

Inflammation can come about when the body’s gastrointestinal system is filled with toxins, undigested food and bacteria, which can enter into the bloodstream. If you have an increase of inflammation within your body, you may see signs like high cholesterol and weight gain.

A diet high in saturated and trans-saturated fats, in addition to refined starches and sugars, is the main cause of inflammatory conditions. Sugars and refined carbs can enter into the bloodstream rapidly, quickly increasing blood sugar and insulin levels as well as encouraging the production of inflammatory cytokines.

In order to reduce inflammation in the body, natural antioxidants, fiber and omega-3 fatty acids are recommended. To incorporate these into your diet, opt for more whole grains, fruits and vegetables.

Inflammation and Your Brain

Inflammation also has an impact on your mood. It has also been linked to Alzheimer’s disease, in part due to the fact that the brain releases immune cells during times of stress.

Depression symptoms are also linked with inflammatory diets, according to an article published by the National Institutes of Health. Depression is also proven to increase inflammation within the body, contributing to a vicious cycle.

People who battle depression or conditions also have been proven to have a lowered ability to fight wound healing or infection, and an increase in inflammatory responses within the body.

Dietary Changes

On a positive note, dietary changes can help to counteract the results of inflammation. Eating foods that lower inflammation, such as those in the Mediterranean diet, may be able to decrease inflammation and other symptoms like depression.

Aim to eat foods high in Omega-3 fatty acids, including:

  • Fish oil
  • Flax see
  • Fish
  • Walnuts
  • Wheat germ

Furthermore, a sugary diet is not the only cause of inflammation. To reduce inflammation, it is also helpful to make other positive lifestyle choices, such as reducing or eliminating smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. Consider also pursuing stress-reducing options such as routine chiropractic visits and relaxation techniques to reduce your risk of health issues linked with inflammation.

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