Chronic inflammation is long-term inflammation, which can last for several months and even years. Chronic inflammation is responsible for damaging our body and making us prone to ill health and more at risk for conditions like heart disease, diabetes, dementia and cancers. The affects of chronic inflammation can be reduced by making changes to your diet and lifestyle.
Which Foods Cause Inflammation?
The main culprits in our modern diet are sugar, all processed foods, refined grains, dairy products, grain feed meats and farm-raised fish.
The fatty acid ratio of your diet is key when it comes to inflammation. Too much Omega 6 and not enough Omega 3 fatty acids leads to production of prostaglandins which triggers inflammation. The ratio of omega 3 to 6 in the diet should be 1:1 for optimal health. The meat from animals raised on grains is very high in omega-6 fatty acids and quite low in omega-3 fatty acids. The ratio is around 1:7.6. Meats from grass feed animals have a ratio of 1:1.2.
On this note refined polyunsaturated vegetable oils are also extremely inflammatory due to the imbalance of omega 3 to omega 6. Omega-6 fatty acids (found in vegetables oils like canola and corn) create inflammation, whereas omega-3 fatty acids (fish oils) are anti-inflammatory.
A diet that assists in the reduction of inflammation includes vegetables, essential fatty acids (especially omega-3), fish oil, olive oil, nuts and beans - similar to a Mediterranean style diet.
In order to prevent or reduce inflammation it is advisable to avoid processed foods, sugar, alcohol, high glycemic index foods, trans fats and dairy products.
Other Considerations of Inflammation
Obesity, poor sleep, stress and lifestyle factors like smoking also lead to inflammation as they increase the production of free radicals, C-reactive protein and cortisol which both add to and trigger chronic inflammatory conditions.
Supplements and Inflammation
CoEnzyme Q10 (CoQ10)
Vitamins A, C and E
Minerals such as Calcium and Magnesium
Fish Oil (DHA & EPA)
B Complex Vitamins
Obesity and Exercise
Obesity is related to low-grade systemic inflammation. Gentle exercise, like walking, swimming and light weight training, can help create more muscle and less fat and reduce the excess fat stored in the body. Excess fat creates C- reactive protein, a marker of inflammation. Simply walking five days a week for thirty minutes a day will help reduce C-reactive protein levels.
When it comes to exercise don't go mad and over do it. Intensive exercise actually triggers inflammation and muscle damage and would be best avoided if your aim is to reduce inflammation.
Inflammation and the Mouth
The mouth is one of the top sources of inflammation in the body. The mouth contains over 6 billion bacteria most of which are harmless. However when there is dental disease, nutritional imbalances, or underlying health issues the prevalence of harmful mouth bacteria increases. This proliferation of harmful bacteria triggers dental disease and inflammation.
Gum disease is nicknamed the silent killer, it a painless condition that significantly increases your risk for chronic ill health and chronic inflammation.
Gum disease is linked to heart disease, strokes, arthritis, lung infections, infertility, preterm birth, erectile dysfunction, diabetes and even cancer.
It is a well documented scientific fact that people with healthy gums live healthier, longer lives.
Untreated inflammation in the mouth leads to a cascade of inflammation in the body and impacts on your health. Treating gum disease and dental infections not only improves your smile it reduces inflammation and boosts your overall health and wellbeing.
Treating gum disease and dental infections is essential if you want to reduce inflammation in your body and improve your health.
If your gums bleed when you brush, look red or swollen or are sore, you have bad breath or your teeth are moving you most likely have gum disease that needs treating - call our office to schedule a treatment with our dental hygienist today 07 3720 1811