It is important to understand the importance of chronic inflammation since it is aging and hence reduces longevity. Chronic inflammation is a disease afflicting most people in some degree during their life but they don’t know it. The means to prevent it and what causes it are detailed below. Basically, this article boils down to many healthy tips for a long heathy life. With a healthy lifestyle chronic inflammation can be avoided, or decreased. The information below shows that mainly with proper diet, exercise, reduced stress, and adequate rest─chronic inflammation which reduces longevity and many common diseases can be controlled, reversed, or prevented.
This article is a much reduced version of a chapter on Chronic Inflammation in my ant-aging book book, “100 Years Young the Natural Way”.
In the medical community chronic inflammation has become a growing popular subject. Chronic inflammation is the silent (unnoticed) inflammation as opposed to the conventional, acute, kind involving redness, swelling, heat and pain. Just as there is good and bad flame there is good and bad inflammation.
Low grade undetected infections and inflammations can take a decade or more off your life. “As humans grow older systemic inflammation can inflict devastating degenerative effects throughout the body” (research by Ward 1995, McCarly 1999, Brod 2000). “Correcting an inflammatory disorder will enable many of the infirmities of aging to be prevented or reversed” (Life Extension Magazine).
Anti-inflammatory diet. The popular Dr. Weil is “convinced diet influences inflammation.” In his “inflammation diet” he lists, for example: avoid pro-inflammatory foods (e.g., refined/processed foods with wheat flour and sugar, full fat dairy, saturated and trans fats, animal fat, high fructose corn products, vegetable oils, and high glycemic load foods). Instead eat anti-inflammatory foods (e.g., low glycemic load foods. whole grains, omega-3 products, and extra virgin oil. In general, I find his diet is similar to a heart-healthy diet and the low glycemic load diet recommended herein. See more details below.
Diseases Affected by Chronic Inflammation. It is fair to say chronic inflammation is associated with and generally preceding all the common diseases in some way. Chronic inflammation is a central figure (assisting) in obesity, diabetes, hypertension, atherosclerosis, arthritis, anemia, heart disorders, stroke, arthritis, eczema, sinus infection, kidney failure, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, Parkinson’s disease, and cancer.
“One category of disease marked by unchecked inflammation is autoimmunity. When the immune system attacks the body’s own tissues for no good reason, a condition of autoimmunity exists. It causes unchecked inflammation. There are over 40 autoimmune system diseases where the immune system reverses it’s normally protective role such as: Type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid fever, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, lupus, and fibromyalgia.
Causes of Chronic Inflammation. What you eat can stimulate or prevent chronic inflammation. This is usually an imbalance of nutrients: too many inflammatory foods, and not enough anti-inflammatory foods. Or it could be an over-acidic diet rather than a predominately alkaline diet.
The following involving mainly diet and an unhealthy lifestyle will cause an increase in chronic inflammation:
– High glycemic diet: high sugar diet, energy drinks etc.
– Bacterial, viral, and parasitic infections, chemical irritants, and non-digestible particles
– Excess toxins (e.g., pesticides, cleaning chemicals, herbicides, smog)
– Environmental moulds and rancid oil and nuts
– Beef, pork, and poultry
– Refined/processed foods made with wheat flour and sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and packaged snack foods
– Margarine, partially hydrogenated oils, vegetable oils
– Injury ) chronic inflammation continues after the injuy is cured
– Periodontal disease (can lead to chronic inflammation in other areas of the body)
– High blood pressure
– Overcooked food or food cooked at high temperature
– Smoking, excess alcohol and excess caffeine
– High triglycerides and high LDL cholesterol
– Obesity and excess fat cells
– Allergies from particular foods (e.g., arachidonic acid from peanut oil, red meat, poultry, and egg yolks (not Omega 3 eggs))
– Fast foods in general
– Excess saturated fats (full fat dairy products) and trans fats such as from processed foods
– Excess chronic stress
– Sleep deprivation such as 5 hours per night
– Prescription drugs (instead find pain relief in acupuncture, massage, and water therapy)
Prevention. The following good habits will lower your risk of chronic inflammation and many chronic diseases, and also strengthen your immune system. The diet below closely resembles a heart–healthy diet.
– Avoid the problem factors and inflammatory foods under Causes above.
– Adopt a low glycemic load diet: low in glucose
– Eat more whole grains, beans, squashes, and sweet potatoes
– Eat walnuts, cashews, and almonds and their butters.
– Eat vegetable protein (e.g., beans) rather than red meat and poultry.
– Cooking at high temperature or fried or barbecued foods.
– Eat omega 3 fatty acids the most powerful anti-inflammatory, e.g.,wild rice, spinach, – Omega 3 eggs, red lentils, squash, navy beans, wild salmon, tuna, sardines, chia seeds ,flax seeds and flax oil, wWalnuts, navy beans.
– Reduce omega-6 fatty acids since inflammatory.
– Daily aspirin: many studies show benefits: check with your doctor
– Use extra virgin olive oil for salads and grape-seed oil for cooking. Avoid all other oils.
– Drink green and black tea.
– Better sleep: at least 7 hours
– Moderate alcohol consumption (red wine is the most acceptable choice)
– Adequate regular exercise: reduces stress, and builds muscle and morale
– Reduce stress.
– Positive attitude
– Eat antioxidant foods and take supplements vitamin A, E, C and glutathione, to fight antioxidants and free radicals. Very important.
– Best anti-inflammatory foods: berries, fatty fish, broccoli, avocados, green tea, peppers, grapes, extra virgin olive oil, dark chocolate and cocoa.