As a nurse and a health coach, my goal is in preventing chronic disease. And inflammation is at the root of most health conditions.
So today I bring you the 5 biggest triggers of chronic inflammation.
1. Processed sugar and carbohydrates
Without getting all sciency - Excess insulin creates inflammation. When we eat processed sugar and carbohydrates our insulin levels spike, creating inflammation.
Watch your sugar and carb intake, aim for 25 grams or less a day.
2. Omega-6 oils
OK. Fatty acids… there are 2 kinds - Omega-6 and Omega-3. Keep in mind that we need omega fatty acids for optimal health. But with the Standard American Diet we typically consume more Omega-6 oils then we do Omega-3's when we really want to flip that ratio - more Omega-3’s than Omega-6's. Omega-3's reduce inflammation, Omega-6's increase inflammation.
To reduce inflammation work on switching cooking oils from canola and vegetable oils to coconut, avocado, or grapeseed oil.
3. Mental stress
Here comes a big one! Did you know that mental stress can affect you body by increasing inflammation? All because of the major stress hormone called cortisol.
Take time to to get outside, get some Vitamin D and relax. Do 5 minutes of Headspace. Breathe, just breathe.
4. Physical stress
I mentioned mental stress, but what about physical stress? Yep, working out too hard, for too long pushes our bodies into physical stress. Pushing too hard in workouts can increase cortisol (that hormone I mentioned earlier) which increases inflammation.
Make sure you are adding active recovery into your workout schedule, get good quality sleep to help combat inflammation.
5. Sleep (or lack of)
Lack of sleep or lack of good quality sleep weakens our immune system, screws with hormones like cortisol, and increases cravings for sugar and carbs—all directly related to increased inflammation.
Aim for 8-9 hours of sleep, and expose yourself to natural light throughout the day to regulate your circadian rhythm.
So now you are armed with information about what causes chronic inflammation! Being aware is half the battle. Making small lifestyle changes will help reduce inflammation, and possible prevent chronic disease. Try it and see for yourself!
Your coach Deanna
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