Persistent, systemic inflammation is at the root of practically all known chronic health conditions, including everything from rheumatoid arthritis and high cholesterol to dementia and cancer. These conditions are not necessarily inevitable, and neither is chronic inflammation, but you have to know what lifestyle and dietary steps to take in order to avoid them, many of which are fairly simple and straightforward.
There are literally hundreds of illnesses caused by chronic inflammation that modern medicine has classified as unique and unrelated, when in fact they are all products of the same underlying imbalances inside the body. When the root causes of these imbalances are properly addressed, in other words, chronic illness in general stands a far less chance of taking hold than if left to run its natural course.
"Inflammation is your body's response to stress - whether from your diet, lifestyle or environment," says a 2006 article by Body Ecology. "Think of what happens when you catch a cold. You may experience inflammation in the form of a fever as your body heats up to eradicate the effects of the invading virus."
"This kind of inflammation is good, but the modern epidemic of chronic, low-grade inflammation destroys the balance in your body. When your body's systems experience a constant inflammatory response, you become more susceptible to aging and disease."
And what are some of the primary causes of chronic inflammation? Excessive stress, poor diet that lacks vitamins and minerals, environmental toxicity, not drinking enough clean water, lack of sleep, and lack of exercise all contribute to low levels of chronic inflammation that often go undetected for many years until disease finally emerges.
The Standard American Diet (SAD), which is high in simple carbohydrates and refined sugars, is another major contributor to disease-causing inflammation, as is lack of natural sunlight exposure and routine inactivity. Failing to consume enough cleansing foods as part of a normal diet is another contributing factor to chronic inflammation, as cells and blood must be continually purified with the help of nutrient-dense foods and herbs in order to prevent a chronic inflammatory response.
How to fight chronic inflammation and prevent disease
So what can you do to help avoid chronic inflammation and resultant disease? Here are a few simple guidelines:
• Drink plenty of clean, fluoride-free water - Pure, mineral-rich water is the most basic, yet one of the most powerful, anti-inflammatory nutrient that you can feed your body. Drinking naturally high-pH water from mineral sources will not only help to alkalize your body, which will prevent disease from taking hold, but will also purify your blood and cleanse toxins from the body.
• Eat plenty of fermented foods - Kombucha tea, kefir, sauerkraut, yogurt, fermented vegetables, and apple cider vinegar are all excellent examples of probiotic-rich superfoods that will help to populate your gut with beneficial bacteria, and ensure that your digestive tract remains healthy and well-functioning. Fermented foods and beverages also help prevent harmful pathogens from taking hold within the body.
• Cut out the carbs and omega-6 oils, and eat plenty of healthy, saturated fats - The average American doctor would probably cringe at this advice, but saturated fats like those found in butter and fat from grass-fed animals, as well as in coconut and palm oils, are actually beneficial for your health, while carbohydrates and oils rich in omega-6 fatty acids are heavy promoters of disease-causing inflammation. Your best bet is to skip the low-fat diet and start eating more healthy fats in combination with mineral and enzyme-rich whole foods.
• Get plenty of natural sunlight exposure - The vitamin D hormone plays a critical role in regulating immune function, as well as preventing the onset of chronic illness. A powerful, natural anti-inflammatory, vitamin D is easily accessible through natural sunlight exposure or supplementation, and it is one of the most powerful interventions for deterring inflammation.
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