The topic of inflammation comes up frequently in wellness circles. While you may already know that inflammation is bad for you, do you know exactly what it is? What causes inflammation and how can you prevent it from taking a toll on your mind and body?
WHAT IS INFLAMMATION?
According to the National Library of Medicine, “Inflammation is part of the body’s defense mechanism. It is the process by which the immune system recognizes and removes harmful and foreign stimuli and begins the healing process. Inflammation can be either acute or chronic.”
Acute inflammation is common and isn’t typically a case for alarm as it will go away within a few hours. This type of inflammation commonly occurs as the body’s natural defense against infection or injury. For example, if you come down with a virus or cut your finger, your body triggers an inflammatory response that directs immune cells to the injury site to begin the healing process.
Chronic inflammation, on the other hand, occurs when inflammation occurs in healthy tissues or lasts too long — for months or sometimes years. This type of inflammation can lead to longer-term damage of previously healthy tissues, gradually inhibit the body’s ability to repair itself, and lead to several diseases.
Symptoms of Inflammation include:
Indeed, chronic inflammatory diseases have been recognized as the most significant cause of death in the world today, with more than 50% of all deaths being attributable to inflammation-related diseases such as ischemic heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and autoimmune and neurodegenerative conditions.
CAUSES OF INFLAMMATION
Being a couch potato, drinking alcohol regularly, and eating a high trans-fat diet all contribute to inflammation. Consuming too many calories and being overweight, especially for those people carrying extra pounds around their midsection, leads to greater levels of inflammatory compounds Stress and lack of sleep don’t help either. Every day, scientists are learning more about what causes inflammation in the body and its role in disease.
FOODS THAT FIGHT INFLAMMATION
It’s no secret that food can be medicine, and eating a diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods will help you feel and probably look better too.
An anti-inflammatory diet is mostly vegan with the exception of fatty fish like salmon. Be sure to include lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, plant-based proteins (like beans and nuts), and fresh herbs and spices.
Fruits and veggies: Go for variety and color. Research shows that vitamin K-rich leafy greens like spinach and kale reduce inflammation, as do broccoli and cabbage. So does the substance that gives fruits like cherries, raspberries, and blackberries their color.
HOW CBD CAN HELP FIGHT INFLAMMATION
Can CBD help fight inflammation? CBD is highly effective in reducing inflammation through acting on the activity in the body’s endocannabinoid receptors. According to medical cannabis expert and double-board certified doctor Dave Gordon, M.D., “CBD has many anti-inflammatory properties and is an effective tool to help reduce inflammation throughout the body. This is important for optimal health, as too much inflammation is part of the root cause of nearly every single chronic disease.”
While there might not be a direct link suggesting CBD can cure, indeed, CBD can help reduce inflammation so you can start to heal and feel better faster.