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Posted on 01-19-2010

It's January and if you're like the majority of Americans, you're thinking about ways to look and feel better in 2010.  If there's one thing that could be keeping you from improving your health, looking younger and losing weight, it's chronic inflammation.

If you've ever twisted an ankle and experienced swelling, redness, pain and heat, you've seen and felt the effects of inflammation, which is a normal part of the body's natural defense system.   But unseen chronic inflammation is the dark side of this important process that lays the groundwork for life-threatening disease, illness and obesity.

In fact, chronic inflammation is responsible for an estimated 80-90 percent of disease and is the root of both acute and chronic pain.  Dr. Barry Sears, author of The Anti-Inflammation Zone, calls silent inflammation a hidden killer since it attacks nerve cells in the brain, suppresses the immune system, supports the growth of cancer cells and attacks the arteries. 

  • High cholesterol is caused by inflammation in the arteries.
  • Asthma is caused by inflammation in the bronchial tubes
  • Ulcers are caused by inflammation in the stomach and colon
  • Arthritis is caused by inflammation in the joints

So how do you know if your body is in a potentially harmful, inflammatory state?

Even if you don't suffer from diabetes, asthma or cancer, if you lead a sedentary lifestyle, eat a diet rich in junk food, refined carbohydrates, sugars and fatty animal proteins and if you suffer from stress, you, most likely, have inflammation.  The great news is that fighting inflammation isn't complicated, but it takes a commitment.

1)    Exercise
2)    Reduce stress. See #1
3)    Change your diet. Exercising, reducing stress and taking supplements that counter inflammation are great, but they can't overcome the impact of an inflammatory diet. 

  • Eat less red meat and more lean meats and fish.
  • Eat less sugar and more fresh fruits
  • Avoid white flour and enjoy more green leafy vegetables
  • Switch from soda (even diet versions) to green tea and water.
  • Eat less fast food and more nuts and seeds
  • Supplement your diet with Boswellia, Vitamins A and C, fish oil and  spices like Ginger and Curcumin (found in tumeric), which matches cortisone as a pain reliever and anti-inflammatory
If the potential to develop inflammation triggered life threatening diseases isn't motivating enough, remember this:  inflammation promotes obesity and obesity promotes inflammation, which creates a perfect cycle for weight gain and rapid aging.   And bathing suit season is just a few months away.

Carpe diem! 

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