Do you have chronic inflammation?

We’ve all been there – you cut your finger, stub your toe or burn your arm pulling something out of the oven.  Our body’s natural response to healing the above injuries include acute inflammation which is a powerful burst of white blood cells rushing in to try to repair the damage.  But what happens if those infection fighting cells become confused and begin a relentless attack on healthy tissue?  This is called chronic inflammation and doctors now believe that over time, this silent condition may cause or contribute to multiple diseases including arthritis, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, celiac and heart disease.

Just like there are classic symptoms to acute inflammation in the body – heat, pain, redness, swelling and loss of function – there are also clues when chronic inflammation is present.  But these clues may not be as obvious.  While there are lab tests that may help assess what is happening internally, your body may be giving other signs as well.

Do you have any of these possible clues or signs?

Pain may manifest as aches in muscles and joints, or as pain just getting out of bed in the morning.

Allergies such as congestion, sinusitis, red and itchy eyes, swelling / irritation of the airway, frequent infections and even asthma may be caused by inflammation.

If you frequently have a puffy face with bags under your eyes, it may be due to inflammation causing fluid build up in the facial tissue. This may also be attributed to sinusitis (see above) where pockets in the face become blocked and filled with fluid – another example of internal inflammation showing up on the outside.  A puffy face may also indicate a medical emergency.

Fatigue and feeling tired all the time can be caused by insomnia or poor quality of sleep.  Inflamed cells can’t produce the energy required to get through your day.

Stomach issues can include acid reflux, gas, constipation, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. “Leaky gut” syndrome is considered to be one of the leading causes of chronic inflammation throughout the body.

Some scientists believe that brain chemistry can be affected by inflammation which can lead to depression, anxiety, fatigue and pain.

Periodontal disease like gum disease and mouth sores may be external clues that there is internal inflammation.

Skin problems such as eczema, psoriasis and skin outbreaks/rashes are another external indicator of inflammation within the body. Studies have shown there is a link between psoriasis and type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Stubborn excess fat around the middle, also known as a spare tire or love handles, indicates the underlying presence of visceral fat deep inside the body. This unhealthy fat consists of inflamed white blood cells and can trigger a cycle of increasing blood sugar levels that cause visceral fat cells to increase.

Researchers have discovered abdominal fat (see above) causes chronic low levels of inflammation that change how insulin reacts. This leads to a cycle of inflammation causing insulin resistance, which raises blood sugar levels, and can result in Type 2 diabetes.

Use the inflammatory checklist  to uncover how many inflammatory factors are currently affecting your life and whether an anti-inflammatory diet could make a difference in your health.

If you believe you may be suffering from chronic inflammation, talk with your doctor.  These symptoms could also be the result of other underlying conditions.

 

Combat inflammation with an anti-inflammatory lifestyle

The good news is that there are ways to combat inflammation. While you may have heard the latest buzz about an “anti-inflammatory diet,” there is also an anti-inflammatory lifestyle that can help battle inflammation. In addition to diet modifications, this lifestyle includes reducing emotional stress, the use of key supplements, making sleep a priority, exercise and more. We are happy to help provide a focused path to healing based on your doctor’s recommendations, your symptoms and your needs. Enroll in The Official Anti-Inflammatory Diet Masterclass. This course will give you everything you need to understand how to reduce excess inflammation and live a delicious, healthy lifestyle!

We will share a few recipes here from Feed Your Vitality and The Official Anti-Inflammatory Diet Masterclass to get you started.

Southwestern Frittata                                                                                        

Servings:  4

Ingredients

  • Frittata1 tsp olive oil (or olive oil spray)
  • 1/4 large yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 small jalapeno, seeds removed and minced
  • 1/3 garlic, minced
  • 1 lb sweet potato, peeled and grated
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/3 tsp chili powder
  • 1 pinch ground cumin
  • 8 oz salsa
  • 10 large eggs, whisked
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 bunches of parsley, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. In skillet over medium heat, brown ground beef with garlic, cumin, salt and chili powder. Set aside.
  3. While meat is cooling, add grated sweet potato to the pan the meat was cooked in (not yet cleaned); add salsa and cook to reduce on low to medium heat about 5 minutes.
  4. Grease or spray a baking dish. Mix ground beef, sweet potato and whisked eggs in pan.  Add remaining ingredients and stir well.
  5. Bake until set, about 30 minutes.

Pro Tips

  • Add any veggies you like and make it your own.  Change the protein and veggies every time to keep your taste buds wondering what’s coming!
  • This recipe freezes well so make extras and store in individual sizes so you always have a healthy breakfast ready to go.

 

Chicken Zucchini Meatballs

Servings:  3

chicken zucchini meatballsIngredients

  • 1 lb ground chicken, turkey or lean beef
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup zucchini, shredded and dried
  • 1/8 cup almond flour
  • 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 cup marinara sauce, no added sugar

 Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix all ingredients, except for the marinara sauce, until well combined. Shape into medium sized meatballs.
  3. Place meatballs in an oven-proof baking dish. Pour marinara sauce over the top.  Bake for 45 minutes.
  4. Serve with a garden salad or side dish of your choice. Or, make a larger batch and serve as an appetizer.

 

Pizza Stuffed Portobellos

Servings:  2

stuffed mushroomsIngredients

  • 4 large portobello mushrooms
  • 4 Tbsp pizza sauce, no added sugar
  • 2 Tbsp coconut yogurt (as cheese)
  • 12 small slices chorizo or 12 oz ground chorizo, cooked
  • 4 Tbsp mixed peppers, finely diced
  • 4 tsp onion, finely diced
  • 1 tsp Italian herbs or Italian seasoning
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Olive oil

 Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Remove stalks from mushrooms and scrape out the gills with a teaspoon. Lightly coat mushrooms with oil and season well with salt and pepper.  Pierce the mushroom a few times with a toothpick to allow moisture to drip out during cooking.
  3. Place mushrooms on a rack over a pan to catch the moisture that leaves. Bake about 6 – 10 minutes or until they just begin to wilt and produce water.
  4. Drain away or soak up the excess moisture then layer your “pizza”. Use a first layer of pizza sauce, then yogurt, then evenly sprinkle the rest of your toppings and finish with a dusting of Italian herbs or seasoning.  Place back in the oven broil for a few minutes, until the toppings start to crisp.
  5. Serve with a side salad.

 

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