TL;DR
Inflammation is basically the root of all disease. Make a bowl using fats, proteins, and veggies. Use the 4-7-8 breathing technique before bed.

What’s on my mind

Why is inflammation so bad?

Inflammation is basically the devil in conversations about health. In fact, there is a theory that inflammation is the root cause of almost all preventable disease.

I’m planning to cover inflammation in two newsletters to start. This first one is going to be all about what inflammation is, and the next one will be about what to do about it.

More than 50% of all deaths [are] attributable to inflammation-related diseases such as ischemic heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes mellitus, chronic kidney disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and autoimmune and neurodegenerative conditions.

Nature on Chronic Inflammation

Ok, so what is inflammation?

There are two types of inflammation, one of them is essential to your well being, and the other essential to your bad being.

In general, inflammation is the bodies process of fighting against things that harm it. This can be from an injury, infection, toxins, etc. Inflammation is an immune system response that includes increased blood flow, and the release of anti-bodies and proteins. This can eliminate pathogens and promote tissue repair.

Inflammation takes a lot of energy from your body so it can cause fatigue, altered sleep, increased blood pressure and more. That’s ok if it’s acute, but can become a problem if it is chronic.

  • When this process is short lived, like when you hit your knee and it swells up temporarily, that is acute inflammation. This is a necessary and helpful response.
  • Systemic chronic inflammation (SCI) is when this lasts for a long period of time (months or even years) leaving the body in a constant state of alert. Often times chronic inflammation is very subtle, but it can lead to drastic impacts on your body.

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Consequences of chronic inflammation include:

  • Hypertension
  • Asthma
  • Obesity
  • Hyperglycemia
  • Cardiovascular disease (CVD)
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Depression
  • and more

Even your brain can suffer from chronic inflammation, something called neuroinflammation! And believe it or not, Neuroinflammation can be caused by gut problems! Everything in your body is connected. 

Chronic fatigue can be caused by:

  • An unhealthy diet & inflammatory foods like fried foods, refined carbohydrates, and soda
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol
  • Chronic stress

How to know if you have chronic inflammation?

C-reactive protein (CRP) is an inflammatory biomarker that can be tested. Higher rates of CRP are indicative of inflammation and a predictor of cardiovascular events.

I recently did a test for CRP using Everylywell and you can see my results below. I was actually surprised to find mine within the acceptable range, especially having Asthma and Eczema which are related to chronic inflammation.

There is conflicting information out there, some say a CRP level as low a 0.65 is inflammatory, but others like the above show it much higher. I’ll continue to report on this as I learn more.

What do you think? Drop a comment and let me know what you think!

What I’m eating

Making a bowl is one of my favorite ways to put a quick healthy meal together. In any bowl, I try to combine greens / veggies, fats, protein, and a small portion of grain or salad. By including healthy fats and protein in your bowl you can include some grains and still balance out your macros.

Here’s an example of one from this week:

  • Green + vegetables: Sautéed kale, potato with the skin on (for the fiber!)
  • Healthy fats: Fresh avocado
  • Protein: Medium boiled egg
  • Grains: Amaranth (an ancient grain which is one of the highest protein grains out there)

This meal combines lots of omega-3s (great for reducing inflammation!), resistant starch, and the vitamin packed green: kale.

What I’m reading

If you want to dive deeper into inflammation this week here are some articles to dig in deeper:

New tool I’m trying

Breathwrk app: I’ve been trying this app out over the last few weeks. So far I’ve been using it for 5 minutes of breathing to help me fall asleep. They’re using the 4-7-8 method which is 4s inhaling, 7s holding, and 8s exhaling. I’ve found that most nights I am asleep before the 5 minutes is up.

Here’s what they say about it:

“This exercise was developed by the famous Dr. Andrew Weil. It is said to be the ‘natural tranquilizer for the nervous system’. This sedating exercise is perfect for when you want to rest your mind and body.”

They also have breathing exercises for just feeling calm, recharging, waking up, and more. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Thank you so much for reading this far! Drop a comment and let me know what you thought. And sign up for the weekly newsletter to get this delivered right into your inbox.

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  • […] Your blood glucose (or blood sugar) levels are an indicator of how the food you’re eating is impacting your body. It is generally accepted that keeping your blood sugar levels stable are better for your health, and reducing spikes will allow you to have more consistent energy throughout the day. According to some of the insights I found in Veri, keeping your blood sugar stable can also decrease inflammation. […]

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