Pretty much every where you look these days the word “inflammation” pops up, properly frightening us into healthier lifestyle habits and more wholesome nutrition choices. 

Many of us are confused as to what exactly defines inflammation? and why is it so detrimental?

There are two types of inflammation: painful inflammation and silent inflammation. Painful inflammation is the kind that provides tactile evidence; it hurts, there is oftentimes redness, and swelling. An example would be a sprained ankle that becomes bulgy and bruised; most of us have experienced some sort of physical inflammation like headaches, joint pain, backaches, cramps and arthritis.

Silent inflammation is a malady whereby your immune system reacts improperly and disproportionately to whatever ails you. Rather behaving naturally and “temporarily” to an illness or injury, the body’s immune system enters into a “chronic” state of inflammation that is typically pain-free; albeit very deteriorating to tissue, organs, and the nervous system, leading to further health problems and sometimes disease.

Luckily “inflammation” does NOT have to be a death sentence. There are simple, natural, pharmaceutical-free ways to fight inflammation that do not require major life changes.

One of the best ways to stave off inflammation is through your diet. Fill your plate with mostly vegetables and fruits. Vitamin C, a phyto-nutrient, is key in stimulating our white blood cell count. It’s these cells that go to battle against disease.

Chronic stress raises the inflammation in our body so anything that decreases your stress such as meditation, yoga, spending time in the outdoors, taking a GRIT class, etc is an inflammation fighter and should be incorporated into your lifestyle.

When we sleep our bodies rejuvenate, repair, and reset. If we are sleep deprived these vital reparations don’t take place and our health suffers—and AGAIN that magic inflammation rears its ugly head. So getting proper rest is even more important than ever; making sleep a priority is not a luxury, you may be preventing disease.

We asked a few of our staff members how they actively fight off inflammation, and this is what they had to say:

I think people feel that inflammation doesn’t happen to them. It’s not a sexy word, they don’t feel “inflamed,” and it’s hard to describe.  I felt the same way until I gave up SUGAR.  When I gave up sugar, I saw and felt so many benefits, but one of the biggest benefits I experienced was that the acne on my chin and neck DISAPPEARED!  I asked my dermatologist and he explained that acne IS inflammation.  The acne disappeared because I got rid of what was causing the inflammation.  Sugar.  I also noticed that some aches and pains went away.  My doctor hubby explained that pain is inflammation.  The cause?  It could be a few things, but sugar was exacerbating it.  At the same time I gave up sugar, I also gave up gluten. I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.  Both of these are exacerbated by inflammation caused by consuming sugar and gluten.  I know!  You are rolling your eyes because I just took so much fun away, but clear skin, a happy tummy, and less pain are worth it!Cassie

Instructor Katie fights inflammation head on by loading up on Omega 3’s. Omega 3’s are essential fatty acids that our bodies cannot produce on their own, and Omega 3’s are believed to be strong inflammation attackers. Katie credits her “daily mini scoop of walnuts” {around a quarter of a cup} for keeping her properly dosed up with Omega 3’s and keeping inflammation at bay.

Our Media Relations Director, Katie Simons, likes to REALLY clean house in the liquor aisle whenever she’s feeling out of whack, or when her body needs a “tune up.” She says, “if ever I feel I need to decrease the inflammation in my life I, begrudgingly, go alcohol-free for awhile just to re-set my system, mind and body.

As always we love hearing from you, our Gritties. Do you have different methods in which you fight inflammation too? Feel free to share it with us.

In health,

Grit Cycle

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