Relationship Between Inflammation, Nutrition & Immune Support
Whether you’ve just started on your journey to living a healthier lifestyle or you’re a fitness junkie who’s been in the game for a long time, you need to understand what inflammation is so that you can take the right steps to keep it in check because left unchecked it can do a lot of damage.
What is Inflammation?
Inflammation is your immune system’s response to trauma and foreign substances such as pathogens and toxins. It can be triggered by either internal or external factors and generally, it falls into one of two categories. Namely acute, or chronic inflammation.
Acute inflammation is a response to localized effects (think cuts, burns, and bee stings) and is short term, meaning it lasts for hours or days. Symptoms of acute inflammation are redness, swelling, pain, and sometimes loss of function (due to pain and swelling). For the most part, acute inflammation is a good thing because it shows that our bodies are capable of fighting off infection and starting the healing process.
Chronic inflammation however is more problematic and causes more harm. It can be caused by acute inflammation which has compounded because it was left untreated, autoimmune disorders, or long-term exposure to chemicals, irritants, or pollution.
In a nutshell, what happens when inflammation occurs, is that white blood cells are sent to the site and release chemicals that open capillaries which allow for blood plasma to pass through to the tissue and slow down the foreign invaders. Other white blood cells then release what is called cytosines that signal for more white blood cells to join the battle. These new troops enter through the open capillaries and help to fight the invaders and damaged tissue.
How Does Nutrition Impact Inflammation?
We all know we should avoid those chicken nuggets, that cheat burger, or those after-work beers. But why should we deprive ourselves of such guilty pleasures? The fact is unhealthy foods cause inflammation which can result in some serious damage to our bodies. By the same token, healthy, anti-inflammatory foods can help keep inflammation in check. Everyone knows that nutrition impacts inflammation, but let’s look at how.
We know that inflammation is the body’s response to fight off foreign substances. Turns out, a lot of what goes into unhealthy food your body regards as “foreign invaders” that need to be fought off. Your body is defending itself against the junk you’re putting into it and is fighting the good fight, leading to inflammation throughout your entire body.
Unlike an immune system response to a bee sting or a burn which is instantaneous, you’re not going to notice the effects of chronic and systemic inflammation caused by a bad diet right away. Instead, it slowly and systematically causes damage to tissue throughout your body. It often targets organs such as your lungs, kidneys, or heart and can eventually result in conditions such as heart attacks, strokes, or diabetes.
Having a healthy, nutritious, well-balanced diet plays a huge role in reducing and managing inflammation in your body and therefore preventing the onset of some serious medical conditions.
How Does Low Activity Lead to Inflammation?
Exercise helps the body to fight off inflammation. Without getting too technical, when your muscles start moving during exercise, your muscle cells release proteins that aid in reducing inflammation. There’s a protein called Interleukin 6 (IL-6) released by muscle cells during exercise and after tissue injuries that stimulates the immune response of the body [source]. Then there’s the protein Interleukin 15 (IL-15) that helps to regulate the storage of abdominal fat and plays a major role in the body's inflammatory and immune responses [source].
Understanding how higher activity levels work to reduce inflammation should give you a good idea of how low activity does absolutely nothing to reduce inflammation that is already present, and if that inflammation is not addressed it can compound and become chronic, which as we’ve already mentioned, is a dangerous thing.
Ways to Improve Inflammation with Supplements
A good exercise regimen and a healthy diet play important parts in fighting inflammation, but supplements are a great addition to the fight.
One amazing option to get you started is the MTS Nutrition Immortal Elite Multi-Vitamin Pack.
It has ingredients that promote joint and cardiovascular health, ingredients that reduce inflammation, and ingredients vital to boosting your immune system. They come in convenient daily packs. No more opening and closing multiple bottles or running out of anything. You’ll have everything you need in one place. It’s that simple. Unlike other companies that sell you a plethora of supplements for a three-figure price, this pack will set you back $1 per day. That is a seriously competitive price with zero compromise on quality.
Another great option is the Machine Motion Advanced Joint Health Relief formula by MTS Nutrition which contains anti-inflammatory ingredients such as Cissus quadrangularis, curcumin, bromelain, sodium hyaluronate, TamaFlex seed extract with turmeric, and BioPerine black pepper extract.
Despite your best efforts, between managing your exercise routine and diet, you can always benefit from adding supplements to the regime to make sure you’re getting absolutely everything your body needs to perform at full capacity.
Ways to Improve Inflammation with a Healthy Diet
If you’re taking a holistic approach to reduce and manage inflammation in your body, then making healthy adjustments to your diet is a key factor. There are many healthy foods out there that are great for reducing inflammation. You need to know which foods help inflammation, and which don’t.
Here are a few of the top anti-inflammatory foods you should add to your diet:
Fatty fish such as mackerel, salmon, and tuna
- Fruits such as blueberries, cherries, and strawberries
- Leafy green vegetables such as collard greens, kale, and spinach
- Spices such as cayenne, ginger, and turmeric
Watch out for and avoid these foods which are known to cause inflammation:
- Food and drinks containing refined sugar
- Food containing an excess amount of salt
- Fried food
- Processed meat
- Refined carbs
Why Keeping Inflammation in Check is Valuable and How it Affects Your Immune System
Chronic inflammation will continue to cause damage to your body until you do something to treat or manage it. It is taxing on your immune system to be continuously at war with your body. Your immune system has an important job to do and you need it to be strong so that it can protect you from real dangers like pathogens, infection, or trauma. It can’t do its job if it’s impaired by chronic inflammation.
Luckily it’s not hard to be proactive in the fight against inflammation. Between a healthy diet, adequate exercise, and anti-inflammatory supplements, you have all the tools you need to reduce inflammation in your body.