Inflammation is part of the body’s natural defense system. It seeks to protect us from injury, infection, and other threats by mending wounds and fending off pathogens. Though this process is essential to the body, it can become dangerous when your body continues to send inflammatory cells when there is no threat. This persistence can contribute to various chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer. The fast-paced ways of modern living, with its stressors and environmental toxins, can fuel chronic inflammation, leaving us needing natural approaches to calm it. This article will discuss the various aspects of inflammation, including its definition, role in the body, triggers, and risks. Then, we will explore a variety of natural approaches and ingredients that support the body’s natural inflammatory response and reduce the likelihood of chronic illness.
Inflammation is a fundamental biological response to external threats. The body uses this process to protect and heal itself. Damaged cells release chemicals, including histamines and bradykinin, causing the blood vessels to dilate and increase blood flow to the affected area. Then, white blood cells enter the site to eliminate the threat. The symptoms of inflammation include redness, swelling, warmness, and pain. Once the injury or illness is gone, the inflammation should subside. This process is referred to as acute inflammation and helps the body heal itself. Inflammation helps the body locate the cause of an injury or illness, get rid of damaged or infected cells, and initiate cell and tissue repair.
The Risks of Chronic Inflammation
In contrast, chronic inflammation is an ongoing, low-level inflammatory response that persists long after an injury or illness is over. This kind of inflammation can lead to a range of health issues and chronic diseases. This kind of inflammation can arise from a variety of lifestyle choices, dietary factors, and environmental influences. For example, chronic stress elevates the levels of stress hormones in the body, often leading to systemic inflammation as these hormones are pro-inflammatory.
Understanding the risks associated with persistent inflammation underscores the need for proactive steps to support healthy inflammation and reduce the likelihood of developing systemic inflammation.
Natural Approaches to Inflammation Support
Luckily, several natural ingredients and supplements can be used to support your natural inflammatory response and prevent the development of chronic inflammation. Here are five natural ingredients to look for when seeking inflammation support.
Astragalus is a purple flowering plant, native to the northern hemisphere. This root is traditionally used in holistic medical practices around the world. This plant offers multiple benefits to one’s health and wellness including improving immunity, managing allergies, and increasing energy. Additionally, this plant is proven to reduce the likelihood of developing inflammatory conditions, like myocarditis, and can improve the treatment of these conditions. Extracts of this plant such as astragaloside IV have strong anti-inflammatory properties.
Black elderberry is a popular ingredient in natural cold and flu remedies. This blueberry-like plant has many immune-boosting properties and can influence the body’s inflammatory response. This berry is one of the strongest antioxidant berries and contains many anti-inflammatory properties. Studies show that this ingredient can boost the immune system by reducing systematic inflammation and regulating the inflammatory response.
Copper is also considered an anti-inflammatory ingredient, though scientists and researchers are still uncovering the ins and outs of its effects on the inflammatory response. This metal is an antioxidant and may reduce inflammation in the body by eliminating free radicals and fixing oxidative damage.
This blue-green algae has many benefits to the gastrointestinal system, namely reducing inflammation. Spirulina contains a biliprotein called c-phycocyanin which gives it its blue hue. This protein is shown to have anti-inflammatory and therapeutic effects on the body, combating chronic inflammation.
Zinc is another important nutrient for supporting inflammatory response. Amazingly, zinc deficiency is present in about 17.3% of the global population. Studies show that zinc deficiency can inhibit the body’s ability to moderate inflammation and keep a balance in the immune system. This lack of balance can lead to chronic inflammation and diseases like diabetes and dementia.
Maintaining and supporting a healthy inflammatory response is essential to promoting health and wellness in the body. Include these ingredients in your daily diet and supplement intake to promote balance and maintain and healthy immune system!
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