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Guest post by Kaitlyn DeAngelis

What is inflammation and why does it matter?

Inflammation is the response of the body to a foreign object, microbe, toxin, or protein and can be considered an invader or injury to the body causing stress to the body’s cells.

Strenuous exercise can both cause inflammation in the body and aid in the fight against it. Inflammation can occur in the form of acute and chronic depending on different lifestyle choices.

Acute inflammation is when the body develops a bruise or cut, or when the body is under a lot of stress or participating in a grueling workitout. This type of inflammation is the body signaling that it’s attempting to heal itself and can be considered as a positive response of inflammation.

Chronic inflammation is considered a negative response of inflammation and is often coined as the silent killer. This can be problematic for two reasons, one being that it’s often undetectable and two because it is the underlying cause of most diseases that include heart disease, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, autoimmune diseases, and even Alzheimer’s.

In regards to exercise, a person is more likely to experience acute inflammation than chronic inflammation. When we exercise, we are doing so to better our health. Working out and completing daily exercise can be quite strenuous on the body and that is why it’s important to aid the body in its healing process by incorporating anti-inflammatory foods. While acute inflammation can be easily controlled, chronic inflammation is not and really needs to be prevented by incorporating specific foods before symptoms of disease start occurring.

Whether you’re experiencing acute or signs of chronic inflammation, generally, your body will operate best when inflammation is limited.

The Paleo Diet

Food choices can enhance longevity and quality of life by decreasing inflammation in the body. One way to incorporate anti-inflammatory foods into daily meals is to adopt the Paleo diet. Paleo foods that can aid in the fight against inflammation include eating foods like green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, and chard, fatty fish like salmon and sardines, and berries such as strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries. To decrease the risk of chronic inflammation avoid processed foods and foods that contain gluten. Embracing this change cannot only improve your workouts, your body composition, and your body’s healing, but it can also help you fight against disease!

The following links can give you some ideas to incorporate these foods into your diet by using Paleo-friendly and anti-inflammatory ingredients!

Chicken, Yam, and Chard Soup

http://www.paleoplan.com/2011/11-01/chicken-yam-and-chard-soup/

Salmon, Bacon, and Kale Salad

http://www.paleoplan.com/recipes/paleo-salads-recipes/salmon-and-bacon-kale-salad/

Sweet Potato and Kale Masala Casserole

http://www.paleoplan.com/recipes/paleo-side-dishes-vegetables-recipes/sweet-potato-and-kale-masala-casserole/