Boost your body’s ability to heal, recover and prevent disease.
Inflammation is part of the body’s natural healing process. However, when it becomes chronic, it can quickly impair your health and fitness.
Acute vs. Chronic Inflammation
There are two types of inflammation: acute and chronic.
Acute inflammation is the body’s natural response to injury, and other wear and tear of daily life, accomplished through the production of natural anti-inflammatory chemicals.
Chronic inflammation can develop from a failure to resolve issues related to acute inflammation, ongoing repetitive trauma, or from excess body fat. Other factors related to chronic inflammation are:
- Imbalance of dietary fats.
- Excess physical, biochemical or mental stress.
- Inadequate daily sleep/rest/recovery.
Consequences of Chronic Inflammation
In addition to physical injuries, chronic inflammation is physical and biochemical stress throughout the body, and is a trigger for many illnesses, including:
- Heart disease
The best screening for chronic inflammation is a blood test for C-reactive protein (CRP). If your risk for chronic inflammation is moderate or high, consider the following:
- Balance your fat intake (see “Solutions” below).
- Avoid all hard exercise.
- Perform only easy workouts.
Next step: Take the survey below.
Take the survey
Take the following survey to determine your risk of chronic inflammation. This survey will provide you with a personalized risk level (low, moderate, or high) that you can use to better understand your health status.
A high level of risk doesn’t mean that you have a serious health condition. It means that due to your present situation (lifestyle, health and habits), you have a higher risk for this condition.
The balance of dietary fats directly regulates inflammation.
Importance of Dietary Fat
Fats are much more than just a convenient fuel source for the body. Various essential fats are implicated in a great many of the functions of the human body. Due to this, essential fat imbalance in the body can trigger chronic inflammation, pain, metabolic dysfunctions, and increase the risk of chronic illness. Fats play a role in:
- Prevention and treatment of disease.
- Improving energy equilibrium and increasing energy levels.
- Hormonal balance.
- Reduction of Oxidative stress.
- Health of skin and hair.
- Physical support and protection for the body’s organs.
- Regulation of vitamins and minerals.
- Improving taste.
- Providing the physical structure for the brain.
The key to benefiting in these areas is to balance the two main types of fats that exert influence over the body’s inflammatory mechanism: Omega-3 and Omega-6. Other strategies include reducing the intake of inflammatory foods, and increasing the intake of monounsaturated (Omega-9) fats which help reduce LDL “bad” cholesterol.
Balance your Fat Intake
- Omega-3 fats in both large and small amounts are anti-inflammatory agents.
- Omega-6 fats control inflammation in small amounts but promote it in large amounts.
Most diets are high in Omega-6 and low in Omega-3 fats. The main anti-inflammatory component of Omega-3 fats is an essential fatty acid called eicosapentaenoic acid, or EPA.
Step 1: Reduce your intake of Omega-6 fats and inflammatory compounds.
Avoid vegetable oils (soy, safflower, corn, canola, etc.), and packaged foods, as they often contain trans fats. Instead use butter, ghee, or lard and coconut oil
Also, reduce the intake of inflammatory foods, including:
- Refined carbohydrates.
- Trans fats.
Step 2: Increase your intake of Omega-3 fats, especially those with EPA.
Omega-3 fats are found mostly in cold-water ocean fish. Lesser amounts exist in beans, flaxseed, walnuts, vegetables and in wild and grass-fed animals.
EPA and Fish Oil Supplements
Most people consume too little EPA because its main source — coldwater fish — is either hard to get or seldom safe to eat. Fish Oil Supplements are usually the best solution to this problem. The best kinds of supplements are:
- Made from cold-water fish.
- Made from wild-caught fish.
- Molecularly distilled to minimize the amount of omega-6 oils.
- Tested to be free from heavy-metal contamination.
- Produced without oxidized oils.
A common alternative to fish-oil supplements for people that avoid meat is flaxseed oil. However, Omega-3 fats from this source are suboptimal, as they do not contain EPA. Furthermore the body is very inefficient at converting Omega-3s from this source into EPA.