Blog post by Teresa Dornellas. Banner photo by Max Kukurudziak on Unsplash

Lately, the word “inflammation” has been thrown around frequently. We all keep hearing about foods that cause inflammation, foods that prevent inflammation, anti-inflammatory supplements and so on.

But what the heck is inflammation? The word “inflammation” traces back to the Latin for “set afire.” In some cases, the inflammation can cause heat, swelling, redness and so on.

Growing up, I always thought of it as the result of a wound that doesn’t get treated promptly or properly and it gets inflamed. But I’ve recently discovered that it’s a lot more than that.

According to this article, “inflammation is a process by which your body’s white blood cells and the things they make protect you from infection from outside invaders, such as bacteria and viruses.”

So far, that was my understanding of what inflammation means. However, there’s more: “in some diseases, like arthritis, your body’s defense system — your immune system — triggers inflammation when there are no invaders to fight off. In these autoimmune diseases, your immune system acts as if regular tissues are infected or somehow unusual, causing damage.”

And the body can manifest many symptoms of chronic inflammation: muscle pain, join pain, frequent swelling, redness, stiffness, among others.

How to prevent chronic inflammation

The more I look into it, the more information I find. There are so many approaches and so many natural ways to prevent and treat chronic inflammation, but there are a couple of approaches that a lot of natural health enthusiasts seem to agree on.

One of them is the use of turmeric, which I have recently incorporated into my daily supplementation. Turmeric is a flowering plant of the ginger family, grown mostly in tropical Asia. Once its roots are dried and ground, it becomes a bright orange-yellow powder, used as dye (used to color the robes of monks and priests), for cooking (it’s one of the ingredients in curry), and it’s also widely used for its medicinal properties.

Photo by Hamed Taha on Unsplash

The other approach is a clean diet. Last year, a friend of mine introduced me to this anti-inflammatory diet, a 5-day meal plan where you eat super clean, and the food is really tasty to boot. I’ve done it a few times and always feel a lot less bloated when I do it (and I drop a few pounds too!). I actually do it for 7-10 days each time. It’s easy to follow, very healthy and the food is great. My ultimate goal is to follow this meal plan at least 1 week out of each month, and keep clean eating the remaining 3 weeks.

Photo by Lauren Mancke on Unsplash

And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention regular exercise. Whether you like a mellow routine like gentle Yoga or prefer to break a serious sweat – or anything in between – it’s important to keep moving in ways that sustain your health and support your wellbeing. We offer a wide variety of live fitness classes, which you can take from the safety of your home. Here is our class schedule.

I know that taking care of our health can feel like a full time job – but it’s worth it! After all, we live in our bodies full time.

Questions or comments? Don’t hesitate to drop me a note!