Inflammation is a word that is always thrown around in the health and wellness world. We see countless headlines saying “5 ways to reduce inflammation” or “7 anti-inflammatory foods”. Ring a bell? But a narrative that you rarely hear is that inflammation can actually be a good thing! Without it, there are any things we wouldn’t be able to heal from. We do agree however that our lifestyles nowadays means we are on a slippery downwards slope that leads to unwanted inflammation which is where it starts to become an issue.
So what is inflammation? Without confusing you with too much science jargon, it is essentially when your immune system’s white blood cells protect your body by reacting to invaders such as bacteria or viruses. This raises the blood flow to the area of infection which is why symptoms of inflammation include redness, swelling, heat, pain or loss of function.
Where things can go a bit wrong is when your immune system starts to trigger inflammation when it isn’t needed. This can be incredibly damaging because your immune system will start to recognise healthy tissue as infected so your body will basically start to attack itself. Not ideal! You may be familiar with the conditions arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and multiple sclerosis which are all examples of common inflammatory conditions.
Whilst inflammatory conditions can be predisposed, there are many lifestyle factors that contribute to increased inflammation which include obesity, diet, exercise, alcohol consumption, smoking and stress. When it comes to diet, there are certain foods to include that have anti-inflammatory properties such as olive oil, fatty fish, nuts, leafy greens, fibrous foods and fruit. Broccoli sprouts, not to be confused with broccoli, have the highest concentration of sulforaphane, 10 times more than broccoli has. Sulforaphane not only has powerful anti-inflammatory properties but is an anti-cancer compound with an amazing absorption rate of 80%. The amazing Dr Gemma Newman also well known as the plant based doctor, highly recommends to include a wide variety of plants in your diet. She says “different plants have different properties and the beauty of it is when you have a variety that they can work in synergy”. So for your next meal, why not incorporate a couple more vegetables and garnish it with some broccoli sprouts? *Chefs kiss*
Tonic Health’s 8-week immunity challenge not only helps fix vitamin levels but it also aims to reduce CRP levels, a biomarker that measures inflammation in the body. In addition to receiving an 8 week supply of high dose immunity drinks, this challenge comes with a nutrition, exercise and lifestyle plan carefully crafted by doctors and nutritionists. The 8 week plan looks at simple and easy ways to eat healthier, exercise more, manage stress and improve mood which are all ways in which you can help reduce inflammation in the body.
Click here to find out more on the 8-week immunity challenge