Inflammation is your body’s way of fighting against disease and infection. Stubbing your toe or cutting your finger can cause what’s known as acute inflammation, which is temporary and involves swelling, redness, and tenderness of the wound. Chronic inflammation, on the other hand, is much more serious, and can lead to major health complications — including weight gain.
Here’s a closer look at chronic inflammation, and what you can do to prevent inflammation from hindering your weight-loss goals.
What is chronic inflammation?
Chronic inflammation is internal, and occurs when your body fights highly toxic substances such as those found in certain foods, medications, and environmental pollution. Food sensitivities, stress, and smoking can also trigger chronic inflammation and increase the risk of heart disease, dementia, and cancer in addition to obesity.
Chronic inflammation damages your gut lining and can lead to leaky gut syndrome, also known as intestinal permeability. Leaky gut syndrome allows substances from foods and other sources to leak into your bloodstream and affect organs and normal bodily processes. These substances — which may include allergens, food particles, and other toxins — can trigger serious health problems like obesity.
The link between chronic inflammation and weight gain
Inflammation interferes with the body’s hunger hormones responsible for controlling blood sugar and appetite, which can cause you to overeat. Inflammation can also contribute to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Exercising regularly, getting plenty of sleep, and eating healthy foods are among the most effective treatments for chronic inflammation, and can help you lose excess weight.
Foods that reduce inflammation
Avoid eating foods high in sugar and foods that contain harmful toxins in the form of preservatives, additives, pesticides, and other man-made chemicals. These toxins will only leak into your bloodstream and worsen inflammation. Instead, stick to eating healthy, whole foods like fruits and vegetables.
Also, drink more water throughout the day to help flush toxins and waste from your body. Alcohol, sugary drinks, and high-caffeine beverages like coffee can drive inflammation and impede your weight-loss efforts.
Some foods offer powerful anti-inflammatory benefits in the form of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that fight inflammation while also boosting your metabolism. Lower your intake of processed foods, fast foods, and foods high in sugar and fat, and increase your intake of anti-inflammatory foods.
- Leafy greens (kale, broccoli, spinach)
- Olive and coconut oils
- Fatty fish (tuna, mackerel, salmon)
- Berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries)
- Green tea
Using nutritional supplements to combat inflammation
If you’re having a difficult time losing weight even after improving your nutrition, talk to your doctor about nutritional supplements that can help you fight inflammation. B vitamins can effectively reduce chronic inflammation, as well as omega-3s, calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D. Take fish oil supplements to shut down inflammatory pathways, and folic acid supplements to spur the development of new, healthy cells that ward off inflammation.
Need help losing weight, reducing sugar intake, and getting your diet back on track? Garcia Weight Loss and Wellness Centers offer personalized weight-loss plans with consistent, professional support to help you reach and maintain your goal weight. Contact us today for a no-cost consultation!