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Expert GuidanceInflammation and Food

Inflammation and Food

Dr. Will Cole — a functional medicine expert — explains the connection between food and chronic inflammation, and helps us learn to recognize the signals our bodies may be sending us.

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Inflammation, it's a buzzword you may be hearing often these days, but what does it really mean? And what does it have to do with food? (melodious music) I'm Dr. Will Cole, a leading Functional Medicine Expert. Acute inflammation is part of the body's innate immune system, which basically means that it's one of the body's first defenses against potentially harmful invaders like viruses. However, if inflammation sticks around after the threat is gone, this is called chronic inflammation. What many people don't realize is that what we eat can actually feed or fight this chronic inflammation. So, today, I'm going to walk you through how to check for signs that you may be experiencing chronic inflammation. It's so important for us to be aware of chronic inflammation, but it can be tricky since this health problem isn't always obvious. Instead, it starts brewing in our bodies with mild symptoms like bloating, before it reaches levels high enough to warrant a diagnosis of something like an autoimmune disease. So, how do we recognize and decrease chronic inflammation before it reaches that point? Food. Food plays one of the biggest roles in lowering or raising our body's inflammation levels. So, it's crucial to be aware of the foods we eat and to listen to our bodies to understand how those foods are affecting us. Today, I'm going to share a few questions you can ask yourself to recognize and understand the signals your body may be sending to you when it comes to inflammation. (melodious music) One of the first things to tune into is your energy. Notice how you feel after a meal. Are you fatigued and lethargic? Are you energized? Or do you experience prolonged brain fog? Low energy can be a sign of inflammation caused by food. Research shows that foods high in added sugar can lead to a spike in blood sugar and energy crashes throughout the day, while foods high in polyunsaturated omega-3 fats support brain function, hormone balance, and healthy energy levels. Aim to incorporate foods rich in these fats into your diet, like seafood, and avocados, and olive oil, as they can help lower inflammation and support healthy energy levels. One major symptom of inflammation is digestive distress, which can also further perpetuate inflammation. When your body is in an inflammatory state, it can lead to digestive distress, gut permeability, and microbiome imbalance, all of which can contribute to even more inflammation. Every body is unique and will react in its own way to different foods. After each meal, pay attention to whether you experience any bloating, pain, or discomfort, and think about the meal you just had. Can you identify any common culprits on your plate? If so, try eliminating that food for 30 days and see how you feel. Inflammation can also contribute to brain fog and fatigue, which may be caused by our stress hormone, cortisol, and our sleepy time hormone, melatonin, not releasing at the correct times. When chronic inflammation...


TypeExpert Guidance
Duration5 min

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