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Inflammation is buzzing in the world of health and fitness. But what does it mean and is it a legitimate concern?

First, let’s keep inflammation in perspective. In its truest sense, it’s a good thing. It’s part of our healing process.

Think about it. What often happens when we are injured (broken bone, sprains, etc.) …

Swelling!

That’s inflammation in its truest sense, and is part of the body’s most basic survival instincts. The immune system sends in an army of white blood cells to destroy bacteria and repair the tissue. (Aren’t our bodies just so cool?)

Where inflammation begins to become an issue is when it is becomes chronic. I’m talking about inflammation related to illness, infection, stress, poor diet, etc. When it persists, it can mean real problems.

Let’s look one of my favorite areas – the gut or GI. (C’mon, I’m a dietitian – of course that’s one of my favorite areas.)

When the GI is inflamed, it cannot break down, or absorb nutrients, as efficiently. Since the GI is connected to every other system in the body, it becomes a domino effect. Poor efficiency in the GI means poor efficiency elsewhere.

When this type of inflammation is chronic, it opens the door for real trouble, in and outside of the GI.

And of course, the type of food we put into our bodies can certainly lead to an inflamed GI.

So how widespread is inflammation? With as much as we hear about it nowadays, you would think everyone is walking around inflamed. And maybe that is indeed the case. It’s hard to tell because we all react differently to stress, food and the other factors that cause inflammation.

The good news about our body is that when something is wrong, it often sends us signals. We just may not always realize the connection.

When it comes to inflammation, it may be that we feel stiff, or bloated, or have joint/muscle pain. But it could also be something as generic as ‘just not feeling well.’

Assuming that your body is inflamed, nutrition is typically a best bet solution. And it’s been amazing to see how many of our Fab 14 Nutrition Boot Camp participants suddenly have chronic ‘inflammation indicators’ like bloating, gas, indigestion, random aches and pains, etc suddenly disappear. Our bodies are so powerful and amazing … they just need to be given what they need, when they need it.

Eat With A Purpose – And Be Well!

Jaime Rothermich
RD, CSSD, LD, CSCS