Research continues to show a very strong link between inflammation and chronic diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity, hypertension, hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol), cardiovascular disease (CVD), and neurodegenerative diseases (Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, dementia). Some of these diseases are becoming the leading causes of death, not just in the United States, but also around the globe.
What is inflammation?
Inflammation isn’t inherently bad. We need it to survive. Normal inflammation is a protection mechanism; it is the body’s response to any injury or infection. It’s part of our body’s natural healing process.
Chronic (ongoing) inflammation occurs when the immune system attacks the body’s healthy cells. Chronic inflammation isn’t limited to one area of the body. Registered Dietitian Amy Jamieson-Petonic with the Cleveland Clinic explains that over time, chronic inflammation leads to a series of chemical reactions which can result in: arteries becoming inflamed, which sets the stage for heart attacks and strokes, insulin resistance (a diabetes precursor) which can lead to full-blown diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and even depression can develop. Anti-inflammatory food helps.
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