The word inflammation comes from the Latin word “inflammo,” meaning I set alight, I ignite. When tissues are inflamed they may swell and even look reddened. When it’s short term, such inflammation is a natural immune system process designed to heal and protect the body from infection or foreign invaders. But long-term (chronic) inflammation is actually harmful and often associated with serious health conditions. A plant-based diet and lifestyle changes help reduce inflammation, diabetes, and heart disease.
Chronic Inflammation and diabetes
Chronic inflammation is characteristic of diabetes and it’s related complications. Most cases of diabetes are type 2, which occurs when a whole host of nutrition and lifestyle habits cause inflammation and insulin resistance. Other types of diabetes are also exacerbated by insulin resistance and inflammation. High-fat food, sugar, and processed foods are extremely inflammatory. The biggest problems are clogged arteries and heart disease. If you are experiencing diabetes and inflammation, you may have noticed that you are more susceptible to infections. These infections are more likely to become severe and result in an overwhelming level of inflammation and uncontrollably high blood sugar levels. Sometimes the infection is so uncontrollable, that antibiotics don’t work, and the body part must be surgically removed. This often occurs with cuts on the feet that result in bone infections that require amputations.
Given that insulin resistance is a lifestyle condition, you can change it. If you’re ready to experience a healthier lifestyle and more freedom, download my free resource guide. This guide will help you see an overview of 8 strategies that help you balance your blood sugar levels and take control of your condition faster.
Chronic inflammation and heart disease
When I was practicing anesthesiology, most of my patients who had significant heart disease also had diabetes. The link between diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease is well known.
Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) starts when there are too many “free radicals” inside the blood vessels. This injures the inside surfaces of the blood vessels allowing the buildup of plaque (including immune system cells) which increases chronic inflammation. This plaque narrows the inside of the blood vessels and limits the blood flow to the heart and other organs. Before you know it, your risk of heart attacks or strokes skyrockets.
Decrease your inflammation with diet
Low fat, high fiber whole plant-based foods are highly anti-inflammatory (reduce inflammation). As a result, people who eat more of these plant-based foods tend to have lower risks of diabetes and heart disease. These foods include spinach, apples, whole grains, berries, sweet potato, beans, and much more.
Chronic inflammation often results in serious chronic diseases including diabetes and heart disease. But one of the most effective ways to reduce inflammation is to eat an anti-inflammatory diet containing plenty of low fat, high fiber plant-based food, including leafy greens and other colorful fruits and vegetables.
As you become more aware of the power of your eating and food choices, think of your food as your self-care solution. Healthy lifestyle habits are easier to develop when you have a clear direction. Take the first step and download the Free Guide to Overcoming Diabetes Naturally.
Carla Hightower, MD, MBA is a physician, health coach, workplace wellness consultant, and speaker. She helps people heal themselves with food. Through wellness workshops and courses, she helps companies create healthy, energetic teams.
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