Beating the Flames of Summer
As summer in Michigan continues to warm up, many people try to beat the flames of summer heat with floats on the river, chilling in the AC, heading to the beach, or sitting in the shade on a lawn chair. Summer is a great time for us to beat another kind of flame as well - inflammation in our bodies.
In America, chronic inflammatory diseases are on the rise including hypertension, arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Inflammation, which is often silent long before more obvious signs present themselves, is the body’s response to harmful stimuli from infection, damaged cells, irritants, chemicals, exercise, travel, and more. Both acute and chronic inflammation lead to an immune response in the body which could create a repetitive cycle that may lead to disease. Dietary and lifestyle choices are a couple big factors each of us have control over in fighting against inflammation.
The dietary and lifestyle choices with the greatest impact for the body are physical activity and plant nutrition.
- Lack of moving our bodies is a contributor when we are inflamed, so find ways to move your body each day! Shooting for 150 minutes of movement each week is a great way to help your body beat inflammation.
- Another way to beat inflammation is with your fork. According to global reports, 95% of the global population is not meeting the daily recommended intake of fruits and veggies. The recommended servings of plant nutrition each day is two and a half cups of vegetables and greens and one cup of fruit for a total of 7 servings. Fruits and vegetables have hundreds of phytonutrients that are powerhouses in the fight against inflammation. Not only do they contain the information our bodies need to do its best work, they also taste delicious and are in season! Pick up some at your local market and help your body fight the flames.