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Beauty / Health and wellbeing | 14.07.2014

The #1 cause of accelerated aging

Feeling bloated, fatigued at the end of a workout and just generally struggling to get through the day even if it’s not that time of the month?

If this sounds familiar, you could be dealing with chronic inflammation.

Chronic inflammation and pain can wreak havoc on your body and is one of the main causes of accelerated aging, but with the combination of correct foods and balancing the diet, its effects can be minimised in a matter of days.

Short-term inflammatory issues are the body’s way of dealing with traumas. The inflammatory response increases blood flow and promotes healing – think mosquito bites or post workout muscle soreness.

How chronic inflammation impacts your health

Chronic inflammation is a different kettle of fish and over long periods of time, can become a serious concern.

It is usually a major contributor in virtually every type of degenerative disease including type 2 diabetes, allergies, heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s.

It is often undiagnosed and the main cause of accelerated aging.

When you are experiencing chronic inflammation, the body produces compounds that trigger an immune response leading to symptoms such as swelling, redness, fatigue and irritation.

Joints and ligaments may be stiff and the arteries may swell. Depression and anxiety usually join in the symphony and the taxing effects on the immune system result in general malaise and fatigue.

You may also experience bloating, gas and indigestion.

In relation to the skin, it can make it more prone to wrinkles, sagging and sun damage.

The best way to have the condition diagnosed is via a blood test to check for markers such as a compound called C-reactive protein that rises in response to inflammation.

Several other factors that can influence chronic inflammation include stress, obesity, smoking, free radicals and environmental toxins.

Diet is usually a major contributor and foods with a high glycemic index (GI) that cause a spike in blood sugar levels are best avoided.

To keep chronic inflammation at bay, it is important to eat anti-inflammatory foods and also to avoid foods that can trigger inflammation.

It is best to steer clear of obvious culprits such as sugar and trans fatty acids found in hydrogenated fat. The easiest way to eliminate the terrible two is to avoid anything white and in a packet!

Swap it out

Other anti-inflammatory foods include:

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