Inflammation is a big word right now in health and wellness circles. Everyone seems to be wanting to ‘decrease inflammation,’ but what exactly that means varies depending whom is asked. Part of the reason is changing research which is looking at development of health issues including diabetes and stroke. Sufficient sleep is also being looked at for an anti-inflammatory lifestyle. Substance abuse increases inflammation but an anti-inflammatory lifestyle can help ease the challenges this brings and support a better overall recovery.
How People Eat
Some people eat more slowly than others and some people eat more often. Both of these are ways to decrease inflammation. Inflammation is basically tissue injury where damaged cells release chemicals including histamine, bradykinin and prostaglandins. These chemicals cause blood vessels to leak fluid into the tissues, which causes swelling. Daily health can be affected and the body may experience inflammation from other sources including the brain, arteries, gut, joints and other places. Science is beginning to learn more and more about the gut-brain connection as it relates to mental health, including depression and anxiety (two major influences leading to substance use disorder).
People Are What They Eat
If the brain is inflamed, it becomes difficult to fire directly, creating delayed response times in decision-making processes. This may also set the stage for depression, anxiety or other mental health concerns. Joint and arterial inflammation can lead to chronic pain and risk of heart attack. Chronic pain and fibromyalgia contribute to substance use disorder, especially pain killers as it is used to numb the pain.
Minimize the Inflammation
Inflammation can be measured by taking a test for blood work to see what comes up for internal inflammation. A high CRP (C-Reactive Protein) can indicate autoimmune inflammatory disease such as Celiac or Rheumatoid Arthritis. The major groups of food that can decrease inflammation in the body also include omega-3 fatty acids such as:
- Olive oil
- Turmeric (commonly used in curries but can be added to eggs, etc)
Consuming a diet rich in fresh, wholesome foods including fruits, veggies, nuts, whole grains, beans, legumes, lean protein and healthy fats while eliminating or cutting back on processed foods and sugars can greatly reduce inflammation and promote overall health. Water and herbal teas help decrease inflammation. Drink lots of water (half a person’s body weight in ounces) and promote healthy eating in daily life as a starter with little bits added in here and there until a lifestyle plan has been developed through habit.
Cypress Lakes Lodge incorporates a mind, body, and spirit approach to recovery including wellness and health as a focal point in the journey. Located in beautiful East Texas, we encourage recovery in a setting that offers relaxation, reflection, and a serene environment. Call us if you are ready to take the next step in your recovery journey: 877-938-1577