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March 29, 2021 3 min read
What's up with inflammation? Why do we get it and what happens?
Inflammation refers to your body’s process of fighting things that harm it in an attempt to heal itself. This includes infections, injuries, and toxins. When something damages your cells, your body releases chemicals that trigger a response from your immune system. Short-term inflammation is a positive thing: your body responds and fights off pathogens and bacteria. However, chronic inflammation is a problem because your body can end up attacking itself.
There are many things that can cause inflammation like stress, smoking and even excessive exertion, like over-exercising. One of the most common modern factors of inflammation comes from the things we choose to eat. Foods that are refined, processed and filled with chemicals and added sugar can all be contributors to inflammation. Inflammation can manifest itself in many, varied ways - depending on the individual. Some of the most common symptoms of inflammation are fatigue, moodiness, joint or muscle pain, weight gain or obesity, headaches or migraines and autoimmune conditions. Chronic inflammation can also contribute to heart disease and depression.
It is important to eliminate, or greatly reduce, how often we enjoy fried foods, sugary foods and other refined carbohydrates as well as alcohol and (sorry to say!) coffee. All of these foods can increase stress hormones in our body. The increase of stress hormones elicits cortisol and increases insulin and insulin increases inflammation.
One of the most powerful tools to combat inflammation is what you put in your body. "Many experimental studies have shown that components of foods or beverages may have anti-inflammatory effects," says Dr. Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology in the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health.
Our healthy prepared meals are anti-inflammatory because their ingredients are composed of foods in their natural state. We also use ingredients like turmeric, garlic and ginger to further enhance anti-inflammatory benefits in our gluten-free & dairy-free meals.
Turmeric contains compounds called curcuminoids, which are antioxidants (the most important is curcumin). While turmeric contains a relatively low level of curcumin, research shows that this spice increases the antioxidant capacity of the body and helps to fight off free radicals.
Garlic is plentiful in the compound sulfur, which is released when a clove of garlic is chopped, crushed or chewed. The sulfur compounds enter the body via the digestive tract to boost the function of the immune system as well as fight off free radicals. Garlic also contains manganese, selenium, fiber and vitamins C and B6.
Ginger is another anti-inflammatory ingredient and has been present in traditional and alternative medicine for a long time. It is used to aid digestion, reduce nausea and help fight flus and colds. Gingerol is the main bioactive compound in ginger and is responsible for much of its' anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. Research indicates that gingerol may help reduce oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is the result of having a surplus of free radicals in the body.
Eating a healthy diet composed of foods in their natural state like a variety of fruits, vegetables and high-quality protein, like you'll find in our healthy prepared meals, makes it easy to make good choices. Healthy prepared meals will also help you maintain a healthy body weight. Remember to avoid smoking and alcohol, coffee and reduce stress. Enjoying our meals, which include turmeric, garlic and ginger will help you fight the inflammation that occurs in your body. We're here to help make you make healthy choices as well as make your life a little easier by taking care of the shopping, chopping, cooking and cleaning!
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