Thoughtful Thursday…Inflammation…4 things to watch out for
Welcome to Thoughtful Thursday. This GreenNote Fitness newsletter mindfully gathers and distills useful information that is supportive to our journey. It is my mission to educate, inspire, and propel you into action that moves you towards your goals and life of purpose. Take control of your journey today.
We learned in the previous newsletter about brain energy and how the brain holds the most densely packed concentration of mitochondria (powerhouses of the cells). If we want to avoid cancer and degenerative diseases then we best guard our mitochondria as best we can. With the knowledge that the brain is impacted if there is inflammation anywhere within the body, I want to delve deeper and understand it more fully. How better to travel your journey than with knowledge and action? Inflammation A little bit of inflammation for a short period of time is necessary. When there is a toxin or trauma to the body, a short-burst of inflammation is there to protect and heal you. It only becomes a problem when it is chronic (lasts for a sustained period of time). Think of it as the full body becoming and remaining inflamed instead of just a specific area of the body temporarily inflamed so you can heal. Chronic inflammation is at the root of many life-threatening diseases. “Cardio vascular disease, cancer, and diabetes account for almost 70 percent of all deaths in the United States. Alzheimer’s and autism are growing at unprecedented rates. What is the common link between all of these diseases? Inflammation." Inflammation is not limited to these diseases. It diminishes brain performance like your ability to learn, remember, and pay attention. This is not something that could happen in the future; inflammation in your body is impacting your brain’s ability to think, learn, and remember now. Today. Being mindful of inflammation There are factors that we need to pay attention to when it comes to inflammation. Some of those factors that can cause inflammation and therefore reduces our mitochondrial function include:
Sleep - When we don’t get good quality sleep immunity suffers and inflammation increases. During sleep your body repairs itself. Your neurons and nervous system are healing while cementing learning and memory. It’s building new neurons and strengthening your immune system. This process is impaired when we lack good quality sleep. For how to get the best from your sleep, consider reading Sleep Smarter: 21 Essential Strategies to Sleep Your Way to a Better Body, Better Health, and Bigger Success.
Inflammatory foods - Gluten, sugar, and caffeine can all aggravate inflammation. There are at least a couple dozens of reasons for what makes a food inflammatory, like “…the amounts and proportions of various fatty acids, the amounts of antioxidants and other nutrients, and a food’s glycemic impact, or effect on blood sugar levels." What makes it challenging is that some foods have both inflammation-producing and inflammation-reducing factors. Think of an orange; it contains antioxidants that can fight inflammation but also contains natural sugars that can have a mild inflammatory effect. To help figure out if a specific food is going to have an inflammatory or anti-inflammatory effect, check out InflammationFactor.com.
“Junk” light - The discovery of damaging light frequencies dates back to the early 1960’s, yet it hasn’t been a topic readily discussed. “Newer artificial lights like white LED (light-emitting diode) and CFL (compact fluorescent light) bulbs lack many of the sun’s frequencies that our bodies and brains need.” The problem with that? The amount of blue light they emit. “Your mitochondria have to produce a lot of extra energy to process the blue light in LEDs, which burns oxygen and creates free radicals in the cells of your eyes. And when the mitochondria in your eyes are stressed, the rest of your mitochondria can get stressed, too, including the ones in your brain.” For more information on artificial light, check out this article, Artificial Light Dehydrates Your Cells. That stress on our bodies causes inflammation. Speaking of stress…
Stress - Any form of physical or psychological stress can cause inflammation. The body makes a very important hormone that protects against inflammation called vasoactive intestinal polypeptide. When your body is under stress, it makes less of this important hormone and your inflammation rises accordingly. Here is a helpful article, 15 Ways to Fight Stress. There are certainly other things to be mindful of when it comes to inflammation. The factors listed above is a good place to start. If we want any chance at longevity, living a healthy and happy life, then we have to guard our mitochondria like our life depends upon. Because it does. I choose not to let this be a daunting task but rather something to train for, understand better choices, and to work towards. It’s all part of the journey. Enjoy your journey, Lisa Schaffer GreenNote Fitness You wouldn’t happen to know just one person that would benefit from this information? Please forward it to them! Did you miss last week’s newsletter on improve your brain energy…improve your life...? P.S. Check out my Facebook page for inspiration. P.P.S. Discover GreenNote Fitness recommendations for books, podcasts, and more on body, mind, and spirit.