The Role Inflammation Plays in Your Cardiovascular Health

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Let me paint a picture – you were chopping vegetables when you accidentally cut your finger. It bled, became red and tender, and then swelled up. This is what we call inflammation.

It’s our body’s natural response and is vital to the healing process.

Acute or temporary inflammation sends signal to the immune cells and blood, which then rush to the injured area and kill the invading organisms. This speeds up tissue repair and might or might not leave a scar behind. Even sunburn is a sign that inflammation is in action.

While temporary inflammation is a healthy function of our immune system; the same thing cannot be said about chronic inflammation. This usually happens when your immune system goes out of control. When the body’s infection-eliminating and healing mechanism switches back and forth due to lifestyle factors such as relentless stress, poor diet and obesity, the body stays in a continuous cycle of inflammation. This increases the chances of your body developing allergies or worst Alzheimer’s disease. It might also lead to hardening of arteries, which can cause a heart attack.

How Inflammation Leads to a Heart Stroke

So, what is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about a heart stroke?

LDL Cholesterol!

We all think that the reason behind a heart attack is bad cholesterol in the arteries but that’s not it! Here’s what causes a heart stroke:

  • With time and due to our changing lifestyle, we become overweight
  • We start eating a diet that is high in omega-6 fatty acids and sugar
  • We start stressing over every situation

These points provoke chronic inflammation and allow LDL cholesterol to reach the vessel walls through the small fissures. This invasion of foreign substance triggers buildup of cholesterol, more inflammation and more damage. This foreign substance breaks free and a small block forms over the arteries, which results in a blood clot that stops circulation. This is what causes a heart stroke.

Causes of Chronic Inflammation

  • Cigarette smoking
  • Periodontal diseases
  • Lack of exercise
  • Stress
  • High sugar diet
  • Obesity

Food Strategies

One of the biggest reasons behind this inflammation is a diet high in omega-6 fatty acids. While a controlled amount of omega-6 fatty acids is good for bone and brain health, and hair and skin growth, too much of it can cause Type-2 diabetes.

Following are some food items that can help reduce inflammation and balance your diet:

  • Turmeric
  • Green tea
  • Broccoli
  • Wild Alaskan salmon
  • Blueberries
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Lifestyle Strategies

Apart from maintaining a healthy diet, it is also important to include exercise in your daily routine. As for managing stress, studies have shown that meditation and yoga can be very helpful.

Leading an anti-inflammatory lifestyle involves living a balanced life in every way. While this is easier said than done but by starting small, you can live a healthy life. Begin by making changes in your diet and then move on to your daily routine.

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