Most of us are busy trying to ‘reduce inflammation,’ without really knowing what that means. In fact, here at Cru8, inflammation is one of the reasons that we make our products grain free and keto with loads of healthy fats, vitamins and minerals packed in. Inflammation is at the heart of pretty much every chronic condition and health ailment of the 21st Century and in this blog post today I wanted to explain why that is, what it is and how Cru8 can help.
What is inflammation?
Crudely speaking inflammation is the immune system’s response to something that’s irritating it or endangering it. It’s our first line of defence, so to speak, against invading pathogens and viruses but it can also be a physical response to hurting yourself - when you cut your knee, for example, the red swelling is inflammation of the tissues designed to help the body heal.
Inflammation is an incredibly necessary and important part of sustaining life as a human, it’s one of our endogenous defence mechanisms that keeps us safe and protects us - so why are we all trying to decrease inflammation, reverse the signs of it and generally demonise it so much?
The thing with inflammation is that it’s supposed to be a short lived scenario. The best example of this is the cut on your knee - after a few days the swelling goes down and everything is hunky dory again. But inflammation inside the body is very different from the external inflammation that we can see when we fall over, cut ourselves or get a splinter. There are certain disease states that are known to be “inflammatory conditions,” such as IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease), arthritis, depression and anxiety (these are both essentially inflammation of the neurons in the brain), and pretty much anything that ends in ‘itis’: dermatitis, cystitis, conjunctivitis etc.
When inflammation becomes chronic it becomes a problem as biologically speaking we’ve only evolved and adapted to deal with it sporadically, as and when needed.
What causes chronic inflammation?
There are so many things about our lives these days that make it highly likely that the majority of us are dealing with some level of chronic inflammation. Without getting too sciency about it, the inflammatory pathways in the body are switched on when the immune system feels that it’s under attack from something. Stress of any kind causes inflammation, non-organic food causes inflammation due to chemical residues, diets devoid of nutrients cause inflammation, lack of sleep, processed food, unbalanced blood sugar levels etc. The list is pretty endless, and that’s why inflammation is so rife in our population.
The key to good health long term is decreasing and reducing the inflammatory pressure on your body by really looking after yourself in terms of sleep, stress and lifestyle, and nourishing your body with nutrient dense, unprocessed food. If we fail to do this then a once unthreatening inflammatory condition can lead to a more serious named condition later on in life. You might think that alzheimers or diabetes are completely unrelated, but it’s highly likely that there will have been chronic inflammation preceding every one of these diagnoses.
How can Cru8 help?
Besides looking into the lifestyle factors that really do make a difference to our overall health, (sleep quality, stress, relationships, community, lowering toxic exposure), it’s so crucial to give your body a helping hand by eating a low inflammation diet. You may have heard that foods like turmeric are ‘anti-inflammatory,’ and that’s because of it’s high curcurmin content, but the general principles of a anti-inflammatory diet are the same as those that Cru8 is based on: Lots of healthy fats, predominantly grain free, organic, and with a big focus on fibre and nutrient density (hello Paleo Kale Bread!).
I want to make truly healthy but delicious food the easy option for as many people as possible, which is why Cru8 will always be committed to keeping our food in the health-promoting, inflammation fighting, blood-sugar balancing category!
Particular favourites of mine for these reasons are the Paleo Kale Bread, and of course our flax seed based crackers (for all the omega 3s) and our Keto Macaroons for when the urge to treat ourselves arises.
I think if we’ve learnt anything from these last few months in lockdown it’s that our health really must come first! So here’s to lowering inflammation the Cru8 way!