What's stopping you reaching your healthy weight? Part 4- Inflammation

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you will know that I often blame inflammation for all sorts of ills but weight gain?  Even here inflammation has a part to play.  

Now inflammation can be beneficial - it is necessary to prevent invading microbes causing you harm when you injure yourself for instance but if it becomes chronic, that is the inflammatory response is too active over a long period of time, that's when problems occur. 

It happens like this - if you have chronic inflammation which may be due to food allergies, food sensitivities, smoking, lack of sleep, poor diet, stress, in fact some of the things we have talked about over the last few weeks, then the release of the hormone leptin is reduced.  This is because anti-inflammatory substances produced in response to the inflammation, attack the leptin. If you remember, leptin is the hormone that indicates you have had enough to eat so if leptin levels are lowered you are more likely to overeat.  

That's not all - you only have a certain number of fat cells and so as your body stores fat your fat cells expand. These cells can then get leaky and your body sees these leakages as 'invaders' setting up more inflammation still.  

That is still not the whole story.  Inflammation affects the ability of cells to take up glucose from the blood.  This occurs even though insulin levels may be normal and is referred to as insulin resistance and can lead to type 2 diabetes.  

The good news is the cycle can be broken with an anti-inflammatory diet and moderate exercise.  Make sure you include omega 3s in your diet.  Please see 'Where do vegans get their Omega 3's from?' Avoid hydrogenated fats and reduce saturated fat. 

Eat plenty of fruit, vegetables and wholegrains for fibre and antioxidants both of which help reduce inflammation.  Studies show that people who eat plenty of fibre in their diet have lower levels of C reactive protein, a marker of inflammation in their blood.  Antioxidants neutralise free radicals which damage cells setting up the inflammatory response. 

Avoid sugar, alcohol and processed food.  

Some spices are anti-inflammatory notably ginger and turmeric.  

Stay with me - in a couple of weeks I am going to let you in on my secret weapon against inflammation.

Please also see:-
'What's stopping you reaching your healthy weight-Part 1-Stress'
'What's stopping you reaching your healthy weight-Part 2-Lack of sleep'
'What's stopping you reaching your healthy weight-Part 3 - Hungry/craving...or just thirsty'

You might also like- 'Sugar and skin not so sweet' , 'Superfood-Ginger' , 'Turmeric - The brain protector spice' and 'How can vegans eat to beat inflammation'

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