Wouldn’t it be something if there was a magic pill that, in an instant, could give you beautiful & healthy skin, hair, nails? In other words, a healthy body instantly? If we were really honest, we’d love it if we didn’t have to work at being our best selves. But it is every bit worth the time we commit to this goal of treating our “whole” being to health & wellness. I think the holistic approach not only involves what we feed our bodies, but how we treat our bodies and what we feed our minds. Meditation, massage, journaling and getting enough sleep are just a few ways that can help keep us in a relaxed state of mind. All are stress reducers and that’s one of the keys: REDUCE STRESS! On-going stress eventually shows up in any number of ways, including wrinkled, sagging skin; thinning or dry hair; and brittle, split nails. Stress can play havoc with our body’s immune system too and contribute to increased inflammation.
By reducing stress we can also help our bodies reduce inflammation. Even though our bodies need a certain amount of inflammation to help with infections and healing from an injury (acute), studies have shown that CHRONIC INFLAMMATION is a problem. Acute inflammation is our body’s healthy immune response, but lingering (chronic) inflammation can weaken the body over time and cause all types of problems with our health!
On my website, I’m a big proponent of eating healthy which includes foods high in antioxidants. Antioxidants combat free radicals and it’s important to know that the accumulation of free radicals contribute greatly to inflammation. Free radicals are basically unstable molecules that look for stable molecules with the intent of stealing their stability. So once free radicals steal from healthy, stable molecules, then all kinds of health problems can start. (By the way, our cells are mostly made up of molecules.) So getting control of free radicals can boost our immune system and reduce inflammation.
So to recap, stress is bad for our immune system and can cause inflammation which, in turn, can cause all types of chronic disease. Being mindful of stress reducers: including, but not limited to, plenty of sleep, adequate exercise, time set aside for rest and rejuvenation; and reducing inflammation by eating foods high in antioxidants (including plant-based) will go a long way in your path to better health and beautiful skin.
NOTE: Studies suggest that consuming yogurt and probiotics for gut health can significantly improve inflammation, since a large percentage of your immune system is in your gut. Check out:NOW Foods Probiotic-10 25 Billion, 50 Vcaps.
There is also a blood test available called “C-Reactive Protein” which can measure the amount of inflammation in your body. This is generally a test given if there is a history of heart disease. If you want to know more about this, consult with your health practitioner.
Ways to reduce chronic inflammation is another example of being mindful of what you eat. The foods you consume can reduce chronic inflammation and even reverse it, if you choose wisely. Remember to always think about where your food came from, how it was produced, and what is in it! Nourish your body!