Next time you find yourself injured, and the healing process is prolonged, or even when you’re not injured but are sore with inflamed joints, it might be time to talk to your doctor.

Inflammation isn’t something people typically associate with cancer, diabetes, or heart disease, but it is becoming more apparent that the two are linked. A study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports has shown how important regular exercise and a healthy diet is, in relation to improving how the body fights inflammation. Inflammation is your natural body’s reaction to dealing with injury and infection, which is now linked to certain serious conditions. Even though a direct connection between inflammation and these health issues is difficult to make, there is a proven relationship.

In the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports study, 5,000 people had their C-reactive protein (CRP) levels measured, an inflammation marker that is associated with cardiovascular disease. Their activity was monitored for 7 days, and in the end, a 33% lower CRP level was found in the adults who were active and exercised, in comparison to those who didn’t.

Establishing this healthy balance isn’t just about hitting the gym. A healthy lifestyle also starts in the kitchen. The American Institute for Cancer Research recommends two-thirds of your meal be composed of fruits and vegetables. It’s also a good idea to limit heavily processed foods, which tend to be lower in nutrients and higher in sugar, fat, and artificial ingredients, which have been shown to increase CRP levels. Stick to foods higher in Omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon, tuna, flax seeds, avocado, and walnuts. Limit red meat intake and try to stick to more skinless chicken and turkey. Lastly, fermented foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, and veggies have also been shown to reduce inflammation.  The doctors at GI Associates in Jackson, Mississippi want you to live your most healthy life. If you have any concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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