How inflammation causes weight gain

Inflammation can also affect body weight in numerous ways. When the immune system detects a threat, the body releases substances called cytokines, which activate the body’s immune response. Cytokines are pro-inflammatory, and they also interfere with the body’s insulin response.

When the body becomes resistant to insulin, the pancreas must release more of it, which triggers the body to store fat. Individuals with insulin resistance tend to store more fat in the abdominal region.

This abdominal fat is particularly dangerous. It increases production of cytokines, which in turn increases the risk of heart disease. Belly fat is also linked to an increased risk of cancer.

Inflammation can also interfere with the body’s response to leptin, a hormone that tells the brain when you’ve had enough to eat. If your brain doesn’t receive this signal, it can cause you to eat more than necessary. Resistance to leptin is now thought to be a major driver of weight gain in humans.

What causes inflammation in your body?

Anything that causes cellular damage or malfunction can trigger an inflammatory response inside the body. This cellular damage can be caused by factors such as exposure to toxins, poor nutrition, and bacterial imbalances in the gut.

Some common causes of inflammation include:

  1. Chronic stress. Stress leads to elevated levels of cortisol, which is also linked to increased abdominal fat.
  2. Exposure to chemicals, including food additives, pesticides, and environmental pollution. Skincare products and cosmetics often contain phthalates, which are linked to oxidative stress and inflammation.
  3. Smoking
  4. Nutritional deficiencies. Any nutrient deficiency can lead to cellular damage either directly or indirectly, but some are especially known to cause inflammation, including low levels of vitamin D, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12.
  5. Excess weight can also increase inflammation, as it can place stress on the body that leads to additional cellular damage.

What are inflammation markers?

Chronic inflammation isn’t always obvious because it is internal. Symptoms such as excess abdominal weight, fatigue, mouth sores, skin issues, brain fog, and joint pain may be an indication of systemic inflammation.

Certain inflammatory markers can also be measured with a blood test. One such marker is c-reactive protein, a substance produced by the liver in response to inflammation. Research from Harvard doctors found that men with high levels of CRP had double the risk of stroke and three times the risk of heart attack as men with little or no inflammation.

What are inflammation causing foods?

Certain foods naturally trigger inflammation in the body. These include sugar, vegetable oils, fried foods, refined carbohydrates, artificial sweetners, and other artificial food additives.

Many of these foods contribute to the formation of acid in the body, which increases inflammation. Other acid-forming foods include coffee, dairy products, soda, most sports drinks, bottled fruit juice, potato chips, alcohol, processed meats, and red meat.

Sugar in particular is known to drive inflammation. A study of 29 healthy adults found that those who consumed just one sugar-sweetened beverage per day experienced increases in c-reactive protein and insulin resistance, as well as LDL cholesterol.

Foods that reduce chronic inflammation

To combat inflammation, make a point of including healthy, whole fruits and vegetables in every meal. Also, drink plenty of water throughout the day to help flush toxins and waste from your body.

Some foods offer especially powerful anti-inflammatory benefits in the form of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that help fight inflammation while also boosting your metabolism.

Best foods for inflammation

  • Leafy greens (kale, spinach)
  • Green vegetables such as broccoli
  • Olives and olive oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Fatty fish (salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel)
  • Berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries)
  • Grapes
  • Cherries
  • Tomatoes
  • Bell peppers and chili peppers
  • Mushrooms
  • Avocados
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Turmeric
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Green Tea

Reducing inflammation in the body

Given the wide range of factors that contribute to inflammation, it’s clear that reducing inflammation in the body should be a multi-faceted approach.

Eating a healthy diet full of anti-inflammatory foods is an important step in combating chronic inflammation. Reduce your intake of inflammatory and acidic foods such as processed foods, fried foods, and refined carbohydrates, including sugar.

by Karen Eisenbraun, CHNC

This information has been and is an eye opener. Thanks Karen, a fellow Holistic Health Coach

Talk to Soon,

Coach Aisha

“Health Is True Wealth”
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