Why You Always Feel Tired And Sore
By Ash May
What Is Inflammation?
Inflammation is an immune response within your body to injury and infection which acts to fight off foreign invaders such as bacteria and viruses, while healing and repairing damaged tissue.
For this type of inflammatory response, you would generally see acute inflammation. This is short-term localised inflammation, often in response to a minor injury such as a cut on your knee.
However, issues start to arise when inflammation occurs for a prolonged period of time in areas where it isn’t necessary. This is known as chronic inflammation.
While this is a necessary response, unfortunately, inflammation can occur from many other factors within your life as well.
Many of these are generally out of our individual control, such as pollen and pollution, but luckily, we do have control over what we eat.
Why Is Chronic Inflammation Bad?
Chronic inflammation causes a long-term and persistent low level of inflammation and pain throughout the entire body.
This can be triggered by a perceived threat to the body, when there is no actual threat.
This type of inflammation can be linked to many diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.
Aside from this, it can also result in feelings of fatigue, pain, mental unclarity, and a general lack of well-being.
Simple fixes within your diet can often be made to reduce the levels of inflammation within your body, but people often don’t realise the effect that individual foods can have on their day-to-day feeling.
Health Benefits Of Reduced Inflammation
By reducing inflammation within your body, there are many benefits – some you will feel straight away, and some you won’t feel, but will be keeping you healthier in the background.
The most noticeable benefit you and others around you will see from reducing inflammation is an improvement in your mood and energy levels throughout the day.
This is likely due to many reasons. The reduced inflammation will lead to less general fatigue and joint pain which in itself will help with this, but also the food you’ve added to your diet to fight the inflammation will be benefitting your mood and energy.
Anti-inflammatory foods tend to be highly nutrient-dense and often include things which are under consumed by the majority of people such as fibre and a range of micro-nutrients.
The increase in nutrients will give you an instant boost of energy, along with the increased healthy fats benefitting the hormone balance within your body.
Further benefits include;
- Improvement in symptoms of arthritis, inflammatory bowel syndrome, lupus, and other autoimmune disorders.
- Decreased risk of obesity, heart risk, diabetes, depression, cancer, and other diseases.
- Reduction in blood inflammatory markers.
- Reduced blood sugar, cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
- Improvement in energy and mood.
How To Reduce Chronic Inflammation
It goes without saying that the only way to reduce chronic inflammation is to reduce your consumption of inflammatory foods, and eat more anti-inflammatory foods (both listed below).
Your diet should be based around natural, nutrient dense foods containing a healthy balance of proteins, carbs, and fats.
Foods containing antioxidants and fibre should also be included.
A lower carb diet has been shown to reduce inflammation in people with obesity or metabolic syndrome. However, it is important to not rely on extremes as they often cause more problems elsewhere. Ensure that you have a healthy balance at all times.
Inflammatory Foods (Avoid These!)
Inflammatory foods having a consistent place in your diet are likely to be contributing to the chronic inflammation you’re experiencing.
Therefore, the following inflammatory foods should be avoided .
This doesn’t mean that you can never eat these foods again, but intake of them should be limited and irregular if complete elimination is not possible.
- Sugary drinks – fruit juices, coke, etc.
- Refined carbohydrates – white bread, white pasta, etc.
- Sugary desserts – ice cream, cake, cookies, etc.
- Processed meats – sausages, hot dogs, etc.
- Processed snacks – crisps, crackers, etc.
- Trans fats – pizza, Chips, fried chicken, etc.
- Excessive alcohol consumption
Anti-Inflammatory Foods (Eat More of These!)
Anti-infammatory foods are foods which will actively help to reduce the inflammation within your body when regularly consumed within your diet.
Therefore, it is likely that you’re undereating on these.
It should be a priority to increase the intake of the following anti-inflammatory foods at the same time as reducing intake of the above mentioned inflammatory foods.
- Vegetables – broccoli, brussels sprouts, spinach, etc.
- Fruit – berries in particular
- Healthy fats – Olive oil, coconut oil, avocados, etc.
- Fatty fish – Salmon, sardines, mackerel, etc.
- Nuts – almonds, etc.
- Bell and chili peppers
- Dark chocolate (in moderation)
- Spices – turmeric, fenugreek, cinnamon, etc.
- Green tea
Overall, the best way to reduce chronic inflammation is to consume a variety of nutrient-dense whole foods which have a healthy and balanced profile of protein, fats, carbs, and fibre.
The reduction of inflammation within your body will lead to improvements in day-to-day pain and soreness, improvements in your mood, and an increase in energy levels.
The benefits of decreasing intake of inflammatory foods and increasing intake of anti-inflammatory foods does however range much further than just improving chronic inflammation.
The foods you will be reducing in your diet are generally poor for your health in many ways and do not contain the appropriate micro and macro nutrient profiles to support a healthy lifestyle.
The listed anti-inflammatory foods on the other hand are extremely condusive of a healthy lifestyle and will support you through any health and fitness goals you have in life.