Expert advice for Soccer families from Olympus Movement Performance
Welcome to our weekly feature from the athletic experts at Olympus. This week, you’re going to learn all about how to help your body to fight off and recover from illness, infection and injury with OPTIMAL NUTRITION.
Inflammation is your body’s way to protect itself from infection, illness or injury. As part of the inflammatory response, your body increases production of white blood cells, immune cells and substances called cytokines that help fight infection. We mainly associate the term “inflammation” with injury. This is known as acute inflammation. We also have chronic inflammation which leads to common diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, autoimmune diseases, allergies, inflammatory bowel disease and more. When we are chronically inflamed, our system needs to be given the same care we give it when we injure ourselves. When given treatment for chronic inflammation, a proper diet is, or at least SHOULD be, one of the first recommendations made. The foods we eat can either help decrease the inflammation or promote it and as you may presume, promoting inflammation is indeed counterproductive to our health.
Foods that help reduce inflammation:
- Healthy Fats
- Fatty Fish
Some foods that increase inflammation are:
- Sugary drinks
- Processed foods
- Excessive alcohol consumption
Higher fruit and vegetable intakes are associated with lower oxidative stress and inflammation. In fact, some evidence suggests that the addition of antioxidants or vegetables may limit or even reverse pro-inflammatory responses to meals high in saturated fat. Staying away from those inflammatory foods are a key component in both the healing process post injury and for limiting systemic inflammation. High intake of fruits and vegetables are also high in our vitamins and minerals which have tons of other health benefits.
Although we always want to recommend whole food options, sometimes supplementing can help manage inflammation, especially after a physical injury. Some supplements that help decrease inflammation and help promote the healing process are:
- Fish Oil
*Always consult with your medical provider before adding supplements into your daily routine.
An anti-inflammatory diet, along with exercise and good sleep, can provide many benefits:
- Improvement to symptoms of arthritis, inflammatory bowel syndrome, lupus and other autoimmune disorders.
- Decreased risk of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, depression, cancer and other diseases.
- Reduction in inflammatory markers in the blood.
- Better blood sugar, cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
- Improvement in energy and mood.
Together, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes account for almost 70% of all deaths in the United States; these diseases share inflammation as a common link. Chronic inflammation can be a silent problem and not have any noticeable symptoms that you’re aware of. Staying away from high inflammatory foods and increasing your intake of anti-inflammatory foods not only helps you feel better, but can dramatically decrease your rate of disease.