Drinking the right liquids will help fight inflammation
We’ve all heard of the recommended 6-8 glasses of water a day. However, instead of filling tumblers with plain, clear goodness, we reach for a can of sugar and fizz instead. There’s a reason we are so strongly inclined this way. Fizzy drinks give you a sugar rush and often perk you up. Water seems pretty boring in comparison.
Unfortunately, while fizzy drinks may feel refreshing, they ultimately affect our well-being. Our body is designed to have short-term inflammation when an infection or a bruise occurs.
During such instances, white blood cells will rush in to protect you, but if you’re drinking sodas, these white blood cells will be effectively neutralized by the sugar in the canned drinks. These lead to cases of acute inflammation.
Drinking water instead helps flush out the bacteria, thereby assisting white blood cells to protect and heal the body. Sometimes, our eating and drinking habits can lead to chronic inflammation, which, by definition, is inflammation that lasts for weeks, months or even years.
The cause of chronic inflammation can be specific, like rheumatoid arthritis (RA), which is a connective tissue disease. The most common symptom of RA is tender, inflamed joints which are warm to the touch. RA patients are often advised to drink plenty of water to help lubricate painful joints.
However, the cause of chronic inflammation is not always as precise. Quite often, a person presents with vague symptoms which may include body aches, joint pain, persistent tiredness and a low-grade fever. If this sounds like you, get in touch with your physician immediately for a check-up.
As always, the best cure is prevention so if you don’t have these symptoms, do consider ways to prevent chronic inflammation from taking root in your body.
It is not surprising that we tend to favor canned drinks over plain water. The cans come in attractive colors as do the drinks; it is primal instinct is to seek brightly-colored foods as, in the natural world, this indicates freshness and good nutrition. If you’re a person who genuinely dislikes the taste of water you might try adding in a drop of natural food coloring. It won’t alter the taste, but it might change your mind.
Studies have shown that people tend to favor colored water and thus drink more of it. You can also store your water in colored bottles and drink from colored tumblers. It sounds superficial and perhaps it is. But it is through our eyes that we consume immediate information; making water look attractive is a step closer to wanting to drink it.
Coffee is good for chronic inflammation?
What else should you drink in order to try and keep inflammation at bay? If you’re a coffee addict, this is very good news for you.
Chronic inflammation tends to affect us more as we get older.
But, happily, researchers have found a remarkable link to caffeine.
The inflammatory response was significantly lessened in those who enjoyed their tea and coffee than in those who had stayed away from such beverages.
Be careful not to overdo your intake though. An excess amount of coffee dehydrates and this might trigger inflammation. Also, many of us tend to go with quick and easy instant coffee, masking the taste with lots of sugar. It would be better to invest in a coffee machine or a French press. Go with good-quality, well-roasted beans or coffee grounds. You’ll enjoy your cup of Joe so much that you won’t miss sugar at all.
Is there anything else that can keep the fiery fingers of inflammation at bay? It’s probably no surprise that the answer is red wine. Studies have shown that an ingredient in red wine, resveratrol, can discourage inflammatory factors in the body. It is crucial not to overdo it.
An excess intake will negate any benefit and may even trigger more inflammation, in addition to other problems. Pour yourself what is commonly known as a ‘French glass’, where the level of the wine stops nearer the stem than the rim. One a day is sufficient. And because alcohol, like coffee, dehydrates, follow your one glass of wine with a glass of water. Before you start a red wine regime, however, you must ask your doctor if it is suitable for you.
Lastly, try to cultivate a habit of observing what you drink. The next time you open the refrigerator to get a burst of sweet fizz, stop. Think and make a choice. What you drink either hurts you or helps you. Choose wisely.
The above is not a substitute for medical advice from a physician. Before you embark on any lifestyle or dietary change, be sure to consult your doctor.