We all know that high blood pressure and health problems go hand in hand. But did you know that when you have ANY inflammation in your body, it increases your risk for disease?
In case you breezed past that last sentence, I want to repeat it again: ANY inflammation in your body increases your risk for disease – even diseases such as Alzheimer’s and cancer.
Inflammation and Heart Disease
High-Sensitivity C-reactive Protein (hs-CRP) is a marker for inflammation around the heart. This marker has been shown to be an independent risk factor for heart disease – just like cholesterol is.
Many doctors don’t check this number as part of their regular wellness exam. But it’s such an important number to know when evaluating your risk for heart disease. Ask your doctor to check it next time you go in.
Ideally, you want your hs-CRP levels to be low. Less than 1 mg/L is considered optimal, and 1-3 mg/L is considered average. But you should know by now that I always want you to go for your optimal best.
Three Ways to Lower Inflammation:
1. Fish Oil: Fish oil, with its omega-3 fatty acids – especially EPA – is an effective, natural anti-inflammatory. You can get omega-3s by eating foods like salmon, walnuts, and avocados. But to get levels of EPA high enough to lower inflammation, consider taking fish oil supplements.
When taking fish oil supplements, choose pharmaceutical grade fish oil supplements over lower quality fish oil supplements that may be contaminated with toxins, mercury, and PCBs.
2. Clean Up Your Diet: Another way to lower your inflammation is by exercising and eating a clean diet. Eating clean means eating foods that come from nature (in their natural forms as much as possible) and staying away from processed foods.
3. Ask Your Doctor: When it comes to inflammation, knowing your numbers means asking your doctor to check your hs-CRP. If it’s elevated, work with your doctor to take the steps listed above that will decrease your inflammation. Fish oil, exercise, and a clean diet are an important part of any healthy lifestyle, but these steps are especially crucial when dealing with an elevated hs-CRP.
It’s up to each of us to become educated in disease prevention – and practice it on ourselves and our families. Be your own advocate and start living a healthier, happier life today.
Here’s to your health, happiness, and drive!