Health is the level of functional and metabolic efficiency of a living organism. In humans, it is the ability of individuals or communities to adapt and self-manage when facing physical, mental or social challenges. The World Health Organization (WHO) defined health in its broader sense in its 1948 constitution as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

Most of us have some idea what inflammation is. If an injury gets hot, turns red, hurts and swells, we recognize that as inflammation, but maybe not that, in this instance, it is a beneficial process, serving to immobilize the area of injury as the rest of the immune system mobilizes to heal.

When bacteria, viruses and toxins invade, much of what we think of as symptoms, tenderness at an infection site, or mucous from a cold, are actually a similar immune response, with foreign substances under attack by a flood of healing chemicals.

Regardless of the source of assault on our bodies, inflammation is the first-alert mechanism that calls into action the cells responsible for surveillance and protection, signaling them to go to work and rein in the damage.

These cells attack and destroy the invaders, clean up the damaged cells, and repair as they go, until a healthy state is restored. As such, inflammation is your body’s first line of defense.

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