Updated: May 4, 2021
HOW TO USE FOOD AND LIFESTYLE TO TREAT CHRONIC INFLAMMATION
The topic of chronic inflammation is a popular one in the world of health and wellness these days, and for good reason. Inflammation occurs when the body tries to protect itself against foreign invaders, such is the case with injuries, toxins and infections. When you look at it this way, inflammation is the way our immune system has developed in order to keep our bodies healthy and properly functioning- it is part of the healing process. Once the threat has been removed, the inflammation dissipates.
When it comes to chronic inflammation, however, it means that for some reason your body has been unable to clear the threat, the inflammation continues, and your body is stuck in antibody-overdrive. This is incredibly burdening to the immune system and can be damaging to everything from your tissues and organs to your cardiovascular system, and more. In this article we’ll detail some of the natural, healthy ways to help rid your body of chronic inflammation.
START WITH ANTI-INFLAMMATORY FOODS The benefits of a well-rounded, healthy diet are numerous. Now you can add one more to the list: healthful foods can reduce inflammation in the body as well. You don’t have to think too outside the box on this one either, as foods that are typically healthy overall are also great for curbing inflammation. Things like fresh fruits and vegetables, foods containing high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids like salmon, tuna, flax seeds and tofu, as well as foods with high antioxidant levels like grapes, blueberries, garlic, tea, and certain spices all have anti-inflammatory properties. The Mediterranean Diet in particular is an excellent example of an overall anti-inflammatory diet.
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ELIMINATE INFLAMMATORY FOODS
Piggybacking off of our first tip, you can also do your best to start reducing your intake of inflammatory foods. Foods that promote inflammation in the body include deep fried foods, most processed foods, red meat, anything with high fructose corn syrup, etc. You can also try to start removing white foods from your diet like white rice, white bread, refined white sugar, white flour, and white pasta. Opt for whole wheat or whole grain options instead.
GET SOME DAILY MOVEMENT
Physical activity is high up on the list when it comes to preventing inflammation in the first place. Prioritize daily movement (it doesn’t have to look like an hour in the gym everyday!). Losing weight can also help when it comes to decreasing inflammation in the body, but note that weight loss isn’t necessary for everyone.
Stress is one of the most common contributors to chronic inflammation in the body, and while it is hard to remove all stressful inputs from our daily lives, there are habits we can implement to help manage stress. From relaxation techniques like meditation, deep breathing and yoga, to simply taking more time to do the things we enjoy, getting enough sleep, and asking for help when necessary.
GET SOME REST
Speaking of getting enough sleep, not only will hitting the sheets help you cut down on unnecessary stress, it will also help to curb inflammation within the body. Strive for 7-9 hours of quality, uninterrupted sleep each night.
Chronic inflammation can have some pretty undesirable consequences if we don’t take the steps to reduce it within the body. Simple lifestyle changes like eating healthy, prioritizing exercise, managing stress and getting enough sleep are all ways we can not only reduce inflammation but also reap the benefits of improved overall health and lowered risk of chronic diseases.
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