You have probably experienced it yourself. After sustaining an injury, you see swelling. This inflammation is the natural response to an injury or infection. But there’s another kind of inflammation that is chronic. This is where a person’s immune system kicks in even in the absence of injury or infection.
Chronic inflammation is a body’s response to on-going medical conditions. It can damage joints, organs and arteries and, ultimately, lead or contribute to conditions such as heart diabetes, cancer, obesity, heart disease, blood vessel disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
How to Reduce Inflammation
When proper steps are taken, it is possible to reduce inflammation. As with a multitude of other health issues, lifestyle plays a role in staying healthy. An anti-inflammatory lifestyle requires some changes beyond prescribed medications.
1. Eat anti-inflammatory foods
- Eat more fresh fruit and vegetables.
- Eat more foods with omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon, tuna and other cold-water fish, walnuts, flax seeds, soybeans and tofu.
- Cook with anti-inflammatory ingredients like:
- Olive oil
- Spices such as ginger, turmeric, rosemary and cinnamon
2. Reduce or eliminate inflammatory foods
Avoid or reduce foods and ingredients that promote inflammation including margarine and other trans fats, deep fried foods, corn oil and processed foods.
3. Exercise regularly
Exercise is important to staying healthy for many reasons. As for inflammation, a study reported in Medical News Today found that as little as 20 minutes of intense or 30 minutes of moderate exercise can reduce inflammation.
4. Regulate blood sugar
Instead of eating white foods (carbohydrates such as white bread, white rice, white pasta, and food with white sugar), focus on high-fiber whole foods like whole grains like whole wheat bread and brown rice, fruits and vegetables.
5. Manage stress
Stress contributes to inflammation, so learn to manage it. Possible solutions include biofeedback, guided imagery, counseling, meditation and yoga.
6. Get a good night’s sleep
Not enough sleep and too much sleep might cause inflammation, according to studies. The ideal balance is eight hours of sleep per night.