May 07, 2019
Inflammation, or swelling, doesn’t just happen after a twisted ankle or scraped knee. It’s also happening internally, often playing a vital role in nature’s reflexive healing process —fighting infections, healing injuries, and building muscle growth with exercise.
Inflammation becomes dangerous, however, when it’s chronic and unwarranted— often the result of an overcompensating immune system. While the reason for this immune system flaw is sometimes unknown to doctors and scientists, often it’s a result of poor diet, insufficient exercise, excess weight, stress, or an underlying autoimmune disease.
Unsurprisingly, the link between chronic inflammation and serious illness has been met with a surge of trendy remedies, each claiming to fight inflammation, improve longevity, and optimize well-being. With so many fad products hitting the market, it’s hard to know what actually improves the body’s regulation of inflammation.
Here are a few ways to navigate these trends and reduce inflammation effectively and naturally.
What a person eats significantly impacts the levels of inflammation in the body. While some foods, like refined carbohydrates, fried foods, salty foods, soda, and red meat contribute to inflammation, others have powerful anti-inflammatory effects. Doctors and scientists agree that people looking to reduce or prevent chronic inflammation should eat the following:
• Olive oil
• Leafy greens (such as spinach, kale, and collard greens)
• Fatty fish
• Fruit (such as strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and oranges)
Many of these foods are high in antioxidants, and they should all be free of chemicals and preservatives. Not only will this diet help reduce and prevent inflammation (and chronic illness), it can have a positive effect on physical and mental health.
Even if a person eats a diet full of anti-inflammatory foods, other habits may still contribute to chronic inflammation. To make sure the fight against inflammation is well-rounded, doctors suggest the following lifestyle changes:
The gut plays a huge role in the immune system. If the gut is lacking in beneficial bacteria populations, the immune system responds with chronic inflammation and subsequent inflammatory diseases. While an anti-inflammatory diet definitely improves gut health, a variety of other factors impact the gut microbiome and consequential inflammation. Here are a few tips for improving gut health to reduce inflammation:
Implementing all of these changes can drastically reduce inflammation and decrease a person’s risk for life-threatening illness. A person experiencing the negative health effects of chronic inflammation should make a plan with their doctor to be sure they’re taking the most appropriate steps for their body.
This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The information on this web site is for general information purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or health care provider on any matters relating to your health.