We are starting to see a link between chronic inflammation and many of the diseases that are widespread in the Western world. For instance if you were to injure your back there will be increased inflammatory mediators to promote blood flow and white blood cells to the area. This is a healthy response to heal and repair the area, and is an example of acute inflammation. However if your body has low level inflammation that is silently bubbling away, this can be a major issue in regards to your health. Chronic inflammation is linked with diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, depression, Alzheimer’s and osteoporosis.
Our lifestyle and diet has a huge impact on chronic inflammation, and you can do simple things to extinguish the fire that may be going on inside of you.
- Eating more vegetables will provide your body with much needed antioxidants. A good rule is to have a rainbow plate with most meals. That is have every colour of the rainbow on your plate.
- Cut out as much processed food as you can. If it does not look like it came directly from Mother Nature then avoid it! Try to reduce or cut out caffeine, alcohol and cigarettes if you are a smoker.
- Drink ginger tea everyday as this is a fantastic anti-inflammatory herb.
- Add turmeric to your meals or even better try this simple recipe. Add organic turmeric powder to some coconut oil and pepper. Slowly heat on the stove in a pot for 10 minutes and then pour into a jar to cool. Eat 1-2 teaspoons per day. If it is unpalatable you can add a little honey to it. Turmeric contains curcumin which is a potent antioxidant.
- Help balance your gut flora by eating unsweetened yoghurt, sauerkraut and prebiotic foods such as jerusalem artichokes, yacon tubers, burdock roots, chicory root, dandelion root, garlic, onions, leeks, asparagus, globe artichokes, legumes, brassica family vegetables (broccoli, kale, cauliflower), fresh beans and beetroot.
- Listen to your body and see if you react to any foods. Try cutting the food out for 2-4 weeks and see if you feel any better. Food allergies can exacerbate inflammation in the body.
- Reduce stress with meditation, yoga, mindfulness, massage and other methods that you find relaxing.
- Exercise at least 20 minutes a day and incorporate stretching, cardiovascular as well as resistance exercise. As well as releasing endorphins, exercise is also anti-inflammatory in its own right.
- Try to get a good night’s sleep that is around 8hrs. Remember that quality of sleep is just as important as quantity.
Use these tips to prevent or reduce any chronic inflammation that may be happening inside your body!