Chronic inflammation has become a source of concern in recent years. While inflammation itself is not bad – it is an important defense mechanism – chronic inflammation has been connected with a wide range of health problems, including heart and autoimmune diseases. Consider the following foods, herbs, supplements, and lifestyle factors as ways to reduce inflammation in your body and live a healthier, happier life.
- Anti-Inflammatory Diet: Foods that Reduce Inflammation
One of the easiest ways to reduce inflammation in your body is to be more conscious of your diet. Start by limiting your intake of foods known to causes inflammation, such as:
- Dairy Products
- Meat (primarily beef and pork): Animals raised on a feedlot are often grain-fed, resulting in a meat product that is high in inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids. Beef and pork also may contain arachidonic acid, which promotes inflammation.
- Wheat: Wheat can increase inflammation in the body, even for those who are not gluten-intolerant.
Once you’ve reduced well-known inflammatory foods from your diet, start adding in foods that fight inflammation, such as:
- Fish: Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and sardines are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce inflammation.
- Leafy greens: Kale, spinach, broccoli and other leafy greens and dark cruciferous vegetables contain high amounts of antioxidants, which can help reduce inflammation levels.
- Nuts: Almonds and walnuts contain healthy fats, including omega-3 fatty acids.
- Green tea contains high amounts of antioxidants known as catechins, which can help prevent the creation of pro-inflammatory substances in the body.
- Shiitake mushrooms contain vitamin D, which helps regulate the immune system, which in turn helps regulate the inflammatory response in the body.
- Turmeric contains the compound curcumin, which is well-known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have shown curcumin to be helpful in reducing inflammation associated with both arthritis and Alzheimer’s disease.
- Garlic: Among its many health benefits, garlic has been shown to inhibit inflammation.
- Ginger: This anti-inflammatory herb contains compounds called gingerols, which help prevent the formation of inflammation-causing compounds in the body.
- Fish Oil: If you’re not a fan of fish, consider fish oil supplements. You’ll still get the benefit of the omega-3 fatty acids, just in a different package.
- Glucosamine sulfate is important to the cartilage in your joints. Taking a Glucosamine sulfate supplement can help offset joint inflammation.
Here’s one more reason to drink more water: staying properly hydrated can help keep inflammation under control. Water helps flush the body of toxins and other irritants. Plus, water is crucial to keeping many body systems in good working order.
Routine exercise helps reduce inflammation in the body. A study from University College London found that just 2.5 hours of moderate exercise a week can lead to a 12% reduction in inflammation markers. As we move, our muscle tissue releases a protein molecule called cytokine that has been connected to a drop in inflammation.
You hear it time and time again – you need to sleep more! Being well rested can boost your immune system, help you maintain healthy weight, and even reduce inflammation. A study from Emory University School of Medicine found that routine sleep deprivation (6 or fewer hours a night) leads to an increase in inflammatory hormones. Sleeping for at least 7 to 8 hours a night can help your body recharge and better fight off stress-related hormones.
The skin is one of the largest organs and an important part of your natural detox system. It can play a major role in regulating our bodies. Dry brushing your skin can increase circulation, boost the lymphatic system, and improve the body’s ability to remove toxins. (For more on dry brushing, check out Amie Valpone’s post on TheHealthyApple.com.)
Spending time in an infrared sauna has many health benefits. A 2003 study from the Department of Dermatology and Institute of Medical Research found that using near-infrared heat therapy helped alleviate inflammation.
If you would like to learn more, visit us on the web at RespiraVita.com, or give us a call at 704-313-8678. We are happy to discuss the many benefits of infrared sauna and book a sauna session for you!