Inflammation is an important function of the body. It helps protect the body from invaders that cause infection and disease. That’s called acute inflammation and necessary to keep the body alive. However, too much inflammation or chronic inflammation, even at low levels, can be damaging to the body. Inflammation inside arteries, for instance, can cause blockage, so the need to decrease inflammation is important.
Chronic inflammation affects many parts of your body.
Chronic inflammation can be the reason for many types of allergies. It can cause digestive issues, which includes IBS and Crohn’s disease. The risk of rheumatoid arthritis, skin disorders, heart disease, blood vessel disease COPD, gum disease, cancer, mental health and bone damage are all increased when there’s chronic inflammation. It can also damage joints, cause weight gain, premature skin aging and loss of muscle tone. So how do you solve the problem? Factors that affect chronic inflammation are blood sugar imbalance, diet, leaky gut syndrome, lack of sleep, stress, chronic infection and environmental factors.
Cut out sugar!
If you want to feel good, eat healthier. Cut out food with added sugar and you’ll go a long way in decreasing chronic inflammation. While you won’t be able to control all inflammation, you can help balance it by eating the right foods and avoiding the ones that increase the problem. Besides sugar and foods with added sugar, these foods include pastry, white bread and refined carbs. Fried food, too much red meat and fats like margarine round out the group of inflammatory foods. Don’t forget what you drink makes a difference, too. Cut out soft drinks and fancy coffee with all the extras.
Eat your way to less inflammation.
While you can spark inflammation and set it on fire by eating certain foods, you can put out those flames and reduce inflammation by eating others. Fresh fruits and vegetables are on that list, with tomatoes and leafy greens leading the way on the side of veggies. Fruits that are the head of the pack for reducing inflammation include blueberries, strawberries, oranges and cherries. Avoiding fried, food with added sugar and highly processed food prevent inflammation from starting.
- Switching out soft drinks and fancy coffees for plain coffee, green tea or water, can help reduce inflammation. Coffee has polyphenols and other anti-inflammatory compounds. Green tea has EGCG that has anti-inflammatory properties.
- Get more sleep and learn find ways to relieve stress like deep breathing exercises, meditation and make your home environmentally friendly. Those three factors can reduce inflammation.
- Ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, cloves, cayenne pepper, rosemary and sage all have inflammatory properties. Newer studies show inflammation may be linked to Alzheimer’s and supplements of turmeric are being used to control it.
- Food high in Omega-3 fatty acids can help prevent inflammation and aid in reducing existing inflammation. Fatty fish like salmon, sardines and mackerel contain it. So do walnuts, flaxseed and soy.