We know that chronic inflammation is at the root of nearly all diseases. Heart disease, the biggest killer today, is linked to inflammation. So are obesity and diabetes. Even digestive issues and arthritis are inflammatory disease processes. Lucky for us, there are lots of ways to reduce inflammation that take little effort. Let’s take a look at 6 things you didn’t know can reduce inflammation.
Chronic versus acute inflammation
First, let’s de-mystify these two terms. Acute inflammation is a natural response to something minor. This could be a bug bite, a cut, a scrape, a bee sting, a virus, or an infection. Acute inflammatory responses are your body’s way of healing a trauma.
Chronic inflammation, on the other hand, is more serious. It takes a longer period of time to manifest, and typically affects one of your organs, or even an entire system of the body. To reduce chronic inflammation, start integrating the following lifestyle habits into your daily routine.
Add turmeric to your meals
Turmeric, one of the most popular spices in Indian cuisine, is also the most potent anti-inflammatory food known to man. It contains curcumin, a compound that acts as an anti-inflammatory powerhouse. You can take curcumin supplements, or opt to add the spice to your meals. And if you suffer from osteoarthritis, supplementing with turmeric is a really good idea.
If you buy a supplement, make sure curcumin is the primary ingredient. When cooking with turmeric, you can make teas with the powdered spice or turmeric root. Add the powder to soups, stews, smoothies, and any Indian dish under the sun. Just adding a pinch to your meals once or twice a day has anti-inflammatory benefits. Or try drinking an anti-inflammatory golden milk latte instead of a high-calorie coffee beverage in the afternoon.
Take a bath
Did you know that treating yourself to a nice, long soak in a hot tub reduces inflammation? Drawing yourself a bath from time to time is a smart thing to do. Not only do hot baths reduce inflammation, they also improve blood sugar levels. So, light the candles, drop your favorite bubble bath or essential oil blend in, and soak to your heart’s content.
Spend as much time in nature as you can
Spending time outdoors also reduces inflammation. Walking, hiking, biking, and swimming outside are profoundly enjoyable and calming activities. Fresh air is key here, so make an effort to leave the pollution of the city to find nature trails or watering holes in the countryside. Hike through forests or find a local park where there’s lots and lots of green. Go where you can breathe freely without worrying about harmful environmental pollutants that can actually lead to cardiovascular issues.
Exercise, exercise, exercise
Regular exercise has anti-inflammatory effects. Think you don’t have time? Even 20 minutes of exercise does the trick. If you can commit to a 20 minute yoga routine one day, and a 20 minute brisk walk the next, you’ll not only be reducing inflammation, you’ll also lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and blood sugar, two essentials for preventing chronic inflammatory processes. Why not take your exercise outdoors and reap even greater anti-inflammatory benefits? For most people, working out in nature is way more pleasurable than hitting the treadmill.
Get your zzzzzz’s
Most of us are sleep-deprived these days. Modern life has really taken its toll on positive sleep habits, leaving some of us desperate for more and better shut-eye. Your body knows how essential good sleep is, and when you don’t get enough, especially over the long haul, chronic inflammation ensues.
A study published in Jama Internal Medicine found that people who were generally healthy but sleep-deprived had significantly higher levels of inflammatory signals at the cellular level. Adequate sleep also reduces inflammation by decreasing your stress levels. It’s a known fact that chronic stress leads to chronic inflammation. When we sleep, our body and brain go through a necessary process of detoxification and repair. Without it, we don’t metabolize everything that needs to be metabolized. So, promise yourself you’ll make sleep a priority. Your health depends on it!
Enjoy a Mediterranean diet
Eating the famous Mediterranean diet is also key if you want to reduce inflammation. It covers all the right foods and food groups necessary for your body to maintain optimal health and well-being. What is a Mediterranean diet? It’s one that focuses on fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, beans and legumes, extra-virgin olive oil, and wild fish. These foods all have anti-inflammatory properties. They’re also nutrient-dense foods, giving your body everything it needs to maintain health and balance.
The Mediterranean diet prevents disease and inflammation largely because it’s so high in antioxidants. Fortunately, you don’t have to own a bungalow overlooking Mediterranean shores to reap the benefits of this healthy diet. Simply pay attention to your grocery list and choose your foods wisely. There’s no one way to follows a Mediterranean diet, but there are some general guidelines you can follow. Replace processed foods with whole foods. Eat less red meat and more seafood. Eat a variety of different colored vegetables.
As you can see, reducing inflammation doesn’t have to be a chore. There are so many naturally wonderful ways to reduce inflammation, all you have to do is have the awareness, and then make a little effort. A lot of it is about self-care. Treat yourself the way you would care for a loved one and you’ll naturally prevent chronic inflammation and the diseases linked to it.
At Elite Physique, we believe an equal balance of nutrition, activity, rest, and confidence is the foundation for achieving a healthier you. Our personalized weight-loss programs are custom-tailored to help you meet your goals and to address the underlying factors that can make weight loss difficult. If you want a weight-loss plan that fits your needs and reduces inflammation, contact us today to schedule your free consultation!