Inflammation is part of the body’s immune response; without it, we can’t heal. But when it’s out of control it can damage the body and is thought to play a role in obesity, heart disease and cancer.
Aim to reduce unnecessary inflammation in your body by reducing stress, getting plenty of sleep and incorporate anti-inflammatory foods such as turmeric, ginger and berries.
Inflammation is the body’s natural healing response to injury and infection, a way of defending ourselves by sending immune cells and key nutrients to the areas that need them most.
However what few people understand is that hidden and chronic inflammation destroys the balance in your body and is at the root of all chronic illness that we experience – conditions like obesity, heart disease, diabetes, dementia, depression, cancer, and even autism. 2
WHAT CAUSES INFLAMMATION?
One of the main causes of inflammation is low-grade bacterial, viral, and fungal infections in the bloodstream and organs like the stomach and gastro-intestinal tract.
Other causes include:
- Diet and lifestyle – too much fat, sugar, and protein in your diet, lack of exercise and constant dehydration, can all increase inflammation in your body
- Stress – constant psychological, emotional or physical stress raises the level of cortisol, creating inflammation.
- Hidden or chronic infections with viruses, bacteria, yeasts, or parasites
- Hidden allergens from food or the environment
- An imbalance of bacteria and fungi in your gastrointestinal tract, also known as dysbiosis.
- Environmental toxicity from our air, water, food pollutants and toxic metals
HOW TO REDUCE INFLAMMATION
Following some simple steps will allow you to heal your body of inflammation, reduce the damaging effects of ageing and restore your energy
1. Eat Whole Foods –– Choose unprocessed, unrefined, whole, fresh, real foods.
Since many foods are naturally pro or anti-inflammatory, the types of foods you feed your body may have a serious impact on your inflammation responses.
PRO INFLAMMATORY FOODS
- refined white foods such as white bread, cereal, rice, and pasta
- processed foods
- fried foods
- saturated and trans fats
ANTI INFLAMMATORY FOODS
- Oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, tuna and sardines, are high in omega-3 fatty acids
- Dark leafy greens such as spinach, kale, broccoli
- Almonds and walnuts
2. Regular Exercise — Mounting evidence tells us that regular exercise reduces inflammation. It also improves immune function, strengthens your cardiovascular systems, corrects and prevents insulin resistance, and is key for improving your mood and erasing the effects of stress.
3. Reduce stress – Take time out to practice yoga or meditation, breathe deeply, or even take a hot bath regularly.
4. Avoid Allergens – Gluten and dairy are two common culprits. If you have food allergies, find out what you’re allergic to and get stop eating those foods.
4. Get plenty of sleep – when you sleep, your body secretes powerful hormones such as Human Growth Hormone, which repair and heal inflamed cells.
5. Heal Your Gut – Consider taking probiotics to help your digestion and improve the balance of healthy bacteria in your gut, which reduces inflammation.
- J (2015) “Inflammation: Causes, Symptoms & Anti-Inflammatory Diet” Live Science. Accessed online on 27 January 2016 at http://www.livescience.com/52344-inflammation.html
- Hyman, M MD ( 2015) “Is Your Body Burning Up With Hidden Inflammation?” Huffington Post Blog. Accessed online on 28 January 2016 at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mark-hyman/is-your-body-burning-up-w_b_269717.html