The Ultimate Guide on How to Reduce Inflammation
Inflammation – we all experience it at one time or another whether we can actually feel something physically be swollen or if it causes other effects like giving us headaches or causing us pain.
Inflammation could be caused by all sorts of things ranging from bacteria, viruses, infections, or even just an allergen or food that our body doesn’t agree with.
In more serious instances, inflammation can cause and be caused by more chronic ailments such as autoimmune disease and musculoskeletal injury.
There are several things that you can do to reduce inflammation. Whether you choose to use a variety of supplements based on your specific needs or you simply make some proactive changes to your day to day, we’re here to offer you all of the tips that you might need!
A Brief Overview of Inflammation
Inflammation is a signal from our body that it is fighting against an invader or some kind of stressor. We see it when our bodies are fighting off various viruses and even with the occasional stubbed toe or a splinter in our finger. In these cases, the inflammation is often obvious and we know exactly what caused it.
However, there are diseases and chronic health ailments that often have inflammation side-by-side other symptoms. The inflammation is triggered by our bodies because something is wrong but there is no typical way to immediately address the ailment like there is with a splinter or infection.
There is both acute inflammation and chronic inflammation. Acute information is typically short-term and may last only a few hours or possibly a few days. Chronic inflammation could be around for months or possibly even years.
Here are some of the most common ailments linked to inflammation:
- Heart disease
- Arthritic conditions
- Muscular pain
This is by no means an all-inclusive list. It also does not mean that these things are caused by inflammation -- rather, that inflammation is a common symptom of these ailments.
Now, let’s talk about fighting inflammation.
6 Tips for Reducing Inflammation
1. Add Anti-Inflammatory Foods to Your Diet
One of the best ways to proactively fight against inflammation is to make solid food choices. Adding and removing things from your diet can make a substantial difference.
Changing your diet to simply include more fruits and vegetables could make a significant difference in fighting inflammation.
One of the best things to increase are your omega-3 fatty acids. You can either go with fish oil supplements to easily add omegas into your diet, or you can get the benefits from eating certain foods more regularly.
Here are a few recommendations:
- Flax seeds
- Salmon and other fatty fish
- Fruits and vegetables
- Olive oil
- Dark berries (like blueberries)
2. Add Exercise to Your Routine
Sometimes scheduling in exercise or simply motivating yourself to do it can be hard, but routine and regular exercise can help to reduce and even prevent inflammation.
You don’t even have to exercise a lot, even a little a day can help. Exercising four or five times per week can make a huge difference. These exercise intervals can be short and sweet and you can use a routine as simple as taking a brisk walk. Do what you are able and consider increasing or improving your exercise if and when you’re ready for a challenge. Start small and work your way to additional exercise options.
Just move your body, whatever it takes and see how much better your body feels.
There are times that exercise can also cause inflammation, but this is typically when there’s already an underlying injury at play, in which you’ll want to get with your doctor to get the source of the inflammation addressed.
3. Reduce and Manage Stress
Stress is another factor in our lives that often leads to inflammation. Headaches, back pain,
neck pain, and similar issues are often indicative of stress in our lives. So how do we fight it?
Look for ways to reduce stress as much as possible.
We know that managing and reducing stress can be easier said than done. There’s certainly no point denying that. But, there are small things you can do to help support your stress levels, such as taking supplements that support overall health and at the very least, make you feel just a little better on your day to day.
In addition, you can find relaxing things that soothe you without taking up excessive time. Here are a few ideas for you:
- Try stretching to start your morning or end your day
- Use meditation to calm your mind and relax your body
- Follow a deep breathing regimen
- Draw, color, read, or find some activity you can spend a few minutes on that requires little brain power (preferably not on your phone)
- Find ways to slow down where you can
It is not a fail-proof approach, but these small changes could make major changes to your inflammation that is caused from stress.
4. Weight Loss
There are certain inflammatory conditions and ailments that come specifically from being overweight. You may find yourself struggling with inflammatory diseases or simply chronic inflammation, especially since being significantly overweight may hint at another issue like thyroid disease.
Changing your diet and various habits can help with weight loss, and weight loss can help reduce inflammation.
When our bodies hold excess weight, it causes extra pressure on our joints, muscles, and bones.
You might be surprised at just how much weight loss could soothe inflammation and help improve how you feel as a whole.
5. Maintain Healthy Blood Sugar Levels
Your blood sugar is a control mechanism for a lot of reactions from your body.
Controlling your blood sugar levels can significantly reduce inflammation. This is your body’s response to fight those levels. We will talk more specifically about avoiding specific foods but most of the foods that can cause your blood sugar levels to have inflammatory responses are things like processed carbohydrates or refined sugars.
Don’t be afraid to check the ingredient labels and avoid those overly processed ingredients that wreak havoc on your blood sugar levels like white bread or white rice.
6. Avoid Inflammatory Foods
We shared earlier that you can consume certain foods to specifically help reduce inflammation. On the same note, there are a number of foods and types of foods that you may want to avoid. These foods are more likely to cause inflammation or make your body react negatively.
The most common sources of inflammation from foods are simple carbohydrates, processed foods, and refined sugars. Try eating specifically for your health. While it is okay to indulge on occasion, you want to limit the intake of certain foods that have little nutritional value and harm your body in the end.
Here are some foods to watch out for if you struggle with inflammation:
- High-fructose corn syrup
- White bread
- White rice
- Sugary drinks like juices or sodas
- Sugar-heavy desserts like cakes, ice cream, and candy
- Processed meats like sausage, bologna, and hot dogs
- Processed snacks like pretzels, chips, and crackers
- Foods high in trans fats
- Hard alcohol
- Vegetable oil, corn oil, or other heavily processed oils
- Deep-fried foods
- Corn and other foods with high levels of gluten
We are not saying you have to eliminate these completely but you should consider how much you are consuming and do your best to reduce where possible. You will find that your body feels much better overall when you eat more natural foods or foods high in protein fiber.
Thankfully, there are proactive ways to combat inflammation without having to simply suffer through it. Try out some of these tips and see if you can improve your body’s inflammation responses and find yourself healthier overall in the process.