Researchers believe that inflammation damages your body slowly over time. Chronic inflammation is considered one of the leading risk factors for many serious health conditions, including heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, autoimmune disease, and cancer. The problem is you don’t often know it’s there until it has formed a path to disease in your body. You usually can’t see or feel inflammation until you have a full-blown health condition that has resulted from chronic inflammation. The key may lie in taking proactive steps to reduce inflammation in your body.
What is inflammation?
Inflammation is part of your body’s natural healing system. It occurs when your body senses that a harmful process is happening in your body.
This could be an injury, bacteria, virus, or even a chemical that shouldn’t be in your body. If your body believes any of these is occurring, it activates your immune system. Your immune system responds by increasing cytokines and inflammatory markers.
These actions prompt an inflammatory response to rid the body of the invader and heal tissue. In some cases, inflammation can cause swelling that you can see, pain that you can feel, or redness and bruising, particularly when there is an infection.
Inflammation can be a good thing during an acute infection or illness. It’s a natural response in those situations and actually helps combat them.
But sometimes, inflammation occurs for an inappropriate reason, and you don’t realize when it’s happening. This type of inflammation occurs over time and usually isn’t due to an acute injury or infection.
The causes can include chronic stress, smoking, drinking alcohol excessively, obesity, or not exercising enough or exercising too much.
When inflammation occurs for no reason, the immune response doesn’t have anything to heal. So, it does the opposite. It starts destroying parts of your body.
Can I reduce Inflammation in my body?
Fortunately, you can likely reduce inflammation and even reverse inflammation that is already occurring in your body.
If you already have a diagnosed health condition, you should talk to your doctor before making lifestyle adjustments to reduce inflammation.
In the meantime, here are a few tips for reducing inflammation.
1. Start an anti-inflammatory diet.
The science is increasing that an anti-inflammatory diet devoid of red meat, trans fats, fried foods, sugar, and processed foods helps protect against inflammation and can even reverse inflammation in your body. In this case, food really is medicine. Instead, opt for more fresh veggies and fruits, including blueberries, grapes, and celery. Also include lots of foods that contain Omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, tuna, walnuts, tofu, and flax seeds. Garlic, green tea, olive oil, and turmeric are other good items to include in your anti-inflammatory diet.
2. Get better control of your blood sugar.
A high-glycemic diet has been shown to increase inflammation in the body. High glycemic foods include white rice, white bread, pasta, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and flour. Instead, eat lean protein and high-fiber foods, including whole grains, brown rice, vegetables, and fruits.
3. Exercise regularly.
Research shows that at least 20 minutes of aerobic exercise four to five times a week keeps inflammation at bay. Plus, aerobic exercise is good for your heart, lowers your blood pressure, and can help you better manage your weight. Some examples of aerobic exercise are walking, swimming, rowing, training on an elliptical, running, and jumping rope. For safe measures, check with your doctor before beginning an exercise program.
4. Reduce your stress levels.
One of the major causes of inflammation in the body is chronic stress, so adjusting how you respond to stress makes sense. If you can manage and avoid certain types of stress, that’s great. But the truth is that we face many stressful situations in our lifetime. The trick is to manage stress, either through yoga, meditation, or some other way.
5. Consider trying CBD.
The National Institute of Health says studies show that CBD has anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties. Taking CBD for inflammation has the potential to activate receptors that can prevent and even reverse the effects of inflammation in some people. This includes playing a role in helping to manage many of the diseases and health conditions associated with long-term inflammation.