6 TIPS FOR REDUCING INFLAMMATION
Changing your diet and losing weight are two of the best ways to lower inflammation.
Here are some tips:
1. EAT ANTIOXIDANTS
Eating antioxidant rich foods can cut down on inflammation by reducing “free-radical damage.” Free radicals are generated by the body when it’s in a state of stress. If the immune system becomes overwhelmed by free radicals, cells are harmed and inflammation gets worse. Antioxidants are great for fighting that process. To get them, try drinking green tea and eating a rainbow of fruits and veggies; here are some examples of what to reach for: broccoli, kale, collards, rutabaga, turnips, berries.
2. CONSUME ESSENTIAL FATS
Getting a good ratio of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in your diet is important for reducing inflammation. Most of us consume too much omega-6 and not enough omega-3, so the key to balancing things is to increase omega-3 intake. Omega-6-heavy foods like seeds and nuts and their oils, and refined vegetable oils, tend to stir up inflammation, while foods high in omega-3 fatty acids like salmon, flax and chia seeds, avocado and walnuts dampen it.
3. ADD SPICES
Turmeric, garlic, cinnamon, cayenne pepper and ginger have all been shown in studies to have anti-inflammatory properties. You can’t overdo these, so sprinkle them liberally onto your food.
Moving around releases a burst of anti-inflammatory proteins from the cells to the rest of the body. However, moderate exercise is key. An example of moderate exercise is 45–60 minutes of cardio, such as walking or jogging, about three times a week.
Cortisol, the so-called “stress” hormone, wears many other hats, including regulating the immune response. Reducing stress helps to keep hormones like cortisol under control and that, in turn, helps lower inflammation.
Lack of sleep makes the body ripe for infection, while more sleep has the opposite effect. A review of several studies published in 2008 found that sleeping less than eight hours a night was linked to weight gain. There is a complex yet harmonious dance occurring in your body during restful sleep; this strengthens your immune system in a good way.