Scientists have identified the key culprit in health conditions from obesity and diabetes to heart disease and depression. It’s chronic inflammation. If you are committed to staying healthy, slender and vibrant, calming chronic inflammation is a must.
There are actually two kinds of inflammation. Acute inflammation is temporary, caused when your body’s immune system mobilizes to protect you from infection and injury. Chronic inflammation ensues when your immune system gets stuck in “on,” attacking your cells. Left unchecked, this inflammation adds pounds (especially around your waistline) and can even damage organs.
Preventing or healing chronic inflammation begins with diet. Eat anti-inflammatory foods like bone broth and fermented food, and avoid sugar, artificial ingredients and gluten. Grain in general is pro-inflammatory.
Here are seven other steps you can take to reduce or eliminate chronic inflammation.
1. Avoid antibiotics, antacids, and NSAIDS as much as possible.
These medications change your gut in ways that damage your microbiome – the trillions of microbes that digest your food and regulate your immune system, along with other functions. This damage causes inflammation, weakens your intestinal wall and can lead to “leaky gut,” that releases toxins that trigger an immune response.
2. Respect the mind-body connection.
Research have shown that meditation and other mind-body approaches such as yoga and tai chi, can improve health. Scientists reviewed 34 separate studies and concluded: “Mind-body therapies reduce markers of inflammation.”
3. Exercise regularly.
Some years ago, 4,000 middle-aged people were studied over a period of more than 10 years. The researchers concluded that regardless of their weight or body mass index, subjects who engaged in moderate exercise at least of two and one half hours weekly lowered their inflammation markers at least 12 percent.
4. Reduce your exposure to toxins.
Switch to safe, natural cleansers and personal care products. Avoid herbicides and pesticides, or switch to organic brands.
5. Sleep longer.
Sleep deprivation triggers pro-inflammatory changes. Sleep at least seven hours nightly. To ensure deep sleep, turn off electronic devices an hour before bedtime, and use blackout curtains.
6. Get some sunshine.
Vitamin D from sunlight is a vital immune system modulator. A vitamin D deficiency has been linked to inflammation. Try to spend 10 to 15 minutes in the sun every day.
7. Enjoy a massage.
Research has shown a 45-minute massage lowers your levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines.