5 Ways to Reduce Inflammation

Inflammation is the body's natural response to repair itself from injuries. However, we can increase our inflammation by not eating right, not exercising, and harboring too much stress. Unwanted inflammation can be undetectable. Over time it will slowly eat away at the body's most important functions. In order to maintain a healthy body long-term, it is best to take the proper precautions to reduce inflammation.

Not only does unneeded inflammation hurt your "arteries, organs and joints," but if "left unchecked, it can contribute to chronic diseases, such as heart disease, blood vessel disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and other conditions," according to Scripps.

5 Ways to Reduce Inflammation:

1. Exercise

Exercise has many benefits for the body, one being its anti-inflammatory nature. An article written by UC San Diego Health states, "a workout session doesn’t actually have to be intense to have anti-inflammatory effects. Twenty minutes to half-an-hour of moderate exercise, including fast walking, appears to be sufficient,” said Hong".  A gym membership is not even necessary to run around a of couple blocks in your neighborhood.

2. Reduce stress

Stress is a common inflammatory of the body and brain. As explained by Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, "Stress activates the HPA axis through the hypothalamic secretion of corticotropin-releasing hormone...which normally suppresses immune responses".

Exercise is a popular method to combatting stress, which may include fun activities such as dancing, kickboxing, or biking. Discovering new hobbies, including crocheting, gardening, or completing puzzles can also be a great stress reliever. Furthermore, regular meditation or yoga may also have the same effects. These activities, in turn, will reduce inflammation.

3. Get a good night's rest

Recharging your body with the recommended 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night is vital to human health. During sleep, the body replenishes and repairs its cells, but when that function is deprived, the immune system grows weak. Moreover, "sleep loss is known to activate undesirable markers of inflammation and cell damage," as stated by Healthline. To keep inflammation at bay, one must absolutely get enough sleep.

4. Support gut health

The gut, also known as the digestive tract, can become inflamed by numerous factors. Lack of sleep, for one, increases inflammation because "the majority of the body’s serotonin, a hormone that affects mood and sleep, is produced in the gut" (Healthline). Furthermore, avoiding food intolerances, staying hydrated, and staying away from high amounts of sugar will support a healthy gut and reduce inflammation.

5. Avoid foods that create inflammation

What goes into the body has everything to do with how well it will perform in the long run. Foods that contribute to inflammation include refined carbs such as white bread and white rice, trans fats like processed foods, and excessive alcohol and sugar. Saturated fats, which are mostly found in animal products, cause inflammation. Due to the scientific studies done by the American Heart Association, they recommend "limiting saturated fats - which are found in butter, cheese, red meat and other animal-based foods".

Foods that work as anti-inflammatories include those that are high in antioxidants, which work to fight off harmful cells. Some foods that are abundant in antioxidants are blueberries, dark chocolate, pecans, and kale. Omega 3 fatty acids also work as anti-inflammatories, which are found in walnuts, flax seeds, and soybeans. Some spices are helpful too: turmeric, ginger, rosemary, cinnamon are great examples.

The rule of thumb is: eat your leafy greens, fruits, nuts, and legumes. Exercise regularly, even if it is only for 20 minutes at a time. Get the recommended 7 to 8 hours of sleep every day, which goes hand in hand with gut health. Lastly, try your best to keep the stress levels down. These five concepts combined will equip anyone to reduce inflammation and keep it away.

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