Chronic inflammation is bad news. It is often addressed by medication. However, diet plays an important role in regulating chronic inflammation. Learn more about the health consequences of chronic inflammation, and what you can do to stay healthy.
Basic Facts about Inflammation
Acute inflammation is natural and at times, beneficial. Believe or not, short-term swelling or having a fever are visible signs that your body is repairing itself.
On the other hand, ongoing or chronic inflammation causes tissue damage. Experts believe it’s an underlying factor associated with many health issues, including Alzheimer’s, arthritis, and diabetes.
While there’s no single test to diagnose chronic inflammation, your health care team can address your individual concerns. Ask your doctor about how chronic conditions or food sensitivities may affect your risks.
Eat to Avoid or Reduce Chronic Inflammation
Think Mediterranean. Any balanced diet tends to reduce swollen tissues. Follow a program with specific anti-inflammation claims or just stick to a high-fiber Mediterranean diet.
Consume more produce. Plant products contain phytochemicals that promote tissue repair. Aim for at least 5 servings a day of vegetables and fruits.
Minimize processed foods. Refined carbohydrates, added sugars, and saturated fats have the opposite effect. Drink water instead of soda. Trade in white rice and pasta for brown rice and whole wheat versions.
Go fish. Fatty fish is loaded with heart-friendly Omega-3 fatty acids. Good choices include salmon, mackerel, and trout. Here’s a great recipe for you to download, Pistachio Crusted Salmon!
Spice it up. Give your salt shaker a rest. Experiment with a wide range of spices famous for their anti-inflammatory properties. Browse your grocer’s spice section for turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon. Garlic is also an anti-inflammatory power house!
Consider supplements. While it’s preferable to acquire most of your vitamins and minerals from food, supplements can fill in certain deficiencies. For example, fish oil can provide Omega-3’s if you’re a vegan or just don’t like the taste of sardines.
More Anti-Inflammation Practices
Watch your weight. Experts debate whether obesity causes inflammation or if it’s the other way around. Whatever the case, the two conditions are closely linked. Shedding excess pounds often relieves arthritis pain and other symptoms.
Measure your waist. The way your weight is distributed counts too, because abdominal fat triggers tissue damage. The general guidelines for waist measurements are 35 inches or less for women and 40 for men.
Move more. Physical activity promotes weight loss and inhibits inflammation. Even gentle exercise like walking is effective. Check out my blog post on the benefits of walking!
Floss regularly. Your teeth and gums affect your whole body because the bacteria in your mouth can travel through your blood. Brushing and flossing each day gives you much more than a pretty smile. Dental hygiene protects your heart and other organs.
Manage stress. Maybe there’s a connection between your smart phone that makes you available 24/7 and chronic inflammation that doesn’t know when to shut itself off. Make relaxation a priority. Use your vacation days and unwind with daily meditation or a warm bath.
Be patient. While anti-inflammatory medications often relieve symptoms immediately, lifestyle changes take longer to yield results. It may take a few days to see the first results, and several weeks or even months to achieve dramatic progress. The bonus is that there will be no adverse side effects.
Anti-inflammation eating is a lifestyle choice that can help you lead a longer and more active life, especially when you combine good nutrition with other positive habits like regular exercise and good quality sleep.
Yours in health and wellness,
Francine Alleyne (RHNP™)
Holistic Nutritionist, Registered Holistic Nutrition Practitioner™
Join my Facebook Group, Midlife Healthy Daily!
DISCLAIMER: Please consult your healthcare practitioner if you are experiencing any symptoms. I am not a doctor. This post and anything else you find on my website is intended for informational, educational and self-empowerment purposes ONLY and is not intended to treat or diagnose any condition or disease.