Chronic inflammation is incredibly detrimental to our health, so what exactly can you do to actively live a lifestyle that fights it?
1. Consume Anti-Inflammatory Foods
This is perhaps the easiest life-style change you can start implementing today — eat more anti-inflammatory foods. The following foods have been shown to reduce inflammation in the body:
- Berries (strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries – all of which are rich in antioxidants)
- Fatty fish (salmon, herring, sardines, mackeral – which are rich in omega 3 fatty acids)
- Tart Cherry Skins (rich source of polyphenols and vitamin C which have anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties)
- Broccoli (rich in sulforaphane, an antioxidant that fights inflammation)
- Green tea (rich in polyphenols, an antioxidant that reduces inflammation)
- Avocados (contains AV-119, a natural sugar that modulates the pro-inflammatory response)
- Mushrooms (contain anti-inflammatory compounds like terpenoids & polysaccharides)
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil (contains a phenolic compound called oleocanthal that has anti-inflammatory properties)
- Dark Chocolate (contains cocoa flavanols that reduce inflammation)
- Prebiotic foods (asparagus, kimchi, garlic, and leeks – all of which posses lipid-lowering, antioxidant & anti-inflammatory compounds)
2. Buy a Home Water Filter
Many of the contaminants found in water have been linked to autoimmune-inflammation. I encourage you to purchase a good-quality filtration system — particularly reverse-osmosis systems with a carbon filter have been considered the most effective.
3. Get at least 7 hours of sleep per night – but aim for 8
Sleep is critical for your body to heal and protect itself against inflammation. Studies have shown that lack of sleep leads to increased inflammatory status in the body. Aim to have all technological devices (yes, that means your phone) completely turned off ~30 minutes to an hour before you sleep. Try buying an alarm clock to avoid the temptation of looking at your phone in addition to protecting yourself against the radiation of your phone that can disturb your sleep patterns and other facets of your lifestyle.
4. Incorporate a stress-reducing practice into your daily routine
Try stress-reducing practices like meditation, or the ETF (Emotional Freedom Technique) to reduce stress and help center yourself.
5. Start supplementing with cod liver oil or fish oil
6. Include anti-inflammatory spices into your meals
Since reading about the powerful anti-inflammatory effects of turmeric, I put this spice on everything — my chicken, my fish, and even in my smoothies! I’ve also become a huge fan of ginger, which has possesses anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative effects, and I enjoy buying ginger root to make ginger tea or put some of the root in my smoothies as well.
One of the greatest ways to reduce inflammation that I have grown to love is through juicing. You can look up anti-inflammatory juicing or smoothing recipes, and see just how many anti-inflammatory recipes there are out there. One of my favorites includes:
- 4 celery stalks
- ½ cucumber
- 1 cup pineapples
- 1/2 green aple
- 2 cups of spinach
- 1 lemon
- 1 knob ginger
These are just a few simple changes you can start implementing now, and I encourage you to carefully observe your body, your symptoms, and your overall sense of well-being as your lifestyle improves and inflammation starts to decrease.