In this day and age, it’s important how we can fight inflammation. Your immune system protects you from germs and other foreign substances. However, sometimes it goes too far. That’s when such inflammation becomes chronic as a response to stress, certain foods, or other lifestyle triggers.
Chronic inflammation has been linked to serious health issues, including diabetes, heart disease, certain cancers, arthritis, fatigue, PCOS, weight gain, hormone imbalances, and depression.
To reduce your risk, it’s important to make some lifestyle and dietary changes. Here are some ideas for following an anti-inflammatory lifestyle.
Eating to Reduce Inflammation
- Focus on HIGH ANTIOXIDANT fruit and veggies. Most vegetables and fruits are rich in protective compounds like antioxidants and polyphenols. Load up on spinach, kale, berries, and citrus fruit. Some vegetables like asparagus and sweet potatoes also serve as prebiotics (the stuff the feeds probiotics) that help lower inflammation.
Try to stick to lower glycemic (low sugar) fruits. As sugar is a trigger inflammation. Berries are usually an excellent choice.
- Limit or remove refined carbohydrates. Foods like white bread and pasta tend to encourage chronic inflammation and weight gain.
- Change the way you cook. Cooking methods matter too. Instead of frying with oil, try steaming, grilling, or baking. If you like things crispy…wait who am I kidding everyone loves when food is crispy! I recently bought an air fryer. It’s amazing…you can get your crispy and healthy. This is the air fryer I got Gourmia air fryer. It’s AWESOME!
- Drink coffee and Tea. Moderate amounts of unsweetened coffee also provide beneficial polyphenols and tea (Camellia sinensis) are chock full of anti-inflammatory properties. Even herbals can be packed full of antioxidants.
- Up your herbs & spices. Many herbs and spices have anti-inflammatory properties. Sprinkle cinnamon in your coffee, whip up some golden milk, or try doubling your spices or herbs in your favorite recipe.
- Choose healthy fats. Not all fats are created equal. Monounsaturated and omega-3 fats help to decrease inflammation. Good sources include olive oil, nuts, avocados and fatty fish like salmon or mackerel.
Other Lifestyle Changes to Reduce Inflammation
- Lose weight. You can experience chronic inflammation even if you’re thin. Still, maintaining a healthy weight makes you less vulnerable.
Exercise regularly. Exercise has an overall positive effect. While an intense workout may cause temporary inflammation, it enhances your health in the long run.
- Drink water. Staying hydrated is essential. I love how mindbodygreen.com puts it, “When cells are deprived of this essential nutrient, cellular function slows down, nutrients are not delivered adequately, your metabolism slows, and this can affect every organ in the body from your heart to your skin. A lack of adequate water intake can result in serious health conditions along with fatigue, foggy thinking, headaches, joint pain, hunger, cravings, weight gain and much more. Drink a minimum of half your body weight in ounces of water daily” If you need help staying hydrated check out my post 8 WAYS TO DRINK MORE WATER TO STAY HYDRATED.
- Brush and floss. Bacteria from your mouth and gums can travel to the rest of your body.
- Use natural cleansers and deodorant. Check the labels on your household cleaners and personal beauty products. You may be able to avoid potential toxins by buying organic/natural brands or using plain vinegar and baking soda.
- Quit smoking and limit/remove alcohol. Tobacco and alcohol aggravate inflammation.
- Check your medication. Some over-the-counter and prescription drugs have side effects that reduce inflammation but may have adverse side effects. Always check your medication and discuss with your doctor if have questions.
- Sleep well! Most adults need about 8 hours of sleep to keep their minds and bodies strong. Try to go to bed early close to 10 or 11 for the best benefit. Reader’s Digest has an article sharing 11 great reasons to go to bed earlier.
- Relax and refresh. Managing stress plays a major role. Find things that distress you. A few suggestions are:
Going for a walk
Taking up a hobby like painting or drawing
Go and be social with friend or family
Playing with your pet
Taking a bath
In the end, there are a lot of little things that can help you fight inflammation. It’s important to proactive towards your health and little step forward can make a big difference. I hope these suggestions help you and feel free to drop me a comment below!
And don’t forget to check out these similar post to help you in your journey health.
Melissa is a passionate minister, speaker and an ongoing learner of the Bible. She has been involved in church and vocational ministry for over 18 years. And is the founder of Think About Such Things. She has the heart to equip the saints by helping them get into the Word of God and fall more in love with Jesus. She also enjoys family, cooking, and reading.
She has spoken in churches in California, Oregon, Texas, and Mexico and has been featured in Guidepost Magazine and All Recipes Magazine. Read More…