Chronic inflammation doesn’t need to be your enemy, as long as you know how to properly deal with it! In fact, not all inflammation is bad. Acute inflammation occurs when damage occurs somewhere on the body (a cut, a scrape, being hit hard, falling down, etc.) and the immune system responds by sending healing agents to that area to quickly repair whatever damage has been done (this type of inflammation feels warm, hot, and often becomes swollen..it is also gone within a couple days time).
Chronic inflammation, however, is more widespread and systemic, with the immune system being in a constant state of over-activity. In fact, chronic inflammation is an underlying factor in many diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and cancer.
By making slight shifts in your lifestyle, you can help make a huge difference in the amount of inflammation you experience. Here are 5 tips for chronic inflammation that you can utilize in day-to-day life:
Eat healthy fats
Healthy fats that contain Omega-3’s, 6’s and 9’s (think avocado, coconut, hemp, pumpkin, sunflower & chia seeds, as well as a variety of tree nuts) dramatically help lower inflammation levels. They provide strong anti-inflammatory effects and support the immune system. Stay away from trans-fatty acids! Individuals who consume trans-fatty acids have been shown to significantly increase their chances of developing cardiovascular inflammation and high cholesterol.
Ditch the alcohol and cigarettes
Alcohol and cigarettes are two major contributors of chronic inflammation in the body. These two substances not only make you feel horrible by polluting your body with toxins, but they encourage inflammation.
Eat your greens
One of the main contributing factors to chronic inflammation is oxidative stress. Oxidative stress occurs when the body over-reacts to an injury or disease, and starts to attack itself. Thankfully, leafy greens and other green vegetables help counteract this stress by providing the body with beneficial antioxidants and proper nutrition.
Your response to stress is incredibly important in how well your body deals with inflammation. Breathe deep, assess the situation, and realize that this is only a perception that you have the power of changing. Simply changing your perception of stress could save your life!
Start doing yoga
Or other gentle daily movement practices like Qi Gong, Thai Chi, walking or swimming! In fact, yoga helps to reduce leptin levels (a hormone that stimulate inflammation) and increase adiponectin levels (an inflammation-soothing hormone). It has been found that the longer an individual practices yoga, the greater their ratio of anti-inflammatory to inflammatory hormones!
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