Ways to Reduce Chronic Inflammation

How much do you know about inflammation? You’ve probably heard about it in relation to muscle and joint injuries, and you may know that it is a natural response of the body’s immune system. What you may not realize, however, is that nearly every critical disease associated with aging is linked to inflammation. If you can decrease your body’s inflammation levels, you can decrease your chance of disease. Here, we offer some tips to fight inflammation and promote healthy aging. 

The body uses inflammation to deliver nutrients and chemicals to an area of the body that has been damaged. Once the damage is healed, the inflammation goes away. If you have an injured muscle or joint, you can ice it and rest, and that will help reduce the inflammation. It’s not just an injury that causes inflammation, though. Some types of exercise will create undue inflammation, but that is just short-term inflammation. More damaging to your body is chronic inflammation, caused by things like weight gain, stress, poor nutrition, chronic disease, an autoimmune disorder, or exposure to chemicals or allergens. When you eat processed foods or foods that are deep-fried, you create inflammation, and if you have belly fat, that increases your inflammation by causing visceral fat to build up around your internal organs. Living a stressful life or having a negative attitude are also causes of inflammation. 

So, what can be done to fight inflammation? Start by making sure your diet is loaded with nutritious foods. Whole grains that provide healthy fiber, fruits, and vegetables that are loaded with vitamins and antioxidants, and yogurt with bacteria that help keep your gut bacteria healthy are all important. Healthy fats that help reduce inflammation can be found in foods like olive oil, avocados, nuts, and fish. 

Improving your mood and attitude can also decrease your body’s inflammatory response. Find a faith community, where you’ll be stimulated to pray and meditate. Look for ways to decrease your stress. Practice mindfulness, and consider exercises like yoga to help reduce inflammation. Rather than doing high-impact exercises, that can encourage inflammation, stick with exercises that put less stress on your body, like swimming. Don’t smoke, because smoking not only increases inflammation but also decreases your immunity and makes it easier for you to contract illnesses that cause further inflammation.

Do your best to protect yourself against external factors that promote inflammation. These include infections and exposure to pollution or chemicals. The easiest thing to control, though, is your lifestyle. When you make good lifestyle choices, like moving your body and eating a healthy diet, you will protect your health and reduce your body’s inflammation. 

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