8 Daily Habits That Could Help Naturally Reduce Inflammation
Everyone has experienced inflammation. Think of that sprained, swollen ankle, that cut finger, or that miserable head cold. Inflammation makes its presence known in a rather loud, unmistakable way; it hurts, it can be swollen, and warm to the touch. This is acute inflammation and is a beneficial and necessary part of our immune system.
However, when inflammation doesn’t heal but instead, continues to spew out low levels of inflammatory compounds, it becomes chronic or silent inflammation. This continual process is the core cause of many illness, disease, faster-aging and weight gain. While it's important to speak to your doctor before making any major dietary or lifestyle changes, in my experience, I've found that there are a few powerful practices that help combat inflammation, naturally.
1. Drink plenty of water.
When cells are deprived of this essential nutrient, cellular function can slow down, nutrients are not delivered adequately, your metabolism slows, and this can affect every organ in the body from your heart to your skin, according to research published in Biomal Concepts. 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. Luckily, drinking water reduces inflammation—aim to drink half your body weight in ounces of water daily.
2. Cut back on sugar.
I consider sugar the number one inflammatory food. Sugar and its cousin, high fructose corn syrup, are two of the many sweet culprits that can have an impact on inflammation, according to The European Heart Journal. Consider cutting back on sugar wherever possible—for example, maybe skip the extra sugar packet in your daily coffee. Some experts also believe artificial sugar, like those found in diet soda, could cause an inflammatory response.
3. Eat plenty of fiber.
4. Go for more probiotics.
Cultured foods such as yogurt or sauerkraut may help create anti-inflammatory effects, according to a research review published in Nutrients. Probiotic-rich foods also boost your immunity and help you maintain a healthy weight.
5. Fill your plate with leafy greens.
Dark green leafy vegetables (such as spinach, kale, broccoli, chard, and collards) are packed with anti-inflammatory nutrients that have shown to reduce inflammation in the body.
6. Don't forget your omega-3s.
7. Choose healthy cooking oils.
Swap out inflammatory cooking oils such as vegetable oil, canola oil, soy oil or corn oil. They have a very high omega-6 content and very low omega-3 content, which may encourage inflammation. Instead, use anti-inflammatory oils such as olive oil, macadamia nut oil, coconut oil, or red palm fruit oil.
8. Incorporate exercise.
Exercise promotes healthy cellular function and may reduce markers for inflammation. The best types of workouts include going for brisk walk, hiking, or practicing yoga.
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