5 ways to decrease unwanted inflammation
We can associate pain as our body's way of letting us know it's inflamed and once we feel it, the next step is to ask ourselves why it's happening.
But before we get into how to decrease inflammation, let's talk about what inflammation is.
What is inflammation
Inflammation is your body's response to injury/wounds and a way of naturally healing itself. Although necessary, it should only be for a short amount of time. This is called: acute inflammation - the, initial, healthy response from the body to begin the healing process.
The real issue is when inflammation comes and sticks around. This is called: chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation can cause severe damage to healthy tissue, cells by mistaking them for pathogens.
What's really terrifying is that top health experts are describing chronic inflammation as our top "silent killer".
Causes of inflammation
- Injury and overwork
- Sleep deprivation
- Lack of movement
- Inflammatory diet
- Blood sugar imbalance
- Caffeine withdrawal/fluctuations
- Nutrient deficiency
- Bad posture/wrong pillow or mattress
- Autoimmune response
- Overloaded detox system
Signs of inflammation
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Constant fatigue
- Acne (other skin conditions)
- Food cravings
- Binge eating
- Joint pain/stiffness
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Unexplained weight gain
- Inability to lose weight
How to avoid or maintain chronic inflammation
1 | Eat an anti-inflammatory diet
Try your best to eliminate as much processed food, gluten, sugar and dairy as possible and replace those with a diet full of healthy fats/oils, fruits/vegetables, fiber and lean protein, like salmon and herbs/spices - cinnamon, turmeric, rosemary, ginger, sage and thyme.
Here I've linked an amazing infographic that breaks down "Good vs. Bad" oils.
2 | Avoid foods that irritate you
You don't have to order a food allergy test right away. The more effective and cost-efficient way is to simply do an elimination diet and really be mindful of how you feel. Constantly eating foods that don't agree with your body can aggravate inflammation and lead to an autoimmune disease.
3 | Move regularly
I know you've heard this over and over again but our bodies are made to move. We're sitting more than ever nowadays and it's causing so many health-related diseases - which stem from ... yup, inflammation. So, get up and move! Even if it's gentle exercise, the key here is movement so there's no need to overdue it in order to gain the benefits.
4 | Sleep
You need your sleep. While you're sleeping, your body and organs are at their peak in recovery and detoxing. If you're not allowing your body to do so, the result is overstimulation and stress which leads to inflammation.
5 | Reduce stress
We all know what stress correlates to. So if you're prone to high stress, try incorporating practices like: meditation, breathing exercises or avoiding stimulants like caffeine and alcohol.
Before you reach for OTC NSAIDs or other forms of pain relief, be still and try to figure whether or not you're suffering from a form of arthritis or a headache caused by lack of sleep or water. Knowing why you're feeling pain will allow for you to be clearer on what your body needs.
Because many herbs are highly specific to types of pain, I encourage you to talk to me or your healthcare practitioner for further information.
Having pain is not a bad thing - it's a healthy reminder and the way our bodies communicate. So listen and be mindful.