An Anti-Inflammatory Diet & Action plan will help you decrease chronic inflammation, and prevent the development of chronic long-term disease. Lifestyle and nutrition are the key factors in preventing the inflammatory process and decreasing chronic inflammation. The little things we do add up, and most causes of chronic low-level inflammation are due to unhealthy lifestyle factors including poor diet, stress, minor food allergies, lack of exercise, and poor sleep. In Part 2 of this series, we will discuss how to create and implement an anti-inflammatory lifestyle.
Smoking & Inflammation
Smoking causes inflammation as well as directly contributing to heart and lung disease. If you wish to decrease or prevent inflammation, quitting smoking is a key decision. In addition to systemic chronic inflammation, smoking can contribute to gingivitis, chronic inflammation of the gums.
Inflammation & Obesity
Maintaining a healthy weight is important in the management of chronic inflammation. Fat cells, especially belly fat, produce compounds that contribute to inflammation. Obesity also contributes to inflammation by triggering the immune system to turn up its inflammatory response to attack fat cells it views as “foreign invaders”. This inflammatory response turns on and stays on. Even modest weight loss can help to reduce inflammation.
Exercise – How can it help?
Regular exercise is proven to reduce inflammation, as well as improve sleep, reduce stress, and support weight loss all of which will help fight chronic inflammation. Aim for 150 minutes (30 minutes, 5 days/week) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity such as brisk walking or 75 minutes/week of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity. In addition, aim for moderate or high-intensity muscle-strengthening activities (such as weight lifting or resistance training) on 2 or more days per week.
Get Enough Quality Sleep
Sleep is important in giving the body tissues time to heal, grow, and repair as well as regulate hormones. The CDC estimates that as much as 35% of U.S. adults do not get the recommended 7 hours of sleep per night. Lack of sleep, or frequently disrupted, or poor quality sleep contributes to greater inflammation as well as Type 2 Diabetes & weight gain. Aim for 7-9 hours of restful sleep per night.
Wellness and Stress Management
There are many forms of stress – physical (threat of danger, mental (work, school, financial stress), and emotional (isolation, relationship stress, or loss) – and it is a natural part of life. It is important to find ways to manage and cope with these stressors. Getting quality sleep, exercising, and eating a healthy diet will all help support the body’s ability to manage life’s stresses. There are many other strategies one can use to help manage and reduce stress such as Yoga, meditation, breathing exercises, Tai Chi, journaling, biofeedback, or progressive muscle relaxation.
Supplements For Inflammation
In our last article, we discussed adding certain spices to your diet to fight inflammation. If adding things like ginger and fish oils to your diet just isn’t realistic, you can take dietary supplements instead. Pre & Probiotics are important supplements for balancing gut health and improving digestion, which helps to reduce inflammation. Consider adding supplements that include Ginger, Turmeric, Devils Claw, Green Tea, & Omega-3 Fatty Acids, all of which help to reduce inflammation, without having to make the extra effort to include them in your diet.
Not sure where to find good Pro and Prebiotics? Email us at CORE and we can direct you to a great source for supplements!
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Essential Oils for Chronic Inflammation
Essential oils are another great way to supplement your diet and fight inflammation. This is another way to utilize the anti-inflammatory properties found in ginger, turmeric, thyme, rosemary, or black pepper. Lavender & Bergamot oils help to promote stress reduction in addition to their anti-inflammatory properties. Other oils that have strong anti-inflammatory properties include Frankincense, Lemongrass, Helichrysum, Chamomile, and Sandalwood. Consider applying a few drops of essential oils mixed with a carrier oil (like coconut oil) on the soles of your feet or diffusing them in your home.
Not sure where to find Essential Oils? Email us at CORE and we can direct you to a great source for pure essential oils!
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If you’re looking for stress relief products or ways to combat pain from inflammation consider the MELT Method. This method specifically fights to restore the supportive components of the body’s connective tissue and relieve the stress on the body caused by everyday repetitive movements. Essentially, it helps the body repair itself. MELT workshops are offered at CORE, in these workshops you will be introduced to ways to use the MELT Method as a self-treatment. Email us at: [email protected] for more information on upcoming workshops and to purchase your own products, click here: CORE Personal Training & Pilates (mindbodyonline.com)
An Anti-Inflammatory Diet & Action plan addresses the lifestyle factors that contribute to chronic inflammation. By making conscious changes to your diet and ways of life you can take action to stop inflammation now. For nutrition tips to fight inflammation check out Part 1 of this series here: Tips For An Anti-Inflammatory Diet & Action Plan Part 1 | CORE PT & Pilates (coreptpilates.com)