menu close menu

How to Reduce Chronic Inflammation with Diet and Exercise

Source: unsplash.com (free to use and share)

 
Inflammation is basically a natural response of your immune system to danger. Your body activates it to protect itself from injuries, toxins, and infections by releasing chemicals (proteins and antibodies) and increasing blood flow in the affected area. The process takes a few hours or days. This acute inflammation is, therefore, good for you.

 
However, in cases of chronic inflammation, this response keeps your body in a perpetual state of alertness, leaving a negative trace on your tissues and organs. Some symptoms that could indicate this condition are abdominal and chest pain, fever, fatigue, rashes, and mouth sores. Also, some studies have found a link between chronic inflammation and various health conditions, such as asthma and cancer. There can be many things that are causing chronic inflammation, including chronic stress, consumption of alcohol and cigarettes, and obesity.

 
The treatment of chronic inflammation usually includes anti-inflammatory drugs, but more and more experts are willing to admit that there is much more to this than reaching for the medicine cabinet.

 

Here are some tips on reducing chronic inflammation with diet and exercise.
 

Cut down on inflammatory foods

There are foods that are considered to be triggering inflammation more than others.
 

  • Sugar and high fructose corn syrup are two ingredients most frequently added to foods that are typical for the Western diet. Both have been linked with provoking inflammation and related health conditions. Foods high in sugar and HFCS are soft drinks, chocolate, candy, cookies, some cereals, etc.
  • Artificial trans fats, such as the ones contained in margarine, are produced by adding hydrogen to unsaturated fats. Unlike natural fats, these cause inflammation and increase disease risk, while lowering the good cholesterol.
  • Vegetable and seed oils are usually the most affordable and, therefore, the most frequently used. However, due to the high omega-6 fatty acid content, they promote inflammation.
  • Refined carbohydrates can drive inflammation by encouraging the growth of inflammatory gut bacteria. They are found in bread, pasta, candy, pastries, cookies…
  • Alcohol in excessive amounts increases CRP (inflammatory marker) levels. However, moderate consumption shouldn’t lead to that outcome.
  • Consumption of processed meats is associated with the risk of increased inflammation and also with an increased risk of diabetes and heart disease.

Increase the intake of anti-inflammatory foods

There is the other side of the coin – anti-inflammatory foods. Here are some that can help:
 

  • All varieties of berries contain powerful antioxidants called anthocyanins, which reduce the risk of inflammation.
  • Fatty fish, such as salmon and sardines, are the best sources of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Broccoli fights inflammation with an antioxidant called sulforaphane.
  • Avocados earn their ‘superfood’ title by protecting your body from various dangers.
  • Peppers are packed with both vitamin C and antioxidants.
  • Grapes contain anthocyanins and resveratrol, offering many health benefits, neutralizing inflammation being one of them.
  • Extra virgin olive oil does quite the opposite vegetable and seed oils do.
  • Other foods that have anti-inflammatory properties are tomatoes, cherries, green tea, and turmeric.

When food is not enough, you need to fill in the void

Chronic inflammation makes your system particularly sensitive, so a balanced diet is more than important in these cases. Depending on your specific symptoms, you will need to introduce more of a certain nutrient than you would in your regular diet. That’s why supplements are often used in the treatment of inflammatory conditions. However, because supplements are often not regulated and some manufacturers are not disclosing all of their ingredients, some of them can further disturb your body.

 
So how can you get the best of both worlds? Well, many people are making their own supplements using a manual capsule filling machine and choosing ingredients from scratch. This way, you’re not only getting all of the nutrients you need, but also avoiding the unpleasant taste of some foods you don’t like but have to consume because of your health condition.
 

Reduce inflammation by being physically active


Exercise is an often overlooked but effective way to stand up to inflammation, not only to reduce it but also to prevent it. In fact, there is a study proving that physical activity can reduce inflammation by up to 12 percent. Intense exercise could, on the other hand, worsen your condition. Here are some physical activities that could help you alleviate the symptoms of inflammation:

 

  • Walking is a fantastic way to reset your body from inflammation. A light walk sends oxygen throughout your body and contributes to waste removal as well as restoring the digestive system.
  • Similarly to walking, hiking gets your blood pumping, with the added benefit of fresh air.
  • Deep breathing, meditation, and yoga all minimize stress, which is one of the basic causes of inflammation.
  • Strength training focused on all muscle groups leaves your body stronger for the fight against inflammation.

Final word

Chronic conditions such as inflammation require a lifestyle change along with following the recommendations of your physician. Getting rid of bad habits, such as smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, is the beginning. Changing your diet and fitness routine will seal the deal.

Caitlin Evans
March 2, 2020 | Health, Nutrition Articles | 0

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

*

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.