How to Fight Inflammation & Improve Your Health
Inflammation is at the root of all chronic disease, so it has to be bad, right?
Well, inflammation alone isn’t bad. It’s actually the body’s response to injury and infection. And it’s the body’s attempt to repair itself. But, your body will eventually lean towards a pro-inflammatory state when you’re in the habit of living a pro-inflammatory lifestyle. You may not feel it or even know its happening, but as inflammation becomes chronic, so does your risk for chronic disease.
In this post, we’re going to cover a few things you can do every day to fight inflammation and improve your health.
Some research as shown that alcohol not only causes inflammation in the intestines, but it actually impairs your body’s ability to regulate that inflammation. That means that the more you drink alcohol, the more inflammation may be running unchecked. This can lead to or worsen alcohol-related organ damage. And this can have very serious implications for your health, especially in the long term.
Detoxing from alcohol isn’t always easy, especially if you’ve been drinking heavily for years. And if you think you may be physically dependent, you should know that the physical detox from alcohol can be intense and even life-threatening. If you have any doubts, seek professional help for your initial alcohol detox. It’s always better to be safe.
Eat your greens
Mama always told you to eat your vegetables, and that woman knew what she was talking about. Leafy greens like kale, chard, spinach, turnip greens, endive, and collard greens are chock full of vitamins and other nutrients that have been found to reduce chronic inflammation.
Plus, when you eat more vegetables, like leafy greens, you’ll be displacing unhealthy choices in your diet. Since veggies are also loaded with fiber, they’ll help keep you satiated, so you’ll feel full longer and won’t be as susceptible to bad inflammation-causing dietary choices.
We all know that exercise is good for us, but that’s not always enough to motivate ourselves off the couch. But if you know that exercise can also reduce signs of inflammation, maybe that’ll be a better motivator. Studies have shown that regular exercise reduces fat mass and adipose tissue inflammation that can contribute to systemic inflammation. Exercise also increases the muscle’s ability to produce IL-6, which is known to increase anti-inflammatory cytokines.
Regardless of which exercise you choose to do, make a commitment to exercise regularly. A daily plan is good, but you at least want to shoot for three times a week.
Get plenty of rest
The connection between sleep and inflammation is a newer one, but it’s no less important than the others. When you sleep well, your body can work to keep inflammation at bay by avoiding the pro-inflammatory activity that happens when you experience poor dysregulated sleep. The connection between sleep and stress has been studied a great deal, and we know that not only is stress connected with inflammation, but insomnia is closely correlated with stress.
If you want to bust inflammation, one of the best things you can do is to get a good night’s rest consistently. Cutting back on alcohol will help, and if you feel like you need a natural sleep aid, that may be a good temporary fix. Talk to your doctor about any sleep solutions.
If you want to lower your risk of chronic disease, the answer is clear. Lower your body’s risk of chronic inflammation. This involves making healthier choices every day, including looking for foods that fight chronic inflammation, getting lots of sleep, and exercising daily.
Madeline Wright says
Thanks for sharing, Lindsay. I’m planning to incorporate a few extra vegetables into my dinner tonight to consciously do my part in managing inflammation.