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8 Ways To Naturally Reduce Inflammation
As with every problem nature seems to provide us with easy ways to solve it. Recently, we have been hearing in the news about the impact inflammation can have on the body. Inflammation has been linked to numerous diseases including, Alzheimer’s, kidney disease, Parkinson’s, uterine cancer, allergies, respiratory disease, heart disease, hypoglycemia, breast cancer, high cholesterol, degenerative arthritis, colon cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, infection, Crohn’s disease, and osteoporosis.
Finding ways to reduce chronic inflammation in your body can lead to a longer, healthier life and reduce your risk of contracting these diseases. Here are eight simple things you can do right now to naturally reduce inflammation and start feeling better today.
1. Eat more wild seafood and increase your daily intake of fruits and vegetables. I know it sounds basic, but it’s true. Increasing the amounts of fruits and vegetables you eat particularly the dark greens can dramatically reduce inflammation in your body. Meals high in bright colored vegetables contain fiber and natural anti-inflammatory properties. When choosing seafood try and select varieties that are wild over farm raised. If you have to choose farm raised look for organic. Salmon is your best bet but stick to the wild variety. Farm raised salmon is feed a diet of rich corn meal that can actually increase inflammation. Try to stick with fish from the Pacific and avoid the Atlantic varieties that contain higher levels of mercury and PCBs. Dr. Perricone has written a wonderful book, The Perricone Promise, where he outlines a very livable anti-inflammatory diet.
2. Get those essential fatty acids (EFA’s) into your diet. One of the simplest ways to tame chronic inflammation is to add omega-3 fatty acids to your diet and luckily it is easy to do. Adding a handful of nuts and seeds to your diet can boost your intact of omega-3s. The best choices are walnuts, ground flaxseed as well as pumpkin and sesame seeds. Avocados and darkly leafy greens also are good sources for omega-3s. Mixing a salad with a tablespoon of Grapeseed oil can insure you get your daily dose of omega-3s. You can also take a fish oil supplement. Look for brands that contain wild fish oil and low levels of mercury. If you are a vegetarian you can try algal sources or flax seed oil.
3. Get the refined sugar and carbohydrates out of your diet. I know, I know, it’s convenient, quick and easy and it sometimes even tastes good, but it’s got to go. Refined foods have no place in a healthy diet. They need to be reserved for special occasions and treats only. Refined foods are not only loaded with preservatives, dyes and chemicals but they can cause inflammation to flare up leading to increased symptoms and allergies. The average person really only eats about 20 foods on a regular basis. We tend to be creatures of habit and eat the foods we enjoy over and over again. With just a little thought you can easily find healthy alternatives to your greatest offenders. If you absolutely love lasagna don’t cross it off your list forever. Try spelt or rice pasta with ground turkey. If you would rather give up your car then your chocolate, believe me I can relate. Switch to dark chocolate, 60% cocoa or higher is best. Check the ingredients, no high fructose corn syrups or funny stuff. With a little creativity and thought you can keep you favorite foods, quell your inflammation and feel fabulous.
4. Look out for foods you might have sensitivities to, these can cause chronic inflammation in the body if left untreated. The most common ones are wheat, eggs, gluten, dairy, soy, and nuts. Eliminate them from your diet for a few weeks and then introduce them back in one at a time. See if you notice any changes to how you feel, such as headaches, foggy thinking or bloating. If you find an offender avoid it at all costs and look for substitutes to replace it with. If you find you have a problem with dairy try soy or almond milk.
5. Add a high-quality daily multivitamin. Emphasis on “high quality”. A poor quality vitamin is really just a waste of your money. They are indigestible and pass through you body without even stopping to do anything nice for you. If you can find it try a liquid vitamin. They have absorption rates 10 times higher then pills and capsules. Life Force International makes a wonderful product called Body Balance. If you are already taking a multi vitamin have a look at the folic acid and B vitamins in the brand you are using. These vitamins seem to play a role in lowering inflammation though the medical community it still uncertain as to just how they do it. Other vitamins with anti-inflammatory properties are Vitamin C, D and E.
6. Consider adding a little Mangosteen to your life. In the past few years a new medicinal fruit has been introduced into the United States and it is holding great promise for the reduction of inflammation, promoting a healthy respiratory system and strengthening the immune system. Apparently the rind of the fruit has been used in folk medicine for thousands of years. Western medicine is beginning to give the little fruit some serious attention for its powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. The fruit is pulverized and added to juice to create a nutritious drink. A few ounces a day is all that’s needed to reap the benefits of this little purple fruit.
7. Go out and play! You’ve heard it a thousand times, I’m telling you again. Stress is a killer and can derail all the hard work you’ve been doing to get your inflammation under control. Once and for all get rid of that stress in your life. Take a little exercise find something that you actually like doing. Tennis, walking, gardening, swing dancing, pogo sticking, it doesn’t matter just move your body in a way you find fun that you will enjoy doing on a regular basis. If it’s a chore and a hardship you’re not reducing your stress just adding to it. Breathe deep, practice yoga, look into meditation, forgive all those people that drive you crazy. Yes, even that guy who cut you off on the freeway. If chronic stress is a real problem in your life consider investigating biofeedback or therapy. Also people with a regular spiritual practice of some kind exhibit lower levels of stress. Look into mediation centers, synagogues , churches even a early morning walk once a week just to reflect on how good you really have it can make a profound difference in your stress levels and can help get cortisol, the stress hormone, under control.
8. Sleep it off. The perfect inflammation reducing technique. You need an adequate amount of sleep each night to give your body time to heal from the stresses of the day. Don’t underestimate it. Napping also reduces inflammation. It is also a fantastic excuse for switching off the phone in the middle of day and decompressing for 10 or 15 minutes. Remember the more hours you sleep before midnight the better. Getting to bed by ten and waking at six will do better for your body then getting to bed by one and sleeping until ten.
So there you have it, a simple, easy and natural way to reduce your inflammation. By reducing your inflammation you can reduce your risk for the fatal five; heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes and lung disease. More importantly you’ll feel great and you can put a little life back in your life!
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