The past two weeks we have looked at what inflammation is and what foods can trigger its onset.
This week I want to show you five natural ways to reduce inflammation.
Sleep at least 7 hours a night
Sleep is a topic which we have discussed extensively on this blog. And for good reason too. There has been much research on the effects of losing sleep on the body, one of which is inflammation. Sleeping less even for a single night increases inflammation in your body.
A crucial routine that must be established in your sleeping routine is setting a specific time in which you go to sleep and wake up. This is so that you are in line with your circadian rhythm which is an important aspect of good health.
The circadian rhythm is basically your 24-hour internal clock which is also known as your sleep/wake cycle. It works best when you have regular sleep habits, like going to bed at night and waking up in the morning around the same times from day to day. When these routines are disrupted, it can cause a person to feel under the weather and makes it harder to pay attention.
In addition to that, the disruption of the circadian rhythm can also dysregulate your immune system and with it, your levels of inflammation can also go up too.
Adopt an anti-inflammatory diet
There isn’t a specific anti-inflammatory diet per se. Rather it’s the choices you make.
In simple terms, an anti-inflammatory diet contains a lot of vegetables, fruits, healthy fats, lean protein, whole grains and spices. Exactly the same “diet” that I encourage my clients to adapt. (Want to find out more about my Lean & Healthy Programme? Click here)
An anti-inflammatory diet also limits the consumption of sugar, processed foods, refined carbs and unhealthy fats. We discussed foods that can onset inflammation in the previous blog, you can read it here.
But how does an anti-inflammatory diet combat inflammation? An anti-inflammatory diet focuses on foods which contain high levels of antioxidants. Antioxidants can be found in a lot of fruit and vegetables and contain the key to fighting off harmful by-products in our bodies called free radicals which are dangerous as they can damage cells leading to inflammation. Other key foods to combat inflammation are omega-3 containing foods found in fish and nuts.
If you want a simple approach to an anti-inflammatory diet, then read about my simple nutrition philosophy.
Most people exercise to lose weight. But the fact is, exercise isn’t just a weight-loss tool, it is, more importantly, a well-being tool. This is one of the crucial first lessons I teach my clients.
Regular exercise is essential, regardless of your age and weight. Just like our body needs food, the body also needs movement. Nearly every single cell in the body’s well-being is connected with movement. What does it mean for us? The more we move, the better we feel.
When we exercise, inflammation is brought down by the removal of waste by the lymphatic system. The fresh pump of blood and oxygen around the body allows the build-up of toxins in the body to be removed as well as gently restoring your digestive system. So whether or not you want to shed that fat, burning your calories will help you greatly in reducing inflammation.
Maintain a healthy weight
Most people are unaware of the fact that their own excess body fat can cause dangerous implications to their health such as inflammation. If you want to know more about how being overweight is directly linked to inflammation, I would highly recommend reading this research study.
The link between obesity and increased inflammation is pretty much an established fact in science. So if you are overweight, you certainly need to start doing something to lose your excess weight.
If you need my help, I’m more than pleased to help you achieve that dream ( Find out more about my Lean & Healthy Programme here).
Use spices and herbs
Most people think superfoods are expensive and out of reach. But the truth is, every one of us has easy access to these superfoods and don’t even know it. These underappreciated superfoods are already lying in your kitchen closet. Yep, I’m talking about spices and herbs. Spices and herbs are extremely potent when compared to any other foods. Adding them to your food can increase the antioxidant power of your meal, and they also taste good too.
The top two spices that reduce inflammation are garlic and turmeric. In fact, a study conducted by researchers at the University of Texas shows that curcumin (an active substance in turmeric) is among the most effective anti-inflammatory compounds in the world.
Spices and herbs like cayenne pepper, ginger, clove, cinnamon, rosemary and sage are also known for their powerful anti-inflammatory compounds.
So next time you cook, make sure to add those spices and herbs to increase the antioxidant power of your meal.
Three Take Away Lessons:
- Sleep! Maintaining good sleep hygiene is an important part of regulating inflammation
- Eat a balanced and anti-inflammatory diet. How? Pack in those antioxidants found in fruit & vegetables as well as spices & herbs
- Exercising regularly will help to reduce inflammatory factors and contribute to your overall well being