Inflammation is the body’s natural response to injury and is beneficial in triggering the body to repair damaged tissue and protect itself from viruses. However, inflammation isn’t always a good thing for the body. Chronic inflammation or inflammation in areas where it isn’t necessary can have several negative impacts. In such cases, the body’s inflammatory response may begin to damage healthy cells, organs, and tissues, which can cause internal scarring, tissue death, and even DNA damage that may result in cancer. Not good. If you’re currently suffering from an overactive inflammatory response and have already spoken to your doctor, here are some additional tips on how to reduce inflammation that may help.
Alter your diet
Everyone knows the old saying: You are what you eat. This adage rings true when it comes to inflammation. The foods you choose to fuel your body with can have a large impact on its inflammatory response.
Foods that contain omega-3 fats, antioxidants, or polyphenols such as hemp seeds, tomatoes, leafy greens, nuts, and fatty fish are especially known for their anti-inflammatory benefits and can help protect the body from inflammation-related damage. In addition to eating anti-inflammatory foods, you should also avoid foods that promote inflammation. Such foods include refined carbohydrates, margarine, red meat, deep-fried foods, and sugar-sweetened beverages.
Another tip on how to reduce inflammation is to exercise regularly. As little as 20 minutes of exercise every day has been proven to reduce the body’s inflammatory response. A potential explanation for the anti-inflammatory impacts of exercise could have to do with the activation of the sympathetic nervous system which occurs during physical activity.
Find ways to reduce stress
Minimizing stress is far easier said than done. However, doing so could significantly help reduce inflammation. Prolonged stress may result in increased cortisol levels that inhibit the body’s ability to regulate its inflammatory and immune response. As such, it is important to take measures to try and keep stress levels low. Examples of ways to decrease stress include doing deep breathing exercises, getting adequate sleep, setting boundaries, or even journaling.