Inflammation in the body can affect you and may lead you to have a lower quality of life. It may cause pain and discomfort, as well as prevent you from carrying out certain activities. Hence, it is important to minimize and reduce inflammation so that your body can function optimally and healthily.
What Is Inflammation and What Are the Symptoms?
Inflammation is a process whereby white blood cells in the body fight off invaders that may harm your body. There are two types of inflammation: acute and chronic. Acute inflammation is temporary inflammation that may last for a few hours or days, such as when you catch the flu. Chronic inflammation, on the other hand, lasts for a longer period ranging from months to years. This is triggered by chronic conditions such as heart disease, asthma, cancer, and diabetes. Inflammation may also cause arthritis. Some symptoms of inflammation include:
- Joint pain and stiffness
- Joint swelling and redness
- Stiffness in muscles
Inflammation can cause harm to your body over time. Hence, it is important to reduce inflammation in your body following these tips:
Consume an Anti-Inflammatory Diet
A healthy diet is essential in keeping your body healthy and reducing inflammation. You should consume foods that are anti-inflammatory and avoid foods that cause inflammation as much as possible.
Foods that reduce inflammation include:
- Leafy greens such as kale
- Fatty fish such as salmon and tuna
- Fruits such as blueberries
- Olive oil
Foods that cause inflammation and should be avoided include:
- Foods and drinks with high sugar content
- Fried foods
- Highly processed foods
- Red meat
It is also best to reduce sodium in your diet.
Exercise provides a host of benefits to your body, including weight management, strengthening muscles and heart, improving mood, and reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Research has also shown that just 20 minutes of exercise can reduce inflammation. The type of exercise you are doing also does not need to be so intense or vigorous, as it can be achieved with moderate intensity such as brisk walking or yoga. Hence, you do not need to be afraid of exercising as even moderate-intensity exercise for 20 minutes can help to reduce inflammation.
Sleep is another important factor in reducing inflammation. When one has poor sleep, the level of inflammation increases. Getting a good night’s sleep makes all the difference as even one night of poor sleep can cause an increase in inflammation levels. It is best to aim for a good amount of sleep that is not too little or too much (too much sleep is not so good either) which is around seven to nine hours. Having poor sleep also leads to higher stress levels. Stress also plays a major role in causing chronic inflammation.
Sleep is regulated by circadian rhythms in our body, which in turn regulates other functions such as hormones and our immune system. Hence, when our circadian rhythms are disrupted, this also causes our immune system to be disrupted. This then causes us to be more likely to have inflammation and be at higher risk for diseases.
To conclude, it is important to reduce inflammation in your body by eating healthy food, exercising regularly, and getting good sleep.