Inflammation is a term we hear thrown around a lot in the wellness world, but what does it actually mean and how can we ease or reduce inflammation?
The first thing to note is that inflammation is a natural process in our bodies and is actually an essential part of our body’s healing process. Inflammation is triggered when our body recognizes a foreign or dangerous microbe or chemical. Acute inflammation is necessary to fight threatening invaders and protect us. Chronic inflammation is when this process becomes a problem that actually gets in the way of our health rather than protecting it. Chronic inflammation keeps our bodily processes from working efficiently and can lead to chronic disease.
So how do we prevent and ease chronic inflammation?
Luckily we have the power to reduce inflammation just by changing our diets. First, we want to limit refined carbohydrates like white breads, pastries and refined flours, sugar sweetened beverages, fried foods, added sugars and alcohol. These are the same foods that we all know to be bad for our health for a myriad of reasons! In place of these inflammatory foods, we want to pile on the anti-inflammatory superfoods, formerly known as the Mediterranean Diet. High quality olive oil, fatty fish, leafy greens, nuts, seeds, tomatoes and fruit are going to be inflammations worst enemy. And yes, a glass of red wine and/or a few pieces of dark chocolate per night are both still known to be anti-inflammatory!
Besides diet, there are lifestyle changes that can help reduce inflammation. Stress is one of the biggest inflammatory triggers and while stress is inevitable, how we respond to it is in our control.
Here are a few stress reducing techniques I urge you to incorporate into your daily life:
- 10-15 minutes of meditation or breath work. This can also be through a moving meditation. I love doing a 10 minute yoga flow to move stagnant energy and reset my mindset.
- Move your body! Mixing in 20-30 minutes of cardio a few times a week is crucial for fighting inflammation and reducing stress. You don’t need to pound the pavement or the “dreadmill” if that is not for you. Get up and dance to your favorite songs and get your heart rate up!
- Incorporate adaptogenic herbs to help your body respond more effectively to stress.
- Try a high quality CBD or hemp oil before bed if you have trouble getting a good night’s sleep. Getting those 8 hours of sleep is crucial for balancing hormones and managing our body’s response to stress.
We are all superheroes working to fight against chronic inflammation and we all have the strength and capability to do so! What are you doing to combat inflammation?? Reach out to me with any questions or comments!