Today I Learned...
nflammation is something we all experience, but it's important to understand what it is and how best to reduce it.
Inflammation is a normal part of the body's immune response, but when it gets out of control, it can cause pain and swelling in joints and muscles, as well as fatigue, headaches and even heart disease.
Fortunately, simple lifestyle changes can help you reduce inflammation levels. If you make these changes consistently over time, they can help improve your overall health and wellbeing.
1. Reduce Sugar
Sugar is one of the biggest contributors to inflammation in the body because it's pro-inflammatory. A diet that contains too much sugar will increase your insulin levels and cause an inflammatory response in your body. This can lead to weight gain and increase your risk for heart disease.
To reduce inflammation levels caused by sugar intake:
- reduce sugary foods from your diet
- choose whole grains instead of refined grains
- limit sugary drinks such as soda or fruit juice (try water instead)
2. Eat Anti-inflammatory Foods
First, start eating more anti-inflammatory foods. Some of these include:
- dark leafy greens
- nuts and seeds
- ginger root
- fatty fish like salmon
Second, try to avoid inflammatory foods as much as possible. These include:
- sugar (both white and brown)
- refined carbohydrates (white flour)
- trans fats (vegetable shortening)
- saturated fats (butter)
- processed meats such as bacon or sausage
If you do eat these foods occasionally or every once in awhile (especially if they're homemade), make sure to compensate by eating more anti-inflammatory foods throughout the rest of the day/week so that your overall diet isn't too far off balance.
3. Do Regular Exercise
Exercising regularly is a great way to reduce inflammation. It helps your body remove toxins and fight disease, which can lower inflammation levels. It can help you lose weight, sleep better, manage stress, and live longer.
So how much exercise do you need?
The American Heart Association recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (such as brisk walking) on most days of the week.
Ready to start your fitness journey? Watch our class: Morning Fitness - Fitness Combo to get started!
4. Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is one of the most important activities you can do for your health. Sleep helps maintain your immune system, helps you recover from stress and trauma, regulates hormones that influence mood and digestion, and much more.
Poor sleep habits can increase inflammation levels in the body so make sure you get at least 7 hours of sleep each night!
Want to sleep better? Watch our class: Sleep Hygiene Basics to Improve Sleep.
Reducing inflammation can reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
Inflammation has been linked to many chronic diseases, including arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. By reducing your risk of inflammation through diet and exercise, you can help prevent these diseases from developing or returning in the future.