Top 10 Tips To Reduce Inflammation
Everyone needs a certain amount of inflammation in the body because, if you have an injury or infection, inflammation is necessary to help protect and heal your body. Symptoms of inflammation are redness, warmth, pain, swelling and loss of movement or function. However, inflammation can become chronic and even lead to asthma, skin rashes, arthritis, mood problems, multiple sclerosis and more.
Some chronic inflammation goes unnoticed so that you are unaware of any damage being done.
Rather than reaching for pharmaceutical anti-inflammatory drugs, which can be very harmful, instead make healthier lifestyle choices and follow some of these tips for reducing inflammation - safely and in a natural way. One suggestion is the use of parent essential oils – for example Advanced EFA Formula – which will do the same as an anti-inflammatory medication but without the risk. Parent essential oils provide the raw materials your body needs to reduce inflammation naturally.
Top ten tips
1. Stress is a big contributing factor and addressing such stress is hugely important in combating chronic inflammation
2. Of all the vitamins, Vitamin K2 in particular protects against inflammation. Research has found that vitamin K2 benefits include protecting nerve cells from oxidative stress and possibly reducing neuronal damage (slowing progression of dementia). Vitamin K2 was found to reduce liver cancer in women and prostate cancer in men while keeping the arteries soft (to prevents clots, heart attack and strokes) and giving good dense bone tissue.
3. A zinc deficiency can lead to increased inflammation especially as you grow older. Being less able to absorb zinc can be a linked to diminished capacity to produce stomach acid. When taking zinc, iron, magnesium, calcium, and any of the other minerals, be sure to take vitamin C or consume acidic foods to help improve this absorption. Suggestions are cooked tomatoes, citrus fruits and vinegars while foods rich in zinc include pumpkin seeds, grass fed meat and seafood from safe sources.
4. Red bell peppers, raw garlic and raw onions should be included in your raw food diet as they are all effective in helping to reduce inflammation in the body.
5. Chocolate comes from cocoa beans and the dark rich color and taste, so many of us love, is due to its bioflavonoids which give us an extra gift of modulating inflammation.
6. Many people have a gluten intolerance (wheat, rye and barley) and/or casein (dairy) intolerance. Those at risk have systems with immune cells that consider these foods to be foreign invaders and inflammation can be the result. If you develop sensitivity to gluten or dairy, you are more likely to have autoimmune types of problems. And anyone with gluten sensitivity is nearly always sensitive to casein as well. At risk are 1 in 8 of the population. Buckwheat is one food item that can be used instead of grain. It is low GI too, preventing rapid spikes in blood sugar which causes inflammation and other problems.
7. Often eliminating gluten/grain improves the omega 3 to omega 6 balance in the body – this balance regulates the process of inflammation and has a profound effect on joint and muscle pain. Omega 3 fats are all important in the inflammation stakes. One good source is Chia seeds which were popular in ancient Mayan and Aztec diets to reduce joint inflammation. Chia seeds have a light, nutty flavor that does well with sweet or savory dishes and unlike flax seeds, chia seeds do not need to be ground to be consumed. Chia seeds warrant a post to themselves and I will be writing one shortly.
8. While eating a diet high in legumes, like lentils and chickpeas, can help reduce excess body weight, a bean-based diet can also help reduce inflammation in the body.
9. Plenty of good sun exposure to increase vitamin D levels, can help reduce inflammation. 15 to 30 minutes of sunlight to as large an area as possible of the body several times a week, close to the noonday sun until the skin starts to turn pink, is what is needed. Too many people are vitamin D deficient in this modern world. Vitamin D deficiency is an important consideration in the management of so many conditions including those that are as a result of chronic inflammation. In colder weather or to top up vitamin D levels, a high dose of vitamin D3 is recommended. Get tested if you are unsure of your levels – you may be surprised.
10. Carrageenan is a gelatin-type substance derived from a red seaweed often called Irish Moss and it has been used for decades in processed products to give them more substance and texture – in other words to make them thick and creamy. Carrageenan will be listed as an ingredient on the packaging of products. It has been found to cause health problems in some people including inflammation. An ongoing study (by the University if Illinois College of Medicine) on carrageenan has found: exposure to carrageenan causes inflammation which is harmful; the amount of carrageenan consumed in the human diet is sufficient to cause inflammation; and both undegraded and degraded carrageenan cause inflammation.
Of course, to reduce inflammation, the focus should always be on eating a healthy diet with fresh, local whole foods but excluding pro-inflammatory foods such as processed and GM foods, trans fats, fried foods, high fructose corn syrup, sugar and grains.
Important too is to exercise regularly, give up smoking and lose any excess weight.
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