There are two kinds of inflammation, acute and chronic. Acute inflammation is normal and necessary, it's how our body heals and fights disease. Imagine a cut on your finger, you know how sometimes it can be red and swollen around the cut? That is acute inflammation, it is a rapid response and without it we wouldn't heal!
However, chronic inflammation is one of the biggest road blocks to weight loss and a healthy life. It is consistent and ongoing inflammation and can cause major health issues like diabetes and heart disease. So what causes chronic inflammation? Long term stress, obesity and gut health issues can all play a part.
Following these 4 steps can help you reduce chronic inflammation and get your health back on track!
1 - Eat whole foods - This one is an obvious step but it's always good to reflect on how much processed food you eat and how you can reduce it! Antioxidants are very specific inflammation fighting foods, so load up on berries, garlic and citrus fruits. Omega 3's are also great so look for wild caught salmon, fortified eggs and add a fish oil supplement too!
2 - Work out - It's true that working out can cause acute inflammation (and if you're over working chronic too). However working out for 30 mins a day is going to have an overall positive affect on chronic inflammation. The important thing here is to do something you enjoy and don't over do it, a little bit every day is best!
3 - Reduce lifestyle stress - Not all stress we experience in life is avoidable, but it is important to reduce it where we can and come up with valid coping mechanisms when we can't. Learn to recognize when you're stressed and try some non food related comforting activities. Maybe you need to take 5 minutes to meditate on your lunch break, or go for a walk after work to wind down.
4 - Limit alcohol - I know... I said it. If chronic inflammation is something that you are dealing with then limiting alcohol can have a big effect. Remember that alcohol is a toxin to our bodies. So if we are in a state of chronic inflammation and then we throw alcohol in the mix, we are adding to that state of stress and giving the body yet another job to do!