Tips for reducing inflammation - a silent killer
When it comes to inflammation most of us are familiar with it as the kind presenting on the surface of our body in either redness, heat, swelling or pain. This is actually a positive process in our body’s healing response in relation to common viruses, infections or simply a minor cut. The inflammation that persists in our body beneath the surface however is known as chronic inflammation and as well as not serving a healing purpose it can have quite detrimental health effects.
Research now shows that chronic inflammation is directly related to most degenerative diseases including heart disease, Alzheimer’s, cancer and type 2 diabetes. Other health consequences of this condition include arthritis, bacterial and viral infections, candidiasis, acid reflux and acne. With serious implications on the development of disease and illness we must understand what causes chronic inflammation and how we can effectively reduce it.
Stress, exposure to various toxins, genetic predisposition, lack of exercise and the influence of certain lifestyle factors such as alcohol consumption and smoking can all contribute to chronic inflammation. Diet plays one of the most significant roles however, and understanding beneficial dietary choices is essential to fighting inflammation within the body. One of the simplest ways to reduce chronic inflammation is to improve the balance of omega 6’s to omega-3’s in our diet. Although they are both fatty acids omega-6’s are pro-inflammatory while omega-3’s are anti-inflammatory and unfortunately the typical Western diet isn’t catering for the right balance. Omega-6’s are being consumed in excess while the beneficial omega 3’s are being neglected or even excluded from the diet.
Ways to boost the anti-inflammatory power of your food
- Reduce omega-6 levels by reducing/avoiding the consumption of processed and fast foods such as chips, cookies, fried foods, baked goods and margarine. As well as avoiding processed vegetable oils - especially sunflower, corn, soybean, safflower and cottonseed oils. Use extra virgin olive oil for cooking and in salad dressings instead.
- Increase omega-3 levels by increasing the consumption of fish to at least twice per week. Salmon is a particularly good source of omega 3. Include walnuts, flaxseeds and omega 3 enriched eggs as well as grass-fed beef or lamb where possible.
- Include a quality omega-3 supplement such as fish oil, cod liver oil or krill oil into your weekly routine.
- Increase your fruit and vegetable consumption for their incredible natural abilities to fight inflammation!
- Experiment with some amazing anti-inflammatory spices such as ginger and turmeric and soon they’ll be a regular in your kitchen.
By implementing simple dietary changes you’ll not only be nourishing your body but also combating the onset of chronic inflammation and reducing its effects on your body in no time!