When you think about inflammation, it’s easy to pigeonhole it as swelling, usually in your mouth. After all, an ulcer is the main way the process manifests itself in the body. However, inflammation is a defence mechanism used to ensure that foreign invaders, such as bacteria and viruses, don’t wreak havoc.
It’s essential to your health, yet only in small doses. Unnecessary inflammation is proven to lead to diseases and ailments that are potentially fatal, if not uncomfortable. The key is to prevent it wherever possible, and here are four places where you can start.
Don’t Dismiss The Small Details
The small things pack a punch – never has a phrase been so on point. Left unchecked, inflammation has the ability to destroy vital cells that protect you from harm, such as veins, arteries, and organs. Therefore, it’s imperative to react when you spot the small signs. This can be as noticeable as swelling on your arms and legs or a mouth ulcer. Both are equally damaging. Thankfully, a compression pack will reduce the swelling, while a mouth ulcer gel should take care of the oral bacteria. The key is not to pass it off as insignificant as chronic inflammation can have damaging consequences over the long term.
Load up On Food
This isn’t an excuse to overeat. Although scientists are continuing to study the link between diet and inflammation, a few things are clear. The main point is that certain foods tackle oxidation, also known as oxidative stress, whereas others make it worse. As a result, it’s crucial to load up on the ingredients which keep the levels of CRP – a marker for inflammation – in your blood low. As you can guess, fruits and veggies are at the top of the list, with the likes of berries, leafy greens, beans, and lentils being the healthiest.
Working out has a ton of benefits, so you should be doing it anyway. Still, one you need to add to the list is how it affects inflammation. As little as twenty minutes per day is enough to reduce anti-inflammatories in the body by releasing a protein called ‘IL-6’ in your muscles. The longer you exercise, the higher the levels of the protein (which is believed to prevent the production of TNF alpha, a hormone linked to inflammation). The good news is that twenty to thirty minutes of high-intensity training is more than enough.
Part of the reason working out is practical is that it battles stress, too. Stress is known to increase inflammation, but you don’t want to hit the gym or pump iron every time you’re full of tension. With that in mind, it’s essential to create new ways to eliminate the frustration and take your cortisol levels down. An excellent option is to substitute HIIT classes for yoga, or you may decide that a massage or mediation is more suitable.
Do you suffer from prolonged periods of inflammation? Will you use these tricks to protect your wellbeing?