5 Tips to Achieving a Healthy Immune Response
Having a healthy inflammatory response is essential for our wellbeing. Inflammation is our body's natural method of protecting and healing itself. Its' goal is to remove harmful stimuli such as irritants or foreign pathogens from our body. However, inflammation may also occur even without an injury or infection to fight, which can lead to chronic inflammation. So what is chronic inflammation? How can I reduce inflammation?
What is Chronic Inflammation?
Chronic inflammation may go undetected for a long period of time, with very subtle signs and symptoms. However, as the inflammation progresses, it may begin damaging your arteries, organs, and joints. If it's left untreated, it could contribute to other chronic diseases such as heart disease. The most common way to detect whether you have inflammation is by going in for a blood test.
How to Reduce Inflammation?
There are many ways to control and reduce the effects of inflammation such as through an anti-inflammatory diet and lifestyle. The following are a few tips on how to reduce inflammation in your body.
1. Eat More Anti-Inflammatory Foods
What we consume on a daily bases can have a huge effect on our overall wellbeing. That's why it's important to know what foods can help reduce inflammation in our body. Eat more fruits and vegetables that contain omega3 fatty acids and cut down on refined sugar intake. Anti-inflammatory foods include:
- Olive oil
- Green leafy vegetables (eg. spinach, kale)
- Nuts (eg. almonds)
- Fatty fish (eg. salmon, mackerel)
- Fruits (eg. strawberries, blueberries)
- Spices (eg. ginger, turmeric, rosemary)
If you're looking for an anti-inflammatory diet, then you can consider the Mediterranean diet, which is high in fruits,vegetables, nuts, fish, and healthy oils.
2. Cut Out Inflammatory Foods
So after you've incorporated into your diet, anti-inflammatory foods, you need to make sure that you've also eliminated foods that cause inflammation. This includes foods such as red meat or anything that has trans fats (eg. lard, fried foods, processed foods). Also, it would be good practice to limit or avoid simple carbs such as white flour, white rice, refined sugars, and anything with high fructose corn syrup. Instead, have your meals revolve around lean proteins and whole foods (eg. vegetables, fruits).
3. Exercise & Weight Control
Yes, exercise is also essential for preventing inflammation. Try to make time for moderate exercise at least 4-5 times a week, about 25-45 minutes each time. Overeating can actually increase our immune response which can lead to excessive inflammation and a number of other chronic diseases. A 2019 study found that weight gain is associated with increased inflammation in the body. So, putting forth that extra effort to lose weight, may help you decrease the inflammation in your body.
4. Manage Stress
Stress may increase inflammation in our body. Although we may not be able to eliminate stress factors in our life, we can change the way we react to these factors. Take the needed steps to reduce stress
. Learn calming breathing techniques and take time to meditate on the positive points of every situation can help. Also, try to take each day's anxiety one day at a time. There's no point in over stressing about tomorrow's anxiety as it won't help you solve today's issues.
There are many supplements in the market that can help reduce inflammation in the body. One supplement that helps fight inflammation are those that contain turmeric curcumin
. This herb has been
consumed for centuries around the world for its healing properties. In one study, those who took curcumin had significantly reduced levels of inflammation. Although curcumin is poorly absorbed when taken on its own, you can boost its absorption by taking it with Bioperine ( black pepper extract).