Inflammation is one of your body’s natural defense mechanisms. It helps your body to heal and is a vital tool for a healthy immune system. When you stub your toe or cut yourself, your immune system jumps into action. White blood cells are rushed to the injured area to surround and protect it. A similar thing happens when you have a cold or virus. Your white blood cells protect and repair your body so that you can bounce back to better health.
This is called acute inflammation. It’s a rapid response from your body that lasts a relatively short time and is an important part of staying healthy.
There’s also chronic inflammation, and this kind can lead to health problems. Chronic inflammation is your body’s response to exposure to unwanted invaders like cigarette smoke or even stress.
Chronic inflammation is constant, low-level inflammation that can increase with age and also if you’re carrying excess body weight. It has been linked to heart disease, diabetes, depression, Alzheimer’s disease—even cancer.
In some situations, the immune system goes haywire and produces chronic inflammation without any obvious trigger. This is the case with autoimmune diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease and rheumatoid arthritis.
So what can you do to reduce chronic inflammation in your body? While certain things in our environment can increase inflammation, others can work as natural anti-inflammatories for the body. Why not try some of our natural tips to reduce inflammation?
eat more plants
Enjoy a range of different-colored fruits and veggies, prioritizing plant proteins—legumes, nuts, and seeds.
more whole grains
Cut out as many refined carbohydrates as possible—white bread and rice and highly processed baked goods. Make the switch to whole grains instead.
spice it up
Flavor food with such herbs and spices as turmeric, garlic, and ginger.
Your body tries to fight stress the same way it fights off an infection. If your stress is constant, the inflammation could be constant too. Find time to relax, get some balance back, and discover the stress-management tactics that work best for you.
Article courtesy of Sanitarium Health & Wellbeing. Visit sanitarium.com.au and subscribe to Wholicious Living for more great health and nutrition info each month.