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The anti-inflammation diet can consist of several nutritious foods. Examples of a select few antiinflammatory diets include:
A Mediterranean diet will include things like fish, and olives which have a lot of healthy fats, fruits, organic vegetables, nuts, olive oil, and fish. The focus is on avoiding sugar and refined carbs, processed meats, margarine, and fried foods.
The MIND Diet (Mediterranean Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay diet) may be a combination of the simplest parts of the Mediterranean diet and therefore the MIND diet reduces cognitive decline.
How it differs is that the MIND diet specifies the kinds and quantity of fruits and vegetables to eat. It avoids foods that have an unhealthy effect on the brain like processed meats, fried fast foods, sweets and pastries, and margarine. There is a study coming out this year (2021) on the effects of the MIND diet on seniors.
Another popular diet is the autoimmune protocol diet or AIP. AIP eliminates processed foods, refined sugars, and sugar substitutes, coffee, alcohol, refined fats, and oils, eggs, nightshade vegetables and fruits (tomatoes, white potatoes, peppers, eggplant, paprika), grains, legumes, dairy, nuts, and seeds.
This diet emphasizes eating nutrient foods, such as organic, grassfed meats and organ meat, wild caught seafood, and healthy coldpressed oils (olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil). These foods are all geared towards removing inflammatory stimuli while promoting health.
Anti-inflammation Diet Foods
Extra virgin olive oil
Dark chocolate and cocoa
Exercise To reduce inflammation
Exercise is an important part of reducing chronic inflammation. Exercising produces an anti-inflammatory protein. Getting and staying active is a crucial part of reducing chronic inflammation and chronic disease.
EXERCISE TIPS TO REDUCE INFLAMMATION
1) Get moving! Any movement counts, including housework, yard work, and getting chores done. A study conducted by Medicine & Science in Sport & Exercise found that those who did 2.5 hours of moderate to vigorous activity per week had the lowest levels of inflammation, even if they didn’t lose any weight.
2) Move every 30 minutes. Don’t remain sedentary for more than 30 minutes at a time during the day. Sitting for long periods of time is bad for your overall health and may cause inflammation. It is advised that for every 30 minutes of sitting during the day, you get up and walk briskly for five minutes.
3) Exercise moderately for a minimum of 30 minutes, five days a week. These are the guidelines suggested by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). A Study in Brain, Behavior & Immunity found that even just 20 minutes a day of moderate exercise like walking on a treadmill is enough to reduce inflammation levels.
4) Don’t overdo vigorous exercise, especially if you’re over 45 years old. Studies show that overdoing vigorous exercise if you are middleaged or older, can cause cardiac issues. The recommendation is to try to do less than 45 hours of cumulative vigorous exercise per week and to make certain you permit rest days in between vigorous workouts so that overexert yourself.
5) Incorporating two or more days of strength training every week, using all the main muscle groups, will help build muscle mass, consistent with NIH guidelines. Research shows that resistance training promotes anti-inflammatory balance and is also better for cognitive function in older women.
6) Stretch your muscles for 10 minutes, two times a day after exercise. Animal studies show that stretching the muscles for 10 minutes, two or more times daily after the onset of acute inflammation will decrease proinflammatory mediators and reduce inflammation and pain.
SLEEP AND ITS LINK TO INFLAMMATION
People today are getting less sleep per night than is required by our bodies to adequately rest and recharge. This reduction in sleep is due to several reasons: modern lifestyle, age, and an increase in sleep disorders. You can go weeks without eating, about three days without a beverage, but try working on one or two nights without sleep.
It doesn’t work too well. Studies have shown that there’s a correlation between less sleep and more inflammation. During sleep, our bodies produce human growth hormones called somatotropin and testosterone; both are important in reducing oxidative stress and inflammation.
There is a crucial neuroimmune link between sleep and therefore the system. Studies have shown that sleep enhances the immune system and the immune system encourages sleep in a very symbiotic way. The quality of sleep we get is just as important as the amount of time we are asleep. Sleep quality is measured by the quantity of rapid eye movement (REM) stage sleep and deep delta stage sleep that we get. It is during these deeper stages of sleep that the brain rids itself of poisons and therefore the body repairs cells.
Lately, it seems everyone is always so stressed. Stress can happen from both positive experiences and negative experiences. In health and wellness circles, stress is taken into account that it is as bad as smoking because it is often harmful to human health.
Stress activates the systema nervosum with a mess of chemical mediators that start many biological changes, including increased breathing rate, increased pulse, diverted blood flow to major muscle groups, and increased alertness. These biological changes leave our bodies to fight or flee, which is great if we are running from a tiger but not so good if it’s because someone cut us off in traffic.
And unfortunately, our bodies physiologically react equivalently in both situations. When the body experiences stress, our system nervosum can grind to a halt within the fight or flight mode called the sympathetic state. Being stuck in an alert state is tough on our bodies over time and suppresses the system, making us more vulnerable to disease and infection. Despite this, there are many ways we can reduce the effects of stress in our lives. Stress isn’t a departure, but it will reframe and alter the way we answer it.
There are some ways to scale back chronic inflammation that are within your control. However, making those changes alone can be challenging. This is where a professional health coach comes in. Skilled health coaches won’t tell you what to try to do but instead will partner with you to utilize your strengths and skills to spot lifestyle habits that work for you and your lifestyle. When trying to find a health coach, make certain to see their credentials. Since there’s currently no licensing for health coaches, anyone can call themselves a health coach with little to no training.
To ensure you’re employed with a welltrained health coach, hunt down people with the NBCHWC designation. These health coaches have met the rigorous educational and testing standards created by the National Board of Health and Wellness Coaches (NBHWC) in partnership with the National Board of Medical Examiners.
FINDING THE BASIC EXPLANATION FOR CHRONIC INFLAMMATION
If you’ve got a healthy lifestyle but still have a chronic disease and chronic inflammation, hunt down a medical practitioner who is experienced in cases like yours to help you find the cause of your chronic inflammation. A medical practitioner will dig deeper and spend longer looking beyond your symptoms. Sometimes the cause could be due to a buildup of toxins from the air that we breathe or the food that we eat.
Possible sources of infections include bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites. Possible sources of toxins include heavy metals, mycotoxins (mold), and other environmental toxins. In addition to educating yourself about your condition, your practitioner will implement protocols designed to scale back or eradicate the source of your chronic inflammation.
Chronic inflammation and chronic illness are on the increase. Fortunately, there are many lifestyle choices you can make to reverse and even stop inflammation in its tracks. These choices are centered around the key areas of nutrition, exercise, sleep, and stress management. If you’re trying to implement these lifestyle changes and are struggling, it’s going to be time to partner with a licensed health coach for assistance and support.
If you have made significant improvements to your lifestyle but are still chronically ill, there could also be underlying issues that can best be addressed with the assistance of a functional medicine practitioner. Chronic inflammation may be common but should not be considered normal.
Anti-Inflammation Diet Tips. Video
1) Pahwa, Roma. Chronic inflammation. StatPearls [Internet], U.S. National Library of Medicine. 20 Nov. 2020. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK493173/
2) Understanding acute and chronic inflammation [Internet]. Harvard Health. Apr. 2020. Available from: https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/understanding-acute-and-chronic-inflammation
3) Six ways to reduce inflammation [Internet]. Scripps Health. 4 Aug. 2020. Available from: https://www.scripps.org/news_items/4232-six-keys-to-reducing-inflammation
4) Steven H. Woolf, MD. Life expectancy and mortality rates in the United States, 1959-2017. JAMA [Internet], JAMA Network. 26 Nov. 2019. Available from:https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/2756187
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