Food Freedom Friday Edition 22

Extinguish Your Inflammation

No pills, potions or lotions required.

Inflammation is a warning sign from the body, a calling to address physiological and maybe even psychological issues to so that you can get your life back on track and restore your balance. A variety of approaches and small shifts to your daily habits and lifestyle often provide the necessary platform  to turn down your internal heat and give your body the tools and space it needs to begin healing from symptoms and chronic diseases.

Here are some fascinating research findings about lifestyle habits that can help to reduce markers of inflammation in the body: 

1.       Brush and floss your teeth regularly

This is so simple, and it works!! Studies are showing us that poor oral hygiene is associated not just with low-grade inflammation, but also cardiovascular disease. 

2.       Exercise to the level of comfort rather than distress

When one is either untrained or unfit and in turn becomes a ‘weekend warrior’ to make up for a generally sedentary lifestyle, limits are often pushed and exceeded. Excessive exercise or over-exertion can create oxidative stress in the body (which goes hand-in-hand with inflammatory processes), so the more you are able to tailor your activity to our bodies, the better. Be consistent. Spread it out throughout your week, make it fun and give yourself the opportunity to rest too.

3.       Don’t eat when you are distressed

A study published in the journal  Psychoneuroendocrinology in 2015, found couples who were a bit more hostile in their behavior and who already had a history of mood disorders were less efficient in their metabolism after eating a meal. They had greater insulin and triglyceride levels than other people. Those with mood disorders had a steeper risk in their inflammatory marker, IL-6, as well as more elevated glucose levels. More hostility was associated with higher levels of the inflammatory TNF-alpha after the meal. 

4.       Analyze your anger

Reflect on what angers you. When it comes to inflammation, for many, feelings of anger seem to carry a similar energy of heat and pain. Some studies actually suggest a link between anger or hostility and inflammatory markers as well as cardiovascular risk. Emotional regulation and practising not holding anger in or impulsively venting can directly lead to more favorable health outcomes. Working with a trained professional to help you through your anger may be helpful in allowing your feelings to be expressed in ways that feel safe and preserve your wellness.

5.       Maintain a positive attitude

Individuals who tend to be pessimistic often have higher levels of inflammatory markers. Being optimistic, maintaining a positive attitude and expressing and practising gratitude are all inexpensive, effective ways to ensure that your body stays calm, cool and collected. 

6.       Try meditation, mindfulness, and prayer

Mindfulness-based practices like meditation and overall spiritual wellness have anti-inflammatory effects. They are sacred pauses within your day that create both the time and space to recalibrate, reassess, and develop a more balanced response to stressful events. 

7.       Choose and eat foods with high anti-inflammatory potential

Last, but not least, as an advocate of eating whole, real foods, I can confidently tout that nutrition has an important role in decreasing inflammation. Some of my favorite foods and spices to quell the inflammatory response include wild salmon, organic blueberries, cruciferous vegetables, sweet potatoes, turmeric, ginger, kale, and nuts. Incorporating one or more of these foods into your daily diet will support your body in managing inflammation from the inside out.

Only you are responsible for your choices. Be your own best supporter and be active in promoting, restoring, attaining and maintain your healthy body and mind.

Michal Ofer