Symptoms, conditions and causes

What lifestyle changes do I need to make to combat chronic inflammation?

Lifestyle Changes to Combat Chronic Inflammation

While chronic inflammation can have serious consequences for your health, the good news is that many lifestyle changes can help reduce inflammation in your body.

These include dietary modifications, regular physical activity, stress reduction, and improved sleep habits.

Diet Modifications for Reducing Inflammation

One of the most effective ways to combat chronic inflammation is through your diet. Certain foods have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties, while others can promote inflammation in the body.

Some of the best anti-inflammatory foods to include in your diet are:

  • Fatty fish like salmon, sardines, and mackerel, which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids

  • Leafy green vegetables like spinach and kale

  • Berries, especially blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries

  • Nuts and seeds, particularly walnuts and flaxseeds

  • Olive oil

  • Turmeric, ginger, and other spices with anti-inflammatory properties

On the other hand, there are certain foods that can promote inflammation in the body and should be limited or avoided. These include:

  • Refined carbohydrates like white bread, pastries, and sugary snacks

  • Fried foods and foods high in trans fats

  • Red meat and processed meats like hot dogs and bacon

  • Sugar-sweetened beverages like soda and sports drinks

Adopting a low-carb, high-fat diet like the ketogenic diet has also been shown to help reduce inflammation in some people. Additionally, practicing intermittent fasting may have anti-inflammatory benefits by giving your body a break from constant food intake.

The Importance of Physical Activity

Regular physical activity is another key lifestyle factor for reducing chronic inflammation. Exercise has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects in the body, partly by reducing levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines like TNF-alpha.

Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise per week, along with strength training exercises at least twice a week.

Even small amounts of physical activity can help reduce inflammation over time.

Reducing Stress and Improving Sleep

Chronic stress and poor sleep habits can also contribute to inflammation in the body. When you're stressed, your body releases cortisol and other stress hormones that can promote inflammation if they remain elevated for too long.

Similarly, lack of sleep or poor sleep quality can disrupt your body's natural inflammatory response and contribute to chronic inflammation over time.

To help reduce stress and improve sleep, try incorporating some of the following strategies into your daily routine:

  • Engage in regular physical activity, which can help reduce stress and improve sleep quality

  • Establish a consistent sleep schedule and create a relaxing bedtime routine

  • Limit exposure to screens and electronic devices before bed

  • Create a cool, dark, and quiet sleep environment

In addition to these lifestyle changes, increasing your intake of vitamin D3 through sunlight exposure or supplementation may also help reduce inflammation in the body.

Vitamin D3 has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties and may help regulate the immune system.

Finally, avoiding excessive intake of omega-6 fatty acids, which are found in many processed foods and vegetable oils, may also be beneficial for reducing inflammation.

While some omega-6 fatty acids are essential for health, consuming too many of them in relation to omega-3 fatty acids can promote inflammation in the body.

Last updated: May 06, 2024 16:05 PM