Inflammation is a common denominator for some of the most common diseases. Asthma, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s disease involve inflammation of some kind in the body. It’s very easy for inflammation to spread rapidly, increasing the risk of the aforementioned conditions. Reducing inflammation, then, may be one of the best things you do for your overall health.
What Does Chronic Inflammation Do To The Body?
It can be difficult to diagnose the early stages of chronic inflammation. Some warning signs or symptoms can mimic those of other conditions, or they can go undetected. Slight fatigue is a common indicator, so don’t pass it off as nothing. Inflammation that progresses can cause damage to internal organs, joints, and arteries. The immune cells responsible for inflammation can cause fatty deposits to build up in the lining of the heart’s arteries. That build-up can rupture, clot, and potentially block an artery that can result in a heart attack.
If you want to test for inflammation, request a blood test for C-reactive protein (hs-CRP). It’s also possible to measure homocysteine to evaluate the severity of inflammation in the body. Finally, doctor’s look at HbA1C levels to assess damage to red blood cells. In the meantime, there are natural ways to to help naturally lower inflammation. Continue reading to learn all about them.
Eat Your Reds, Blues, And Purples
One of the best ways to fight off inflammation is by including more antioxidants in your diet. There are many antioxidant compounds in fresh fruits and vegetables, but the anthocyanins in purple, red, and blue produce items are the best. One study found that women who consumed 40mg of anthocyanins daily experienced lower levels of C-reactive protein, a measure of inflammation. It’s easy to get your daily dose of anthocyanins from 1/3 cup of blackberries, one cup of shredded purple cabbage, or 18 red grapes.
Control Blood Sugar
According to dietitians, managing blood sugar helps to reduce the damage to red blood cells. It’s very easy to over-consume sugar because it exists in so many foods in the Standard American Diet. If you want to balance blood sugar, do your best to avoid anything with high fructose corn syrup, white rice, white flour, pasta, and refined sugars. Instead, focus on foods that are high in fiber and lean protein. Fresh vegetables, whole grains, quinoa, and brown rice are excellent foods to help balance blood sugar.
Drink Green Tea
According to several studies, green tea exhibits strong anti-inflammatory properties. The antioxidants may also have the potential to slow cancer development and encourage cardiovascular health. Green tea may also be beneficial for your joints. Research found that the polyphenols have a chondroprotective effect, which means that they prevent cartilage degradation. EGCG, the active antioxidant in green tea, works to protect against oxidative stress, which can protect DNA and slow the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines.
Reduce Stress Levels
This is easier said than done, but various studies encourage people to reduce stress to lower inflammatory levels in the body. One study in Brain, Behavior, and Immunity found that people with higher stress levels experience an increase of interleukin-6, an inflammatory marker. During times of stress, it’s possible to experience an increase in blood pressure and heart rate. This makes your blood vessels work harder than they have to. As your heart pounds at a higher rate, this causes blood vessel damage and failure to put an end to this can increase inflammation.
Supplement With Quercetin & Bromelain
Quercetin is an anti-inflammatory flavonoid that exists in many fruits and vegetables. According to several studies it has the ability to reduce the release of histamine, making it ideal for people who experience allergies. Bromelain is a natural enzyme that exists in pineapples. Not only does it help support digestion, but it also works to enhance immune function and reduce inflammation. It does this by breaking down cellular debris to create healthier lymphatic flow. Together, bromelain and quercetin can help reduce inflammation caused by seasonal allergies.
Strike A Pose
One study monitored inflammatory levels in women who regularly practiced 75-90 minutes of Hatha yoga twice-weekly. The results indicated that these women had lower levels of interleukin-6 and C-reactive protein, two inflammatory markers. The researchers compared these results to people who were less active and found that more sedentary people had higher levels of inflammatory markers. Another study claimed that yoga works to lower stress levels, which can also help reduce inflammation.