The topic of inflammation is often misunderstood, so let’s break down what you need to know:
Inflammation happens on the surface of the body as heat, redness, swelling, and pain. This kind of inflammation is our body’s normal and healthy response to injury or attack on the immune system. The cellular level is different. Because our cells are hidden, it develops without pain, and it can lead to obesity, diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. Knowing this, how can we use self-care to prevent and reduce inflammation in our cells?
Triggers to Avoid
- Dietary Triggers: trans fats, omega-6 fatty acids, refined sugar, casein, gluten, refined grains, alcohol, food additives, red meat, and dairy products.
- Environmental Triggers: secondhand smoke, pollution, pesticides/herbicides, heavy metals, chemicals, and airborne irritants.
- Stress Triggers: workplace conflict, relationship problems, personal challenges, or psychological issues.
- Physical Injury Triggers: trauma, infections, fractures, cuts, abrasion.
- Acute and Chronic Illness Triggers: excess weight, heart disease, lupus, arthritis, celiac disease, or Crohn’s disease.
Healing Strategies to Adopt
- Manage your weight and exercise regularly. As a result, our clothes feel comfortable and overall fitness is a healing strategy.
- Eat more anti-inflammatory foods. Because I have arthritis in my joints, I love eating blueberries, turmeric, dark chocolate, and extra virgin olive oil. I also enjoy green tea, dark leafy vegetables, wild-caught salmon, sweet potatoes, ginger, and kelp in my weekly meal plan. Eating clean, real foods like these are healing and delicious!
- Practice mindfulness meditation. Take extreme care of yourself in a sustainable way to improve your immune function and help your body. My favorite prevention technique is to gently enjoy 20 minutes of mindful meditation every day. It may feel like you are doing “nothing” when you are actually building up your body’s reserves. Enjoy!
Learn more with Andrew Weil’s Reducing Whole Body Inflammation and Mark Hyman’s UltraWellness Lesson 2: Inflammation & Immune Balance.
I also recommend to you another helpful article on ManyEats. Author Gerard Paul offers his life-long experience of the many benefits — and some of the downsides — of turmeric and curcumin.