Most people don’t look into solutions for inflammation until they actually experience an inflammation-related problem. What we should be doing is looking for ways to avoid inflammation in the first place, right?
Inflammation (swelling), is part of the body’s defense mechanism and plays an important role in the healing process, helping to fight injury and infection. But it doesn’t just happen in response to an injury or illness.
An inflammatory response can also occur when the immune system goes into overdrive, for example, from poor diet or smoking. Since there’s nothing to heal, the immune system cells that normally protect us begin to destroy healthy arteries, organs, and joints, leading to a whole host of health problems including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, arthritis, depression, and even cancer.
Varinthrej Pitis, MD, an internal medicine physician at Scripps Clinic Carmel Valley says,
“When you don’t eat healthily, don’t get enough exercise, or have too much stress, the body responds by triggering inflammation. Chronic inflammation can have damaging consequences over the long term. So the food you eat, the quality of sleep you get, and how much you exercise, they all really matter when it comes to reducing inflammation.”
So keeping these wise words from Dr. Pitis in mind, what easy lifestyle choices can we apply to relieve inflammation?
This is arguably the most important change you can make – the types of food you eat. The food you eat affects everything from energy levels, sleep, mood, and overall body functioning.
Eating a balanced and nutritious diet has the potential to reduce inflammation dramatically. Stock up on fruit and veggies and foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids. Omega 3s reduce the production of molecules and substances linked to inflammation such as inflammatory eicosanoids and cytokines.
Foods rich in Omega 3s include cold-water fish such as salmon and tuna, tofu, walnuts, soybeans, and flaxseeds.
Other anti-inflammatory foods include berries, mushrooms, avocados, garlic, olive oil and spices such as cinnamon, turmeric and rosemary.
And you’ll be pleased to know, another anti-inflammatory food is dark chocolate! Hurrah!
Cut down on sugar and processed foods
As well as eating an anti-inflammatory diet, it’s also super important to cut down on sugar and processed foods.
There is a lot of research to suggest how sugar stimulates the production of free fatty acids in the liver. When the body digests these free fatty acids, harmful compounds called Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs) are produced which can trigger inflammatory processes.
Sugar and processed foods also cause cholesterol to rise, which leads to C-reactive protein and, therefore, greater inflammation.
And as if sugar wasn’t detrimental enough, as we know, it’s also the biggest cause of weight gain. This leads to excess body fat, which leads to insulin resistance. The result? Yep, you guessed it: Inflammation.
The best and easiest rule to follow is to avoid all ‘white foods’, for example white bread, white rice, pasta and foods made with white sugar and white flour. Instead, include lean proteins and whole foods high in fiber, such as fresh fruit veggies, and whole grains such as brown rice and whole wheat.
Get more sleep
We know it’s challenging, especially during these times, but we gently urge you to turn off Netflix, get off social media, and don’t look at any technology at least an hour before bed. And try and go to bed a bit earlier than you would usually.
As Benjamin Franklin says,
“Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.”
An adequate amount of sleep that’s considered for adults is about 7 to 8 hours, and we should all aim for that as our norm. Even in healthy individuals, not getting adequate sleep (6 hours or less) triggers inflammation, which research suggests increases the risk of metabolic issues that can lead to obesity, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, dementia, and Alzheimer’s.
Read: “Why Your Body Loves Sleep,” for some great tips on how to get a good night’s sleep.
As we mentioned above, weight gain is a major cause of inflammation. And what better way to lose excess fat than a good daily workout!
A study published in Medicine & Science in Sport & Exercise found that the people who were least sedentary had the lowest inflammation, even if they didn’t lose weight. The study showed that while they got about 2.5 hours of -moderate-to-vigorous activity per day, it included regular life activities like yard work and household chores (yes, running around tidying up your kids’ toys counts!) Even a small increase in activity gets the blood pumping and lowers inflammation. A brisk walk every day is not only great for reducing inflammation but is perfect for getting your body and mind clear, invigorated, and energized to start the day.
Dr. James Gray, MD, a cardiologist at the Scripps Center or Integrative Medicine says,
“Regular exercise is an excellent way to prevent inflammation,”
Chronic stress contributes hugely to inflammation.
A study in the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity found that people who have an emotional reaction to a stressful situation, such as giving a presentation at work or to someone ‘pressing their buttons,’ increases circulating interleukin-6 (a marker of inflammation).
Christopher P. Cannon, M.D., a professor at Harvard Medical School says,
“Stress increases blood pressure and heart rate, making your blood vessels work harder. Essentially, you’re pounding on them more often and creating damage. If that damage happens over and over, inflammation persists.”
No matter how healthy your diet, if you’re stressed, you will absolutely experience low-grade inflammation. Finding healthy ways to escape that stress—for example, yoga, meditating, or taking a short walk with long deep breaths—provides an immediate stress relief psychologically and physiologically.
As Dr James Gray says,
“We may not be able to change many of the stressful situations we encounter in life, but we can change our response and perception by learning to manage stress better.
It’s important to remember also that measures to reduce inflammation pay off over time with improved health and reduced risk of chronic disease.”
Experiencing gum inflammation?
Gum inflammation is a result of a bacterial infection in the gums. This can be a result of a number of things as we mentioned above: poor diet, too much sugar, lack of sleep, high stress, and could also be to do with poor oral hygiene or brushing and flossing too vigorously.
Good-Gums all-natural tooth and gum powder is particularly formulated to help the gums. It works with your body’s natural processes and not only supports gum cell replacement but feeds the gums with powerful minerals and vitamins essential for keeping your gums strong and healthy.
Good-Gums provides a healthy amount of vitamin C, plus citrus bioflavonoids that help the body utilize the vitamin C. The Good-Gums formula dissolves right in the mouth to be absorbed directly by the gums to give help right where it’s needed the most.
Peppermint and cinnamon act as mild antimicrobials and help control the population of plaque-producing bacteria. Baking soda, a potent alkalizing ingredient in Good-Gums, buffers the acidity, making the oral environment less favorable for plaque-producing bacteria to multiply.
To help remove plaque from constant contact with the gum margins (where they can re-infect the gums), our herbal formula helps remove plaque, using powerful antioxidant cranberry, which has the unique ability to loosen the grip of plaque, so that it can more easily be removed during brushing and flossing.
Your inflamed gums can improve by the combination of these three strategies:
- active nutritional help for the formation of healthier gum cells
- soothing sore tissue
- reducing the use of toxic and healing-preventing agents (such as toothpaste)
This unique formula, which contains everything your teeth and gums need to heal and restore, takes effect straight away.
Don’t believe us. Try it and see!