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5 Ways To Reduce Inflammation, Look Better & Feel Younger

Acute (short-term) inflammation is actually incredibly important. It helps the body fight foreign invaders and plays a major role in repairing damage when you have an injury or infection. The problem comes with chronic (long-term) inflammation which plays a role in almost every chronic Western disease, including heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s and various degenerative conditions. Moreover, this inflammation can cause wrinkled skin, painful joints and more, thus contributing to rapid ageing. To improve our long-term health we need to reduce the catalysts of chronic inflammation. Here are our top 5 ways how…

1. Reduce Your Intake Of Sugar.

When the sugar levels in your blood increase, the body produces a higher number of cytokines (pro-inflammatory molecules). High blood sugar levels also cause insulin resistant cells which lead to storage of the sugar as visceral fat. This not only gives you a belly, but it produces pro-inflammatory chemicals leading to inflammation throughout the body.

2. Increase Magnesium.

Magnesium possesses amazing anti-inflammatory properties. Increased magnesium intake has been linked to a reduction in significant inflammatory indicators in the body and a reduction of inflammation in the walls of the arteries. This is great news for those who suffer from heart disease or other cardiovascular health problems. Rather than running out to get a magnesium supplement, try including some magnesium–rich foods in your diet such as raw cacao, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, Brazil nuts, almonds and cashews.

3. Go Easy On Alcohol.

Alcohol is naturally irritating to our gut lining. Excessive consumption can make it easier for bacteria to pass through the intestinal walls which leads to inflammation. Regular high consumption of alcohol has also been known to cause inflammation of the liver which over time can age us and have a detrimental effect on our overall health. 

4. Reduce Stress.

High levels of stress hormones can lead to the release of excess inflammatory chemicals. Recent research found that an eight week course in practicing mindfulness everyday helped lower inflammatory molecules and stress hormones by around 15 percent. Spend at least 20 minutes a day in relaxation—deep breathing, meditation, doing yoga or playing with your dog. This can help lower stress hormones and decrease inflammation in the body.

5. Decrease Trans Fats.

The escalation of chronic inflammatory diseases like heart disease, diabetes, weight gain, arthritis, and countless immune conditions is parallel to the growth in popularity of trans fats in the modern American diet. Trans fats are created when some types of polyunsaturated fats are damaged due to heat and are found mainly in processed foods (deep-fried foods, processed cakes, biscuits and muesli bars) with long shelf lives. Choose to eat real food as often as you can and limit the packed food you consume. An anti-inflammatory diet based on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and olive oil can lower levels of inflammation.

Article by Kavisha. Kavisha holds a Masters Degree in Wellness and is a nutrition expert at our Kitsilano store.
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