5 ways to Reduce Inflammation

Inflammation is the culprit that has been linked to chronic disease and to trigger weight gain—here’s how to help keep inflammation under control.

Go for a Massage

No one has to tell you that a massage feels great, but it’s more than just a thing you do to relax. Massages decrease inflammatory stress hormones. People think it’s a luxury, but it is not because massages provides short-term benefits.  You need to get them regularly, one every two weeks.  If a full-body massage is not an option, research shows that something as simple as a scalp massage for as little as 15 minutes can make a difference in lowering levels of cortisol and blood pressure.

Swap Fresh for Dried Herbs

Fresh may usually be  considered the best, but not necessarily when it comes to the anti-inflammatory potential of herbs and spices. Herbs are teeming with antioxidant plant compounds called polyphenols.  Try to get as many herbs and spices in the preparation of your food.  When it comes to the number of antioxidants in oregano, thyme and basil, dried have been found to have much higher levels compared to fresh. The lesson? Dried is one healthy and anti-inflammatory food prep shortcut.

Say No to Antibiotics When You Don’t Need Them

Antibiotics can be lifesaving, but taking them unnecessarily can ratchet up your inflammation levels as they kill both the good and bad bacteria in your gut. Disrupting this bacterial balance can trigger low-level inflammation.  Research  found that a single course of antibiotics is enough to change the gut microbiome for up to a year.  Avoid taking them unnecessarily, like for viral conditions such as bronchitis, the common cold, the flu or a sore throat, recommends the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Eat Whole Eggs

Keep a daily dose of vitamin D in your anti-inflammatory arsenal.  Vitamin D is actually a hormone. If you don’t have enough D, your body can not put the brakes on inflammation.  It is the one reason why low D status is associated with various inflammatory diseases. Talk to your doctor about taking a vitamin D supplement. You can also get D through your diet in foods like salmon, tuna and egg yolks.

Try High Intensity Interval Training

All exercise is basically good, but high-intensity interval training (HIIT), which focuses on short, intense bouts of activity interspersed with periods of recovery, is especially potent. Animal research shows that HIIT lowers inflammation in the hippocampus, the part of the brain where our emotions come from. HIIT has also been found to decrease inflammation in type 2 diabetes patients, as well as in people who are obese or overweight. Doing HIIT three times a week for 10 minutes will give you the best benefits.