Inflammation can be good. If you’re injured or sick, it’s part of the body’s natural response. And if you have a strenuous workout, inflammation goes up—that’s not a bad thing. But chronic inflammation, well, that’s the one that scientists are increasingly linking with major health problems—such as cancer, fibromyalgia, arthritis, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and diabetes—to chronic inflammation. For this week’s Healthy Habit, we vowed to fight chronic inflammation, all day long. Here’s how.
In the Morning
Welcome the day with meditation, a walk or some yoga. All are ways to lower the inflammation marker C-reactive protein (CRP), reports Prevention. And as you go to take that morning vitamin at breakfast, here’s a bonus idea: Vitamin D is a possible way to lower inflammation, too, so ask your doctor about testing your vitamin D serum levels to see if you need to supplement on that one.
Prep the ideal anti-inflammation meal: greens with tomatoes, olive oil and nuts, topped with a fatty fish like salmon. On the side, enjoy some strawberries. These are all anti-inflammatory foods, according to Harvard Women’s Health.
At Tea Time
Sip some turmeric tea or enjoy a cup of Golden Milk. A meta analysis study by James Duke, PhD looked at 700 other studies on turmeric, and found that it many benefits related to its anti-inflammatory properties. Gaia Herbs makes a Golden Milk powder that has turmeric, and also contains ashwagandha, an herb that may also promote a healthy inflammatory response.
Squeeze in a 20 minute walk, run, swim or even yard work. This study showed that only 20 minutes was enough to trigger a healthy anti-inflammatory response in the body.
Don’t forget your skin! Combat inflammation before bed by applying a soothing oil, which is especially important if you have skin prone to irritation or rosacea. One to try is Beuti’s Beauty Sleep Elixir. It has plant-based ingredients such as camellia oil, chia seed oil, bitter cherry seed oil, strawberry seed oil, pomegranate seed oil, and seabuckthorn fruit berry oil.
As with many health issues, sleeping is key to fighting inflammation. A 2010 study on sleep loss showed that sleep deprivation altered immune response and function. “Sleep restriction leads to a systemic increase of the concentration of inflammatory mediators that may have prognostic significance for metabolic diseases.” In other words, it’s time for light’s out.