Inflammation is one of your body’s natural defence mechanisms. It helps you to heal and is a vital tool for a healthy immune system.
When you stub your toe or cut yourself, your immune system jumps into action. Extra white blood cells are sent to the injured area to surround and protect it.
A similar thing happens when you have a cold or virus. Your white blood cells protect and repair your body, so you can bounce back to better health.
This is called acute inflammation. It’s a rapid response from your body that lasts a relatively short amount of time and is an important part of staying healthy.
There is also chronic inflammation—this type of inflammation can lead to health problems. Chronic inflammation is your body’s response to exposure to unwanted invaders like cigarette smoke or even stress.
Chronic inflammation is constant, low-level inflammation that can increase with age and also if you’re carrying extra weight. It has been linked to heart disease, diabetes, depression, Alzheimer’s disease and even cancer.
In some situations, the immune system goes haywire and produces chronic inflammation without any obvious trigger. This is the case with auto-immune diseases like inflammatory bowel disease and rheumatoid arthritis.
So what can you do to reduce chronic inflammation in your body?
While certain things in our environment can increase inflammation, others can work as natural anti-inflammatories for the body. Why not try some of our natural tips to reduce inflammation?
Try these tips
Eat more plants. Pack your plate with a wide range of different-coloured fruits and vegetables, prioritising plant proteins like legumes, nuts and seeds.
Switch to wholegrains. Try to cut out as many refined carbohydrates as possible, like white bread, white rice and highly processed baked goods. Whenever possible, switch to wholegrain instead.
Spice it up. Flavour food with plenty of herbs and spices like turmeric, garlic and ginger.
Get balanced. When you get stressed, your body tries to fight it like an infection. If stress is a constant part of your life, the inflammation could be constant too. It’s important to find time to relax, get some balance back and discover the best stress-management tactics for you.