4 Fast Ways to Reduce Inflammation

Symptoms of early chronic inflammation (swelling) can be very subtle as you may feel slightly fatigued or completely normal. Although inflammation is a natural process of the body in healing by fighting injuries, infections, and diseases, your body may also have an inflammatory response when there is absolutely nothing to heal. When the immune system begins exertion and there is no injury or infection to heal, it can begin to destroy healthy organs and joints. This is known as chronic inflammation that is due to unhealthy eating habits, inactivity, or too much stress on the body. As you experience inflammation for longer periods of time, you may notice feelings of body aches/pain, constant fatigue, weight gain, mood disorders, and gastrointestinal issues. Here are several, fast ways to subside these inflammation symptoms to ultimately improve your health and happiness!

  1. Reduce Inflammatory Foods:

The first step in feeling more in control over the inflammation that could be happening in your body is by identifying the foods that could increase this inflammation. A lot of red meats and processed meats, for example, hot dogs, bacon, and lunch meats can cause swelling in the body. Red meat which is high in saturated fat not only increases inflammation but can compromise immune function. Due to processed and red meats’ ability in raising oxidative stress, inflammation is triggered. 

Foods such as white bread, white rice, and pasta can also contribute to inflammation due to it being a high-glycemic-load food. This means that these types of foods raise blood sugar as they quickly convert to glucose and promote the formation of pro-inflammatory products. Other foods and drinks to consume cautiously would be sodas and high sugary drinks, cookies, pastries, fried foods, and chips.

2. Increase Anti-inflammatory Foods: 

It is important to understand that there is no particular food that will completely cure inflammation. An anti-inflammatory lifestyle and diet are necessary in seeing actual changes. Loading up on anti-inflammatory foods and making good choices in your diet can make a huge difference. Foods to decrease inflammation immediately are berries, broccoli, avocados, mushrooms, salmon, spices (ginger and turmeric), tomatoes, olive oil, leafy greens, nuts and green tea. Berries, leafy greens, and herbs/spices specifically contain a number of bioactive compounds that are known to limit reactive oxygen species and reduce inflammation almost immediately. They also avert free radicals from generating new inflammation as well.

Overall increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids. Obtaining more omega-3s allows the body to create more omega-3-metabolites that are inflammatory, resolving and turn off the inflammation response of the body. These are superfoods in regards to inflammation as they can repair inflammation causing tissue or cell damage. Due to its focus on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and fish, a Mediterranean diet is an ideal set of foods to increase your consumption of. 

3. Manage Blood Sugar: 

Sugar allows your body to release cytokines which are known as inflammatory messengers. As mentioned previously, soda and other sweet drinks are a good example of this. High blood sugar, known as high glucose causes an increase in glucose circulation in the body triggering an immune response in the body. This causes the body to rush in repairing the body’s systems. Noting foods that contain added sugars that are known to raise your blood sugar is vital in reducing swelling of the body. For example, some foods and drinks to be on the look out for are sodas, coffee, fruity drinks, pastries, cakes, and some breakfast cereals and yogurts!

4. Increase Physical Activity:

Adipose tissue inflammation is the body’s adaptive response to over-nutrition that allows safe storage of excess nutrients. Regular exercise and movement are known to decrease adipose tissue inflammation which goes hand in hand with systemic inflammation known as serious inflammation throughout the whole body. A decrease in basal levels of circulatory inflammation markers is known to have a direct correlation with exercise as this limits the inflammatory responses. 

Low-intensity exercises can be extremely beneficial in reducing these inflammation markers. Increase physical activity such as swimming, yoga, walking, or resistance training as this all stimulates cells that regulate inflammation. Not only does this get your body moving, but it can decrease chronic stress that can also contribute to inflammation.

Diet plays an extremely important role in managing swelling of the body. It is important to not only incorporate anti-inflammatory foods into your diet but to maintain this lifestyle as that is how you will notice the largest changes. Pro-inflammatory foods are also an important factor to note as these can worsen your condition. Lastly, focusing on low-intensity exercises is not only beneficial in the aspect of physical activity but vital in decreasing stress. It is important to listen to your body and understand how specific foods and lifestyles can alter your health as an inflammatory response can occur when you are not even fighting an injury or infection!

Looking to reduce inflammation in your body but lack a specific plan individualized to your body and goals? Check out our high-touch coaching program, Nourished Nutrition Breakthrough! In this individualized program, we make reaching your nutrition goals doable by optimizing your mindset, mindfulness, and metabolism. Learn more by watching our program video here.

This article was written by Sammy Bran, nutrition intern. Fact checked by Allison Tallman RD.

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