Inflammation is an essential part of the immune system that helps your body heal and protects it from infections, illnesses, and injuries.
In other words, inflammation is a completely natural process that manifests as swelling. Although inflammation is beneficial and harmless in most cases, it can be quite dangerous if it continues for a long period of time. That type of inflammation is called chronic inflammation and it can last for weeks, months and even years.
If inflammation is left untreated, it can lead to many serious health problems including heart diseases, fatty liver disease, and cancer.
With that being said, it is important to know how to reduce inflammation quickly, which is exactly what this article will cover.
What Causes Inflammation?
Injuries and infections are the two main causes that lead to inflammation, but the list doesn’t end there. People with an inactive lifestyle are at a higher risk of getting inflammation. Moreover, multiple studies have shown that consuming a lot of refined carbs and processed and packaged foods (or any foods that contain lots of fats) immensely contributes to inflammation.
Some nutritionists also believe that consuming vegetable oils regularly (as found in processed foods) causes or enhances inflammation as these oils can create an overly high ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acids.
Once inflammation occurs, the chemicals located in your body’s white blood cells are released into your bloodstream in order to protect your body from any foreign substances. The sudden release of these chemicals will increase blood flow to the injured or infected area. Some of these chemicals can even cause a leak of fluid into the tissue.
That’s why inflammation manifests itself as redness and swelling of the injured (or infected) parts of the body.
What are the Symptoms?
As mentioned, swelling and redness are the two most common symptoms that follow inflammation. Aside from them, the symptoms of inflammation, depending on the location, include the following:
- Joint pain
- Joint stiffness
- Loss of joint function
- Loss of appetite
- Muscle stiffness
Types of Inflammation
Generally, there are two types of inflammation: acute and chronic.
Acute inflammation isn’t harmful. Actually, this type of inflammation is a healthy response which protects and repairs the body from injuries or infections.
On the other hand, chronic inflammation is its evil twin. This type of inflammation isn’t natural at all and can cause serious problems.
Chronic inflammation hypes up the immune system for a long period of time (as chronic inflammation can last for years or ever), which can result in organ damage. Although white blood cells tend to repair the body, chronic inflammation can change their activity and make you more prone to various diseases including cancer.
Getting Rid of Inflammation
Now that you know the basics, it is time for you to learn how to reduce inflammation quickly.
The following methods are found to be most effective against inflammation:
1. Avoid Certain Foods
As mentioned, some foods create more suitable conditions for inflammation to occur or even enhance its symptoms.
If you want to reduce inflammation quickly, then avoiding these foods is a must:
- Drinks that contain lots of sugar (fruit juices, sugar-sweetened drinks)
- Refined carbs (pasta, bread)
- Processed meat (sausages, hot dogs, canned meat, deli meat, etc.)
- Processed snacks (pretzels, chips, crackers, etc.)
- Desserts (cake, candy, ice cream, cookies, etc.)
- Trans fats (foods with hydrogenated ingredients)
- Vegetable and processed oils (margarine, corn oil, etc.)
You don’t have to completely avoid all of these foods but you should at least eat them in moderation.
2. Eat Anti-Inflammatory Foods
One of the best methods for reducing inflammation quickly is to base your diet plan around anti-inflammatory foods. Those foods include the following:
- Vegetables (cabbage, broccoli, kale, cauliflower, etc.)
- Fruits (cherries, grapes, avocados, olives, etc.)
- Healthy fats (coconut oil, olive oil, etc.)
- Dark chocolate
- Green tea
- Red wine – 140ml per day for women and 280ml per day for men
- Fatty fish (sardines, salmon, herring, mackerel, etc.)
3. Drink Plenty of Water
Drinking enough water (at least 2.5 liters per day) helps to clear out the bowels. That will keep the toxins moving through your liver and kidneys, to be eventually eliminated through sweat.
Aside from reducing inflammation, drinking enough water each and every day is essential for many other reasons such as:
- allowing your blood cells to carry more oxygen
- better sleep
- preventing memory loss
4. Stay Active
If you want to reduce inflammation or prevent it from occurring in the first place, you need to take good care of your body.
There are plenty of options when it comes to staying active, so everyone will be able to find a suitable solution no matter how busy they are.
Some of your options include:
- Going to the gym
- Calisthenics (bodyweight exercises)
- Playing sports (basketball, football, etc.)
- Jumping rope
Challenging the body is almost mandatory for people who often find themselves sitting during the day, be it for work or by choice.
5. Sleep Enough
Research suggests that people who don’t get enough hours of sleep at night have higher chances to get inflammation.
6. Lower Stress
Aside from inflammation, stress causes many other diseases. Meditation, yoga, and swimming are considered excellent methods for reducing stress.
Simply take 15 to 30 minutes each day when you wake up, or before you go to sleep, to practice deep breathing and meditation. If you add some of the previously mentioned activities, such as swimming, to your stress-lowering strategy, it will be that much more effective.
Change Your Lifestyle and Eliminate Inflammation
As you can see, all of these methods that show you how to reduce inflammation quickly would require that you change your lifestyle.
It goes without saying that by implementing these six anti-inflammatory rules to your lifestyle, you will not only reduce your inflammation but you will also boost your immune system and become more resistant to many other diseases.