Inflammation is at the root of most disease within the body. One of the most important things we can do is try to prevent and eliminate it. We can make improvements by adopting an anti-inflammatory diet and lifestyle! Be sure to check with your care provider before taking any supplements or herbs that are new to you.
Here are 33 different ways to lower your inflammation and experience more freedom in your body.
1. Simplify and slow down. We live in a culture that thrives on being ultra-busy and constantly posting about our lives, but behind the scenes, we’re not always thriving. Excess busyness can lead to self-neglect and stress, which can lead to inflammation and illness. Learn to say no more and trim down your crazy schedule to include only the most important tasks and relationships can help to minimize stress and maximize joy.
2. Stretch and move your body. Walk, run, cycle, lift weights, or do yoga! Find a way to move your body for at least 20 minutes, 3-4 times a week to promote good circulation and lower stress and inflammation.
3. Get out into nature. This one can easily be combined with your exercise goals, as exercising in nature is one of the most powerful ways to calm the body and mind to reduce inflammation.
4. Supplement with enzymes. Supplementing with proteolytic enzymes such as bromelain from pineapple and papain from papaya can help prevent and manage aches and pains associated with inflammation. They also help aid digestion and prevent bloating.
5. Hydrate properly. Something we all know, yet often fail to do! Proper daily hydration is a crucial way to fight inflammation. Get creative and make drinking water fun by adding fresh lemon, fruits, or berries into the mix. There are also anti-inflammatory teas like chamomile, rose, rooibos, hibiscus, green tea, and white tea. Eating fruits and vegetables with high water content is also very hydrating.
6. Eat plenty of leafy green vegetables. Leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach, watercress, arugula, and brussels sprouts are packed with nutrients making them anti-inflammatory power-houses! Leafy greens contain phytonutrients, omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin K, and minerals.
7. Spice up your life! Some of the best anti-inflammatory spices are commonly found in your kitchen cupboards! Cayenne, ginger, turmeric, garlic, cinnamon, cloves, and black pepper can all help naturally improve inflammation levels in the body.
8. Supplement with adaptogenic herbs. Adaptogens help the body adapt to stress, which helps reduce inflammation. Some of the best herbs for this purpose are Rhodiola, Ashwagandha, Schizandra berry extract, and Siberian ginseng extract.
9. Sleep Smart. Getting a good night’s rest is one of the most foundational things we can do to fight inflammation in the body. Supplementing with melatonin can be a great way to aid in getting better sleep if you struggle to regulate your sleep cycle. Melatonin itself is a powerful antioxidant and hormone regulator that helps to reduce stress and inflammation in the body.
10. Get plenty of B vitamins. B vitamins are crucial in the brain and body’s ability to handle stress and therefore reduce inflammation. Some excellent herbal and food sources are holy basil leaf, lemon peel extract, bananas, guava, whole grains, dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds, and legumes.
11. Supplement with Devil’s Claw. This herb had been scientifically shown to be more potent than certain drugs at treating pain and inflammation.
12. Supplement with Curcumin. An extracted compound from turmeric, loads of scientific research, shows the fantastic anti-inflammatory benefits of taking curcumin daily.
13. Eat broccoli. Broccoli contains phytonutrients and bioflavonoids that help to fight inflammation in the joints and respiratory system. It’s also high in vitamins A and K that aid in the metabolism of vitamin D, which is another essential part of fighting inflammation.
14. Eat extra-virgin olive oil. Olive oil has been shown to suppress the expression of specific proinflammatory genes. This may explain why there are less inflammatory diseases in Mediterranean countries where olive oil is one of the primary sources of dietary fat.
15. Eat blueberries. Studies have shown that eating blueberries daily for six weeks increases anti-inflammatory molecules called cytokines. They’re rich in anthocyanins that help ward off both inflammation and oxidative stress! Berries are rich in antioxidants and low in sugar, making them an ideal Clean Eating sweet treat.
16. Eat nuts. Nuts are full of omega 3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and fiber that fight inflammation.
17. Supplement with tart cherries. Studies have shown Montmorency tart cherries (particularly the juice) to be incredibly anti-inflammatory, reducing pain from arthritis and gout and minimizing post-workout soreness.
18. Eat kelp. Kelp contains a complex carbohydrate (polysaccharide) called fucoidan and chlorophyll. Both of these have anti-inflammatory properties that can protect the body from disease, and support a speedy recovery from illness. As with fish, always choose sea vegetables that come from unpolluted waters.
19. Eat fermented foods. Foods such as yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, and kefir are all rich in friendly bacteria known as probiotics that have multiple benefits, including reducing inflammation in the gut.
20. Eat wild Alaskan salmon. Salmon is one of the best sources of Omega 3 fatty acids, which are very helpful in fighting inflammation. Other oily fish such as mackerel, sardines, and anchovies are also anti-inflammatory.
21. Avoid foods that cause inflammation. Some of the top foods that promote inflammation are those containing gluten, refined sugar, refined salt, processed fats, antibiotics, and hormone-laden meats.
22. Deep Breaths. Create a habit of breathing deeply into the abdomen throughout the day! Unconstricted breathing is one of the best ways to reduce inflammation by calming the nervous system and increasing blood flow and oxygen to your entire body.
23. Get plenty of vitamin C. Vitamin C is not only an immunity booster, but it’s also highly anti-inflammatory. So eat plenty of foods high in vitamin C and also supplement as needed.
24. Eat citrus bioflavonoids. Bioflavonoids are plant-derived compounds found in certain fruits and other foods. They are used to help enhance the effects of vitamin C to support the immune system and to fight inflammation.
25. Eat foods that contain Rutin. Rutin is a citrus flavonoid high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Excellent food sources of rutin are apples, most citrus, figs, buckwheat, and black and green tea.
26. Supplement with Quercetin. Quercetin is another highly anti-inflammatory citrus bioflavonoid you can supplement with for a more concentrated dose. But some excellent food sources are found in broccoli, citrus fruits, and red and yellow onions.
27. Supplement with ALA. Alpha-lipoic acid is a disulfide-containing compound found in every cell of the body. It is also called the “universal antioxidant” and is one of the essential substances for protecting the cells of the body against damage and inflammation.
28. Take a quick nap. Taking a 10-15 minute nap once or twice a day is a great way to rest and recharge the body and prevent the excess mental and physical stress that can lead to inflammation.
29. Read a book for pleasure. How often do you take the time to read simply for pleasure and happiness? Reading is calming for the nervous system, making it a useful anti-stress, and anti-inflammatory activity.
30. Take a bubble bath. Taking a bath with essential oils or Epsom salts with candles burning and soft music playing can be a fantastic way to de-stress and calm any inflammation in the body and brain.
31. Laugh more. Watch a favorite comedy or go hang out with a friend that makes you laugh a lot. Laughter increases endorphins, lowers blood pressure and has anti-aging, anti-inflammatory effects on the body.
32. Cuddle your pet. Spending time with a beloved pet cuddling, playing or going for a walk is a great way to decrease stress and therefore inflammation in the body.
33. Savor some dark chocolate. Dark chocolate is full of antioxidants as well as magnesium, which calms tension, anxiety, and inflammation in the body. Enjoy a chocolate treat made with healthy sweeteners!