You deserve to feel your best, but sometimes inflammation can become a chronic life disruption. Fortunately, nature has solutions for you! Here are 9 ways to naturally lower your inflammation and pain levels with foods and simple lifestyle practices.
Turmeric contains curcumin, an antioxidant that actively fights inflammation in the body. Many people report feeling less pain when consuming turmeric on a daily basis. You can take in in capsule form, liquid tincture form and also include it in your cooking.
Ginger is an incredible natural pain-reliever that can work wonders for aches and pains. Taking two or three tablespoons of grated ginger can reduce muscle soreness and lower inflammation. You may not get enough of the medicinal benefits just by having ginger tea though, so a higher concentrated dose may be required to really feel results.
3. Omega 3’s
Salmon, cold water fish, grass-fed meats, avocado, walnuts and hemp seeds are all great sources of Omega 3 fatty acids that directly contribute to lowered inflammation levels in the body. If you experience pain or tension in your body often, try trading out sugar for fat in your diet and lowering or totally eliminating your consumption of vegetable oils in place of higher quality fats rich in Omega 3’s.
4. Sweat in the sauna
Sitting in a sauna can increase circulation in the body, while doing some light stretching can help to open you up and release happy chemicals that lower stress. With the goal of lowering inflammation, hot is best paired with cold, so it’s ideal to have a cold shower after a sauna session and possibly do a few rounds of each. Be very gentle when stretching in a sauna so you don’t overextend yourself.
5. Have a cold shower
While having cold shower may sound unpleasant, this practice can offer quick relief for physical pain, but also boost mood almost immediately too! Cold water is proven to help lower inflammation levels in the body, and over time you’ll find you adapt from dreading the cold, to literally craving it. The best way to get started is to sit in the sauna for at least 10 minutes and then go immediately into cold water or a shower. Count to 30 seconds to start, and then sit for 10 minutes and let your body rest. Repeat this process 2-3 times if you like.
6. Breathe deep
A free, built in system for clearing up a bad mood, lowering stress levels and inflammation in the body is your very own breath. Try this to start: find yourself a comfortable seated position, or lay on your back in bed or on the floor. Close your eyes and set a timer on your phone for 5 minutes minimum, all the way up to 10 minutes. Focus on your inhale and let go on the exhale. Breathe deeply and focus on whole body breaths until your alarm goes off. Slowly get up and drink some water. You may feel tingly, emotions may come up, and a feeling of lightness may wash over you from just a short session of deep breathing. Enjoy!
7. Try yoga
Yin yoga is a wonderful and gentle practice that almost anyone can do. You can find a studio, or you can search for free yin yoga videos online. Even 15 minutes of yoga will benefit your body and pain levels. Yin is a form of yoga that requires you to hold a pose for a longer period of time, thus opening up your body and helping you become more flexibile. The benefits of yoga practice are endless!
8. Walk in nature
Studies show the more time we spend in nature, the easier it is to lower cortisol levels (stress). We know that high levels of cortisol contribute to a slowed metabolism, weight gain, and physical pain. Incorporating nature time into your day is a healthy ritual for your mind, body and spirit. Either go for a walk on your own for some solo self-care time, invite a friend or the whole family to take a stroll with you in a park, forest or at the beach nearby. Remember to breathe deeply while you’re enjoying your nature visit.
Massage for improved circulation and lymphatic flow will naturally help the body deal with inflammation in a healthier way. Can’t afford a massage? Trade massages with your partner, friend or kids! Another way to get things moving is to do self-massage in the sauna. Physical touch naturally lowers stress levels, boosts endorphins and as a result, you can come into balance.
Bonus Tip: What you put into your body on a daily basis will have an immense impact on your inflammation levels. If you’re consuming a lot of sugar, processed foods, vegetable oils or grains this could be contributing to physical discomfort in a big way. Eating Clean is one of the healthiest lifestyle choices you could make for yourself. But Eating Clean doesn’t require you to turn your life upside down or stop enjoying your food. In reality, you’ll be eating better than ever and naturally your body will transform overtime. Simple changes in what you eat can make a world of difference in how you feel!