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The Tranquil Way | How to reduce inflammation

Published:Tuesday | July 5, 2016 | 7:00 AM

Inflammation seems to play a major role in illnesses, either as a cause of the illness or its complications or both. It is, therefore, of critical importance that we know how to reduce it. There are many sources of inflammation, so knowing them is important in reducing it.

Diet is a major source of inflammation. Foods that are absorbed quickly into body usually increase inflammation, for example, processed, sweetened, dairy, shellfish and animal-based foods. Heated oil, such as in fried foods, may also do so. Unprocessed plant-based foods may reduce it, such as fruits, vegetables, peas, beans, nuts, seeds, whole grains, green bananas, sweet potatoes and ground provisions. Wheat products, though, especially processed ones, can increase inflammation, though, due to the presence of gluten.

 

THE POWER OF VEGGIES

 

Vegetable juices are quite powerful in reducing inflammation. They can be made of 80 per cent vegetables and 20 per cent fruits and can include honey or coconut water. Eating heavier in the morning and lighter as the day progresses also helps.

Allergies and allergic-type reactions are a significant source of inflammation in the body. An imbalanced intestinal microbiome can increase the risk of allergies and allergic conditions. Allergies of the airway are very common and often unrecognised. To reduce inflammation produced by allergies, it's best to reduce/ eliminate exposure to the source and also lessening the reaction of the immune system by using certain supplements, such as reishi mushroom.

There are many foods, chemicals and environmental conditions that can trigger off the reactions in the body. These include dairy products, shellfish, wheat products, foods with artificial ingredients, cleaning chemicals, personal care products with strong fragrances, air conditioners, UV light, air fresheners, insecticides, dust and animal hair. This is not an exhaustive list. Also, some persons may have allergies to usually healthy foods, such as nuts.

As mentioned above, an imbalanced microbiome can affect the immune system. This because 70 to 80 per cent of the immune system is in the intestines and this can lead to an increase in inflammation in the body. This can be improved by using prebiotics (nutrients for the bacteria), probiotics, proper nutrition and adequate rest (seven to nine hours nightly and one day each week) and exercise (four to five days weekly, 20-30 minutes at a time).

Other measures that reduce inflammation include getting healthy sunshine (between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. sunlight is harmful), fresh air, drinking about 10 glasses of water daily, foot detox and healthy belief/involvement in a faith/group-based system.