Anti-inflammation is a natural response our bodies make to the foods we eat and the lifestyles we lead.
In today’s world, when “stress” feels like a daily emotion, our iPhones are more like a fifth limb than a form of communication, and toxic chemicals are considered to be viable food ingredients, inflammation is everywhere. Keep your body healthy and prevent or reduce chronic health issues with these 10 simple hacks for lowering inflammation.
1. Get eight hours of good quality sleep
Studies have found that not enough sleep (or a bad night of sleep) triggers a wide range of inflammatory reactions. Make your bedroom cool and as dark as possible, go to sleep and wake up around the same time every day, and eat no later than two hours before bed.
2. Add leafy greens to your meals
Leafy greens are one of (if not the) best foods for lowering inflammation because they’re loaded with antioxidants and bioactive compounds. Aim to add greens like arugula, spinach, and kale to at least two meals a day — toss as a side salad with dinner or add to your smoothie in the AM.
Since chronic stress has been linked to inflammation, taking measures to reduce stress is just as important for lowering inflammation as the foods you eat and the sleep you get. Meditation is one of the easiest ways to reduce stress by actually rewiring the chemistry of the brain, and in turn, lowering inflammation.
4. Avoid blue light
Overexposure to blue light causes stress and inflammation in the body. When you do need to look at a screen, wear protective glasses that block blue light or add anti-blue light settings on your device. Also try to spend at least one or two hours before bed screen-less – turn off Netflix, put your phone on “Do Not Disturb,” and open a good book.
5. Rethink your beverage routine
One glass of red wine or one cup of coffee can lower inflammation because of antioxidant levels. However, limit intake of any alcohol and caffeine. If a glass of red wine is a part of your evening routine, stick to one glass, and limit yourself to one cup of coffee in the mornings. Instead of the usual second (and third!) cup, sip on green tea, matcha, or moringa tea to reduce inflammation, and DIY a turmeric latte in the morning or before bed (turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory spice).
6. Take an Omega-3 Supplement
7. Positive emotions
Researchers found that people who experienced a wide range of 16 positive emotions (enthusiastic, interested, determined, excited, amused, inspired, alert, active, strong, proud, attentive, happy, relaxed, cheerful, at ease, and calm), actually had lower levels of inflammation.
8. Be kind to yourself
We’re all human, and sometimes a strict diet is hard to keep up with or a Netflix binge is too hard to resist. Rest-assured that self-blame, guilt, and other toxic emotions might have a worse effect on your body than an ice cream cone or a Gilmore Girls binge ever could, so forgive yourself and prioritize giving your body and mind what they need.
But also remember that your body was made to be resilient and heal itself. Bottom line: eat your veggies, de-stress, love yourself, and enjoy your life.