WOW Factor: These anti-inflammatory tips can help to fight inflammation. The best part? They are found in your fridge, not on your vanity.
Note: Not All Inflammation is Bad
Before we dive into our anti-inflammatory tips, it’s important to note that inflammation is a completely normal and natural stress response. When your body is confronted with a foreign invader, inflammation actually promotes healing and provides protection.
However, when inflammation persists as a chronic condition (even when your body is not being threatened by a foreign invader), it can actually can do more harm than good. Especially when it comes to conditions of aging and chronic disease.
The Role of Inflammation in Aging
The extent of such harm and the exact role that inflammation plays in the aging process is still unknown. However, the National Institute on Aging, has concluded that:
“Inflammatory processes, particularly those resulting in chronic inflammation, have been implicated in a number of chronic diseases and conditions of aging, including cardiovascular disease, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease, insulin resistance and diabetes, muscle wasting, and frailty.”National Institute on Aging
That said, we like to take a pro-active approach when it comes to curbing chronic inflammation. Thankfully, inflammation can be kept at bay with a few of these tried and true anti-inflammatory practices.
1. Cold Therapy to Combat Inflammation
Applying ice to your skin (a.k.a cold therapy) might be most underrated anti-inflammatory treatment currently in existence. It’s almost too simple and easy.
What Is Cold Therapy?
Cold therapy can be practiced a number of different ways, including:
- Topical localized ice-therapy
- Ice baths
- Cold showers
Due to the proliferation of cold therapy as a healing modality in today’s modern world, more and more clinical studies and scientific research is being conducted around the effects of regular ice baths, cold exposure, and cyrotherapy; all forms of cold therapy.
Benefits of Cold Therapy
While studies have produced conflicting results, it is believed that cold therapy provides numerous health benefits. Potential cold therapy benefits that caught our eye are:
- Reduced inflammation;
- Enhanced immune function;
- Enhanced brain function, and;
- Improved mood.
A 2016 clinical trial in the Netherlands showed that people who took cold showers were 29 percent less likely to call off work than others. According to the study, cold therapy can potentially improve immune system function by fighting colds. It is thought that cold exposure increases leukocyte levels, which protect the body against diseases.
Anti-inflammatory Ice Facial
When it comes to your skin, doing a quick anti-inflammatory ice-facial with an ice roller, (or an ice cube wrapped in a thin cotton cloth), can do wonders to reduce puffiness and redness. It can also help skin feel more fresh, tightened, and awake.
2. Following an Anti-Inflammatory Diet
One of the best ways to fight inflammation is not found on your vanity counter but in your refrigerator. Drinking lots of water and following an anti-inflammatory diet is one of the best ways to fight inflammation.
According to Dr. Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology in the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health:
“Many experimental studies have shown that components of foods or beverages may have anti-inflammatory effects,”Dr. Frank Hu, Harvard School of Public Health
Thus, Dr. Hu recommends incorporating anti-inflammatory foods into your diet such as:
- olive oil
- green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, kale, and collards
- nuts like almonds and walnuts
- fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines
- fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and oranges
The good news for us coffee drinkers?
Coffee may actually protect against inflammation due to the polyphenols and other anti-inflammatory compounds it contains.
WOW Tip: We also love incorporating anti-inflammatory supplements such as turmeric to help combat inflammation from the inside, out.
In addition to adding anti-inflammatory foods to your diet, it’s also important to limit your intake of inflammatory foods such as:
- refined carbohydrates, such as white bread and pastries
- French fries and other fried foods
- soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages
- red meat (burgers, steaks) and processed meat (hot dogs, sausage)
- margarine, shortening, and lard
*No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.