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10 Tips to Combat Chronic Inflammation

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Healthy habits lead to a healthier you!

Did you know that inflammation is our body’s way of fighting infections and nurturing injuries? Swelling and pain are your immune system’s way of assembling the cells and chemicals necessary to heal. It’s when inflammation turns chronic, however, that it becomes a source of pain.

You may not even notice discomfort on a regular basis if you are affected by chronic inflammation. It is still, however, a serious, long-term health risk that is the root of a range of disorders and diseases, such as

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Cancer
  • Depression
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

It’s like a smoldering fire that starts burning slowly, but if left unattended will eventually turn into a three-alarm blaze! When your body is unhealthy and out of alignment, the systems in your body can’t communicate properly. The stimulation of pro-inflammatory immune cells starts, inflicting damage on your blood vessels, tissues, gut mucosa and more.

So, what can you do about fighting off the fires of inflammation before they start to rage out of control?

Optimize your nervous system.
As we discussed in my first blog post of the year, if your nervous system is not functioning at 100%, then neither will your immune system — or you as a whole, for that matter! Upper cervical chiropractic care can restore communication between the brain and body, eliminating interference and inflammation. Once the body is properly aligned, the rest of these tips will be successful and sustainable, so it is the first and most important step.

Shop the perimeter of the grocery store and choose plant-based, high-fiber whole foods. Think like a Mediterranean and eat lots of fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, fish, and olive oil.

Eliminate Wheat
Bypass the bread aisle on your way to checkout and pay close attention to hidden sources of wheat in your diet. Whole grains aren’t as healthy as you think. As Dr. William Davis writes in his book Wheat Belly, you should decrease or altogether eliminate wheat from your diet.

Go Alkaline
An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but a glass of warm water with lemon will do a tremendous amount for your overall health.

Become Friends with Bacteria
More specifically, take a good probiotic to promote healthy digestion. Healthy bacteria in your gut reduce inflammation.

Balance your Omega-3s with your Omega-6s
If you eat fish, dark leafy greens and snack foods like flax seeds or other sources high in Omega- 3s, you might not need a supplement. It is the ratio of getting more Omega-3s than Omega-6s that is important.

You do not have to run a marathon to move enough to combat chronic inflammation. In fact, over-exercising can cause chronic inflammation on its own. Just go to the gym, play a sport, walk around the block or even exercise at home on a daily basis. Do anything to work up a sweat!

Then Relax!
Siesta may not be part of the American culture, but you should still take 10-15 minutes to rest in the middle of each day. This break will help relax your muscles, calm your nervous system and reduce the risks of chronic inflammation.

Aim to get at least 7-8 hours every night to give your body a chance to rest, repair and restore. (Don’t forget to sleep on your back to hold your alignment!)

Take care of your teeth
Brush several times a day, and don’t forget to floss while you are at it. Your mother was right —neglecting your teeth will result in bad bacteria and germs accumulating, which can affect your systemic health.

Oil pulling is another great way to take care of your oral health. I suggest using coconut oil.

Remember, you don’t have to try to conquer Rome in a day. Permanent changes take place slowly. Take one tip a week and add it to your daily routine. It is much easier to be proactive with your health rather than reactive. The way to start is with a healthy, functioning nervous system!

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