Prolonged inflammation can lead to chronic conditions like heart disease, cancer, and other deadly diseases. Reducing common sources of inflammation is key to long lasting health.
The 9 Most Common Sources:
Diet: Foods like sugar, dairy products, processed meats, refined carbs, and rancid oils all contribute to oxidative stress leading to elevated inflammation levels. To combat this, introduce antioxidant rich foods into your diet regularly. Fresh veggies, low sugar fruits, omega 3 rich foods (like sardines, algae oil supplements), and green tea are all excellent sources of antioxidant rich foods. Use high heat fats (like ghee, avocado oil, coconut oil) in cooking only. Save more delicate oils like olive oil for salads.
Pesticides: Exposure to chemicals used by large industrial farms can be another source for oxidative stress. Sign up for a local organic CSAs and ask your farmer how he or she handles pest management. If they are truly organic they will practice crop rotation, manual pest management, and use essential oils to kill bacteria/fungus.
Household Products: Cleaning products are some of the most toxic things found in the modern day house. These chemicals can cause a significant amount of oxidative stress and inflammation. Start transitioning to diy products using vinegar, castile soap, and baking soda as your base (your wallet will also thank you too).
Skin + Beauty Products: Again another source of toxins which are particularly dangerous since they go directly on your skin and get absorbed. Try to diy as many skincare products as possible. For products you can’t make at home, buy organic only and read the ingredients! Some “natural” brands still use some questionable ingredients.
Not getting enough sleep: One of the biggest sources (along with diet) of elevated inflammation. Sleeping allows the body to recover from all the daily stresses of modern life. Try to aim for at least 8 hours of sleep a night. If your have trouble sleeping then eliminate all light sources, keep devices away from your nightstand (especially phones), move your bed a few inches away from the wall, and use calming teas before bed. If all else fails, then please visit a sleeping clinic.
Stress: Prolonged emotional and physical stress can take their toll on the body. Reducing big stressors in your life may sound like obvious advice but they can sometimes feel like the least obvious thing to do. For many people this may mean changing jobs or getting out of bad relationships.
Lack of exercise: Just 20 minutes of exercise a day can be enough to reduce inflammation levels. Opt for walking to the grocery store instead of driving, stretch while watching tv, use a standing desk instead of sitting, and even plant some vegetables in your garden. These are some lifestyle adjustments you can make if you’re not they type to go to the gym regularly.
Smoking + Alcohol: It should be obvious by now but both of these things are bad for our overall health. Smoking and drinking (especially binge drinking) can greatly increase oxidation stress and put unneeded strain on our liver and lungs. Please see a therapist if you struggle with quitting either of these habits.
EMF Exposure: A lot of modern day devices emit something called electromagnetic magnetic frequencies. Biological cells exposed to EMFs have shown significant increases in oxidative stress during numerous experiments. To reduce your exposure keep your phone away from your body (stop leaving it in your pocket or bra), turn your phone on airplane mode before you sleep, turn your wifi off at night (or better yet use cables), keep calls short, and use wired devices over wireless.