Article at a Glance
- Inflammation is known to be closely linked with aging.
- Studies show that exercise can reduce inflammation.
- Alterations to your diet can also aid in reducing inflammation.
Inflammation is behind a number of chronic diseases, and according to some researchers, may be behind every chronic disease, including cancer, diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and arthritis [R][R]. Some scientists are nicknaming inflammation “The Unifying Theory of Disease” and have implicated it in a number of health problems [R].
Inflammation is a complex response of the immune system that has many different triggers. Every adult has some level of inflammation, but when it goes unchecked it can lead to the body doing significant damage to itself [R].
Although scientists are not sure whether inflammation is the cause or effect of aging, they know the two are closely linked, with some terming it “inflammaging” [R][R].
There’s no fountain of youth, but there are many ways to reduce inflammation and start to feel young again. Here are natural methods you can try to help you stay young by reducing inflammation.
Exercise to Fight Inflammation
It’s long been known that physical activity is good for mental health and energy levels [R][R]. Much of the research has focused on aerobic training. However, weight training has also been proven to be useful in reducing overall inflammation.
In essence, people who are physically active have significantly lower numbers of inflammatory markers. Numerous biochemicals and processes in the body are responsible for inflammation. Multiple studies show that people who regularly get aerobic exercise are at lower risk of inflammation than those who are sedentary [R].
Weight training has also been shown to be helpful in reducing inflammation. The science is less clear on the single-session effects of weight training, but consistent weight training leads to an overall decrease in inflammatory markers. Consistent weight training leads to the body developing a resistance to cytokines—one of the key elements responsible for inflammation [R].
Anti-Inflammatory Diet Tips
Some foods can help in the fight against inflammation and may be added either as part of a meal or taken as supplements in addition to a healthy diet [R].
The Omega–3/Omega–6 Ratio
One potential cause of chronic inflammation is an imbalance of omega–3 and omega–6 fatty acids. These fatty acids are a necessary part of our diet that our body cannot produce on its own and must be consumed from outside sources.
Humans evolved with a fairly even balance of omega–3 to omega–6 fatty acids, but in modern Western diets, omega–6 fatty acids may be consumed 15 to 16 times as much as the omega–3s. Omega–6 fatty acids have been known to promote the development of several diseases, wheras omega–3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties [R].
The three kinds of omega–3 oil, ALA, EPA, and DHA, are all necessary. ALA is mainly found in plants and is especially abundant in foods like flax seeds, chia seeds, and walnuts [R]. EPA and DHA often come from sources like fish. Fatty fish like tuna, salmon, sardines, and mackerel are well-known sources of EPA and DHA.
Studies suggest supplementing the diet with 2-3 grams of EPA and DHA can be helpful in combating inflammation [R].
Krill oil is another supplement that can reduce inflammation. Krill are tiny crustaceans similar to shrimp that live in the ocean. Studies show that taking around 4 grams of krill oil per pound of body weight alleviates inflammation, lessens cognitive impairment, reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, and can even improve knee pain [R][R][R].
Spice It Up
Numerous spices have been implicated as anti-inflammatory agents, some of which complement each other. Most of these spices are readily available at stores and can add extra flavor to meals.
Turmeric, often found in powder form derived from the root of the turmeric plant, is full of health benefits due to its active ingredient curcumin. In addition to being an anti-inflammatory agent, curcumin can also help reduce arthritis, anxiety, and muscle soreness as well as many other conditions, like high blood pressure [R]. Turmeric’s health effects are most effective when it’s combined with black pepper, which increases the bioavailability of curcumin by 2000% [R].
Capsaicin, the chemical in chilies that makes them spicy, can be part of an anti-inflammatory arsenal. Multiple studies have shown that capsaicin is an effective anti-inflammatory agent and may even be useful in the fight against cancer [R][R][R]. Capsaicin has also proved to be a viable tool to reduce obesity and even reduce fatigue [R][R]. Capsaicin can be added to the diet in chilies or it can be taken as supplements, with around 20-40 milligrams effective [R].
Garlic has long been used in medicine, and research shows it’s a potent anti-inflammatory agent [R]. If garlic’s taste is too pungent for you, consider taking supplements, and consider how they are prepared. One specific study showed that garlic supplements derived from uncooked garlic provided significantly stronger anti-inflammatory benefits than those derived from cooked garlic [R].
Ginger is another ancient remedy that has proven itself as an anti-inflammatory. One study of ginger supplements found that 250 milligrams of ginger supplements were as effective as 400 milligrams of ibuprofen in treating menstrual cramps [R]. Ginger supplements also provided relief to sufferers of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis when taken for an extended period of time [R].
Grapes pack a double punch: they have both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties [R]. One of the reasons grapes fight inflammation is their high levels of polyphenols and resveratrol, chemicals that have numerous health benefits [R].
Even grape-based products like grape powder and grape seed powder can help fight inflammation and may also reduce the risk of other chronic diseases like cancer [R].
Quick and Natural
Inflammation is not only at the heart of many diseases, but is a big component of aging. But with a few changes in your diet and exercise routines, you can work to slow the body’s aging process. Stay tuned with Prime for more ways to help you feel like the best you.
The information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration or any other medical body. Information is provided for educational purposes. You should consult your doctor before acting on any content on this website.