Most of us have been thrown off balance by COVID-19. It has shown us things about ourselves that were hidden during our busy, busy days. The pause in society has revealed ways we need and want to improve. Today my sister Debra Crandall is giving us tips to help us reduce our inflammatory load. Most of those underlying conditions we hear about producing bad outcomes in patients with the Coronavirus, like diabetes and obesity, come with a boatload of inflammation. These tips will help get those conditions under control. She is well qualified to advise us. She is a registered nurse and has trained in holistic nutrition at Clayton College. She owns an Ideal Protein clinic where she teaches folks how to improve their diet and health as well as lose weight. Holistic health is her passion and she spends a lot of her off hours and all of her book budget on the topic. Here are her suggestions.
Inflammation, we hear the word every day, but before we can talk about how to decrease it, we need to understand what it is and how we can benefit from it or suffer its consequences.
Acute inflammation in an immediate response to an injury, the body is sending white blood cells to the area to repair, dilute, or wall off both the cause and the injured tissue. Our lives depend on the body’s ability to protect and repair itself.
Chronic inflammation is an acute process gone crazy! I found this definition in the book, Crazy Sexy Kitchen by Kris Carr:
“There’s a silent (yet violent) kind of inflammation that can take place without you even knowing it. What you eat, drink, and think (stress!), environmental toxins, smokin’, boozin’, and even a couch-potato lifestyle can create a fiery cascade of inflammation in your body. When your body hits an inflammatory overload your defense system gets so overwhelmed and confused that it literally doesn’t know the difference between the invader and you. As a result, your well-meaning immune system turns on itself, destroying healthy cells, tissue, and everything else in its wake. It’s like when Al Pacino played Tony Montana in Scarface. He mows down everything in sight, yelling, “Say hello to my little friend!”
What can we do? Take heart!
Here are five simple things we can all do to decrease our levels of chronic inflammation.
1. Go to bed!
Turn off the electronics an hour or so before going to bed or get some glasses that block the blue light to help your brain turn off for the night. Every hour you sleep before midnight is worth 3 hours after!
When we are asleep, our brain’s self-cleaning mechanism kicks in washing away the cellular waste from the day’s work and fighting our natural circadian rhythm only increases our levels of inflammation.
Set a nighttime routine and follow thru every night.
Set an alarm if you must, but during the day stand up, stretch, walk, do some squats. Movement is not the same thing as exercise. There is no goal to lose weight or gain muscle. Its purpose is simply to increase circulation and lymphatic drainage, and to refocus our mental processes.
3. Drink more water
Natural medicine practitioner, Dr. David Jockers, states that 75% of all Americans are chronically dehydrated. Our use of caffeinated beverages, soda, and teas does little to reduce our inflammation or help our bodies function. One to two liters of pure clean water a day helps every organ system by cleansing toxic waste, helping blood to carry oxygen, lubricating our joints, and even reducing addictive behaviors!
4. Reduce intake of processed carbohydrates and sugar
Refined carbohydrates like those found in processed flours, fast foods, cakes, cookies, pastries and breads will spike insulin levels in your body. When insulin levels are spiked, eicosanoids, which are hormones that live in your cells, will act as pro-inflammatory compounds. It has been proven that your immune system is suppressed for 4 hours following the ingestion of sugar.
Doing this will also help you lose any unwanted pounds which also increase inflammation.
Quality Omega3 fatty acids, Vitamins E, C, and D3, and a good quality multivitamin will go a long way towards helping your body repair itself from chronic inflammation and reducing its effects. The addition of Turmeric (curry), Rosemary, Fennel, Ginger and Basil to our diets is also a great way to help our bodies tone down responses to our lifestyle choices while we learn to change.
Mastering these these five simple steps to reduce inflammation in the body can give us some sense of control in this crazy COVID world. There are many more ways and many other important things to share, today’s blog is just a beginning place for all of us.
Which of these steps will you try? Do you have any tips to share?