The World Health Organisation states that chronic inflammation is one of the greatest threats to human health. Acute inflammation is a defence mechanism that stimulates the immune system to initiate healing – a healthy and natural response to injury. The body responds to acute injury via symptoms such as:
- Redness and warmth
In small amounts and for a short term period, inflammation is an advantageous process that reduces further injury and recruits inflammatory mediators to initiate the healing process. However, when this process fails to resolve, the ongoing presence of pain, redness and swelling creates new problems; the development of chronic inflammatory disease which is associated with many diseases such as:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Mental health disease
- Musculoskeletal conditions
According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 65%of the disease burden was due to 5 disease groups; cancer, cardiovascular diseases, musculoskeletal conditions, mental & substance use disorders, and injuries and 38%of the disease burden in 2015 was preventable and due to modifiable risk factors included in the study.
The risk factors for the above diseases highlight:
- Unhealthy diet
- High blood pressure
- High blood sugar levels
All of the above risk factors are certainly modifiable and can be controlled to improve the quality of life and increase healthy ageing amongst our population. The best and most effective way is to improve lifestyle measures by choosing to live an anti-inflammatory lifestyle such as:
- Engaging in daily exercise which has proven to lower pro-inflammatory mediators of disease which are enhanced in overweight individuals.
- Consume a healthy, Mediterranean based diet rich in vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds. Include blueberries, apples, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower that are high in natural antioxidants and polyphenols and other anti-inflammatory compounds, which are found to protect against inflammation.
- Herbs and spices such as turmeric, cinnamon, black pepper, chilies, rosemary, cloves, ginger, cayenne and garlic.
- Green tea aids weight loss
- Fiber – both soluble found in plants and insoluble found in whole grains are associated with lowering inflammatory mediators.
- Fish oil – higher intakes of Omega 3 oils are associated to reduce inflammation.
- Most important is to ensure that you are not deficient in micronutrients such as vitamins E and D, zinc and selenium.
- Sleep – ensuring you get at least 7-8 hours per night ensures that your cells renew and rebuild by stimulating human growth hormones aiding inflamed tissues.
- Reduce stress –chronic stress is associated with greater risks of depression. Practice yoga and mindfulness to help alleviate stress.
- Stay hydrated- Dehydration impacts muscles and joints, so it is important that having well hydrated muscles and joints reduces pain. Aim to drink 30 mL of water per kilogram of body weight each day.
Please contact Mogestri at firstname.lastname@example.org for an individualised approach towards reducing and preventing chronic inflammation and improving your quality of life.