Are you doing enough to prevent chronic inflammation? Too many of us aren’t. “Chronic inflammatory diseases have been recognized as the most significant cause of death in the world today,” including heart disease, cancer, diabetes, stroke and chronic kidney disease, wrote authors of a paper published in the journal Nature Medicine. Studies show these are proven ways to reduce inflammation. Read on to find out more—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You May Have Already Had COVID.
Being overweight or obese causes body-wide inflammation, and the most effective method of reducing inflammation is weight loss, experts say. According to a 2018 review of 76 studies, losing weight can reduce the amount of inflammation in your body, and reducing the number of calories you consume daily has an anti-inflammatory effect, no matter what your diet is.
A sedentary lifestyle is linked with inflammation, and the more sedentary you are, the more your inflammatory markers rise, one study found. The good news: Exercise is a quick fix. Researchers at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine found that just one 20-minute session of moderate exercise causes the body to produce an anti-inflammatory response.
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Eating processed foods increases oxidative stress in the body that activates inflammatory genes, says a 2019 paper published in the journal Nature Medicine. High in sugar, salt and preservatives, they can alter the gut microbiota, increasing the risk of “leaky gut,” in which toxins spread from the stomach throughout the body, a quick recipe for inflammation.
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Poor sleep quality is a risk factor for systemic chronic inflammation (SCI), says the Nature Medicine researchers. One potential underminer: The device you’re looking at right now. “Exposure to blue light, especially after sundown, increases arousal and alertness at night and thus causes circadian rhythm disruption, which in turn promotes inflammation, and is a risk for multiple inflammation-related diseases,” the authors wrote. Your move: Limit time on devices, and wear blue-light-blocking glasses.
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Chronic stress causes the body to produce an inflammatory response that can damage the heart and immune system. Studies have found that excessive stress can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease, fatty liver disease and cancer (and a poor prognosis), potentially shortening your life by years. And to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don’t miss these 35 Places You’re Most Likely to Catch COVID.