7 Ways to Manage Inflammation

In the right amounts, inflammation is a good thing.

Inflammatory cells are essential to healing when the body suffers an injury or needs to fight off bacteria. But when inflammatory cells linger too long in the body, inflammation can become chronic, and that can lead to all sorts of dangerous medical conditions.

While there are medications you can take to fight inflammation, there are also some easy lifestyle changes you can make to help keep it under control.

Here are seven ways to manage inflammation that you can start doing right now.

Eat an Anti-Inflammatory Diet

Certain foods trigger inflammation, while others help combat it. Build your diet around foods that are rich in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids, such as:

  • Leafy greens: kale, spinach, broccoli, collards
  • Fatty fish: salmon, tuna
  • Fruits: blueberries, oranges, apples
  • Nuts and seeds: chia, almonds, walnuts
  • Spices: turmeric, ginger, and cumin

Foods to avoid include:

  • Baked goods
  • Candy
  • Soda
  • Refined carbohydrates
  • Red meat

When you suffer from inflammation, fried foods and processed foods won’t do you any good. Do your best to cook healthy meals and be mindful of what you eat, including what you snack on.

Improve Your Sleep Habits

A lack of sleep can trigger inflammation, so it’s important to develop good sleep habits.

Adults need about seven to nine hours of sleep per night — and it needs to be restful sleep, not eight hours of tossing and turning in bed. The good news is that there are easy steps you can take to start improving your sleep hygiene tonight.

Make your bedroom dark, comfortable, and relaxing. Experts say the ideal sleeping temperature is about 65 degrees Fahrenheit, so cozy up with your favorite blanket and pillow, turn off the lights, and enjoy the darkness. Cool, dark bedrooms promote relaxation and can make it easier to sleep soundly through the night.

It’s also best to avoid using digital devices at or just prior to bedtime, so rid your bedroom of phones, tablets, laptops, and TVs.

If you use your smartphone as an alarm clock, don’t place it on your bedside table. Instead, set it down across the room so you’re not tempted to reach for it while you’re trying to fall asleep. 

Fight Inflammation With Cannabis

Using marijuana can help you fight inflammation in several ways.

One, cannabis helps regulate the body’s inflammatory response. Two, it helps reduce the pain associated with inflammatory flare-ups. Three, it also helps improve your sleep quality which, on its own, helps to reduce inflammation.  

Marijuana is now legal for recreational adult use in 24 states, and it’s legal for medical use in approximately 38 states. If it’s not legal for recreational use where you live, speak to your healthcare provider about getting certified for a medical marijuana card and using cannabis products as part of your treatment plan.

Whether you’re experienced in using marijuana or have never tried to before, read this article to learn how to consume cannabis responsibly.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

You can reduce inflammation by losing weight. Inflammation and obesity are directly connected, so reaching a healthy weight and maintaining it are important steps in managing inflammatory conditions.

Make exercise a part of your daily routine. As little as 20 minutes of physical activity per day is all it takes to maintain your weight. Exercise also helps reduce stress, which can improve your sleep habits and fight inflammation in that way as well.

Learn How to Reduce Stress

Stress increases our cortisol levels, and increased cortisol levels trigger inflammation. Managing stress is key in managing inflammation, and there are many small lifestyle changes you can make to start fighting stress right now:

  • Practice meditation or deep breathing techniques
  • Do yoga
  • Take walks outside
  • Keep a journal
  • Pursue creative hobbies

Eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and maintaining good sleep habits can all help you reduce stress and fight inflammation at the same time. 

Limit Alcohol Intake

As much as you might love beer, wine, or tasty cocktails, alcohol is not your friend if you suffer from inflammation.

Too much alcohol can trigger inflammation, so if you must have a drink, do so responsibly and within moderation. One drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men is considered moderate. 

Avoid Nicotine

Smoking doesn’t just increase your risk for respiratory illnesses, cardiovascular disease, and cancer — it also increases inflammation. If you’re a smoker, it’s time to quit.

Quitting nicotine can be challenging, especially if you’re a heavy smoker or a long-time smoker. Speak with your healthcare provider to learn if there are medications that may be able to help or make use of resources available online that can make quitting a little bit easier.

In Final Thoughts

It’s important to manage inflammation, as it can lead to dangerous medical conditions such as heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and cancer.

If you suffer from inflammation, start taking steps to manage it now. With a healthy diet and exercise, good sleep habits, and smart lifestyle choices, you can control inflammation rather than letting it control you.


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