Inflammation is a physical process the body uses with the intention of healing itself.
But unfortunately, this first-aid function often turns into a front-line attack on your health.
Medical research is discovering that inflammation within the body can lead or contribute to unwanted conditions, from heart attack and stroke to diseases like cancer.
According to The New York Times, the connection between chronic inflammation and various ailments or illnesses goes back to at least 2009.
UCLA and other research institutions were looking into what was a relatively new concept for the medical community at the time.
Since then, chronic inflammation has also been linked to type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and even arthritis.
Fast forward to 2017, and research and development had progressed far enough for the discovery of canakinumab.
It’s a drug that fights inflammation, and it’s documented to lower the chances of strokes and heart attacks in patients that already had a heart attack with high risk for another.
There’s even evidence it might help against lung cancer.
Canakinumab is different from statin medicines typically used in the prevention of heart disease. They lower cholesterol, but this drug actually reduces inflammation itself.
That’s the immune system’s response to many infections or injuries, and it has long been suspected by the medical community as a culprit responsible for cancer and cardiovascular disease.
One fact that corroborates this theory is that roughly half of all people who suffer heart attacks have cholesterol levels that are considered healthy or normal.
You might think canakinumab is a wonder drug, and it could be…
But before you rush to schedule an appointment with your primary care physician to get a prescription, you should know that as of August 2017, the annual cost of the drug was $200,000, per patient.
Fortunately, you can tell your immune system to calm down and cool off in many other ways, many of which are drug-free.
Most of them are also more fun than medication and provide you additional health benefits. And they’re all far cheaper than the new wonder drug you likely have trouble pronouncing.
So let’s take a look at 10 easy lifestyle changes you can make today to start fighting inflammation diseases:
1. Fight Inflammation Diseases: Stay Hydrated
The first two items on this list deal with beverage consumption, and staying well-hydrated comes first because of how important it is.
Purified water, sparkling water, and unsweetened tea all have slight health edges over tap water and its contaminants.
But any of them will keep your body flowing with fluids internally. And keeping things moving is a direct counterpoint to inflammation.
You’ll also flush out toxins more easily, have better-looking skin, minimize your appetite by staying full, and you’ll also avoid kidney stones.
2. Have a Cup of Joe
Enjoy your cup of coffee. Cream and sugar are optional, and so is the guilt.
Coffee doesn’t just give you the energy to get active (helpful later down the list). It also has polyphenols among its many anti-inflammatory compounds.
3. Stop Eating Foods That Promote Inflammation
There are a number of these. But six groups, in particular, should start showing up in your diet less frequently until you can avoid them altogether.
They include anything with trans or saturated fats, as well as soybean and corn oils. Refined carbs are not good for you, nor are sugars.
Pasteurized dairy products and red meats round the list of food categories to drop from your diet.
4. Replace Them with Healthy Fat Foods
It’s easy enough to say what you should drop from your diet, and #3 listed a lot. So what do you eat instead?
For starters, aim for five, six, or seven daily servings of foods with healthy fats.
Not sure what has healthy fats?
You’re in luck if you love avocados, which are quite trendy right now. Extra-virgin olive oil and expeller-pressed organic canola oil should both find homes in your new kitchen alongside high-oleic sunflower or safflower oils.
Walnut and sesame oils are good alternatives too. Anything you can do with flaxseed or hemp seeds also helps, whether they’re in cupcakes, cereal, or just raw snacks.
5. Fill Your Fridge
Once you get some healthy staples into your kitchen cabinets and pantry, it’s a good time to start stocking up your fridge with helpful foods.
Blueberries are great in cereals and many desserts. And apples go well in baking and just as stand-alone snacks. Collards, kale, and spinach can all be useful in salads and casseroles, or just as a side dish.
All these foods are at your grocery store, cheap all year long. And they provide your body natural protection through polyphenols and antioxidants.
6. Snack On The Go
Most any nuts will help you out, but walnuts and almonds, in particular, are going to lower your chances of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Having a serving or two daily between doctor’s appointments is likely to show reduced inflammation markers in your blood work.
7. Get Fishy
Either eat fish for their benefits or use a supplement.
Tuna, sardines, mackerel, and salmon all have omega-3 fatty acids known to be helpful to the heart and inflammation fighters.
If seafood in your diet isn’t your thing, a high-caliber fish oil supplement with 2 or 3 daily grams of EPA and DHA is also highly beneficial.
8. Start A Daily Aspirin Regimen
This is a common tactic among those looking to prevent a heart attack, as aspirin can keep the platelets of your blood from clumping and clotting.
There’s also research suggesting that daily aspirin use fights things like Alzheimer’s and colon cancer by minimizing inflammation within the brain and digestive tract.
Having said that, consult your doctor before starting this one. Aspirin can result in dangerously low blood pressure in some patients. And blood unable to clot is a risk if you have open cuts or nosebleeds.
9. Mimic Aspirin
If you don’t want to do aspirin, can’t, or just want to double down on it, then eat more zucchini and red grapes.
Zucchini has salicylates, which is a compound not unlike aspiring in its chemistry and effects.
Red grapes have high levels of quercetin, which is something that inhibits histamine flow. Histamines are chemicals which trigger inflamed tissue.
10. Get More Movement
It’s probably not a shock to you to see exercise on a health list, and it earns a place even here. Just moderate levels of activity mean the body produces more antioxidants and also uses them more.
That lowers inflammation.
Moderate levels of physical activity typically mean 30 minutes a day, even just light walking.
But research has shown that getting it all in on your days off as a weekend warrior still provides noted benefits, including lower recorded levels of C-reactive protein, which is an inflammation marker.
On top of all that, exercise can help you maintain your weight, which is another contributing factor to heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
If you stock up your kitchen with many of these new foods and aren’t sure what to do with them, visit a cooking website like AllRecipes.com.
This site lets you type in the ingredients you have available so you can find recipes that use them all together.
In addition, you should try to cook in bulk, when you can, to freeze portions or refrigerate leftovers throughout the week.
Saving time in doing all this lets you enjoy the life you’re extending and improving. And by making the above lifestyle changes, you’ll be well on your way to fighting inflammation diseases in no time at all. 🙂
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