The Nutritional Expert at SHA Wellness Clinic, Lola García, shares some tips to reduce inflammation and improve lifestyle!
The purpose of an anti-inflammatory diet is obviously to reduce any inflammation that exists. That is why it is worth asking yourself what is inflammation and what causes it in the human body.
Inflammation is thought to be the immune system’s response to aggression, which might be the result of an infection, a bang, stress, obesity…for example. Moreover, a distinction is made between acute inflammation (short term) and chronic (long term). In these terms inflammation is neither good nor bad, seeing as its main function is to defend and protect us, although if it is prolonged tests should be carried out to determine the causes of it so that it can be corrected.
Chronic inflammation is not always noticeable with symptoms of heat or redness. One example is the case of the adipocytes, the fat cells, which get inflamed in cases of obesity. Stress is another fundamental factor in chronic cases, seeing as the stress hormones work in this direction, producing generalized inflammation.
Therefore what we eat and our lifestyle are essential factors to take into account when it comes to establishing an anti-inflammatory diet. The products that must be avoided include all processed and refined food, along with anything that has been cultivated using pesticides, herbicides and other similar chemicals.
An anti-inflammatory diet is full of greens, vegetables, whole grain foods, healthy fatty acids and easily assimilated proteins. The change is easier than you think, because you don’t have to eliminate all the food items that you normally eat, it is more of a process of incorporating new products every day, every week or every month, replacing white flour for whole grains and wholemeal. In SHA Magazine there are recipes that can help you make the change. Find a market nearby that sells organic products for your weekly shopping, especially vegetables. If you plan your meals you just have to shop once a week.
Another point that should not be forgotten when it comes to an anti-inflammatory diet is exercise, keep moving! It can be a 30 minute walk a day, go dancing, swimming or to the gym. You choose the activity, but don’t let your body oxidize, it has to keep moving, otherwise it gets inflamed.
Don’t forget to reduce your stress levels. There are various options and don’t forget that exercise is one of them (if this is more motivating for you). But it is also an excellent idea to meditate, or if you prefer, mindfulness, which are just techniques to control emotions and reactions. If it relaxes you to spend time with the family, don’t forget to make space in your agenda every day to enjoy some quality time with them. Hobbies are also a good option. They help us forget our worries and therefore, reduce stress. If you come to SHA remember to ask about the stress management therapies.
It seems obvious, but I still have to remind you that eliminating toxins from your life is absolutely essential to reduce inflammation. No coffee, alcohol or tobacco and do not self-medicate yourself either.