3 Ways to Fight Excess Inflammation and Live Longer
By DR. MIKE ROUSSELL
Excessive inflammation is the underlying cause of many of the chronic diseases and illnesses that we face today: obesity, diabetes, congestive heart failure, digestive system diseases, Alzheimer’s, atherosclerosis, and heart valve dysfunction to name a few. Inflammation is exacerbated by stress, lack of sleep, a poor diet, and other all-too-common behaviors. Here are three simple steps that you can implement in order to help fight inflammation and create balance in your body.
1. Shift Your Carbohydrates
In 2007 a research paper published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition looked at the relationship between the glycemic index (essentially a rating of how fast the carbohydrates in each particular food are digested) of a person's diet and their risk of death from disease of inflammation and oxidation. In the study, researchers followed over 2,700 people for 13 years and found that the women who ate the highest glycemic diet were at a greater risk of dying an "inflammatory death." More specifically, eating more refined sugars increased your risk of dying an inflammatory death, such as heart disease. When selecting carbohydrates in your diet place an emphasis on fruits, vegetables, and beans. Eat whole grains in moderation. Avoid refined grains and foods with added sugars.
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2. Exercise Often
At first glance, exercising regularly to lower inflammation might seem like a counterintuitive tip, since exercise itself temporarily increases inflammation. However, over the long term regular exercise decreases inflammation. One study published in the American Journal of Cardiology found that the exercise reduced the incidence of coronary diseases because of its effects on the inflammatory process. Ensure that you are getting 3-4 hours of moderate to high intensity exercise per week and utilizing a mixture of weight training, interval training, and also some aerobic training. The higher the intensity, the more effective it is at reducing inflammation over the long term.
3. Supplement with Curcumin and Fish Oil
So far I've given you diet and exercise strategies for fighting excess inflammation in your life. This last tip centers on supplementation. The two best supplements that I know of for fighting inflammation are curcumin and fish oil. An added benefit is that these two supplements fight inflammation via two different mechanisms so they can be taken together (potentially for an additive effect). Curcumin is an extract from turmeric; its anti-inflammatory action comes in its ability to inhibit the production of a variety of inflammatory molecules linked to diseases such as cardiovascular disease, obesity, arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and psoriasis. While curcumin can inhibit production of pro-inflammatory compounds, fish oil supplements provide your body with different molecular building blocks so when it goes to make pro-inflammatory compounds the raw molecular materials are not there and less inflammatory compounds are made. Check with you primary care physician to determine the best supplements and dosage for you.
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– Dr. Mike Roussell
Michael Roussell, PhD is a nutritional consultant to professional athletes, executives as well as pharmaceutical and food companies. He is the head of Nutrition at Manhattan's Peak Performance gym which was named one of the top 10 gyms in America by Men's Health Magazine. Dr. Mike is most well known for his blend of nutritional science and psychology which helps clients make long lasting and power changes to their body and health. He is the author of the 6 Pillars of Nutrition. For more practical and effective nutrition info and tips connect with Dr. Mike on Twitter, Facebook, and check out his nutrition blog.