One of the more common struggles for those of us over 50 is dealing with inflammation in our bodies. As we get older it tends to become more pronounced especially if we don’t deal with it.
Low-grade inflammation is extremely damaging to the body as it affects numerous organ
systems, including the brain, heart, and digestive system.
This inflammation is often not severe enough to present with signs and symptoms (e.g., redness, warmth, swelling), but it wreaks havoc on our body over time.
Scientists now believe that low-grade inflammation is the culprit process that’s increasing the risk of coronary artery disease (CAD), neurodegenerative conditions (e.g., Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s, disease), and metabolic ailments (e.g., diabetes).
There are some easy steps you can take to help reduce low-grade inflammation which in turn will lead to increases in your health and longevity!
Load up on anti-inflammatory foods
Nutrition is both the biggest cause of and best cure for inflammation. According to Harvard Medical School, anti-inflammatory foods carry chemical substances that act as an antagonist to pro-inflammatory compounds. In other words, these foods act as antidotes to inflammation.
Here are some examples of foods that are anti-inflammatory:
● Olive oil;
● Green leafy vegetables (e.g., spinach, kale, collards);
● Nuts (e.g., almonds, walnuts);
● Fatty fish (e.g., salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines);
● Fruits (e.g., strawberries, blueberries).
These foods are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), which reduce the action of prostaglandins in the vessels, and, eventually, inflammation.
Yes being overweight causes inflammation. Adipocytes, or fat cells, are a major producer of pro-inflammatory cytokines that shoot up inflammation and damage tissues.
For instance, the adipose tissue deposition in the abdominal region has been linked to several cardiovascular and metabolic pathologies, including CAD, blood hypertension, and diabetes.
Getting even a few pounds off (and keeping them off) is proven to help reduce inflammation.
Stress stimulates the adrenal glands to release a hormone known as cortisol, which suppresses the immune response and inflammation in the short run.
However, if the serum levels of this hormone remain elevated, metabolic pathways will become activated and increase lipogenesis (fat storage) and inflammation.
Supplementing your body with beneficial substances such as fatty oils, vitamin D, and curcumin has been shown to significantly reduce inflammation and improve health.
Sleep more hours
Researchers found that people who are sleep deprived have trouble with their hormonal regulation and inflammatory response.
Therefore, try to get 7-8 hours of sleep in a calm environment without being disturbed by external factors.
If you like most of us over 50 struggle with some sort of inflammation try incorporating a few of these changes and see the positive effects they can have!