How to control inflammation
Exercise - Consistent and moderate aerobic exercise is one of the best ways to lower inflammation. Studies have shown that regular exercise can reduce inflammation by 20-60% and lower the white blood cell count during and after exercise. That’s why athletes, especially swimmers, have some of the lowest levels of inflammation around. The bad news for weekend warriors is that inconsistent exercise can have the opposite effect on inflammation. Engaging in intense, but irregular exercise can raise your white blood cell count, increase inflammation, and weaken your immune system. Prolonged strenuous exercise (i.e. running a marathon) can actually triple white blood cell levels. Athletes who over-train can increase inflammation and weaken their immune systems, making it more difficult for them to properly recover.
Diet - What you eat also has an effect on inflammation. To keep your levels in check, eat very little sugar from all sources including fruit juices, as all forms of carbohydrate apart from most vegetables being O.K do not combine with any type of fatty foods, unsaturated fats especially, and processed salt (such as in fast foods). Aim for foods that are high in antioxidants like vitamins C and E, fiber, calcium, premium quality fish oils, good quality saturated fats, and foods low on the glycemic index. Specific foods that have been shown to have an effect on lowering inflammation include garlic, grapes, herbs, spices, nuts, olive oil, black and green teas, and vinegar. Aim to eat at least six servings of and vegetables per day, this can easily be done through juicing your vegetables, adding a little fruit juice for tastes purposes, again aim to keep the fruit sugar ( fructose levels) in check, which will benefit your inflammation levels while supplying important nutrients.
Supplements - Sometimes, diet and exercise are not enough to reduce inflammation, and taking supplements may help. Vitamins C, D, and E have all been linked to promoting healthy levels of inflammation. Taking 1,000 mg vitamin C per day may reduce your systemic inflammation levels by as much as 25%. Long distance runners or triathletes can cut their risk of developing upper respiratory tract infections in half by taking 600 mg per day of vitamin C. This dose also aids in reducing the severity and duration of infections. Vitamin D also appears to play a role in reducing inflammation. Those with adequate levels of vitamin D in their blood were less likely to develop inflammation, according to researchers. In fact, even very small increases in serum vitamin D is associated with a 25% reduction in inflammation. So make sure you soak up around 20 minutes of sunshine per day, (without the use of sunscreens), or consider taking a Vitamin D supplement.
Sleep – Getting more and better quality sleep will help to reduce your inflammation levels. To improve your sleep, try going to bed 30 minutes earlier each night and sleep in a completely dark room.
Conclusion; Optimal nutrition, changes to lifestyle, exercise and supplementation can help to reduce systemic inflammation, improve quality of life, add to athletic performance, as well granting a heightened sense of well being and life extension.