Inflammation: What is it? How can I reduce it?
Inflammation affects the nervous system and plays a leading role in your body’s defenses. In some cases, long-term, low-grade chronic inflammation contributes to autoimmune neurological diseases like dementia.
Our knowledge of the brain-body connection is evolving, and researchers have shown that reducing systematic inflammation in the body can help to decrease the risk and severity of neurocognitive disease. Let’s take a closer look at inflammation, how it impacts your brain’s health, and how you can mitigate the risk of systematic inflammation through your lifestyle and diet.
What is inflammation?
Inflammation is a natural process in which your body uses white blood cells and other protectors to stop harmful invaders like bacteria and foreign bodies from causing damage or infection.
There are two distinct types of inflammation – acute and chronic.
- Acute inflammation occurs quickly and typically subsides within hours or days. It is caused mainly by a tissue injury or pathogen.
- Chronic inflammation occurs over time and can last months, even years. It is generally caused by pathogens and toxins (like pollution and industrial chemicals) your body cannot break down or an overactive immune response that attacks healthy tissue. Chronic inflammation can cause adverse effects long after the original trigger is gone and result in neurocognitive disease like Alzheimer’s.
A holistic approach to fighting inflammation
Chronic inflammation can lead to ongoing health struggles. The good news is, you can take proactive steps to minimize an excess inflammatory response, improving your health and mitigating your risk of neurological disease in the process. Foods, lifestyle choices, and supplements with an anti-inflammatory effect can protect you against the life-limiting symptoms of systematic inflammation.
According to a 2015 paper, what you eat (and what you don’t) can slow down the brain’s aging process by 7.5 years and reduce your chances of developing Alzheimer’s. The MIND diet , which champions anti-inflammatory foods, was developed by researchers specifically to protect brain health. Here are the basics:
- Eat your vegetables – specifically your green, leafy ones. Think veggies like kale, lettuce, and spinach, all of which have demonstrated their ability to slow age-related cognitive decline.
- Make berries your go-to snack. Of all fruit, blueberries and strawberries are clear winners when it comes to slowing cognitive decline.
- Reap the benefits of nuts (opt for unsalted), which are high in brain-protecting vitamin E.
- Use extra virgin olive oil for cooking and avoid butter and margarine most of the time.
- Eat less meat. Swap red meat for beans or lentils a few times a week. Legumes are packed with protein, fiber, and B vitamins.
Anti-inflammatory lifestyle choices
Lifestyle choices can influence your body’s inflammation levels, too.
- According to one study, regular exercise reduces adipose tissue inflammation , which contributes to systemic inflammation.
- Research has shown that even one bad night’s sleep can prompt your body’s inflammatory response to attack healthy tissue.
- Stress is powerful. Over time, chronic stress can trigger or worsen cardiovascular disease, neurodegenerative diseases, cancer, and other conditions. A 2017 study demonstrated that inflammation was a common link between stress and stress-related illnesses.
Supplements are a quick and easy way to boost your intake of essential, health-giving, vitality-boosting vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. If fighting inflammation is your goal, anti-inflammatory supplements are worth investigating further – here are several high-quality, evidence-backed options that I formulated:
Brain ADK combines three vital nutrients: vitamins A, D3, and K2.
- Vitamin A helps maintain the tissue that lines structures throughout your body, including your skin and nose. It also supports your body’s immune response.
- Vitamin D3 aids calcium metabolism, helping to protect bone health and your immune defense. It also plays a role in neurotransmitter synthesis and nerve growth and helps to reduce inflammation in neurons.
- Vitamin K2 protects bone and nerve cell health and may help prevent cardiovascular events.
Brain ADK is an ideal choice if you live with weak bones or a compromised internal system. When you keep your internal systems healthy and thriving, you boost your cognitive capacity and sharpen your brain.
To reach your required amount of vitamin D, you need prolonged exposure to sunlight every day. For most of us, that isn’t possible. A vitamin D supplement like Neuro D3 reduces inflammation and helps protect against brain-related conditions, such as depression and dementia.
As I mentioned above, oily fish like salmon and sardines contain healthy, anti-inflammatory fats. Brain Omega gives you a highly purified, readily absorbable shot of concentrated fish oil, which helps balance your ratio of omega-6 to omega-3. Omega-3 fatty acids are critical to human health – just like some vitamins and minerals. They support cardiovascular health, blood sugar metabolism, cognitive function, and visual and ocular health.
After years of research, I developed Neuro Det/ox ’s supercharged list of key ingredients, including green tea leaf extract, Meriva© curcumin, sulforaphane, pomegranate extract, lycopene, resveratrol, and quercetin. These all have significant impacts on the body’s detoxification process, helping you to protect yourself against oxidative stress.
Your health is as multifaceted as you are
Inflammation can lead to all sorts of health struggles, and there is no one quick fix or miracle solution. If you are ready to make a real and lasting change to your life, you need to explore your diet, lifestyle, sleep, stress, the supplements you take, and so much more.
That’s why I take a holistic, individualized approach to my patients’ care that’s as unique as they are. To find out more about my clinic and what we do, please reach out to my friendly team.