Top Ways to Prevent and Improve Harmful Inflammation
People who work out feel aches and pains. To a certain level, those mild to medium hurts indicate you are getting stronger. They’re evidence that you’re pushing your muscles to new levels and breaking them down so they can build back stronger. White blood cells rush to the tears to start the healing process, which involves pain until the healing is complete. The pain is actually the result of inflammation, so as you can see, inflammation in many situations is nothing to worry about.
As someone who is working to grow stronger and pay attention to your body, you will learn the difference between normal inflammation pain and long-term, or chronic inflammation, which is the sign that something is wrong. This article in Parsley Health explains what to look for.
“Inflammation is a product of the immune system, but it’s not inherently bad,” says functional medicine expert Will Cole. “We need healthy balanced inflammation levels in the body. Inflammation helps fight off viruses. Assists in healing wounds. And it’s needed to defend the human body against infection. So, in balance, it’s very important. It’s when inflammation is thrown out of balance, when there’s a breaking of that balance, that problems can ensue,” Cole adds. “Chronic inflammation is the problem.”
Don’t worry, there are several steps you can take to reduce inflammation and prepare your body to deal with soreness when it happens.
As people who take care of themselves might anticipate, the steps are the same all healthy people practice to stay in shape and feel good: Put the right food and NuEthix supplements in your body, get plenty of sleep, and address the stress in your life.
If you’re already buff, you undoubtedly avoid fried foods and white bread at most meals, along with candy bars at snack time. The rest of us — who are thinking hard about visiting the weight room or building up the walk from the car to the office into a lengthy jog every day — are likely the ones who need to change our diets.
It starts with food.
The junk food categories listed below help us gain weight, which itself can increase inflammation, but also contribute to many other diseases.
Eat less of:
- Anything fried
- Refined carbs
- Processed meats
- Lots of sugar
"Some of the foods that have been associated with an increased risk for chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease are also associated with excess inflammation," says Dr. Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology in the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health. "It's not surprising, since inflammation is an important underlying mechanism for the development of these diseases."
While we’re cutting back on the tasty but bad-for-us foods, we should eat more:
- Leafy greens like spinach, kale and collards
- Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna and sardines
- Olive oil
- Nuts like almonds and walnuts
- Brightly colored fruits like strawberries, apples, blueberries, cherries and oranges
These also-tasty foods contain natural antioxidants and polyphenols, known to be protective compounds.
When you want to make sure you’re getting the maximum benefit from natural ingredients, supplements can be a helpful boost.
NuEthix has worked with athletes to develop diet additions that support good eating habits and may help address inflammation.
- GDA-Max+ is a glucose disposal agent designed to reduce inflammation as well as to help you partition nutrients more effectively, maintain and reset insulin sensitivity and boost your immune system. It’s packed with berberine, a plant compound credited with killing bacteria and reducing swelling.
- Cort-Eaze supports healthy cortisol levels, helps alleviate fatigue and addresses the effects of everyday stress. (More on stress below.)
- Nu-Flame Defense is a formula built on Kre-Celazine in support of the body’s natural inflammation response, along with Boswellia and Curcumin, both known to exceptionally reduce bodily inflammation.
Psychological stress may be one cause of the body losing its ability to regulate the inflammatory response. This article in The Optimist Daily lists tips on how to cope with stress, including spending more time in nature, practicing meditation, or simply getting more and better sleep.
Meredith Paci is an integrative nutrition and fitness coach who offers more guidance in this NuEthix video about supplements and the role of sleep in our overall health.
“When working with clients and assessing inflammation, I always begin with looking at a client's history, which may be lengthy as this gives quite the picture of what their body has been through to the present,” Paci says. “When choosing any interventions I always base this on the client and their needs, starting with the most foundational and impactful intervention: diet & lifestyle. Depending on the client and the client’s individual feedback, sleep is often a solid starting point as so much of our circadian pattern, cortisol response and thus inflammation can be impacted by lack of sleep. I have had great feedback with many clients in utilizing Cort-Eaze near bed helping to aid my client to get a restful night sleep in conjunction with sleep hygiene practices.”
Finally, some highly motivated athletes may find themselves training too often and too hard.
The result can be long-standing inflammation that prevents their bodies from healing and building strength. An article published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information describes “overtraining syndrome” as a combination of a bad diet with too much time spent on hard workouts that result in inflammation, a reduction of fat oxidation and other symptoms.
“The term unhealthy athlete sounds, at first blush, like a paradox,” the article states. “The magazine cover image of an athlete performing her event in all its glory with flexed, lean muscles, bronzed skin, and glowing good looks may be perceived as the pinnacle of health. The internal working state of that athlete, however, may be at arm’s length from genuine health. In actuality, an athlete can be fit but unhealthy.”
A regimen of exercise, sleep, smart intake of food and supplements along with awareness of your aches and pains is the best approach for keeping inflammation at bay and building your healthiest self.
Meredith Paci is an integrative nutrition and fitness coach. She was a Registered Dental Hygienist for over a decade. Her personal history — including years of chronic dieting, disordered eating behaviors, battles with depression and anxiety, adrenal adaptation, and sex hormonal imbalances — ignited her passion for more education and to help others. After years of ovarian struggle she was placed into surgically induced menopause, igniting a whole new journey and opportunity to navigate the support she needed for her longevity and quality of life. It is through her clinical and personal experience that she realized she needed to create more impact. She left her RDH career to further her education and help others navigate their struggles and goals. She works to help her clients restore and further level-up their health and fitness while educating, supporting and guiding them to create sustainable habits for the long term.
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The contents of this blog should not be taken as medical advice. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any health problem - nor is it intended to replace the advice of a physician. Always consult your physician or qualified health professional on any matters regarding your health.