Daily habits to fight lifestyle diseases and keep inflammation at bay
Diseases like cancer, diabetes and arthritis are linked to chronic inflammation. Expert on how to keep it in check and lead a healthy life.
Inflammation is nothing but our body's natural mechanism to fight foreign invaders protecting us from disease and infection. An injury could activate this mechanism as the body releases antibodies, protein and increased blood flow to repair the damage which may lead to redness, pain or swelling at the site of a wound. This is called acute inflammation which is different from chronic inflammation and is often short term in nature. In case of latter, the damage is long lasting and the symptoms set in gradually. Often in the case of long-term inflammation, body may start attacking healthy cells causing long term damage to DNA and tissues. Diseases like cancer, diabetes and arthritis are linked to chronic inflammation. (Also read: Inflammation: 7 foods to avoid, opt for these anti-inflammatory diet substitutes)
Chronic inflammation can be tackled by making lifestyle changes and there are daily habits one can incorporate to keep it in control. Avoiding alcohol, tobacco, sugary and deep-fried foods and adding green leafy vegetables, spices, herbs, nuts to the diet could combat inflammation. Exercise, sleeping well and managing stress are also helpful in reducing inflammation and managing symptoms of your health issues.
Dr. Anant Pandhare, Medical Director – Dr. Hedgewar Hospital, BAVP in an interview with HT Digital talks about ways to keep inflammation at bay.
- Consume anti-inflammatory diet: Spices such as turmeric, cinnamon, cumin, ginger and garlic are known to slow down processes in the body that lead to inflammation. Consuming greens such as spinach, methi, coriander, having at least one fruit a day can help to reduce inflammation and keep day-to-day damage to your cells to a minimum.
- Avoid intake of alcohol, tobacco and smoking: Consuming these items can increase inflammation and lead to damage of tissues and organs. It may lead to major health issues.
- Add these fruits, nuts and seeds: Foods such as blueberries, almonds, walnuts, lentils, and salmon will give you a wholesome food experience as well as protect you from inflammation.
- Practice yoga regularly to lower the levels of stress-related hormone cortisol. Yoga is also known to make you feel less depressed and anxious, and lead to fewer symptoms of inflammation keeping cholesterol and blood sugar levels in check. Regular practice of yoga, aerobics or gym will help you to reduce oxidative stress and boosts happy hormones in your body.
- One should aim for both, quantity as well as quality of sleep. The amount of sleep you need depends on various factors — especially your age. Choose a cool, dark and quiet room for a peaceful sleep. Go to bed early - maximum by 11pm, and try to wake up early. 6-7 hours of quality sleep is a must for a healthy life.
- Regular physical activity such as walking, running, or playing sports can improve your mood, distract you from worries, and relieve tension and stress.
- Following your hobbies is another way to get relief from stress.