5 Ways to Reduce Inflammation and Increase Longevity

Health experts now agree that inflammation is a major cause of many major diseases. These include conditions associated with the heart, lungs, muscle, skin and digestive tract. Recent research also confirms that inflammation can be a major cause of brain diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease and even many psychiatric conditions such as depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

Reduce Inflammation and Increase Longevity

While short-term inflammation promotes healing in the body, when it continues long-term it damages essential organs, leading to degeneration over time. As a result, to reach optimal health, it is essential that inflammation be kept in check. While mainstream medicine attempts to do this through medication, the ideal, and more successful approach, is to make lifestyle and dietary changes. Unfortunately, our current lifestyles are 'pro-inflammatory', resulting our inflammatory switch being kept in the on position. Below are some anti-inflammatory tips which if maintained over the long term will undoubtedly prevent many of the diseases running so rampant in our society:

1. Eat a healthy, anti-inflammatory diet. This includes eating lots of coloured vegetables, assorted berries, herbs and spices, lean protein, filtered water, legumes and healthy oils (e.g., omega-3 fats and olive oil). Processed and artificial foods should also be avoided, along with high-sugary and take-away foods. Alcohol should also be kept to a minimum.

2. Exercise. Participating in regular, moderate exercise lowers inflammation and increases our antioxidant defence system. Exercise also lowers fat levels which also reduces inflammation.

3. Minimise stress. While avoiding all forms of stress is impossible (and probably leads to a very dull life), we do need to learn ways to minimise unnecessary stresses and also learn appropriate coping skills. Relaxation, meditation, engaging in pleasurable activities can all be very helpful. Two exciting nutrients that can also lower our stress response included Rhodiola rosea and Theanine. Rhodiola rosea is a herb contained in BCN's Rhodiola Advanced and has been demonstrated in clinical studies to improve stress-related fatigue and help people adapt to stress. Theanine, the amino acid contained in green tea also has some solid research showing that it lowers stress levels, improves concentration and increases alpha waves in the brain. Alpha waves are higher during periods of meditation. BCN's Tranquil Mind is the only Australian registered product containing therapeutic levels of theanine.

4. Improve Sleep. Our sleep patterns can greatly influence our overall health. Healthy sleep can lower inflammation, lower damage from free radicals and increase brain cell growth.

5. Take anti-inflammatory nutrients. While our lifestyle is crucial in lowering inflammation, there also a number of powerful herbs, spices and nutrients that can help complement anti-inflammatory lifestyles and combat the damage associated with our toxic lifestyles. The top nutrients include curcumin which is found in the spice turmeric (BCN's InflammaCALM), berries and other assorted fruits and vegetables, ginger, clove, fennel seed and cinnamon (BCN's MultiSpice).

By Adrian Lopresti, PhD

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