Chronic, long-term inflammation can build up slowly in the background, over years and decades, as very small amounts of damage accumulate. As you may know, a certain amount of inflammation is good as it serves as protection against invaders and traumatic damage, such as spraining your ankle.
However, the same inflammatory response can be present, even when there’s no invader or specific injury. Inflammation may take over your body when you are:
- Eating sugar and refined grains & processed foods
- Exposed to chemicals and toxins in our food, beauty products and our environment
- Have a weakened immune system due to a compromised gut
- Excessively exposed to ultraviolet light
- Experience rapid hormonal changes such as loss of testosterone or surges in oestrogen
- Lacking Sleep and stressed out
Evidence suggests a close correlation between inflammation and many chronic health conditions including diabetes, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and asthma.
A chronic pro-inflammatory status is a pervasive feature of ageing. Here are 5 naturally potent anti-ageing tips that are practical and easy to implement:
1) Use anti-inflammatory spices regularly
Spices are chock full of natural anti-inflammatory compounds. My two favourites are turmeric and cayenne. I like these two because you can put them on just about anything, breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Buy them, put them on the kitchen counter and if you really can’t stand the taste, then use a potent capsule.
2) Eat an anti-inflammatory diet
This is one of the easiest ways to reverse the ageing process, and basically involves consuming…
a) the rainbow – lots of brightly coloured vegetables, such as red, orange and yellow peppers, kale, spinach, cabbage and broccoli
b) plenty of monounsaturated and omega-3 rich fats, such as oily fish (salmon, sardines, mackerel), extra virgin cold pressed olive oil, walnuts, chia seeds and pumpkin seeds
c) avoiding sugars and refined carbohydrates such as wheat and grains.
You can literally notice changes in the appearance of your skin after just a few days on an anti-inflammatory diet.
3) Get adequate protein
You must consume adequate good quality protein and be in a state of nitrogen balance in order to form sufficient amounts of collagen and elastin, which keeps your skin taut and youthful – definitely something I’m after!
For healthy collagen and elastin formation, we need to increase the amount of protein we eat as we age, depending on our weight and the amount of energy we expend.
4) Get adequate vitamin D
Vitamin D supports both muscle and bone tissues. It also helps preserve muscle fibres that tend to atrophy in ageing people. Exposure to sunlight is best or if you require a supplement, ensure you take D3 plus K2 for optimal absorption.
5) Keep chemicals off your skin
Use clean products with minimal ingredients such as Aloe Vera 100% gel and cold pressed coconut oil. Sunscreen can be a particularly toxic product, however, there are many good chemical free options now.
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