Inflammation is a term you’ve likely heard thrown around as something that’s bad and should be feared.
However, not all inflammation is bad.
There’s an important distinction between acute inflammation and chronic inflammation.
Acute inflammation is the body’s response to injury, such as when you get a paper cut, bump your shin on the coffee table, or lift heavy weights. Your immune system reacts to the injury to start the repair and recovery process, and acute inflammation also plays a key role in defending your body against all manner of pathogens, including bacteria, fungi, and other microscopic ne’er-do-wells.
Chronic Inflammation results from prolonged exposure to a low-intensity irritant, toxin, or stress (including psychological or emotional stress). It may also be an autoimmune response to an allergen.
Known factors that contribute to chronic inflammation include:
- Weight gain
- Poor diet
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Sedentary lifestyle
When you’re chronically inflamed, your body’s immune system is constantly on alert and doesn’t get a chance to rest. This may seem harmless, and you may not even notice it...until it begins to interfere with your daily living.
Chronic inflammation is known to play a role in:
- Chronic fatigue
- Brain fog
- Achy joints
- GI distress
Chronic inflammation is also a contributing factor in many lifestyle conditions including metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, and obesity.
Fortunately, there are a number of simple things you can do beginning today to help reduce and eliminate inflammation. Chronic inflammation is impacted significantly by your diet and lifestyle, which means you have the power to combat it.
7 Ways to Naturally Eliminate Inflammation
#1 Avoid Sweets, Soda, and Other Heavily Processed Junk
Diet has a profound impact on chronic inflammation, and consuming high amounts of refined sugars, oils, and processed foods are a shock to the system that can lead to inflammation and unfavorable metabolic effects.
Moreover, ultra-processed foods typically are higher in calories, saturated fats, trans fats and sugar while being low in fiber, protein, and micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants) -- all of which are attributes of pro-inflammatory diets. On a side note, ultra-processed foods also tend to be less filling and lead to overeating, which can hinder weight loss/maintenance goals.
Conversely, diets that include a higher percentage of unprocessed or minimally processed foods (fruits, vegetables, lean meats, whole grains, etc.) are rich in polyphenols, flavonoids and antioxidants with anti-inflammatory potential.[2,3] For added micronutrient intake, you can also look into a whole foods supplement like 1UP Organic Vegan Reds & Greens Superfoods, which contains 19 organic fruits and vegetables in every scoop to supports immune system, promote gut health, boost metabolism, and reduce bloating.
#2 Get Enough Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of beneficial fat that serve as important components of the membranes that surround each cell in your body. They also support cognitive function and have anti-inflammatory properties.
Furthermore, research indicates that omega-3 fatty acids may support health by reducing LDL/cholesterol synthesis, enhancing lipid profiles, improving insulin function and glucose tolerance, and inhibiting pro-inflammatory cytokines.
Additionally, researchers note that higher intakes of omega-3 fatty acids may be associated with low inflammation and improved endothelial function.
Omega-3s can be found in fatty fish like salmon as well as flaxseeds, chia seeds, and walnuts.
Unfortunately, many individuals don’t consume enough fatty fish on a regular basis and the plant forms of omega-3 fatty acids aren't very efficiently converted to the more “active” forms of EPA and DHA in the human body.
To help consume enough omega-3s, it can be beneficial to supplement with them. 1UP Omega-3 provides an affordable, high-quality option to help meet your daily omega-3 needs. Every serving supplies 2,000mg of high-strength omega-rich fish oil concentrate, including 720mg EPA and 480mg DHA.
#3 Reduce Alcohol Consumption
Alcohol is widely available and frequently enjoyed by considerable portions of the population. While the occasional drink may not torpedo your transformation challenge results, consuming too much alcohol can cause systemic inflammation, not to mention damage your vital organs, including your liver and brain.
As such, if you choose to enjoy adult beverages, practice moderation -- 2 drinks or less in a day for men or 1 drink or less in a day for women.
Also, keep in mind that alcoholic beverages include calories. As such, if you are tracking your calories using the 1UP Fitness App, make sure to log your adult beverages so that you can stick to your calorie intake goals for the day.
#4 Exercise Regularly
Intense exercise results in acute inflammation, but this inflammation is both necessary and beneficial as it helps the body recover and become more resilient, stronger, and durable.
Conversely, a sedentary lifestyle is associated with weight gain, poor diet, and increased levels of inflammatory biomarkers. Moreover, chronic inflammation plays a significant role in accelerating the aging process and is closely associated with the onset and progression of numerous age- and lifestyle-related diseases.
Regular exercise is known to help lower the risk of age-associated diseases and reduce levels of inflammatory biomarkers, including CRP, TNF-α, and IL-6.
In fact, research shows that even something as little as one 20-minute bout of moderate exercise can stimulate the immune system, producing an anti-inflammatory response.
#5 Take a DEEEEEEEP Breath
Breathing exercises and drills (such as box breathing) are a popular way to help center yourself and reduce tension.
Research shows that practicing breathing exercises may help decrease stress as well as reduce markers of inflammation. If you find yourself getting stressed, try to take a few moments for yourself to decompress and practice some breathing exercises.
Even if you don’t get stressed regularly (is that even possible?!) it can be helpful to unplug from your technology devices and just spend 3-5 minutes doing deep breathing. It might not seem like much, but you’ll be amazed with the benefits.
#6 Relax with a Cup of Tea
Tea leaves are rich in the amino acid L-Theanine which has been shown to reduce anxiety and improve mood. The ways in which theanine modulates mood, energy, and focus is multifaceted, but in simple terms, it can increase levels of GABA (a calming neurotransmitter), increase levels of dopamine (a feel-good neurochemical), reduce the effects of glutamate (an excitatory neurotransmitter), and reduce cortisol levels (excess cortisol and stress can contribute to an inflammatory state).
Moreover, research has found that L-Theanine supplementation (200mg/day) may help reduce stress-related symptoms of depression, anxiety, and sleep problems.
As if that wasn’t reason enough to consider, l-theanine supplementation also has been shown to improve measures of verbal fluency and executive function scores in healthy individuals.
To get more theanine in your diet, you can opt for tea during the day instead of coffee or energy drinks as well as use dietary supplements, such as our nighttime recovery aids Beauty Dream PM and Recharge PM, which contain 200mg of L-Theanine per serving.
#7 Lose Weight
We’ve mentioned a few times throughout this article the importance that lifestyle choices and habits have on limiting or reducing inflammation. Maintaining a healthy body composition is paramount to combating systemic inflammation.
Individuals who are overweight and obese have more inflammation. Therefore, losing weight may decrease inflammation.
A key part of maintaining a healthy body weight or losing weight is to track your calorie intake, which can easily be done with the 1UP Fitness App.
Within the app, we also provide suggestions for daily calorie and macronutrient intakes to help you meet your weight loss (or muscle building) goals based on your age, gender, and preferences.
For added support losing weight, we offer a comprehensive line of top-rated weight loss supplements, including Make Her Lean Max, Pro Ripped Max, and an Appetite Suppressant, to make dieting easier than ever.
- Silva CA, Santos IDS, Shivappa N, Hebert JR, Crivellenti LC, Sartorelli DS. The role of food processing in the inflammatory potential of diet during pregnancy. Rev Saude Publica. 2019;53:113. Published 2019 Dec 20. doi:10.11606/S1518-8787.2019053001154
- Monteiro CA, Cannon G, Maubarac JC, Levy RB, Louzada MLC, Jaime PC. The UN decade of nutrition, the NOVA food classification and the trouble with ultra-processing. Public Health Nutr. 2018;21(1):5-17. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1368980017000234
- Shivappa N, Stack SE, Hurley TG, Hussey JR, Hébert JR. Designing and developing a literature-delivered, population-based dietary inflammatory index. Public Health Nutr. 2014;17(8):1689-96. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1368980013002115
- Natto, Z.S., Yaghmoor, W., Alshaeri, H.K. et al. Omega-3 Fatty Acids Effects on Inflammatory Biomarkers and Lipid Profiles among Diabetic and Cardiovascular Disease Patients: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Sci Rep 9, 18867 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-54535-x
- Zheng, G., Qiu, P., Xia, R., Lin, H., Ye, B., Tao, J., & Chen, L. (2019). Effect of aerobic exercise on inflammatory markers in healthy middle-aged and older adults: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 11. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnagi.2019.00098
- Dimitrov, S., Hulteng, E., & Hong, S. (2017). Inflammation and exercise: Inhibition of monocytic intracellular TNF production by acute exercise via β 2 -adrenergic activation. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 61, 60-68. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbi.2016.12.017
- Twal, W.O., Wahlquist, A.E. & Balasubramanian, S. Yogic breathing when compared to attention control reduces the levels of pro-inflammatory biomarkers in saliva: a pilot randomized controlled trial. BMC Complement Altern Med 16, 294 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12906-016-1286-7
- Hidese S, Ogawa S, Ota M, et al. Effects of L-Theanine Administration on Stress-Related Symptoms and Cognitive Functions in Healthy Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Nutrients. 2019;11(10):2362. Published 2019 Oct 3. doi:10.3390/nu11102362