Our modern lifestyle and diet are full of factors that cause inflammation and this is now conclusively linked with most Western diseases such as diabetes, Alzheimer's, cardiovascular disease, allergies, asthma and arthritis. Inflammation is also closely linked with skin conditions such as sensitivity, rosacea, premature ageing and blemishes.
How can we tackle inflammation and improve our health as well as the appearance of our skin? There are several things we can do:
Diet Our modern diet is high in inflammation promoting foods such as refined flour, sugar, oxidised (trans) fats, chemicals and preservatives. Instead choose foods that reduce inflammation such as omega 3 essential fatty acids, fermented foods and fermentable fibre as well as a natural wholefood diet.
Gut health Closely linked with diet is the health of our gut. If our intestines are permeable, this can let food into our bloodstream causing allergies and inflammation. This permeability can be caused by an overgrowth of the wrong type of bacteria or moulds such as candida. Reduce sugar and carbohydrate in the diet and supplement with probiotics and fermented foods.
Stress Mental stress can trigger inflammation in the body as it stimulates the releases of pro inflammatory chemical messengers called cytokines in the body.
Exercise Although exercise can trigger the release of the same pro inflammatory cytokines, this is then followed by the release of anti inflammatory substances. This effect is known as hormesis, where a positive stressor causes the body to react and then this brings anti inflammatory benefits.
Sleep Chronic sleep deprivation can cause inflammation in otherwise healthy individuals.
Vitamin D Lack of vitamin D is widespread in Western countries. Vitamin D supports the immune system and moderates inflammation.