Inflammation is one of those things you don’t physically see take effect, but there’s a reason why it’s one of the most talked about issues today. Chronic inflammation, to be specific, is responsible for almost every modern-day disease — from obesity and diabetes to heart problems and autoimmune diseases. Even the mind isn’t spared; studies are starting to find a correlation between chronic inflammation and brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Unlike acute inflammation, which protects us from infection and injury for a short period of time, chronic inflammation causes the body’s immune system switch to be permanently turned on, and its effects are akin to your body fighting a war with its own cells.

The good news is that this is one of the few health problems that can be easily solved as long as you make a few good choices about your diet and lifestyle. These changes are a cinch to accomplish (might require a bit of discipline, though) and are all highly affordable. You also won’t have to chug a glass of nasty herbal concoction, nor buy expensive supplements at the store that hardly work.

Because you don’t need another thing to stress about (which causes inflammation too!), we’ve come up with 5 easy lifestyle hacks that will ease up and hopefully, halt the effects of chronic inflammation on your body.

1
Eat clean

Okay, this isn’t going to be that easy but do your body a big favour and lay off the processed foods, at least for most of the week. This includes anything with refined grains, additives and artificial sweeteners, as well as fried foods. We know this is almost everything at the supermarket, but make the extra effort to cut them out, eat fresh, omega-rich produce as much as possible, and you’ll be on your way to a happier, non-inflamed body.

2
Keep the gut happy

As food is essential for sustenance, you better make sure you’re getting the most out of what you eat. Gut health is heavily dependent on good bacteria, which will help with digestion and regulating your immune system, and its absence usually causes weak intestine walls that release toxins into the body. The result is a triggered immune response which leads to chronic inflammation. Avoid antibiotics unless necessary, and choose the right foods to combat inflammation.

3
Sleep tight

Waking up from a truncated night’s sleep will not only make you a nasty caffeine-fuelled grouch, but also cause physical changes in your brain and body. Shorting yourself on less than six hours of sleep every night results in significantly increased levels of inflammatory markers, which in the long run can result in depression, chronic diseases such as heart problems and type-2 diabetes. To get better quality sleep, stop using electronic devices at least an hour before bedtime and make sure you limit light and sound disturbances in the bedroom.

4
Get moving

Put those trainers on, because getting sweaty is part of the deal here. Even if you don’t see physical weight loss, your body is reaping the benefits in the form of lowered levels of key inflammation marker C-reactive Protein (CRP), a substance produced by the liver which increases inflammation in the body.

5
Don’t stress the simple things

Those with strong emotional responses to stressful tasks have been proven to experience a greater increase in inflammation markers than those who take the same matters in stride. By increasing blood pressure and heart rate, stress makes your blood vessels work doubly hard to cope with the situation, and doing frequent occurrences will cause damage that results in inflammation. Take up yoga, meditation, or book that long-awaited holiday for a healthier mind and body.

Shatricia Nair
Senior Writer
Shatricia Nair is a motoring, watches, and wellness writer who is perpetually knee-deep in the world of V8s, tourbillons, and the latest fitness trends. She is fuelled by peanut butter and three cups of coffee a day.