Post: 3 ways to switch into the anti-inflammatory lifestyle

Inflammation is a body’s normal immune response to injury, wound or disease to protect, defend, fight and repair against the damage. It is our body’s defence mechanism on the cellular level. When we are young, the body’s immunity is at an optimal level. But as we grow older, though the body’s cell renewal process goes on, the immune system slowly decline if we do not take proper care.

So as we grow older, not only we have to maintain a healthy lifestyle but also consider the anti-inflammatory aspect of living a healthier and disease-free life.

Risk factors of inflammation are chronic stress, anxieties, depression, pain, anger, hurt, fear or most of the negative emotions. Other important risk factors can be unhealthy food habits like bingeing habits, fat (omega 6 fatty acids) rich foods like soy, peanuts, mayonnaise, plant-based oils ( sunflower oil, grapeseed oil, vegetable oil), alcohol, refined sugar. Sedentary habits, with no or very less physical activities, are all pro-inflammatory.

Some more pro-inflammatory factors like processed foods, heavy metals, pollutions, smoking, drugs and disturbed or toxic relationship.

So, how do we incorporate the anti-inflammatory aspects of our lifestyle?

1.Less is more: The more we lead a simple basic life, the better and longer, we can live healthier and happier. Essentially basic life, meaning, eating well, sleeping well, a good amount of physical activity in the daily routine. Keeping away from any negative emotions as much as you can. Staying away from stress and anxieties as much as practically possible. Living a life of Gratitude and contentment are the keys.

2.Wholesome diet: Plant-based food, plenty of vegetables, fruits to have daily, whole fibres are all good. Certain known anti-inflammatory foods like food rich in omega 3 fatty acids ( fishes like salmon, sardines, tuna), avocado, olive oil, whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat, dark chocolate, nuts, berries,chia seeds. Spices like ginger, garlic, turmeric, cinnamon all have anti-inflammatory properties.

3.Physical activity: Workouts and gymming are all very good in keeping the body shape and weight at check. But the important part is you should also keep your cortisol level (stress hormone) in balance. It’s always wise to avoid heavy workouts which can shoot up the cortisol level. Because stress hormones are risk factor responsible to contribute to chronic inflammation. Design your workout and physical activity routine plan as the way you are comfortable and as far as you enjoy doing them. Yoga is another practice which has a lot of stretchings as well as help to keep your mind at peace.
Don’t forget to meditate daily which gives you the much needed mental peace and solace.

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Post: 2 intrinsic rewards behind adapting to a healthy lifestyle.

“Happiness lies, first of all, in health.” George William Curtis

Whatever your goal is, maintaining a fit body, weight loss, maintaining your blood sugar, cholesterol or reducing stress, adopting changes in lifestyle is not hard. But maintaining them is a tough calling. Old habits are hard to quit.

Avoiding a piece of brownie, or an extra glass of wine during Christmas or thanksgiving is far less appealing than on a normal routine day. You have no time to think about that extra calories in those moments. Hitting the gym or jogging in the morning on a cold chilling winter doesn’t seem appealing at all even if it may affect your lifestyle changes goal.

Evidence-based researches have shown that people get motivated to adopt and maintain their lifestyle goals based on 2 types of reward system.

1.Hedonia; When lifestyle goal is associated with more superficial outcomes like you are looking good, losing weight, your wrinkles have reduced, your belly fat has reduced. These rewards are short-lived, gives you superficial pleasures and temporary satisfaction but lack a deeper meaning or a purpose. So, when you default your routine, may give you unhappiness as you will miss the superficial outcomes.

2.Eudaimonia: When your goal is attached to a more deeper meaning or a purpose, you tend to get motivated longer or even life long. In the process, lifestyle changes don’t become a forceful routine but instead, turn into spontaneous habits which gives you more lasting benefits. Emotions are mainly expressed due to the limbic brain. When we are deeply happy, contented, this feeling has a lasting memory in the structures amygdala and hippocampus. So, when you have a purpose, a satisfying meaning which gives happiness, attached to your lifestyle changes, you are always motivated to follow.

Some examples of different scenarios while attaching your lifestyle goal to a purpose :

A middle-aged woman has started to become physically active, taking her exercises regularly to build up more stamina to look after and play with her grandchildren.

A young loving husband who was obsessed with junk food and alcohol, have started to quit his habits and adapt to a healthy lifestyle for the sake of his wife and his newborn child.

A young man or a woman who had a past unhealthy way of eating, irregular routine start to adapt healthy eating and lifestyle for the sake of his/her career.

A doting grandfather starts taking care of his diet and maintains his routine physical activity so that his diabetes is better controlled and that he can be alive for a long time to spend his days with his growing grandchildren.

Attaching lifestyle goal with a purpose, not only help you in overall health-related aspects but have also other hidden rewards. You are more in charge of your life, you have self-acceptance and self-respect as an individual, believing yourself better, improved relationship with others and overall personal growth.

Post: Detoxification: 4 realities.

Once we step out of our house, we are exposed to a host of environmental pollutants, allergens, hazardous chemicals, processed food, heavy metals, pesticides and so on. All of them have a hazardous effect on our body.

Medical experts do not really urge the need for detoxification as our body has a natural ability to eliminate toxins and waste. Skin, liver, kidneys, bowels and lungs naturally eliminate toxins.
But then, why do we keep hearing about detoxification methods which often catch our attention ?

4 realities ;

  1. Detoxification is quite necessary when your body’s natural mechanism is disturbed. Sedentary lifestyle, poor eating habits, overeating, too much of alcohol, smoking may contribute. Some occupational hazard (regular exposer to heavy metals like lead, arsenic) and people with digestive disorders may require to detoxify.

2. The concept of a detox diet may sound appealing but is quite a misconception. Detox diet which may include specific food with detoxifying properties, laxatives, liquids don’t really identify or remove specific toxins. There is no scientific evidence of any diet which can eliminate specific toxins.
The human body itself is equipped with an efficient detoxifying system. The detox diet can at best facilitate the natural system.

3. Change in lifestyle is an important tool to optimize our body’s natural ability of detoxification. Cutting down sugar, processed food, reduce intake of alcohol, reduce salt intake and maintaining an active life (to boost metabolism) are very essential. Having adequate sleep daily is helpful to remove toxic waste (beta-amyloid) from the brain. Sleeping about 6-7 hours of quality sleep ensures good health.

4.Drinking lots of water, staying hydrated throughout the day help remove toxins, waste through urine, sweat and also breathing. Antioxidant-rich diets composed of fresh fruits and vegetables help to eliminate the excess free radicals and fight the body’s oxidative process. Food rich in prebiotics like banana, tomatoes, garlic, oats, asparagus help in increasing the good bacteria in gut called probiotics. A healthy gut is necessary for effective body’s natural detoxification.

Leading a well-disciplined life is quite effective for the body’s natural mechanism of detoxification. Adopting methods like a detox diet, going to spas, sauna bath, sweating therapy, fasting methods can be individual choices.