The When Way of Tamping Down Inflammation

The When Way of Tamping Down Inflammation

When it comes to reducing inflammation, timing is everything.

When you have a kitchen fire, you might grab a fire extinguisher, but you wouldn’t crank up Spotify. Well, maybe the day’s coming when you would. Students from George Mason University have invented a deep bass sonic-blaster that uses sound waves to put out fires. The technology knocks out flames in small, confined spaces.

It would be great if that kind of gizmo could sing away chronic inflammation in your cells!

Inflammation is a result of your body’s immune response when it’s called on to heal a wound or defeat a virus. It’s why your sprained ankle swells or you form a scab. And after your immune warrior cells win their war, inflammation fades away.

But what if the immune system can’t win the war because your body is under attack from chronically elevated blood sugar, a constant flow of stress hormones or going-nowhere belly fat? Then inflammation persists and becomes as damaging to your organs, cells and sex life as California’s 300,000 acre Mendocino Complex Fire—and as hard to put out.

In Dr. Mike’s book What to Eat When, you can discover effective ways to tame the flame. Here are a few:

  1. Don’t eat sugar-added or processed foods, especially at night. Inflammation increases while you’re at rest.
  2. Eat a plant-centered diet with lean animal proteins (no red meat). Get prebiotic fiber from 100 percent whole grains and produce.
  3. Aim for 60 minutes of physical activity daily. Walking counts, but getting hot ’n’ sweaty cools off inflammation more quickly. (Check out the Sharecare app for iOS and Android to help track your exercise.)

Medically reviewed in February 2020.

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