Reducing Low-Grade Chronic Inflammation with Diet and Lifestyle Changes

Inflammation is our body’s way of protecting itself by fighting off infection, illness, or injury so it can heal. However, it can take a turn for the worse when it lingers and then becomes chronic. This in turn can lead to the development of illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer.

So, what can we do to reduce low-grade chronic inflammation?

To help us gain more insight, we caught up with UCL Doctoral Researcher and Chief Science Educator at The Health Sciences Academy, Alex Ruani who took the time to educate us on various diet and lifestyle changes that can reduce low-grade chronic inflammation.

Let us begin.

Why is reducing inflammation key to maintaining good health at any age?

From an evolutionary perspective, the inflammatory response is a biological advantage. We need it to survive pathogenic infections and injury. However, our modern lifestyles and poor eating habits may lead to something called ‘low-grade chronic inflammation in the body.

Among academics, we have a saying: Low-grade inflammation is a high-grade challenge.

Low-grade chronic inflammation not only makes us age faster but it has also been associated with the development and progression of almost every single chronic condition you can think of – from pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes, to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, cancer, heart disease, stroke, and Alzheimer’s.

From the moment we are a developing embryo in our mum’s womb, through to childhood and adulthood, until our final days, reducing low-grade chronic inflammation is critical in maintaining good health and longevity.

This is because low-grade chronic inflammation disrupts the normal functioning of cells and organs, leading to metabolic complications, accumulated tissue damage, and the shortening of our lifespan.

What kinds of health issues can inflammation lead to?

Take heart disease, for instance, a leading cause of death globally. Decades of unhealthy eating may lead to heart attack or stroke from the chronically inflamed body, elevated blood sugar, high LDL (bad) cholesterol and blood triglycerides, and high blood pressure – all of which exacerbate the accumulation of plaque in the heart arteries.

So healthy eating shouldn’t be just something to consider in our later years, but also our early life. It’s never too late to start changing our eating habits to help reduce low-grade chronic inflammation.

Interested in having your levels of systemic inflammation? A common test is one that measures your serum levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), which is a systemic marker of chronic inflammation, and should ideally be below 0.7 mg/L (6.6 nmol/L).

What about infectious diseases like COVID and chronic inflammation?

Recent data during the pandemic also suggests that obesity, known to promote chronic inflammation, may exacerbate COVID-19 symptoms and decrease the effectiveness of the immunisation vaccine!

What are some tips on how to follow an anti-inflammatory diet?

Besides diet, maintaining healthy body weight, ensuring sufficient quality sleep at similar times daily, managing our stress levels, avoiding smoking, and breaking a sweat with regular aerobic exercise can all help to reduce low-grade chronic inflammation in the body.

Here is a table of foods and drinks to limit (which can help to increase low-grade chronic inflammation) and to include (which can help to decrease low-grade chronic inflammation):

How can I acquire the knowledge and skills needed to help my clients reduce inflammation by making the necessary diet and lifestyle changes?

Getting specialised by completing our Nutritional Therapist Certification is your first step towards acquiring the unique knowledge and skills for helping your clients make the necessary changes to their diet and lifestyle.

This certification teaches you how to recognise nutrition deficiency risks, advise clients, and build personalised nutrition plans. You will also learn how to:

  • Recognise the impact of food on DNA expression
  • Learn to do a nutrient check-up
  • Discover 160 superfoods that deliver the most nutrients per calorie and the functions of over 100 micronutrients
  • Perform client assessments and detect nutrient deficiency risks
  • Build personalised food plans and monitor symptom improvements

Get the full details and PDF curriculum download here.

You can also take advantage of our Nutrition Accelerator Scholarship today and enjoy access to 1 of 13 certifications (including our Nutrition Therapist Certification). Grab the chance to become specialised so you can immediately begin to make an impact.

Hurry over to our scholarship page to learn more.

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© Copyright The Health Sciences Academy. The content, graphs and charts on this page have been exclusively prepared for The Health Sciences Academy and its prospect students, existing students and graduates. None of the content on this page and website may be reproduced, copied or altered without our explicit permission. Criminal and legal penalties for copyright and other infringement apply. All Terms and Conditions apply.

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