How managing inflammation assists with stroke prevention
There’s a secret to preventing chronic disease, and it’s this: control inflammation and you can control your health. If that makes you feel powerful, it’s because you are! However, inflammation isn’t always the villain; sometimes we need it to help us fight infection. But when we live in a state of continuous inflammation triggered by long-term stress and poor diet, this bodily response can start to create problems.
When we’re stressed, our body releases cortisol, the inflammatory ‘stress’ hormone that throws our pH balance off kilter. Our body becomes too acidic and when we stay acidic for long periods of time, the good bacteria in our gut begins to die and the bad bacteria flourishes – an awful double whammy that compromises our immune system. Here are some diseases that long-term inflammation can cause:
- Acid reflux
- Skin conditions
- Chronic pain
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
This is a rather long list of chronic diseases, and hopefully it helps illustrate how inflammation is consistently a risk factor. You can reduce inflammation and your risk of suffering from these symptoms by making the following lifestyle and dietary changes. Let’s start with the easiest:
Supplement with probiotics to restore the balance of good bacteria in your gut that supports your immune system. You can also get your probiotics from yogurt and fermented foods like kimchi and kombucha.
Add anti-inflammatory spices to your cooking, like turmeric and ginger. Not only do these spices reduce inflammation, but they also contain powerful amounts of antioxidants that will assist with stroke prevention.
Get some shut eye. When we sleep, we give our bodies a chance to repair itself. So when we cut that time short, we’re cutting our own bodily rejuvenation short. Develop a habit of getting at least 7 hours of sleep a night.
Reduce stress through stress management exercises like meditation and deep breathing. When we limit the amount of cortisol, the stress hormone, that runs through our system, we significantly reduce unhealthy acidity in our body.
Lastly, eliminate processed sugar, the most rampant inflammatory food. Instead, try substituting with honey or stevia. We know, sometimes the substitutes aren’t as good as the real stuff, but all it takes is 72 hours to break a bad habit. Pick a weekend without any stressful deadlines or other triggers that make you reach for the sweets and make a clean break.
Whether the changes you make are big or small, you will still be making a major impact on your long-term health by reducing inflammation and your risk of stroke.