Chronic inflammation plays a huge role in a variety of conditions, including type 2 diabetes, autoimmune diseases, such as Crohn’s disease, and heart disease, cancer and stroke, three of the leading causes of death in our country.

Emerging research is focusing on the link between inflammation and brain disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. The good news is that diet, exercise and lifestyle changes can be powerful tools against inflammation. From what we eat to how we handle stress, check out the top six ways to fight inflammation.

  • 1

    Eat Your Greens

    Eat more green leafy vegetables, whole grains and nuts: they are all rich in magnesium.  It is estimated that about 60 percent of Americans don't get enough of this mineral. There is evidence that people with low magnesium have higher inflammation. A simple blood test can tell you about your magnesium level.

  • 2

    Control Omega- 6 Fats

    Omega-6 fats  are found in vegetable oils, such as sunflower and corn, and processed and fast food made with them.  Americans are eating too many of those and not enough omega-3 fats found in salmon, tuna, walnuts, canola and olive oils.  Omega-3 fast help to reduce inflammation. Choose as much fresh, unprocessed food as possible.  Trade your omega-6-rich corn or sunflower oil for omega-3-packed canola oil.

  • 3

    Get a Massage

    Getting a  Swedish massage can greatly lower levels of two key inflammation-promoting hormones, according to a study in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. It may also lower stress hormones and it just feels great!

  • 4

    More Soy

    Eating about 25 grams of soy protein daily helps to reduce your risk of inflammation-driven cardiovascular disease, according to the Food and Drug Administration. An eight ounce glass of soymlk contains 6 grams of soy protein. It is believed that a peptide found in soymilk and tofu, in combination with other soy proteins, can reduce inflammation.

  • 5

    Chill Out

    Research shows doing Hatha yoga at least twice a week on a consistent basis can help lower key inflammatory markers. It is believed that yoga minimizes stress-related physiological changes.

     

  • 6

    Limit Bad Fats

    Trans fats can be found in items including fried foods, packaged cookies, crackers, margarine and more. Check the ingredient list for partially hydrogenated oil which means the product contains trans fats. Cut back on saturated fat, found in fatty cuts of meat, whole milk and butter.  Eat more lean protein.