A bowl filled with vegetables and fruit – a great way to reduce inflammation.

The Best Ways To Reduce Inflammation In The Body

There’s an endless supply of tips and tricks. But how can we really feel empowered to reduce inflammation in our bodies?

 

It’s common knowledge that our modern world is loaded with pollutants, stressors and chemicals that aggravate our bodies. We’re busier than ever, meaning our lives are often filled with quick convenience food, our homes are loaded with toxic chemicals, and we’re generally quicker to get in our car than go for a stroll. 

Whilst we’re firm believers in moderation and balance (let’s say goodbye to shaming and guilt!), there are healthy solutions we can take to address common, underlying health issues – many of which are caused by inflammation. 

Here at The September Project, we focus on nutrition, in all its forms – nourishing our body and mind through food, mindfulness, movement and connection. 

The pillar of food is a core one for us. P.S! That’s why we created our powerful supplements – Daily Balance and Daily Vitality – to help you maintain a spring in your step.

What we put in our bodies has the ability to reduce inflammation, boost our resilience and energise us. Our mantra is “crowding out” – which means adding in the good, rather than solely trying to remove the bad. Instead of focusing our attention on what we shouldn’t be eating, we put our minds to adding in more of what we should be consuming.

Remember: abundance is far more powerful than restriction.

Many diseases – including cancer, arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, depression and Alzheimer’s – have been linked to inflammation in the body. After our founder Kate Sherriff was diagnosed with cancer as a 23-year-old, she went on a life-altering journey that led her to discover integrative medicine and the power of food. She tackled inflammation through lifestyle changes, and her wealth of knowledge is now changing lives through her transformative Health Coaching. She herself has never been healthier, and is bursting with passion. 

So, what exactly is inflammation?

A common misunderstanding is that inflammation is something we want to fully get rid of. But this isn’t true – and we wouldn’t be able to live happy, healthy lives without it!

In truth, there’s two types of inflammation.

The first – acute inflammation – is a key player in our body’s defence system. When, for example, we get a cut, burn our hand or catch a cold, our tissue gets damaged in some way. So, the affected area releases chemicals, alerting white blood cells (specifically phagocytes), which head to the area via the bloodstream, essentially “eating” damaged body cells and any invasive organisms. Ever wonder why your body swells up when you get injured? Well, that’s because blood vessels leak fluid into your injured tissue, with the swelling assisting in isolating foreign substances. Redness and heat is also a result of this increased blood flow. Hello, healing! 

Now, there is a harmful type of inflammation that we want to prevent or reduce – this is known as chronic inflammation. This is when inflammation lasts a long, unnecessary amount of time (ie. it’s not doing your body any favours!), or when there’s too much of it. This can cause tissue damage, which then alerts more phagocytes to assist, prolonging the inflammatory process. The resulting chronic inflammation can last months to years, potentially contributing to the cause of various diseases, and being attributed to numerous gut issues, such as inflammatory bowel disease and leaky gut. 

You may be suffering with the effects of inflammation yourself – if you’ve ever wondered why you are constantly fatigued or experience insomnia, or battle digestion issues such as constipation and acid reflux, gain weight without changing your diet or exercise regime, or experience depression, anxiety and other mood disorders, then this could be caused by chronic inflammation. Chronic diseases have also been linked to this sort of inflammation. 

How Can Food Reduce Inflammation?

“As pioneers in prevention, our goal is to show the world that food changes everything” – Kate Sherriff, The September Project’s founder and Integrative Health Coach

Fruit is a great way to reduce inflammation in the body.
Try adding more fruit to your diet – an easy way is with breakfast.

Although there’s an array of pharmaceuticals that can or claim to help with chronic health issues, you might have reached a point where you want to try a different path. Or perhaps even supplement other methods with a more natural, holistic course. Sure, medicine has its place and can be lifesaving, but for many people, the real power lies in nourishing our bodies with highly nutritious food and lifestyle choices. 

The incredible thing about our bodies is that they’re adaptable and malleable. What we put in them can literally change the functioning of our cells and organs. Certain foods, such as lower glycemic foods and options high in Omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants, can actually reduce inflammation and protect our tissues from inflammatory damage. 

Shifting to an anti-inflammatory diet can be a helpful way of managing many chronic health conditions, maintaining a healthy digestive system and decreasing the risk of obesity, diabetes, depression, cancer, heart disease and many other diseases.

Here at TSP, we love buying organic, locally-sourced produce where possible. We’ll head to a nearby farmer’s market and ensure our food is fresh and our fruits and vegetables are spray-free. Eating in-season can keep costs down and means you won’t be eating food that’s travelled thousands of miles to get to your plate. 

“One of the easiest and most effective ways of reducing inflammation is by fuelling your body with food that supports you.” – Eva Selhub, MD

Although you can create your own favourite way to eat and incorporate anti-inflammatory foods as you please, there are three popular anti-inflammatory diets if you’re wanting more structure; the IBD-Anti-inflammatory Diet, the Autoimmune Protocol, and the Mediterranean Diet. The easiest and most abundant one we’ve found is the mediterranean – it’s rich in wholegrains, healthy oils such as olive oil, fatty fish, masses of vegetables and fruits, and nuts and seeds. You can also eat a wide variety of foods without restricting yourself. 

If you want to add some more anti-inflammatory foods to your next shopping list, here are a few choices to start with. We’d rather focus on what to add to your life, rather than what to remove. Add the good things, and you’ll probably crave less of the unhealthy things.

We’ve broken it up into categories so it’s nice and easy for you to work to this at the supermarket. This is by no means a full list of all anti-inflammatory foods, but it’s a great starting point. 

Fruit: berries, avocados (yes, they’re a fruit!), grapes, tomatoes, cherries, olives, citrus, apples, pomegranate, pears

Vegetables: beetroot and its greens, broccoli, carrots, capsicum, cabbage, celery, garlic, green, leafy vegetables (spinach and kale are wonderful), mushrooms, sweet potato, leek, onions

Grains: steel cut oats, brown rice, quinoa, amaranth, rye, buckwheat 

Plant proteins: tofu, legumes (lentils and beans)

Nuts & seeds: walnuts, almonds, pistachios, linseed, hazelnuts, pecans

Fats: extra-virgin olive oil, avocado oil, walnut oil

Seafood: sardines, salmon, tuna, trout, mussels

Drinks: green tea… alllll the green tea! 

Treats: dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa) and cacao 

Herbs & spices: turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, rosemary, cumin, clove, black pepper, cayenne

Happy eating! We’d love to hear what foods work for you – send us a DM over on Instagram or flick us an email at info@theseptemberproject.com

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