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Home/Blog/What Is "Inflammaging"? Steps to Help Promote a Healthy Inflammation Response

What Is "Inflammaging"? Steps to Help Promote a Healthy Inflammation Response

By Joe Boland

January 19, 2024

Inflammaging

It's almost impossible to go through a day without hearing about inflammation, and that maintaining a healthy response to inflammation is important for supporting overall health. 

In fact, there is even a newer term called inflammaging — also known as “inflamm-aging” or “inflammageing” — circulating these days, which is exactly what it sounds like: inflammation associated with normal aging. The truth is that the topic of “inflammation” is widespread, but here’s more about this normal bodily response called “inflammation.” 

The burning fires of inflammation are often villainized, but not all inflammation falls in that category. In fact, inflammation is a natural response of a healthy immune system, which occurs when the body’s white blood cells and their chemicals move in to fight for maintaining the health of the body. 

This natural, normal healthy inflammation response is necessary and can actually benefit us. How exactly? 

A healthy inflammation response is one of our body’s first lines of defense and takes its cues from our immune system, the body’s commander-in-chief for maintaining robust health. 

While maintaining a healthy inflammation response can be a balancing act, it’s worth pursuing, since keeping it in check can positively impact DNA, bodily organs and more–and can be positively impacted through healthy dietary habits and lifestyle factors.

Overall, it can be simple to tackle inflammaging and promote a healthy response to inflammation, including consuming a whole foods diet high in inflammation-balancing foods; exercising regularly; maintaining a healthy weight; managing stress; getting adequate, restful sleep and supplementing your diet when necessary. (Read more about these below.)

Of course, you should always consult your healthcare professional prior to beginning any new dietary or lifestyle regimen, including one that helps to promote a healthy inflammation response. 

Steps to Help Promote a Healthy Inflammation Response

Promoting a healthy inflammation response (and even healthy “inflammaging”) often involves adopting a holistic approach that includes lifestyle modifications, dietary changes, regular physical activity, stress management and, in some cases, targeted supplementation. Here are some approaches that may help support a healthy inflammation response:

1. Eat a Healthy Inflammation-Supporting Diet 

If you want to help support a healthy inflammation response, you should consume more healthy inflammation-response supporting foods. Here are some of the best foods to eat:

  • Omega-3 foods: Found in fatty fish (salmon, mackerel), flaxseeds, chia seeds and walnuts. Omega-3s have healthy inflammation-supporting properties.

  • Colorful fruits and vegetables: Rich in antioxidants and phytochemicals.

  • Turmeric and ginger: Try this Ginger Turmeric Tonic Recipe.

  • Healthy fats: Include sources of healthy fats in your diet, such as avocados, olive oil and nuts. 

  • Probiotic foods: Foods rich in probiotics include yogurt, kefir and fermented vegetables.

You also want to avoid foods that boost the body’s inflammation response. Limit or avoid processed foods, refined sugars and excessive intake of red meat.

Make sure you also drink plenty of water to support overall health and hydration. Certain herbal teas, such as green tea and chamomile, contain compounds with healthy inflammation-promoting benefits as well.

2. Regular Exercise

Aim for a mix of aerobic exercise, strength training and flexibility exercises. Moderate-intensity activities like walking, cycling or swimming can be beneficial.

3. Stress Management

Practices like mindfulness meditation can help reduce stress responses. In addition, techniques like deep diaphragmatic breathing can have a calming effect.

You also want to ensure you get sufficient and quality sleep, as inadequate sleep can contribute to the aging process. Maintain a consistent sleep schedule, and create a sleep-friendly environment.

4. Supplements

As always, please consult with a healthcare professional before taking supplements. Some supplements with potential overall healthy inflammation-response supporting benefits include:

It's crucial to note that individual experiences with these may vary. Additionally, these steps or approaches are not a substitute for professional medical advice. Individuals with underlying health conditions or concerns should consult with a healthcare professional for personalized guidance on promoting a healthy response to inflammation (including during normal aging) and overall health.

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