(Natural News) Inflammation is one of the ways our body heals itself. Like the swelling and redness you experience after a skin cut or scrape. This indicates the healing process has begun. But there’s a vast difference between the natural inflammation that heals us, and chronic inflammation, which occurs when the immune system fights against itself. Healthy immune systems have a delicate balance of TH1 and TH2 white blood cells, says Mindandbodygreen.com. When inflammation occurs, their “seesaw” effect is diminished. This leads to fewer ‘T Regulatory (Treg) cells.” As the imbalance worsens, autoimmune diseases like diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid disease and other maladies can occur, including chronic pain, heart attack, stroke and depression, among others.
Chronic Inflammation is a serious and growing problem, but there are practical and simple ways to help balance your immune system and protect your body. Here are seven.
1. Assess your immune system.
Ask your health care practitioner to run labs to discover the balance of your immune system’s white blood cells to discover if you’re running low on T Regulatory (Treg) cells.
2. Use healthy food and probiotics to heal your gut.
Your gastrointestinal tract holds 80% of your immune system. Help it heal by increasing your intake of anti-inflammatory foods, like sauerkraut, organic chicken broth, kale, ginger and slippery elm tea. Tumeric is another important anti-inflammatory superfood. Lactobacillus probiotics are also critical.
3. Increase and know your levels of Vitamin A and D.
Vitamin A works with Vitamin D to reduce inflammation. Whether you eat food sources rich in Vitamins A and D, take supplements or simply bask in the sun rays to soak up Vitamin D, it’s important to know just how much your body is receiving. Dairy fats are a good source of Vitamin D. For added Vitamin C, try liver, fish or fermented cod liver oil.
4. Practice safe sex.
Sex triggers the hormone oxytocin. Here’s research about oxytocin’s capacity to help wound healing and increase Treg cell levels.
5. Spice it up with cinnamon.
Sprinkle cinnamon in your cereal, tea, smoothies, and apples. Sodium benzoate, a cinnamon metabolite, increases Treg cells.
6. Skip the coffee. Have green tea instead.
Green tea has about 30% catechins. One of the most potent is called ECEG. The anti-inflammatory properties of ECEG have been beneficial to arthritis patients.
7. What about an anti-inflammatory smoothie?
Start with coconut milk, berries and greens. Add one teaspoon each of cat’s claw, cocoa, turmeric, black cumin seed oil and astralagus. You’ll be increasing your Treg cells with every sip!