I'm A Nutritionist — Follow These Steps To Reduce Chronic Inflammation

Even laughter will help you to feel better.

A new study has revealed that 18% of British people say that they have chronic inflammation.

According to The National Institutes of Health, chronic inflammation is also referred to as slow, long-term inflammation lasting several months to years. Generally, the extent and effects of chronic inflammation vary with the cause of the injury and the ability of the body to repair and overcome the damage.

Depending on where the pain is located, the severity of it and how long it’s been occurring, different treatment options are available from medication to physiotherapy.

However, according to one nutritionist, Miriam Ferrer, PhD at FutureYou Cambridge, there are steps we can take to help ourselves with chronic inflammation along with the treatment prescribed by doctors.

Six steps to reducing chronic inflammation

Award-winning pharmacist and nutritionist Aidan Goggins shares his top tips on reducing inflammation:

Chew gum more often

Periodontal inflammation (relating to teeth and surrounding structures) is increasingly recognised as not just an oral health issue, but also as being one of the causes that can lead to general inflammation in the body. A 2022 review found that regular chewing of xylitol-based sugar-free gum has potent effects against gingival (gums) inflammation, which is typically the precursor to periodontal inflammation.

Don’t sleep more than 10 hours per night

Overindulging in sleep can backfire. Studies indicate that sleeping more than 10 hours a night can make inflammation worse, while seven to nine hours is the optimum amount of sleep each night.

Add a little spice to your diet

Spices do more than tantalise your taste buds; they fight inflammation. Research has found that frequent consumption of spicy foods—three or more times a week—can lower your death risk from disease or infection by 14% compared to those who eat them less than once a week.

Drink more coffee

Often surprising to many, coffee is more than a morning pick-me-up—it actively combats inflammation. Rich in bioactive ingredients, coffee has been shown to neutralise free radicals and diminish inflammation. Interestingly, caffeine itself plays a role by exerting antioxidant effects that lower inflammatory markers.

Laugh more often

The science is clear: laughter is a potent anti-inflammatory. One study showed that a mere 20 minutes of laughter, triggered by comedy, reduced a common inflammation marker, unlike serious films that had no effect. This is because laughter is associated with greater reduction in cortisol levels. This is good news as higher cortisol is associated with fatigue, high blood pressure, weight gain and acne.

Keep consistent routines

Disturbing your body’s natural 24-hour sleep wake cycle, or circadian rhythm, can trigger inflammation. This internal clock regulates physiological and behavioural processes according to the time of day. Whether it’s late-night snacking or inconsistent sleep, such disruptions can increase inflammation. Night-shift workers, a group who have off-kilter circadian rhythms, have notably elevated inflammatory markers.

Laugh more and drink more coffee? Can do.