5 Doable Ways to Help Relieve Inflammation at Home

From tea to yoga, small changes can help make a big impact.

Woman stretching

Inflammation occurs when the body tries to heal itself from things like infections and injuries by sending an onslaught of help in the form of white blood cells, antibodies, and proteins.

Traditionally, this process lasts for up to a few days. But sometimes, inflammation can be chronic, which keeps your body in a constant state of fighting, and can negatively impact your health. Studies have suggested that chronic inflammation may put you at a higher risk for a number of serious conditions including cancer.

But getting a diagnosis of chronic inflammation doesn't have to be scary. Here, Dr. Stacie Stephenson, author of "Vibrant: A Groundbreaking Program to Get Energized, Own Your Health, and Glow," provides her five favorite ways to help fight inflammation.

Drink Your Vitamins

Stephenson loves smoothies, she says, because you can get all the antioxidants you need in one drink. "Who has time to eat handfuls and handfuls of fruit and greens?" she asks.

Studies suggest that antioxidants in some foods may have anti-inflammatory properties. Stephenson drinks what she calls an "anti-inflammation smoothie" almost daily. Her version is made with your choice of base (milks, plant-based milks, yogurt, coconut water) and then packed with blueberries, raspberries, leafy greens, almond butter, cinnamon, and a touch of cayenne and honey.

You can grab the fruit by the handful, measuring not required.

Strawberry Banana Smoothie — With Beets!

Strawberry, Banana, Beet Smoothie www.doctoroz.com

Cut Sugar

Sure, everyone says to "avoid sugar," but Stephenson really means it. She recommends staying away not only from sugar and high fructose corn syrup, but also carbs made with white flour like certain pastas and breads.

"Sugar stimulates the production of free fatty acids in the liver," she says. "When the body digests these free fatty acids, the resulting compounds can trigger inflammatory processes."

If you don't want to fully cut sugar (we don't blame you!), start small: Try swapping baked goods with fruit, or try frozen bananas instead of ice cream.

8 Sugar Substitutes to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth

Find out how you can sweeten your food without using table sugar. www.doctoroz.com

Try Turmeric Tea

"Turmeric is my number one favorite anti-inflammatory food," Stephenson says. Plus, many common dried kitchen herbs and herbal teas have higher antioxidant content than fresh herbs because drying concentrates the antioxidant content, she adds.

Turmeric tea can be bought pre-made, or brewed using grated turmeric root or pure powder — the latter of which is Stephenson's preferred method, using 1 to 2 tablespoons of Curcumin.

Golden Turmeric Tea

Swap out your usual tea for this turmeric drink recipe the next time you're feeling adventurous. www.doctoroz.com

Take a Bath

Reducing stress could be a good way to help reduce inflammation, Stephenson says.

An epsom salt bath, for example, may help to reduce stress and muscle pain. The science is limited, but theoretically, Stephenson says, the minerals in the epsom salt (magnesium, sulfate) and their anti-inflammatory properties would be "absorbed" by your body by adding one to two cups of the salt to the bath.

If anything, spending time in the bath and meditating can help reduce stress.

Calming Detox Bath for Negative Energy

When you need to let go of the day. www.doctoroz.com

Twist It Out

A "Twisted Pose" is Stephenson's favorite pose.

"It [feels like] it's massaging out the inflammation in the gut," she says.

There have been studies linking yoga with reduction of inflammatory markers in the body that can attack the gut. Certain twist poses in yoga may also help to aid digestion and reduce back pain.

If you want to start a yoga routine, here is a free, low-impact session you can do in your living room.

45-Minute Yoga With Melanie Hyman

With a special Spotify playlist. www.doctoroz.com

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Personal photos courtesy of Dr.Oz

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Dr. Oz immediately contacted his friends and colleagues and crafted a treatment plan with two of the country's top experts in the field: Richard S. Isaacson, MD, a neurologist at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center and the founder of the Alzheimer's Prevention Clinic, and Dr. Rudy Tanzi, a professor of neurology at Harvard and the founder of the "Alzheimer's Genome Project," who co-discovered the first Alzheimer's gene.

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