Inflammation is caused by an array of factors – what we eat, what we put on our skin, where we live (indoor/outdoor air quality), how much we move or don't move, what toxic exposures we may have, what EMF is surrounding us, how we think, our stress management, and our relationships. Yes…all of that!
Adopting Key Lifestyle Habits
We may all have some inflammation, and it can vary from time to time, but the main message is if you and your partner try to lower your inflammation by adopting some key lifestyle habits, you can improve your chances of your positive genes getting passed down to your baby. The sperm is responsible for 70% of the future health of the baby, as Dr. Pecorelli, world-renowned professor, researcher, and OBGYN touts. We must recognize that the baby's future health is in the hands of both mother and father or sperm donor. The more we balance our lifestyle with healthier habits, the greater the chance that the baby will be healthy and have a longer life.
What are inflammatory foods?
Inflammatory foods include ones that have a high glycemic index or are processed (are pre-packaged). You want to avoid foods like sugar, wheat, alcohol, caffeine, dairy, and foods with additives/colors/preservatives usually found in bags or boxes. It is recommended to avoid GMOs as well. You should opt to eat seasonally- foods grown in the season you are living in. And specifically, for women, you should stick to cooked foods and spices which are warming throughout pregnancy and early postpartum time.
How To Reduce Inflammation
Starting a movement practice or sticking with an exercise program you enjoy has been shown to be the best way to reduce your inflammation. This can be dancing in your home for 15-30minutes, taking a brisk walk for 30 minutes (preferably in nature), doing any exercise you love, or playing a sport you enjoy. You want to avoid extreme sports or extreme exercise as this can be inflammatory.
Limit Exposure to Electromagnetic Fields & Purify Indoor Air
It is also recommended to reduce your exposure to EMFs—use wired devices, reduce WiFi usage, reduce smart devices' proximity, and keep devices on airplane mode as often as possible. Indoor air quality has been shown to be worse than some heavily polluted outdoor areas. The indoor air of the home should be improved with indoor air filtration units. We like Intellipure because it cycles the air more frequently and drastically reduces particulates.
You should make sure to prioritize sleep, 7hrs/night minimum. A relaxing bath and stopping screen time 2 hours before bed can help. It is also very important to manage your stress. This can start with checking in with your breathing when feeling stressed or doing a couple of mindful breaths at the top of each hour prophylactically. Starting prayer, mindfulness, or a meditation practice can be very helpful in reducing the inflammation from stressors. You can simply start your day with a few relaxing breaths thinking positive thoughts, and then end your day with a gratitude practice, giving gratitude for all that may have occurred for you that day.
Take an inventory of your relationships. Choose to keep and grow relationships that are positive, supportive, and uplifting. If you feel you do not have enough support nearby, you may need to reach out for help from professionals or loved ones who may not be so close.
Making these small changes to your movement, mindset, nutrition, home, and habits can reduce the inflammation inside your body and your partner's body to put forth your best self for your baby. The bonus is-you prime those positive genes so that they may be expressed and dim the light on the negative ones!
WRITTEN BYPatricia Ladis