The Middletown Press (Middletown, CT)

Tamp down inflammati­on

- Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic.

It’s obvious how much destructio­n is done by the flames that lay waste to forests and homes in California’s all-toofrequen­t wildfires. But it’s harder to see what chronic inflammati­on does in your body.

Your body is designed to have temporary inflammato­ry immune responses that help heal an injury or defeat an infection. But often, because of harmful lifestyle choices, the immune system gets stuck in a cycle of chronic inflammati­on. Then chronic pain, organ damage, heart woes and cognitive problems can develop, as can autoimmune diseases, diabetes and obesity. Eating highly processed foods, added sugars, red meats, being sedentary, smoking, drinking too much, not sleeping well, having an unmanaged stress response — they fuel the fire.

Here are simple steps to cool down and live younger longer!

Adopt stress-busting habits: Walk 10,000 steps a day or the equivalent. Meditate or do deep breathing exercises 10 minutes daily. Improve your sleep hygiene with a cool, dark bedroom, no digital devices, and a consistent bedtime every night.

Lighten up: Call a friend every day; cultivate your posse. Playing with your posse and having a sense of purpose with your relationsh­ips, work and volunteeri­ng/hobbies creates a cool, calm attitude and body.

Eat inflammati­on-fighting foods: Have wild-caught salmon frequently, stick with healthy oils like EVOO, have a daily dose of almonds/walnuts/pecans/pistachios, adopt a largely plant-based diet that includes salmon and ocean trout, and seven or more servings of fruits and veggies daily. Eat 100% whole grain for fiber. Then you can set the world on fire with your vitality!

Health pioneer Michael Roizen, M.D., is chief wellness officer emeritus at the Cleveland Clinic and author of four No. 1 New York Times bestseller­s. His next book is “The Great Age Reboot: Cracking the Longevity Code for a Younger Tomorrow.” Do you have a topic Dr. Mike should cover in a future column? If so, please email questions@ GreatAgeRe­

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