When your cells are inflamed due to factors like stress, an irregular sleep schedule, or an unhealthy diet, you may experience weight gain and subsequent difficulties losing weight and keeping it off. As you gain weight, you may also experience further inflammation, and it can be tricky to know how to put an end to this difficult cycle.
The good news? Dialing down inflammation can be as easy as lowering levels of advanced glycation end products (AGEs). AGEs are harmful compounds that accumulate as you age. They can also be a product of cooking certain foods at high temperatures. High levels of AGEs may cause inflammation, so it’s important to prevent them from building up. Lowering your AGEs levels may also help ward off many diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, kidney failure, and Alzheimer’s. Read on to learn about four simple ways to help manage your levels of advanced glycation end products and feel your best.
Turn on the slow cooker.
The caramelized burn that occurs when protein and fats in meats and poultry are cooked at high temperatures accelerates the formation of AGEs. Luckily, Mount Sinai research shows the lower temperatures and added moisture of slow-cooking curbs AGEs, making for healthier meals. Also smart: Use lemon juice or apple cider vinegar as a marinade before searing meat. Both of these acidic ingredients may have anti-inflammatory properties.
Walk while you talk.
Taking a stroll around your neighborhood while you catch up with a friend on the phone isn’t just fun; it may also help you lower your AGEs levels. Studies have shown that being active for just 20 minutes may produce an anti-inflammatory cellular response. Additionally, animal studies have shown that moderate exercise decreases AGEs levels. In addition to potentially tamping down inflammation, a brisk walk may also boost your mood.
Sip cranberry juice.
The polyphenols in cranberry juice may thwart the activity of methylglyoxal, a substance vital for AGEs production. A European Journal of Nutrition study also found that when overweight individuals regularly drank cranberry juice, they experienced improvement in glucoregulation and a decrease in inflammation. Prefer pomegranate juice? Findings from the University of Georgia suggest its polyphenols deliver similar benefits.
Take vitamin D.
AGEs form in the body when proteins attach to sugars in the bloodstream. But supplementing with 4,000 IU of vitamin D-3 daily may lower AGEs levels, a study in Diabetology & Metabolic Syndrome suggests. For best results, dietitians recommend taking your vitamin D supplements with food. The vitamin is fat-soluble, which means it requires a source of fat for best absorption.
This content is not a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. Always consult your physician before pursuing any treatment plan.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.
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