When you first decided to go along to a yoga class, one of the reasons is quite often because you were feeling kind of rubbish and thought yoga might help to make you feel better.
Systemic (or chronic) inflammation occurs when your immune system goes into overdrive and starts attacking healthy cells. You might be feeling tired even though you’ve slept, aching for no good reason or just low in mood. Your digestive tract might feel sore, you could have more headaches than normal and you could be craving sugar.
With such a vague mix of symptoms, it may be that even a blood test for C-Reactive Protein that tests for inflammatory markers may come back within the normal range… even if you feel like something isn’t right.
Yoga is renowned for reducing inflammation, so getting along to your favourite yoga class is a great help when you’re treating inflammation. Uttanasana, Warrior and Child’s pose are all beautiful postures that when practiced regularly will help to reduce systemic inflammation.
Then there is Turmeric!
Turmeric is something you want in your diet, especially if you’re concerned about inflammation. It is much more than the yellow colour in your curry or your rice.
Turmeric is anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. It contains a chemical compound with medicinal qualities called curcuminoids, the main curcuminoid being curcumin.
Curcumin is the bio-active wonder curcuminoid here. The only problem is that it is a very small part of turmeric (only around 3% by weight) and it’s difficult to absorb unless you have it with black pepper which contains piperine. The good news is that piperine increases the absorption of curcumin by up to 2000%!
Here are my top tips for increasing your Turmeric consumption and thereby reducing inflammation:
Turmeric will also improve your sleep quality, further improving an inflammatory state! There are lots of lovely recipes for Turmeric Tea and Milk out there, including some made with Chamomile Tea as the base, so do a little research and find a recipe you really like. Here is my super easy recipe that is my go to on any slightly chilly evening, or any time my immune system feels like it could use a little boost.
1 Cup of milk of your choice
½ tspn Turmeric powder
¼ tspn Mixed Spice
Honey to taste.
Combine the Turmeric powder and milk and heat in a small saucepan on the stovetop. When the milk is warm to your liking, add the mixed spice (to taste) and pour into your cup. Add a little honey if needed, once your Turmeric milk has cooled slightly. Enjoy!
And of course, if your yoga and your increased intake of Turmeric doesn’t have you firing on all cylinders, make sure you book in for a check-up with your health professional.