Chronic inflammation affects millions of people. The enormity of this health problem exceeds 95% of all other diseases including arthritis, heart disease, obesity, cancer and more. Yet, many people are unaware that they are suffering with inflammation. They may simply feel under the weather or in pain. They may have been living so long with inflammation that they simply think it is “normal.” They forget what it’s like to feel good, but they deserve better, and so do you.
Inflammation can be dangerous, so it's important to learn how you can reduce inflammation in your body. When you learn to limit the inflammation in your body, you can start to live a healthier, pain free life. Before resorting to prescription medications, try some of the following natural options for removing inflammation in the body. These options might be the only ones you need.
Changing Your Diet
Some of the foods you are eating could very well be causing inflammation. Limiting or eliminating carbohydrates from your diet is a good first step. This means all rice, grains, breads, crackers and almost ANYTHING packaged in a box contain carbs. Make sure the food you are eating is always natural and fresh, and stay away from processed foods.
The closer the food is to the way you find it in nature, the better it is for you.
You can also start eating gluten free items, but if you just eliminate carbs then this won't be an issue. Gluten is a toxic grain, and it can cause many digestive issues. It is safe to say that the vast majority of your diet should consist of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Some foods you might want to add to your diet to help with inflammation:
- Fatty fish – Salmon, mackerel, tuna and sardines are high in Omega-3s. In a 2009 study out of the University of Hawaii showed that men who consumed these fish,cut their risk of heart disease by 23%.
- Garlic – Shuts off pathways that lead to inflammation just like NSAIDS but without the risk. Garlic also includes quercetin and allicin which are anti-inflammatory.
- Ginger – Turns off inflammatory proteins.
- Oregano – Anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-fungal, and anti-parasitic properties. Third highest ORAC score. The Antioxidant capacity is 3 to 20 times higher than almost all other herbs.
- Blueberries – Super high in antioxidants, especially wild blueberries as they have more than double the amount of antioxidants as regular blueberries.
- Green Tea – Anti-inflammatory flavonoids & polyphenols.
- Dark Leafy Greens – Vitamin E protects the body from inflammation specifically from cytokines.
- Nuts – NO PEANUTS! Incorporate Almonds, Macadamia, Flax, Chia, Walnuts, Cashews.
These antioxidants are good for removing free radicals from the body. When consuming meat, eat wild fish and 100% grass fed beef, and again, stay away from any type of processed meats. Processed meats have been deemed “unfit for human consumption” after The World Cancer Research Fund found over 7,000 clinical studies between diet and cancer. Processed meats include hot dogs, bacon, frozen meals, pepperoni, packaged ham, lunch meats, sausage and almost all meats found in most grocery stores that are commercially produced on a large scale. A 2005 study found that processed meats increased pancreatic cancer by 67%, and a different study showed that processed meats consumed regularly increased colorectal cancer by 21%.
Changing the foods you eat really is one of the simplest ways to confront inflammation in your body. The key to sticking with this new type of diet is to make sure you have enough variety so that it stays interesting and tasty. It also helps to avoid aisles full of processed food in the grocery stores.
Supplementing the Right Way
In addition to eating the right foods, you also need to make sure you have the right supplements. While you should ideally get the nutrients you need from the food you eat, that is simply not always possible. Good quality supplements can help to boost your body’s health and reduce inflammation.
Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fish oil and plant oils, and you can get them from eating tuna, salmon and some nuts. However, you do not want to overeat certain types of fish as mercury levels can be quite high, and it is far more concentrated in supplement form. If you are eating fish, only eat wild caught fish rather than farmed raised fish. To get the additional omega-3 acids you need, consider supplementing with a blended oil.
Whatever oils you choose need to meet a few requirements to work well so you aren’t wasting your money.
- Digestible - Roughly 30% of the American public cannot convert fish oil into a usable form once digested, and plant-based oils aren’t as potent as fish oils. The solution is to find a blended oil with a mixture of fish and plant based omega-3s.
- Ratio – The body needs oils in the right ratio. Taking a supplement that is only Omega-3s and cleaning up your diet can cause you to be Omega-3 dominant which will also cause inflammation. Therefore you have to make sure your oil is in the ratio your body uses. This means the ratio must be between a 2:1 to 4:1 ratio of Omega-6s to Omega-3s. This ratio is where the body wants to be and is ideal for fighting inflammation.
- Fresh – Most oils bought in stores or online are rancid because if heated or left in the sun, they will go bad. This is the reason that Olive oils are stored in dark green glass jars out of sunlight. If they aren’t stored this way, then the oil will go bad and actually become inflammatory.
With all that said, Vitamin D3 might be the most important supplement of them all. See the chart below:
What does all of that mean? It means if your Vitamin D level is low you exponentially increase your risk of disease.
Remember that adding supplements to your diet is not a way to avoid changing your diet. Change your diet first, thus the name “supplements." You cannot undo 95% of what you put in your body with the 5% you put in via supplements.
Make Time to Relax and Reduce Cortisol Levels
High levels of stress can also contribute to inflammation in the body. When we mentally stress, our adrenal glands must compensate for that stress and release cortisol in to our bodies. Cortisol adds fat to the body, destroys lean muscle, ages the body, increases inflammation and reduces life span. It is important to learn how to relax and take some time to reduce stress in your life. A good way to do that is by working out, going for a walk, hitting the gym or by taking a swim. You can meditate, or just take a few minutes to relax in a warm tub or shower. Doing these simple things can reduce your stress level which can help to reduce tension and inflammation.
As you can see, reversing inflammation is possible. It might take some work, but you will certainly be able to do it as long as you put your mind to it and follow these tips.