Taking the best supplements for inflammation can help reduce swelling, redness, and pain in all parts of the body. Inflammation is something that many of us (especially women over 50) are quite familiar with, even on a day-to-day basis. When we accidentally hit our head or develop a cold, our body's natural response is to inflame the affected area to fight off any potential immune system threats. It's a healthy reaction we need in order to heal from injuries and diseases, as long as it goes away. When it doesn't, inflammation becomes a problem — when it turns from acute to chronic.
What is inflammation?
As mentioned before, inflammation is a natural bodily reaction to injury or illness. If we get more technical, this is when our brain signals white blood cells to flood the area of pain. Without inflammation, it would be much harder for our bodies to recover. But bumps, bugs, and bruises aren't the only triggers of inflammation. Toxins and other harmful substances, like cigarette smoke, can set it off. When acute inflammation starts lasting longer than it should, chronic inflammation is formed. This can affect all aspects of your health, and it is an indication that your body can't fend off what inflamed it in the first place. While diseases such as asthma and Crohn's are directly linked to inflammation, more and more research suggests that inflammation is linked to many other disorders and illnesses. Dr. Axe, a doctor of natural medicine, believes that inflammation is actually at the root of most diseases. Another study done at Harvard Medical School has shown similar findings around this theory.
What causes inflammation?
Chronic inflammation comes from your body's inability to heal properly and dispose of unwanted toxins. Inflammation can happen anywhere in your body, from your head to your intestines to your arteries. External factors, like diet, smoking, and pollution, can contribute just as much as internal factors, like stress and illness. When inflammation doesn't go away or begins to target areas that aren't threats to your body, this is considered chronic inflammation. When stress hormones are released too frequently, it may induce or worsen inflammation. There is still a lot of mystery surrounding the direct connection between disease and inflammation, especially which one comes first. Either way, chronic inflammation isn't healthy, but it can be lessened and prevented.
How to Reduce Inflammation
A big part of reducing inflammation doesn't come from supplements, pills, or medications. It all starts with an anti-inflammatory diet. Incorporating anti-inflammatory foods into what you eat on a daily basis is the foundation for preventing inflammation from going haywire. The list of these foods is plentiful and includes items like green leafy vegetables, fruits high in antioxidants, fatty fishes, and nuts. On the reverse side, try to stay away from processed foods and refined sugars. Consuming processed or sugary foods and drinks, like cookies, french fries, and soda, can actually worsen inflammation.
Surprisingly, coffee may also help prevent inflammation because of the polyphenols and anti-inflammatory compounds it contains. Even though it's a highly acidic beverage, there is no known negative connection between coffee and inflammation. That said, adding sugar or milk can cause inflammation. If you have an ulcer, gastritis, or other intestinal and digestive problems, it's still best to stay away from drinking your morning latte.
Aside from your diet, yoga and other gentle physical activities may keep inflammation at bay. In one study, participants took part in a three-month yoga retreat and had their levels of inflammatory markers tested afterwards. After participating, researchers found significant decreases in inflamatory markers and metabolic risk factors. Taking time to calm your brain and your body will be beneficial in keeping chronic inflammation away.
Lastly, including supplements in your diet can be helpful when combatting inflammation. Roots, like ginger and turmeric, can work wonders, as well as fish oil and resveratrol. As a gentle reminder: With any medication or supplement, it's important to talk to your doctor before starting something new.
Scroll down below to find supplements that can help you reduce and prevent inflammation in all parts of the body.