What is the Most Effective Natural Anti-Inflammatory?
Many people associate inflammation with an injury. The pain, swelling and redness that happens with an injury certainly qualifies as inflammation, but it's also important to understand that inflammation often occurs within the body, sometimes without you even noticing. It develops when the immune system attacks body cells and tissues and is linked to weakened brain and body function. Inflammation is often an indicator of an increased risk for serious health conditions, such as arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, cancer, heart disease and autoimmune disease.
If you want to control inflammation as much as possible without resorting to or relying fully on medication, check out these effective natural anti-inflammatory tips.
Creating an Anti-Inflammation Diet
The foods you eat can have a direct impact on your health, which is why it's so important to include anti-inflammatory foods in your eating routine. You'll notice a significant difference if your diet has been lacking in these foods. Here are some of the top anti-inflammation foods you should try to eat on a regular basis:
- Blueberries: This type of berry is loaded with antioxidants known for helping to reduce inflammation, particularly in the digestive tract.
- Beets: Like blueberries, beets are very high in antioxidants. They also contain magnesium, a mineral known for its anti-inflammatory effects.
- Broccoli: This vegetable is packed with magnesium and potassium which act as anti-inflammatory agents in the body. Cooked broccoli is a great alternative for those who find raw broccoli hard to digest.
- Pineapple: A unique enzyme called bromelain is found in high quantities in pineapple. This enzyme reduces inflammation and promotes improved digestion.
- Dark greens: Leafy greens are great for reducing inflammation. The darker the color, the more vitamin K they contain to help reduce inflammation. Examples in this category include spinach, arugula, kale, bok choy and Swiss chard.
Foods That Cause Inflammation
Along with eating anti-inflammatory foods like the ones listed above, one of the best natural remedies for inflammation is to avoid foods that increase inflammation. People who suffer from ongoing inflammation due to a health condition like arthritis may even want to eliminate foods that cause inflammation from their diet altogether. This is a simple lifestyle change that can have a significant effect on your overall health. Here are the top inflammation-causing foods you should be aware of:
- Sugary snacks: Try to cut out added sugar from your diet (the kind of sugar not already in foods like fruits). This can be found in everything from candy and baked goods to soda and sweetened coffee drinks. You'd be surprised at how many foods contain extra sugar, including things like granola bars, yogurt and cereal.
- Dairy products: While a small amount of dairy is recommended for a healthy diet, many people consume too much and end up feeling bloated. This is an effect commonly associated with foods like soft cheese, butter, yogurt and milk. Many people also have a sensitivity to lactose that compounds the inflammatory effect.
- Fried foods: Foods fried in oils can contribute to higher levels of inflammation in the body. Cut back on items like chicken tenders, onion rings and French fries to reduce inflammation. If you crave these foods, try making oven-baked versions at home.
- Refined flour: Refined flours are broken down quickly by the body and lead to a spike in blood sugar levels, an effect which has been linked to inflammation. This type of flour is often found in things like white bread, crackers, pasta, pretzels, cereals, bagels and pizza. Opt for whole-grain or grain-free alternatives like shirataki noodles to avoid the inflammatory effects.
- Processed meats: Foods in this category are often associated with the most dramatic inflammatory effects. The combination of saturated fats, preservatives and artificial flavors contribute to this issue. Try to avoid items like hot dogs, bologna and processed deli meats whenever possible.
Natural Remedies for Inflammation
While your eating habits play a major role in managing inflammation, there are several other ways you ensure that this issue doesn't become a health problem. Try these natural remedies for inflammation to improve your overall health and feel better on a daily basis:
- Drink green tea: There are natural substances in green tea like antioxidants that can help to reduce inflammation. Organic varieties usually have the highest levels of antioxidants.
- Try gentle workouts: If you're only doing intense workouts, it can exacerbate inflammation in your body. Don't skip the exercise altogether, though; instead, try a gentle workout like restorative yoga.
- Reduce stress: Finding time to relax is important for both your mind and body. When you're feeling stressed, your immune system can get a bit out of whack and lead to increased inflammation. Get plenty of sleep, enjoy some screen-free quiet time each day and consider trying meditation.
- Switch to new personal care products: Certain chemicals in moisturizers, fragrances, cosmetics and other bath and body products can cause inflammation. Choose phthalate-free and paraben-free beauty products instead.
Ready to improve your overall health? Try these tips to reduce inflammation and start feeling better every day.