When it comes to inflammation, the problem is chronic inflammation, which is the result of an excessive stress load on your body, including physical, emotional, and chemical stress. Being exposed to constant stressors, your immune system becomes overwhelmed and increases the inflammation response. This is a necessary function, an immunological process of self-repair in which the body works to destroy abnormal pathogens, dead cells and abnormal tissue.
Over time, when inflammation becomes chronic, it becomes more destructive to the body and can cause major health problems. Low mood, anxiety, imbalanced hormones, gut disturbances (constipation, diarrhoea, reflux), poor immune function, low energy/chronic fatigue, food intolerances, skin rashes, brain fog or poor cognitive function, could all be symptoms of low-grade inflammation and need to be addressed.
Controlling inflammation using Nutrition and Lifestyle strategies can be a positive step in achieving your health goals.
When it comes to your diet, there are several major factors that play a role in chronic inflammation. To eliminate chronic inflammation, it is important that you eliminate inflammatory foods from your daily routine such as refined carbohydrates, unhealthy fats, sugar and heavily processed foods.
The good news is that your diet also plays a role in preventing and reducing inflammation. Eating an anti-inflammatory diet has proven to improve your health.
Here are my top 10 Anti-Inflammatory Ingredients;
1. Lemon – Lemon is loaded with vitamin C, citrus bioflavonoids (vitamin P), live enzymes and potassium. It is one of the best things to help the liver and kidneys to detoxify and it improves circulation and cellular oxygenation. I recommend using freshly squeezed lemon in your water each morning to improve liver cleansing
2. Pink Himalayan Salt – pink salts help reduce oedema, swelling, cellulite and they balance blood pressure. Lower carbohydrate diets need more healthy salts because their body doesn’t retain sodium like we do when we consume a higher carbohydrate diet
3. Coconut Oil – This superfood is loaded with healthy fats, including lauric acid which is found in a high quantity within mother’s milk. Coconut fats help you to burn fat, improve brain function and reduce inflammatory levels. It is a great addition to smoothies, roasted vegetables and curry-based dishes.
4. Turmeric – The main active component of turmeric, curcumin has widespread anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity. for best absorption, team it up with healthy fats, black pepper and fenugreek for improved bioavailability.
5. Ginger – this ingredient is tasty and easy to incorporate into your every day, ginger is an awesome superfood and significant as an anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties.
6. Rosemary – This popular herb has a long history of traditional use, with significant reported antioxidant, anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties. Studies show that rosemary helps to balance key inflammatory pathways in the body. Rosemary adds fantastic flavour too, so try to sneak some in wherever you can.
7. Green tea – A powerful antioxidant and helps to modulate several inflammatory pathways. Enjoy a cup and take a breath, a few minutes of deep breathing and a soothing cup of tea has a great tranquilising effect.
8. Beta-carotene – Found in many orange foods such as sweet potato, butternut squash, and carrots, as well as dark green vegetables like spinach, kale, collard greens, and broccoli. These ingredients have antioxidant properties and can inhibit the transcription of pro-inflammatory cytokines, studies show that a lower dietary intake of carotenoids such beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin was correlated with depression. Focus on incorporating red, yellow, orange, and green foods into your meals. Carotenoids are fat-soluble, meaning you need to eat them along with healthy fats to ensure they are properly absorbed. This could be as simple as cooking your sweet potato with a little bit of avocado oil or using an olive oil dressing for a butternut and baby spinach salad.
9. Avocados – Avocados are full of healthy fats, potassium and magnesium. They are also rich in carotenoid antioxidants that reduce inflammation in the body. The good fats help produce ketones and improve fat burning.
10. Foods loaded with Vitamin C – We often think of citrus fruits such as oranges as being a rich source of vitamin C. However, it can be found in other fruits like kiwi, strawberries, and cantaloupe, and vegetables like red bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, tomatoes, and potatoes. Vitamin C is delicate and can be destroyed by heat. Avoid boiling vitamin C-rich vegetables and opt to lightly steam them instead.
Anti-Inflammatory Supplements to consider for Extended Support
Vitamin C and Citrus bioflavonoids – More than 50 years of research supports vitamin C’s role in the immune system and as a powerful antioxidant. Citrus bioflavonoids have significant antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
Glutathione – During inflammation, oxidative stress is higher, which increases the need for antioxidants. Often referred to as the body’s, master antioxidant glutathione is a powerful compound produced naturally by the body in response to oxidative stress.
Alpha Lipoic Acid – Often referred to as the universal antioxidant because it is water and fat-soluble; alpha-lipoic acid can go anywhere in the body, even across the blood-brain barrier. Alpha-lipoic acid can also regenerate other antioxidant nutrients such as vitamins C, E, glutathione and Co-Q-10.
Vitamin D, Magnesium & B Vitamins – Many people are low in vitamin D and a large body of research has demonstrated anti-inflammatory effects of vitamin D. Magnesium is another key nutrient for inflammation balance; this important mineral is often lacking but vital (along with B vitamins) as a key co-factor for pathways that help to keep inflammation in balance.
Omega 3’s – Typical diets, high in omega-6 and low in omega-3 fats contribute to a wide range of illnesses characterised by pain and inflammation. A daily supplement of high quality omega-3 rich fish oil may help to support a more beneficial ratio of omega 6: 3 dietary fats, which in turn supports inflammation balance.
What are Other harmful inflammatory elements to consider?
When it comes to food, much attention is paid to “what” we eat—whether it’s organic, gluten-free, whole, or processed—and rightfully so; the nutritional value of the foods we consume significantly influences our trajectory of health and disease. And yet, the effects of foods extend beyond their inherent nutritional value. The way food is prepared affects its nutritional value as well.
The cooking method chosen in food preparation may affect the flavour, texture, presentation, and potentially the nutrient value of a meal.
When preparing meat, certain cooking methods may even present health concerns. During high-heat exposures, such as frying, roasting, braising, and grilling meat, potential carcinogens are formed. Small amounts of meat prepared with high heat are likely just fine to consume, but for people with a history of cancer and/or high consumption, these are red flags to consider.
Damaged Fats in Inflammatory Foods – beware, not all fats are created equal – Your body needs fats for fuel, however, Polyunsaturated fats, such as corn, soybean, safflower, and other vegetable oils are highly unstable and are prone to oxidation when exposed to heat, light, or air. During the cooking process, they also become damaged or oxidized, making them even more inflammatory and destructive to your health. These oils are particularly bad for the endothelial lining of your blood vessels and your skin: they greatly contribute to the formation of acne, aged spots, and wrinkles.
In addition to how a meal is prepared, the containers in which your food is cooked or stored may also hold potential for contamination, or toxic chemical release. Some types of these persistent chemicals are used in consumer products such as non-stick cookware and have been reported as potential endocrine and metabolic disruptors.
It is critical to understand and address these factors so that you can reduce or eliminate the levels of inflammation in your body. There are several blood tests that measure inflammation in your body. Testing your levels of inflammation is important for preventing and monitoring inflammation. If your inflammation is concerning you and you’d like guided personalised support, Contact me today and book a call or consultation today!