Fight inflammation with food
Inflammation is caused by unhealthy foods and lifestyle habits. You can treat it yourself with foods, exercise, good sleep and stress management.
Inflammation can occur in response to trauma, illness and stress.
It can also be caused by unhealthy foods and lifestyle habits.
Anti-inflammatory foods, exercise, good sleep and stress management can help.
Turmeric and Curcumin
Curcumin is a component of the spice turmeric. It provides several impressive health benefits.
Curcumin also appears to be very beneficial for reducing inflammation and improving symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis (17, 18).
One randomized controlled trial found that people with metabolic syndrome who took curcumin had significantly reduced levels of the inflammation markers CRP and MDA, compared to those who received a placebo (19).
In another study, when 80 people with solid cancerous tumors were given 150 mg of curcumin, most of their inflammatory markers decreased much more than those in the control group. Their quality of life score also increased significantly (20).
Curcumin is poorly absorbed when taken on its own, but you can boost its absorption by as much as 2,000% by taking it with piperine, found in black pepper (21).
Fish oil supplements containing omega-3 fatty acids can improve inflammation in several diseases and conditions.
They can decrease the inflammation associated with diabetes, heart disease, cancer and many other conditions.
Two especially beneficial types of omega-3s are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
DHA, in particular, has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects that reduce cytokine levels and promote gut health. It may also decrease the inflammation and muscle damage that occur after exercise.
Ginger has been shown to reduce inflammation, as well as muscle pain and soreness after exercise.
Ginger root is commonly ground into powder and added to sweet and savory dishes.
It’s also commonly used to treat indigestion and nausea, including morning sickness.
Two components of ginger, gingerol and zingerone, may reduce the inflammation linked to colitis, kidney damage, diabetes and breast cancer.
When people with diabetes were given 1,600 mg of ginger daily, their CRP, insulin and HbA1c levels decreased significantly more than the control group.
Another study found that women with breast cancer who took ginger supplements had lower CRP and IL-6 levels, especially when combined with exercise
Grapes, blueberries and other fruits with purple skin.
Resveratrol may reduce several inflammatory markers and provide other health benefits.
It is found in fruits with purple skin, red wine and peanuts.
Resveratrol may reduce inflammation in individuals with heart disease, insulin resistance, gastritis, ulcerative colitis and other conditions.
One study gave people with ulcerative colitis 500 mg of resveratrol daily. Their symptoms improved and they had reductions in the inflammation markers CRP, TNF and NF-kB.
In another study, resveratrol supplements lowered inflammatory markers, triglycerides and blood sugar in people with obesity.
Spirulina provides antioxidant protection that can reduce inflammation and may improve symptoms of certain diseases.
Studies have shown that it reduces inflammation, leads to healthier aging and may strengthen the immune system.
Although most research to date has investigated spirulina’s effects on animals, studies in elderly men and women have shown that it may improve inflammatory markers, anemia and immune function.
When people with diabetes were given 8 grams of spirulina per day for 12 weeks, their levels of the inflammation marker MDA decreased.
Additionally, their levels of adiponectin increased. This is a hormone involved in regulating blood sugar and fat metabolism.
In general, it’s best to get your anti-inflammatory nutrients from whole foods.
However, in the case of excessive or chronic inflammation, supplements can often help bring things back into balance.