Taming the fire
If you sprain your ankle or cut yourself, you’ll suffer pain and swelling
If you sprain your ankle or cut yourself, you’ll suffer pain and swelling. This is the body’s innate wisdom at work, a natural healing process that increases circulation and immune-enhancing factors.
But when it comes to inflammation, too much of a good thing is dangerous. The body’s protective mechanisms can overreact or flare out of control. Chronic inflammation is the result—an invisible occurrence that is nevertheless a factor in many degenerative diseases, including cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, cognitive decline, and arthritis.
Researchers have also found that heart disease, a leading killer in both sexes, is linked to elevated levels of inflammation markers, particularly C-reactive protein.
To reduce chronic inflammation, pain, and the risk of degenerative diseases, boost your use of anti-inflammatory foods, supplements, and habits.
Eat anti-inflammatory foods
Dr. Andrew Weil, well-known integrated medical doctor and author, has developed an anti-inflammatory food pyramid. In it are colourful fruits and vegetables loaded with beneficial plant nutrients.
More inflammation-fighting foods include healthy fats from extra-virgin olive oil, flax and hemp seeds and oils, walnuts, and avocados.
Avoid sweets and processed carbohydrates. Eat wild salmon, black cod, and sardines; high quality natural cheeses, yogourt, skinless poultry, and lean meats.
Along with diet, nutritional supplements combat inflammation, including vitamins C, D3, and E, carotenoids, resveratrol, selenium, and fish oil.
Herbs and spices such as garlic, ginger, turmeric, and cinnamon are highly anti-inflammatory, as are white, oolong, and green teas.
Advanced enzyme action
Proteolytic enzymes are perhaps the best inflammation eaters. Think of them as pipe cleaners, travelling through your system to dissolve arterial plaque (atherosclerosis), blood clots, cysts, and scar tissue—all leftovers of the inflammation response.
Inflammation often goes hand-in-hand with pain; proteolytic enzymes, however, work on both levels and are often used as an alternative to ibuprofen and NSAIDs.
A recent study found the proteolytic enzyme serratiopeptidase to be more effective than aspirin for inflammation relief. Another study found serratiopeptidase to have beneficial effects in both acute and chronic stages of inflammation.
Stress can contribute to inflammation, so add stress reduction strategies such as yoga, meditation, or deep breathing to your routine. Studies have shown that quitting smoking and increasing exercise causes inflammatory markers to decrease.
Inflammation is a preventable factor that contributes to many diseases. Reduce yours today through diet, lifestyle, and nutritional supplements.