Treating Inflammation Naturally With Nutraceuticals
Inflammation is one of the biggest challenges that we face as we grow older. As a result, getting up in the morning can be a problem for many as the aches and pains increase. Meanwhile, we are still expected to perform in our daily lives. Is this the norm?
Obviously, we would like to say no. So what can we do about inflammation? As a matter of fact, quite a bit.
Why is inflammation so damaging?
Firstly, let’s look at what an inflammatory response is. Your body tries to protect itself from foreign substances and trigger a healing process through inflammation. There are several things that can trigger an inflammatory response - tissues are injured by
- or any other cause
Acute inflammation is beneficial
This is a good thing. Your body is trying to heal itself through acute inflammation. The trick is that it stops the inflammatory response afterwards. Acute inflammation begins fast and lasts for a few days to possibly a few weeks.
This type of inflammation can become severe quickly. Acute inflammation is often easy to see or feel. A person may experience pain, immobility, or swelling.
Some examples of acute inflammation
- the common cold
- the flu
- joint pain
Conversely, chronic inflammation harms the body
Chronic inflammation lasts for several months to years. Exposure to a low-intensity irritant or toxin is the main culprit here. It may also be an autoimmune response to an allergen. Basically, your body’s immune system is permanently turned on and fighting against the inflammation.
However, if the irritant or toxin doesn’t go away, the chemicals that your body is sending to help repair the area of inflammation begin breaking down healthy cells and tissue.
Chronic inflammation can seem harmless on a day-to-day basis; you may not notice or think much of it unless it begins getting in the way of daily living.
Some symptoms of chronic inflammation
- brain fog
- achy joints
- persistent fatigue
Yes, it is mainly a lifestyle decision to reduce inflammation. Let’s look at some of the foods that we can incorporate. So how can we reduce this chronic burning, especially as we age?
Just as we would take our cars in for an oil change, we can also introduce oils and other substances to lower inflammation.
Oiling the joints
Here, some of the most effective oils include Omega 3 and Omega 7. Omega 3 is found abundantly in fish and Omega 7 in coconut oil.
Omega 3 salmon boost
- 4 skinless salmon fillets, about 175g
- 1 lime
- 3 tbsp clear honey
- 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
- 3 x 410g cans butter beans, rinsed
- 25g butter
- 5 tbsp crème fraîche
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 100g bag spinach, chopped
- Grill the salmon fillets flesh-side up on the grill highest setting.
- Finely grate the zest of the lime into a bowl, then squeeze in the juice and stir in the honey, mustard and a good pinch of salt.
- Pour the mixture over the salmon and grill, without turning, for 5-6 minutes until it’s golden on top and cooked through (check the centre with a fork).
- While that is happening, tip the beans into a saucepan and add the butter, crème fraîche, garlic and plenty of salt and pepper.
- Turn the heat on to moderate and coarsely mash everything together with a masher until hot and bubbling.
- Tip in the spinach and stir into the mash until it’s hot and just wilted.
Serve the salmon on the mash, drizzled with the cooking juices.
The Golden Child - Curcumin
We spoke about this phenomenal spice in a previous article. By introducing it into your diet, you can effectively help curb the burn!
This delicious drink is perfect for a winter warmer!
- 400 ml milk (from almond to coconut, take your pick!)
- ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon honey
- A grind of fresh black pepper
- Mix all the ingredients in a saucepan and whisk together until hot. Do not let it boil.
- Pour into mugs, add a dash of cinnamon on top and enjoy!
Spicy Turmeric Ginger Gummies
- 1 cup orange, carrot or pineapple juice
- 1 tablespoon turmeric powder
- 3 cm ginger root, thinly chopped
- 1 tablespoon agar agar powder or gelatin
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon stevia (optional)
- Place the juice into a pan.
- Sprinkle and mix the dry ingredients into the pan.
- Simmer over low heat for 5 minutes, constantly stirring to make sure that it doesn’t stick or start setting.
- Remove the ginger slices.
- Leave to cool for 5 minutes and pour into ice trays or moulds.
- Chill for 30 minutes.
These gummies will last for up to a week in the fridge.
Other anti-inflammatory foods
- Olive Oil
- Blue Berries
- Tart Cherries
- Fermented foods
- Paw Paw
- Green Tea
Cut out pro-inflammatory foods
Trans-fatty acids are linked to an increase in inflammation. Avoid these foods as much as possible:
- fried foods
- packaged cookies
- processed, pre-packaged ready-made food
Low impact exercise is a great way of targeting chronic inflammation. This includes yoga, stretching, walking and swimming.
Check your hormones
Hormones can play a big role in chronic inflammation. Visit your integrative medical practitioner to have your hormones assessed.
Sleep and relaxation to reduce inflammation
Getting enough rest cannot be stressed enough. Cutting out stressors and actively focusing on techniques to reduce stress can have a major benefit to your health.
Supplements to reduce inflammation
There are several supplements that one can use in the fight against inflammation:
- Omega 3
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin C
Exciting treatments are becoming available for inflammation and pain
One of the amazing therapies that we have been using to great effect is called photobiomodulation. We use laser at a specific wavelength to bring down the inflammation, activate platelets and reduce pain. The main colour for this is red.
Get in touch if you want to find out more!