HealthLifestyle

9 Anti-Inflammatory Nutrients You Need (That Aren’t Advil)

We love to focus on anti-inflammatory, EVERYTHING!

Inflammation is the body’s natural response to injury. The inflammation can be either acute (short term) or chronic (long term). While acute inflammation (such as your finger swelling when you get a cut)  is usually a good thing as it is a normal process of healing, chronic inflammation is being found to be a root cause of most illnesses and diseases.

Inflammation requires important nutrients to help resolve it and keep it at bay so that it doesn’t develop into larger problems over time. Here at ISN we work with many clients with autoimmune and inflammatory-related health issues. Managing inflammation is always on our minds regardless of what clients come to us needing help with.

Inflammation can be behind many common issues, including:

  • Obesity/overweight
  • Blood sugar control issues and diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Allergies and asthma
  • ADD and focusing issues
  • Autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis
  • Skin disorders
  • Some cancers
  • … and so much more

Even if you don’t deal with any of those conditions, inflammation is still something you should pay close attention to.

So really, everyone benefits from focusing on inflammation.

To help support inflammation we have a “food first” approach.

Foods that help support inflammation include:

  • Anything orange or yellow in color
  • Salmon
  • Berries
  • Chia seeds
  • Almonds
  • Olives and olive oils
  • Some herbs and spices
  • Green tea
  • Anything green (that comes from the ground)
  • … and many more

While many of us eat some of these foods most of us don’t get enough. This is why we may need to consider adding additional anti-inflammatory nutrients to help our bodies out.

What is inflammation and how do we address it naturally?

Remember that Inflammation is the body’s natural response to injury, and it can be both acute (short term) or chronic (long term). While acute inflammation (such as your finger swelling when you get a cut)  is usually a good thing as it is a normal process of healing, chronic inflammation is being found to be a root cause of most illnesses and diseases. Inflammation requires important nutrients to help resolve it and keep it at bay so that it doesn’t develop into larger problems over time.

Many of us eat some of these foods, but most of us don’t get enough. This is why we may need to consider adding additional anti-inflammatory nutrients to help our bodies out.

Below are some of the anti-inflammatory nutrients we love, which we recommend taking in the form of supplements, since this will contain a dose unlikely to be found in food, or is a nutrient that most people simply don’t eat in the first place .

  1. Boswellia

Boswellia has been used for centuries in Asian and African folk medicine. Research has shown that Boswellia may reduce inflammation and can aid in rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, IBD, and osteoarthritis. It can be an effective pain killer as well! Because we don’t eat boswellia in our diets, supplementing is the best way to utilize its anti-inflammatory properties. For some, doses between 300-500 mg can last for 24 hours

  1. Turmeric

We love cooking with turmeric powder! However, even though it gives food amazing flavor and color, simply adding the powder to cooking isn’t always enough to help inflammation. This is why taking a high quality turmeric/curcumin supplement can really help give your body the extra support it needs daily. Keep in mind that a compound in black pepper, called piperine, helps enhance the absorption of turmeric so it should be either included in the supplement or consumed alongside turmeric used in cooking. We generally recommend 500 mg, once, twice or three times a day depending on what’s going on.

  1. EPA & DHA

Fish and shellfish are full of EPA and DHA, which are long-chain omega-3 fatty acids that are proven to have power anti-inflammatory properties. Omega 3 and fish oil pills have been on the healthy radar for a long time, calling attention to heart, brain, and skin health. Most of us need more of it because even if we do eat dietary sources like salmon and tuna often, we still may not be getting enough for therapeutic dosage needs. Supplementing with at least 1,000mg combined of EPA + DHA is a good place to start, but of course work with a trusted healthcare practitioner for your specific needs.

  1. Garlic

Most people love the flavor of garlic in cooking, but don’t realize that it contains a ton of health benefits, too! Garlic contains an anti-inflammatory compound called diallyl disulfide that reduces the effects of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Garlic also serves as a natural antibacterial and boosts the immune system. If you like the taste and can tolerate garlic, we are all for consuming as much of it as you’d like in your diet, but can also consider supplementing to reap even more benefits.

  1. Quercetin

Quercetin is known as one of nature’s strongest antihistamines. It supports the body by removing toxins, decreasing cellular and tissue damage, and reducing inflammation. Quercetin is also helpful when it comes to promoting the health of the gut lining as it helps to repair leaky gut. Generally 500 mg is recommended, and can be increased to improve benefit.

  1. Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA)

This is an antioxidant nutrient that helps reduce inflammation by fighting against harmful free radicals and lowering pro-inflammatory signals in the body. Research shows that ALA can help lower inflammatory markers in the blood. Typical dose is between 300-600mg daily. ALA is found in some foods like broccoli, spinach, brussels sprouts, and red meat, yet this is in small amounts, so supplementing is often indicated.

  1. Resveratrol

This is another form of antioxidant and polyphenol found in fruits with blue or purple skins like grapes and blueberries (and yes, wine!). Resveratrol helps reduce inflammatory pathways and has been specifically linked to improving inflammation in those with bowel disorders, insulin resistance and diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and more. It’s often not enough to get resveratrol from food if you’re really trying to manage an inflammatory disease, so supplementing can help.

  1. Ginger

This root is commonly used in asian cooking and is also known to help relieve nausea. It also has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. We love to cook with ginger, but as with the other nutrients, consuming it in the diet isn’t always enough. Supplementing with capsules, tea, tinctures, and other forms are all effective ways to get more ginger into your body to reap its many benefits.  There’s not really recommendations for dosage- just to take it!

  1. Chai

Chai is made up of a number of ingredients that independently possess health benefits- pepper, clove, cardamom, cinnamon, and ginger are just a few of the basics that give chai its spicy flavor and health benefits.

Clove is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent that helps to strengthen the immune system, enhance immune responses, and combat inflammation. Cinnamon and ginger are effective ingredients in fighting pain and inflammation due to their potent antioxidant properties. All of these ingredients have been proven to soothe aches and pains due to rheumatoid arthritis and keep inflammation under control. However…

While chai possesses all of these amazing elements, it’s important to remember we are talking about chai in its most basic, loose leaf form.

When we recommend supplements, we’re REALLY concerned with an individuals needs, their dose, and the formulation that will work best for them. It is always a good idea to consult with your dietitian, naturopath or doctor to help find what is best for you.  We’ve linked the names of the nutrients to supplements we like, but we’re also here and happy to help!

Want to know more about how anti-inflammatory compounds can help you? Click here!