Inflammation in our bodies is normal, but it can become dangerous once it is chronic. While a healthy diet can help with inflammation, supplements are also a great way to ensure that you are getting recommended daily levels of certain minerals.
What is Inflammation?
As we discussed in our previous article, inflammation is a natural reaction that our bodies have to injury or illness. Inflammation is important because, without it, our bodies would have a hard time recovering. But, inflammation within our bodies is also caused by toxins and other harmful substances. These include the types of foods that we eat and substances or pollution that we may come into contact with like cigarette smoke.
Whenever acute inflammation is unable to go away, it becomes chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation begins to directly affect your health and doesn’t allow your body to fight the inflammation. This can cause diseases like asthma and Crohn’s disease. It can also cause other disorders like heart disease and arthritis.
How To Reduce Inflammation
A major way to reduce inflammation in your body is through your daily diet. In our previous blog, What is an Anti-Inflammatory Diet Meal Plan, we explained how an anti-inflammatory diet is made up of a high intake of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy oils, and fish. By eating these types of foods, you have an increased chance to reduce inflammation in your body.
Another way to reduce inflammation is by taking a daily supplement.
Can supplements help reduce inflammation?
In short, yes! Adding supplements like ginger and curcumin to your diet can be helpful in reducing inflammation. Here we will discuss five supplements to help reduce your inflammation.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Note: Always consult your doctor before starting a new medication or supplement.
If you are unfamiliar with curcumin, you’ve no doubt heard of turmeric. Curcumin is a compound inside of turmeric that is actually responsible for many of the amazing benefits of turmeric. This compound has strong anti-inflammatory effects on the body and is also a prominent antioxidant.
While turmeric does contain curcumin, it has a small concentration of the compound in normal servings. In order to get a beneficial level of curcumin, it is best to take a supplement that contains significant levels of the compound.
Along with its great anti-inflammatory benefits, curcumin can also help to boost brain power and help fight against diseases such as Alzheimer’s and depression.
Known as an essential nutrient, zinc is very important to our diets, but can’t be produced by our bodies. For this reason, we must consume zinc in our diets or through supplements.
Zinc is able to decrease oxidative stress in the body. Oxidative stress may lead to chronic inflammation, which in turn leads to the development of disease and illnesses such as heart disease, arthritis, cancer and more.
In addition to serving as a great ally against inflammation, zinc can also boost your immune system. If you’d like to increase your levels of zinc, consider adding foods high in the mineral to your diet such as legumes, whole grains, eggs, and vegetables such as kale and green beans.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 Fatty Acids and other fish oil supplements deliver big health benefits to the body. Along with lowering dangerous triglyceride levels that can cause heart disease or stroke, fish oils also aid with inflammation.
In a study completed by Harvard researchers, it was found that consuming fatty acid supplements can help lower your risk of heart disease and heart attack.
Increasing the levels of fatty acids in your body will prove beneficial. There is no official recommended daily dosage, but most health officials agree that our bodies need at least 250-500 mg of combined EPA and DHA to remain healthy (levels are for adults, not children).
While supplements are beneficial, it is always a great idea to add omega-3 fatty acids to your diet as well. If you’d like to try and add omega-3 fatty acids to your diet naturally, begin eating foods rich in fatty acids like salmon, tuna, and sardines.
As one of the healthiest spices on earth, ginger has many nutrients and compounds that benefit our bodies. Ginger also has many anti-inflammatory properties.
Studies show that ginger can have a positive impact on reducing inflammation in individuals with arthritis. In the study, individuals took two ginger capsules a day for six months. By the end of the trial, those who took the ginger capsules had less pain than those who didn’t and less inflammation.
Taking ginger capsules will help reduce the inflammation in your body. It can also help with muscle pain and some digestive issues.
Resveratrol may be another unfamiliar term. It is a compound found in plants known as a polyphenol. Polyphenols give foods their bright colors, and resveratrol gives red wine, grapes, blueberries, and raspberries their bright color!
According to a 2015 study, resveratrol has anti-inflammatory benefits. It may reduce inflammation in individuals with heart disease, insulin resistance, and other conditions.
While red wine does contain resveratrol, it has low levels that aren’t high enough to reach recommended daily levels. In fact, in order to give your body enough resveratrol, you’d have to drink 3 gallons of red wines, which we do not recommend. Resveratrol supplements are a healthy way to increase the levels of resveratrol in your body in a safe manner.
Along with taking supplements to reduce inflammation in your body, you may want to try eating an anti-inflammatory diet.
While supplements can help you get the recommended daily amount of certain minerals, consuming them in healthy foods is also beneficial. Take a look at this article to see all the types of healthy anti-inflammatory options.