Inflammation is a major cause of diseases like cancers, arthritis, allergies, ulcerative colitis, and other autoimmune issues. In this post, we will talk about the most effective anti-inflammatory supplements and foods.
What Causes Inflammation?
Inflammation is caused by white blood cells doing their job. When foreign viruses or bacteria enter your bloodstream, your white blood cells go to work and produce substances like antibodies and cytokines to eradicate them. However, sometimes the immune system triggers a response when there are no foreign invaders. It’s chronic, low-grade inflammation. Some of the factors that may cause your immune system to start working in overdrive are:
- Pollutants in the environment
- Poor sleep
- Poor food choices
- Lack of exercise
In the long run, this systemic inflammation will cause symptoms. At first, it might just be fatigue, but it can degenerate and trigger more serious autoimmune diseases.
How Inflammation Affects Your Whole Body
We are starting to understand more and more how inflammation is linked to the following diseases:
- Heart disease: Your body recognizes “bad” cholesterol as a foreign invader.
- Diabetes: High levels of C-Reactive protein (an inflammation marker) are linked with insulin resistance.
- Cancer: About 15% of cancers are linked to chronic inflammation at the site where cancer develops. Moreover, inflammatory responses can create mutant genes that lead to cancer.
- Alzheimer’s disease: Anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen seem to lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
- Asthma: Asthma is the inflammation of your airways.
Best Anti-Inflammatory Supplements
Fortunately, there are things you can do to support a healthy inflammatory response. Changing your lifestyle is a big one, and we will talk about some anti-inflammatory food choices you can make. For now, I would like to share what I consider the best anti-inflammatory supplements that you can take.
Antioxidants help get rid of free radicals that cause damage in your cells, which means less inflammation. Moreover, vitamin C may reduce the amount of C-Reactive protein.
My favorite vitamin C is C From Nature. Why is it my favorite? Because it is all made from whole foods with ingredients like Acerola Cherry, Camu Camu, Rosehips, Citrus Bioflavonoids.
Alpha Lipoic Acid
Inflammation is linked to insulin resistance. It looks like insulin resistance causes inflammation, and inflammation causes insulin resistance. Alpha-lipoic acid is an antioxidant that helps your body break down carbohydrates and regulate your blood sugar. It prevents some types of cell damage in your body and it helps improve some vitamin levels in your body like vitamin C and vitamin E.
My favorite supplement with alpha-lipoic acid is Revive-It-All. Revive-It-All also contains acetyl-L-carnitine, which is helpful for a variety of mental issues like memory loss, depression, and thinking problems. Moreover, another ingredient inside Revive-It-All is gingko biloba leaf, which helps with inflammatory respiratory diseases.
Curcumin is one of the better-known supplements for inflammation. It has powerful medicinal properties. People with cancer, metabolic syndrome, depression, and arthritis have benefited from taking curcumin and seen improvement in their symptoms. Curcumin has a unique chemical structure that neutralizes free radicals. When you pick a curcumin supplement, find a brand that contains BioPeperine (the active ingredient in pepper) to increase the absorbability of the curcumin by 2000%.
BiomeMedic is a probiotic that fights inflammation. A study was conducted to evaluate how BiomeMedic detoxifies and reduces inflammation. After a trial period of 7 weeks, there was a significant decrease reduction in the C-reactive protein in the blood of the subjects. You can read the study here.
The Apothe-Cherry is a tart cherry extract that condenses the nutritional potency of approximately 30 sour/tart cherries into 1 oz. of concentrate. It’s filled with antioxidant and they have a high ORAC Value ( Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity).
Tart cherries contain ellagic acid, has the potential to inhibit the production of lipopolysaccharide in your body. Lipopolysaccharide plays a role in acute inflammatory responses. They also help eliminate uric acid that accumulates and causes pain in your joints. One study found tart cherries to have the highest anti-inflammatory potential of all the foods! Take your Apothe-Cherry each night before bed and you will enjoy the best sleep of your life!
Super Xanthin contains spirulina and astaxanthin. Spirulina is highly anti-inflammatory. The component that gives it its blue-green color is called phycocyanin. It inhibits the production of inflammation signaling molecules. As far as astaxanthin goes, it’s a pigment and an anti-oxidant similar to beta-carotene. It is found in sea creatures with a pinkish color. It improves blood flow and reduces oxidative stress.
If you research supplements for inflammation and joint pain, you will see glucosamine and Omega-3 mentioned over and over. I did not include them on this list because they are fairly easy to consume through diet. Drink bone broth regularly for glucosamine and eat nuts, seeds, and fatty fish for the Omega-3s.
Top 17 Natural Anti-Inflammatory Foods
Now, let’s look at some foods that have potent anti-inflammatory properties:
- Berries: Berries have powerful antioxidant properties that help reduce oxidative stress. Oxidation, or aging, is the free radical damage caused by the imbalance between antioxidants and free radicals in your body. Reduce oxidative stress and you reduce inflammation. Moreover, berries, other fruits, and foods like beans, nuts, vegetables, and black tea contain polyphenols, which help reduce inflammation.
- Spirulina: Spirulina has a wide array of benefits from lowering cholesterol to reducing cancer risks and allergies. You can see that these health conditions are linked to inflammation, so it shouldn’t be surprising that spirulina is an effective anti-inflammatory.
- Ginger: A study found ginger to be as effective as ibuprofen to relieve pain. Also, taking high doses of ginger for 4 weeks can help with arthritis. Even applying a cream made with ginger to the affected area can help reduce inflammation. Start adding ginger to your smoothies and your dishes to benefit from its anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and anti-cancer properties.
- Turmeric: We talked about curcumin already in the supplement section. Turmeric contains only 3% curcumin, but it’s still a delicious and powerful food to add to your life. Just like ginger, you can add it to smoothies, juices, and dishes.
- Beets: Beets boost nitric oxide which stimulates your overall circulation and supports red blood cell production and reduces inflammation in your body. They also contain several bioactive compounds, including plant pigments called betalains. Beets may improve several health conditions like hypertension, diabetes, and dementia.
- Carrots: Carrots and other orange-fleshed vegetables such as sweet potatoes and squash are rich in vitamin A and beta-carotene, which fight inflammation. Just so you know, cooking them increases the availability of these compounds.
- Salmon and other fatty fish: Healthy fats reduce inflammation. Two servings of salmon will meet all your omega-3 needs for the week! Just make sure your salmon is not farmed. If it doesn’t say wild, you can assume it is farmed.
- Nuts and seeds: Walnuts and chia seeds, for example, contain Omega-3s and different healthy fats than the fatty fish.
- Leafy greens: High in vitamin K and chlorophyll, which help detoxify your body and lower inflammation. Examples include chard, kale, collard, spinach, dandelion greens, beet greens.
- Cruciferous vegetables: Sulfur-containing vegetables (or vitamin U), such as broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower, help lower inflammation.
- Celery: You may have heard of the hype surrounding celery juice. Celery provides essential antioxidants, phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals that may prevent inflammation-related diseases. It is not a one-cure-all, and neither is celery juice, but it’s worth adding to your shopping list.
- Pineapple: Pineapple contains bromelain, an enzyme that lowers inflammation.
- Bone broth: Bone broth is high in collagen and other amino acids that help repair the body. Many purchase glucosamine supplements for inflammation, but I suggest you drink bone broth instead.
- Coconut oil: Coconut oil contains saturated fat that reduces inflammation. Based on studies, coconut decreases oxidative stress.
- Kiwis: Kiwis have been studied for their anti-inflammatory potential. The specific compounds responsible for this anti-inflammatory effect hasn’t been identified, but it does support the idea that you need to eat a rainbow of fruit and veggies for optimal health.
- Garlic and onions: Garlic and onions contain a flavonoid well-known to help decrease inflammation. It’s called quercetin. They also contain organosulfur compounds, which help decrease the production of pro-inflammatory substances in the blood.
- Olive oil: You may have heard about the Meditteranean Diet. People who eat a traditional Meditterean Diet, rich in olive oil, may suffer from fewer health problems related to inflammation. A compound found in olive oil called oleocanthal appears to suppress pain pathways.
In one list of anti-inflammatory foods I found online, tart cherries were one of the top 14. I did not add them to my list simply because the Apothe-cherry will give you more than enough tart cherries, but be aware that they are an excellent food to fight inflammation.
Chronic, systemic, low-grade inflammation can be the cause of many serious health conditions. If you are feeling fatigued, if you struggle with allergies, diabetes, skin issues, mood issues, or autoimmune diseases like arthritis, you can improve your symptoms by improving your lifestyle, your diet, and taking some of the best anti-inflammatory supplements I suggested in this post.
Supplements allow you to fill the gaps in your diet. Even if you eat from the rainbow, chose varied healthy foods, you may have some nutritional deficiencies. Choose supplements that are made from organic whole foods rather than just isolated vitamins. Take them consistently, and you should notice an improvement pretty quickly.