While acute inflammation helps your body to heal (after an injury, for instance), chronic inflammation contributes to diseases ranging from heart disease and cancer to rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes. As mentioned, it’s also often implicated in pain.
What causes chronic inflammation?
Stress and exposure to environmental toxins (like pollution or household chemicals) certainly contribute, but what you put in your body — your food and drinks, for instance — also play a major role.
Because of this, a comprehensive anti-inflammatory diet, consisting of inflammation-fighting food, drinks and herbal supplements — is an invaluable tool to help keep this pervasive health threat at bay.
A Comprehensive Anti-Inflammatory Diet in 10 Easy Steps
Food and Drinks
10. Fermented Foods
If you like the tangy flavor of traditionally fermented foods like kefir, sauerkraut and kimchi, you’re in luck, because these foods are an excellent source of beneficial bacteria known as probiotics. These good bacteria help to curb systemic inflammation in your body.[i]
Kefir, a fermented milk drink, in particular, contains not only probiotics but also anti-inflammatory prebiotics.[ii]
9. Tart Cherries
A glass of tart cherry juice a day may help keep the doctor away … that’s because tart cherries contain inflammation-fighting antioxidants known as anthocyanins. Tart cherries have been found to reduce numerous biomarkers of inflammation, including inflammation of abdominal fat, plasma and the heart.[iii]
These unassuming nutritional powerhouses also contain antioxidants that offer a protective effect against inflammation. In fact, by adding blueberries to your morning smoothie (or simply eating them by the handful) daily for six weeks, you can increase anti-inflammatory molecules known as cytokines in your body![iv]
There’s a reason your mom always told you to eat your broccoli, and one of them has to do with the phytonutrients, such as sulphoraphane, that it contains. Sulphoraphane helps prevent the activation of inflammatory enzymes in your body in a way similar to anti-inflammatory drugs, but even better it also helps to keep inflammatory enzymes from increasing.[v]
6. Green Tea
Sipping on green tea is an excellent way to get more anti-inflammatory flavonoids into your diet. These natural compounds increase beneficial anti-inflammatory substances and decrease inflammatory ones,[vi] making green tea an ideal addition to your anti-inflammatory diet.
If you want to naturally lower your risk of dying from an inflammatory disease, eat more nuts. These tasty snacks contain antioxidants, omega-3 fats, L-arginine and magnesium, which work together to modulate inflammation in your body.[vii]
Top Anti-Inflammatory Herbs and Enzymes
Whether steeped in tea or grated over your stir-fry, ginger has potent anti-inflammatory benefits, and actually shares pharmacological properties with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (without all of the side effects).[viii]
3. Boswellia (Indian Frankincense)
Boswellia, a natural inflammation-fighting gum resin extract derived from the Boswellia serrata tree, common to India, fights inflammation as well as most NSAID drugs, but without the stomach irritation or ulceration. Its benefits are due to a mixture of naturally occurring organic acids, which inhibit pain and inflammation-causing enzymes.
The yellow spice most well-known for its use in Indian curry dishes, turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory. Curcumin, its active ingredient, has been shown to work as well as ibuprofen in treating pain, such as that from knee osteoarthritis.[ix]
1. Proteolytic Enzymes
Proteolytic enzymes, or proteases, are different from, say, digestive enzymes, because they enter your circulatory system and work throughout your entire body. They are “systemic” enzymes with a number of important purposes, including breaking down excess fibrin, a natural substance that helps your body with wound healing, but which often builds up in your body, causing additional inflammation and pain.
“Some possible indicators of excess fibrin in your system include: chronic fatigue, slow healing, inflammation and pain, and elevated blood pressure.
… The medical community has long known that excess fibrin presents a cardiac and stroke risk. Finally, they have acknowledged a link between excess fibrin and chronic systemic inflammation, the true root cause of virtually every disease and painful condition know to man.”
Proteolytic enzymes are essential for fighting chronic inflammation that has built up in your body, but your body stops producing optimal amounts of proteolytic enzymes sometime in your late 20s, which is why taking a proteolytic enzyme supplement is a very smart move. Heal-n-Soothe® is our top-recommended solution, providing you pure and powerful proteolytic enzymes … along with 11 OTHER natural anti-inflammatories (including ginger, boswellia and turmeric) for long lasting pain relief and for fighting all sorts of inflammation quickly and effectively.
Written By: Updated: January 7,2013