Inflammation plays a significant part in many chronic diseases. These include arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and other digestive disorders, auto-immune diseases, heart disease, and diabetes. Exciting research is linking holistic therapies as powerful options to fight inflammation. Most doctors focus on treatment of the symptoms and not addressing the root cause of an issue. Medications are often given to reduce pain, but I believe a better approach would be to reduce inflammation in the body. Here are 6 tips on how you can help decrease inflammation naturally.
- Normalize omega-6 to omega-3 ratio by increasing foods such as wild-caught salmon, walnuts, chia seeds, and flax seeds. Avoiding processed foods will also help normalize the ratio as they are usually loaded with oils containing omega-6.
- Turmeric is best known as one of the ingredients in Curry, a delicious Indian dish. Turmeric has been found to exert antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-mutagenic activity. Tumeric has been shown to inhibit a number of different molecules involved in inflammation including phospholipase, lipooxygenase, COX-2, leukotrienes, thromboxane, prostaglandins, tumor necrosis factor, and interleukin-12.
Based on its anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric is used as a natural treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, endometriosis, premenstrual syndrome, fibromyalgia, and numerous different digestive disorders.
- Avoiding inflammatory foods is just as important as increasing foods with anti-inflammatory actions. The following (on right) are a few simple suggestions to eliminate from your diet or to consume in moderation as they can contribute to inflammation.
- Start cooking more with Rosemary and Ginger. These are two powerful botanicals that contain phytonutrients that are anti-inflammatory. Traditionally, rosemary has been used to reduce muscle pain, support the nervous system, and to increase menstrual flow. Ginger is a popular in Chinese medicine and has been used for thousands of years to help digestion, dyspepsia (upset stomach), diarrhea, arthritis, and painful menstrual cramping.
- Licorice is a plant, but most people know of licorice as a treat found in the grocery store. The candy flavor is usually derived from the plant’s sweet root, but most use synthetic flavoring now a days. The Latin name of licorice is glycyrrhiza glabra and is found in many supplements. The two most important constituents of glycyrrhiza are glycyrrhizin and the flavonoids. With oral ingestion, it is broken down to glycyrrhetinic acid. Glycyrrhizin is anti-inflammatory and inhibits the breakdown of cortisol through inhibition of 5-beta- reductase and 11-beta- hydroxysteriod dehydrogenase. Talk with your doctor before supplementing to help with inflammation.
- Start eating more pineapple. Pineapple contains an enzyme, bromelain, which has shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. Bromelain has been shown to have an anti-aggregant effect, meaning that it can stop blood platelets from sticking together and building up along the walls of blood vessels. Others point to it as a natural option to help with a cough.