There are all types of inflammation in the body. You need inflammation to promote healing and protect the body from infection or serious injury. However, chronic low levels of inflammation can cause serious damage to the body. Even mild inflammation from exercise can be a problem that keeps you up at night, but you can fight inflammation naturally and avoid taking ibuprofen and other NSAIDs that can trigger more serious problems like ulcers and renal disease. However, some inflammation occurs inside your body, like in your arteries, but the effects don’t show immediately.
When a good thing goes bad.
There are many reasons some inflammation is good, but you can get too much of a good thing and inflammation can cause health problems, too. Chronic inflammation caused by an autoimmune disorder, bacteria, virus, poor diet or stress can affect your body in a number of ways. Chronic inflammation can cause digestive problems, including IBS and Crohn’s. It can damage joints, cause Rheumatoid Arthritis, heart disease, skin disorders, higher risk of cancer, COPD, gum disease, bone damage and even affect your mental health.
Put some spice in your life.
There are some spices that you can add to food that will help fight inflammation, while also adding extra nutrition to the dish without extra calories. Turmeric is one that’s touted for its anti-inflammatory benefits and has been sited as a potential aid to Alzheimer’s patients—which may come from the inflammatory response of the body. Ginger, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, cloves, sage and rosemary are also good at reducing inflammation for a variety of reasons. When it comes to herbs and spices, in most cases, the fresher the better.
Eat your way to less inflammation.
Some foods reduce chronic inflammation, while others exacerbate it. Fresh fruits and vegetables are normally on the beneficial list with leafy green veggies and tomatoes leading the pack on the veggie side and blueberries, cherries, strawberries and oranges ahead of the race on the fruit side. Olive oil, almonds, walnuts and fatty fish like salmon reducing inflammation. Basically, healthy foods fight inflammation.
- Foods that make inflammation worse include fried foods, refined carbs like pastry and white bread, soft drinks—even with artificial sweeteners, red meat and processed meat, margarine, trans fats and sugar.
- The bromelain in pineapples has been known to be a digestive aid, but it also can help with inflammation in other areas. Recent studies show it’s helpful for arthritis and injuries.
- If you’re eating a healthy diet, you’re consuming fewer foods that cause inflammation and boosting your anti-inflammatory food intake.
- A quick aid for muscle pain can be made from cayenne pepper and coconut oil. I’ve made a batch by grinding the insides of hot peppers and mixing it with one aspirin and coconut oil. It’s definitely messy but can be useful as a rub on painful muscles in a pinch.