Inflammation is something that can gradually cause us to feel run-down, and that can be both a sign of injury, and a precursor to chronic health issues. There are many ways to treat inflammation, but anti-inflammatory supplements are a popular and important way of helping to reduce the inflammation that our body produces. Here are ten things that you should know about fighting inflammation.
1 – Inflammation is a response to your environment
Inflammation is your body responding to injury, illness, and threats. In our current environment where we are eating junk food, exposed to pollution, and are generally sedentary we are at a higher risk of inflammation compared to our ancestors. We can bring down inflammation as it happens, but in the ideal world we should be looking to keep it to a minimum at all times.
2 – Healthy fats can ease inflammation
Omega 3 fatty acids are an essential nutrient that a lot of people overlook, and that can actually be instrumental in bringing down inflammation, as well as helping with other things including hormone production and the absorption of nutrients that are fat soluble. Supplementation of healthy fats can be a huge benefit to people who are perhaps deficient in fats in their diet.
3 – Some inflammation is good
Inflammation is a natural response that your body has to injury or illness, and it’s not always a bad thing. The problems come when your body is constantly in a state of inflammation. Supplementation to bring down your overall level of inflammation can be valuable.
4 – A healthy gut helps with a healthy body
Your gut flora will have a huge impact on your overall health. Your gut flora can actually impact the type of cravings that you get and can also affect how your digestive health is. Inflammation in the gut, irritable bowel syndrome, and other similar issues can all have a hugely negative impact on your health and your wellbeing. Probiotics can help a lot with this and will help to gradually get your gut flora back into a reasonable balance.
5 – Hormones have an impact
There are several hormones that have an influence on your inflammation levels. Insulin and cortisone are both inflammatory and are two things that our modern lifestyles impact a lot. Insulin is produced in response to carbohydrate intake (and some insulin is healthy), and cortisol is triggered by stress. Supplements that help to regulate insulin levels could be beneficial for reducing inflammation and as a nice side-effect would also help to prevent other issues, including certain metabolic disorders.
6 – Nutrient deficiencies will affect you
Our bodies require a wealth of different nutrients to support energy, build and maintain tissues, regulate the metabolic processes, rebuild damaged muscle tissue, and fight against inflammation. If you are deficient in any nutrients, then this will manifest itself in numerous different ways. You might find that you feel sluggish or unwell, that you are unable to resist infections, and that your skin and hair looks less healthy.
The supplement industry is huge, and there is a lot of interest in expensive and niche supplements, but that is not always necessary. A multivitamin may seem like a mundane supplement compared to some of the options that are out there, but it can actually be hugely beneficial, and it’s one of the most cost-effective supplements on the market. Why not give it a try?
7 – Don’t trust everything that says ‘anti-inflammatory’
Lots of supplements are marketed as being ‘immune boosting’ or ‘anti-inflammatory’ but that doesn’t mean that they are a cure-all. Before you spend a lot of money on a supplement try to educate yourself in what it is that is causing the inflammation you are experiencing. Are you stressed? Is your diet up to scratch? Are you sedentary? Are you perhaps an athlete that trains very hard and that is at risk of injury or ill health because of the training that you are doing? Find supplements that will help with the underlying cause, as well as ones that simply suppress inflammation.
8 – Supplements help, but diet is king
Diet helps a lot. The food that you eat will have a massive impact on your body. Try to cut down on sugar and alcohol, and instead focus on anti-oxidant and nutritious foods. Green tea and water are brilliant drinks. There are supplements that are plant based, such as spirulina, that are useful for fighting inflammation and that are often touted as ‘detoxifying’ supplements. The term ‘detox’ is a misnomer. Your body has its own systems for processing foods and excreting toxins, and as long as they are working your body is not ‘full of toxins’ but that doesn’t mean that spirulina is not effective at supporting those process and helping your body to perform at its best.
9 – Don’t underestimate the basics
There are some basic supplements that are really useful. Curcumin, for example, is a COX inhibitor that helps to prevent inflammation. It works by stopping the COX enzyme from turning ‘barely inflammatory’ or anti-inflammatory molecules into ones that are seen by the body as being potentially inflammatory and worthy of mounting a defense against. Circumin is affordable and a useful addition to your daily routine, as are multivitamins, and basic supplements for any deficiency that you are at risk of, such as an iron deficiency.
10 – It takes time to see a huge change
The impact of long-term inflammation on the body can mount up, especially with things like joint conditions. Don’t expect supplementation to make you feel better overnight. You may need to take the supplements for a while before you notice any massive impact, but if you make them a part of your day to day routine then you will find that your inflammation goes down and that your baseline level of wellbeing improves. It’s like exercise – when you’re sedentary for a long time it becomes your new normal, but when you get used to exercise you realize how good you really can feel when you take care of yourself.