How to Treat Inflammation at its Source, Naturally
Lifestyle changes will go a long way toward reducing chronic inflammation in your body, so focus on making the following changes:
Focus on eating a healthy diet. This includes avoiding pro-inflammatory foods like trans fats, fried foods, sugar and grains, foods cooked at high temperatures and oxidized cholesterol (cholesterol that has gone rancid, such as that from overcooked, scrambled eggs).
Get plenty of animal-based omega-3 fats by taking a high-quality krill oil that is chock full of these beneficial omega-3s. My favorite in this area is krill oil.
Optimize your insulin levels. If your fasting insulin level is not lower than three consider limiting or eliminating your intake of grains and sugars until you optimize your insulin level.
Exercise regularly. Exercise is a great way to lower inflammation without any of the side effects associated with medications.
Quit smoking. Smoking hardens your arteries and increases inflammation. But research shows you can reverse all the damaging effects to your arteries within 10 years of quitting. However, be sure you get your diet under control first so you donít fall into the trap of trading cigarettes for unhealthy junk foods.
Make sure your waist size is normal. If you're a woman with a waist measurement of over 35 inches or a man with a waist of over 40 inches, you probably have high inflammation and should take steps to lose weight.
Have healthy outlets for stress and other negative emotions. High levels of stress hormones can lead to the release of excess inflammatory chemicals, so be sure you use tools to help deal with your current stress and resolve past emotional challenges as well. Meditation, prayer and my personal favorite the Meridian Tapping Technique (MTT) are all useful stress management techniques to try out.
Optimize your vitamin D levels. Most people are not aware that vitamin D can have a profoundly dramatic impact on your health.
Your best source of vitamin D is through your skin being exposed to the sun or alternatively using a safe tanning bed. In the wintertime, however, you may need to take an oral supplement. Just make sure youíre taking the right form of vitamin D in the appropriate amounts to reap the benefits, and remember to get your vitamin D levels tested regularly.
Useful Herbs and Supplements to Fight Inflammation
Finally, although they are not a long-term solution, the herbs that follow are useful for treating the symptoms of inflammation and relieving pain while you work at implementing the lifestyle changes above:
Boswellia: Also known as boswellin or "Indian frankincense," this herb contains specific active anti-inflammatory ingredients, referred to as boswellic acids that animal studies have shown significantly reduce inflammation. This is one of my personal favorites as I have seen it work well with rheumatoid arthritis patients
Bromelain: This enzyme, found in pineapples, is a natural anti-inflammatory. It can be taken in supplement form, but eating fresh pineapple may also be helpful.
Ginger: This herb is anti-inflammatory and offers pain relief and stomach-settling properties. Fresh ginger works well steeped in boiling water as a tea or grated into vegetable juice. Powder capsules are also available, but I recommend using the fresh root.
Resveratrol: Resveratrol is a potent antioxidant found in certain fruits, vegetables and cocoa that is emerging as a modern-day fountain of youth. It works by preventing your body from creating sphingosine kinase and phospholipase D -- two molecules known to trigger inflammation. The science surrounding this compound is so compelling that it has become one of my all-time favorite antioxidants, and I believe one that shows real promise of health benefits.
Evening Primrose, Black Currant and Borage Oils: These contain the essential fatty acid gamma linolenic acid (GLA), which is useful for treating arthritic pain. It is reasonable for many to take these as a supplement, particularly if you struggle with dry skin in the winter, as this is a strong indicator that you are deficient in these fats.
Turmeric, Tulsi and Rosemary: The transcription protein Nuclear Factor-kappa Beta (NfKB) is a major inducer of inflammation, and these three herbs are capable of modulating NfKB.