Natural Ways to Beat Chronic Inflammation
In our last article we discussed what inflammation is and why a chronic inflammatory state can be detrimental to our health. A recent article looked at multiple studies that investigated foods that may have anti- and pro-inflammatory effects. This research was conducted by measuring inflammatory markers (such as C-reactive protein) after the food was ingested, or from testing food in a laboratory (called ‘in vitro’ research).
From this research, the investigators collated the data into an easy-to-read table of foods that appear to have anti- and pro-inflammatory effects on the body. Some of this information appears in Table 1.
Certain supplements have also shown to have beneficial effects on chronic inflammation. These include, but may not be limited to:
- Fish oil: the omega 3 fatty acids found mainly in fish oils are well known to be highly anti-inflammatory. Although found highest in natural, ‘wild’ seafood, this puts pressure on our food supply. Luckily, the same benefits can be found in fish oil capsules as they would from a moderate intake of non-farmed fresh fish.
- Garlic: fresh chopped or crushed raw garlic delivers the most potent anti-inflammatory effects. It is better eaten as a food than a supplement to optimise anti-inflammatory effects.
- Turmeric: curcumin is the principal polyphenolic pigment found in turmeric, and is the most active constituent. Both turmeric and curcumin have demonstrated anti-inflammatory activities in humans.
- Capsaicin: this is the active component of chilli. It has the ability to reduce painful sensation and block neurogenic inflammation, as well as having anti-inflammatory properties.
By increasing the amounts of foods eaten in the ‘Anti-inflammatory’ column and limiting our intake of those listed in the ‘Inflammatory’ column, we may help to prevent or reduce the amount of chronic inflammation in the body, and thereby reduce the risk of other conditions and diseases, such obesity and Type 2 diabetes.
Remember that every body is different and unique, so not all recommended foods and supplements may have the same effect.
- Gina ,Dietitian