Have you ever experienced back pain? How about arthritis, joint pain, or inflammation of any kind? Unless you’re extremely lucky, most of us live with pain at some point. It can range from being annoying to downright debilitating. What is inflammation and how can we treat it? Inflammation is a natural response to injury and infection. Pain gets your attention and encourages you to stop doing whatever caused the pain. Swelling, heat, and redness are signs that the fight to stop infection or start a repair process is underway.
The inflammation can be external and obvious, like a sunburn; it can be internal and obvious, like the stiffness in your back; or it can be internal and silent, like the damage that might slowly be occurring to your vascular walls. All affect your quality of life and happiness, and all need to be treated.
Most people turn to over-the-counter drugs and medication to help pain. However, these treatments are not really getting to the root of the pain—they are simply taking away the symptom. It’s a temporary band-aid fix, not a long-term solution.
How can you prevent inflammation? Or, if you have it, are there ways to reduce and treat it naturally? Absolutely. We’re going to take you through 5 foods that will put out the fire of inflammation—for good.
1. HEALTHY OILS
It’s time for an oil change—for your body. Ridding yourself of inflammation requires incorporating more healthy oils and fats into your diet. Focus on increasing omega-3 fats from flax seeds or flax oil, cold water fatty fish, and potent fish oil supplements like Ascenta NutraSea. Their HP formula is designed to beat inflammation! Avoid refined, hydrogenated, fried, and heated vegetable oils as these have been damaged and create more inflammation in the body. Lowering your overall omega-6 intake, and increasing your omega-3s, can greatly reduce your inflammatory burden. Cook foods with coconut oil, coconut butter ghee, or butter, which are very heat stable, instead of vegetable oils. One of our favourite products is St. Francis Coconut Butter Ghee Spray—convenient and healthy!
2. ANTI-INFLAMMATORY SPICES
Spices and seasonings do more than just amp up your meals. Cooking with anti-inflammatory herbs and spices can be a delicious and cost-effective way to relieve joint pain. Ginger, turmeric, and cayenne pepper can be added to soups, stews, casseroles, stir-fries, marinades and flax oil salad dressings. Fresh ginger root can be sliced and brewed into an anti-inflammatory tea. There is much research into boswelia and curcumin supplements as powerful and safe ways to relieve pain. In fact, Natural Factors CurcuminRich has had great results with lowering inflammation. Spice up your life and reduce your pain in no time!
Acidic diets feed inflammation. Try to focus on more alkalizing foods to reduce your pain and inflammation. Green foods and powders create an alkaline environment, raise the body’s pH, and help supplements like glucosamine work better. Look for alfalfa, wheatgrass, barley grass, or a combination greens supplement for the best support. Genuine Health greens+ makes it easy and delicious to get a variety of greens into your diet in a delicious and quick way!
4. APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
You may have heard that good health begins with good digestion, and this is exactly the case with joint pain. Getting your digestion on track will help with reducing your joint pain because your body will be better able to absorb the minerals and nutrients it needs to create a healthy environment. Taking a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar before each meal is cleansing, alkalizing, and will stimulate digestion. Probiotics, the good bacteria found in yogurt, kefir, and fermented foods, can also help resolve inflammation by restoring the integrity of the intestinal tract.
5. REAL, WHOLE, MINERAL RICH SALT
Remember when we said that having an alkaline diet and body will help to heal inflammation? This is because inflammation thrives in acidic environments, so if you eliminate those environments, the potential for inflammation plummets. A great way to create a more alkaline balance is to enjoy salt—that’s right, SALT! We’re talking about real, whole, mineral-rich salt from the sea that is packed with nutrients and is alkalizing… not regular iodized table salt that actually usually has sugar added to it (what?!). Enjoy seasoning your vegetables with this delicious anti-inflammatory mineral!
WAIT, THERE’S MORE!
There are lots of lifestyle and supplement changes you can make to rid yourself of inflammation, as well. Focusing on real, whole food, a blood-sugar balancing diet (this means protein, healthy fats, and fiber at every meal), drinking enough water, and eating LOTS of mineral-rich vegetables will take you a long way. Be sure to avoid foods you are sensitive or allergic to—they cause allergic reactions in the body which translate to inflammation. Gentle exercise can also go a long way to loosen up stiff joints and relieve inflammation. The old adage ‘use it or lose it’ rings true for joint care. Walking, hiking, cycling, swimming, and yoga are great activities to try. Weight training exercises are especially good for joints, as the pressure signals the body to strengthen the load-bearing tissue. Just don’t overdo it!
If you want to go beyond diet, try including these natural remedies: