Inflammation can be caused by various health conditions, irritants, and medications. Prolonged inflammation can lead to symptoms that affect overall health.
The body triggers inflammation as a natural response to infection, injury, or disease, as it helps to protect the body. Inflammation is crucial for the healing process after an injury or infection.
However, with autoimmune diseases such as some forms of arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease, the immune system may mistakenly attack healthy cells, resulting in chronic inflammation.
Inflammation is generally categorised into two types:
Acute inflammation: This type of inflammation is intense but short-lived, usually resolving within two weeks. Symptoms appear rapidly, and it aids the body in returning to its normal state before illness or injury.
Chronic inflammation: It is a less severe form of inflammation that persists for a longer duration, typically more than six weeks. It can occur even in the absence of injury or illness and may not subside when the underlying condition is resolved. Chronic inflammation has been linked to autoimmune disorders and prolonged stress.
Loss of function
The symptoms of inflammation depend on the location and cause of the inflammation in the body.
Prolonged inflammation can result in various symptoms that can affect the body in different ways. Some common symptoms of chronic inflammation include[i]:
Inflammatory conditions are common and can affect different parts of the body, causing distinct symptoms. Here are some common examples:
Please note: If you experience persistent or severe symptoms, seek medical attention promptly, as they may indicate an underlying health condition.
Inflammation can be triggered by various factors, including both chronic and acute illnesses, certain medications, and exposure to irritants or foreign substances that cannot be easily eliminated by the body. Repeated instances of acute inflammation can also give rise to a chronic inflammatory response.
Some people with autoimmune disorders may experience inflammation-causing or aggravating effects from certain food types, such as refined carbohydrates, sugar, processed meats, trans fats and alcohol[ii][iii].
Trans fats are an unhealthy form of fat that is commonly found in processed and fried foods. Consuming trans fats can raise the levels of "bad" cholesterol while lowering the levels of "good" cholesterol in your body, which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and other health issues, all associated with raised levels of inflammation[iv][v][vi].
Where possible, avoid these foods that typically contain trans fats:
Anti-inflammatory foods refer to the types of food that have demonstrated the ability to decrease inflammation in the body. Consuming these foods may aid in the prevention or management of chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Some examples of these foods include:
Incorporating these anti-inflammatory foods into your diet can have numerous health benefits and may help reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
Nutritional therapy is important in reducing inflammation in the body by providing the body with necessary nutrients, identifying food sensitivities or allergies that contribute to inflammation, and taking a holistic approach to addressing the root causes of inflammation.
Turmeric: Curcumin is a compound found in the spice turmeric. Curcumin may help decrease inflammation in diabetes, heart disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and cancer, among other conditions[xxxiv]. It also appears to be beneficial for reducing inflammation and improving symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Ginger: Ginger has been widely used for its medicinal properties for centuries, and recent research has shown that it possesses anti-inflammatory properties that can help alleviate inflammation in the body. Ginger contains several bioactive compounds, which have been found to possess anti-inflammatory properties. Ginger contains two bioactive compounds, gingerol and zingerone, which have been shown to possess anti-inflammatory properties that can potentially alleviate inflammation associated with various health conditions, such as type 2 diabetes[xxxv].
Try: Gimber Organic Drink Concentrate
Vitamin C: An essential vitamin that plays a huge role in immunity and inflammation. It’s a powerful antioxidant, so it can reduce inflammation by neutralizing free radicals that cause oxidative damage to your cells[xxxvi].
Try Viridian Elderberry Extract (Organic) with Vitamin C: Featuring organic, Austrian, ‘Eldercraft’, elderberry extract and formulated with vitamin C rich, Brazilian, acerola cherries to provide an immune-boosting, great-tasting elixir.
Wheat Grass: Some studies show that wheatgrass may help to alleviate chronic inflammation, reducing your risk of developing conditions such as heart disease[xxxvii].
Boswellia: Boswellia is known in the Western world as frankincense. This substance has anti-inflammatory, antiarthritic, and analgesic properties. It has been used for osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, bursitis, and tendonitis. Other uses include ulcerative colitis, painful menstruation, and abdominal pain[xxxviii].
Fish oil/ Omega 3: Fish oil is recognized for its ability to support skin health. This is due to the presence of two essential fatty acids, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), which have strong anti-inflammatory and restorative properties[xxxix].
Resveratrol: Resveratrol, an antioxidant found in fruits with purple skin such as grapes and blueberries, as well as in foods like dark chocolate, peanuts, and red wine, has been extensively researched for its potential anti-inflammatory benefits. Its effectiveness has been studied in individuals with chronic ailments such as liver disease, obesity, and ulcerative colitis (UC), as well as in people without chronic conditions[xl].
Spirulina: Spirulina is a type of blue-green algae with strong antioxidant effects. Studies have shown that it reduces inflammation, promotes healthy ageing, and may strengthen the immune system[xli].
Bromelain: Bromelain is a powerful enzyme found in pineapple that gives the fruit its astringency. It also has some potential anti-inflammatory properties. In studies it does appear to be helpful in reducing postoperative inflammation in people undergoing wisdom tooth removal[xlii]
Try: Viridian Bromelain
Green Tea: It’s rich in compounds that may provide many health benefits, such as epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), caffeine, and chlorogenic acid – all contributing to anti-inflammatory effects[xliii].
Try: Viridian Green Tea
Garlic: is a common food that’s rich in anti-inflammatory compounds. Garlic is particularly high in a compound called allicin, a potent anti-inflammatory agent that may also help strengthen the immune system to better ward off disease-causing pathogens. Additionally, researchers found significant improvements in the inflammatory markers tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) and IL-6.[xliv]
Terranova Glucosamine, Boswellia and MSM Complex: Boswellia resin may promote healthy inflammatory and circulatory responses in joint tissue. Nettle leaf is rich in nutrients that maintain joint health and possesses constituents that support inflammatory response. Turmeric root's curcuminoids help maintain proper inflammatory response and possess potent antioxidant properties. Ginger rhizome and root may support inflammatory, pain, and circulatory responses important for joint health.
Living Nutrition Organic Fermented Kef-Flamex: Blend of kefir-kombucha fermented herbs and foods from Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda and Western Herbalism support the health and wellbeing of the body’s tissue and joints.
Viridian Joint Complex: An autoinflammatory and synergistic blend of nutrients appropriate for the maintenance of healthy joints, together with an array of botanicals, including vitamin C and manganese.
The Organic Pharmacy Rosacea Tincture: Reduce inflammation and calm the skin with this anti-inflammatory combination of herbs, including Nettle, Red Clover, Milk Thistle, Bilberry and Dang Gui.
Engaging in regular physical activity to promote healthy circulation and reduce inflammation in the body[xlvii]. Regular exercise reduces fat mass and adipose tissue inflammation which is known to contribute to inflammation around the body.
Managing stress through relaxation techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, and yoga[xlviii].
Getting enough sleep each night to promote healing and reduce inflammation[xlix].
Avoiding exposure to environmental toxins and pollutants that can contribute to inflammation[l].
It's important to note that while naturopathic functional testing can be helpful in identifying potential sources of inflammation, it should always be used in conjunction with a thorough medical evaluation by a qualified healthcare professional and nutritional therapist/ holistic practitioner.
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